NEC 3500: Which firmware would you recommend?

Aloha clubbers,

I am sure, that this was/is already discussed, but I find it very confusing about all those different NEC 3500 firmwares floating around, so I need some advice.

I just bought my first NEC and I am brave enough to void my warranty. :iagree: :bigsmile:

What I want:

  • best possible quality on RICOHJPNR02 +R media (as I am sitting on a pretty huge batch of 'em)
  • auto bitsetting
  • riplock removed
  • latest write strategies

It would be very kind and appreciated, if someone would take his time to speak out a recommendation in order to bring some light into the darkness.

Thanks a lot in advance! :bow:

Liggy’s beta 8…best so far…

Exactly what you mean by Bata 8… Can please be more specific. The given information has to be clear, precise and ambiguous.

I only released one beta 8 firmware. So when looking at the thread overview in the NEC forum, you should easily be able to find the thread about my beta firmwares - including a link to download beta 8.

Thanks Liggy; Do you recommend this version for the ND-3500AG, which one (Firmware Version) is your own choice and recommand the most for improvement of Ripping speed?.

Thx for the input so far, but I’ll keep waiting for other suggestions. But I’ll take that into my consideration for sure.

Either the TDK 2C8 firmware (The Dangerous Brothers have released a riplock free, RPC1 version of that firmware with the NEC ID string, and there is a “SE” version of this firmware available which also supports Ritek DL at 4x; this firmware has the newest write strats), or the NEC / IODATA 2.27 Plus firmware (very reliable, but lacks Ritek DL support). If you intend to “overspeed” (= write faster than the certified speed) media, Liggy’s Beta8 firmware is the best choice (it’s based on the NEC / IODATA 2.27 firmware, but has a lot of write strategy tweaks).

Thanks Pocketloss; I might consider beta8, but is this beta firmware has also RipLock remvoved embadded in it?.

You may of course try one of my Beta versions, but I can’t recommend anything in particular.

My own choice is Herrie’s 1.07v2b5 on my 2500 :smiley:

Beta 8 did not remove riplock I think, but I’ll add it to my next version.


Thanks for your suggestions.

As I prefer quality over speed, 2.27+ is on my top of the list for now. 2C8 does not seem to support SL auto-bitsetting, so I will leave this one behind.

edit: I found 2C8_SE which should be capable of SL Bitsetting.

Do you know, if the strategies of 2.27+ or 2C8_SE are unofficially tweaked in some way or are they based upon the original strategies?


Are your firmware strategies tweaked in some way? I read they were a bit more “experimental”. I ask about it, because regarding the strategies I want to keep it as “official” as possible.

Thank you for considering adding the RipLock to your beta8. I am sure we all value your effort and work on these area.

The IODATA 2.27 firmware is directly from NEC, although it’s released by IODATA Japan for their rebadged NEC drive. It has newer write strats than the stock firmware (e.g. it support Ritek R03 DVD+R discs at 8x).
The TDK 2C8 firmware is from TDK Singapore. It’s made for the TDK 1616N, which is a rebadged NEC ND-3500, and supports more media for overspeeding, and has better support for the newest 16x media. Both are “official” as it gets for rebadged drives, and both support SL bitsetting (you don’t need the 2C8 SE version for bitsetting).

Now, when it comes to the modified versions of these two firmwares, the “Plus” version of the NEC / IODATA 2.27 firmware has the riplock removed and is region free (RPC1), but the write strategies are unmodified / the same.
The same applies for TDB version of the TDK 2C8 firmware: Riplock removed, and RPC1, but the write strats untouched. In addition to that, TDB have done a “cosmetic” modification by changing the ID string to the default NEC one (instead of TDK; you can get the TDB firmware with the TDK ID string also though). Some people like their drives to be shown as “NEC” instead of “TDK”.

The 2C8 SE version on the other hand has slightly modified write strategies. Here, some “anonymous” guy has added 4x support for Ritek DL media (default: 2.4x max only), the rest is untouched. Riplock is removed, and it’s region free also, of course.

Liggy’s Beta firmwares are all about tweaking the default write strategies (that’s the whole point), to achieve better write quality for media that is going to be written faster than the certified speed (–> experimental). His firmwares are the “most modified” ones of those listed.

So if you intend to flash your drive with “unmodified” firmware as far as the write strategies are concerned, yet you need to have the riplock removed and your drive to be region free, either flash your drive with the NEC / IODATA 2.27 Plus version, or The Dangerous Brothers 2C8 version (and not the 2C8 SE version, as explained above).


Thank you very very very much for that excellent overview as it makes my decision a lot easier. :bow:

I think I’ll give 2.27+ a go first and try 2C8 later, if I should not be satisfied. But I’ll do that tomorrow as it is sleeping time for me now. :bigsmile:

I will report and post some scans then.


Reading your response, I am getting interested on "Plus Version of Firmware NEC/IODATA 2.17 you described as:

“Now, when it comes to the modified versions of these two firmwares, the “Plus” version of the NEC / IODATA 2.27 firmware has the riplock removed and is region free (RPC1), but the write strategies are unmodified / the same”

But according to the site of NEC Firmware:

“ - NEC ND-3500A 2.27 (from I-O DATA DVR-ABN16W), no riplock, RPC I, SL bitsetting, no Ritek D01 support”

The plus version of 2.17 of IODATA does not have RipLock. I don’t know which statement is correct, yours or the site?. Because my main interest in upgrading of the firmware is RipLock Removed portion in boosting my drive “Rip Speed”.


2.17+ vs. 2.27+
Different version! :wink:

Imeant 2.27 (Plus version) Pocketloss described as having RipLock removed, in the list of NEC Firmwares this particular version (2.27 Plus) does not have RipLock removed embadded in to it.

Ok, I did the flash to 2.27+ and recorded a DVD at 8x and it looks very good so far. Even my picky Toshiba 1712 is able to produce an almost flat curve in transfer rate test.

You may have a look.

More tests to follow soon but not before evening.

wow, this thread contains all the knowledge about nec’s 3500 firmwares nicely compressed in one thread! :bow: thanks to every contributor – i had a similar question like “a20” and now it’s answered. i think this thread really deserves a sticky!


TCAS, the NEC / IODATA 2.27 Plus firmware has definitely the riplock removed, I have tested it myself. Here is a scan of a copy protected DVD9 video disc with the 2.27 Plus firmware:

As you can see, the max. speed is 7.21x (it will hit 8x with a full DVD9 disc).

Of the firmwares that support bitsetting which would you say offers the best write quality at the specified speeds (no media overspeeding)?