I think it’s the firmware:
I’ve got the same experience with one of these discs using the same burner/firmware. I burned it, tested at 4x as usual, and got PI/PO averages of 400 and 70. I supposed it was a bad disc and burned the material again, on another ricohjpnr01 from the same batch, with similar results (I didn’t even bother to finish the scan).
I took me quite a lot of effort to compile this particular disc, so I burned it to a Taiyo Yuden, and forgot about the ricohs.
When I read this thread, I took one of the supposedly bad discs, and scanned it at max speed. This time the scan was quite good (averages 32/0.144).
As I already read the rdgrimes post when I did this, I proceeded to do another scan at 4x without ejecting the disc. I didn’t had to let it finish, as it started at with constant ~250 PI.
I restarted the test two more times at max, and two more at 4x, and the results are consistent, it starts about 30 at max, and about 250 at 4x.
I guess we can infere that it’s not true that “each time the drive mounts it the resuts are different”, as stated by rdgrimes.
The disc seems to play OK in my home player, so I suppose it’s not as bad as the 4x scans may suggest, but it is clear to my understanding that there is something wrong here, and as I successfully burnt (i.e. obtained good KProbe scans at 4x with) some discs from the same batch with previous firmwares, I guess it may be a firmware thing.
I have the KProbe scans images, just in case someone wants to have a look at them.