The Difference Between CD Duplication and CD Replication Explained
Here at CDROM2GO, we’ve been in the business of duplicating and replicating discs for over ten years. One of the most common questions that customers ask us is: “What’s the difference between duplication and replication?” The terms may seem interchangable, but they actually refer to two very different processes. Allow me to explain:
A CD duplication service uses a DVD/CD burner drive to record information on to a blank disc. A machine such as a standalone duplicator tower may contain anywhere from 1 to 15 recording drives. These machines will make hundreds of disc copies quickly and efficiently.
After burning, your artwork will be printed directly on the disc surface using one of our three print processes: PhotoPro, digital, or thermal. PhotoPro offers a high-gloss, full-color print that is great for high resolution images. Digital printing is great for gradient and design prints in full color, and thermal is best for vector text and line art.
When you need 100 to 2,000 discs, CD duplication is the best way to go. With this service, your discs can be completed in just a few days’ time. The standard turn time for CDROM2GO is 3 to 5 days, with Express Service available in 1 to 3 days. Choose duplication when you need your discs by a specific deadline.
Disc duplication is not without a few minor drawbacks, however. Since your data is recorded on to a blank CD, the burn area is visible on the underside of the disc. It does not have the same professional look as a replicated disc. The other drawback of duplication is the price, which can be several cents higher per disc than replication. If you simply need a low volume of discs produced very quickly, duplication is best the way to go.
CD Replication is another method of producing discs, but the process is completely different from duplication. Replicating a uses specialized machinery to “stamp” or “press” the data into a disc during manufacturing. The process begins with creating a glass master which will be used to form the stampers. Stampers are molds which replicate the original master disc.
Next, tiny pellets of polycarbonate plastic are heated into a molten state and then hit with the stamper which forms the data pits and grooves into the disc. After cooling down, the discs retain the information. This process is repeated at a rapid pace to produce hundreds or thousands of manufactured CD discs, all of which are perfect copies of the original. After production, the artwork is printed on the CD/DVD discs using a large-scale silkscreen or offset printer.
CD replication service is a great choice when you need 2,000 discs or more. The advantage is that when you order discs in large quantities, the economy of scale results in a lower cost per disc when compared with duplication. Replicated CDs are also slightly more durable than duplicated discs because the data is stamped into the disc. This results in the discs looking just like a disc you would buy at the store.
The main disadvantage of replication is time; replication can take 7 to 14 days to be completed. The extra steps in the process take longer to set up and complete than a duplication job. Another catch is the higher minimum quantities required for replication. Most replication plants will not do smaller jobs. CDROM2GO has a minimum of 1,000 pieces for replicated discs.
Ultimately, the difference between duplication and replication comes down to quantity of discs, cost per disc, and time. The right service for you depends on your needs. To find out more about our CD replication & duplication services, please visit us online at CDROM2GO.com.