DVD Burner - Pioneer - 109



No CDFreaks Review as yet (see the update below)

Specifications from Pioneer AU

Maximum Write Speed:

- DVD-R 1X, 2X, 4X, 6X, 8X*, 12X*, 16X*

- DVD-R Dual Layer 2X, 4X, 6X

- DVD-RW 1X, 2X, 4X, 6X

- DVD+R 2.4X, 4X, 6X, 8X*, 12X*, 16X*

- DVD+R Double Layer 2.4X, 4X, 6X

- DVD+RW 2.4X, 4X, 6X, 8X#

- CD-R 4X, 10X, 16X, 32X*, 40X*

- CD-RW 4X, 10X, 16X, 20X#, 24X#

Writing Formats: # ZCLV, * CAV

ATAPI Interface

Supports “Buffer Under Run” protection 2Mbytes

Vertical and Horizontal Mounting

To achieve the specified writing and reading performance it is important that the DVR-109 is connected to the IDE port via an 80 way ribbon cable and that the IDE port is at least UDMA 66 or above.

Read Support
DVD-ROM (single layer and DL), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD+R DL*3 (Double Layer), DVD+RW, DVD-RAM (Non-cartridge DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1 only)

CD-ROM(Mode 1), CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form1, form 2), CD-DA, CD-Extra (CD Plus), Video CD, PhotoCD (single/multi-session), CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW (High-speed CD-RW, Ultra Speed CD-RW)

Update: Here’s the CDF-review of the Pioneer 109


This burn was TYG01 at 4x with Pioneer firmware 1.50.
The Pioneer supports this media at 4X while most other drives support 12X. The curve is good and the max levels are good as well but the PIF total is way too high for a quality drive.
Most of my other drives achieve PIF totals lower than 250.


This is TYG02 at 8X with firmware 1.50. Again the PIF totals are too high for a good burner and the blip in the errors at the point where the burn speed goes from 4X to 8X is just sloppy.
Pioneer supports this media at 12X.


This is MCC 02RG20 burned at 8X with 1.50 firmware. Here Pioneer exhibits a classic problem with this media shown in the skewed curve at the beginning of the burn. When burned on an NEC 3500 this is apparent as well. NEC fixed this on the 3520 where it is not a problem. Too bad Pioneer has this problem because otherwise this would be a very good burn.


This is MCC 003 burned at 8X with 1.50 firmware. Pioneer drives seem to not like +R and this is no exception. Sloppy curve and high total PIF.


Here is a burn on Ritek G05 with 1.50 firmware. Again, totals are too high and the skew at the beginning of the burn is bad.


Yo chas 0039-

Most drives do not like =R medias :wink:



In summary, this drive is much better than the 107D I last tried. It still has no bitsetting but with the speed hack to the A09 firmware it is a great ripper and seem to be a good reader. However, the burn quality, in general has too many total errors and some bad skews and slopes. I routinely get much better quality burns with this media on LG 4163, NEC 3520, and even with the BenQ 1620. This has to be the worst burn I have seen on TYG02 from a 16X drive. Granted, I am very critical and all of these burns are acceptible and they play just fine. I just think a 16X drive should not show PIE max close to 70 on any quality media. And PIF totals in the thousands are just sloppy.


Hm… I expected that Pioneer 109 would produce better quality burns. How are the burn times… at 8x, 12x, 16x for DVD-R and DVD+R ?


Chas0039: What would you say is the “very best” DVD recorder at this point and time? Ideal drive would support bit-setting, fast rip speeds, fast DVD-+R read speeds, low PI/PO, and the ability to test PI/PO. C1/C2 ability would be a bonus, along with fast and high quality CD-R burning and reading. CAN you have your cake and eat it too? :slight_smile: Or you really need at least two drives?



All 8X media was burned at 8X. TYG01 is at 4X.


That is a very tough question as I will sacrifice a lot of extra features for a very good burn and I am extremely picky about PIE/PIF totals in my scoring system.

I would have to say it is a toss up between the NEC 3500 and the 3520. At first I thought the 3500 was a better burner but I have now found some media that is better on the 3520, Ridata G05 and MCC 02RG20 are two.

Ripping on the NECs stinks except for SL burns where they are the fastest and I am able to get both + media bitsetting with hacked firmware as well as RPC1. One of the most valuable features is the massive amount of firmware available.

The only flaw is scanning and although the 3520 is supposed to work with CDSpeed, I don’t use it.

The Pioneer 109 has turned out to be just a so-so burner but a great ripper with the A09 hack. A major problem is a lack of bitsetting and a lack of firmware options.

