It IS a new burner. I have had it for about a year, but I just started using it for DVDs. In addition to the NEC burner, I also have a JMLS DVD-ROM, and that is the drive that I primarily use to check CDs and DVDs for errors with CD/DVD Speed. That’s because when it comes to CDRs, it can read both C1 and C2 errors (the NEC only reads C2), and when it comes to DVDs, the NEC can’t read P1 errors or Failures.
The problem with the lower grades may have more to do with the way the JMLS reads the discs than the way the NEC burns them. When it comes to reading CDRs, the JMLS has a tendency to find single spikes of C2 errors at or near the same spot- the 32:00 mark.
This happens regardless of the brand and regardless of the burner used. I do audio CD trading, and I get these spikes at the 32:00 mark with discs I burn, and with discs that I get from a variety of sources. I even checked some pre-recorded discs just to see what I might find, and on the one occasion when I found C2 errors, they were at the 32:00 mark.
If that happens, I then check them with the NEC, and then I usually find no errors.
If I get spikes at that spot with the JMLS, I disregard them.
The same thing might be happening with the DVDs. I get a single spike of P1 Failures, and with the Maxells, they seem to come near the 1.4 GB mark.
I haven’t burned many DVDs, but I have burned about 150 CDRs, and with all the C2 spikes and P1 failure spikes that I have found, I have had a problem with only one disc (that was a TDK made by CMC, which I no longer use).