Back on September 7th of this year, we brought you the web's first look at Pioneer's new DVD-304S, the fastest-rated SCSI DVD-ROM drive. During the course of testing this drive we came across some potentially serious issues. First, there were difficulties reading CD-RW media. We also uncovered a digital audio extraction issue similar to what we had experienced with the Pioneer DVD-115, and we found that we could not reach the advertised 10X DVD read speeds. We promised our readers that we'd look into these issues and report back any new findings. Unfortunately, no solutions were found. Our communications with Pioneer could not shed any light either. Eventually, the issue appeared to have been forgotten.
Fast-forward about 3 months... Hyper Microsystems offered to send us a Pioneer DVD-305S. Unfamiliar with the model number, we checked Pioneer's website, but the latest drive they had on their product page was the DVD-115, itself 8 months old. After mentioning the 305S in our December 8th Headline, we received an email from a reader who provided us a link to Pioneer's European website detailing the DVD-305S. From there, we hopped over to Pioneer's Australia website and found it listed there as well. Meanwhile, a reader on our BBS claimed the model number might be "invalid." Pioneer could not provide us with any new information besides confirming that it was indeed a new model.
Today we're still left with a mystery on our hands. Why do the 304S and 305S have nearly identical specs? Perhaps a thorough examination of the 305S will yield some clues. Come along as we investigate.