In SOS June '99 we reviewed the original Tascam CD‑D4000, a 2U CD duplicator capable of replicating complete audio CDs and most standard‑format CD‑ROMs at up to four times real‑time speed. Conceptually, however, the machine was very simple with no external I/O or phones jack for checking audio recordings.
Now Tascam have introduced the MkII version, which has exactly the same layout, but can now copy at 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x or 8x speeds — for the same price as the original! As before, just two buttons and a small LCD window control the whole process — there's an Enter button, and a Mode button that cycles through the menu options to select the record speed, test mode and disk verify. Data CD‑ROMs may be verified against the original to eliminate the risk of errors, but as the data format of audio CDs makes this impossible, a mini‑jack headphone outlet is provided on both the master and slave decks. Unlike stand‑alone audio CD recorders, there's no need to finalise a disc as everything is copied faithfully, complete with table of contents.
The CD‑D4000 MkII works as flawlessly as the original, duplicating audio CDs and CD‑ROMs in record time. Software designers might breathe a sigh of relief to learn that specially protected 'master' CD ROMs can't be copied — they just throw up an error message and leave you with another beer mat. Well, I had to try in the interest of being thorough!
Though the manual provides a list of recommended media brands, I found the CD‑D4000 MkII coped well with even the most inauspicious brands of media, including the black CD‑R discs sold to people who wish to 'back up' their Playstation discs. In fact there's only one flaw with this machine, and after using it for a while, I found this omission genuinely irritating — it doesn't go 'bing' when a copy is complete, so you often find it standing idle for several minutes after completing a copy before you notice it. If there's a MkIII on the drawing board, may I strongly recommend adding that missing 'bing'! Paul White