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Review: Best burners for reading/burning audio CDs, Bonus: CD-R media test
CiTay
post Jun 11 2006, 02:03
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In their previous issue, the noted german c't magazine had an interesting article about different drives and their usefulness for ripping and burning of audio CDs. So good in fact that i want to post some of the results here. I encourage any german reader to buy c't magazine, it's by far the best around. I don't want to spoil anything with these excerpts. Please order the mag and read the full article. Germans can also order the article for 0.80 Euro here.

So anyway, they had several DVD and CD burners for the roundup. The read tests were done with EAC (in secure mode). For the write tests, they sent the media to Audiodev in Sweden for detailed CATS analysis.

Keep in mind that these results are for (audio) CDs only, not for DVD ripping/burning.

Scores, worst to best: -- / - / o / + / ++

QUOTE
BenQ DW-1640
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: +
- Read quality: +
- Reading copy-protected CDs: o (no CDS100/CDS200B/DocData2/Key2AudioB)

LG GSA-H20L
- Burn quality: o
- Read speed: -
- Read quality: o
- Reading copy-protected CDs: + (no CDS100)

LiteOn SHM-165P6S
- Burn quality: -
- Read speed: --
- Read quality: ++
- Reading copy-protected CDs: + (no CDS100)

NEC ND-4551A
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: ++
- Read quality: --
- Reading copy-protected CDs: o (no CDS100/DocData1/DocData2)

Pioneer DVR-111
- Burn quality: ++
- Read speed: o
- Read quality: o
- Reading copy-protected CDs: o (no CDS100/DocData2/Key2AudioB)

Plextor PX-760A
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: + (note: with Plextools, was slow with EAC)
- Read quality: +
- Reading copy-protected CDs: ++

Samsung SH-W163C
- Burn quality: o
- Read speed: +
- Read quality: o
- Reading copy-protected CDs: o (no CDS100/DocData1/DocData2/Key2AudioB)

ASUS CRW-5232A3
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: o
- Read quality: -
- Reading copy-protected CDs: o (no CDS100/DocData2/Key2AudioA/Key2AudioB)

Plextor Plexwriter Premium 2
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: +
- Read quality: -
- Reading copy-protected CDs: ++

Plextor PX-230A
- Burn quality: +
- Read speed: +
- Read quality: ++
- Reading copy-protected CDs: ++




They also tested different CD-R media as to which can offer the best burn quality. They were burned with the NEC ND-4551A and the Plextor PX-760A, sent to Audiodev, and the results were averaged. They were also subjected to 100 hours of 80C and 85% humidity to simulate aging, for 20 discs of each brand ("durability").

QUOTE
Plextor CD-R 48x (Taiyo Yuden / cyanine dye / silver)
Quality: +
Durability: ++
Compatibility: ++

Primeon Gold CD-R 48x (C.S.I. MAM-E / phthalocyanine dye / gold)
Quality: --
Durability: o
Compatibility: +

Sony CD-R 48x (Sony / phthalocyanine dye / silver)
Quality: +
Durability: +
Compatibility: +

TDK CD-R 52x (CMC / phthalocyanine dye / silver)
Quality: -
Durability: +
Compatibility: -

Verbatim CD-R DLP 52x (Mitsubishi / azo dye / silver)
Quality: +
Durability: --
Compatibility: ++

Verbatim CD-R Audio 16x (Mitsubishi / azo dye / silver)
Quality: --
Durability: --
Compatibility: --



And to top it off, excerpts of a test on how burn speed affects burn quality:

QUOTE
Plextor CD-R 48x (TY) burned with Plexwriter Premium 2:

4x speed - burn quality: +
4x speed AMQR - burn quality: ++
16x speed - burn quality: +
48x speed - burn quality: o



Some more results are here (older drives).
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spoon
post Jun 12 2006, 08:52
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Plextor Plexwriter Premium 2
- Read quality: -

That is not a result Plextor will want to see, although the Plextor PX-230A comes top for reading alone.

Does it go into detail about the copy protections? (I suspect 95% are false 2nd sessions, where the other 5% might be intentional uncorrectable noise).


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Spoon http://www.dbpoweramp.com
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CiTay
post Jun 12 2006, 11:45
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jun 12 2006, 09:52) *
Does it go into detail about the copy protections? (I suspect 95% are false 2nd sessions, where the other 5% might be intentional uncorrectable noise).


