As I understand, the "issues" (we won't call them "problems") trace the recent history of the company, as the Gold product line has been sold several times in the last five years. I'm not clear enough about that history to recount it, but my impression is that the underlying troubles are not "greed" but distraction. CD manufacturing and CD-R manufacturing in particular, is extremely competitive. Price vs. costs are driven more by survival than by squeezing the last penny out of the customer. Whatever the reason, our collective concerns are with the ends, not the means -- we don't buy media because a company makes less money than another, we buy it because it's "better." "Better" to most consumers is "cheaper". And, sorry for this dose of reality, there aren't enough folks in archives demanding "higher quality" to show up as dither in the sales data for CD-R. Which is where developing relationships to a niche player (like MAM-A) is potentially good. Keeping in mind of course, my tiny media supplier moves 500,000 blank CD-R every month. Or probably more than every CD-R used in preservation world-wide every year. We've had serious concerns about the "Mitsui Golds" for some time. We have test equipment here and have been monitoring their media. It varies very widely from batch to batch, and have returned batches with poor results. We also find best results vs. burn speed vary from batch to batch. So we lose a few dozen discs from each batch to find the best process window. (Although the MAM-A Gold, according to the company, is rated to 52x, lately we're finding the best results at 16x. They generally have scored badly at low speeds, 1x and 2x) A new shipment just came in, so we'll be going through this again this week.) We have found MAM-A very responsive to our worries, have never hesitated to replace media, and seem to appreciate the feedback and test results. I'm not here to be apologist for MAM-A. Back in the day when they gained their reputation they made exceptionally fine CD-Rs, better than anything we tested (and we do testing ALL the time -- for some projects, every single disc; and routinely on all our burners to monitor aging and process window). For consistency and exceptionally low error rates (across the board, BLER, E11, E12, E21, E22, E31 and E32), TY takes our prize. They're consistently so good I haven't bothered lately to bring in other cyanine discs for comparison. But they do stand in stark contrast to MAM-A. Typical of CD-Rs, MAM-A Golds have high E12 errors. Atypical of CD-Rs, TY's have very low E12 errors (I'm told no one knows why CD-Rs have characteristically high E12 errors). But does any of this matter? Does the error rate increase? Does it increase perpetually or does it plateau? Does it accelerate exponentially? Has entropy been repealed by polycarbonate? By the time the error rates get high enough to be un-correctable (whether the discs last for 50, 100 or 300 years), will there be hardware to play them on? What do accelerated aging tests tell us? (Did accelerated aging tests predict Sticky Shed Syndrome?) Any good mathematicians out there who can tell us, in relation to the available error correction power of the format, how much is being spent correcting for these variations in manufacturing? Is all this a tempest in a tea pot? Are we worried about the right problem? G >Tom Fine writes: >>Not disputing your facts at all. However, I find it curious that Mitsui >>would see such a need for >>cost-cutting. > > >Of course, I am not privy to the corporate meetings that led to this >decision, but I'd love to go back in time and preempt it! > >It's probably all about market share and dwindling profits. We >professionals aren't driving this market and will be marginalized >accordingly. > >When I get the chance to contact Mitsui directly about all of this, I'll >report to the list whatever I discover. > >Chas. > >-- >Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]> >Professional Audio for CD, DVD, Broadcast & Internet -- Nominated for Grammy Award 2003:Best Classical Album Philadelphia Orchestra, Schumann Orchestra works Producers: George Blood & Simon Woods George Blood Safe Sound Archive George Blood Audio, L.P. 21 West Highland Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118 (215) 248-2100 (v) (215) 242-2177 (f) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ THIS MESSAGE IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL(S) TO WHOM IT IS ADDRESSED AND MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS PRIVILEGED, CONFIDENTIAL AND/OR EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER APPLICABLE LAW. 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