Which CD-R to buy? Plextor or MAM-E Golden Dye?

Hi there!

I have quite a large home movie collection by now (stored as .avi files on CD-R), but to my horror, I recently discovered that a lot of the “older” ones (> two years) have significant errors on them already. Those were Acer, Ricoh and Plasmon according to CDR Identifier - well, my own fault for buying that crap, I suppose. The old Verbatim Datalife Plus I have still seem to be working fine, no surprise there. Right now, I’m using Platinum (Ritek), but they don’t seem to be that great either.

Anyway, I’ve deciced to get serious about “burning for the future” now - I’d like to copy my entire collection on some lasting, quality CD-R media. I’m not concerned with burn speed or price that much, just with the durability. I’ve done some research and there’s two brands I’m considering now, Taiyo Yuden (labelled “Plextor” here in Germany) and MAM-E Golden Dye.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Plextor / Taiyo Yuden, but my concern is that they use cyanine dye, which isn’t supposed to last as long as some of the other ones - “only” 20 years or so. Is that an accurate figure, or do Taiyo Yuden use some advanced form of cyanine now, which will last longer? I know that in 20 years, we’ll probably be using entirely new blank media, anyway, but I suppose it can’t hurt to go for media today which are supposed to last even longer than that - meaning that a larger part of the collection will probably stay intact over the years.

On the other hand, MAM-E Golden Dye use phthalocyanine, which is supposed to be more resilient in the long term. But I have heard mixed reports about the basic quality of those CD-R’s. Some say they get fantastic CC1/C2 burn results, almost as good or even better than Plextor / Taiyo Yuden. Others say the opposite, that they’re getting much worse results with MAM-E. The information I could get my hands on seems pretty inconclusive. Looks like they have pretty inconsistent quality, one great batch, then a poor one. Is that still the situation today, or have they become more consistent?

If somebody here could share their experiences with those media, I’d be most grateful. Or maybe you know an entirely different brand in the same price range that yields good results? As I said, my main concern is the longevity. Of course, I’d love to burn my entire collection on MAM-E Pro-Studio Gold (supposed to last 200 years), but that’s a little too expensive for me. And it seems like overkill, anyway - who’s going to use CD-R in 50 years time, after all?

Thanks a lot for your help, and best regards,


The cyanine/phtalocyanine subject is only a small part of the whole story. The manufacturing quality is by far more important than the dye used.

It has been shown with CDRs that some using cyanine (like TY) were actually more stable than some other using phtalocyanine (like some Plasmon - and you’ve learned the hard way they’re not the most reliable CDRS you can find…)

My oldest CDRs (1995), about 35 of them, are from Taiyo Yuden and Maxell, and ALL are in perfect condition (scanned recently), not the slightest sign of degradation. :clap:

Personally I wouldn’t buy anything MAM these days because of bad stories about their production consistency, but I’ve heard that their gold CDRs were still as good as in the old times. But at what price! :eek:

Ritek CDRs are fine, you shouldn’t have problems with them. But if you really want to go for peace of mind, I’d say, hands down, good old Taiyo Yuden. Genuine in-house manufactured Maxells are top-notch too, but these days Maxell outsources to… Ritek :bigsmile: (which is not a problem for me, I do use lots of them*, but I still prefer TY for long-term backups)

Cheers :slight_smile:

*I’m talking Ritek CDRs, here, not DVDRs. For the record.

Take Plextor’s Taiyo Yuden without doubts.

Or, as an alternative, Verbatim Data Life Plus (“Super AZO”). In my experience, they are as good as TY with regard to consistent burn quality. And they at least claim to have a very stable dye. I recently scanned some Verbatims burned around 1997/1998, they are still in top shape with no C2 errors and very low C1 rates, just like freshly burned CDs.

The best CD-R media I currently have is also Verbatim DataLifePlus 52x CD-R Crystal + Super AZO (Made in China). They burn well in all my drives at all speeds, except that in the Plextor PX-712A they only burn well at up to 16x burning speed (not so good at 32x or 48x). Scans of this media are better than any other, although I don’t have any Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs to compare with.

