Thanks for the pics BoSkin. Not sure what I was supposed to glean from the reflective layer lesson other than it is gold or silver, which I already knew.
Armed with that and more photos and descriptions from another site on ID’ing discs, I went back and found lots of conflicting stuff on the shelf. I found grey bottom boxes with “CMC” lids, black bottom boxes with “Ritek” lids, and cake boxes that gave every sign of being CMC and/or Ritek only to find they were made in India(!), and cake box styles that I never saw anywhere before (mostly on Memorex discs). I don’t do this often enough so maybe there are more subtile clues, but I concluded there is no reliable way to tell the source from the cake box style alone.
I ended up going with Fuji because I saw a picture of the box and a caption on a different forum that said basically if they are in this box (a Ritek lid with a knurled bottom - very unique!) and are made in Japan, they are Tiayo Uden(sp). I was able to get a 30 pack of these for $1 less than 25 TDKs so I’m happy.
Interestingly, somebody pilfered the TDK discs. All the silvers were bought up and only the gold ones were left (must have found something they liked!). FWIW, the gold colored discs were in a CMC style box but with a dark chocolate brown bottom, just like all the DVD-Rs are no matter what the source (they can be CMC, Ritek, or TDK). The hubs had a serial number that looks like it was printed with a dot matrix printer, along with the TDK logos and the words “Certified Plus” molded into the hub area. Going off memory, the silver colored discs came in the same style box but had a serial number molded (or melted?) into the plastic itself. Clearly these are from different manufactures. The gold discs are certainly an odity, I’ve looked in a few other stores at spindles of all sizes. This particular store is the only place I’ve seen them, and then only in the 25 pack. I’d like to say curiousity will oblige me to buy them, but at the rate I burn CD’s, they will be the way of the dinasour before I finish the Fuji’s.
Thanks again for your help!