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Appeared on: Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Teac DW-548D

1. Retail Package - Installation


TEAC's DW-548D combo drive, offers high speeds for CD-R reading and writing, with speeds up to 48x and 24x speed for rewriting CD-RWs. For DVD-ROM media reading offers speed at 16x.


The DW-548D combo drive is an ATAPI/IDE device. It supports Mount Rainier and write proof with no more buffer underruns. Bellow are presented the specifications for the drive, as they have been declared by the manufacturer:

Model: DW-548D
Interface: IDE/ATAPI
Write Speeds: CD-R: 48X max. (7.2MBps) CAV CD-RW: 24X (3.6MBps) CAV
Read Speeds: CD: 48X max. (7.2MBps) CAV DVD: 16X max. (21.6MBps) CAV
Digital Audio Extraction: 48X max. (7.2MBps) CAV
Access Time: CD: 120msec DVD: 140msec
Data Buffer Size: 2MB
Buffer Management: Buffer Underrun Prevention
Write Methods: Track at Once, Disk at Once, Multi-Session and Incremental
Read Compatibility: 8cm/12cm, Audio CD, CD-ROM Mode-1, Mode-2 (Form 1, Form 2), CD-ROM XA, CD-R, CD-RW, Video-CD, CD Extra/CD Plus, CD-I, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-TEXT, DVD-ROM, single/dual layer, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW.
Write Verification: Running Optimum Power Control to Dynamically Adjust Laser Write Power Logical Recording
Format: ISO 9660 and UDF Packet Writing Drag and Drop Recording.EasyWrite (Mount Rainier) Supported
Disc Loading: Power Loading Tray
Front Panel: Built-in Headphone Jack, Volume Control Knob, Power Eject/Load Button, LED Indicator
Power Requirements: +12V DC and +5V DC
Headphone Jack: 3.5mm Diameter Stereo Jack
Mounting Orientation: Horizontal or Vertical
Safety Standards: UL, CSA, TUV
MTBF: 70,000 POH
Dimensions: 5.7”(W) x 1.63”(H) x 6.69”(D)
Weight: 2.0 lb

The picture above shows us the features and specification of the device. It supports region control RPC Phase II mode which means that user can change region up to five times, including the initial setting.

- The drive

The packing box contain the device, an interface and audio cable, the mounting screws, user's manual and warranty booklet. Inside the box there are also TEAC's information CD-ROM, NERO 5 CD, WinDVD 4 CD and one blank 80min. CD-R.

The drive's front panel is colored white. On the tray door there are the DVD-ROM logo centered and the Compact Disc ReWritable logo on the right. Below and right, there is the eject button and from left to right there is the headphone jack, the volume control and the activity/power led. The emergency eject hole is up from the volume control.

On the rear panel there are the analogue and digital audio outputs, the IDE interface and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

- Installation

Connecting the device to the motherboard, using the interface cable and starting the Windows, the drive identified as "TEAC DW-548D" as you can see below. All tests were done with firmware revision K4H4.

The following pages include test results for TEAC DW-548D drive. For measure reasons, we compare Teac`s results with two more combo drives, the Optorite DC4801 and LiteOn TLC48161H.

2. Data CD Reading Tests


Data CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD (Click for CDSpeed results)

For pressed CD reading test, there wasn't much difference between the drives. All drives confirms manufacturers specifications for 48x reading.

The drives seek data about the same time, except 1/3 and full seek, were Teac, is quite quicker between other two.

- CD-R (Click for CDSpeed results)

We made a copy of the previous pressed CD in order to test the drive's behavior with a CD-R media. The resulting speeds are very close to those of the test with the original pressed media from above. This is good, steady behavior with different media from all three drives.

Teac behave about the same when seeks data from CDR media.

- ReWritable Media (Click for CDSpeed results)

For the reading test we used 24x High Speed rewritable media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Teac drive have about the same behavour with CDRW media

3. CD Error Correction Tests


Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. Fot this test we use discs from the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.


Errors total
Num: 175814921
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 831762
Avg: -26.9 dB(A)
Max: -5.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 369963
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 3578 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 68
Avg: 729.1 Samples
Max: 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
48.4 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The performance here isn`t best, but has the average value. The total error count is extremely high, as are the average and maximum loudness error level at -26.9 dB and -5.6 dB respectively. The skipped samples are also high and the final score of 48.4 is a good indication of just how badly the drive performed. Please note that the drive was very slow in the ripping process of the test disc. TEAC DW-548D slows down the reading speed when the condition of the disc begun to be bad. Although this strategy could be legitimate in some cases offering accurate results, it turns out to be ineffective with heavily scratched discs.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 0
Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. TEAC DW-548D gets 100% with no error (loudness), muting and skips to the samples. The drive is able to accurately read scratched media, as far as the the size of the scratch is lower than 1.500mm approximately.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level

The drive successfully passed four of the five check levels for this test. Notice that the 5th check level has a scratch a size of 1.500 mm, and it is difficult to be read by most of the drives. Hence, we can say that the drive is good for correcting this type of defective disc.

