Pioneer 108 sometimes 4x burn only

My trusty 108 has began to behave strangely as of late, after approximately 400 burns. Upon inserting a blank disc, I am only given the option to burn at 4x. Ejecting and reinserting the same disc one or more times will then offer the full range of burn speeds, up to 16x. This is definitely not a DMA issue, nor does it appear to be temperature related. The machine sits in an air conditioned environment, the case temp is 28c, and the cpu temp seldom exceeds 45c under full load. I can tell when I’m going to see the full range of burn speeds by ear. . . the drive spins up at a faster rate. When presented with only 4x burn option, I can hardly hear the disc spinning when I insert it. Is the drive dying? I didn’t mention the media. . . It is Memorex branded CMC MAG. AM3, DVD-R rated 16x. I previously burned around 200 of these without any issues. At the moment I have no other media to throw at this thing. I haven’t yet ruled out a bad batch of media, but yet, once the media is correctly detected, it burns without any problem, and quality scans are acceptable. Any ideas?

If the media is os doubtfull quality the drive will slow down to a slower speed to ensure a good burn. 400 burns is nothing for a Pioneer drive.

I also had these symptoms with my 108 a while ago and in the end it was all about the media. No joke.

Thank you both for your replies.

@allright: I agree about the 400 burns being “nothing”. I have a 106 in another machine that is still going strong after almost 2 years. I’m a fanatic for keeping my boxes as dust-free, and as cool as possible. I learned about this the hard way.

@chef: I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has experienced these peculiar symptoms. I’m suspecting a dodgy batch of media. It doesn’t happen on all discs, it doesn’t happen to the same disc upon reinsertion. At the moment it is more of a nuisance, as when all is said and done, I do ultimately end up with a decent quality burn at the speed I prefer to burn at. When the current batch runs out, I’ll endeavor to try something different, and will update the thread.

Thank you both, again.