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Old 08-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default New CD vs used CD: Sound quality the same

Scientifically, is there any difference in sound quality between a used CD and a new CD? There are CD cleaning products out there that claim that sound quality will improve if you clean your CDs. My understanding is that a bit is a bit, and there will be no difference in sound quality between a used CD and a new one. Even a scratched, but fully playable CD will sound as good as new. I'm not referring to skipping, pops or clicks. I'm referring to the bass, highs, mids, dynamic range sound quality of the CD. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: New CD vs used CD: Sound quality the same

Yes, in fact, because it's digital, a copy will also sound as good as the original. It's possible that a dirty CD will have certain bits that won't be readable which could effect the sound quality but, provided every bit is readable, sound quality will be the same.

The reason why analog music/video delivered on records and tape in the past was rarely copy-protected was because each time a copy was made from a copy the quality dropped lower and lower. After several generations of copying, the quality was so poor that it wasn't worth copying again. Not so with digital copies as the 1000th copy will sound as good as the original.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: New CD vs used CD: Sound quality the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
Yes, in fact, because it's digital, a copy will also sound as good as the original. It's possible that a dirty CD will have certain bits that won't be readable which could effect the sound quality but, provided every bit is readable, sound quality will be the same.

The reason why analog music/video delivered on records and tape in the past was rarely copy-protected was because each time a copy was made from a copy the quality dropped lower and lower. After several generations of copying, the quality was so poor that it wasn't worth copying again. Not so with digital copies as the 1000th copy will sound as good as the original.
Good, very true. So a bit is a bit no matter what. Now, do you believe that the device that is being used to copy a CD can affect the sound quality of the copy? For example, if I use a CD recorder deck and then use my PC to copy a CD, both copies should be identical to the original source CD, correct?
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: New CD vs used CD: Sound quality the same

They should be identical barring the possibility that the drive's lens could be dirty or the CD is scratched or dirty but, again, if all bits are read then they will be identical.

In a digital system it is yes or no, plain and simple whereas in an analog system you need to contend with varying signal amplitude as well as noise such as tape hiss.
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