Duplication Vs Replication

What is the difference?

Essentially the Duplication process is copying the data/ audio on to pre-manufactured blank CDr’s / DVDr’s and then printing the artwork on to the top of the disc through ink-jet, thermal transfer, screen printing or labels.

It typically only takes a few days to copy, print and package discs because the orders are invariably smaller. The set up costs are low and the copying process is relatively fast. Printed parts if required, would normally be digitally printed (as opposed to litho printed) for the same reasons in respect to set-up costs and speed.

The Replication option is typically more cost effective on volume runs but it can take longer to manufacture the product. The reason for this is that a Glass Master has to be created and stampers created through a galvanic process, nickel Stampers are grown from the Glass master. The Stamper is then put onto an injection moulding line/ replication line and CD / DVD copies are replicated by Stamping into polycarbonate that has been injection moulded to the shape of the CD.

After the discs have been pressed, metalized, lacqured and UV cured, they will be sent to the print department for printing directly to the surface of the discs. Amstore can Litho print and Silk screen print for the On-Body depending on the l design. Typically printed parts (Booklets & Inlays, Card Wallets, Digi-packs etc) would be Litho printed as opposed to digitally printed for the same reasons as above.


Quick Comparison Chart




 300 units

 1,000 units


 Normally around 500-1000 units
(but flexible)



 1-3 working days

 10-14 wk days



 Screen, Litho


1. Costs

Duplication is most generally more cost effective from 300 units up to 1000 units. Replication is more cost effective OVER 1,000 units

2. Quantities

Duplication you can have as few as 1 copy if you really need to. The Replication entry quantity is 500/ 1,000 but there is no maximum.

3. Prices

Duplication doesn’t have the economy of scale that Replication has, but the set up costs for Duplication is much less.


4. Lead-times

Duplication is a very fast service because the setups are minimal compared to the several stage processes of Replicated discs.

5. Manufacturing Method

The Duplication process is the burning of content to a blank Recordable disc. The Replication process requires several time consuming steps just to get to the disc printing stage.

Final Product comparison

The Replication process is often considered the more professional of the two processes as Replicated discs are favoured for retail – however in reality, there is little difference between a Replicated disc and a Duplicated disc from Amstore.

We only use the highest quality, Grade ‘A’ blank media in our production process so we don’t have rejects. However, if the Blank media used to copy the data is a low end option, then 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.

Because of the speed & flexibility required with the Duplication process, Digital print technology is favoured for the printing of paper parts instead of the Lithographic printing that is used for the printing of the paper parts in the Replication process. The Litho printing process of the paper parts follows the same rules as Replication i.e. cost effective over 1,000 units but takes longer and has complex pre-printing set ups (e.g. CTP / Plate production)

The Litho printing of the paper parts normally takes place whilst the CDs and DVDs are being manufactured, so by the time the discs are ready and printed, the paper print should be available in time for the discs and print to be married up in the chosen packaging.

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