1. When pressing WAV audio files onto an audio CD (CD-R), does the quality of the WAV files remain the same or get reduced?
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This can only be answered when you know:
1. How the wav files are being added to the CD
2. What the quality of the wav files were to begin with.
If #1 answer is "general data disc", then the quality that you started with will be the same, because it is merely adding the wav files directly to the CD's file system (ISO9660/Joliet/UDF...).
If #1 answer is "RedBook Audio CD" aka CDDA, then the resulting specification of the audio tracks will ALWAYS be: stereo, 16bit, 44.1kHz, LPCM. There won't be wav files on the redbook part of the disc because that is not how it works. CDDA does not have a filesystem, thus no files. It has, and can ONLY have, redbook CD Audio tracks (not counting multisession enhanced discs, then see 1st paragraph).
Whether this spec is better or worse than the original then fully depends on the original.
Note: the QUALITY will never be better than the original - just equal or worse.
Example: 8bit mono 22k wav file can get reworked as a 16bit stereo 44k track, but the QUALITY will still be 8bit/22k/mono's worth. IOW, the spec is capable of more but the source cannot be automatically "improved" from its starting quality, even when housed in an improved fashion.
If your example source wav file is 16bit/stereo/44kHz/LPCM, the resulting audio track quality will be EQUAL.
If the example source wav was 24bit/96kHz/5.1ch/LPCM, the resulting spec will make the quality worse.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 30th Nov 2020 at 00:58.
1. WAV files are being added onto CD-R using Windows Media Player as Audio CD (rather than data CD).
The finished product in Audio CD format is playable on any CD players, but if in data CD then it cannot be played on any CD players, right?
The ultimate intention is to play the WAV files on any CD player (not computers) using CDs (not USBs).
2. The WAV files are 192kHz, 24bit.
Please also advise on DSD: 2.8224MHz files while we are on that.
The audio CD as a redbook will lower the quality from 192/24 to 44.1/16. The DSD will have a change in file structure, It converts from 192/24 to 28224/1 and uses pulse density modulation encoding, whether there will be a degradation of audio quality or not when converting PCM to DSD it's up to your ears.
To be honest just listen to the files as they are, you will have more options in hardware playback for those files than putting them on an obsolete optical format.