Experiences with Second-Tier 16x -R Media



First of all, I have a stockpile of 500 CMC-made and Verbatim-branded MCC03RG20s, 400 Sony branded TYG03s, and 100 Sony-branded YUDEN000T02s. I own two BenQ DW1640s, and two BenQ DW1650s. I just wanted to mention that, so as to eliminate any posts which presume to give me advice as if I were a newbie. :bigsmile:

Second, as one who still prefers -R media, I realize that I am something of an anachronism, as it appears to me that most people in the enthusiast community have a preference for +R w/bitsetting. That’s fine, and I’m aware of the sometimes better results people have with +R media, but I still love and prefer my -Rs. Even my old Pioneer DVR-104 can burn 16x -Rs at 2x, and burn them well. So please, no posts about +R in this thread. :disagree:

Third, I realize that a lot of people feel that 16x media has been a big disappointment, especially when compared to the results they were used to with 8x media. I see scoobiedoobie complaining about CMC MAG AM3s, other people trashing TYG03s, and everyone generally acting like techie luddites, longing for the good old days of 8x media. Well, that’s good and fine, but for those who prefer to purchase their media retail, 16x is where it is at. One day, I’ll give up and just do all my media shopping at Rima, but for now, my primary desire is to understand my choices at the brick and mortar level. :rolleyes:

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, for those of you who do use 16x -R media, what manufacturer/brand combinations have you found to be decent for everyday, non-archival use? Obviously, everyone loves their TYs and their MCCs, but if you can get other media really cheap, which you often can if you know how to shop, what else in your media arsenal do you recommend?

For example, Ritek has a very bad reputation because of the widely reported degradation problems with their 8x -R media (G05). Lots of people run around like chickens with their heads cut off, shouting from the rooftops “Stay away from Ritek! Ritek is evil! When you use Ritek, you’re helping Bin Laden and Al Quaeda! Ritek was used by the Nazis to store their data!” and similar kinds of hysteria. However, I’ve heard almost nothing about the new 16x -R Riteks, coded as RITEKF1, even though the manufacturing process is different. Has anyone given RITEKF1s a real chance? Maxell, Fuji, Office Depot, and a whole bunch of 16x brands use RITEKF1s for their 16x -R media. What are people’s experiences so far?

What about Made in Taiwan SONY16D1s? Sure, we all prefer Sony MIJs, but when it comes to the 100-packs, there have been numerous opportunities to get those for $10 or less. In evaluating “good enough” media that is cheap, how are the MIT 16D1s, which are made for Sony by Daxon?

What about CMC MAG AM3s? Yes, I pay close attention to scoobiedoobie’s laments about the 16x not being up to snuff in comparison to the 8x AE1s, but is it really that bad? Also, are there any brands that seem to get more consistent supplies of CMC-coded media other than HP?

And what’s all this I hear about Optodisc? If it is true that Optodisc has become some kind of secret weapon of quality that no one knows about, what brands can you find Optodisc 16x -R disks under?

Have other people experienced degradation problems with their 16x -R TDK-coded disks, similar to the reports posted here?

Thanks for any comments. Just trying to branch out a bit more with other kinds of media.


I think that another decent ‘second tier’ 16x -R media would be Value Line TY, although you could also get TYG02. My own Value Line TYG03 burns pretty nicely, better than my Value Line TYG02, and of course you can get it for good prices. I burn most of my 16x media at 8x, sometimes 12x, but TYG02 will do ok at 12x if you ended up with TYG02 and really wanted faster speeds.

I’ve never said that CMC AM3 is bad, just that it doesn’t perform as well as their older media. For 16x media it’s fine, the worst I’ve seen from them is elevated PIEs and dense PIFs (around 3k total from cheaper Store brands). My complaint is more that their M01 is quite inconsistent and their 16x media in general is a bit disappointing vs. older CMC. It’s fine for average use, but I’ll stick to their older media when I want even better burns. As a ‘second-tier’ 16x -R media, I think it does well, and better consistency with ‘name’ brands such as Memorex and HP over store brands.

I lean a little more towards +R media and I have more choices in +R that I like, but I use almost equal amounts of both really. Verbatim MCC004 is almost always excellent, easily found on sale, and has good stability - I think that you are limiting yourself from one of the best current choices available in DVD Media if want to be limited to -R. 8x and 16x +R Optodisc can burn awesome with good batches, though I am not very familiar with their current -R. I’ve used Sony’s MIJ 8x -R (not TY) and it’s decent, no problems but I probably will not go out of my way to buy Sony media. Although I’ve not heard of RitekF1 being unstable media, I don’t like how it sometimes burns with high PIE when combined with Ritek’s -R track record of problems, so I would just rather avoid it. Also, if you would have any interest in 8x -R media, Nexxtech’s 8x MIT -R media that’s on sale for $4 per 25 at Circuit City is CMC AE1 and MCC02RG20, both good choices.


