I don't know too much about the swap trick since I have never attempted one successfully, but I can tell you that one reason as to why you couldn't get it done is because your discs are indeed of too low quality.
Originally Posted by Yo Yo Ma
Use Verbatim DVD-R discs (With Super AZO) that are manufactured by Mitsubishi or Taiyo Yuden. Avoid those made by CMC.
I used to have the same console model as you have, and it has a KHS-400C laser that refused to read any of my cheap discs that can be read by my SCPH-77006 console.
SCPH-10000 S. MINOKAMO v1.01 (Defunct)
SCPH-10000 S. KISARAZU v1.00 (faulty)
SCPH-15000 S. KOHDA (With warranty seal!) :D
DESR-5100 S. EMCS