Do 16x writers lose quality?

I have a sony 4x writer and I have stuck with it throughout the release of much faster models because I heard that the faster the write speed, the worse the quality. Is this true? I would love to upgrade to 16x drive, but not if I’m going to lose too much quality.

New models can burn high quality at higher speeds with good quality media. I recently upgraded from a 2year old 4x burner and got an NEC 3520A and it is burning higher excellent quality at 8x than the old drive did at 4x with FuilFilm 8x DVD+R. I can burn them at 12x at good quality too. I wouldn’t recommend full 16x speed, but you can easily do 2-3x the speed you can burn now and still have good or excellent quality!

As usual, it depends.

And there are several categories of media & write…
16x @ 16x - supported 16x media, some drives are so well tuned to one media brand/ID that the result is beyond reproach - others - UGH!
16x @ 4x - If you get that, the drive is defaulting to 4x, as it doesn’t know the 16x media.
8x @ 12x - Some drives will overspeed quality or well tuned 8x media to 12x, and make a decent job of it… others try…
8x @ 8x - with good media on a good drive, no reason for this to be any worse than 4x

Of course, if your drive overspeeds an 8x media to 12x, you can always hold it to 8x if you prefer.

Inevitably, 4x media production will be phased out… since 8x media normally has to start at 4x in an 8x drive (Zone-CLV mode), 8x media should work in a 4x drive if the firmware supports the code. If it falls back to default, the default on a 4x drive is likely to be 2x for -R and 2.4x for +R

So can you recommend a good combination of hardware and media? I normally prefer to use Ritek -R discs as they are cheap and also good quality.