Should I buy a Pioneer BDR-S03J for $530?

The Japan-manufactured Pioneer BDR-S03J 8x Blu Ray burner can be bought on e-bay for $530 + $40 shipping here. It has Pioneer’s dust-proof internal structure, standard on their optical drives in the Japan market. The BDR-203 which is available in the US does not have the dust proof internal structure.

There is a discussion of the drive along with a review (in Japanese) and pictures here

I am well aware that the quality of Japanese manufacturing simply blows all others out of the water, there isn’t any argument or contest to that. It’s better even than things made in the USA.

Is it worth it to pay such a high premium to have this drive imported?

I wouldn’t unless you have money to burn. The drive maybe current and best for a very short time then you’ll probably want to upgrade and I doubt you’ll get close to your money back on it.
I paid 350 for the top dog Sony 500a DVD burner back when it was the best and fastest one out, a year later it was my slowest and most expensive retired burner and I sold it for 50 bucks.

Well, I bought it, and no, I don’t have money to burn :frowning:

It looks like I’m the only person on these forums who has one, and the number of people that own them in North America can probably be counted on one hand.

Anything special I should do? What type of info should I provide?

Actually, I was thinking of buying that one too. The problem is, from that review, I notice the Suggest list price is only US$400. So when that guy selling for $530, he is really jacking the price up.

So I figure I should be the Pioneer 203 that is the US ver. for $200 instead, as in a few years, there will be 400GB media out, and as far as the dust issue is concern, I’ll use Nero to mark all my files, and will actually open my BD-R spindle to put it on drive to reduce the time frame the media can catch dust.

Anyhoo, can you test your drive w/ TDK 25 GB or 50 GB media? Let me know if you can burn it okay. As I plan to buy the Pioneer, and the only 4X to 6X is Panasonic in 6X or TDK in 4X.

[QUOTE=happy hopping;2231150]Actually, I was thinking of buying that one too. The problem is, from that review, I notice the Suggest list price is only US$400. So when that guy selling for $530, he is really jacking the price up.[/QUOTE]

Yup – I spoke with the seller (she’s a woman), and yes it retails for $400 in Japan, but she said that she has to make a profit on top of it all, because she is importing brand new electronics from Japan, with fast international shipping, and e-bay and paypal fees on top of everything (which are increased on international sales), so I kind of see where the price is coming from when you factor that all in.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any BD-R media, other than what might come with the drive, and I won’t be able to afford any for a while either.

What I’m really hoping is that this will do very high quality CD-R burns with very low jitter so they will play reliably in my really nice older CD deck.

And to top things off, my BenQ DW1640 (now discontinued) which has the ability to scan jitter seems to have died :frowning:

I had the same Benq too. If you like high quality CD-R, you should buy Taiyo Yuden That’s CD-R media

on this link, it’s only $333 from those 7 co.

[QUOTE=003;2231152]
And to top things off, my BenQ DW1640 (now discontinued) which has the ability to scan jitter seems to have died :([/QUOTE]

You may want to check eBay. Just search for Phillips DVD8701 which is a Benq 1640. I got a few very cheaply myself recently. A quick search I just did turned this up and it has no bidders yet.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350171978606

[QUOTE=Jake030;2231283]You may want to check eBay. Just search for Phillips DVD8701 which is a Benq 1640. I got a few very cheaply myself recently. A quick search I just did turned this up and it has no bidders yet.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350171978606[/QUOTE]

Oh cool. I don’t like used optical drives, too finicky. I just bought a new DVD8701 for $40 shipped :slight_smile: And it has a black bezel. My old DW1640 was beige :Z

003, is the BDR-S03J OEM or retail with the box?

Personally, even if I have the money, I wouldn’t buy it for $530 + 40 shipping! I would rather get locally from newegg for $229 shipped or $239+shipping for retail. Other places might be cheaper as well.

The dust proof is a marketing gimmick in my opinion. You will get dust no matter what, from the disc or when you open the tray. I would rather spend the $300 difference (wow) on good Blu-ray media, or something else.

Another thing is, manufacturer usually launch product every year, next year they will release new product and that means this product will get slower support (read: firmware upgrade). With new blu-ray media keep coming we need regular firmware upgrades otherwise it’s just like my old panasonic sw-5582 can’t burn newer blu-ray media and I know even the year old ggw-h10n can’t burn ritek bd-r/re media correctly due to lack of firmware support.

Also you won’t get warranty support since you’re outside Japan. What happen if your drive broke in less than a year? :smiley:

Hope this doesn’t discourage you. :smiley:

[QUOTE=zaina;2231555]003, is the BDR-S03J OEM or retail with the box?

Personally, even if I have the money, I wouldn’t buy it for $530 + 40 shipping! I would rather get locally from newegg for $229 shipped or $239+shipping for retail. Other places might be cheaper as well.

The dust proof is a marketing gimmick in my opinion. You will get dust no matter what, from the disc or when you open the tray. I would rather spend the $300 difference (wow) on good Blu-ray media, or something else.

Another thing is, manufacturer usually launch product every year, next year they will release new product and that means this product will get slower support (read: firmware upgrade). With new blu-ray media keep coming we need regular firmware upgrades otherwise it’s just like my old panasonic sw-5582 can’t burn newer blu-ray media and I know even the year old ggw-h10n can’t burn ritek bd-r/re media correctly due to lack of firmware support.

Also you won’t get warranty support since you’re outside Japan. What happen if your drive broke in less than a year? :smiley:

Hope this doesn’t discourage you. :D[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the info. The drive is retail, not OEM. And the seller I got it from has a policy where if you need warranty service, you send it back to her and she will take care of it for you.

The main reason I got it is because it is made in Japan. The dust proof structure is just icing on the cake, really. I strongly support products which are made in Japan, even if it means paying a premium. The manufacturing quality simply outclasses all others.

Can’t argue with Made in Japan quality but I think Made in others have improve so much this days especially for DVD and Blu-ray drives (made in Korea for LG for example). Besides, these things are not fail proof.

That’s why I’m thinking of buying the Pioneer 203 soon, as it’s made in Japan and newegg seems to have the best price

AFAIK, the 203 is not made in japan. It’s made in China. I read that somewhere.

[QUOTE=003;2231980]AFAIK, the 203 is not made in japan. It’s made in China. I read that somewhere.[/QUOTE]

I just got one and mine is made in Japan.

For DVD and Blu-ray drives, I don’t look at “Made in” anymore, instead the features, drive’s build, and firmware support, how good/fast they burn, read and rip the disc, among other things. Also when we review a drive we don’t give any weights on where the drive is made.

Anyway, Pioneer BDR-203BK showing made in Japan (look at the bottom right box on the label).

[QUOTE=Jake030;2232164]I just got one and mine is made in Japan.[/QUOTE]

Ah ok, I must have gotten that mixed up.

Do you now regret that $530? :bigsmile:

$569, actually. And just a bit. And I still get the dust proof internal structure, PowerRead and PureRead. And it has the shiny silver open/close button, which the 203 lacks. Gotta have that shiny button.

For me, 300 bucks is too much for dust proof and shiny button, sorry. :bigsmile: