I got a liteon CD-R drive and was really happy with it. Also got a dvd reader, another good buy.
Then looked at the forums here, Liteon looked like a drive with great features, and good write quality--sometimes great quality, on good media. So liking Liteon and figuring I'll only use brand-name quality media I bought it. I was hoping to get the 451S because I understood they were replacing the 411S.
So I got one in February I think and I ended up with a 411S made in October 2003 (I understand a lot of bad drives were made that month) and I burned a few DATA DVD's. Some + some -. The quality really sucks most of the time. TDK +R Ricoh, (I got up to 500 PO-- usually going up at the end) and even a TDK -R- Ritek G4 which had about 60 PO. I triend 3 princos burned at 2x & 4x--coasters. Friend gave me a Digital Matrix 4x yesterday--PO up to 900. Coaster reading on 163. My friend says they all work fine on his 401S.
Sick and tired of all the time spent scanning with K-Probe I decided that I don't have to suffer to create some reliably written DVDs for my data. So I just ordered an NEC2500A today from Newegg for $82. I saw some great scans from it here--PO is like 5, 10, 20--not even on the best media. No crazy numbers like from the Liteons. I don't need all this agony.
In fact I still like Liteon so much I almost bought an 812S retail for $94 I think, but after looking here in the forums once again for results from the 812S, and seeing that while there were some pretty nice scans there were a few terrible ones, and saw some argument on the best write quality, and one person admitted the NEC generally has much better write quality on more media, I figured why take the chance when you just can't tell what you'd get from LiteOn. Maybe in a year or so they'll get the act together on these burners....
I called LiteOn's 800 # just now--tech support guy NEVER HEARD OF K-Probe and says that as long as the drive writes readable discs with the recommended media, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and they can't exchange it. What the HECK? Someone here mentioned similar issues, and he set it in and they sent him a new 451S instead.
I'd be embarrassed to even offer this drive on eBay--I'll have to say "PICKY ABOUT MEDIA--VERIFY YOUR WRITE WITH K-PROBE-GO ON CDFREAKS.COM".
What good is a drive with cool features if it doesn't burn well even on brand name media? What good is fast writing if you have to spend an hour scanning and verify every disc you write to make sure it will be readable later? I got a DVD recorder to save time, not waste time.
We'll see how the NEC does. I understand there is also unofficial support for it and bitsetting and other fun hacks that I might never try anyway.... I suppose LiteOn is good for fooling around, buying expensive media and NEC for making good quality discs you can buy anywhere and that you don't have to worry about.
Here's the Digital Matrix 4x that I wrote at 2x to be on the safe side. It scans nice at 2x but the data on it is unreadable on my 163 reader, and not easily on the 411--didn't even let it try the whole thing. The Digital Matrix 4x works well for my friend on his 401S.