Originally Posted by Super Eye
CitiBear is one of my favorite people on this site. I have learned much from him, have the utmost respect for him BUT on certain issues I disagree with him and on those issues I speak up.
We've enjoyed exchanging views, and agreed to disagree many times, Super Eye.
I've generally stopped challenging you on things like what you heard from a Pioneer rep, your experience with your Sony clone, and the reports of a half dozen AVS members who claim to grind coffee with their 640 every morning since 2006 with no adverse effects on their burner. Just as many people never experience the dreaded Panasonic dust issue, and many never had the notorious JVC "loading" PSU error, and many have never seen a Sony GX "dirty disc" alert: many people have had a 640 since 2006, burned 10 discs a day with it, and fed it nothing but CMC Mag 16x discount media without a single hiccup. Congrats to them.
This doesn't nullify the experience of all the others who DID encounter those issues, or indicate "clear sailing" for anyone who buys any random used Pioneer. There are plenty enough reports here and elsewhere of steady decline in disc burning ability of the 2006-2008 models with the Sony burner if used with blanks it doesn't particularly "like" (just as similar reports come from owners of Panasonics, LGs, and others). I have been buying, repairing, selling, and trading Pioneers since before the Sony coproduction agreement: dozens have passed thru my hands since 2005, all different models. Few of them that weren't brand new had flawless, indestructible burners: those that did were usually older models with actual Pioneer burners (and those have their own set of issues).
There isn't a DVD/HDD recorder ever sold that didn't have a set of issues. When buying brand new from an active brand with a usable warranty, we can buy whatever we like. But in a case like Pioneer, where the mfr ceased all involvement with the product four years ago, pulled completely out of the USA market six years ago, and there's virtually no repairs or replacement parts available in USA for the Canadian models: CAUTION is indicated. Can a used Pioneer be a good deal? Sure it can. Is it worth obsessing over and driving to Canada to buy one? Not really. If you could buy one on a local, USA Craigs List for $125 or less, its worth a spin, but paying to import one from Canada with no chance to test it is a big risk. The final Canadian Pioneer/Sonys were nice machines, IMO the best overall DVD/HDDs, but life moves on and they've been gone a long time. Its too late to obsess over them now, in the same way that it would be nuts for a Panasonic fan to kill themselves looking for an old EH55. The moment has passed for importing them from Canada: snapping them up new and shipped across the border made sense back in 2008, but importing a used one today is a gamble I wouldn't take.
Now if you live in Canada, its a whole other story, and you have many chances to score a decent used Pioneer (or Sony RDR-HX780) with a lot less risk, a lot less hassle, and certainly less money.Edited by CitiBear - 9/21/12 at 5:47pm