Why most burners' max read speed is 52x?

It has been a long time since the first 52x CDRW units hit the market. I’m wondering why the speeds have not risen up. 52x writing and reading has been around for a long time now. I know very few Kenwood drives which can read at 68x and 72x, but they can do it only theoretically: they do not even reach 52x. Why ? Are there any physical issues (e.g. too much heating) that have “limited” the writing and reading speeds to 52x (7436 KB/sec) ?

The reason you don’t see drives faster than 52x is not so much a limitation of the drives as it is the media. They just can’t make CDs accurate enough to be able to spin at that speed without wobbling.

Or so is my understanding.


I seem to recall reading that a CD @ 52x speed spins somewhere between 9,000-10,000 RPM.

If memory serves, the Kenwood True-X drives were able to read at 68-72x because they used a wide laser beam that was able to read several tracks (grooves, whatever you want to call them) at once.

As always, feel free to correct me!

And I heard that the disc itself would start to come apart if it went any faster. The same is true for 16X DVD I think.


Yup - Rich Man - they are afraid that the CD’s and DVD’s will “explode” in the drives endangering both the drives and the persons close to them-


The kenwood had multiple lasers, thus it read the discs faster at a lower rpm. There are some pages out there doing experiements with exploding cds at high rpms, but I’m too lazy to find one right now. Google is your friend.