As some of you who have read my posts might know, I have been wanting to buy a burner that will give the optimal results during slow burning of audio CD-Rs. By slow I mean a maximum of 8x and preferably 4x. The reason for this is that some high quality dedicated CD players like Rega are extremely fussy not only about the blank media used for burning but also the quality of the burner and the burn speed. The Rega user manuals require a maximum of 8x however in my experience, even a 4x burn will yield an advantage over an 8x burn.
Although I currently have an Optiarc 5280S installed (which does do 8x), I was not impressed with the amount of physical vibration this unit produces - even at the 8x speed. Of course, the vibration is at it's worst in the first 30% of the burn so that by the time the rotational speeds slows down, the vibration is OK. I suspect this might be a reason why these disks play back fine in my Rega player once I am about 20 minutes into them but all bets are off prior to that (unless I burn them at 4x).
I think I have narrowed my choices down to three candidates, all of which will perform a CD-R burn at 4x:
External USB 3.0 portable BDR-XD05
Internal SATA BDR-209EBK (available domestically here in Australia)
BDR-S09J-X (would have to buy from Japan and by far the most expensive).
The portable BDR-XD05 is actually going to be considerably more expensive than the BDR-209EBK because I will need to buy a PCI-E USB3 card (two ports), given I have absolutely no more free USB ports at all and this drive needs two of them. Jadburner (a member here) has posted some screen shots from a 4x CD-R burn and they look good.
The BDR-209EBK is the cheapest solution since I don't need anything other than the drive itself. That said, after my Optiarc experience and my experience with internal DVD drives in the past, I am worried about the amount of vibration produced by an internal drive - something which I believe does effect the subsequent ability of cantankerous "audiophile" standalone CD players from reading the disks without glitches.
The Japan-only BDR-S09J looks very interesting as it seems to have features and construction that favour a high quality audio CD burn. Apart from supporting 4x burn speed like the others, it apparently has a more sophisticated anti-vibration mechanism, a tray designed to further reduce vibration and coatings inside the drive to reduce laser "scatter" (OK, you may not think that matters but I think it does). Put it this way, I would be happy to spend the big money on this thing from Japan if it really is as good as Pioneer claims.
So I am just wondering what are the ramifications (if any) of buying hardware sold to the Japanese domestic market but to be used here in Australia on my totally "English" PC. Is there anything I need to know? Will the drive just plug in and work like anything else?
Also, what is this "low resistance cable with Mekkineji connectors" Pioneer talk about with this drive? A Google search wasn't really helpful. I would have to assume that whatever they are, the cable must be bundled with the drive and the cable will just plug into a standard internal SATA port without problems??
Lastly, if anyone has bought one of these drives have you done any CD-R burns with it and if so, how good (technically) were the results?