The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums


Product: CRW3200E-VK
Company: Yamaha
Estimated Street Price: $189
Review By: Julien Jay


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Technology, SafeBurn & Audio Master QR
3: CD-RW Track Edit Mode & Mount Rainier
4: Performance, DAE & Burning
5: Nero 5.5
6: NeroMIX & InCD 3.0
7: Conclusion

   The whole computer industry is always yearning for better performance. Every six months or so a new product chases the other while at the same time offering better performance at the same price. It’s especially the case in the burner industry where the “X” race is a fury. Yamaha is a well-known Japanese manufacturer, founded in 1887, that sells pianos, hi-fi systems, sound cards, various DSP circuits, engines, mobos and CD burners! Over the years they have established thier experience in the burning domain. In 1988 Yamaha introduced the first CD recording system (for mastering purposes) followed in 1990 by a 2x model to boost master production. Then in 1994, Yamaha introduced the first 4x burner to the general public which paved the way for personal CD recording. In 1997 Yamaha renewed their burner models by unleashing the first CD-RW 2x burner followed by a 4x model.  At the end of 1999, Yamaha finally released the first high speed (8x) CD-RW burner before launching the 16x burner. Today Yamaha’s latest burner records CDs at the speed of 24x. The new CRW3200 burner comes with a brand new look and exciting new features like AudioMaster, MountRainier and many more features that I will describe throughout the review.

Yamaha CRW3200E-VK (click to enlarge)


First of all, the CRW3200 sports a brand new look. The facade of the burner is now white (instead of the usual beige) and much more geometrical. The front panel harbours one headphone connector, one volume wheel and one eject button. The bottom part of the front panel is pierced by two holes that are there to ensure the correct ventilation of the drive. If you haven’t fallen in love with the brand new slick look of this Yamaha burner yet, when you see that it comes with an electric blue LED you will definitely be seduced (at least I was). When there’s no CD in the drive the LED light is purple, however, once you insert a CD the LED becomes blue. Due to the use of a new DSP component along with a new pickup technology the rear fan that Yamaha burners used to feature has been replaced with a more discreet record process (note that this burner doesn’t even come close to overheating, even without a fan). The CRW3200 is actually available in different varieties: IDE, SCSI, FireWire and USB 2.0 external. However, Yamaha only produces the ATAPI version now. Yamaha’s engineers have developed various interface adapters that can change an IDE burner into a SCSI, FireWire or USB 2.0 burner. The SCSI interface that was designed for the CRW2200 also works with CRW3200. It’s great since you can adapt your burner to your needs without replacing it. For example, you can convert an IDE burner to make it use the SCSI interface and it will reduce CPU utilization. The rear panel of the burner features a classic 40 pin IDE interface, a power plug and two audio connectors: one S/PDIF Digital Audio and one analogue output.

Yamaha CRW3200E-VK Front Panel (click to enlarge)


   Installing the unit was very easy: after dismantling the old burner, I installed CRW3200, attached the SCSI converter and connected the SCSI cable before connecting the molex Power plug and the soundcard audio link cable. I mounted back the computer and restarted it. Microsoft Windows XP instantly recognized the new burner as an UDMA-2 drive and, lastly I installed the Nero 5.5 software that came with the burner.

Features List

  • 24X Write Speed Record a 74 minute CD in less than 3 minutes. Fast enough to meet the tightest deadlines!
  • 10X Rewrite Speed Record, erase and record again at incredible 10X speed!
  • 40X Read Speed With a maximum read speed comparable to top CD-ROM drives, this CD-RW recorder eliminates the need for an additional CD-ROM drive.
  • 40X Maximum Audio Ripping Rip a full audio CD in just 3 minutes!
  • Buffer Memory With a generous 8MB buffer memory, save time, media, and aggravation.

  • SafeBurn™ Buffer Management System SafeBurn is the most comprehensive buffer management system in the industry, designed not only to eliminate buffer under runs but also to allow you to burn CDs while running multiple applications.

  • Mt. Rainier Support This recorder features CD-MRW or "Mt. Rainier" support for true drag-and-drop CD rewriting and on-the-fly formatting of the disc, making the CD ideal floppy disk replacement. This drive can write to a CD as easily as a floppy disk drive.
  • Audio Master Quality Enhancement System This exclusive new Yamaha feature is designed to guarantee the best possible audio recording quality on conventional 74 or 80-minute CD-R disc. When Audio Master Recording Mode is enabled, the system widens the lands and the pits, significantly reducing jitter created during CD-R recording, improving audio and music recording quality to a level rivaling professionally prepared music CDs.


  Technology, SafeBurn & AudioMaster QR »


  *   *