- Summary

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Average Score

So, summarizing we can say that the drive is good at correcting badly scratched discs, coming with the average score at 74,2.

4. DVD reading tests


DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

In the DVD single layer read test, Teac performed almost identically and confirm manufacturers specifications for 16x reading DVD-ROM.

There isn`t a big difference on seek times.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting the read process from the inner tracks on the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, and progressing outwards towards the outer tracks for each layer.

Not a lot of difference between the drives. So far, quite good times from Teac.

Once more, the Teac drive was about the same with the drives with no remarkable difference.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is readed exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks inwards towards the inner tracks of the disc.


TEAC reading the contents of this test disc, was fine. Reading starts at 3.39x and begins increasing in speed, until meets the start of the second layer. After that it starts decreasing the speed smoothly, until the end.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the TEAC DW-548D, using the latest version of DVD Decrypter. The DVD Video title is the "Matrix" pressed DVD-Video.

Teac proved very fast ripping the DVD title. Looking at the graph above, the speed of 8900kb/s attained is a very high transfer rate.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results with DVD recordable and rewritable media.

The drive read DVDR+RW at 8x CAV, with no problems at all, starting at 3,5x speed. Same happens trying DVDR-RW. Both sets of test graphs are given in each case below.

5. DVD Error Correction Tests


DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the TEAC DW-548D drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive read the 821 test disc without reporting any reading errors. There were no speed deviations while reading the defective areas on the disc's surface. We consider that this drive accelerates up to 15x with DVD-ROM media.


This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on the surface and instead defective areas ranging in dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints with height between 65 and 75 micrometers.

The drive managed to read the defective areas on the disc without problems. Once again the reading speed accelerates up to 15x.

- Dual Layer media

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

The drive slowly starts reading from 4x speed and accelerates up to 8x mark, reading the first layer with no problems. Starting again reading the second layer from 4x speed, drive freeze reading about the 3,000,000 sector number for long time giving to us many read and a couple of Abex errors at 6x speed, but doing nothing more. Hence, we forced to eject the media tray from the drive to continue testing.


This disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes both defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints have height sized from 65 to 75 microns (micrometers).

Both layers were read at 8x speed. The defective area on to first layer, did not pose a problem for the drive, but reading second layer the drive gave to us an Abex error up to the same sector.This time finishes reading without problem.


The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches sized from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.


The drive read the TDV-541 test disc without reporting any errors. Playing the disc through PowerDVD confirmed that both layers were readable.


The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer Video/S-2 disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the disc's surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer high fingerprints.




This disc seems also to be no problem for TEAC drive. The black dots and fingerprints were bypassed without outstanding problems.

6. Protected Disc Tests


Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

To create an image of the various protected titles onto a hard disk, we used CloneCD v. software and the appropriate settings, depending on the protection type of the inserted discs. Below are summarized the capabilities of the TEAC drive, according to CloneCD software. The summary below shows that the drive supports writing of CD+G under RAW DAO:

The game titles we used for each protection scheme are given in the table below:

Game Title
Protection Scheme
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
PSX Pressed Media

SafeDisc v.2

SecuROM v.2

Teac managed to rip the contents of all game titles tested. It gave acceptable ripping performance with PSX ripping and SecuRom protected games. However it was not to slow with SafeDisc. It displayed similar performance, reporting almost the same times as the other drives.

- Writing Tests

TEAC DW-548D supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's Bypass EFM Error correction status, we used 3 different game titles with two different SafeDisc versions with the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles to the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120%. Two different discs were created for each title, one with the "Bypass EFM Error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they ran (game installed / played normally), or not.

Game Title
SD2 Build

Bypass EFM Error Sectors On

Bypass EFM Error Sectors Off

Max Payne
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
The Sims Unleashed
The Sims Superstar

7. CD-DA - DAE Tests


DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The TEAC DW-548D uses speed of 48x CAV reading type, for CD-Audio reading. Below is the resultant output from the CDSpeed transfer rate test with a pressed audio CD.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the average reading speed was 37.09x, while the reported seek times were rather good. This test confirmed the drive's 48x reading speed reaching a final speed of 49x!




