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Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RW write quality question

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Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RW write quality question

Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:37 am

I have a TDK VeloCD 52/24/48 CD-RW drive--I know this is a rebadged LiteOn LTR-52246S with the TDK bezel and read speed reduced to 48X. Also, the drive uses TDK firmware (no doubt written by LiteOn). I am using firmware version 67U4. I have CD Doctor version 1.0.4. My burn quality with Verbatim DataLifePlus 16X-24X 74 min Ultra Speed CD-RW discs seems to be inconsistent with that of the other LiteOn drives posted in this forum. For example, I can't get the burn quality listed at the topic at the URL:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 7949#57949

I'm in a hurry, so I don't want to post images here. I have gotten a few burns to this media that have quality that seems to be unusually poor (compared to the above URL and other similar postings) for this media. For example, one burn I did was to a disc that was never written to, but was full erased once. The error info for that disc is:

C1: Min: 0 Max: 183 Ave: 28.747
C2: Min: 0 Max: 0 Ave: 0.000

This was written @24X, and read at max speed in CD Doctor. The issue here *appears* to be the TDK firmware and the difference between the LiteOn LTR-48246S and the LTR-52246S(my TDK). My understanding is that there shouldn't be any real difference in write quality between the LiteOn LTR-48246S and the LTR-52246S since they both use the same series 6 chipset. So, I perceive my problem to be with the TDK firmware. Will I get my C1 average down to something close to the 2.723 with Max of 14 that MediumRare posted if I switch to the latest LiteOn firmware? What is causing such high error rates? These discs are *not* the Memorex Ultra Speed discs! My CD-R write quality is great, so that is not the issue--I am able to get a 0.1 C1 average on TY media. [/img][/code]
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Postby BuddhaTB on Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:47 am

What you have is a bad batch of Verbatim CD-RW disc. In two previous threads, there has been a large variation of quality between Verbatim CD-RW disc made in Singapore, India, and Mexico. The ones from Mexico and India seem to be of lower quality than the Verbatim CD-RW disc made in Singapore. I would check out the two following threads before trying to mess with your firmware. I have used the TDK 52x drive before on my Verbatim CD-RW and they worked flawlessly with very few errors.

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9688
http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9983
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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 5:20 am

BuddhaTB wrote:What you have is a bad batch of Verbatim CD-RW disc. In two previous threads, there has been a large variation of quality between Verbatim CD-RW disc made in Singapore, India, and Mexico. The ones from Mexico and India seem to be of lower quality than the Verbatim CD-RW disc made in Singapore. I would check out the two following threads before trying to mess with your firmware. I have used the TDK 52x drive before on my Verbatim CD-RW and they worked flawlessly with very few errors.

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9688
http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9983

Thanks for your reply, BuddhaTB. The disc that had the error information that I posted above was listed as "Made in Taiwan." This is according to the back of the packaging wrap in the 10-pack it came in where the #94457 UPC Code is. Now I have a question for you: are the Taiwan made Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RWs crap, or is the "Made in Taiwan" I'm reading wrong? If I have to buy the Verbatim Ultra Speed discs that are made in Singapore, how do I get them in the United States? I've seen Verbatim's 48X DataLifePlus Super Azo CD-Rs be made in Mexico and made in Taiwan, based on packages I've seen here in the U.S. But, I've never seen Singapore made Ultra Speed discs.
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Postby Spazmogen on Sun Apr 06, 2003 5:51 am

I bought mine from www.amazon.com and they're "Made in Mexico".

Image

I'll try a scan with CD Doctor and post the results here later (Monday possibly).
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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:58 am

Tlotz, try putting one of those discs through a few write/erase cycles. There have been some reports of these discs needing a little seasoning before the error rates settle down to lower levels. It is somewhat counterintuitive (particularly when I think about my Memorex CD-RW for which every write/erase cycle brought it one step closer to its very early death), but there could be something to it.

Also, although you aren't happy with your error rates, they are within specifications. More imporantly, despite the high C1 you still don't have any C2. That is a good sign.

Finally, rdgrimes reported a nice improvement in the burning quality of these discs at lower speeds (16x CLV) after updating to the latest LiteOn firmware. So you might well see good improvements if you do the same.

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Postby MediumRare on Sun Apr 06, 2003 12:36 pm

tlotz- please note that the scan you saw was for a virgin disk and the error rate did go up for subsequent wites- not as high as the values you quoted, but to something like 10/100. Do have a look at this post: http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=59251#59251

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Postby Spazmogen on Sun Apr 06, 2003 7:46 pm

My results were similar:
I restored my drive (LTR-52246S back to 6S08 as 6S0D is buggy. Very buggy).