There was a previous article that elaborated on the most popular copy protections. Let me give you an example, the CP called Key2Audio.

CDs protected with this CP are multisession CDs, which in itself is already a violation of the Red Book standard.

- First session: Contains the audio tracks. Several violations of Red Book audio CD standard: The Pre-gap is 10 seconds long (standard: 2-3 seconds). In the main-channel of the first pause, there's ROM-data in Mode-1-format (specified in Yellow Book), in all frames from 00:00:00 (MM:SS:FF) till 00:02:00, but the Control-Nibble has the value 00, which would be 2-channel audio. The frames all contain the same ROM-data 0x00. EFM-coded and interpreted as audio data, the frames 00, 86 and 97 of each subcode frame contain non-null audio samples, and the frames from 01 to 85 contain null-samples (digital silence).

These audio samples can contain a 24-bit sequence which is inserted in illegal places, to prevent the detection of the beginning of each frame by a PC drive. They can also contain certain bit patterns which prevent a clock retrieval from the data stream. This doesn't affect a stand-alone CD player, since it normally skips the pre-gap.

- In the gap before the first track, the subcode-Q data 'Amin', 'Asec' and 'Aframe' (also called 'Atime') is faulty. Atime is sometimes a constant 00:00:00, while it should increase continuously. This can mean that the drive can't find the first track.

- The copy bit of the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) alternates every 6 frames, signaling that no digital copies are allowed.

- Second session: Mode 2 data session, all data bytes '0x00'. The subcode-Q-data is in the invalid mode 6, and doesn't repeat three times, as stated in the spec. This can lead to an abortion of the read process.

- Third session: Mode 2 data session, all data bytes '0x00'. The Program Area (PMA) is truncated, and the lead-out is missing. The TOC has entries of tracks which are already referenced in the TOC of the 1st and 2nd session. These tracks are now assigned different start times on the CD. Those start times are completely wrong and all point to the single data track of the third session. According to the multisession-CD standard, each start time must be different, there can't be several tracks with the same start time. If a CD drive tries to read an audio track, it receives the wrong start time and jumps to the data track of this third session. The TOC contains a recursive pointer which can lead to an infinite loop.



The other CPs work with similar tricks. They are all multisession-CDs. Some of their tricks are:

- invalid Lead-Ins
- invalid subcode data
- missing frames during pre-gap
- wrong start times of the tracks
- symbol errors in the audio data of the lead-out
- wrong P-Bits
- wrong TOC (Table of Contents)
- uncorrectable C2-errors
- shifted Sync-positions
- faulty ZERO-field
- missing post-gap
- Lead-out containing a mix of data and audio
- Lead-out containing only audio
- Index switching from 00 to 01
- symbol errors in the main channel of the lead-out

