I just had my 1653S read a MMC003 Verbatim 8x DVD+R at 16x!
12x-reading patch was not set in firmware, but MMC003 was set to 16x write at MMC003 strategy.
Actually I just burned that MMC003 8x disc to see if it can burn them at 16x with MMC003 strategy.
After burning with Nero in appr. 6:30 minutes I let it cool down for about 2 minutes then started KProbe2 at 4x. Noticing that KProbe only went at 1.8x, I stopped the process and restarted, still only 1.8x.
I blamed Smart-X and opened the Info->Disc screen to make the drive spin up. It didn't spin up, but right before closing the windows I noticed a maximum read speed of 16x being statet for the disc.
Without giving it a second thought I started Nero CD-DVD Speed to make the drive spin up. After the usual start at 3x due to Smart-X the drive jumped up rapidly to 8x, and kept increasing at CAV right into the direction of 16x.
Unfortunately that disc did not burn well at 16x, so at some point the disc is damaged, thus I could only read upto 11x before the graph broke in.
I replaced the disc with a good burn I did before (8x MMC003 burned at 8x), but the drive went back to normal 8x reading. Swapping discs again didn't change anything, the drive was back to 8x, and KProbe also reports 8x reading maximum for the disc again. Patching the firmware to 12x reports 12x correctly.
So the question that arises is: Can the firmware be patched to even allow 16x reading of DVD+R media? Obviously the drive is capable of doing this!