Thanks. Yes, I'd read about the gold versus silver thing and that had me thinking why bother with gold at all. I would have thought by the time the gold had any advantage over silver, there would be far better archive methods out there. Can you imagine people a hundred years ago "archiving" stuff to 78 records and thinking "that is it"!!??
Anyway, do you know where I can get those verbatim disks? I am not quite sure exactly which ones to look for since I do see the Falcon name but I don't think they are the ones you mean.
But yes, it does look like the Rega is stumbling with the gold layer disks. They score OK in Nero (96%) but so do the 50 cent supermarket disks that play for a week and then skip or cause read errors. At first I thought the skipping I was hearing on the MAM-A gold disks was because I had written on the white label side, but I left one with a completely blank label and it still skipped. Seems to happen most often in the first 10 minutes of play.
I am sort of at a crossroads where if I sold the Rega and the spare that would mostly pay for a DAC and a laptop and not only would I not have to worry about CD-Rs, skips and silent passages, but I would be able to hear the files in their original 24 bit, 48 kHz format as opposed to the 16/44 I have to turn them into (and despite my best efforts with iZotope and PSP X-Dither, I cannot do that resampling and dithering without losing subjective audio quality).
By the way, I maligned the Optiarc. It lives! What I thought was a dead drive instead appears to be an incredibly bizarre bug - something possibly firmware related or perhaps just a weird hardware / OS configuration. But I can reproduce the "dead Optiarc" drive scenario 100% of the time by doing this:
- Reboot the machine
- Perform a disc cleanup of the C: drive after first performing Windows updates
- Put a bootable CD-R in the Optiarc
- Re-boot the machine
After which I am left with a permanently disabled Optiarc drive until such time as I remove the CD-R, power off the machine completely, power it on again then insert the CD-R again.
I can reproduce it 100% of time.
Put another model DVD writer in and it doesn't happen.
Don't perform the windows update and it doesn't happen.
Don't do a disc cleanup and it doesn't happen.
This is the weirdest bug I think I have ever come across.