So, with 6S08:


Verbatim 24x cd-rw, written @ 10x
Image

When written @ 24x (data, also with 6S08):
Image

But when I did an audio disc @ 10x (yes, even though they're 24x discs) with 6S0C:
Image
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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:57 pm

MediumRare wrote:tlotz- please note that the scan you saw was for a virgin disk and the error rate did go up for subsequent wites- not as high as the values you quoted, but to something like 10/100. Do have a look at this post: http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=59251#59251

G

Thanks for replying MediumRare. I did presume by "virgin" disk you meant that you did not full erase the disc prior your first write. So I don't have any "virgin" discs. I have always full erased all of my CD-RW discs once before using them. I didn't figured that one full erasure would make a huge difference when compared to a "virgin" disk. One question: is there any practicle reason to full erase CD-RW discs before writing to them? I have already read your posting at the above URL, but nonetheless felt that my errors rates were too high. I am now happy to find out that my error rates are within spec.
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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 9:22 pm

cfitz wrote:Tlotz, try putting one of those discs through a few write/erase cycles. There have been some reports of these discs needing a little seasoning before the error rates settle down to lower levels. It is somewhat counterintuitive (particularly when I think about my Memorex CD-RW for which every write/erase cycle brought it one step closer to its very early death), but there could be something to it.

Also, although you aren't happy with your error rates, they are within specifications. More imporantly, despite the high C1 you still don't have any C2. That is a good sign.

Finally, rdgrimes reported a nice improvement in the burning quality of these discs at lower speeds (16x CLV) after updating to the latest LiteOn firmware. So you might well see good improvements if you do the same.

cfitz

Cfitz, what are the specs? In other words, what C1 error rates are considered tolerable for this media? I do not support the idea of switching to LiteOn firmware, unless it creates a **huge** improvement in the drive's write quality. I'd also switch to the LiteOn firmware if LiteOn added a P-CAV 24X mode, which included the 23.9X average speed that the Plextor and Yamaha drives have. My understanding from reading forums like this one is that TDK does a decent job of providing firmware updates, but does not provide them as often as LiteOn who makes the drive and provides the best firmware. One other question: I understand the difference between Track-at-Once and Disc-at-Once. I use Track-at-Once for single track data CDs and Disc-at-Once for all audio CDs. Is there any difference in writing quality between these two write methods? Since you said my error rates are within spec, then I see no reason for concern. The key is understanding what is normal and what is not for this media! This shouldn't be surprising: my highest error rate on Verbatim High Speed Made in Ireland 4x-10x CD-RW media is:

C1 Min: 0 Max: 19 Ave: 4.352
C2 Min: 0 Max: 0 Ave: 0.000

That was burned @10X, since I don't believe in overclocking CD-RW media. Here's another question: I tried some Maxell 4x-12x High Speed CD-RW today--this is made in Singapore rebranded Mitsubshi Chemical discs. Any, I burned these Maxell Mitsubshi discs @12X and got error rates higher than those I posted for the Ultra Speed discs! Those Maxell discs are going back to Office Depot for a refund. What's up with those Maxell discs? I bought those because BuddhaTB said that the Singapore Verbatim CD-RWs were better quality, and I was tired of what I thought were high errors on the Ultra Speed discs. Since both the Verbatim CD-RWs and the Maxells are Mitsubshi Chemical, then Verbatim CD-RW discs and Maxell CD-RW discs made in Singapore should be the same.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:11 pm

The block error rate specification (BLER) is 220 per second maximum, averaged over a 10-second period. The C1 error rate doesn't translate directly into BLER, because a block(frame) includes more than one byte (24) and there are more than one type of C1 error. The exact number would depend on how the C1 errors are distributed throughout the blocks. And there is a little guesswork here because we aren't 100% sure that the C1 data charted in CD Doctor/WSES/K's Probe is measured in bad bytes/sec. But, C1 is a reasonable first approximation proxy to BLER, and your results are likely within specification.

Also, as I mentioned, you don't have any C2 errors, which is a good sign. Before WSES/CD Doctor/K's Probe no one would have even questioned the quality of your burns. You would have tested with CD Speed Scan Disc and, in all likelihood, would have found 100% green - qualifying for inclusion in the media compatibility thread. Of course, with new tools for evaluating burn quality we naturally want to do better.

By the way, in general you won't get error rates on CD-RW that are as good as those that you can get on CD-R.

