CDs can be copied using two ways, i.e. replication and duplication.
CD Replication means the discs will be pressed from a glass master and the artwork will be printed directly onto the discs using silkscreen or offset printing. Retail store-bought music CDs and on-the-shelf software are all copied by replication. A typical replication line can produce thousands of CDs a day. Replication is meant for high volume professional compact disc production and is the standard for major commercial releases. Please refer to Compact Disc Manufacturing for the technical details on CD replication.
Since 2000, New Cyberian has been the major compact disc replication service provider in San Jose, CA. Most high-tech companies in Silicon Valley have used New Cyberian as their compact disc contracted manufacturer.
An alternative to CD replication is CD duplication.
CD Duplication means the CDs will be burned from CD-Rs and the artwork will be either printed on a paper label which is then applied onto the disc surface, or printed directly onto the discs with inkjet printable coating. CD Duplication is synonymous to CD burning and is meant for low volume and fast turn around production.
When you have an urgent need to have say 100 copies of CDs then CD duplication will best serve your need. Despite the short notice, we can have your CDs ready in 24-hours, few hours, or even in 20 minutes while you wait.
If you have enough time and the ordered quantity is 300 or more you should always use replication services. The only time you would seek duplication services is when your order is less than 300 or you need to rush the order. Even if you chose to go the route of duplication, always choose a supplier who will turn on the 'compare and verify' feature when the discs are burned. Some companies turn this feature off to save time as the process will take 3 times longer. New Cyberian always enables the 'compare and verify' for all the duplication orders.
There are hot debates over the quality difference between duplication and replication services. By and large the consensus is that the quality should be the same. But since 2000 we have kept a big archive of discs from our clients and found in reality the equality does not hold up to what many people may have claimed. Duplicated DVDs tend to go downhill over time in readability faster than replicated DVDs. The ink on duplicated DVDs fades out in few years while this never happens to replicated DVDs. Duplicated DVDs are more susceptible to temperature change than replicated DVDs. Last but not least, duplicated discs have less resistance to scratch damage then replicated discs.