JBV -- First, thanks to all for the quick good response -- this forum rocks!
The core on the Maxell's is QCH608302028E05. I lowered to X8, but still NG. But then I called George at Maxell and he was cooperative -- but he was implying that my drive was degenerating -- which I don't understand, and I'm still skeptical because after two Maxell's failed I used my last blank TDK DVD-R and it worked perfectly at 16X as usual. George suggested 4X for the Maxell, and albeit with the wasted time, it worked.
I have used Maxell X16 successfully with this BENQ. So unless something really weird is happening -- like my drive is alive and all of a sudden he decides he doesn't like the smell of Maxells -- then there is something wrong with this batch.
Even though George thinks I'll probably get the same bad result (16X won't work), with a little nudging he agreed to see if his supervisor would allow him to let me return the remainders for replacements.
But please Note: He called back and they agreed! -- I pay postage, they give me a few extra to compensate.
Thatâ€™s genuine customer service. Thanks, George, Thanks Maxell -- and thanks CD Freaks Guys for your responses. Best regards, DavidAAA