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Media question

Postby Scrondar on Sat Mar 22, 2003 12:31 am

I'm looking to get some Taiyo Yuden CD-R media in bulk online, but I see "silver blue" and 'silver" listed. How are these different, and where do you all get your media online? TIA.
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 22, 2003 5:30 pm

Are you seeing "silver" and "silver/blue" sold as different products on the same web site?

I believe these terms are remnants of the earlier days of CD-R. The first color is the color of the top of the CD-R, the second the color of the bottom. There was a time when the color of the discs and dyes seemed to have great importance to many people. There were debates and flame wars over which color CD-R was the "best". It was really a debate about reflective layer materials (silver=Ag, gold=Au) and dye types (with the perceived color of the dye substituting for the actual name of the dye - pale yellow/gold/silver = phthalocyanine, green/blue-green/blue/light-blue = cyanine, dark blue/blue = AZO/SuperAZO).

Eventually some of the mythology seemed to be defeated by reason, and people realized that the top of the disc could be made to appear gold even if the reflective layer isn't truly Au, that the perceived color of the dye could be influenced by the color of the reflective layer as well as coloring added to the polycarbonate substrate, and that good quality discs could be made from any of the dyes. These days it seems that talk about the color of CD-Rs is limited mostly to the bulk online retailers. I don't know why. Maybe it is because they are a little out of date, because they are selling generic stuff and have no other way to distinguish their products, or because they just haven't updated their sites.

As it relates to your particular question, Taiyo Yuden has always made discs using cyanine dye exclusively, so all TY discs are "blue". And most of their discs use silver reflective layers as well. They may make some with gold reflective layers, but I haven't seen them and they certainly aren't widely distributed here in America, assuming they do exist. So, the "silver" and "silver/blue" TY discs you are seeing are the same thing and typical of TY.

As for where to get discs online, I don't. I can pick up name brand TY for less at my local retailers. And I always wonder about the stuff many of the on-line bulk retailers sell. As I mentioned above, they seem to be behind the times. Another aspect of that is that they often are selling older, slower rated media. A quick perusal as I typed this showed a lot of sites selling 32x media, when 48x has been standard in retail outlets for a long time now. Thus, my thinking is: why buy generic discs online when I can get faster, cheaper, name brand media at my local retailer?

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Postby Scrondar on Sun Mar 23, 2003 12:06 pm

Thanks, cfitz, for the informative reply. To address your questions (in no particular order), I want to order online 'cause I live in a rural area and retail sources of blanks are farther than I want to travel (especially with gas @ $2.15 a gallon!), so I thought perhaps a reliable online vendor would be the way to go. I did find this one: http://store.yahoo.com/cdrplanet/tyd80sibls-600-100.html, but I know nothing about them. Another outfit, Americal (http://www.americal.com), shows TY discs as Silver/Blue and Silver.

As you can see in the product listing on the above CDR Planet site, they list these TY blanks as "Silver" with a Cyanine dye. Go figure. I know the proof is is in the burning, but as I said earlier, I can't just run out to my local Fry's or Best Buy and pick up a spindle that I could return if they turn out to be crap. Following the results in the Media Compatibility thread, TY seems the best choice for my new LG 8520B if I want it to burn at its fastest potential speeds. Folks here have recommended Fuji discs as a source of Japan made TYs, so perhaps the thing to do is just wait til my travels take me near enough a place I can find them. Thanks again.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Mar 23, 2003 1:05 pm

People have reported success buying from www.meritline.com, although I have no personal experience. I did buy some discs from www.american-digital.com once (I wanted to try Mitsui which aren't available in my local retail stores). I had no problems with my one transaction with them. And don't forget that Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA all ship mail order as well, often with free shipping. If you can catch some on sale, you can do quite well. Even without the sale they appear to at least be competitive:

(prices for 100 48x TY)
Meritline generic TY = $50.62 including shipping
Americal generic TY = $47.74 including shipping
American Digital generic TY (32x) = $41.28 including shipping
Best Buy Fuji TY = $39.99 including free shipping
CDR Planet generic TY = $33.93 including shipping

Interestingly, Mertiline and Americal seem to be the same outfit. I've noticed such things in the past. Many different online CD-R retailers seem to end up on the same checkout page...

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