However, I’ve heard almost nothing about the new 16x -R Riteks, coded as RITEKF1, even though the manufacturing process is different. Has anyone given RITEKF1s a real chance? Maxell, Fuji, Office Depot, and a whole bunch of 16x brands use RITEKF1s for their 16x -R media. What are people’s experiences so far?

You may think it’s worth giving ritek a second chance but if you lost over 100 discs due to their crappy G05, would you bother [I]ever[/I] giving them another chance?

As for any quality issues with 8x vs 16x media, I can’t resist but say, scanning for errors on your discs with a BenQ or Liteon means absolutely nothing anymore. They are so far out of whack compared to professional equipment that it makes me laugh when I see people bragging about how awesome their scans are here on the forum.

Seriously, I have officially quit with quality scanning. It’s almost completely useless and doesn’t relate to real world playability. There’s been cases of BenQ’s reporting perfect tests then the media is unreadable in certain spots in other drives. I have had Daxon AZ3 media scan fine but fail to work in multiple peoples DVD players. Scanning is becoming a joke.

I know my opinion may be “out there” to some people but I’ve seen and experienced enough to know that the best methods for testing are TRT in multiple drives and actually playing the disc in your player, console, etc.

Now as for second tier media. I have to say that where I live, verbatim is actually cheaper than anything else. Add to the fact that their media has worked great from back in the CD-R days, I don’t recommend anything else.

I have tried Daxon AZ3 (BenQ 16x DVD+R) but it gave problems. I have tried TDK 16x DVD-R (TTH002) , which seems alright but is more expensive than Verbatim, so what’s the point? I have some 16X DVD+R TDK also, havent cracked into them yet but they are also not cheap.

TY is 3x more expensive than Verbatim where I live… so I wonder why anyone would bother with it when verbatim is on par if not better.

And what’s all this I hear about Optodisc? If it is true that Optodisc has become some kind of secret weapon of quality that no one knows about, what brands can you find Optodisc 16x -R disks under?

Optodisc has gotten some great reviews here but as far as I’m concerned, they mean nothing until tested in professional equipment. Do they last long, do they have high or low reflectivity, are they bonded well etc? to me, they seem like another Daxon AZ3. But I could be wrong I guess.


RITEKF1 seems to be very stable to me (Fuji and Maxell branded). In 9 months, they’re still fine. I no longer buy the “Don’t tough Ritek with a bargepole” because this is almost always based on G04 and G05 experiences. F1 are based on Fuji OxoLife dye, and I haven’t seen any reports of degradation at all. Optodisc would be another good disc to try - never tried any myself, but they seem to be improving in quality considerably. CMC AM3 is stable so I’d try it aswell.

I think that SONY16D1 would be worth a go, especially if you can get it for the price you quoted, get them ASAP.


F1 are based on Fuji OxoLife dye, and I haven’t seen any reports of degradation at all.

That’s a good thing to know. But I didn’t have a clue until you just told me then :stuck_out_tongue:

Most people won’t touch ritek unfortunately, after being burnt by those discs. Ritek is going to need to work very hard to get their reputation back. I remember in the CD-R days, their Pthalocyanine CD-R was very good at high speeds with many burners. It was really cheap but high quality stuff.


I think it was kg_evilboy who told me that :confused:

I can almost always tell Fuji OxoLife based dyes because all the ones I’ve seen are reddish-purple :slight_smile:


From your input, [B]negritude[/B], I realise that my knowledge with media starts to be kinda outdated, because for 16X media I tend to stick with MCC004 so I don’t have much experience with 16X media as a whole. :o

I have limited experience with +R YUDEN000T03 and -R MCC03RG20. If I had to choose between the two, once again I’d go for the Verbs, because despite lesser figures in homemade scans, they have been more widely compatible with my players than the Yudens.

As for “cheaper” media, considering the incredibly low price at which I can get the 16X Verbs from UK online shops (7 euros for a 25-discs cakebox), there are not many reasons for me to look for alternatives, other than just the fun of trying new stuff. :bigsmile:

If I had to try something new and cheap, for 16X -R , I’d try MBI (MBI 03RG40) and CMC (CMC MAG AM3). These seem to be totally decent media from the (sadly not numerous) serious reports I’ve seen around the net. The problem is that most brands offering these mediacodes switch manufacturers every other month. :rolleyes: -
Maybe [B]scoobiedoobie[/B] knows a consistent brand for the AM3s…?

Like others, I’d now avoid any Ritek stuff ("[I]once bitten, twice shy[/I]").

Sorry to be of little help. :frowning:


Try Infiniti Samurai or HP for the CMC AM3’s. As for the MBI -R discs, they have been really crap for me in terms of burns, but seem to be totally stable. Take a look at Sony for these discs, as I read here they might be MBI instead of Sony code. Imation also stock those MBI discs. Fujifilm alsdo stocks MBI 03RG40 discs labelled as MII :slight_smile:


I’m happy with my HP branded CMC MAG. AM3 (burned at 8x), but in general they’re not cheaper than Verbatim media. When I bought them they were on sale, however.

