Pioneer DVR-108 and NEC ND-3500A

I know this issue keeps coming up, I think all the information, reviews, postings etc comes down to these 2 drives. For newbies like me we are looking for a simple answer and it looks like that is not the case.

here is what I was able to come up with:


  • faster burning DVD’s
  • better quality burns
  • no bitsetting support
  • only 32x burn on CDR’s

NEC 3500

  • able to burn 8x media at 12x
  • more compatible with different types of media
  • lot’s of hacks available to remove the riplocks, bit setting, etc
  • less expensive than the pioneer by $10

for us newbies and for the most part the average user I can see bit setting support as the most crucial piece which makes the NEC a better buy.

did I summarize these two drives correctly? not sure if the average user is even going to notice a speed difference or even care about bit setting.

I am on the fence between these two drives and looking for some real feedback from those who have purchase either drive. what made you buy the drive you did and your experience with it?

once and for all what is the better drive to buy???

Your summary (pretty accurate) has only one advantage to the Pioneer; that of better quality burns. I have the NEC which I got because it was significantly better in burn quality than my Pioneer 107D. I burn Prodisc S03 and S04, Ritek R03 and G05, and TY media. So far I have seen burn quality on ALL these media massively better than my 107D. The worst burn I have has PI errors in the 20s. I have no direct knowledge of Pioneer burn quality but I do know that anything better than what I get is theoretical. Based on all the other advantages you mention, the choice is clear.

This has nothing to do with the drive, per se, but be aware that NEC provides no support, warranty coverage, or firmware updates to US customers at all. If you buy an NEC, make sure you trust your seller and start now to lock in a source for firmware.


chas0039 is absolutely correct (again)-

Just remember - Good Media = Good Burns!!

Good vendor with great pricing for the 3500 =

Good vendor with great pricing on “A” grade media =

Happy Burnin’