Writing in TAO vs. DAO shouldn't make any difference to burn quality.

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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:31 pm

cfitz wrote:The block error rate specification (BLER) is 220 per second maximum, averaged over a 10-second period. The C1 error rate doesn't translate directly into BLER, because a block(frame) includes more than one byte (24) and there are more than one type of C1 error. The exact number would depend on how the C1 errors are distributed throughout the blocks. And there is a little guesswork here because we aren't 100% sure that the C1 data charted in CD Doctor/WSES/K's Probe is measured in bad bytes/sec. But, C1 is a reasonable first approximation proxy to BLER, and your results are likely within specification.

Also, as I mentioned, you don't have any C2 errors, which is a good sign. Before WSES/CD Doctor/K's Probe no one would have even questioned the quality of your burns. You would have tested with CD Speed Scan Disc and, in all likelihood, would have found 100% green - qualifying for inclusion in the media compatibility thread. Of course, with new tools for evaluating burn quality we naturally want to do better.

By the way, in general you won't get error rates on CD-RW that are as good as those that you can get on CD-R.

Writing in TAO vs. DAO shouldn't make any difference to burn quality.

cfitz

One of the Ultra Speed CD-RW discs is 99.88% green--the last block is marked unreadable. 0.00% are marked damaged. I've seen this before, including with my previous Plextor drive. Why does this occur?
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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:51 pm

MediumRare wrote:tlotz- please note that the scan you saw was for a virgin disk and the error rate did go up for subsequent wites- not as high as the values you quoted, but to something like 10/100. Do have a look at this post: http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=59251#59251

G

By the way: the Ultra Speed CD-RW disc that I listed at the top of this topic was a data CD with 72 minutes of data. When I burned an audio CD disc with about 59 minutes of audio, I got the following results:

C1 Min: 0 Max: 78 Ave: 16.963
C2 Min: 0 Max: 0 Ave: 0.000

So my audio disc, also a Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RW disc Made in Taiwan 74 min disc, is better quality. Any ideas why? Also, my understanding is that my results, while not optimal, are probably quite typical. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with my media or my TDK (LiteOn) drive. Is that correct? Again, my TDK(LiteON) drive writes TY media with a 0.1 average error rate--I understand that CD-RW media will never write anywhere near the quality of CD-R media, especially TY CD-R media.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:09 pm

tlotz wrote:One of the Ultra Speed CD-RW discs is 99.88% green--the last block is marked unreadable. 0.00% are marked damaged. I've seen this before, including with my previous Plextor drive. Why does this occur?

That's a side effect of not finalizing the disc when writing in TAO mode. It isn't a real error, and isn't something to worry about.

tlotz wrote:So my audio disc, also a Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RW disc Made in Taiwan 74 min disc, is better quality. Any ideas why?

Without seeing the actual chart, my first guess would be because you wrote less data to the audio disc. The more data you write, the closer you get to the edge of the disc where writing (and reading) becomes more difficult because the speeds are fastest and vibration worst.

And yes, I would say that your drive and media are operating properly.

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Postby tlotz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:46 pm

cfitz wrote:
tlotz wrote:One of the Ultra Speed CD-RW discs is 99.88% green--the last block is marked unreadable. 0.00% are marked damaged. I've seen this before, including with my previous Plextor drive. Why does this occur?

That's a side effect of not finalizing the disc when writing in TAO mode. It isn't a real error, and isn't something to worry about.

tlotz wrote:So my audio disc, also a Verbatim Ultra Speed CD-RW disc Made in Taiwan 74 min disc, is better quality. Any ideas why?

Without seeing the actual chart, my first guess would be because you wrote less data to the audio disc. The more data you write, the closer you get to the edge of the disc where writing (and reading) becomes more difficult because the speeds are fastest and vibration worst.

And yes, I would say that your drive and media are operating properly.

cfitz

Thanks--I am glad that you think my drive and media are operating properly! I went through 3 crappy Plextor 48X drives--the last two intermittedly failed to write to/full erase to this Verbatim 24X CD-RW media. I was thoroughly testing the performance of my Plextor 48X's replacement--the TDK VeloCD 52/24/48 (LiteOn LTR-52246S). The goal of my testing was to make sure that the drive *and* the media work great *before* my 30 days to return the drive to Best Buy expire. From the info I've now received, this drive, and the Verbatim 24X CD-RW media are in fine condition, and I can finally enjoy my new drive. My understanding is that the LiteOn drives are of great quality and are quite reliable--this is based on the info I read on many forums. Is that the impression of people in this forum? I'm not looking for a comparison to Plextor, as far as I'm concerned, Plextor's quality has gone down the toilet.
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Postby MediumRare on Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:27 am

tlotz wrote:One question: is there any practicle reason to full erase CD-RW discs before writing to them?

