The neverending quest for the best DAE results

Hi, I have been reading here and there on this forum and some others about the best drives around for ripping, that is Digital Audio Extraction.

Apparently a lot of people agree on the matter that Plextor’s Ultraplex 40max set a new standard, but many challenge the fact that it might still be the best.

So, I figure that I would like to open this thread to discuss which drives in particular can be compared to Plextor’s Ultraplex and win the fight.

I do a lot of ripping, and I have found very weird things, for instance, that some drive that usually gives better results won’t read a particular (not copy-protected) CD, and another drive which normally performs worse, gets to read it perfectly.

I guess that in order to keep all comments within what’s factual knowledge and not mere subjective ideas, DAE quality test should be taken into account.

And, I seem a lot of people praising the Ultraplex based on speed. That is not what I find most important: actually most CD-rom/writers/DVD-rom/writers of today would get a perfect DAE on perfect, out of the box CDs.

The thing that matters, at least in my personal opinion, is which drives gets you the furthest you can go before it’s physically impossible to obtain any information out of the CD: how badly scratched the CD can be and yet get a good reading.

There’s a lot of room for hardware quality here, because I have seen over and over again how certain CD-roms get to extract perfectly the audio from a CD that others would “label” as “unreadable”, so to speak.

Please, any opinions, comments, and above all, test results would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I’ve just ordered a pack of 10 used Ultraplexes, with full one year warranty from a dealer, I hope they’re not that bad, since I also bought a SCSI interface to go with them ONLY in the hopes of getting better DAE results (well, I got them quite cheap, so no complains ;)).

Thanks to all the people contributing to this wonderful community :bow:. Cheers,


By the way, this is no publicity, I don’t get absolutely any money for that, but if anyone is interested in getting a used Plextor Ultraplex with one year warranty from a dealer in Germany, PM me, and I’ll send them the link, I saw there are 6 units left.

They are at 4 euros a piece plus shipping.

@ darkestdarkelf,

Welcome to the Forum.

Perhaps reviewing the below referenced Web Link will provide you with some useful Optical Drive ripping accuracy information ->


Thank you for your contribution, I actually own the drive that “won” the contest, but I am not that happy with it.

It’s true that it will get to read CDs that others won’t quite perfectly, but whenever there’s a problem, it crashes and you have to re-boot in order to recover it. I have been using EAC, but maybe I should be trying something else instead, it could well be a software issue.

Also, I don’t think that might be a proper scientific way of comparing the drives, in order to be fair you would need to get the SAME SCRATCHED CD to be read by different drives, and compare THOSE results… well, at least that’s the proper way of doing it, of course, you cannot buy 250 different drives to test them all…

Still, those results are distorted, you can never tell if a certain drive was used by a lot of more people with heavily scratched CDs, and yet another scored better because their owners didn’t pushed its limits too much.

I was quite happy with my Plextor 230A, until I discovered it ain’t no real Plextor… I hate companies that re-brand stuff! Still, it’s no a bad drive, besides that annoying crashing issue (b t w, I’ve updated to last version of EAC, and last firmware, yet every time the CD presents some opposition, it crashes).

[QUOTE=darkestdarkelf;2277724]…I have been using EAC, but maybe I should be trying something else instead, it could well be a software issue…[/QUOTE] @ darkestdarkelf,

Have you tried Easy CD-DA Extractor ->


Actually I started with CD-DA extractor, and then switched to EAC, which is the best DA extractor, in my opinion.

At least, I am confident of getting a perfect read whenever EAC doesn’t repport errors (I have double checked so many times).

It’s a pity EAC doesn’t seem to handle my drive very well. I don’t have the same kind of problems with other, lesser drives.

I will try ISU puzzle, and Plextools, although I wonder how Plextools might work on my drive since it’s not a real Plextor, I heard, but a rebranded Benq.