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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Firewire CD-RW Recomendations: TDK/Formac/QPS/Yamaha/CDCyclone

Firewire CD-RW Recomendations: TDK/Formac/QPS/Yamaha/CDCyclone
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Doncom
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May 31, 2001, 12:57 AM
 
I'm looking for a FireWire CD-RW drive that is compatible with iTunes and Toast that has 12x to 16x speed writing and perferably, Burn-Proof.

Also, since it will be used with my new iBook, it would be a big plus if it were portable. Price is not at this time an issue.

I was looking at the following drives:

Formac 12x or 16x
TDK veloCD external 16x FireWire
QPS 16x
CDCyclone 16x
Yamaha 21XX 16x CDRW

I've heard some bad things about QPS, but I heard that the 16x drive is good... also I heard that Yamaha drives don't have Burn-Proof so that discourages me somewhat for making that purhcase....

Any suggestions?
     
Severed Hand of Skywalker
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May 31, 2001, 01:45 AM
 
The FireWire Que's are great, this is the 8x, 12x and 16x.

They always get great reviews.

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lucylawless
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May 31, 2001, 02:08 AM
 
the Que drives are good, cheap drives, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they get nothing but good reviews. If you're on a tight budget, I'd even recommend one. But god help you if something goes wrong. The drives themselves are decent, but QPS' customer service sucks a big fat one. I see more problems on these boards relating to Que drives than to all other drives combined. The fact that they're popular (because they're cheap) probably has something to do with that...
...but if you're looking for the best drive, not the best deal, I'm casting my vote against QPS

(I've had mine for a year. Since about a month ago, it's a crap shoot whether or not the drive is even recognized by my computer. When it works, it works with no problems, but I've read a lot of stories lately about them getting flakey)
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Doncom  (op)
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May 31, 2001, 02:59 AM
 
Originally posted by lucylawless:
...but if you're looking for the best drive, not the best deal, I'm casting my vote against QPS
So... what would you recommend lucylawless?


[This message has been edited by Doncom (edited 05-31-2001).]
     
Severed Hand of Skywalker
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May 31, 2001, 12:26 PM
 
All the bad reports I have read about QPS are for the USB drives only. Not the FireWire ones.

Here is what NOT to buy:
iomega (Cheap, unrelaible)
Sony (bad Mac support)

For quality, look at LaCie, but be careful, some models have fans when they shouldn't.

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marusin
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May 31, 2001, 02:35 PM
 
Actually I had a QPS Firewire drive and it was the biggest pile of junk ever wrapped up in translucent plastics...

I cannot stress enough to GO WITH A YAMAHA!!!!
I wouldn't worry about burnproof or whatever.. I have the 8x8x32 and have never once burned a coaster with over 600 cds burned...
     
lucylawless
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May 31, 2001, 03:38 PM
 
Originally posted by Doncom:
So... what would you recommend lucylawless?


[This message has been edited by Doncom (edited 05-31-2001).]
oh, yeah, I guess I wasn't too helpful.

my only experience has been with the Que drive, but I've heard a lot of good things about Yamaha (and very few bad things. Only that it's loud, I think, but most drives that fast will be loud). Also, Sony is what Apple ships new machines with, so it's probably a safe bet...

if you search this forum for firewire + CD-RW, you should get a pretty good idea of the drawbacks of each drive. There are even 3 or 4 threads devoted to just a discussion of which is the best
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jfdonahue
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May 31, 2001, 09:26 PM
 
I had a Que and had nothing but problems. Toast would not recognize it and qps support was not help. I currently have a Formac and have been quiet pleased with it. Extremely quiet and compatible with iTunes. Accelarate your mac website has a review http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/. No matter what you get, get Toast 5 to go along with it. I have done a ton of background burning and produced no coasters so far. Great piece of software.
     
bugs
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Jun 1, 2001, 12:04 AM
 
Severed Hand must work for Que. He/she sure isn't reading the peripherals forum. As you can see from two still active posts of mine, my Firewire Que drive sucks too.

Which reminds me, Doncom, before posting a question like this, why not read the existing posts?
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Doncom  (op)
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Jun 1, 2001, 12:26 AM
 
Okay, so I'm down to three contenders:

Yamaha - Formac - TDK

Does anyone know anything about the FireWire TDK drive? I signed up on their waiting list but never got a response.

