NEC 3500 - CD-R Write Quality

Hi guys,

I’m ready to replace my old Lite-on 52x32 drive as it has too many C2 errors on two types of Ritek CDRs (including RiData) and the write quality has decreased noticeable even on TY media.

I’m about to pick this unit up after work but can anyone tell me how the write quality is for CD-Rs (especially Ridata Ritek and others). Scans would be nice as well :).

Hopefully my CDRs can be easily read with the high quality writing of the NEC 3500 :). Anyway, it can’t be worse than my Liteon and it seems to have great DVD*R burning quality.

Thanks guys

I used to have a creative 12x CDRW which worked fine, but the audio cds i made with it used to skip a lot in my old kenwood in-car cd canger, however the cds written with my 3500A work perfectly in the car, they are writen at 16x on 52x memorex media (thats all it would let me do), but other media will write faster.

If you write the cds at a slower speed you will get a better write quality, i’ve not tested a cd-r written at full speed because I dont have any media which will work at full speed with the 3500A yet, however DVD’s i’ve written at 8x work fine in all the players i’ve tryed.

Hope this helps

  • Chris

I fully agree: CDs written at a lower speed are more compatible to some car players. That’s why I always write my Audio-CDs @8x in my NEC2500A.

Btw, I made the best experiences with ProDisc CD-R media (Medianca branded).

Here’s a Nero CD Speed scan of a Datasafe (Prodisc) CD-R written at 32x using ONES!

CD read back in 3500:

Same disc read back in Plextor PX-116A2 DVD-ROM:

Guess Plextor have trouble reading these discs!

Thanks. I used to have excellent results with ProDisc media except (eProformance which were crap).

I picked up my drive and when I install it I’ll post some scans of CDR burning with Ritek (Ridata)

p.s. Plextor drives to my knowledge have always been incompatible with ProDisc CDRs for some reason, the burn quality would be even worse if you tried at least in older models

i havent has any problems with burning at 48x on really cheap media and using them in my car, works perfect. although i have a kenwood headunit which can read anything including 99mins cds. hope this helps.


Both my 3500’s burn the Ritek 48x CD’s at 48x with almost perfect burns-

Don’t have any worries about getting the 3500 - works GREAT!!

Happy Burnin’


I have a spindle of Arita 52x media at home. They wrote perfect at my Lite-On 32123S@40125S, at 40x speed. My 2510A@Herrie2k5107v2b5dl also wrote them full-speed with zero problems. But my brand new 3500AG won’t let me write them any faster than 16x. It took me several coasters before I began suspecting the Arita’s, because they write full-speed in any other writer I tested (including a Lite-On 24x laptop drive and two TEAC224 drives).

Somehow the CD-R write strategy of the 3500 is not optimal. I tried every firmware available on the 3500, including the 2.08 (converted TDK 2.78) which has the newest write strategy.

I tried other cheap media, which write OK at 48x. So where’s the catch??

Yo S-

The NEC firmware is media specific - and by their nature write to cheap stuff slower to attempt to get a better burn - that’s the reason that the good stuff burns at 48x and the cheap stuff slower-

Happy Burnin’


[u]A warning about Memorex CDRs:[/u]

A friend of mine bought a 100pcs spindle of Memorex 52x CDRs last week (very cheap I might add, ~15 Euros for the spindle), and they are made by Infodisc. They are about the crappiest discs money can buy. Until now, he had over 30 (!) coasters, and only 5-6 working burns. He gave me a couple of discs for testing, and I haven’t had a single burn without high C2 and CU errors yet, no matter what speed I burned them at, or which drive I burned them with. Actually, the NEC 3500 gave me better results than the Plextor Premium. The NEC drive limits the recording speed to 16x, unlike CMC or Prodisc CD blanks that can be burned at 32x (Memorex = usually CMC or Prodisc). That’s why this comment by Chris Wheeler…

…caught my attention. Chris, could you post the ATIP information of these discs, please (you can use CD-DVD Speed disc info or similar)? If the NEC drive only allows you to burn certain CDR media at 16x speed or even lower, it usually indicates pretty crappy quality…

Considering the fact that you can buy genuine TY CD media for 23 Euros a 100pcs spindle over here (including VAT & shipping), it absolutely makes no sense to waste money on crap like that. You pay a few Euros more, and save a lot of time and nerves.

Sounds good! Where can I get them and how are they branded?

By the way, when I test the Arita’s with Nero CD/DVD speed, the test breaks down somewhere between 32x and 40x write speed. The type is erroneously reported as P-CAV and there are many speed drops in the graph. Other cheap media also have speed drops, but correctly report CAV. And finish the test… I can’t get the Arita’s media code with any program, simply nothing is reported. So I’m afraid this is really crap. But other drives still write them at high speeds with no errors… Why doesn’t/can’t the 3500?

Dunno about The Netherlands, but you can buy so called Verbatim Pastel 48x discs (Verbatim Pastel = always TY, both for CD and DVD media) from, 22.99 Euros a 100pcs spindle (shipping is free for orders worth more than 20 Euros; to Germany, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Liechtenstein that is (they don’t ship optical media to Austria anymore):

click does ship to The Netherlands, and shipping costs are not really high either (click, 4.31 Euros no matter how much you order), but that does not include optical media it seems (it’s under the “Elektronik & Foto” category, not available for Holland, Belgium etc.). Maybe you can write them an e-mail and ask them about it if you are interested in ordering. However, you should be able to buy Verbatim Pastel discs in Holland also, even local retailers here have them in stock, albeit selling them at a (much) higher price…

I too have a Lite-on 52x burner and Arita 40x discs. All I know is that the first spindle was pretty good and slowly the quality of burns went down to the point where the disc was barely readable, there were lots of slow downs etc…

I think the problem is two things the Arita (Ritek) branded discs aren’t consistent and also my burner is dying because the quality has gone down for all discs which is why I decided on this NEC 3500 which I have not had time to install and test yet!

But I will soon and let you guys know. At the moment I have Ridata (Ritek) and Arita 40x (Ritek). I hope all will go well :).

Thanks for everyone’s helpful posts!

A big disappointment still!

I am now going to believe that Ritek is crap (at least Arita and RiData branded)…the C2 errors came at the same spots after burning them at 40x with my lite-on or 32x for that matter and the disc was already being read extremely slow!

I should also say, these discs which have problems tend to have weird swirl marks and irregularities in the dye (as with most Ritek media I’ve seen).

I have not burned a DVD-R but now I’m worried these RiData (Ritek) DVD-R media will be crap also :frowning:

I am very disappointed atm :(.

Then you have just seen low quality (B-Grade) Ritek media. If the discs have visible, physical defects, you should return them and get your money back (if possible).

Hi, I’m not quite sure what you mean by ATIP info, heres a copy of the info from CD-DVD Speed disc info:

Manufacturer : unknown
Code : 00m00s00f
Disc Type : CD-R
Usage : General
Recording Layer : Dye Type 0: Long Strategy (Cyanine, AZO)
Recording Speed : n/a
Capacity : 00:00.00
0 MB
Additional Capacity : n/a
Overburn Capacity : not tested

And DVDInfoPro says:

Manufacturer Media Code Not Specified
Format Capacity Not Formatted
Free Blocks 736966656
Free Capacity 702.83MB(736.97MB)
Media Type CD-R
HD-BURN Certified NO
Available Write Descriptor CLV 16.0x 2400KBps
Available Write Descriptor CLV 8.0x 1200KBps

Is that any help ?

  • Chris

Very weird, and suspicious. If you have Alcohol installed, could you use the advanced disc info, please (if not, forget about it)? Alcohol often showed me disc information other tools couldn’t.

If it still doesn’t show any ATIP information (the media code), you can be pretty sure that the discs you have are really crappy, no name discs.

P.S.: That’s the ATIP information of those craptacular Infodisc blanks I mentioned earlier:

Manufacturer        : Infodisc
Code                : 97m25s35f
Disc Type           : CD-R
Usage               : General
Recording Layer     : Dye Type 5: Short Strategy (Phthalocyanine)
Recording Speed     : n/a
Capacity            : 79:59.74
                      703 MB
Additional Capacity : n/a
Overburn Capacity   : not tested