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CD replication and CD duplication

CD Manufacturing: The Difference Between CD Replication & CD Duplication

If you are a new indie band who’s about to release an album for the very first time, chances are you do not know the difference between CD duplication and CD replication. People sometimes get confused and use CD Replication and CD Duplication interchangeably.  It is necessary for you to know the difference between these two before you step inside your CD manufacturing company so you would know which of the two is best for your album.

Here are some of the important differences between CD replication and CD duplication that you need to know:

The Process:

CD DUPLICATION is similar to burning a CD/DVD on your personal computer. A CD/DVD duplicator extracts data from the master disc and writes it to a blank disc. If you have your album duplicated in a CD manufacturing company, CD Duplication facilities duplicate hundreds at a time on towers that are linked together. Each tower contains several CD/DVD trays so that many copies can be created simultaneously.

CD REPLICATION is the process of ‘pressing’ data into the disc and is used in commercial and retail applications and viewed as more ‘professional.’ A “glass master” of your original project is made which in turn “stamps” the data onto blank media. The disc is then printed and lacquered for protection. This produces CDs with more professional quality.

If you only want to produce less than a thousand CDs, CD DUPLICATION is the better option. Some CD manufacturing companies also won’t allow CD replication if it’s less than 10,000 CDs.  CD replication facilities are designed to produce high volume of CDs, thus CD REPLICATION is advisable for discs that are over 10,000 pieces to cut down on production costs.

The cost per unit for CD duplication is higher than CD replication because of low volume runs.  But if you do not plan to reproduce more than 10,000 CDs, of course the best option (and maybe the only option) for your project is CD Duplication.  If you plan to reproduce more than a 10,000 CDs, then CD Replication is the right service for you since it produces CDs with more professional quality.

Turnaround Time:

The standard turnaround time for CD DUPLICATION is 2-3 business days, even for runs up to 5,000 units. CD REPLICATION generally takes a much longer time then duplication because of the necessary added steps which can add  7-14 days to complete. So if you are in a rush, choose CD Duplication.

Minimum order requirement:
For CD Replication, most CD Manufacturing Companies have a minimum order requirement of 1,000 units. For CD Duplication, some companies have a minimum order requirement of 500 units. CD duplication is recommended when you need to produce 1-10,000 discs. CD replication is recommended when you need to produce 10,000 or more.

If you need any more help please feel free to get in contact with [email protected]. I have over 10 years experience in the music industry and music manufacturing so i will be glad to give you my experiences.


Unified Manufacturing is a custom CD/DVD and Vinyl Manufacturing facility based on both sides of the US. Our clients range from indie artists to major label artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, and Ringo Starr. If you need an Instant Quote on a project AND you want FREE SHIPPING ( free shipping on all quotes from the blog) – Then CLICK HERE.

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