[QUOTE=hwp;2193189]My other Premium2 was produced in May 2006, TLA# 0101, S/N 109xxx, Made in China (still working fine, btw), so the production rate seems to be about 50’000 units per year, which is pretty low.
My mail order dealer now has them marked as “remaining stock, no reorder possible”. So since both sales in Europe and Asia consist of drives manufactured back in January 2008, maybe Plextor has stopped production? [/QUOTE]
I was watching Plextor Japan’s online shop very closely. It took nearly 2 months for their inventory to drop from 70 drives to 20, and it was never getting replenished during that time. It seemed like maybe that was the very end of the Premium2’s production run, but then right between Christmas and New Years - all-the-sudden they had 99 drives in stock. Of course I can’t vouch that any of these are newly-manufactured, because Plextor also recently offered the Premium-U for less than a week - as if they came across an old stash. I’m not sure what was going on with that.
I figure that Plextor is going to stop production of the Premium2 sooner or later, and when they do - there won’t later be a Premium3. Audio CDs are a dying format - at least for something that anyone would be interested in burning. Audio CDs are going to be the primary focus of anyone trying to attain the lowest jitter and C1 - because they make no relevant difference on data CDs. With all these new factory-pressed audio CDs being released with special mastering methods (Blu-Spec) or special materials (SHM-CD) - if no red laser drive with consumer CD-Rs can compete with that (I haven’t done tests so I don’t know), then why would anyone with a super-expensive CD player be interested in the Premium2? Plus with all of the music that is sold “digitally” nowadays, and with audiophile equipment brands like Linn producing FLAC players with the same DACs as their $1000+ CD players… Plextor probably knows that their CD-burning days are numbered.
The Premium2 is the last of the real Plextor drives. Once that’s gone, all you are paying for is the brand name, and this subforum won’t look much different than people preaching about how great a CRT display still is.