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Best CD writer as of now?

Burn baby burn!

Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:33 am

Don't worry about my data aviationwiz, I can afford to keep all my CD-Rs packaged with large wadds of bills if I buy the LiteON over a the Premium drive. And LiteON drives have good writing quality too.

I suppose you could argue that the premium drive has good quality burns, but in order to proove that point you'd have to test the CD-Rs on a LiteON drive in order to get accurate results :lol: It's kinda silly to do testing with a drive that has inferior C2 error reporting!

and I'm sorry, there is *NO* justification for that price. I've worked in the recordable media industry, I've talked with several drive manufacturers before, and I have a good idea of the cost that goes into making one of those premium drives, and the price is unreasonably inflated.
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Postby BillyG on Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:45 pm

I reccomend getting any 40x to 52x Lite-On drive. I have had all of them and except for one drive door jamming up on me (which I took back to Best Buy and got a refund) they have all worked great. For the best price/value ratio you cant beat Lite-On. I have bought all of my Lite-On drives with rebate deals - which is something Plextor doesnt do often. I only paid 20 bucks after rebate for a 40x12x48x that was packaged by Buslink from CompUSA.

Plextor may make the best built drives but you're just blowing extra cash so all your freinds can say "Oooooh you bought a Plextor" at the next LAN party when the Lite-On can do the same job for much less.

I just bought a couple of Japanese import music CD's that have copy protection and I was worried I couldnt copy them for my car stereo. Using EAC the Lite-On "ripped" all the audio tracks to wav files with no problems and then I used Nero to burn a new unprotected CD.
Last edited by BillyG on Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby hoxlund on Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:04 pm

thats great news billyG, honostly, great to hear
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Postby rdgrimes on Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:15 pm

[rant]
Let me share a little bit of experience about marketing and pricing. The Plextor drive HAS to cost twice as much as the competition, or it won't sell. That's right. A certain sector of any market wants to spend as much as possible, (within reason) on a product. It's an emotional sale. He/she feels that he/she has gotten the "best" product, and therefor the status and security of having the "best" product. It must be the best, cause it costs the most - right? For that sector of the market, a low price is an admission of "cheapness", and they won't buy it. It's true of cars, houses, gas, computers, and much more. Experienced sales people know that if a product isn't selling at a low price, you raise the price.
When the Plextor execs sat down and decided to market the Premium drive, (I still laugh at that choice of names), the first decision they made was on the price. They determined that $120 US was the amount they had to charge to fit into the market sector they wanted. After that , they charged the designers and engineers to build a drive at that price. They came up with a package of software and firmware tricks to make the price seem justified, and they sold the public the same drive in a new package.
This is nothing new, just good old marketing. The reputation justifies the price, and the price justifies the reputation.
Either you "buy into" the "price = quality" idea or you don't. And the one type of buyer will never understand the other. And if you try to take that notion away from the "price = quality" folks, they get really mad and hurt cause you're insulting their status and security.
[/rant]
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Postby aviationwiz on Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:38 pm

BillyG wrote:Plextor may make the best made drives but you're just paying extra cash so all your freinds can say "Oooooh you bought a Plextor" at the next LAN party when the Lite-On can do the same job for much less.


There is a reason why they say "Oooooh you bought a Plextor". They have worked up thier reputation so people know that they make quality CD Writers.

Bad news fellows, most people have never heard of Lite-On. They use thier drives, but they don't know them, or know that they are using thier drive.
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Postby rdgrimes on Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:09 am

most people have never heard of Lite-On

That's hilarious, keep em coming!
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Postby Inertia on Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:11 am

I would advise anyone looking for objective and reasonable advice to steer clear of this egregious thread and its specious arguments. 8)

On the other hand, if you are looking for a pissing match, this is the right place. :lol:

Some forums ban "What's Best" questions. I wonder why? :wink:
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Postby aviationwiz on Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:17 am

rdgrimes wrote:
most people have never heard of Lite-On

That's hilarious, keep em coming!


