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CD Science Part 1 - Duplications Vs Replication

Upon the release of the new Golding Product’s website, we promised to make the most of our 30+ years of expertise and produce regular industry blog posts to – hopefully – make your lives a little bit easier!

Without further ado – part 1.

Duplication vs Replication

This is, without question, amongst the most common queries we get from our customers. What’s the difference? Which one do I pick? And – most importantly – Which one is best for my music and fans?

Similar to burning a CD-R at home. A specialist CD-R Duplicator extracts the content from a master disc (or digital file) and writes it to a blank disc using a laser. Unlike burning at home, high-speed low-error duplication towers are used to duplicate batches of CD-R’s more efficiently.

CD Replication is…

An industrial injection mold manufacturing process which ‘presses’ the content onto the disc during disc manufacture. First the content is used to create a flawless glass master, which in turn is used to create a metal stamper. The metal stamper is then loaded into an injection moulding machine and the content is ‘pressed’ into a polycarbonate resin. The newly created disc is coated in a micro-thin layer of aluminum for reflecting the laser of the CD player; and followed by a lacquer for protection. Our CD lines have digital inspectors which inspect every single disc to ensure it is an exact replica with no flaws.

A Common Misconception…

CD’s were introduced as a replacement to vinyl. As such the CD inherited most of its

manufacturing terms from vinyl manufacture, despite being a different process. In the paragraph above, we have placed the term ‘pressed’ in quotations marks because, whilst the standard term for CD replication, this was inherited from vinyl and a CD isn’t really pressed at all!

The polycarbonate resin is heated to a liquid and injected into a mold containing the metal stamper, not only is the liquid polycarbonate is not thick enough for a pressing process like vinyl, but a pressing process would be nowhere near accurate enough for making a CD!

Find out more about the replication process in part 2 of this series!

What’s the difference and what’s better for my music?