Duplication vs Replication: The Truth

Brian looks at the 2 options for getting the data onto your media.

I got a request recently from a regular customer to produce a run of CDs for a new release.

The request stated that they want ‘real CDs’ and not the ‘homemade’ versions. They were of course signalling to have ‘replicated’ CDs or also known as ROMs or stamps.
This opens the debate, is there a working difference between stamping and burning cds for you order.

Heres the science…

CD ROMs or stamped CDs are the original ..developed by Philips/MCA in the 1970s. It involves the stamping of the data onto polycarbonate discs in a large production environment. Your first generation CD would certainly have been a ROM, and would have been the only show in town for a decade. Your Rolling stones or U2 album bought today will certainly still be in this category.

Before the end of the 1980s , Philips had developed the optical writable disc option, which meant if you purchased a very expensive optical write drive you could create your own projects. The bugbear on this was of course the players, originally designed to work with ROMs would need to follow up quickly with compatibility to ensure sales in the newly emerging product. It took many years to achieve across the board compatibility. It required a re-engineering of the laser head to read the reflective nature of the discs data.

But it did happen.

My estimate, as someone working in the industry, it was the mid 2000’s when we saw the end of the compatibility issues apart from some older mastering and DJ systems

Todays discs and drives are 100% compatible so don’t believe the naysayers, you are safe with us.
Unless of course you still have a 1995 sony cd walkman .

What do our customers say?

Most orders we take under 300 will normally involve us printing and duplicating CDRs. There is no difference in quality as both ROMs and Rs are fully digital representations of your supplied master. On rare occasions, as demonstrated in the opening paragraph, some customers look for stamps in small quantities.. possible yes..but not cost-effective. We have received no issues/feedback Im glad to report for almost a decade. Long may it continue.

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