Since I couldn't find a group that is really about cd-rw drives, but this is pretty close to what I'm thinking, so I post here and see what happens.
I've had 3 different cd-rw drives: TDK VeloCD (original 8/4/32x), a Sony CRX-175A2 (24/10/40x), and now a Liteon 52327S (52/32/52x).
My system has remained pretty much the same throughout, in fact, the only thing that has changed is my burner and video card, and that has nothing to do with this, so it is for all intents and purposes the same.
I was going through my CDs and checking the C1/C2 errors last night, and found that the ones burned ~3 days ago have more errors than the new burns. I thought this interesting, since the ones 3 years ago were written at 8x, where as the new ones (1 week old) were written at 52x.
None of my CDs are damaged, they have been in cases since they were burned.
Here's some of the data I found, when read at "max" speed, which I also took note of (I didn't take screenshots).
Digital Storage Technology Cyanine written at 8x, 41749 C1 error, 330 C2 error, 52x end speed (75 min CD), written on TDK
Projected at 80min: 44532 C1/ 352 C2
CMC Magnetics Phytalocyanine written at 8x, 27679 C1 error, 0 C2 error, 47x end speed (57 min CD), written on TDK
Projected at 80min: 38847 C1/ 0 C2
Here I have some 48x media that would burn at 12x max on the Sony, but 40x on the Liteon...odd it can't do the rated 48x the box said.
Anyways, same batch of discs:
Sony written at 12x, 11371 C1 error, 0 C2 error, 52x end speed, 76 min CD, written on Sony CD-RW
Projected at 80 min: 11969 C1 / 0 C2
Sony written at 40x, 4357 C1 error, 0 C2 error, 28x end speed, 57 min CD, written on Liteon
Projected at 80 min: 6115 C1 / 0 C2
So, what I have found is that the newer the drive, the fewer errors it makes. Now, even though I couldn't hold the media constant for 3 years, every CD made with the TDK has more than 10,000 C1 errors, but I haven't found one made by the Liteon with 10,000 errors.
BTW, the CMC discs are ~ 2 years old. I have newer ones, should probably try them out.
So, does this make sense, anybody see the same pattern? Could it simply be the age of the disc. They're only 3 years old, and have been kept safely and not damaged.