Pioneer Drive Audio Rip Quality

My old Pioneer 107D did an excellent job of ripping audio. After three years the DVD laser stopped writing. So I purchased a Pioneer 111D. This drive plays/records DVD with good media fine; however the CD audio rips are disappointing. At random intervals there is distortion in the resulting wav or mp3 files. Intermittent distortion (digital smearing for a quarter second) is audible every five to fifteen minutes at slow 4x rips with Winamp. The distortion happens more often at faster rip speeds. I tried Prassi Ones and got the same bad rip result.

Did I get a lemon drive or is this $35 model terrible at audio?

What make and model would the readers of this forum recommend for DVD and CD playback and record?

Thank you.

P. S.
I just updated the firmware from Pioneer 1.23 to Pioneer 1.29; but I have not yet tested the drive. In any case, I would like to know the opinions of the forum members.