They’re certainly far better than the batch of 300 Verbatim MCC004 Made in India I’m going through currently. :frowning:


Thanks for the infos about AM3s, I’m as interested as the op. :slight_smile: (curious by nature :bigsmile: )

I cheked at SVP, but they have none of these brands for AM3. :frowning:
Only Datasafe (suspect), DShirt overprints (LOL who wants to try? :stuck_out_tongue: ), Datawrite Titanium (shoud be decent), and Ricoh (a brand I came to distrust recently, not what it used to be).


Oh no! Is it that bad? :frowning:


If you are peering at me with the Ritek issue: It’s not only the G05 that makes the company unsympathetic for me.
It’s also their plans for RFIDing pressed and burned DVDs to prevent customers from exercising their fair use rights :Z
Their CD-R are okay, but I’ll be staying away from their DVD media. I third [B]cd pirate[/B] and [B]Francksoy[/B].

TYG03 is still more consistant than some other media, including the 16x TDK DVD-R (IMO), so I would always recommend it as an alternative to MCC 03RG20 and MXL RG04 (both are suspected of premature failure by degradation or simple out-of-a-sudden death, but I haven’t yet seen any real evidence).

The 16x TDK DVD-R gave me burns with huge levels of PIE and TRT problems after only three months (burned with my LiteOn). [B]Kevatcrewe[/B] didn’t like his 16x TDK DVD-R either.

I still use TY because I need an alternative to MCC 004 and (expensive) MAXELL 003 - important data should always be burned on more than two discs of different types. The price for TY is similarly high here in B&M stores when compared to Verbatim, and it’s not much higher online.

I wouldn’t trust Optodisc too much unless more experience exists. I’ve heard quite a few horror stories from degrading Optodisc :frowning:


It’s so bad that I’ve more or less decided to use the remaining 140 or so discs for short term and testing purposes only. And it’s not because of slightly dissappointing PIE/PIF values (which I don’t take that seriously), but actual coasters, bad TRTs, PIF clusters, PIF mountains in some scans etc. :doh:

Fortunately I’ve got another batch of good MCC004 Made in India, a batch of good MCC004 Made in Taiwan by CMC, as well as lots of TY media plus some HP branded CMC MAG. AE1. :slight_smile:

Provocative statement of the day:
Any standard DVD media you buy these days can turn out to be 2nd tier or worse due to bad or non-existant quality control, even from the “best” manufacturers.

I’m hoping that the more expensive special-usage media such as Archival Grade, Hard Coat Protection, Broadcast Quality, etc. still have good enough quality control to prevent unusable media from getting to the end-user, but I don’t use enough such media to know for sure.

With the state of quality control these days, I don’t buy media expecting it to be 2nd tier and only for daily use; I buy media hoping that it’s good enough for any purpose, and when it isn’t I use it for the throw-away or “daily” stuff instead.


Can I see scans? :flower:

Now it seems that Verbatim has QC problems too, and joined the special club of formerly high quality manufacturers. :frowning:


I’ve scanned some of these discs like a madman (e.g. 33 tests of a single disc), and I’m thinking about how to best use the results - e.g. by showing how a multitude of drives, scanning speeds and methods show different points of view. This thread is not the right place for the scans, however.


My Maxell branded Prodisc F02 (16x DVD-R) have done surprisingly well but only when burned at 8x. When I attempted 12x or 16x they turned to crap. Of course only time will tell on these.


I got a 50-pack of HP 16x -Rs for $4 with a coupon at OfficeMax here in the states. I only got it for testing purposes, so I didn’t stock up, but that’s the kind of deal that I can sometimes pull off with media, which is why I was asking about alternatives. If AM3s are decent, and I can get 100 of them for $8 or less, then I might do it.


Franck, those Datawrites are like a grenade - you never know when they’re going to go off :stuck_out_tongue: - I wouldn’t touch them because they could also be TTH02 (I’ve learnt that SVP hasn’t got it completely nailed down when they post MID’s, as if a new batch has a different MID, they may not post it). Also Datawrite aren’t exactly known for quality, and the Titaniums seem to have gotten worse recently.

What’s wrong with them?


Agreed :)…I had some Titaunium TTH02’s, boy was I ever glad to give them to my next-door neighbour. :eek:

Regarding Infiniti CMC MAG. AM3, I was surprised to find they’re actually pretty good. A little better than their +R counterparts. :slight_smile:


What exactly was wrong with them, Arachne? :slight_smile:


Eh, a few playback problems on a very tolerant standalone. The odd dodgy TRT. Scanned nice though, and what I just said doesn’t apply to every disc I used, just a few of them. :slight_smile: