Recently I was reading some scans posted by Two_Degrees, found a scan of CMC-made Verbatim DVD+R where he noted the thinness of the disc. This got me interested so I bought a new spindle of CMC Verbatim DVD+R and checked the physical characteristics myself, compared to a couple of older MCC batches I had laying around, from MBI but I would guess that since its an MCC MID, a single manufacturer would not go rogue and change the physical characteristics set by Mitsubishi, although I could be wrong.
In any case I did somewhat confirm what Two_Degrees was talking about, while the disc (ZE6383 stamper, 2016 made) is not thinner itself (no violation of DVD specs), it is significantly more translucent when held up against a light source than my MBI-made discs with stampers ZE0486 and ZE4929, made in 2009 and 2016, respectively. In order to demonstrate this I took an LED flashlight, positioned the discs directly on top of the light and took a few pictures making sure not to move the light/camera or change the illumination of the room. It may not be scientific but it displays well what can be seen with a naked eye. I also compared these discs against a RITEKF1 disc from 2009. Here is the comparison picture:
As you can clearly see the CMC-made disc definitely lets more of the light come through the whole disc assembly (polycarbonate x2, dye, reflective layer, glue, frosted hub). RITEKF1 seems to be similar but still less translucent, the old 2 MCC stamper discs are much more opaque, letting less light come through and allowing to see individual LED’s in the flashlight… I also noticed another thing by the way, which is that when I directed light towards the branded side of the disc, the hub appeared very purple with the 2015-made MBI disc, and did not change color at all in the case of both the CMC disc and the older MBI one. I don’t think this is quite as important as the change in translucency though, only affects the non-recordable side.
So the conclusion must be that either MCC or CMC decided to slightly alter the translucency of the disc (probably to cheapen materials, reflective layer and dye most likely) and this may result in some changes in their burning character/quality. As to what and how severe those changes may be, I can’t really say. As is seen from the scan by Two_Degrees, these discs are not capable of burning at high speeds, but this has been true for all CMC and MBI made MCC media for a few years now, as the looser manufacturing margins affect the quality overall (flatness/poor moulding process, coating contaminants etc). You pretty much can’t go higher than 8-12x these days, of course I’m not negating that the reflectivity change affects burn quality, it does, along with other factors.
Regardless, I don’t think this is a good development. It seems to have begun at least at CMC starting from stamper ZE5xxx. I haven’t seen such stamper codes on MBI yet, it would be interesting to see if this change also affects all manufacturers using MCC technology.
It’s not to say it is all bad though, CMC has successfully pulled a similar stunt before, they make the most translucent CD-R’s on the market and at least from my testing these CD-R’s still manage to burn better than many other manufacturers, while not really having degradation problems and even my picky CD player likes them. So I’m not making any recommendations here, it’s just a fascinating development I thought to share, and maybe someone has thoughts/comments or knows more about this?