I had some problems with a rewritable after a firmware upgrade (see my first post in the forum). This disappeared after a full erase. I usually just do a quick erase for everyday use. The test results you're looking at, though, are with special compilations I set up to pretty well fill the disks. And I did complete erases for the tests just to eliminate the possibility that a "history effect" is affecting the scans.

cfitz has given excellent answers to the other questions you posed.

And (personally) I am extremely happy with my LiteOn. :D I don't know how durable they are- I've had this drive for about 6 months with no problems (over 100 burns). A not insignificant benefit is the availability of diagnostic tools such as CD Doctor and (since Friday) K's Probe. :D :D

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Postby MediumRare on Mon Apr 07, 2003 4:47 pm

Spazmogen wrote:My results were similar:
I restored my drive (LTR-52246S back to 6S08 as 6S0D is buggy. Very buggy).

I think you're going back a bit too far. 6S0C came out at about the same time as SS0B for the 48x drive, and I've been very happy with that. I found, too, that it tremendously improved the burn quality of the 12x NanYa RWs. Your audio disk seems to indicate something similar for the Verbatim Ultraspeeds. I have an old scan for a 10x write (I think with SS06) that is nowhere near as good as this (max/ave: 20/5).

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Postby Spazmogen on Mon Apr 07, 2003 10:06 pm

MediumRare wrote:
Spazmogen wrote:My results were similar:
I restored my drive (LTR-52246S back to 6S08 as 6S0D is buggy. Very buggy).

I think you're going back a bit too far. 6S0C came out at about the same time as SS0B for the 48x drive, and I've been very happy with that. I found, too, that it tremendously improved the burn quality of the 12x NanYa RWs. Your audio disk seems to indicate something similar for the Verbatim Ultraspeeds. I have an old scan for a 10x write (I think with SS06) that is nowhere near as good as this (max/ave: 20/5).

G


6S08 was a beta test (unofficial release) and I found it to be rock solid. 6S0A was buggy and replaced with 6S0C in 3 weeks. 6S0D was just a nightmare for me.

I may flash forward again, but this time I'll use MTK Flash 1.55 and not the windows flasher. I have a hunch that too many flashes ( I think I did it about 4 or 5 x) was a bad thing for the drive using the Lite On Windows flash utility. 6S0C is as far forwards as I'll be going for a while.
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Postby MediumRare on Tue Apr 08, 2003 12:53 am

Spazmogen wrote:I have a hunch that too many flashes ( I think I did it about 4 or 5 x) was a bad thing for the drive using the Lite On Windows flash utility.

You know- that's an interesting point. I've used the windows flasher (with FlashFix applied as necessary) the last while and haven't had any problems. But lurking in the back of my head is an uneasy feeling that there may be a limit to the no. of flashes. :-? Does anyone know anything about that ? RWs, for example, are limited in total of writes (although I haven't had any go bad on me).

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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:51 am

Like CD-RW media, EEPROM is also limited in the number erase/write cycles it can withstand. Typical claims of longevity range anywhere from 10,000 cycles to 1,000,000 cycles, although I've seen some as low as 1,000. And it wouldn't surprise me if these claims, like those of CD-RW media, are somewhat exaggerated. But still, it looks like EEPROM should outlast even the most avid flasher.

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Postby MediumRare on Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:54 pm

cfitz wrote:Like CD-RW media, EEPROM is also limited in the number erase/write cycles it can withstand. Typical claims of longevity range anywhere from 10,000 cycles to 1,000,000 cycles, although I've seen some as low as 1,000. And it wouldn't surprise me if these claims, like those of CD-RW media, are somewhat exaggerated. But still, it looks like EEPROM should outlast even the most avid flasher.

cfitz

That's a relief! I thought it had to be something like that. :P I think I've flashed my drive about 10x in all- so I'm still on the safe side.

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Postby MediumRare on Tue Apr 08, 2003 5:21 pm

My Verbatim Ultraspeed scans are scattered in various place now, but I couldn't resist posting my first png generated with K's probe.

Spazmogen: here are my results for the 700 MiB disk @ 10x. They're really quite good, but your burn is apparently even better! :D

K's Probe (linear):
Image

CD-Doctor (semi-logarithmic):
Image

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