Can the NEC 3520A copy audio bit for bit perfect?

According to, the drive is listed and the offset is also listed so I’m assuming it has the ability to copy a bit for bit audio from a audio cd right?


I did some testing and copying in Exact Audio Copy using the AccurateRip module, and it seemed to work ok but I believe it doesn’t handle leadouts properly. A couple of discs I had would copy bit for bit perfect in my Plextor drive, but not in the NEC drive (mainly failing on the last track/lead out).

One big plus for the 3520 was that it doesn’t cache audio, so it rips very fast in EAC, but if you’re looking for bit for bit perfect it’s probably not what you want.

(DISCLAIMER: I didn’t do any extensive/exhaustive testing, and I’m new to NEC drives in general, so there may be some workarounds or I could have been using some extreme example CDs in my testing).

Anyone else able to help me out? Btw, thanks for your help.

Hey Sgt_Strider,

Here is a link to the review of the NEC 3520 from This is specifically the DAE part of the review:

<a href=“”>LINK</a>

It won’t do exact rips, but if you use EAC in Secure Mode and enable the C2 error correction, it will be faster than most other drives in Secure Mode. (because C2 doesn’t work all the time, but it does with this drive).

IMO, nothing is perfect.

Anyone here able to test this in their NEC 3520A for me? Supposively if you follow the steps that I have listed, you’ll be able to find out if the burner is indeed capable of copying bit for bit.

"Find a CD in EAC’s Reference CDs List, put it the drive, then press the “Detect read sample offset correction…” button. The dialog box will tell you your drives offset value & if it can overread lead I/O. "

Tested with Falco - 3 CD
-overread: none
-read offset: +48

EAC could not decide whether the drive cached audio or not. It changed its mind every other time the detection routine was run.
But even if the drive doesn’t cache audio, it’s limited to 32X. I could not get more than 18X in Secure mode, even.

Really, where bit-for-bit audio CD copying is concerned, Plextor is the only choice. The NEC may be good with DVDRs, but it does not shine in the DAE department.

P.S. any reason why you are not using AccurateRip?

read my first post.

That’s a nice way to say thank you.
If you use AccurateRip then why do you need to detect the read offset with EAC? Secondly, AccurateRip has nothing to do with bit for bit perfect audio CD copying.

I think there was a bit of misunderstanding there. I never meant to insult you and if you thought I did, then I apologize. I am concerned because I want a drive that can copy a protected/unprotected audio disc bit for bit perfect and at the same time have excellent DVD burning capability.

No offence taken, Sarge =).

I did some more testing with the NEC 3520 and 1:1 audio CD copying. Turns out it cannot even rip a slightly scratched CD without errors. Got a Read Error in Secure mode on one track, Burst mode rips the wrong CRC. Put the CD into the PX-712A - the Plextor does not even slow down on that track! Moreover, it rips all tracks even in Burst mode with correct CRCs. So much for the NEC 3520.

If you want bit-perfect audio CD copying (+great DVDR burning ability) you have two options: a PX-712 or PX-716. Use them in conjunction with PlexTools Pro v3.12 - later versions have issues detailed in this thread.

Thanks for the information dude and I guess I’ll have to eliminate that drive from my list then. I have started a thread on the Plextor 716 in the Plextor forum. Hopefully I’ll get some good answers soon.

I have the NEC ND-3520A and it is a very good drive for ripping CDs. It’s not perfect. But for the price you cannot beat it. Plextor used to be the best back when they made SCSI drives, but Plextor is just an overexpensive brand these days. Go withthe current model NEC if you can. The person who posted his experience with ONE CD is not right. I’ve found drives will do something better then others. My wife’s drive is an older LG drive (forget the model) and I’ve seen it rip a track my NEC could not and I’ve seen my NEC rip a track her LG could not. You cannot base your decision on one person’s experience with ONE track on ONE CD. That’s just plain assinine (pardon my French).