New to the forums, but felt this issue was important enough to post.
I just got off the phone with Plextor tech support and they were stumped with this issue. They could reproduce it and verify it but could not explain it or fix it. Plextor support said they would forward the issue to the engineers but for now there is no known fix.
On a px-716a with firmware 1.02 or 1.04 using either plextools pro 2.17 or 2.19a
pressed cd audio cd's are being limited to 8x cav. To demonstrate this, open plextools pro, go to drive settings, basic tab and look where cd speed is at (right above dvd speed). Next, with no disk in the drive, set cd speed to max, then click to the advanced tab, then click back to basic tab. Notice how speed remains at what you set.
Next: close plextools completely. Start plextools and go back to drive settings basic tab, verify it is still at max speed setting. Now find an audio cd, must be pressed cd, not cd-r, put it in the drive and wait for it to be recognized. Cd speed will drop to 8x cav (sometimes goes to 10-24x but is rare). Now, change the speed with the drop down box to max speed, then click advanced tab. Now go back to basic tab and note that speed set itself back down to 8x (or 10-24x if you got lucky the first time). The thing to note here is that the drive seems to be deciding to use 8x for pressed audio cd's and not allowing user to overide it.
After over an hour with tech support changing settings, swapping drives, etc the tech guy concluded that the px-712 does NOT have this issue but every single px-716a he tried in his office did. Also note that a cd-r burned in audio cd format does NOT have this issue.
Before this thread gets flooded with "did you have silent mode on" or other questions, remember, over an hour with tech support. Every single setting in plextools pro that can be turned on or off was tried. 2 different firmwares and 2 versions of plextools were tried as well.
Basically, the drive is deciding that brand new pressed audio cd's (I tried 20 different new or like new cds) are low quality and choosing to read them at 8x (sometimes it decides 10-24x, but it's rare). Considering the tech could reproduce the problem on his machine using entirely diff mobo chipset, ram cpu and drive, I think it's reasonable to conclude either the firmware is bugged or plextools pro is broken and doesn't allow you to over-ride the drives preference.
So, if ripping cd audio is important to you, caveat emptor, buy a different drive. I feel slightly screwed over considering I paid a premium for a plextor drive that can't even rip cd audio as well as my 5 year old generic pos drive.
(P.S. I love plextor, really I do, but it's cold comfort when the tech tells you your drive isn't broken, we can't rma it because all the 716a do that, oh and maybe the engineers will decide to fix this, but since this is the first complaint about this we've gotten, I can't tell you when or if it will be fixed.)