|Yamaha CDR-HD1000 CD Recorder|
|Home Theater Audio Sources CD Players|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 April 2002|
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Yamaha’s new CD recorder, the CDR-HD1000 ($999), combines a CD player/recorder with a 20 GB hard drive. The hard drive is designed to enable fast copying, editing and creation of compilations. The 20 GB drive can hold approximately 30 CDs’ worth of music with no compression. That’s right, this unit, unlike the majority of CD recorder/hard drive combination units on the market, maintains the audio quality of the original source by eliminating the use of compression. In addition to using the internal CD drive as a source, it is possible to use external digital sources via the optical or coaxial inputs. The Yamaha can accept digital signals sampled at 96 kHz, 46 kHz, 44.1 kHz or 32 kHz, allowing for a wide variety of source media to be used. The Yamaha also has analog inputs and 24 bit A/D converters for analog sources. Essentially, any source can be used and the user can convert original recordings on miscellaneous media types to CD. This is a nice feature for those who have favorite recordings on formats that are no longer popular and whose playback devices are becoming scarce.
Yamaha holds this unit out primarily as a high-speed, high-quality digital recording system. For those on a tight budget, this unit can do double duty as your CD player as well as a digital jukebox.
The CDR-HD1000 is compatible with CD-R’s, CD-RW’s and CD Text discs. The discs must be those specified for consumer or music use, as the blank media for professional or computer use will not work as a recording medium. The CDR-HD1000 is compliant with the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS), which allows only one generation of copies to be made. The CDR-HD1000 uses a process called Digital Move to ensure compliance with SCMS regulations. The Digital Move process allows the user to create a "disc" on the internal hard drive, then move rather than copy it onto a CD, deleting the information from the hard drive as it does so. The CDR-HD1000 has three copy modes: analog, digital and auto digital/analog. The automatic mode will begin in digital and then automatically switch to analog when a SCMS-protected track is encountered.
I placed the CDR-HD1000 in my two-channel system. Hooking the unit up was fairly straightforward. Connecting the analog outputs to any available line level input on your preamp is all that is really necessary. I also connected the coaxial output of my Theta Data Basic transport to the coaxial input of the Yamaha, and the Yamaha’s coaxial output to my Perpetual Technologies DSP/DAC (the P-3 /P-1 combination). This setup allowed me to use the internal CD drive or the Theta as a source and also let me use the Yamaha either as a CD player or CD transport.
I began by making simple copies of entire CDs for use in my car. I placed U2’s The Joshua Tree (Island Records) in the unit’s internal CD drive and pressed the "Copy" button three times. The Yamaha began the copying process. The 10x speed drive transferred all the data to the internal hard drive in just a few minutes. When the album had been copied to the internal hard drive, the display read "Change Discs!" I then removed the original disc and inserted a blank CD-R and closed the drawer. Upon closing the drawer with the blank CD-R inside, the Yamaha automatically performs what it calls Optimum Power Calibration, or OPC. This process takes about 15 seconds and is used to properly adjust the recording laser strength. The data is then moved, rather than copied from the hard drive to the blank CD-R. This occurs at 8x speed with CD-R’s and 4x speed with CD-RW’s.
The front panel display is well designed, easy to understand and provides the user with all the necessary status information, including recording progress. The lower portion of the display is a multi-color status bar with "HDD" on one side and "CDR" on another. While transferring data from the CDR to the HDD, the CDR side of the bar will light up first and then fade out as the HDD side lights up, and vice versa. This enables the user to see the direction of data flow from across the room.
I then made a copy of Jimmy Buffett’s Songs You Know By Heart (MCA Records), this time using the Theta transport as my source. This was a bit more complex than using the Yamaha’s internal CD drive, but not much. The process begins by selecting the recording source, in this case the coaxial input. I then selected a virtual disc number on the hard drive to record to and finally I designated the recording mode. As the source disc in the Theta was an original and therefore there were no SCMS complications, I used the digital mode. This process is much slower than using the internal drive as the Theta transport plays the disc at normal speed. After transferring the information onto the hard drive, I placed another blank CD-R in the Yamaha, pressed the "Copy" button twice and then selected the virtual disc number I wanted to copy (the same one I had just created). The Yamaha then began its high-speed burn of the CD-R using the "digital move" process.
Using either the internal CD drive or an external source, the Yamaha’s internal hard drive can store approximately thirty CDs' worth of information. The tracks can be organized by album or custom playlists. The Yamaha can then either be used as a jukebox or recording compilations from these playlists.