New Benq DW1650 won't burn CDs

Just picked up a Benq DW1650 and can’t get it to work right. I’ve sucessfully burned a couple of DVDs, though the quality wasn’t up to what I’ve seen here and what I had with my DW1640 or, for my last burn, even my NEC 3540. Not horrible, mind you, but not what I would expect. Also, during the burn the speed and buffer keep dropping periodically.

However, much more of an issue is the fact that I’ve tried to burn 2 CDs, and both have failed, one just after the lead-in, one about 15% in. With the latter, I observed and noted that first the buffer/speed dropped, and it then popped up with a write-failed notification. I can read CDs, though when I try to use Nero CDSpeed to do a quality test I get regular spikes where the scan speed slows to nothing. This doesn’t occur with DVDs.

The drive came with BCHC firmware. I could try BCFC.

However, before I do anything, has anyone had similar symptoms from a DW1650? I couldn’t find anything with a search of the forum. If no one has any experiences like this, it seems it might certainly be best to exchange it while I still can.