The oldest Verbatim DataLifePlus CDs I have were burned in 1999 and they still scan outstandingly well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the media you can currently buy will be as good in 6 years however - but we can hope!

I also have non-DataLifePlus Verbatim CD-R media (Verbatim 52x Extra Protection - Made in India) and they are not nearly as good as “real” Verbatims.

If the Plextor CD-R media (manufactured by Taiyo Yuden) is easy for you to get, and you don’t mind paying the price, I think you will be happy with that choice because most tests show that Taiyo Yuden are the best for almost all CD/DVD burners.

If you want to have extra safety, you can burn your movie collection on more than a single piece of media - i.e. making backups of your primary discs on other CD-R media or on DVD+/-R media.

Nice to somebody else who uses Verbatim DataLifePlus and has faith in them, only recently somebody here said they would not touch anything made in China. If I could find a UK supplier of Verbatim DataLifePLus made in Japan in the UK, I must admit I would buy from them today :slight_smile:


Thank you all for your feedback!

Well, there goes MAM-E, then. I also telephoned with a seller today, and he confirmed that he was getting quite a few complaints after they changed their name. Seems they are still quite inconsistent.

I managed to find a shop that sells unlabelled Taiyo Yudens at a good price, so I’ll get those instead of the Plextors (I checked opinions about the shop in various forums, and it all seems very reliable, so I expect to get real Taiyo Yudens - I also telepgoned the guy today, and got the same impression.)

Verbatim Datalife Plus also sounds quite good. As I said in the original post, I have some old (24x) Verbatims+, and they still work perfectly (unlike my Acer and Plasmon media of the same age, which are 50% gone). I might end up mixing my collection between Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim. The trouble will be finding a burner that works well with both, I suppose…

Anyway, thanks again, and best regards,


You can buy Verbatim Super AZO DataLife Plus CD-Rs at Maplin Electronics where they’re currently on special offer, selling at £14.99 for a 100 spindle. The offer ends on 5th November.



Thanks, that sure looks like a Made In Japan cake box at the Maplin site, I have ordered a box, so we shall see. Most sites selling these disks always show a picture of a Made In Japan cake box, but that is never what arrives, I suppose there is cause for complaint on that on…


These are not DatalifePlus, nor are they AZO, but they dearer than anybody else for what they are. I have informed of their false advertising, but there sales dept said it was nothing to do with them. I know another site that does this. may have to give drop them a note also.


sorry but I don’t understand that part :confused:

Sorry, yes should have maybe explained better.

The picture on the Maplin website is of a 100 piece (Japenese style)cake box of Verbatim DatalifePlus Super AZO CDRs. When infact they are actually selling ordinary Datalife CDRs at a price dearer than most other sites/places :frowning:

When it comes to verbs only get datalifeplus as the rest are just prodisc or cmc crap.
In fact i have some ritek printables and get much better scans on them that non datalifeplus verbs.

Yes washac, I saw the picture that you mention also but neglected to look at the FAQ section that says:

Q: Are these discs DataLife or DataLifePlus ? (Keith: 16/07/2004 )
A: these are simply DataLife

Q: Do the CDs have the Super Azo technology/layer? (Andrew: 11/12/2004 )
A: These do not.

Although I bought a cake of these CDs there a while back for £24.99 that are the Super Azo discs. Bit of a misleading offer in my opinion. Someone should mention this to Advertising Standards Authority. Although they’ll probably defend the position saying the pictured spindle is for “illustration purposes only”. You know the score.


i Ya

I told them their sales dept yesterday about the false advertising, thing is other well UK suppliers do the same thing CDR Media for one shows Made In Japan cake boxes.

The spindle arrived just plain old white top Verbatims that you get far cheaper than their price.

They arrived in a broken cake box just put into a jiffy bag, not good, they are going back tomorrow, will not use Maplin again.