Disc Duplication (copy, copying) or Replication (Pressed, Pressing, Stamped, Glass-master) – What is the difference?

The main differences between CD/DVD Duplication and Replication:

1. Cost

Duplication (copying) is most cost effective UP TO 500 units. Replication is more cost effective OVER 500 units

2. Volumes

With Duplication, you can have as few as 1 copy. But to be practical our minimum quantity is 20. The minimum Replication quantity is 300, with no maximum.

3. Price

Duplication (copying) doesn’t have the economy of scale that Replication has, but the Duplication set up costs are much less.

4. Lead times

Duplication (copying) is a very fast service because the setup is minimal compared to the several processes required in the Replication process.

5. Manufacturing Method

The Duplication process is the burning of content to a blank recordable disk. Whereas Replication requires several processes just to get to the disc printing stage. For example: Stamper creation (a.k.a. Glass Mastering) and Injection moulding from polycarbonate granules. These processes all take time.

The benefits of Duplication and Replication

Duplication  (copying) Replication
Min. order qty 20 units 300 units
Max. order qty
around 2000 units (but flexible) none
Appox. lead time
1-3 working days 5-10 working days, depending on pricing
Disc print CMYK Ink-Jet UV coated Screen Print & CMYK off-set

Simply put, the Duplication is the process of UV printing the artwork on to the top of the disc and then copying (burning) the data/audio/video on to blank CD-Rs / DVD-Rs. It only takes a few days to copy, print and pack the discs because the orders are usually much lower, the set ups are small and the process is quite quick. Any paper parts are digitally printed on our Xerox 8000AP (as opposed to off-set printed).

The Replication option is more cost effective on larger runs but it takes a lot longer. A nickel Stamper needs to be made from your master’s data through a photo-etch process. The Stamper is then loaded onto a replication line and CD/DVD copies are replicated by injection moulded (pressing)  hot liquid polycarbonate in to the Stamper to form the shape of a CD/DVD. Once the discs are pressed, metallised, lacquered and UV cured, they will be printed directly onto the surface of the silver discs.

The discs are off-set printed and/or screen printed depending on the graphic design. Depending on the quantity to be printed, the paper parts (booklets & inlays, card wallets, Digi-packs, etc.) can be Off-set printed as opposed to the default of being digitally printed.

Final Product comparison

The replication process is sometimes considered the more professional of the two techniques, as Replicated discs are favoured for retail. However, there is very little difference between a Replicated disc and a Duplicated disc from Amstore.

Amstore recommends for Audio Albums and DVD Videos it is preferable to Replicate if you are comfortable with the minimum quantity of 300 and if you have the time. If music is copied on to low end or blue blank media playability issues have been known where some older CD/DVD players have not been able to play the discs. This could be a mixed result of the player and the media. Amstore only use the highest quality, Grade ‘A’ blank media in our production process so we do not experience rejects.

Replication can sometimes be done quicker,  so please contact us and see how quickly we can turn your order around!