NEC ND-3520 or Pioneer DVR-109




I’m upgrading from my old Pioneer DVR-106 drive which has chugged along very well. I am now debating which of the new crop of burners to buy.

I can only assume that the new Pioneer 109 will review as well as other drives from Pioneer in the past, and I am unfamiliar with NEC drives in general.

A friend of mine says I should buy the BenQ 1620, but its been out a while and I’m hesitant to buy something that old.

Future upgrades to faster DL speeds are very appealing, especially as 16x for DVD+/-R seems to be the maximum speed possible. I hope to make do with whatever burner I choose until the next generation devices are on the market and at a reasonible price. (HD-DVD etc…)

Any recommedations? I burn a lot of discs for my Xbox and for various standalone DVD machines.


– Phob

PS - If there are other suggestions as to which burner is best at present, I’m all ears! :slight_smile:


I guess you should go your used path: the Pioneer’s line


The NEC3520 still has a ways to go to match the old NEC3500 write quality. Not much is known on the DVR-109 yet. You might want to consider stocking up on some 4X Maxell made in japan media that is always on sale and use it for you xbox backups with your existing DVR-106D. If you need to pull the trigger now then I would pick the Pioneer DVR-109.


I still say both upgrades aint a biggy aaprt from dvd -dl, this is nice upgrade from 3500>>>>

look at read speeds all should be like that, i dont get how a drive that burns a copy at 16x cant read at same 16x, but this does.


Maybe I should get a Pioneer DVR-109 and a NEC 3530 and master and slave those. Seems between the two of those you get pretty much everything. Gotta love how cheap the drives are now. I still remember buying a JVC 2X SCSI CDR drive in 1996 for $399 from a new store (at the time) called Fry’s, thinking THAT was a “killer deal”. :slight_smile:


Let’s wait a few days and REVIEWS for NEC 3520, 3530 and of course Pioneer DVR-109 will appear to give you an closer insight. :wink:


3530! When? I want to spend some more money :cool: :slight_smile:


3530 looks good no dvd -dl yet but maybe firmware but the read speeds along are great, the 109 is not so good, but now newegg got real spec not the one that looked like 108 spec and pdf avail its bit better, but unless its dramitically improved my fimrwares i will skip to 110, the nec 3520 not sure if 3520A is same, are not to much a upgrade to 3500 and slower in 1 of the cd aspects cant mind if its r or rw, to me i repeat cdr/rw is bonus as i got a great combo does all that anyhow.

BUT IMO, i think the 109 is bit of a letdown and i dont really care what others say, i will keep open mind and see later firmwares but may never own a 109, yes dvd dl - now and both are 6x but media is still £5 for 2.4x each disc, down from £10 though :sad:


Please stop BS’ing and complaining about the 109 drives as long as you don’t have FACTS!

In one of your own posts you told us something like “the Pio is only a toy for me” …

If you have no prove then don’t spread LIES!



Chef STFU, ok

You are jumping down everyones throats, are you on payroll at pioneer.

We can discuss anything to do with it we like both negs and pos aspects.

So far the drive is looking not to hot IMO.

So from me to you (as i cant speak for others) DONT EVER say im a liar cause i aint said 1 part that not on web and i added i keep open mind till later firmwares.

You have no right to tell anyone on here what to say or not say, if you dont like what you read, dont come here simple.

I aint read any recent flatly made up BS as you put it, all inc links at time that may be wrong or changed later.

Show me where i said “the pio is only a toy for me” please, or maybe you mean " cdr/rw is only a bonus for me".

YOU get your facts right before you come in and challenge me.

See the above users that got drive and ones that post sites selling it inc pdf’s, there helping lot more than your moaning.


You guys need to


Not really he was same last week, maybe this is night he drinks, not sure.

I have read good things from peeps on 109 and not all is saying 109 is good as this point, some peeps own it and are posting scans of it.

Its free for anyone to post here good or bad about drive or any input you can find on web, so far the real pionner list of specs are false out the box on current firmware.


The DVR-109 offers Dual/Double Layer support for DVD-R/+R media types at 4X along with 16X writing to DVD-R/+R, 8X writing to +RW and 6X to DVD-RW. The drive’s combined specifications deliver the highest level of all-round DVD-writing performance currently available.

