CDFreaks presents: LG GSA-4166B Super Multi DVD-Writer with LightScribe Review



You can read the review here:

You may pose your questions or comments in this thread.


Great review.

“CMC” mediacode burn quality is impressive. I only buy Plextor or Verbatim discs but I may change my thoughs based on your tests. Great !

Also the “Sheep Test” is a very good thing ( ) to know.

I see that CD-RW 32x burn quality could be improved.

As a 4166 owner, I am not suprised of the final …

Great job :bow:


^Good review, no PCAV though?



No, there is no P-CAV writing strategy used with this drive.
Typically LG drives are based on the Renesas chipset.
This drive is based on the Panasonic MN103SA6GSJ chipset so it is directly comparable with drives such as the Plextor PX-750A, Sony DRU-820A, BenQ DW1670 and even to some extent the older Panasonic SW-9585 drive.
Along with the choice of servos, PUHs and so on these drives will compete based mostly off which company does the better job with their respective firmware development.



I think I was amazed at that myself…
If you think about it, CMC is one of if not the largest producer of blank media in the world. It only makes good business sense to have it well supported in firmware…


Interested buyers should note how well this drive does with +R 16X media [I]at 16X[/I]. Some of it looks like 8X media scans.


A good review!

A little more to add to this :

The LG drives which use P-CAV for 16x burns are the ones with Renesas chipsets. Usually, a CAV 16x burn on an LG writer is a sure sign of a Panasonic chipset. The other give away is how Z-CLV for 8x DVD+/-R/+RW burns works : with Renesas the speed jump is from 6x to 8x. whereas Panasonic chipset shod writers jump from 4x to 8x.

I’ve been saying this for a while but this writer is the only Panasonic chipset writer which has good burn quality. Earlier scans posted in the forum here by owners of this drive showed similar results. It’s quite amazing.

One question though : in the review you stated that the 4166B cannot do quality scans. How did you test for this? Did you just try to use Nero CD Speed to run a quality scan and get the usual “function is not supported” error message? I’m asking because CD Speed has a blacklist of brands of writers which it will not even attempt to try running a quality scan on, and LG is on that list. The blacklist is stored in the registry and so can be bypassed by modifying the registry. If you used CD speed to test and did not bypass this blacklist, the drive could be capable of doing quality scans but you would never know, because CD Speed would not really attempt to perform a quality scan.


I bough two HP"s 740i and flashed one to 4166b, for now I left the 2nd one an a HP.
they both appear to burn very well so I will leave one an HP.
I got them at walmart for 79 bucks,you can find 4166 Oem’s on line cheaper.



For the purposes of the review, no I did not try bypassing the blacklist in the registry.

Very well stated indeed! This drive produces some of the most “even” error scans across the entire disc without rising at the edge that I have seen from 16x burns.



To answer your Disc Quality Scanning question unoffically…
Bypassing the blacklist in the registry you can get the start button enabled and the drive actually spins up and runs the test, it just doesn’t report anything…


Nice review pchilson! :wink:


Thanks! I actually was just asking about what was done in the review. I didn’t expect that you would test the drive again. :slight_smile:


A bit of an update on the LightScribe capability.

Available from the LightScribe website is the “Extended Label Contrast Utility”.

Your LightScribe product should provide you with the best performance of Label Quality and print time. However, some customers have indicated that they are willing to invest additional labeling time for increased contrast and subsequently increased Label quality for DVDs. The following utility can be downloaded to modify your print modes when labeling LightScribe DVDs.

I installed the utility so I could see if their claims were to be believed.
To my eye the answer is “YES”.

This is of course useable for any LightScribe capable drive not just the LG.

Pic 1: DVD+R LightScribe Label without the Enhanced Utility.
Pic 2: DVD+R LightScribe Label with the Enhanced Utility.

You decide.


Can you give both printing times ?

I try it a few days ago and notice no change in printing time : ~24 minutes per pass showed by Nero CoverDesigner on a LS CD-R.

A longer printing time is expected, see :

As stated on LightScribe site :
[B][I]“This utility applies to DVD print modes and Windows systems only”[/I][/B]
Does this mean there’s no change with LS CD-R ?


It is stated that this is only applicable to DVD labeling. No change with CD-R.
Unfortuantley I was is a bit of a rush when I did the test and didn’t get the time to label given at the begining of the process. I usually walk away to do other things when I am labeling a disc so I don’t often know what the time is.

I just thought this interesting because it does enhance the clarity on DVD+R bringing it more in line with the result with CD-R.


LS labeling has nothing to do with the media because you have to flip the disk!
You’ll get the same timing on CD-R or DVD+R.
Extended Label Quality needs more time on darker areas (the laser repeats writing, or the drive must slow down to enhance the energy).


No, it seems printing times are only affected with LS DVD, and not with LS CD-R, fz1.

You flip the media, but the LS marks (near the internal circle) are somehow differents between CD-R and DVD…


Pchilson, time was reported to be near 46 minutes for each pass on a MCC003 LS DVD burned with a BenQ 1655 ! Something as more than +50% in printing time… outchh !


Yeah, that is a hefty increase. Personally I don’t really consider the time factor when I’m doing a label cause that is just the way it is. I like the fact that the clarity has improved. Perhaps when the 1.2 version media hits (there have been reported sightings) this will improve the situation.


Doing my first LightScribe label as I write this :slight_smile: Here’s an MCC003 scan – it’s an HP LightScribe 8x DVD+R, presumably made by Verbatim.

Please feel free to move this to a more appropriate section if need be.