This post has been edited by CiTay: Jun 12 2006, 12:49
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Posts in this topic
- CiTay   Review: Best burners for reading/burning audio CDs   Jun 11 2006, 02:03
- - Zoom   These results make me feel less crazy for ripping ...   Jun 11 2006, 03:15
|- - Andavari   Very interesting, and I apprecitate the informatio...   Jun 11 2006, 03:58
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (Andavari @ Jun 11 2006, 04:58) Ver...   Jun 11 2006, 11:44
- - evereux   Another vote of thanks for that information Citay....   Jun 11 2006, 15:04
- - vinnie97   As far as websites are concerned, http://www.cdrla...   Jun 11 2006, 15:51
- - rudefyet   Yep...I can attest for the "-" quality a...   Jun 11 2006, 16:12
- - Demetris   Thank you, CiTay. Really appreciated.   Jun 11 2006, 21:46
- - Hollunder   looks interesting, how many drives have been teste...   Jun 11 2006, 22:13
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (Hollunder @ Jun 11 2006, 23:13) lo...   Jun 11 2006, 22:49
- - Hollunder   I thought the ones you have postet are just a few ...   Jun 12 2006, 00:07
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (Hollunder @ Jun 12 2006, 01:07) I ...   Jun 12 2006, 01:12
- - spoon   Plextor Plexwriter Premium 2 - Read quality: - Th...   Jun 12 2006, 08:52
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (spoon @ Jun 12 2006, 09:52) Does i...   Jun 12 2006, 11:45
- - Firon   How nice that the Pioneer drive has excellent burn...   Jun 12 2006, 12:42
- - spoon   Thanks for the info, it is a shame I dont speak ge...   Jun 12 2006, 13:04
|- - Pio2001   To complete what Citay said, in the last versions ...   Jun 12 2006, 19:22
|- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Jun 12 2006, 18:22) To c...   Jun 18 2006, 21:37
- - Andavari   That's pretty involved from them to CP a disc ...   Jun 12 2006, 19:46
- - CSMR   QUOTE (spoon @ Jun 12 2006, 04:04) (altho...   Jun 12 2006, 19:58
- - LaserSokrates   If you can point me to the issue of c't, I...   Jun 18 2006, 12:29
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (LaserSokrates @ Jun 18 2006, 13:29...   Jun 18 2006, 13:25
- - LaserSokrates   IMHO, there wasn't too much new in the article...   Jun 18 2006, 13:50
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (LaserSokrates @ Jun 18 2006, 14:50...   Jun 18 2006, 13:53
|- - Triza   Guys! I did my own independent test and I reac...   Jun 18 2006, 20:57
- - soulsearchingsun   I read this article, too. A slight drawback in sig...   Jun 19 2006, 09:41
- - ShowsOn   But is AccurateRip a cure all? I usually do a Tes...   Jun 19 2006, 13:42
- - spoon   > unreliable data being sent to AccurateRip? I...   Jun 19 2006, 17:12
|- - ShowsOn   QUOTE (spoon @ Jun 20 2006, 01:12) > u...   Jun 19 2006, 18:31
|- - greynol   QUOTE (spoon @ Jun 19 2006, 09:12) If the...   Jun 20 2006, 04:05
- - spoon   With a confidence of 2 it is not really high enoug...   Jul 12 2006, 16:35
- - Sebastian Mares   Is the PX-230A able to overread into the lead-in o...   Jul 12 2006, 21:23
- - funkyblue   I was about to ask the same question...My Premium ...   Jul 12 2006, 22:17
- - greynol   This seems like a bizarre amount of concern over 1...   Jul 12 2006, 22:24
|- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 12 2006, 21:24) Why ...   Jul 19 2006, 16:57
|- - greynol   QUOTE (JeanLuc @ Jul 19 2006, 08:57) If I...   Jul 19 2006, 17:24
- - funkyblue   should be silence is the question...Anyway, instea...   Jul 12 2006, 22:47
- - greynol   QUOTE should be silence is the question...At the e...   Jul 12 2006, 22:59
- - funkyblue   Then why bother coming here? or commenting? Many p...   Jul 12 2006, 23:07
|- - greynol   QUOTE (funkyblue @ Jul 12 2006, 15:07) Th...   Jul 12 2006, 23:19
- - funkyblue   Why bother commenting? I stated I am also looking ...   Jul 12 2006, 23:26
- - Sebastian Mares   I am listening to music on my PC anyways, so a dri...   Jul 13 2006, 06:00
- - Martin H   I have decided that i won't buy a Plextor driv...   Jul 14 2006, 01:04
|- - Sebastian Mares   QUOTE (Martin H @ Jul 14 2006, 02:04) Als...   Jul 14 2006, 05:58
|- - Martin H   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 14 2006, 06...   Jul 14 2006, 23:44
- - Martin H   @Sebastian Mares I said LG GSA-4167B, not LG GSA-...   Jul 15 2006, 03:53
- - Anansi   does the c't review contain any info on the px...   Jul 19 2006, 16:19
- - Sebastian Mares   What are you talking about? If the Plextor has a w...   Jul 19 2006, 17:32
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 19 2006, 09...   Jul 19 2006, 17:34
|- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 19 2006, 16...   Jul 19 2006, 21:21
