I did a bunch of burns and tests to gauge the differences that the two drive/software combos produce, when measuring C1/C2.
NB! The scales on the images/graphs change from one picture to another. Don't compare them visually without calibrating for the differences in your head.
I first tested a couple of problematic media:
Yamaha CRW3200 burn at 8x on TDK Metallic 48x
LiteOn48246s (using latest 52246S firmware) at 24x:
Looks ok, if not the best possible.
Plextor Premium (using firmware 1.02) at 24x:
Four times the average/total C1, but no difference in C2.
LiteOn48246S burn at 16x on TDK Metallic 48x
Looks ok, not great.
About the same distribution, almost three times the average/total C1 count. No difference in C2.
Plextor Premium burn at 40x on TDK Metallic 48x
Again decent, but not good.
Same difference, almost three times as much C1, no difference in C2.
Yamaha CRW3200 burn at 24x on Platinum 48x
Mediocre or worse results, but no C2.
Again, three times as much C1 and a few C2 errors that are not on the LiteOn scan.
LiteOn48246s (with 52246S firmware) burn at 52x on MMore 52x
Quite a bit better, but still no good. No C2 though.
The trend continues, almost three times as much C1, but no C2 difference this time.
Then I decided to try some more of the 'good stuff' (from this point on, Plextor Premium firmware 1.03 had
been released and was active on burns and read tests):
Plextor Premium burn at 40x on Verbatim DatalifePlus (printable surface) 48x
Very nice results. A decent candidate for an archival media (I would like a better scratch resistance on the label side, but that's another issue altogether).
Still a fair result, even though C1 count has increased to almost 3.5 as much as with LiteOn test.
LiteOn 48246S (52246S firmware) burn at 52x on Verbatim DatalifePlus (printable surface) 48x
The same Verbatim disc, now burned on LiteOn at 52x. Still measures well, imho.
Again, c. 2.6 times as much C1 when measured in Plex Premium. Still ok though.
Plextor Premium burn at 32x on Plextor 48x
Similar results as the Verbatim DataLifePlus, although with a more constant error distribution. Very good result.
Again four times as much C1, but no difference in C2. Still good results, imho.
LiteOn 48246S (52246S firmware) burn at 52x on Plextor 48x
The same disc type that was burned with Premium at 32x (due to PoweRec) is now burned at 52x on LiteOn. Measures about the same as when burned on Plextor. Very good that is.
Plextor didn't like the burn nearly as much. C1 count is almost seven times as big.
Now, before I comment anything myself and stray your thoughts elsewhere...