I'm actually looking at buying a duplicator myself. I'm in San Jose, Ca. There's a company in Burlingame that builds duplicators. The price isn't bad. Here's the website: http://www.buyduplicator.com/
I spoke with a sales rep there an raised my concern about quality. I offered for me to come in and make copies (as many as I want) on two duplicators (Toshiba and Sony burners) and decide for myself.
I know a few people that bought duplicators from him and the duplicators are good. I gave some average blank DVDs to my friend to burn for me to test and I ran a quality test using DVDInfoPro, and the quality was amazing. That duplicator has Pioneer DVR-116 burners in it.
I bought a DVR-S18LBK and installed in my computer and burn a few DVDs using the same media. The quality was less than the duplicator produced.
I asked the sales rep about the Pioneer burners and he said they don't use Pioneer burners any more because it's expensive. He can special order for me if I wanted to.
That makes me nervous. I wonder if the company is settling for lesser quality products now.
Anyway, I'm going there this weekend to test the Toshiba and Sony burners to compare the quality.
Another thing to note, is the duplicator controller, make sure it's a good one. Most of the websites I've visited say the Wytron and Acard are good. This company is using Athena now.
I'm a little concern. Whatever you buy, make sure you get some test software such as DVDInfoPro to test the burn quality.
When you say quality ,do you mean just the results from DVDInfoPro,or have you conducted some additional tests. Not looking to get a duplicator,just wondering about your criteria for 'quality' Actually,there is a point that I'd like to make about Pioneer. The current Pioneer BDR 205 that I just got last week ,had been widely rumored as the same burner (albeit rebadged) as a high end Plextor and sold for up to $100 more. From my own tests .it works well ,but I question as to why a company like Plextor who made quality burners for years(I owned two of them) would outsource. Maybe a product of the global economy but my well explained point is : buying Pioneer might be more expensive ,but if a company like Plextor can trust Pioneer enough to put their name on their product,maybe you should trust them too. Good Luck
I've only used DVDInfoPro to test. The other test actually playing the DVDs on players to TV. Base on my limited experience, average DVD players are more forgiving than expensive ones. I used to test my DVDs on the cheap players, but lately, I've been playing the DVDs on the more expensive and picky players to make sure the burn works. I have seen the correlation between poor result in DVDInfoPro and playback problems in DVD to TV.
When running DVDInfoPro to test, i look for PIF of 4 or less and low PI total and Quality Rating.