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A Guide to New and Vintage Color CD-Rs

ThatM1key

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I kind of miss the fun the colorful CD-Rs that companies used to make. I'll speak in USD prices (combined selling price + shipping) and show stock photos. The baseline/reference is Verbatim's 100pack plain non-inkjet discs that sell for $20 to $22. Images on this first post are not owned by me.


Yes it's a DVD stock photo but there no's direct photo's of these exact discs. Before you say the CD & DVD variants share the same design. I consider these to very boring, lazy design & pricey for what you get. $16 for a 25 spindle pack on Amazon.
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Probably one of the best color takes on the standard plain design. It's still a little bit pricey but a better value than above. Only sold in a 25 pack with slim jewel cases for $22 on Amazon. You can actually find these on eBay for a few bucks cheaper but the likelihood of these "New" discs that's been siting in somebody's hot/cold shed is much higher. There is 50 pack slim case versions floating on eBay but most have a few discs already used and demand a higher price, at that point just buy 2 of the 25 pack slime case versions from Amazon.

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Actually discontinued by Memorex. Also another take on the plain design. The Cool Color series ran for a long time just like the Verbatim's above. Memorex disc's have a more mature color but still have charm. Technically this is Memorex's last time making black CD-R's and nothing like it since. The 5 to 10 packs are often close to the 25 spindle pack price, 50 pack and 100 packs are super overpriced on eBay. Amazon is selling the 25 spindle pack for $16.

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Here's another color take on the branded surface. TDK, the forgotten maker of Tapes, CD-Rs and everything else media related. In the early 2000's, they offered 3 types, spindle, snap case and jewel cases (Box's). 5 to 25 box pack (Color CD-Rs with Color Jewel cases) are priced very closely to the 50 box pack (Color CD-Rs). If you want a 50 pack Color CD-Rs, you get the common terrible snap case ($25 or more) or try to find the very rare 50 pack box that says "Color CD-R in Multi Color Slim Cases", followed by picture's of color CD-Rs ($30 or more). Most 50-Pack Box's on the market right now are just regular CD-Rs packed with color slim cases ($20 or more), not too bad value (If you don't care about colors), but you can get actual fresh new 50 spindle pack verbatim regular CD-Rs + verbatim color slim cases for the same money. TDK Color spindles are to be avoided. They cost as much as the all 50-pack box's, usually have less discs and don't offer jewel cases. There is plenty of other NOS color spindles that offer more discs for cheaper.

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Also of Verbatim's longest running series is the Digital Vinyl and still being made. Although they do not make the gold variant anymore. Same colors from Verbatim's other color sets and have the branded surface. The grooves are actually real. You can get 50-pack spindle for $20, which is a very good value. There is a 10-pack slim case but its $16, which is a somewhat terrible value.

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Next on this list is Ridata/Ritek's Digital Vinyl. The colors are more brighter and even offer a gold variant. Price is also $20 for a 50-pack. What's the catch? Ridata Ritek makes pure garbage discs.
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If you just want Color slim jewel cases on there own, you get Verbatim's 50 pack for $12 on amazon, cheapest and best deal. In term's of competition, NOS Memorex Color and Clear jewel cases are $15+ for a 50 pack, and yes 30 packs are more common and cost the same amount for some reason. Walmart offers the ONN (only) Clear jewel cases for $13+.


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I do have some vintage CD-Rs in my storage, If I ever come come across them, I'll show them off. I have a gold vinyl verbatim CD-R that I got from a thrift store but ironically only 2 tracks were burnt to it.
 
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ThatM1key

ThatM1key

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MFSL CD-Rs are very very rare (regardless if it's just 1). They do come with that iconic cover and CD surface. This disc's are rumored to be plain MAM-A (Mitsui) CD-Rs. For just 1 Disc (with jewel case), its $30+. I do not own the pictures on this 2nd post.

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If you want that retro MFSL CD color scheme, you could try to hunt down the very rare 1st-gen/2nd-gen Memorex CD-R's (3rd-gen is black and green). About half of these disc's on the market have opened but not used. Prices vary a lot but are generally pretty high but usually you get more discs when compared to MFSL CD-R's on the market. If you want a read on the 3 generations, you read this 2005 article: https://sixohthree.com/295/cdr

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Maxell dipped there toes into making Black CD-R's. I consider these disc's to even be more rarer than the Memorex CD-R's. You can find 3-Pack with Jewel cases for $15+

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If you want something even cheaper. There is quite a bit of NOS of Ativa Black CD-R's. Black on front and the back. Most on the market are 5-pack with jewel cases costing around the $15 mark. Whether or not, it's a quality brand I do not know but I have feeling it's better than most black CD-Rs on AliExpress.

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TBone

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Very informative post ... thank you for time&effort ... don't much record to cd-rw anymore ... rotated 9 maxell old cd-rw 650mb disks for ripping ... they worked consistently, unlike others, but the problem was no other cdp could read em (yes they were finalized); other than my pro sony w66 or computer.
 

Sonil Mone

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Thanks for your post. I still burn Cds from time to time, it's my way of relieving stress..
 
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