Maxell/Ritek CD-R Rot/Corrosion (ATIP: 97m15s17f)

vbimport

#1

Hi everyone, “new” member here. I think I had an account here sometime around 2003, but I can’t really recall the details now so… I don’t really have any story to tell but I’ve been involved in recordable optical media since mid-1990s, still consider optical the most reliable offline backup option. I also have a lot of drives to scan CD/DVD’s on, so even if you’ll hate my opinions and blabber at least I’ll be useful to the forum in that sense LOL :wink:

So with that out of the way, let’s get to the topic here. I’ve been using Maxell branded Ritek CD-R’s for about 15 years and I’ve found these phthalocyanine discs to be rather well supported on anything I’ve used. They also used to be of reasonable quality up until about 2008, when they changed things around, and that is what this thread will be about. I don’t have any inside information on Maxell/Ritek business decisions but I do have a camera and a DVD drive that scans disc quality, this will be simply a “community alert” type thing and I’m not going to tell you what you should do, but I will give you the facts of the case.

That case being that modern Ritek CD-R’s are subpar crap. Idk if that comes as surprise to anyone, for $0.20 per disc you really get what you pay for… but let’s look at the facts anyway.

So let’s get straight to it. Here is an early-mid 2000’s Maxell-branded CD-R80XL-S 700MB (ATIP: 97m15s17f, hub code: RFD80M-09277) disc, pictures for identification and scan (apologies for non-full disc, but this is the one I found first):

So although it’s a partial scan, you can still tell this is likely a high quality disc all-around. Although the problems I will discuss will be situated at the outer ends of the disc, that’s why I’m gonna show you the pictures of this disc so you can see there is no sign of degradation on the label side:

Now these Maxell discs used to be one of the first cheaper 80minutes on the market, and they were generally considered good quality at least for daily use, and at least my discs from that era have survived well, and scan better than most new media.

However.
Here is a scan for a newer version of this same ATIP (97m15s17f), this disc originates from 2010, (hub code: RFD80M-76841):

Uh-oh, now this one doesn’t look so good… And all ~10 discs (from different batches, years) that I scanned of this ATIP and Maxell brand after ~2008 have had this same problem. Very high amounts of C1 errors and ALL had C2 errors at the end of the disc. Jitter all over the place. The problem is clearly visible, have a look at the outer label side of this disc:

As you can see the outer disc has become very yellow. It was not like that when it was new, the silver label was much brighter and you could clearly see the difference if I showed you a new disc compared to this one, which I can do, I’ll try to find a new disc if y’all are interested. But the case is clear, these discs degrade, and they degrade rapidly. The yellowness of the outer areas starts to be visible just a few months after the disc (jewel pack in this case) is unsealed. Not burned. The degradation happens before the disc is burned as well, so long as the seal is broken and disc is subject to more oxygen.

And as I showed you this also leads to actual read errors, including C2 errors at the worst affected area. Now all of the discs I tested were readable, C2 error correction saved the day. But it could have been a different picture, and I could have easily been looking at some CRC/data corruption here, if the C2 errors couldn’t be corrected.

Now I’ll speculate a bit on what happened with these discs. They were stored in jewel cases, away from the sun, in normal room temperatures (64-80°F, ~15-28°C). Since the dye layer has no visible degradation and the discs aren’t scratched, I am left to conclude the problem may lie with the reflective layer. In this disc silver is used. Silver corrodes when subjected to oxygen over long periods of time, but even if a disc is badly made, and oxygen reaches the reflective metal layer, I’m not convinced it is enough to cause this much corrosion and tarnish over such a small period of time (a few months)… Since the degradation found on the disc is causing errors, it can’t be simply attributed to the lacquer/label degrading as this should (in theory) not cause such problems. So while I suspect something is up with the reflective layer, I cannot definitively say that is even possible so long as Ritek used silver in this disc. So if anyone else has more input or knows what the problem is, I am interested to hear your take.

No matter what causes the degradation, the conclusion for me at least is clear: I’m not using these discs for any medium or long term backups, I’ll use what’s left for daily burns and so on. As I said in the beginning it’s not up to me to tell you what you should do, that’s up to everyone’s own priorities and maybe for some people these discs serve some purpose. They are the cheapest CD-R’s available here at the moment. But compared to what Maxell/Ritek used to produce, these are no match and that is my final conclusion on this topic.

Thanks for reading, looking forward to any input, especially if anyone else is experiencing these kind of degradation issues with this particular media.


#2

Here is another disc scan with a different stamper code (RFD80M-80201) from a 2013 batch:

C1’s may be less overall, but it still looks even more atrocious than the previous one. Huge C2 spike at the end again (where it’s yellowed on the label side) not to mention the jitter spike. Apparently the newer the disc the worse it gets… This proves it wasn’t just the 2009 and 2010 batches that were bad.