Doncom - [email protected]
     
bugs
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Jun 1, 2001, 12:57 AM
 
Good luck Doncom. Let us know how it works out. I'll trash my Que as soon as I discover a unit that works as advertised.

Understand though that this is all new. CDRWs haven't been on the market that long. Mfgrs try to make them work with parallel, SCSI, USB & Firewire interfaces and Operating Systems that are always in flux. Meanwhile the software programmers have the same demands, plus at least a dozen data formats.

So, eventually there will be a drive that works with most Macs, but by then Macs will have changed and we will demand more features, etc.
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bkolasin
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Jun 1, 2001, 07:37 AM
 
I, too, am very interested in the TDK and Formac drives. I saw an ad in May's MacAddict magazine for the external firewire TDK VeloCD, however, I can't find anything about the firewire version on the TDK website. Does anyone have a URL?

Also, I read a review of the Formac 12x10x32 (I think) at xlr8yourmac (link: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/...032_cdrw.html) and it sounds (and looks) AWESOME... but I don't know if the review applies for the 16x version of the drive as well. What I'm looking for is iTunes and discburner compatibility, and I don't think either of the formac drives has it in OS9 yet.

Any reader reports / additional URLs would be awesome. Thanks!
     
milhaus
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Jun 1, 2001, 08:42 AM
 
The formac drive with the Teac mechanism review at the site has disc burner and itunes support in 9.1, with authoring support 1.1, and X. I know, I have the teac drive in a Lacie enclosure. Burn Proof is a must. If you want the best deal, check either dealnn or dealmac - I think there's a madlogix firewire cd burner using the same mechanism for 199, which is damn cheap.
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zigzag
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Jun 1, 2001, 09:01 AM
 
I don't have any interest in QPS, but it seems that most of the problems had to do with previous models and that the current 16x model with the Plextor mechanism is excellent. Every review I've read has rated it very highly.

The Sony has also recieved excellent reviews (Apple uses Sony mechanisms), but it's only 12x and some people seem to have had compatibility problems with the early production models. I like the design of it because it can operate on its side, saving space, and it looks like a serious piece of equipment rather than some sort of alien landing module.

I'm interested in the TDK as well but haven't been able to track down any info.

[ 06-03-2001: Message edited by: zigzag ]
     
Doncom  (op)
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Jun 1, 2001, 10:04 AM
 
Well, to get "e-mail Notification of veloCD Availability and Information", you can try the site for the TDK FireWire burner @:
http://www.tdk.com/velocdfe/

I've signed up, but haven't heard a word from them since.

Specs on TDK Drive:

16/10/40 External FireWire/IEEE veloCD ReWriter

16x Write/10x ReWrite/40x Read/40x Audio CD Rip
* Burn a full CD-R in 5 minutes
* Rip an audio track in 5 seconds

Burn-Proof Underrun Protection Technology
* Eliminates Buffer Underrun Errors for Perfect Recordings Every Time
* Enables Full Multitasking -Burn & Surf Simultaneously

PC and Mactintosh Compatible
Plug & Play Compatibility

TDK CD Blender Software Suite Includes:
* Roxio Toast 4.0 (Mac Version Only)
* Ahead Nero 5.0 (PC Version Only)
* TDK Digital MixMaster (PC Version Only)
* InCD Packet Writing Software(PC Version Only)

Bonus Utilities Software
* MusicMatch Jukebox (Both Mac & PC Versions)
* Adobe ActiveShare (PC Version Only)

Doncom - [email protected]
     
Cipher13
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Jun 2, 2001, 07:30 AM
 
Yamaha is the best, no question.

The drives are the most reliable and fastest there are.

They may not be wrapped in pretty plastic cases, but so what?

Get a Yamaha CRW2100, the Lightspeed burner, it is 16*10*40, iTunes compatible, and is just plain amazing.

You will not regret it.

Yamaha reign supreme when it comes to CD/R/RW.


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zac4mac
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Jun 2, 2001, 08:58 AM
 
Nobody has mentioned my fav, Plextor yet. I have a Plex12/20 CD-rOM in my 8500 and a Plex 8/20 CDr(no cap "r" on this k/b, sorry) in an external SCSI case on my G4DP. Extremely reliable and with a large input buffer, they are bare E- IDE/ATAPI drives you can put in a F/W case.
     
