The top 3 transferring method's to CD Plants.


Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2003
Hi all,

Sorry to bother you again with my in depth thoughts and questions about transferring methods to the CD Plant.

But let's get it exposed! What is the best method(s) for the most accurate transport to the CD Plant.

All have to be counted in:
Difference in plant reading of CDR's
Difference in material and error rates on CDR's and tapes.
Difference in plant reading of Exabyte and U-matic(if there are any difference)

I've got some information from an Plant expert:
Hi Henrik

An Exabyte reader on a CD Plant doesn't care about jitter, it is a
computer backup system just as You say, and the data is passing the PC
on its way to the encoding process.

Normally, the read-out of a CDR on a CD Plant doesn't care about jitter,
the CDR reader is normally a computer drive and the data is passing the
PC on its way to the encoding process just as in the Exabyte drive case.

There has been a couple of hardware-based CDR input systems on the
market earlier, one of them was the StageTech d2d-system which we
manufactured early 1990's up to a few years ago. This system emulated
the Sony PCM1630/DMR400 U-matic system used originally for CD-mastering,
it actually made a quality control (much like our EC2) during the
glass-masteirng process, and audio data was reclocked and phase-locked
to the 44.1 kHz wordclock coming from the EFM-encoder of the
glass-mastering system.

Best regards


Right now it looks like that U-matic are a winner, but Exabyte is breathing down it's neck as number 2
...and CDR is the looser at number 3 :lol:
But that's just my point of view... tell me yours!

I know that Joe Lambert uses Exabyte... this must be the reason!?
Joe, you also have an U-matic recorder why did you choose Exabyte over U-matic?

Does anyone knows why the Exabyte 8500 format was choosen and not other formats?

Best Regards,

Thomas W. Bethel

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2001
Exabytes are going the way of cassettes they are still around but no new transport units are being built (at least this is what I have been told) so Exabytes as we currently know them may not be around for too much longer.

There are many formats to send to a pressing plant. The best idea is to contact the particular plant, in advance, and ask which format they prefer and what works best for them. This keeps the guess work down to a minimum and since they are set up for certain ways of working it makes sense to give them what they need and want. Worrying about what is best is useless if they don't support the format.

If you send them something that they are not use to receiving they will have to make many guesses and may have to rent equipment that they do not normally use which will increase the likelihood that your project may get messed up since they will be unfamiliar with the equipment. It will also increase the cost to you or your client since the plant will have to rent equipment and that cost is passed on to you the consumer. A good mastering engineer, who cares about the quality of the CD will be in contact with the plant BEFORE the masters are ever sent off just as a matter of professional courtesy.

What "professional" plants want and can use differs widely although most plants can handle CDDAs. Best to check BEFORE sending off your hard work.


Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2003
Hi Thomas,

This has already been checked out, the one near me accepts all these formats.

This Post is about what's best when the CD Plant accepts all 3 formats.
It seems like to me that every Plant with respect for themselves support these 3 formats... correct me if I'm wrong.

So what do you use Thomas?

Best Regards,

joe lambert

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2001
Hi guys,
Over the last few years the DDP format has become the preferred major label delivery standard.
I like it for a couple reasons. CD's are easy to scratch, loose, steal.
1630 and CD are limited to 16 bit. So no future there.
1630 is a 25 year old format. It does sound good when everything is working correctly.
It's a dead end format. It's very costly to maintain which is why most mastering houses charge around $500.00 each.

Major labels have there protocol. Whatever they ask me for I deliver. Most are using DDP or 1630 and it's all soon to be a mute point because we are already seeing the switch to delivery over internet via digital subscriber lines directly to the plant.

With indie projects I make sure to contact the duplication house if I haven't worked with them. I want to know what they are most comfortable with. And I want to make sure they are doing it correctly.