Best Drives for CD Ripping with EAC
Nov 9, 2008 at 4:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Excelsius

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
28
Likes
0
I hope this is the right subforum for this. Anyway, I am an audiophile (or purist, etc) who extensively rips classical music from CDs into lossless formats.

I have been reading a lot trying to find out recommended optical drives for EAC, but I am amazed that no such information seems to exist. Why not put together the collective wisdom and come up with a list of drives that would be ideal for EAC?

Here are some questions to start with:

1. Is this the best forum for this type of information? If not, let me know which forum I should try.

2. What are the best sources for drive reviews? Here are the ones I know:

a.CDRinfo
b.CDRLabs
c.CDFreaks
d.DAE Drive Features
. The data is unfortunately old here, it seems.

3. When specifying a good drive, here are some aspects that we need to discuss:

I. C1/C2 error correction: Sometimes EAC seems to recommend disabling this feature, so their importance is questionable.

II. Caching: For ripping this seems to be a bad thing, yet almost all drives have this feature. So the question is how bad is this and are there drives that allow its disabling.

III. Accurate Stream: I don't know anything about this and even how to find out if a drive has it. But perhaps it is obvious that this is a very important feature. A "must."

IV. Overread: Again, I don't know much except that source "d" listed above says that "Lead Out" is superior to "Lead In." I don't know if this affects only the burning.

V. Ability to read scratched CDs: this is a very important feature as sometimes the smallest scratch can render a drive useless.

VI. Ability to handle read errors: my drive is never able to get over read errors and I always end up canceling the extraction.

VII. The speed of secure ripping: this is not as important for the eventual result, but it is desirable.

VIII. Please refer to the first post in this thread. It has some additional great points.



I have been using EAC for years now. My drive has been BenQ 1655 (no error correction), and I am not too happy about it. It seems that the smallest scratches on media render it useless, especially on DVDs. Ripping is a very tough job with this drive. When it encounters a Read Error where the red dots begin filling in, it ALWAYS goes to Sync Error, and IT NEVER ACTUALLY IS ABLE TO FINISH THE READ (one time it took it over 10 hours to make a two second progress). That is very vexing. Every time I see a read error, I automatically cancel the extraction because I know that this damn drive can't handle it. I have found out that LiteOn does a MUCH better job ripping the DVDs - this was accidental - and now I am wondering whether all those CDs that I was unable to rip I could have ripped using the LiteOn. I also read a post that said LiteOn and Asus take just a few seconds to correct read errors and fill up all those red correction dots in EAC. The drawback is that when I read the review at CDRinfo, it said that while LiteOn is pretty good with DVDs, the CD ripping is not as good. This made me cross off LiteOn as a good CD ripper. People usually keep talking about Plextor, but I am NOT going to use Plextools, so it is irrelevant. I have heard some good things about ASUS, but I am not familiar with that brand at all, except in motherboards, so I am not sure about their quality as a drive.

Finally, has any of you heard that compressing and uncompressing lossless files into raw formats supposedly decreases the quality of the file? (Such as WAV to APE and then back to WAV again.) Someone who plays in an orchestra told me that the other day and I am not sure what to think of it as there is no data to back it up, but he claims that he can hear the difference even though there are people who have done bit by bit comparison and proved that the lossless is identical to WAV. He is saving all his files as WAV, whereas I rip them as WAV and then convert them into APE. I was just curious to hear whether anyone here agrees with that person and whether you can show me any proof of the validity of this point.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 8:59 AM Post #2 of 5

Jaska

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Posts
2,001
Likes
11
Whether or not you would consider using PlexTools, I have found the Plextor PX-230A to be the "best" (strong word, I know) CD reader out there. You can surely find some older posts of mine for more details on this drive if you like.

I have used the drive with EAC as well as PlexTools, since I have the habit of comparing rips generated with these two programs. One thing to note is that, regardless of what you read on the Internet about this drive's configuration, you do need to configure it in EAC to read into lead-in/lead-out in order to get consistently matching rips between EAC and PlexTools. This being the case, I have to give Plextor the benefit of the doubt as to whether the drive is capable of this or not.

For ripping performance results, you should be able to find plenty of details regarding testing done with dBpoweramp Reference. I seem to recall that the Plextor PX-230A was actually the best drive tested.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:17 PM Post #4 of 5

Excelsius

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
28
Likes
0
Well, after some thinking and reading, I must say that ASUS DRW-2014L1T appears to beat LiteOn LH20A1S. First, both of these drives support C2 error correction and have no caching - which is excellent for EAC. LiteOn seems to be great for reading DVDs that have errors, but so is ASUS. However, tests show that ASUS has a far superior CD error reading. Refer to these links:

LiteOn
ASUS

And this is the link that shows ASUS does not do audio caching and supports C2 error correction, just like the LiteOn.

Finally, on Newegg.com, ASUS has received the highest customer satisfaction awards out of all drives there: NEWEGG. ASUS costs $35, vs $26 for the LiteOn, but I think it is definitely worth it and I am going with it.

Plextor seems to be the other contender, but there are so many mixed reviews and opinions, including Plextools vs EAC, plus very high prices - almost $200 for Premier 2 - and some opinions that some Plextors are just rebadged Pioneers, that I am not going to read into Plextor anymore. It's just market hype, unless you shell out the $200 and get feature like gigarec, whatever that's supposed to do.

So I am going with the ASUS DRW-2014L1T. Any additional comments are welcome.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:24 PM Post #5 of 5

Jaska

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Posts
2,001
Likes
11
Features sound great in theory, but ripping performance is a different matter. EAC "thinks" my NEC ND-3500AG is better than my Plextor PX-230A, which is certainly is not. I've had the PX-230A for years, and it outclasses any other drive I've ever used by miles. It cost me about €35, and it certainly is not a rebadged Pioneer.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top