We ripped the contents of the same audio disc to our hard disk, using the CDDAE software. The average ripping speed (burst mode) of 32,1x, wasn`t to slow, comparing with the other two drives.

The same pressed audio disc was copied onto a CD-R and was read again with CDspeed. Once again Teac has about the same performance.

- Advanced DAE Quality

In the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test, the Teac drive returned an average speed of 34.3x, which is acceptable performance, and a quality score of 100. CDSpeed reports that the drive can read Leadin, Leadout, Cd Text and Subchannel Data.

- Support of 90/99mins AudioCDs

TEAC rip the full contents of our 90/99min test discs. We tried to playback the discs using Media Player and all media was playable.

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used two audio discs with different audio protection schemes. We tested for both recognition and ripping to the hard disk. The software used was Exact Audio Copy.

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed Audio disc protected by Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Recognized the disc but cannot rip or play the contents
Optorite DC4801
LiteOn LTC 48161H
Recognized the disc but cannot rip or play the contents

TEAC DW-548D performed well with our Key2Audio disc, which it managed to read and rip. This wasn't the case with our other audio CD, with CDS200 protection, where the disc was recognized by TEAC drive, but unfortunately it could neither rip or play the contents of the specific disc. This was also the case with the LiteOn drive, while the Optorite managed to rip and play both discs.

8. CD Recording Tests


CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Writing Tests

TEAC DW-548D supports 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 40x and 48x CAV writing speeds. Below you can see the CDSpeed writing simulation graph with Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R media.

The writing process began at 21.73x and finished at 49.02x, reporting an average recording speed of 37.12x. According to this, the manufacturer's specification of 48x recording is confirmed.




- Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and write it on a 700MB disc. The drive's time was 2:56 minutes, at 48x writing speed. The performance is good for 48x recording speed.

Below are the whole writing times giving to us the device, using Taiyo Yuden media.

The following graph showing us, recording times with various media brands. We selected the maximum speed (48x) for all the recorded discs:

- CD-RW Writing Tests

The TEAC DW-548Dsupports 24x CAV maximum rewriting speed, with Ultra Speed rewritable media. Below are the results from the CDSpeed writing simulation test with blank 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

The test once again confirmed the drives specifications for 24x rewriting. The burning procedure started at 10.93x and finished at 24.53x having an average speed of 18.59x.


We also used Nero Burning Rom software to burn a data disc using 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. The data compilation, which we burned, had a size of 651 MB. The duration of the recording process was 4:53 minutes.

Just for comparison, we provide the rewriting time of the Teac drive against those of Optorite and LiteOn, as mention before, on introduction.

- Packet Writing Tests

Using InCD and Mitsubishi Chemicals 24x US-RW media for all Packet Writing tests, we copied a 403 MB file (412.822 KB) from Hard Disk (on the same PC as the recorder) to the formatted RW media through Windows explorer (drag and drop).

Average speed
6:51 min
3:46 min
4:31 min
3:30 min

- Other features

Up to 99 min
CD text reading/writing

9. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 1


Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On an 80min 48X CD-R disc from Taiyo Yuden we burned the same AudioCD project at 4x, 8x, 12x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 40x and 48x. The 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs are presented here.

- 3T Pit results

Looking at the graph above, we can conclude that Teac drive didn`t performed well at high recording speeds, keeping the jitter levels above the Redbook limit of 35ns, except for 8x, 12x, 16x and 24x speeds.

The average 3T Pit Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

The average Pit jitter for recording speeds of 24x and over is satisfactory, except 4x, and very good for those below.

- 3T Land results

Only for 16x recording speed, the performance is good. 8x can also be considered acceptable even though it oversteps the mark with 36,8ns. At all other speeds, the Land jitter performance is not good reaching a high of 42,17ns at 48x speed.

The following average values graph confirms the unacceptable levels at the higher speeds. At such levels, the possibility of errors or even audible clicks during playback is increased.


Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
43 Pit, 46 Land
44 Pit, 45 Land
37 Pit, 42 Land
38 Pit, 38 Land
39 Pit, 40 Land
40 Pit, 42 Land
53 Pit, 48 Land
65 Pit, 64 Land
- Summary

With TEAC DW-548D is obvious that, at low and high recording speeds we have high jitter levels and with the case of land jitter, the levels are unacceptable. The device gave us good results only at the speed of 16x. The following page where we check the jitter levels produced on various manufacturers discs, should give a better indication of the writing quality level of the drive.

