It materialized in the latest issue of c't, No. 14, available on Mon. in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is primarily concerned with the PlexTools Pro but mentions CDSpeed, WSES and K's Probe as well. Unforunately, the article is not available online.
The only really quantitative comparisons are carried out for the PlexTools Pro and the PlexWriter Premium, where they actually compare results with the Audiodev CATS-SA3 for one 80 min. disk. Here a summary (in my words):
- C1/C2/CU: Plex C1 values scanned at 4x are flat at ca. 2 and very similar to the Audidev BLER values up to ca. 60 min. After that, Audiodev results (scanned @1x !!) increase somewhat to ca. 40. The Plex scan at 10-24x also increases from 60 min. but goes >100 and also has some C2's there and in a lesser peak (30) at the start. Plextor "seems to be generally more tolerant of reading disturbances". Results apparently didn't vary much when they tried another Plextor drive.
- Jitter: Results vary strongly from drive to drive. They deduce that the lines on the unitless Plex graph are ca. 5 ns apart. 3T pits are generally too short with firmware 1.01 (-> increased jitter).
- Beta: The Plex values bear little relation to what Audiodev measures. Ignore these results (no Audiodev results shown).
- FE/TE: test is not very useful because it does not tell what the proper burning speed is- you have to resort to trial and error anyway. 52x is allowed (initially) for all media and the drive then relies on Powerec. This often reacts too slowly and (e.g.) 48x Verbatim are spoiled @52x when the linear speed exceeds 48x. 40x is OK.
- Varirec: fingers off! It'll only get worse.
They did not mention which media were tested or how they were burned.
Regarding CD-Speed and KProbe, the main statement is that the results depend on the drive used ("the fundamental problem in measuring error rates of CDRs"). The results shown apear to be for different disks than the Plex (other values for end-LBA, qualitative differences.) They also used an antedeluvian drive (LTR-24102B) with KProbe.
On the whole, PlexWriter Premium users have learned something, the rest of us are not much better off. They missed the chance to compare the diagnostic properties of the various tools quantitatively by testing the same disc with each tool.