This follows a discussion in this thread about “harsh-sounding” Verbatims.
Both Uart and myself were convinced that any significant audible difference between two medias burned with the same audio files on the same burner could only be psychological, unless a lot of C2 errors were present.
Metallo then stated that there were actual differences in tonality between different CD-Rs.
After some research on the Net, I found, to my surprise, that this was a rather wide-spread conviction among music enthousiasts and even sound engineers.
Still not convinced, I performed a test, burning 5 different CD-Rs with the same .wav files (from my own music and my own mixes, so I know these files pretty well, plus some other files including classical pieces and various modern songs …), and compared these discs using two identical CD players (ROTEL RCD-9658X) and a Sennheiser HD600 headphones set.
The medias used:
> 3 good to excellent quality ones
1. Ritek 97m15s17f (Maxell branded, printable, 52X rated)
2. Taiyo Yuden 97m24s01f (Unbranded, printable, 48X rated)
3. MCC 97m34s23f (Verbatim branded, 48X rated)
> and two low-quality ones
4. MPO 95m25s07f (HighSpace branded, 24X rated)
5. Plasmon 97m27s18f (Unbranded, 32X rated)
The Ritek and MCC discs were burnt on a NEC3540A DVD writer, the other discs were burnt in a Plextor 5224 CD writer. All medias were burnt at the maximum speed available.
I had a friend changing the discs for me and switching between the two players, without me knowing which discs were actually playing. The two compared discs were always synchronized so to hear the same parts simultaneously.
After +/- 30 minutes, me and my friend (who happens to be a musician too) switched, he started listening and I started playing the discs.
Then we exchanged our impressions.
We both came to the same conclusion: there were no audible tonal difference whatsoever between the different discs.
So the other conclusion we both came to was that the whole story was just another of these numerous “audiophile” myths…
I’m interested in reading other experiences and opinions…