Hey, It's True. The average Joe-Schmo user has never heard of Lite-On
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Postby cfitz on Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:34 am

Inertia wrote:On the other hand, if you are looking for a pissing match, this is the right place. :lol:

Nah! This is the place to go for a pissing match. :wink: Be sure to check out the movie. :o

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Postby Inertia on Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:53 am

cfitz wrote:Nah! This is the place to go for a pissing match. :wink:
cfitz


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Soren on Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:41 am

Thanks for all the replies guys! BTW, if it matters, I'm going to be using 40x Memorex CD-R's (50 PK spindle) so that may influence my decision.

This may be a bit OT as well but I was wondering if I should buy the 208 CD capacity holder from Caselogic? I download lots of stuff but I'm not sure if I will fill up that much. What you guys think?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jun 20, 2003 7:38 am

Soren: As for memorex....BEWARE! it's not that all memorex media is bad, it's that you never know what is really in the box before you buy it! Memorex buys from roughly a gazillion different manufacturers, some of them are good, and some of them are not so good. The only way to know what the memorex media is, is if it says made in Japan on the box, and then you know it was made by Taiyo Yuden, which means the media will be good!

Does it affect the recommendation? sorta, if you are dealing with Taiyo Yuden then a LiteON is an EXCELLENT choice, as they are made to work at their best with Taiyo Yuden media. However if the memorex media is really crappy infodisc or DST made CD-Rs, then you would be better to go with a Teac, or a Plextor. Why? because both teac and plextor have this unique oddity: they look at the whole disc and choose a writing strategy based on the composure of the disc, and not the writing strategy laid out by the ATIP, which is often wrong in the case of DST CD-Rs, and CD-Rs made by third party manufacturers. Normally the writing of a CD-R with the wrong writing strategy for the dye type will result in a REALLY poor quality burn, but both Plextor and Teac tend to see past the ATIP strategy error, and give a result a little more fair for the media.

as for the disc wallet: I can buy a disc wallet that holds 400 CD-Rs for $45.00 (Canadian Dollars), the 200 CD-R wallet costs $25.00 (Canadian Dollars) if you are paying the equivilant to more then that, I would say don't waste your money! if the price is similar (taking into account the exchange rate) then I'd say go for it! :D
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:37 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:...because both teac and plextor have this unique oddity: they look at the whole disc and choose a writing strategy based on the composure of the disc, and not the writing strategy laid out by the ATIP, which is often wrong in the case of DST CD-Rs, and CD-Rs made by third party manufacturers. Normally the writing of a CD-R with the wrong writing strategy for the dye type will result in a REALLY poor quality burn, but both Plextor and Teac tend to see past the ATIP strategy error, and give a result a little more fair for the media.

i don't think this is true.
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Postby rdgrimes on Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:45 pm

i don't think this is true.

I agree. They all do much the same thing, which is set a write strategy based on the media type, then monitor the laser calibration through the burn. Some may have a more elegant way of adjusting laser calibration than others, but the basic strategy is the same. They all have more in common than not.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:21 pm

The idea of Plextor and Teac seeing past the incorrect write strategy was first mentioned here: http://www.cdrinfo.com/forum/topic.asp? ... e,strategy

look for the post by "rjw"
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Postby Soren on Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:49 pm

I live in Canada myself and I can get the CAselogic 208 PK Nylon for about $35.00 but the Leather version costs $56 :p

The Memorex 40x CD-R media is made in Taiwan...

I can't return it cause I bought it a lonngggg time ago. So you're saying each package individually may have a different maker? I might give these CD-R's to my family members and check out some other Memorex CD-R media...
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Postby rdgrimes on Fri Jun 20, 2003 2:10 pm

If you want reliable media, forget Memo-wrecks. Even within the same spindle you can find media from different batches. Next to Imation, they're the most reliably unreliable media you can buy.
Also wanted to mention that some people have reported that CD wallets have caused deterioration of their discs, I think mostly with cheaper generic media.
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Postby Soren on Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:16 pm

rdgrimes wrote:If you want reliable media, forget Memo-wrecks. Even within the same spindle you can find media from different batches. Next to Imation, they're the most reliably unreliable media you can buy.
Also wanted to mention that some people have reported that CD wallets have caused deterioration of their discs, I think mostly with cheaper generic media.