The DVR-109 can write 4.7GB of data to write-once media in seven minutes on either DVD-R or +R media, complemented by the capability to store up to 8.5GB on Dual/Double Layer discs. The product is ideal for a wide range of applications including the authoring, editing and storing of video files, developing digital music catalogues, building image libraries and backing up data. It is among the first drives to offer 16X write speeds on DVD-R.

An “Ultra Dynamic Resonance Absorber” (Low Vibration Mechanism) is also provided to reduce the instability and vibration caused by imbalanced or damaged media to achieve and maintain the integrity of the recording and playback performance. “Reduced length” – DVR-109 has reduced its outer casing length by 18mm for easy installation into compact towers.

The drive will offer DVD-R Dual Layer compatibility through a firmware upgrade once the DVD-R Dual Layer specification has been officially approved by the DVD Forum. The write speed for selected DVD-R Dual Layer and +R Double Layer media types can also be increased to 6X through this firmware upgrade.

Features: -

16x DVD-R/+R burning

Increased DVD+R dual layer writing speed from 4x to 6x

DVD+RW is up from 4x to 8x

DVD-RW has gone from 4x to 6x

DVR-109 Specifications:

Buffer Memory Size: 2 Mbytes

Host Interface Specification: PIO Mode4, Multi word DMA Mode2, Ultra DMA Mode2 and Mode4

Dimensions: W=148mm x D=180mm x H=42.3mm

Data Transfer Speed for Writing (Maximum)


DVD-R DL (Dual Layer) 4X CLV


+R 16X CAV

+R DL (Double Layer) 4X CLV




Data Transfer Speed for Reading (Maximum)


DVD-R DL (Dual Layer) 8X CAV


+R 12X CAV

+R DL (Double Layer) 8X CAV



DVD-ROM (Single Layer) 16 CAV

DVD-ROM (Dual Layer) 12 CAV

DVD-Video with CSS (Single / Dual Layer) 5X CAV




Video CD 9.3X CAV

CD-DA (Play audio) 9.3X CAV

CD-DA (Data extraction) 40X CAV

CD-Extra 9.3X CAV


What aspect of the specs are lying?


Only Chef accused others of saying pioneer is lying.

Out the box there is not dvd -dl and speeds on rw +/- aint upto full speed yet and no cav 12 or 16 x for dvd +/- r.

Instead asking me as i not got drive and only see same stuff on web as you, why dont you look in the other threads of info and scans from peeps who own this drive.

As i said i keep open mind for later firmware updates, but no way are they gonna speed up read speads like the new soon to be released NEC 3530 with full 16x read on most media from dvd rom to +/-r, again i posted it here so im not going to repeat, you can go look for it.

What you have asked me is all here in theads and on web to read, i not see anyone saying pionner are liar, but the spec aint anywhere near what others tried to guess or advertises weeks ago (so far out box firmware) maybe later yes but it will never improve read speeds like the above NEC, i will stick to pionner but porb miss this model anyhow i get it for nothing if i want, but i stick to 108 with nils firmware, i not use for cfr/rw and dl media still to much £ to justify, i be cheaper to buy whatever im copying nearly.


I had Pioneer DVR-106 and then 108 for almost two years and recently bought a BenQ 1620 Pro.
I will held both 108 and BenQ but if someone ask - I prefer BenQ! :slight_smile:

  • it burns mostly faster (because of CAV and better media overspeeding);
  • it burns mostly better (especially +Rs/RWs);
  • it supports +R/RW bitsetting out-of-the-box
  • it supports quality (PI/PIF and jitter) measurement out-of-the-box
  • it has special features like Qscan (checks media quality before burning)
  • it has very good firmware suport
  • it is a great reader (not the faster but wit extremely good error correction)
    Pioneer 109? Not for me! I heard that it cannot record 8x+ media slower than 8x but I yopy DVD-Rs often on-the-fly, therefore 109 is fully uneligible to me.


Don’t buy this on the grounds that Pioneer do not listen to their customers needs, eg. thousands of emails asking for bitsetting and looks like it hasn’t been included again with this new drive.


It will be included in a Piodata (or other) OEM FW just like it was with DVR-108. Pioneer is the developer of the -R format, they are very sensitive to official +R compatibility. I hope that nobody thought it was Piodata who put +R bitsettink into their firmwares… :wink:


EXACTLY, check out

They sell the 3520 for 80 CA$ and the 3500 for 135 CA$.

I got my 3500 in town for 99 CA$

BUY THE 3500



using liggys newest firmware


I have decided to pass on the NEC 3520, and have ordered the Pioneer 109 instead.