TDK was a trusted name in magnetic media, so it was only natural that they expand their portfolio to cover recordable CDs. In the early days, their discs were acceptably priced, and one of my go-to brands. However, as time has passed, it seems my TDK discs are not doing so well, with a large number being binned early on due to reflective layer oxidation. It is understandable, especially when we look at who was actually behind the TDK name, and how variable it is.

TDK 16x 74-minute CD-R

Early TDK CD-Rs all looked like this, with colourful print on the front, a monochrome print on the rear, and blurb text that had remained almost entirely unchanged throughout the run. The top of the CDs also featured this particular design, and early discs had a cyanine dye which appears green to the eye. The disc is a Ritek product, as evidenced by the continuous ring in the inner. The MID is 97m31s01f (Ritek Co.), with a capacity of 74m45s00f. A large number of these discs oxidised in my ownership, and a few had dye failure as well.

TDK 40x 80-minute CD-R

This is a later disc, but still maintaining a similar look. The top of the disc has the word “Toughness Coat” added, maybe to try and distinguish it from previous problematic discs. The disc has an RFD… code in the middle, which indicates it is another Ritek product. The MID is 97m15s17f (Ritek Co.) with a capacity of 79m59s73f which is one frame short of the maximum.

TDK GOLD 80 minute CD-R

While the packaging of this disc has been entirely re-done, as has the disc-top design, I’m not sure this is actually as “gold” as the name claims. I’ve had a number of these discs oxidise as well, but they are different since this clearly has a CMC style hub area. They have not bothered to list the speeds anymore, which is probably a good thing as it depends on the writer and its firmware. The MID is 97m26s66f (CMC Magnetics Corp.) with a capacity of 79m59s71f, three frames short of the maximum.

TDK 52x 80-minute CD-R

This one is a later product claiming 52x compatibility, and is clearly a Moser Baer India product judging from the hub format. The MID is 97m17s06f (Moser Baer India) with a capacity of 79m59s74f.

TDK Printable White 48x 80-minute CD-R

While most TDK products seen so far are pedestrian “value” grade products, there were some exceptions. This retail printable white top disc is early in the “printable disc” era, as disc printers were relatively uncommon so even the brands of Canon and Epson were mentioned on the front. But this disc is Made in Japan, and has an obvious frosted hub ring and cyanine dye which points to Taiyo Yuden being the manufacturer. A quality disc at last. The ATIP is 97m24s01f (Taiyo Yuden Co.) with a capacity of 79m59s72f, two frames short of the maximum.

TDK 10x 80 minute CD-RW

TDK also had CD-RWs, and although the disc is lost, I can tell you it had a blue-grey top with royal blue coloured accent text. I’ve forgotten the manufacturer though.