Is Mitsumi 48x Cd-R good? I don't have many options with CD-R media because I live in Canada, so... =/
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Postby rdgrimes on Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:42 pm

Is Mitsumi 48x Cd-R good

Haven't tried it myself. Do a search on Mitsumi here, and at CDFreaks and see what others have to say. I think reports are mixed, but there's no harm in trying it, testing it, and seeing for yoursoelf.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:17 pm

Soren: Do you live in B.C. ??? it's starting to sound like it from the selection of media you are describing! I haven't run accross anyone else knowing about Mitsumi 48x CD-Rs, and *I've* never mentioned them! Anways, I don't know much about them. I can't even remember who manufacturers them :( I only ever got a chance to take a look at one, and that was WAY back. I remember I ran Nero CD Speed on the disc for a customer (I worked selling CD-Rs at the time) and it came up all green....but this doesn't mean THAT much.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:30 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:The idea of Plextor and Teac seeing past the incorrect write strategy was first mentioned here: http://www.cdrinfo.com/forum/topic.asp? ... e,strategy

look for the post by "rjw"

OK read that post:
...Most writers are stupid enough to base writing strategy on atip code. In some cases this code will not match the dye this will end in problems for most writers. Only Plextor/Teac and some Yamaha writers really don't care and will switch to the correct strategy them selves when burning the lead in.

sorry, but this is scant information with no details or corroboration. no explanation as to exactly how the Plex/Teac/Yamaha "switch to the correct strategy" when (after?) burning the leadin, based on what info???

all drive manufacturers tell us of various things the drives do, and unfortunately we can't really test them, just take it on trust. they say the drive does this that or the other, test so and so etc... of course they don't really go into very technical details and we don't have the means to test their claims and verify them.

example:
i remember back in the day (about a year ago?) when we were burning on 40x Z-CLV drives - Plextor 40/12/40A, Teac CD-W540, Lite-On 40125S/W. all drive manufacturers claim that their drives are doing ROPC=running optimal power calibration as they go along or something like that. they claim(ed) that when the drives finishes burning a zone it tests the quality of the zone that it had just burned, and based on the quality would either incread the speed in the next zone if quality was good (as supposed to do), or keep the current speed or drop it, based on the quality of the zone just burned and on the media quality.
well, the only drive for which this has actually been observed was the Teac CD-W540. it was observed that the write speed decreased when going to the next zone. while it was quite common for the speed to stay (=not increase) when changing to the next zone, for the speed to actually decrease was only seen on the Teac. we had quite a discussion about this at the time - search for burner1000000's posts, he reported it. considering the amount of burning burner1000000 did on those 3 drives with various media, i find it quite believeable that if the drives did actually as they claimed, this would be seen many more times and on other drives too.
the conclusion was that the drive decides on the burning strategy at the beginning of the disc, based on the ATIP and, possibly, by tests in the PCA (=power calibration area) before the burn begins, and DON"T change it later, excexpt maybe to not increase the speed. despite what the manufacturers claimed.
nowadays all drives are CAV/PCAV. i don't know how they claim to handle the writing strategy control/ROPC etc. (haven't read up about this for some time). Plextor's documentation for their CLV-PoweRec claims that the writing strategy is "checked" and "updated" every 1x speed increase. i don't recall seeing any detailed info in other documentation such as SMART-Burn for example.
for a CAV drive then, if it encounters a bad strech of media as it burns along, it could either keep the speed fixed (change to PCAV) or decrease the speed. has anyone actually seen a CAV burn where the speed actually goes down at some point? i have'nt read such a report.

bottom line - whatever the drive manufacturers claim the drive does - i won't necessarily believe it.
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Postby rdgrimes on Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:54 pm

