I did a lot of shopping around and found a VinPower VP-2900 series CD Duplicator for $685. It is a 1 to 10 tower. I have checked the drives out and every thing seams to be fairly high quality. I like the fact that the case is aluminum. Besides being lighter I know as a computer tech that it really effects the heat dispensation. I also like the idea of the fins on the case again to help with heat. All of this is pointless however if the controller is crap. Vin power claims to be an R and D company and their stuff is on most major sites(Amazon.com, NewEgg, ect.). I cannot find any reviews however and as I understand it this particular line was only released a little over a year ago(the DVD ones any way). The only real review that I found was in Spanish and though I cannot real the language well enough to gain any insight I did see 5 stars. I also noticed at least one comment on another thread that mentioned the controllers fairly good. That of course was questioned on a separate thread that claimed that VinPower rebrands other controllers. The site promises a lot and I just did not know if any one had actually used them. The one that i am looking at in paticular is the VP2900-SNY-10 which basically means the 1-10 with Sony CD-R/RW burners. Supposedly it has been upgraded to a 128 mb buffer as opposed to the 64 mb on their page. I am not doing any thing tricky but I just need a reliable solid burner tower to dup audio CDs.
Most of us here don’t have much or any experience with buying or building CD Duplicating towers because the majority of people here don’t need that kind of equipment. Unless you plan on duplicating hundreds if not thousands of CD’s you might be better off with just a plain old burner.
Here is a review of a VinPower (although not the same exact one) it might give you an idea of the quality and workmanship of this product:
Here is another review, although not the same exact one this shows he had positive things to say about VinPower’s product:
Hope this helps you out.
Thank you very much. I am not sure how I missed the NewEgg review. I have been volunteering on projects for some friends of mine and stumbled into the business of short run duplication. Up till now I have been doing it on my HP laptop and have literally burned thousands on this drive. Rather than kill the drive I figured can afford to buy this thing and save my drive and my time. If there are any other suggestions I am open to hearing them.
If you are willing to build your own duplicating tower you maybe able to save some money. Otherwise I would just buy the tower.
You may want to read these articles if you decide to build instead of buy, it also suggests that the best controller cards are Wytron and Acard:
This place also has components to build your own tower. The only thing you need to do is buy the drives.
I have looked at doing that. In fact I have a separate tower already but it was one that I repaired. It seamed to work well when I removed a bad drive but I had a bad batch and am not sure if it was the equipment or the CDs. At this point I may just gut it and build a DVD dup but it seams a shame if those drives are working to toss them. I cannot afford full production runs on faulty equipment though, even if they are only in the hundreds. What is the best way to test the drives for reliability? Should i just use CD speed over time.The other issue is according to the forums each drive seams to work better with some controllers and not as well with others. For convenience sake I would rather have a tower that was prebuilt and tested mainly because I have a run that is dew very shortly and I do not want any issues. VinPower particularly claims that they have tried to optimize their performance between controller and drive. That could be a load but at least they claim it.
As I am in the business, let me impart what knowledge I have concerning CD/DVD duplication controllers and towers.
There are thre major CD/DVD duplicator manufacturers.
Wytron: They are based in Taipei, have been around for awhile and their products are considered well built, speed and compatibility are good. There top of the line model is the DVD-688, works well with major brands of writers. They have a compatibility list on their web page. 64 mb of buffer memory, which I believe is plenty.
ACard: Again, based in Taipei. They feature a lot of IDE/SCSI/RAID adapter cards as well as their duplicator products. The build quality is a little cheap looking but the speed seems good. ACard sells a lot to OEMs, so you might see their product being rebranded. Be carefull though, on the ACard manufacturer website, they advertise their controllers as having up to 64 mb of buffer memory, but you will see a lot of OEMs advertising the same product with 128 mb of buffer. This is done by tweaking the firmware to show “128 mb” on the LCD. I do not know if ACard has any new models that really do have 128mb buffer though.
An Chen/CopyStar: Another Taipei manufacturer. They sell a lot through OEM channels so you might see their products under a lot of other names. Build quality looks a little cheap but speeds seem good. Again, beware of the 128mb buffer claims. I have seen An Chen boards with dummy memory chips and re-labeled memory chips to make them look like 128mb. Some OEMs are really sneaky this way.
VINPOWERDIGITAL/ILY: These two big OEMS seem to have found a mainland China manufacturer that makes boards for them. I have one of these boards in front of me for demo purposes. Build quality looks a little cheap but the board runs OK. Speed is good. The board has only one 64mb buffer chip but the LCD reports 128 buffer though.
Summary. I have my own preferences, Wytron, but what people really want is copies, not duplicators. If you want to buy a duplicator tower, try to find one that has enough power. 400 watts or above for a 10 target tower. Aluminum cases are nice but other things are more important. Leave the side off a regular tower if you need extra cooling. You could just buy the controller and a case of drives and just stack them on either side of the controller,(you would need to scrounge a couple of old PC power supplies though)
As far as media is concerned, you can go first class and buy Tayo Uden or some other top quality media, or you can do what the pirates do and buy the cheapest media you can get and just accept the 10% to 20% reject rate.
Finally, if you want good quality and speed, try to integrate a hard drive into the unit, it really helps.