Avoid Ritek media

I’ve been a big fan of Ritek branded media, both for DVD-R/+R and CD-R for a few years now. It used to be a brand you could rely on for consistently good results, but that has been changing. I’ve been having problems making DVDs lately, and at first I thought it was one of my burners. But when I found I was having problems with BOTH burners, and that scans of the ‘good’ burns had very high error rates, I came to conclude that it was the media and not the burner. I went out to buy a few other brands of media today and burned a batch as a test. Those came out with NO problems and very low error rates. Looking around the web on sites like CD Freaks, it turns out that there’s a lot of complaints about Ritek quality declining lately. The sad thing is the bad spindle I bought is Ritek labeled, not an OEM brand like Ridata or another. The Ritek labeled ones are supposed to be only Grade A rated media. What has happened to you, Ritek?

I recommend not buying Ritek-made media from now on.

3 thoughts on “Avoid Ritek media”

  1. I have personally burned 3000+ Ritek disc. I had an oportunity to try the burns on a variety of players ranging from PS to dirt cheap standalone players to more expensive standalones to computer drives. I have never, never had a single problem with any of the burns. Not a single one. All of the burns were DVD video.
    I appreciate your point and I think I can give one explanation of the reason why the quality “is declining”. The cometition between manufacturers is fierce. The first tier manufacturers like CMC, RITEK ony are able to survive by constantly staying ahead of second tier manufactrurers by developing new products and higher speed discs. One example of that was that RITEK stopped manufacturing 4x speed discs, I think sometime in the beginning of this year. This is because the second tier manufacturers had started making the 4x speed discs in massive quantities and the priced had dropped beyond the point where first tier companies could make any profit.
    I refer to the data that I had 4 months ago about the factory prices from first tier manufacturers. The factory prices for 8x speed media were around US$0.38. If you look back you will remember that the 8x speed discs from larges reseller companies like Meritline.com comapnies were in the vivinity of US$0.42. I can tell you for sure that between Meritline and the factory was at least another company who imported the discs into USA. They all had to make profit. If you take in the account the freight (which adds roughly another US$0.01 to the cost of each disc and, I think it is US$2.5%, US Customs duty – you will see that the comapnies who sell media make really pennies on what they sell. What I am aware of is that some large importers water down the quality of shipments by adding to the media certain percent of B Grade discs. Most people would accept failure rate of 2-3% in burns. Some even up to 5%. So as you can see – if you put in each 100 A Grade discs 3-5 discs of lover grade – you are going to lift up your profit margin by that number of percent. Of course B grade does not mean that the disc is not going to work full stop. Most players will play it and the burn will not be too bad or bad enough that would land the disc in the rubbish bin. So most people get away with selling B Grade discs. I am not sure whether you are aware of the facts that I mentioned above, but I have gathered these facts from different independent sources ranging from professional manufacturers reviews and reports to talking to different suppliers in different countries which were independent of each other. At first this may sound like a conspiracy theory, but that’s what I myself thought at first, however as my knowledge grew – I came to the conclusion that this is the truth.
    Coming back to RITEK – they make thier own discs, plus with RICOH manufacturer’s code code and as of the beginning of this year, if I remember correctly, thay contracted their line of RiData to CMC magnetics citing that they are the leaders and that’s why they entrusted the manufacturing of their superior grade media – RiData that is, to CMC. In my view it is just another form of market consolodation.
    I hope this read did not bore you stiff and if you knew most of what i said did not make you to close this page.
    Have fun,


  2. Hi Leo,

    Yeah, I’m aware of a lot of that. The burn failure rate on that spindle was a lot higher than 5% though. I don’t remember what the final count was, but it was more than 30 out of a 50 piece spindle that were bad. That’s more than 60%. And again, that was on two different burners that were having no trouble burning other brands. And by label I mean that the disks came in a Ritek wrapper with a Ritek printed label on the disks. The manufacturer code was also RITEK, though I have some other Ritek labeled disks with a RICOH manufacturer code as well. It is possible that I got a bad spindle, but on the other hand I’ve also been seeing higher error rates on scans of other spindles of Ritek media, which is why I say it seems their quality is slipping.

    Since then I have had excellent results with Philips media made by CMC, Imation media made by CMC, and Maxell with a MAXELL manufacturer code. I also have some Maxell media with a RITEK manufacturer code that gets much lower error rates than the Ritek or Ridata branded media, so they still seem to be able to make quality media for someone. I’ve had good but not outstanding results with BenQ media manufactured by DAXON. I’ve had mediocre results with Sony media with SONY manufacturing code. I’ve had mediocre to poor results with Memorex and Vio branded media made by CMC, so their quality seems to vary a lot depending on the name on the label.

    I live in Taiwan so I’m limited mostly to the local manufacturers since it doesn’t make sense to import media from elsewhere except for specialty items like dual layer media. This means I can’t really get the Japanese made stuff, but it also spares me the really dreadful quality stuff from China.

    For now I’m sticking with the Philips, Imation and Maxell branded stuff for important things and BenQ for less important things.


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