The BenQ is currently dead and even though it has everything in one drive, the ripping was sporadic and slowed down all the time so it was not really a fast ripper with the speed hack. It really does not like -R media almost as much as the older Liteon drives. In general, I could burn any of my media on another drive and get better burns than the BenQ. With the increase in drive failures I would never recommend it.

The LG works with RAM, which I need. It also have turned out the best burn I have ever made. It offers bitsetting with +R but not +RW so it has half the problem solved there. No scanning and very slow ripping. Also no hacked firmware support that I have found.

I don’t have a Liteon 1693 as yet but it could solve the “all in one” dilemma if it can match the NEC burn quality. It already has bitsetting, scanning, and ripping down. Liteons tend to prefer +R so that could be a problem.

I would have to go with the NEC 3520 if I were only to get one drive; it is superb with both -R and +R, has bitsetting and scanning (not really needed with NEC and good discs) and a ton of firmware support. When the 4550 comes out they will add RAM as well. The only thing missing is rip speed.


The 109/A09 and 716 are fast rippers! With hacked FW. I burn 8X media at 12X and 16X at 16X. My 3530 and 3500 burn some 8X media at 16X.
This is a steal for $49 shipped at newegg.com.
Converted mine to a A09 the first day!


Problem solved on mine=

Same thing happened to me! Look for my posts!
I have a Dell 8400 with one IDE channel.

  1. Some MOBOs the 109 must be the master/trust me on this one(UMDA4)
  2. My MOBO/XP/System/drive(who would ever know) would not be fully recognized unless I had a blank disk in it/strange
  3. I had to use DVR update(not easy to say the least and flash this puppy to a A09)
  4. go to this forum for help(cd freaks partner)



  1. Once I cross flashed it was a perfect drive.

Download the 109v1.50 firmware from http://www.pioneer-eur.com/eur/download.jsp?dir=/files/support/dvrup&filename=R109_FW150EU.EXE

Extract the files and delete the Pioneer upgrade (UPGR109.exe). You will be left with 2 files, R9100009.150 & R9100109.150.

Download DVRupdate 0.9 from

Extract DVRupdate 0.9.exe to the same folder as the 2 files above.

Run DVRupdate 0.9 and do the following:

  1. Select your drive from the ‘Device’ drop down box
  2. Select the Kernel file by clicking the folder icon to the right of the ‘Kernel’ field. The correct file will automatically be selected if you have run DVRupdate from the same folder as the R9100009.150 & R9100109.150 files.
  3. Select the Normal file by clicking the folder icon to the right of the ‘Normal’ field. The correct file will automatically be selected if you have run DVRupdate from the same folder as the R9100009.150 & R9100109.150 files.
  4. Click ‘Start’
    The operation takes about a minute. Exit DVRupdate.



I’ve found just the opposite. My 109 outperforms my 3520 with almost any kind of discs. On top of that the NEC drives are the slowest burners when writing below 16X speed (Z-CLV).
Auto bitsetting for +R media is available for the Pioneer 109, you just have to flash it with the Buffalo 8.xx FW, just like the 108 was flashable with Piodata FW. So you have 3 kinds of FW for a 109: official 109, official .09XL and official Buffalo. :iagree:

To sum it up, in my opinion the Pioneer DVR-109 is one of the best quality dvd writers today. It is not the best ripper, it has no extra features except for the QuietDrive utility of the XL firmware, but who cares? :smiley:


Love my PIO 109! My NEC 3530 was a great burner! May it rest in peace!


Please post some scans. “Outperforms” is a very ambiguous term.

Also the Buffalo firmware disables the only benefit I get from the drive; fast ripping so I will live without bitsetting.


This is a GREAT thread. Thanks for all the info chas0039. It does look liek you need two drives to get it all, but that is ok. I can support two optical drives in both of my PC’s, and drives are so cheap now. (I paid $400 for my Pioneer DVR-A04). :slight_smile:


You must have a backup computer also and two burners on it! lol


LOL !! :slight_smile:

But, naw, just 2 PC’s. I needed 2 in order to train for my MCSE. I just happened to keep 'em both up to date. Good for network gaming with a friend, too. :iagree:


The CDFreaks review has been added:


Unfortunately, as I have found, :

"[I]Very poor DVD+/-R media compatibility. Very poor CD-R media compatibility…

The main negative points: The key point is that the media compatibility with this drive is horrible, media that have been on the market for over a year and more is still not supported at certified speed, even from large known manufacturers like Ritek and CMC Magnetics.[/I]"

Possibly a firmware update will solve these problems but with the 110 on the horizon, who knows.