|- - greynol   QUOTE (JeanLuc @ Jul 19 2006, 13:21) The ...   Jul 19 2006, 21:46
|- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 19 2006, 20:46) What...   Jul 19 2006, 21:53
- - Sebastian Mares   QUOTE (Martin H @ Jul 15 2006, 04:53) I s...   Jul 19 2006, 17:35
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 19 2006, 10...   Jul 19 2006, 20:51
||- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 19 2006, 19:51) (btw ...   Jul 19 2006, 20:58
||- - Anansi   QUOTE (JeanLuc @ Jul 19 2006, 13:58) QUOT...   Jul 20 2006, 12:11
||- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 20 2006, 11:11) QUOTE...   Jul 20 2006, 16:54
|- - Martin H   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 19 2006, 18...   Jul 20 2006, 02:13
|- - Ragnarok   How does the Pioneer 112 compair with the pioneer ...   May 29 2007, 13:10
- - PatchWorKs   Best CD burners are TEAC (every model) !   Jul 19 2006, 22:04
|- - greynol   QUOTE (PatchWorKs @ Jul 19 2006, 14:04) B...   Jul 19 2006, 22:25
- - Sebastian Mares   Ah, now I got it. I thought that if the image you ...   Jul 19 2006, 22:50
- - greynol   You actually have to shift the data to overcome th...   Jul 19 2006, 23:00
- - funkyblue   I should have mine tomorrow...Why does it matter i...   Jul 20 2006, 12:21
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (funkyblue @ Jul 20 2006, 05:21) I ...   Jul 20 2006, 14:19
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 20 2006, 15:19) if it...   Jul 20 2006, 14:31
- - Sebastian Mares   Nobody is saying that it's bad, it's just ...   Jul 20 2006, 15:08
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 20 2006, 08...   Jul 20 2006, 15:27
- - spoon   I have run 1000's of cds the last few weeks th...   Jul 20 2006, 16:45
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 20 2006, 09:45) I have...   Jul 20 2006, 18:20
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 20 2006, 10:20) does ...   Jul 20 2006, 18:35
|- - CiTay   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 20 2006, 19:35) QUOT...   Jul 20 2006, 19:13
|- - greynol   The question is whether any of these modes will al...   Jul 20 2006, 19:34
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (CiTay @ Jul 20 2006, 12:13) QUOTE ...   Jul 20 2006, 20:54
- - spoon   >EAX says yes to Cache I am 99% sure this dri...   Jul 20 2006, 21:15
|- - greynol   QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 20 2006, 13:15) >EA...   Jul 20 2006, 21:35
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 20 2006, 14:15) Have n...   Jul 20 2006, 21:48
- - funkyblue   Hey Guys, Just received my PX-230A direct from the...   Jul 21 2006, 01:42
|- - greynol   QUOTE (funkyblue @ Jul 20 2006, 17:42) EA...   Jul 21 2006, 02:09
|- - audioaficionado   QUOTE (funkyblue @ Jul 20 2006, 17:42) He...   Jul 23 2006, 00:29
- - funkyblue   I really do not appreciate your condescending comm...   Jul 21 2006, 02:49
|- - greynol   QUOTE (funkyblue @ Jul 20 2006, 18:49) I ...   Jul 21 2006, 03:13
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 20 2006, 20:13) QUOT...   Jul 21 2006, 07:31
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 20 2006, 23:31) off-t...   Jul 21 2006, 08:25
- - Anansi   ok so what does reading into the leadout provide?   Jul 21 2006, 17:17
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 21 2006, 09:17) ok so...   Jul 21 2006, 17:52
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 21 2006, 10:52) QUOT...   Jul 21 2006, 22:52
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 21 2006, 14:52) QUOTE...   Jul 21 2006, 23:12
|- - Anansi   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 21 2006, 16:12) QUOT...   Jul 22 2006, 04:42
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Anansi @ Jul 21 2006, 20:42) but i...   Jul 22 2006, 19:52
- - Waywisher   Hi All, this thread seems to have been quiet for s...   Oct 14 2008, 22:27
- - Sebastian Mares   1) Plextor stopped manufacturing own units. At lea...   Oct 14 2008, 22:59
- - westgroveg   Pioneer use the best optics & hardware, LG/Lit...   Oct 15 2008, 00:56
|- - dreamliner77   QUOTE (westgroveg @ Oct 14 2008, 19:56) O...   Oct 15 2008, 03:00
|- - Juan C.   QUOTE (dreamliner77 @ Oct 14 2008, 21:00)...   Oct 15 2008, 18:49
- - francesco   i can't believe plextor was so worse   Oct 15 2008, 11:38
- - Waywisher   Thanks for the replies.. Looks like I'm head...   Oct 15 2008, 21:22
|- - knucklehead   QUOTE (Waywisher @ Oct 15 2008, 12:22) Th...   Oct 15 2008, 22:27
- - alexn   Hi everybody My Plextor Premium is dead (bummer...   Mar 18 2009, 19:37
- - happyman   QUOTE (alexn @ Mar 18 2009, 19:37) Hi eve...   Jul 28 2009, 08:32
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