One will quickly notice from experience and from reading the forums that blank media is not made the way it used to before. You see everything from coasters to poor scans to discs going bad in short periods of time.
There was a time I purchased all of my media at my local store and most of the time they were RICOHJPN and worked very nicely. It seems that starting in end 2003 up until now companies have started outsourcing to different places to save on production cost - RICOHJPNs are becoming very rare, and most of it is being replaced with RITEKs. I have always had good luck with RITEK and they have ALWAYS worked for me and never deteriorated…However now that I have finished all of my old batches I notice that new batches are utter garbage - While I have not yet experienced deterioration I have noticed a much higher error rate than before, although well within the specs mind you, but the quality control is almost unexistant. I have recently purchased batches of RIDATA DVD+R, and those are RITEK R03…a media code I have never had issues with with Maxell DVD+R…I would always get low PI and very low totals and low PIFs… The claimed GRADE A RIDATA are far worse, yet the same media code and claimed to be GRADE A media. Again I have not had problems with read errors or deterioration but I notice the quality of those discs are going down rapidly with each new batch.
Now I after reading all the horror stories here I decided that I will not take chances… Eventhough I maintain that I have not had issues with RITEK I have decided to go with Taiyo Yuden given all the praise for quality and longevity… People keep saying it’s one of the TOP media makers.
Well I have made an interesting discovery. After doing some research I found that people are now starting to complain about the TY discs, complaints about defects on the dye and on the outer edge of the discs, oversprays, etc… Doing a search on the forum will reveal those threads and posts… I decided to buy a few spindles of 100 CD-R and a few spindles of 100 DVD+R, all are GENUINE Taiyo Yuden, and on ALL purchases I made, ALL seemed to be of questionable quality compared to the old Taiyo yudens I had from the past. I too have noticed the oversprays and dye defects, sploches, lines and other defects on the media (recording surface) and was SHOCKED to see that with the price I paid, Taiyo Yuden are too cheap to bundle their DVD+R inside cakeboxes instead of the annoying tape wrap they use, yet my CD-Rs came in a cakebox…they decided not to use one for DVD+Rs, it is pathetic to say the least… Many of those discs had dust, fingerprints and a poor printing surface… When I compare this to my RIDATA which have a very smooth white surface and zero defects on the dye… Note that I get those from a major duplication company here locally, who get their stock DIRECTLY from Taiyo USA and all discs are fully verified.
I tried getting some answers from Taiyo and their support proves to be questionable and very bad - They do eventually reply to your e-mail within 2 weeks, and ask you for details…you provide them the details and never hear from them again.
It is obvious to me that the quality control is now an issue, even with Taiyo. I am aware that some of those CD-Rs were VALUE editions…but the stock I got were all the premium grades, including the DVD+Rs, straight from Taiyo…and all the dye defects and lines noticed were NOT scratches but deep within the dye and were present on the unrecorded media.
Is Taiyo turning into a Ritek… Remember Ritek used to make very decent media and now people are avoiding it like plague.
So far I have not had read errors on the Taiyo CD-R despite the thin line present on the center of the disc, on the dye on ALL discs, resembling a tiny worm (rott perhaps?) but I am worried that eventually this will cause problems with the disc, and even more worried about how they claim to have quality control and be ontop of standards?
I have gotten some Maxell CD-R Pro, which use Taiyo Yuden dyes and they were PERFECT, the same way RITEK based Maxells are also great…
You’d expect much the same when getting them straight from Taiyo Yuden don’t you think?
I also find that the PIF totals are quite high on those discs compared to my Maxell DVD+Rs (RITEKR03).
Maxell DVD+R RitekR03 (burn at 4x)
PIF max 2
PIF Total 130
Taiyo Yuden DVD+R (YUDEN002) (burnt at 4x)
PIF max 4
PIF totals 1730
This is pretty disappointing. Those are results I would expect with class B media…
The same results were obtained using a NEC 3500a, Pioneer DVR110 and LITEON 1633/1653, all with latest firmwares.