I've seen ample evidence of LiteOn laser re-calibration, in the absence of speed adjustment, on CAV and P-CAV burns. I've posted here and at CDF on my experience with the colored TY (Fuji) discs that are defective. What you see on the error scan is 2 large spikes of errors in the final 1/3 of the burn. On the disc, you can SEE where the laser re-calibrated in an attemp to adjust for whatever is wrong with these discs. I interpret this as the first error spike on the scan. After it adjusted, the error rate dropped until the next spike. This is before the area where the drive actually down-shifted to a lower burn speed. It's a visable band on the discs. At the spot where the burn was interrupted, there's a visable defect, (which is not visable on the blank media), that has the appearance of waves in the dye. (I suspect an uneven dye layer or stamper). After this point, there are more bands where the drive continued to adjust the laser even thought the speed was again constant (P-CAV). What was really interesting about this media was that it was a repeatable phenomenon, and occurred at any burn speed from 16x and up. I still have some on the shelf.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Jun 20, 2003 7:13 pm

i remember (partly at least :) ) your posts abou the pastel TY.
can you provide pics? (or urls to your posts on cdfreaks)?
are the spikes you say C1 error spikes or C2?

however, also from your own comments, it's hard to say exactly what's hapenning. did you actually see a change in the burning speed in Nero (using the reg hack to show the actual burning speed as it goes along)?
also from what you say, it kept the speed (switched form CAV to PCAV), didn't down-speed! whereas many manufactureres claimed, in the past at least, that when encountering bad media the drive would actually slow down (i'm not saying Lite-On said it and isn't up to it's claims, just a general comment).

you "interpret" the error-spike as a laser-power recalibration. although i agree that this is quite a plausible explanation, can you be sure that this is really what was going on?

like i said in my previous post, instances when a ZCLV drive "kept" the current speed when switching zones (instead of increasing it) because of bad media/burn/etc. - that has been observed. but down-speeding is another matter completely. let me explain.
if the drives decides to not increase the speed, this could very well have been decided at the begnning, based on the ATIP/OPC/whatever before the burn started. the strategy was decided such that a certain max speed would be reached and not topped.
however, an actual decrease in burning speed during the burn, that's actual proof (if you like) that the drive is actually testing the burn quality as it goes along.
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Postby Soren on Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:28 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:Soren: Do you live in B.C. ??? it's starting to sound like it from the selection of media you are describing! I haven't run accross anyone else knowing about Mitsumi 48x CD-Rs, and *I've* never mentioned them! Anways, I don't know much about them. I can't even remember who manufacturers them :( I only ever got a chance to take a look at one, and that was WAY back. I remember I ran Nero CD Speed on the disc for a customer (I worked selling CD-Rs at the time) and it came up all green....but this doesn't mean THAT much.


Yeah I do actually :)

I live in the Tri-City area of the Lower Mainland.
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Postby rdgrimes on Fri Jun 20, 2003 11:13 pm

I'm too lazy to look up the threads. :oops:
There are 2 spikes of errors, C1 mostly, but C2 if you read them fast enough. At the first spike, the drive has adjusted the laser calibration and the error rate drops to normal again...no change in speed. At the second spike, the drive downshifts to a lower burn speed and the error rate again drops. On the disc, you can see banding where the laser was re-calibrated at the first spike. At the second spike, you can see the physical defect in the dye or stamper, and again banding as the drive was trying to adjust for the defect. After the defect, there is additional banding where the speed was constant at 24x and the laser was again re-calibrating. The drive was set for 40x (P-CAV), and would still be P-CAV at 24x when it downshifted. The banding is very faint, not the sort of thing I can take a photo of. What's interesting is that while you cannot see a physical defect in every one of the defective discs, the 2 spikes of errors are consistant on all the defective discs, regardless of burn speed.
OK, I re-scanned one of them: this is 8x scan, in spite of the "max" indication;

Image

I scanned at 8x to get the best curve. You can see where the drive re-calibrated at the first spike, then downshifted at the second spike. At full speed scanning, the disc is largly unreadable after the second spike, thus:

Image
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