<HT Guy>
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Jun 3, 2001, 04:09 AM
 
Anyone have any experience with the EZQuest Boa 16X drives? Their gray color makes them appear as though they'd be a great match for a G4 Cube...
     
RoofusPennymore
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Jun 3, 2001, 05:04 AM
 
Have you checked out the Drive Compatibility Database at XLR8yourmac?

I also read that the Yamaha was better than the Que. I thought the Que had a Plextor mechanism in it.
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ericdelangen
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Jun 3, 2001, 03:30 PM
 
I know that some of the iomega cd-r/w drives use plextor mechanisms, but I haven't heard good things about the iomegas. I'd have to go with recommending a yamaha drive too... heard good things about them.
     
Severed Hand of Skywalker
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Jun 3, 2001, 03:56 PM
 
Originally posted by bugs
:
<STRONG>Severed Hand must work for Que. He/she sure isn't reading the peripherals forum. As you can see from two still active posts of mine, my Firewire Que drive sucks too.
</STRONG>
Ya, because my Que drive works and I love it and YOUR experience with it is negative, I must work for Que.

I have 3 of these drives, 1 at home, 2 at the office. With over 800-1000 CD burns not ONE CD has failed.

Out of the 4 G4 cubes I bought, 2 were busted. Out of the 5 Mac's I have bought over the past 5 years, 3 were bused out of the box.
Draw your own concussions.

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<HT Guy>
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Jun 4, 2001, 12:35 AM
 
Regarding availability of the TDK veloCD...You might try calling CDW and asking when they expect ot receive their stock. They are advertising the FireWire veloCD here for $352.

Also, for those with no time to burn :-), there is a new 24X burner from EZQuest being advertised at ClubMac for $345.
     
lucylawless
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Jun 4, 2001, 02:18 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
<STRONG>

Ya, because my Que drive works and I love it and YOUR experience with it is negative, I must work for Que.

I have 3 of these drives, 1 at home, 2 at the office. With over 800-1000 CD burns not ONE CD has failed.

Out of the 4 G4 cubes I bought, 2 were busted. Out of the 5 Mac's I have bought over the past 5 years, 3 were bused out of the box.
Draw your own concussions.</STRONG>
I think he was referring to the fact that there are over a dozen threads on this board about the Que drives, and you're the only person in any of them that ever recommends the drive to others.

That doesn't mean your three drives aren't great; it's just that the odds seem to be against you

In case anyone else is even reading this...From experience and from reading this board, I've concluded that the Que drives are excellent, until they mysteriously stop working. Mine has never burned a dead disc, either, but from time to time it just stops working. I'm sure newer models have this problem less often, and I wouldn't be surprised if you personally don't see it for 3-4 years. I bet it has never happened to you, Severed Hand, because when it does happen to me it's infuriating, and the tech support at QPS is totally worthless, especially for macs.
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marka
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Jun 10, 2001, 05:39 AM
 
It's seem worth pointing out what some may be saying here about the QPS drives. The argument could be made that in general people are more willing to complain when they are having problems. Couple that with lots of people owning QPS drives and you get a lot of negative posts.

I own two QPS Firewire burners. I just got the 16x and it works great but I haven't burned more than 20 CDs or so yet. It was dead out of the box and QPS replaced it. I've burned hundreds of CDs with the 12x. I sold it to a friend and it died. QPS will repair or replace it at no cost.

It's always frustrating when something goes wrong. I think QPS's service could improve but they have been very good to me.

The conclusions one draws from this are one's own.
     
Fredo
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Jun 10, 2001, 05:55 PM
 
Hey,&lt;H T GUY&gt;
I've had an EZQuest 12x10x32 firewire burner for almost a year, and enjoyed smooth operation without problems. It includes Burn-proof, and Toast 4.something. I updated to Toast 5.0.1, and never burned a coaster.
It also includes cable and an external power supply.
When I bought it, the extensions included on the install disk were out of date. The tech service I received free over the phone was outstanding, and they emailed me the proper extensions immediately.
Some reviews of the EZQuest complain about the size. It is pretty big, 10.8x8.5x2.8, but it looks good to me, and portability would not be a problem in my opinion.
I thoroughly recommend this product.
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