What’s funny is that I just found these discs for an even lower price, $0.11/0.10€ per disc. Not gonna waste my money on this though, while I do appreciate a cheap disc, I can’t have C2’s even for short-term storage. At least until I do more tests with different burn speeds (these are old burns and I don’t remember the speed) and somehow verify these problems to be caused by something other than the visible degradation. Either way these discs are just awful now. And they used to be one of the best Phthalocyanine discs!


#3

Fresh burn on LG GH82N @ 16x
No excuse here, the burner has proper write strategies, it’s a fresh burn and it already has E32’s. And this burner does great results on most media I use. At first the jitter was excellent and I thought I finally found a good disc, until the C1/C2/jitter spike came out of nowhere with nothing on the surface (it’s not scratched, its a new disc, with same signs of degradation as discussed previously). Okay the E32’s are not enourmous or anything but I expect a decent disc to have 0, in fact I expect it to have no C2’s of any kind.

Well I guess I can’t even make these into Driver CD’s.
Am I really the only one having problems with this media? Or does no one else simply use cheap CD-R’s anymore lol?





#4

I have Traxdata Pro branded Ritek CD-Rs. My results are much, much better. Average BLER is usually around 1.7, of course no E32 and also no E22. I consider (freshly written) CD-Rs with a single E22 (or more) a failure. E12s are normal; even the best burns (old TY with avg BLER of 0.3) have those.
I don’t have long term experience with those Riteks, though.


#5

[QUOTE=drezon;2780304]I have Traxdata Pro branded Ritek CD-Rs. My results are much, much better. Average BLER is usually around 1.7, of course no E32 and also no E22. I consider (freshly written) CD-Rs with a single E22 (or more) a failure. E12s are normal; even the best burns (old TY with avg BLER of 0.3) have those.
I don’t have long term experience with those Riteks, though.[/QUOTE]

Hi, sorry for the late reply.
Well I had similar BLER with this ATIP on those older Maxell 80XL-S’s and some RiDisc branded ones too. The problems started (with the Maxell’s) when they changed their label design in 2007-2008, that’s when the degradation started to occur and the error rates skyrocketed. Before that I considered these probably the best P-Cyanine discs available. I agree with you that E22’s constitute a failure, that’s just too close to uncorrectable than I would prefer.

Anyway I’m gonna be stocking up on some JVC made TY CD-R media while it’s still available, and I’m gonna pick up some cheap CD-R’s in the same order. I was thinking of going for CMC discs however I might give Traxdata branded CD-R with inkjet printable top a try. These Ritek discs are more compatible in different players in my experience. I also found another thread with the same issue as I have but with different discs: http://club.myce.com/f33/cds-yellow-fever-208774/
So it may actually be the label degrading and maybe somehow contaminating the silver reflective layer through the lacquer, which then begins corroding (instead of the other way around) and that’s how the BLER goes up. Or maybe the degraded label alters the flatness of the disc enough to cause errors from the microscopic tilt. In any case, assuming this is caused by the type of label (which would be the case since older Maxell’s only had a different label), this issue could be fixed by simply buying the discs with a different top side. I’ll post scans in this thread later, if I decide to go with the Traxdata’s.

By the way, I have a slightly offtopic question for you. I saw in another thread you had posted some scans of CMC pro CD-R’s, I was wondering if you could post the hub/stamper codes for these discs? I’d like to know if it’s possible to distinguish them from JVC ones, as I have found some supposedly JVC made discs for a much lower price but from a different brand (Mediastar) and they are sold in shrinkwrap packaging (so can’t rely on cakebox type).


#6

[QUOTE=aztekk;2780577]I was thinking of going for CMC discs however I might give Traxdata branded CD-R with inkjet printable top a try.[/QUOTE]

Make sure they are Traxdata Pro branded. I also have Non-Pro. There, about 1 disc in 10 (i.e. 10%) are extremely bad (BLER in the 100s, tons of E22s and E32). So far this didn’t happen with the Pro.

[QUOTE=aztekk;2780577]
By the way, I have a slightly offtopic question for you. I saw in another thread you had posted some scans of CMC pro CD-R’s, I was wondering if you could post the hub/stamper codes for these discs? I’d like to know if it’s possible to distinguish them from JVC ones, as I have found some supposedly JVC made discs for a much lower price but from a different brand (Mediastar) and they are sold in shrinkwrap packaging (so can’t rely on cakebox type).[/QUOTE]

They can be distinguished from JVC TY.
Hub stamper CMC pro (example, not the one scanned): CDR 80 TYLHY-041 0118
Serial (I guess, the thing pressed into the Polycarbonat hub): D3129UC28043519LH

JVC hub stamper: 80 PG8968
serial: 5A0280D5 JVC


#7

[I]Vielen Dank[/I] for the hub/stamper codes! I’m glad CMC decided to use their own serial code instead of continuing JVC ones so to avoid confusion.

As for the Riteks, I’m really starting to think it’s time (after 13 years) for a change in ATIP. I can buy Traxdata Pro for the same price as JVC TY, so it doesn’t make sense to go that route. I’ll consider my options, but I probably won’t go for Ritek atm if they are so inconsistent with their own brand name or rot to hell in a month with the Maxell brand…