What's the best way to check for focus error and jitter?

I’m sure it’s staring me in the face, but in reading through all the threads discussing tests and showing graphs my head is starting to spin. I just got a Premium 2 (a made in Japan version) and want to get ready to test it against my older Premium. Ripping is important, but so is CD burning. What’s the process, what tools are used for testing and measuring of focus errors and jitter? Is using Nero the only way to graph out jitter measurements?

If this is already in a thread somewhere link is apreciated.

Provided that you are using Windows, PlexTools would be the recommended software for Jitter and FE/TE testing (in fact for any testing methods Plextor drives offer).

Your drive should have shipped with a CD containing also the older “Plextools Pro”, probably version 2.33. You can download the update to the lastest version 2.46 here:

It’s a matter of taste and operation system whether to choose the “Pro” or “Pro XL” variant. Vista and 7 will partially cripple the older “Pro” version (especially the burning engine, because of privileges). Scanning should work though.

For further info our Plextor FAQ has information about how to do scans and how to read and interpret them:

Thanks hwp. I see here that PlexTools Pro XL 3.16 is now freely available. Should that be the one to use?

I think it’s the best to try XL first. XL and the old version can be installed in parallel, so you can always try the older version later.

Okay. I think I’ll try XL first though. I’m on Win7 x64 and my (much older) version of PlexTools that I got with my Premium works kind of funky.

BTW, thanks for having done all that work checking out the Premium 2 a while ago. In your opinion, using media best matched for either one, do you think the 2 is generally better than the original? After looking at so much data in that thread I’m honestly confused. Also IYO, do you think there’s anything better than the 2 out there for combined ripping and writing?

As for win 7, maybe this will help:

Using recommended media I don’t see much difference in writing quality between both models. This would be only natural, since the “2” is after all nothing else than the original drive with some extra features.

In theory the “2” may benefit from it’s newer firmware because it better reflects the actual situation when it comes to blank media, especially their actual quality, which has gone down a bit over the last years. On the other hand I’ve not yet seen a definite advantage of the “2” in that aspect.

I’d hesitate to call any drive the ultimate ripping solution. The problem is every drive has it’s own ‘likes’ und ‘dislikes’ then it comes to handling problems when reading optical media. Plextor drives usually do a lot of stuff right to begin with when it comes to DAE but even they may not make everything happen. :wink:

These threads have useful information on whether to prefer the “2” over the original Premium or what the advantage of the Premium(2) compared to non-Plextor drives is when used for ripping:

OTOH since the Premium2 is pretty much the last quality CD-RW in production out there it pretty much makes it the best combined ripping/writing solution.

[QUOTE=hwp;2496313]As for win 7, maybe this will help:

Hey, that’s [U]my[/U] thread! I actually wound up installing an Adaptec ASPI layer driver which seemed to work, but even after that the version of PlexTools I have still doesn’t seem to work the way it used to.

I’ve come to the opinion that with EAC properly set up for a given drive, if it can rip through EAC without errors then there’s not much to worry about. Or am I missing some odd subtlety that EAC is not able to handle?

I’ll take a look at the other threads as well. Thanks again.

Okay. I wanted to post the results of my Premium tests but the Insert Image functions doesn’t seem to be working for me. I have the images published to my Verizon website and I inserted the URLs but no images show up.

Ah, all one needs to do is read the Stickies! So how does my Premium rate with this media? It’s old 16x TDK CD-R, pretty sure it’s T-Y. This is what I had been using to burn audio CDs so I’d be very curious about whether the beta and jitter performance is better or worse than average.

The c1/c2 scan looks very good but apparently didn’t finish? The end of the beta/jitter scan looks a bit strange (beta drops and jitter rises). It would be interesting to see if the c1/c2 scan shows anything abnormal at that position. You could also try doing a read transfer rate test. If that position can be read at full speed itshould be ok.

That may have been because the written CD that I used had an overburn track on it. When the C1/C2 test got to that portion it started having a lot of trouble so I skipped it.

Here’s the Read Transfer test. I used the same CD.

I’m setting the Preferences to 80 minutes for the CD stuff. Should I not be doing that? I didn’t think the 100 minute default would work - isn’t that over the limit even for an overburned CD?

That limit is OK to enable you to use 90 or 99 min CDs. Since these are non-standard (compared to 74 and 80min) overburning is used as a method to achieve the capacity.

Classic overburning is just going about 2 min over the ‘regular’ capacity of a media. Setting the limit to 100 just makes sure you never run into it, provided you know what you’re doing when it comes to the usable capacity.

Okay. Here is my (essentially) brand new Premium 2. Same media type, same burning speed, same content. I need a little help in interpreting which drive (realizing the media type may not be ideal for one or the other) is better for burning accurate, low jitter audio CDs.

Unfortunately, PlexTools doesn’t show absolute jitter values - the jitter graph has a floating Y-scale and the graph is positioned vertically without a fixed scale.

So you cannot directly compare jitter on two separate discs.

One trick that has been used here, is to burn a track on one burner without closing the disc and then burning another track on the same disc on another burner. Then you can perform a jitter scan to see which burn produced the lower jitter value.

Alternatively, something like PxScan/PxView can be used for scanning. You still won’t get jitter values in terms of a percentage, or even values that can be compared between scanning drives, but you will get jitter scans that can be compared between discs.