Currently Available Good Scanning Drive?

Having just gotten my first DVD Burner, an NEC 3550 and started reading the fine info available here and beginning to inform myself about this while topic, I find that the general consensus is that the drive I purchased is NOT a good drive for performing scans. By this, I mean that (using CdDvdSpeed):

(a) It does not produce repeatable scans even on the same disk. Sometimes the reports are not even close.

(b) The scan reports from the 3550 ALWAYS appear worse than scans performed on the same disk but in different drives, some of which (Plextor, BenQ) are supposed to be very good scanning drives.

© By default, the drive performs PIF scans using an “interval” (8) that is not in common with other drives or the specs. I have discovered how to change this for use with Nero Quality Scans.

(d) It does not report “jitter”.

From other perspectives, this drive may be a great drive. I really have no complaints. However, I am using this drive for backup of important data and I want to KNOW (as much as is possible) that I am getting accurate burns and quality that will last (for as long as is possible) and will be compatible with other drives.

So what are the currently available drives that are particularly good for scanning as well as burning?


It sounds to me that you want a BenQ writer, typically a 1640/1650/1655. BenQ writers are the only ones I know of that report jitter in quality scans. These are good scanners and are generally excellent burners as well. You get a bonus feature in its ability to do FE/TE scans as well (Qscan). to determine the quality of blank media.

1640=old model (may be hard to get hold of now), 1650=new model. 1655=new model+lightscribe.

Plus, the 1655 just had a f/w update also.

The stuff I’ve read on the NEC 3550 is a bit contradictory, especially in the ‘scanning’ dept., with people scratching their heads on the variances in results. NEC’s are generally prized for their burning, but IMO they are shakier on scanning. If you want a better indication of how your disk was burned by your drive, a BenQ 1655 is the way to go, as they are available at for $54.99 as of yesterday when I checked. While it uses 8ECC to read and interpret the burned media, having the jitter included is a real nice thing to have, and between burning and giving you a good indication of your burn, BenQ is one of the best all-around ones to get. :wink:

Wait a month or two for the benq 1650, and hopefully even another firmware update,
and prices to stabilize, just use good media(TayioYuden or Verbatim) and burn at 8x
with the nec, you’ll be fine. A couple of us got 3550’s that seem better at scanning.

Thanks. Not sure how one can tell that some 3550 units are better than others. With my single unit, there is no way for me to know. I did some reading and experiments with media. I found that the 3550 seems to have a slight affinity for +R over -R so I have gone that way. I have also found that Verbatim 16x single layer media seems to produce good scanning results. I have also tried some Verbatim +R DL (2.4x) with reasonable results - the first layer scans look fine and the second layer are a bit more questionable - perhaps that is just the nature of DL? Thanks for the help all…

Nothing burns DL great, good maybe? My burns of verbatim 16x +R(USA) at 8x
with my 3550 are every bit as good and sometimes better than my benq 1620 or
my LG 4136B. The sony yuden 8x +R is the same story. And I get consistent
mid 90’s on my TYG02/3’s @8x. I am waiting for DL media to drop in price and the technology to mature(if ever)?

You are ok! 3550 is fine as well as the 1693(newP6), 1655, & 110! I have yet to buy a bad NEC. But Plex has let me down big time! Stick with BQ,NEC,Liteon, and Pio!