Does the quality of a recordable CD matter?

I am an analogue guy. I have never streamed music. I’m sure many digital systems sound better than my vinyl one, and if I played CDs on my stereo I would probably get a used PS Audio DAC. However, I am not interested in network or digital audio beyond putting some of my albums on CD to share, play in the car, or put on my iPhone to play on the golf course or in the garage while working on my 35 year old diesel.

I have a Tascam CD recorder that works like a reel to reel or cassette recorder. Something I can easily deal with frustration free. Does the quality of the CD make a difference for my intended use?


It does not

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Was hoping to get RMAF and visit, but it doesn’t look like it wii happen this year. Bit of a jog from Olympia, Washington.


There may be a difference in “longevity.” Some CDRs I have from the 'nineties no longer read in transports. They were cheaper ones. . . .

This is true. CD’s of any quality are not archive-worthy storage media. They will all eventually fail.

Thanks for the replies. I probably bought “good” CDRs by Best Buy standards. It’s been a few years. I’m not concerned about longevity. Spent the afternoon listening to 40 plus year old LPs

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I stocked up on really good quality blank CD’s and DVD’s and then completely quit doing either as the price of hard drives sank to “who needs either” territory. Plus, portable music devices and non-Apple phones have slots for ever increasing in size micro SD cards. So I have a ton of blank media waiting for the day when I feel like dumping them into a bin. Sadness.

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I have all the original pressings ‘65 -‘70’ George Martin Remastered Beatles CD’s. They play perfectly for 32 year old CD’s. I have twenty year old CD-R’s that also play perfectly. While I don’t want to get into a “discussion” regarding CD sound quality or deteriorating age. I’ve never had issues with CD Storage but I’ve heard some claim they have.

I hear you. And there are many environmental factors that influence CD longevity. I come from a digital forensics background and can testify to the fact that CD is a poor media for long term storage. Is the sky falling? No. That said, if we love our CD’s, we need to think about preserving the music contained within of retaining that data long term is the plan. Prudence prevails with regard to this topic.

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I’ve never had a cd go “bad” though “cd rot” is a real thing apparently–I’ve read enough accounts. But CDR. … I’ve had a few go bad over the decades, though still a very low percentage overall.

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