10. 3T Jitter Tests - Page 2


Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

The same Nero compilation used in the previous jitter tests was used once again, this time with media from different brands. The recording speed was the maximum 48x in all cases. The following graphs show the 3T Pit & Land Jitter results.

- 3T Pit results

With all the media brands used with Teac drive, the jitter levels were quite good. Ritek, Maxell and Mam media produced levels up from 35ns limit.

The average 3T Jitter values for all manufacturers discs are illustrated in the following graph.

- 3T Land results

Once again the device gave low land values only with two media, having Mam, Maxell and Ritek with high jitter values, as we can see above. The average values presented below illustrates the drives recording ability.


Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max 3T jitter values (ns)
34 Pit, 35 Land
Maxell 48X
37 Pit, 38 Land
Mam 48X
35 Pit, 34 Land
Ritek 48X
30 Pit, 31 Land
Hi Space 48X
40 Pit, 48 Land
- Summary

Generally, from this series of tests, we can conclude that the drive isn`t the best CD recorder, as we had expected slightly better results. CMC and Hi Space discs gave best results, recorded at full 48x. On the following page we check the C1 and C2 error rates for the same discs. These are the last of the quality tests.

11. C1 / C2 Error Measurements


Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

The C1 / C2 error rate was measured for the recorded discs burned during the previous writing tests (jitter). The software used was UMDoctor Pro II, and the reader was the Optorite DD0203 drive.


Below is presented information on the CD-R media used in this test.

ID Code
Taiyo Yuden 48X
TaiyoYuden 97m24s01f
Maxell 48x
Ritek 97m:15s17f
Hi Space
Unknown 97m25s07f
CMC Magnetics
CMC Magnetics 97m26s66f
Mam 48X
Mitsui 97m27s58f
Fuji 97m26s45f
- Summary

The results are good with all media brands. The C1 levels are all low, except the Taiyo Yuden at 48x writing speed and MAM, at the same speed. C2 errors noticed at the end of reading area, on MAM's and Ritek's media. Generally the drive performed well.

12. Conclusion





  • 48/24/48 CD-RW
  • Good seek time with CDs
  • Good behavior with CD-Check Audio Test Disc
  • Rip full contents of 90/99min disc
  • Creates working backups from protected CDs
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Fast DVD ripping
  • Fast ripping speed with protected game discs
  • Overburning up to 99min
  • Supports Mount Rainier
  • Low price
  • Cannot playback/rip CDS200 protected AudioCD
  • Increased jitter at speeds over 24x
  • Behaviour with ABEX TDR-841 test disc
  • Low score with ABEX TCD-721R test disc

TEAC's DW-548D drive, is another one combo drive out to market antagonism. It claims a nice stand out there, having reading speed at 48x for CD-ROMs, 24x for CD-RWs and 16x for DVD-ROMs. Also supports most read featsures, having buffer underrun protection, plus Mount Rainier.

Testing the drive we show common results for reading media, but very good results when drive seek data. When it meets badly scratched discs the drive start to read slow, trying to get accurate data, finished with succes and having high average score at 74,2%.

The behavior with our Audio CD's during the error correction tests was quite good, reading up to the 4th level but no the 5th (1,500mm scratch). All of our test for DVD's, played successfully on the drive without any errors to be reported, except dual layer PTP media were the second layer can`t be readed, making the drive reading long time the same area without succes. This drive gave us an outstanding high transfer rate result, ripping test DVD media.

With protected disc backups, the drive make it good. The drive was in most instances fast with ripping the game titles we tried, giving good manage and nice performance.

Teac`s drive gave us average ripping speed at 32,1x for audio extraction and quality at 100. Also drive rip full contents of 90/99min disc. Unfortunately the drive didn't manage to play/rip the CDS200 protected Audio CD, thing that didn't happen with Key2AudioCD.

From writing tests, we generally saw good performance, with good recording times and the tests confirmed the manufacturers specifications. Teac succesfully complete overburning writing up to 99min media.

As far as CD writing quality is concerned, from the measurements that we did with various manufacturers media, it can be generally said that it had a good average. Unfortunately, we only have good writing results (low jitter value), when writing speeds are around the middle of the speeds, which drive offers. The C1 levels were good, while there were no C2 errors reported, if we put out Mam`s and Ritek`s media.

The drive's price on the market is around $67,44~89. Maybe with a bit of searching you may be able to find lower prices.

Summarizing i can say that Teac`s drive is a nice device for home use and covers with succes more than 70% of the works that it has to do.

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