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testing varirec

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testing varirec

Postby muppy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:37 am

I made some test to check quality of varirec II technology. I've made various audio cd and then analysed them with jitter function in plex tools. Yere http://www.alientech.it/varirec/tecnologie2.htm
You can see all my graphs.
In my opinion varirec worsk very bad.. please post your comments
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Postby cfitz on Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:18 am

What you have found is not surprising. The "0" setting of VariRec represents the optimal setting according the drive's own internal calibration. Moving away from this optimum point will cause the drive to burn at a non-optimal power setting and thus, typically burn a lower quality disc with increased jitter. If using a non-zero setting for VariRec generally improved the burn quality, then that would indicate the drive was not properly determining the optimal calibration in the first place.

This is why I consider VariRec to be primarily a gimmick. There may be a few circumstances where a particularly troublesome drive has difficulty reading a disc burned using the optimal setting and might be able to better read a disc burned with a non-zero VariRec setting, but on the whole such circumstances are rare, and one should generally not bother with VariRec.

I would suggest you look at your results positively, and see them as confirmation that your drive is, indeed, properly finding the optimal burning power level with its automatic calibration routines.

By the way, the decrease in jitter shown in going from the conventional Nero burn to the VariRec enabled burn with a setting of 0 is likely due to the fact that you were burning at a lower speed (4x) when you enabled VariRec. Am I correct in surmising that your Nero burn was done at a higher speed?

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Postby muppy on Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:28 pm

cfitz wrote:I would suggest you look at your results positively, and see them as confirmation that your drive is, indeed, properly finding the optimal burning power level with its automatic calibration routines.


ok, thanks of explanations
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Postby Inertia on Thu Sep 04, 2003 6:57 pm

cfitz wrote:This is why I consider VariRec to be primarily a gimmick.


quoted from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

gim-mick
1 a : a mechanical device for secretly and dishonestly controlling gambling apparatus b : an ingenious or novel mechanical device : GADGET
2 a : an important feature that is not immediately apparent : CATCH b : an ingenious and usually new scheme or angle


Definitions 1 b and 2 a & b could apply, and would indicate that VariRec is a worthwhile feature. I agree with this. :wink:

cfitz wrote:There may be a few circumstances where a particularly troublesome drive has difficulty reading a disc burned using the optimal setting and might be able to better read a disc burned with a non-zero VariRec setting, but on the whole such circumstances are rare, and one should generally not bother with VariRec.


I agree, but would replace "difficulty" with "won't read" and "better read" with "able to read". I have replied to this topic before at VariRec is a Useful Tweak. For a real world experience with VariRec's utility as a recording solution, have a look at alchip80's Actual Experience.

Yamaha was first with this type of feature, but didn't receive the skepticism that Plextor now receives with VariRec. Plextor is the current whipping boy on this forum by those who perceive it to be overpriced. I feel this is partially responsible for the negative attitude expressed toward Plextor and its features. Plextor is a fine product and has a well deserved reputation for excellence.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:20 pm

Inertia,
i agree with all of what you said in the above post.
but i do think that Yamaha's "gimmick" - AMQR (Audio Master Quality Recording) is a bit more of a "proven" useful feature then Plextor's VariRec.
from a practical standpoint, it's useful more frequently and the difference it makes is more pronuounced.
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Postby cfitz on Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:47 pm

I respect both of your opinions, Inertia and dodecahedron, but will differ with you on this issue. In particular, Inertia, I am not a Plextor hater, have not said Plextor makes a poor product or doesn't deserve its reputation, and don't feel that I am one of those who you state are using Plextor as the popular whipping boy. Nevertheless, I don't think VariRec is a generally useful feature. Plextor's own marketing literature shows that the use of VariRec at settings other than 0 (the default value decided by the automatic calibration) increases jitter, exactly as Andrea experienced. And a single anecdotal report of unknown origin and unknown circumstances describing successful usage of VariRec will not change my opinion. Even if enabling VariRec truly was the cause for the success that alchip80's son reported, for all we know the actual improvement was due to the fact that VariRec burning is limited to 4x and had nothing to do with the power tweaking that is VariRec's claim to fame.

You have characterized VariRec as a tweak, and I don't object to that. But not all tweaks are useful or helpful, and I have yet to see evidence that VariRec is anything more than a knob to twist for those who get excited about technology, and a knob that in the vast majority of cases will only make matters worse. To me, that is a gimmick. It adds a selling point to help market the drive, but offers no real value in typical usage. And, since you are bringing in dictionaries and calling into question the meaning of the word gimmick, let me elaborate on my statement to make clear my intended meaning: VariRec is, for the vast majority of users and the vast majority of burns, not just worthless, but actually worse than worthless since it degrades burn quality. When I see substantial levels of evidence that show the contrary, then and only then will I happily change my opinion.

I am surprised that you are puzzled by the different levels of skepticism with which Yamaha's and Plextor's jitter reducing technology have met. I find this to be quite understandable, because Yamaha's technology has a sound theoretical basis for reducing jitter, while Plextor's has a sound theoretical basis for increasing jitter. I would naturally be skeptical of any technology, like Plextor's, that is advertised as having the ability to improve some problem but whose first order effects oppose the desired outcome. Did you ever wonder why Plextor never showed eye patterns demonstrating some ability of VariRec to reduce jitter the way Yamaha did for their AMQR technology?

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