New 108 owner questions!

I recently upgrade from the Pioneer 105 to the 108, mainly because of it’s DL capability. However, I have a few questions for you guys…

  1. What exactly is the advantage of having Bitsetting for a +R? I have seen this issue come up over and over as a negative about the 108 (the fact it lacks this feature). Does this allow better compatibility of +R media in home dvd players?

  2. How risky is the PIODATA kernal and firmware upgrade? Has anyone reported any damage to their drive by doing this?

  3. Since upgrading to the 108 I have noticed that any audio CDR recorded on this drive will NOT play past the first track in my '04 Accord cd player. I’ve tried both Nero Express and Burning Rom, as well as different brands of media. If I burn the SAME CD (same computer) on my other drive (Lite-ON cdrw/dvdrom combo) they work fine. I have not had a problem with these discs in my other car (alpine headunit) or any of our home cd players. I am curious if upgrading the firmware to the latest Pioneer (1.18) might help.

  4. Im a bit confused by the two choices of firmware for download on Pioneer’s site. One is listed for the “DVR-108xXL Models A, B, & E” (DVR108xXL_FW118.exe) and the other file says simply " DVR-108" (DVR108_FW118EU.exe). Not sure what the difference between these two models is and which one I have. I purchased mine as an OEM from

  5. Would I be better off selling the 108 on ebay and getting the NEC 3500? I stuck with Pioneer since it’s what I had been using before…but wondering if I made the wrong choice now.


  1. Real advantage only comes with bitsetting if you have a picky standalone or older ROM, which doesn’t recognize a +R/RW disc.
  2. Not a bit more risky than the original Pioneer FW and kernel flashing.
  3. Several people reported improvement in CD writing quality with 1.18. Give it a try.
  4. XL drives (108XL and A08XL nowadays) are the boxed Retail versions. If you have an OEM drive it is a “simple” 108.
  5. Not really. The only real benefit and drawback comes in reading. NEC 3500 burners use a more aggressive reading strategy. It’s faster, but can end up not reading some discs (burned by itself OK) at all.

The retail A08XL has diff front drawer and honeycomb top to help kill noise and vibration added to special noise canceling fimware and app.

The 108 aint the same as A08XL and you cant use its firmware, also it ddint need hacked firmware to get 12x rip speed.

Don’t worry about your 108 as opposed to the 3500. I have a 3500 and everything i burn on it is of very good quality. However, with everything I know about both models, I would not sell my 108 if I had purchased it instead of the NEC. Both are currently at the top of this class of drive and are a dead heat for first place.

I upgraded to the 1.18 firmware but still no luck playing audio cds burned with this unit in the Accord. I discovered it only happens when using “disc-at-once” mode and not with “track-at-once”.

Another strange thing I’ve noticed is that when a burn is finished on the 108 the Nero popup window says “Burn Process Started at 32x”…but with the Lite-On unit it reports “Burn Process Successfully Completed at 32x”. Either way, Nero says “Burn Process Finished Successfully” at the top of the window. Something isnt right. Any ideas?


Same here.
IMO the NEC burners are poor readers, and the Pios produce better burns. :bow:

It’s gotten more interesting. I tired Roxio EasyCD Creator with the 108 on a disc-at-once audio cd burn. This time the resulting disc plays fine in the car. However, the project burned at ~8x speed even though 32x was selected. Arg.

Could I possibly have a bad unit?

Update. Just tried a new IDE cable (80pin of course) and still no luck. May be time to order that NEC.

Spiderhole, check and make sure DMA is enabled for your drive.

Check this link out–>


Yep, its enabled and running in DMA mode 4.


Potentially it could be the drive but likely the fault lies somewhere else. It would suck to buy a NEC and have the same problems. I would install it in another system and try burning with Roxio or Nero.

why not buy a dvd combo drive and burn your cds with that or even a cdwriter they are really cheap now the pioneer is a dvd writer which it does excellently but it is not a very good cdwriter personally i use a liteon 48161h combo drive for my cds and my car player plays everything i throw at it

            cheers   bighun


Actually, I do use the same Lite-On drive for most of my CD burning. However, I am worried that the problem with writing CDs could also indicate other issues which might affect DVD burning. I plan to do some DVD write tests tonight, but those coasters get expensive fast :slight_smile:

LivingDay: I agree about the risk in getting an NEC as a replacement might not be a fix-all. Will be trying the 108 on a friends computer later this week. Should help shed light on the situation.


Try burning the CD media at a lower speed then 32. 24 or 16 might yeild better results with your media.

When I had my old PC, I used to experience a sucky problem: everytime I was burning a project at high speeds, the buffer always went to 0%, then refilled itself up and went to 0% again - about 6 or 7 times per burn on a full CD at 52x. I was not even able to use 32x speeds, and I was stuck at 16x max. This was due to my hard disk drive which could not manage that transfer rate. Perhaps the files you want to burn are on an old and slow disk ? Hope this helps, although it is very unlikely to find a drive which cannot handle 32x.

The problem continues. I just tried burning my first DVD-R on this drive and the same problem with Nero not properly closing the “disc at once” session. I’ve also tried slower CDR burning speeds and nothing seems to help. Once again, the data on the disc (both DVD and CD) seems to be intact…but it’s not getting finalized properly.

I’m running Nero 6.0 and wondering if an upgrade to 6.6 might help matters?


Nero 6.0 is obsolete and outdated. Get an update.

I also recently purchased dvr-108 from Newegg and been playing with it after RMA’ed NEC3500A.
Here are a few things I found and questions:

  1. The differeces between, 108 & A08 …
    Sounds like the only differences other than the stuff in the box is the faceplate and the chasis. So in theory, A08 firmware should work in 108 to yield better (quieter) reading performance.
    Has anyone tried it?

Pioneer explains:

“…Apart from the cosmetic differences and Honeycomb Chassis for reduced drive resonance the retail version DVRA08XL also contains blank high speed media 8x DVD-R & 4x DVD-RW in the carton and additional software bundle as listed above. The DVRA08XL also includes Performance adjusting firmware, which allows for quiet playback of commercial DVD video…”
2. Still can’t figure out how different DVR-108xXL is from 108 & A08 (or A08XL). Anybody??? Does XL stand for the honeycomb chasis???
3. Problems with burning Dual-Layer DVD on Verbatim DL DVD media (2.4x).
I made a copy of my car’s Navigation Map DVD using Nero with NEC3500A at 4x speed and it worked flawlessly.
But when I used Nero with DVR-108 (fw 1.14) at 4x speed, the burn process also complete successfully but the copy does not work 100% (i.e. some features like chaing the region or entering destination address does not work & hangs). I alreayd made 2 costly coasters at $10 each for DL media.
I’m not sure, if it’s Nero, 108, or something else… BTW, there is this one file which is over 2GB. I dont’ think that can be an issue since Nero created a .nrg image file not .ISO.
Any feedback/comment will be appreciated.

The answers to your own Q’s are in that part you quoted from pioneer.