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You are here: Home > Articles > CD DVD Duplication & Replication > CD DVD Duplication Vs. Replication - What's the Difference?

CD DVD Duplication Vs. Replication - What's the Difference?

If you're looking to have CDs or DVDs reproduced you have two options to choose from: Duplication and Replication.

CD DVD Duplication

Duplication is the process of recording or "burning" onto blank CD or blank DVD discs. This process is very similar to burning discs on your computer CD or DVD drive, just on a much larger scale. In Duplication, multi-disc duplicators are used to simultaneously burn several discs at once.

Duplication utilizes high-quality blank media and burn-speeds are set low to ensure the highest quality. Once the discs are burned, the top surface of the discs are printed using inkjet or thermal printers. And it's as simple as that, which is why turnaround times for Duplication are short, with most jobs being completed within 48 hours.

CD DVD Replication

Replication is a much more involved and complicated process. Click on the video link below to see how it's done.

As you can see, CD DVD Replication is a very painstaking process, but the rewards are immediately evident. Read on and judge for yourself which option is best for you.

Advantages of Duplication

Fast turnarounds - Duplication is a much faster process than Replication. 500+ duplicated discs with printing can be finished in less than 48 hours compared to about 7 Days for Replication.

No minimum quantity - There are no minimum quantities necessary to place a Duplication order. Duplication can be done with as little as 1 disc! With Replication there is usually a minimum quantity order of 500 or 1,000 discs.

Advantages of Replication

Better playback - Replicated discs are higher quality than duplicated discs. The above video clip demonstrates why. While duplicated discs do still offer great quality, some older cd/dvd players have issues with playing back CD-R/DVD-R discs - you won't run into these problems with replicated discs.

Professional look - Replicated discs have a metallic silver bottom adding to its overall high-quality finish. Duplicated discs have a greenish/bluish tint on the bottom for CDs and purple color for DVDs.

metallic silver cd

Better print quality - For printing on top of the disc Replication utilizes either silkscreen or offset printing. These two printing methods, in general, produce higher quality prints than those offered by inkjet or thermal printing in Duplication.


So which method is best for your project's needs: Duplication or Replication? It's a question of quality and quanity.

Although Replication ensures the highest quality, after viewing the above video clip you can see how impractical it would be to place a low quantity Replication order. Reserve Replication for higher quantity orders of, say 500 or more, even if you need to meet a strict deadline and can't wait 7 days; most replicators will get the discs replicated faster (even within 24hrs) for a rush fee. For high-quantity orders, going with Replication will give you the best value.

If all you need is a small quantity of, say 50 discs or so, Duplication will be a more ideal option for you. It is the best value for the quantity and turnarounds are faster.

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