First things first as we check out the drive specifications as mentioned on the Yamaha
|Write/Re-Write Speeds:||CD-R : 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, 12X, 16X (CLV), 18X-24X (Partial CAV)
CD-RW : 2X, 4X, 8X, 10X (CLV), 4X-10X (Full CAV)
|Buffer Size:||8 MB (3,224 sectors)|
|Interface:||Enhanced IDE (E-IDE)/ATAPI|
|Access Time:||150 ms (random)|
|Supported Formats:||CD-DA, CD-TEXT, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Bridge (Photo CD)
Video CD, CD-I, Mixed Mode CD-ROM (CD-ROM+CD-DA), CD EXTRA, CD-MRW
|Recording Modes:||Disc at once (DAO), Session at once (SAO), Track at once (TAO), Packet
Writing, Audio Master Quality Recording
|Audio Master Mode:||Linear speed: 1.4m/s (4X write speed), capacity CD-R: 63 min. (650 MB CD),
68 min. (700 MB CD), Disc at once (DAO)
|System Requirements:||Pentium II class or higher, 300 MHz or faster / 64 MB (Windows XP: 128 MB)
/ Windows 95 (OSR2 or later) / 98 (SE) / ME / 2000 / XP
|Disc Loading:||Front auto loading|
|Dimensions WxHxD:||148 x 42.6 x 198.1 mm|
Overall nice features indeed. The drive supports all recording formats and even offers ‘Audio Master Quality Recording’
which we’ll get back to later. Let’s go a little deeper into some of the supported features:
Buffer (Underrun Protection):
The claimed buffer size of the Yamaha CRW3200E is 8MB. Let’s check this with Nero Burning Rom (v184.108.40.206):
The buffer underrun technique the Yamaha CRW3200E uses is called ‘SafeBurn’. But SafeBurn is more than just a
technique to prevent buffer underruns. It’s a complete process to guarantee an optimum burn result. Part of the
SafeBurn system is the generous 8MB buffer size and ‘Optimum Write Speed Control’, which automatically adjusts
the writing speed depending on the type of media you’re using. As you can see in the screenshot above, this option
can be disabled in Nero Burning Rom but we wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s another screenshot showing the Yamaha
changing the write speed:
As Nero already reports the Yamaha CRW3200E supports the Mount Rainier industry standard. We’ll test the drive’s
Mt. Rainier abilities later on in this review. Here’s a small introduction of the CD-MRW format. Click on the
Mt. Rainier logo to read our article on the Mt. Rainier format:
“…Mount Rainier enables native OS support of data storage on CD-RW. This makes the technology far easier to use
and allows the replacement of the floppy. This is done by having defect management in the drive, by making the
drive 2k addressable, by using background formatting, and by standardizing both command set and physical layout.
The new standard is promoted by Compaq, Microsoft, Philips, and Sony and is supported by over 40 industry leaders:
OS vendors, PC-OEM’s, ISV’s, chip makers, and media makers.
The purpose of the proposal made by the Mount Rainier group is to make CD-RW easier to use for data storage and
interchange. The changes proposed will enable the operating system support of dragging and dropping data to CD-RW
discs. Formatting delays will also be eliminated and the use will be comparable to using a hard disk or a floppy…”
Audio Master Quality Recording:
According to Yamaha, audio CD’s burned using standard methods display considerably higher jitter values than CD’s
which are pressed. The Audio Master feature reduces the jitter values up to 30% in order to achieve the best
possible sound quality on audio tracks on CD-R discs. This results in significant audible clarity in the treble and
central range, full bass reproduction and convincing interpretation in terms of space.
With Yamaha’s Audio Master Quality Recording you should get audibly better sound than with an audio CD burned as
standard at 24x using drives by other manufactures. With Audio Master it’s easier for a CD-player to read information
from a back-up disc and back-ups could thus also be played in very picky CD-players like in your old car hi-fi system.
The pictures below illustrate the differences between normal writing and writing with Audio Master using an
Audio CD burned as standard
CD using Yamaha Audio Master
The first image (standard audio CD burned at 24x) illustrates a considerably less clear signal than the second
image (using Yamaha’s Audio Master). You can see this by looking at the circles. The less clear the image, the
higher the jitter factor.
The Audio Master feature does have one negative point: the memory capacity of a 650MB or 700MB CD-R is respectively
63 or 68 minutes. This is because the ‘pits’ and ‘lands’ on the disc are sharper and take up more space than with normal
CD-RW Audio Track Editing Mode:
Another feature that the Yamaha CRW3200E supports is called ‘CD-RW Audio Track Editing Mode’. This is a special
feature with which you can edit audio tracks recorded on the CD-RW disc without having to delete the entire CD first.
This means that individual tracks can be added or deleted from the disc. The only program to make use of this feature
is Nero Burning Rom. When you choose to start a new audio compilation we have a new tab. You can see this tab in the
picture below. Please note that this option is only available for the Yamaha drive. Other recorders we’ve
reviewed like the TEAC CD-W540E and the
Mitsumi CR-480ATE do not have this option:
We of course tested this feature by starting ‘an editable Audio CD-RW disc’ (second option) and then using the third
option (‘Modify an existing Audio CD-RW disc’). Although the ‘CD-RW Audio Track Editing Mode’ is a great feature it does
have some limitations:
- When you want to add a track between let’s say track 4 and 5 you first need to delete all tracks
after track 4, add your new track and then re-add the tracks you just deleted. When you start the write process the TOC
and selected tracks will be deleted and a new lead-in and lead-out will be written:
- You can only delete consecutive tracks (see the Nero message below). Therefore it’s for instance not
possible if you have an audio CD-RW disc with 7 tracks to only delete track 4 because you first have to erase track 5, 6
and 7. You can then of course re-add these tracks when setting up your compilation.
- Because the disc is written in TAO mode (Track At Once) it’s not possible to add
CD-text to the disc (only possible in Disc At Once mode).
As we see it, the easiest way to take advantage of the ‘CD-RW Audio Track Editing Mode’ is to just add tracks to an
existing audio CD-RW disc. This way you don’t need to delete tracks first.
Next we will take a look at which writing methods the Yamaha uses to write CD-R’s. We used
Nero CD Speed to do a test write. Below you can see the
The yellow line indicates the rotation speed (rpm) of the CD-R.
In the produced graph you can see that the Yamaha CRW3200E uses the P-CAV method when writing a disc. P-CAV stands
for Partial Constant Angular Velocity and, as you can see in the picture below, is a lot
faster than the Z-CLV (Zone-Constant Linear Velocity) method that other 24x recorders are
The average writing speed of the Yamaha CRW3200E with a 74min/650MB CD-R is 23.55x (see the picture on the
left). When we compare this with other Z-CLV 24x recorders we see that the Yamaha is indeed the fastest 24x
-the Waitec MEGALUS (22.70x),
-the Lite-On 24102B (22.75x), and
-the Plextor PX-W2410A (22.76x)
Please note that when doing the same tests with a 80min/700MB CD-R these speeds will be more apart.