Cdfreaks presents Pioneer DVR-109 review



Check it out here:

I’m sad that I’ve not been able to post this review earlier, it should have been ready a month ago! Actually the review were finished over 3 weeks ago. But we had some discussion with Pioneer on some issues. They also sent us two pieces of DVD-R DL to test and include in the review, which is one of the reasons why it was delayed.

Another reason is that lightning hit my computer and I had to wait 5 days to get a new mainboard for it. :Z

But feel free to comment this review here.


My scores for this drive:

1: 9 out of 10. Very good. Quality with RW media and DL media could be improved a bit though
2: 3 out of 10. Very poor, VERY many discs are not supported at certified speed - also CD-R discs! The final knock out is that it doesn’t work with 8x DVD+RW media at all! Thus the extremely low score, fix the 8x +RW problem and it would be around 5 out of 10.
3: 7 out of 10. Average, nothing more nothing less. Only 40x CD-Writing.
4: 7 out of 10. Average, looks like it may have a few problems with scratched / dusty discs. Has a riplock.
5: 3 out of 10. Features? What features? No official disc quality checking with CD-Speed, no bitsetting, no speed adjusting tools etc. So what features I say…
6: 4 out of 10. Can’t backup all protected audio discs, can’t read/write 99 minute. But it qualifies as a two sheep writer.
7: No bundle - skipped.
8: 8 out of 10. Drive looks plain, but it seems stable and quality filled. No problems found.
Overall (not average): 6 out of 10.


Personal comment:

I really like the writing quality of this drive :slight_smile:
Especially with some really pooish media I’ve had in a corner for years :stuck_out_tongue:
But on the other side - my LG GSA-5163D handles that pooish media pretty good too.

But if you are only looking for a drive which delivers WRITING QUALITY with DVD+/-R media, then this drive may really be what you are looking for.


I have the same experience with this drive, except for its reading capabilities with some motherboard/IDE configurations. It seems to be very sensitive to the IDE communication even through the other channel. It is maybe due to the combination of the NEC chip and the new UDMA-4 interface.
It got better with latest firmwares though.

I missed some DVD overburning tests. Now I can’t be sure that it can’t overburn anything. :smiley:

Excellent writing quality, one more cheap drive burning better than the Plextor. :iagree:



Great review, Guys :slight_smile:

Great writing-quality like I expect from Pioneer.

No matter, when it writes trash only @4x, but why it burns Ritek R03 @4x? I have many R03-media here :frowning:

BTW, when you review the Benq 1640, Liteon 1693 and NEC 3540?


Yes, i want a lite-on 1693s review!!! :iagree:


I’ve burned a couple of Traxdata branded R03 with the Buffalo 8.40 FW and it was at 8X. Burn quality was good but not excellent.


BenQ DW1640: I’ll start reviewing when next firmware arrives as I’m promised some interesting inprovement in that firmware. That firmware is expected to be ready in about two weeks. Then I need about two weeks to review it. So sometime during the first half of July.

Lite-On SOHW-1693S: Not got a sample yet. But it seems to perform identical to the SOHW-1673S + DVD-R DL writing. So reading my SOHW-1673S review will give you an idea of what to expect.

NEC ND-3540A: I will not review that drive. That drive will be reviewed by other reviewers - so I don’t know when it will be ready.


Very nice review, OC-Freak!

One point to mention: Page 7

The Verbatim and Prodisc Double Layer disc worked fine in our standalone player, as long as we set the book type to DVD-ROM.

The info that the drive sets the booktype for DL+ media automatically to DVD-ROM is missing. :wink:


Thanks for the information, OC-Freak :bigsmile: There are people in forums that say it has better performance and i have curiosity for that :confused:


This drive could become a dangerous competitor for BenQ and NEC if Pioneer provide a better firmware support.

I’m more interested in many new media and media code available in this review.
Such as Ritek P16, ritek F1, daxon16s. That look like mass manufacturer are trying to provide better 16x media.


Benq: You mean that Benq will improve the lack of overspeeding, I think?

Liteon: So the 1693 you used for the scan´s a crossflashed 1673?


BenQ:Yes in a special way through QSuite. And probably more improvements too :wink:

Lite-On: Yep my drive is a converted 1673S.


Thanks :slight_smile:

I´m tense for the reviews and hope it will happen soon


It’s a bit unfortunate that firmware 1.50 came a little bit late for the review.


Many of the tests were done with 1.50 (rewriting tests, CD-R tests, most double layer tests for example) and I can’t say I found much difference.

The only change I’ve found later on is that DAXON016S now works at 12x instead of 4x - but still not 16x :frowning:


Pioneer like 12x writing :wink:


Yep mee too - 12x is fast enough for me. At the moment I’m mostly writing MCC003 and YUDEN T02 at 12x for personal use.

But to keep up with the competition and get the top scores in reviews it’s not enough.


Hey Freak! The cross flash to a A09 really speeds this beast up. I know you can’t do a review of that, but is does help the performance of this drive.
PS/Mine likes ty02 +R MIJ(12X)(don’t they all) and Verbat 16X at 16x. Burns Maxell 002 at 8X.


You might like to add to the review that this drive is now also available in a brushed aluminium finish for only a little more.