Not necessarily. The rotors are a heck of a lot tougher than the pads. I'm just thinking that the pads are doing a slip/grap on the rotor surface when they are in mild contact. Not enough to really mess the pads up, but enough to make a heck of a racket when conditions are right. Do you experience the grinding noise when you press hard on the brakes? I'll bet not because the pads are so tight against the rotor that the pads have no play left to create the vibration you feel when braking lightly. Just a hunch. I've also noticed, especially in damp or wet weather, when I'm backing up slowly (like when backing out of a parking space in a shopping center parking lot) and slightly apply the brakes, those rear pads can set up a hellacious moaning noise. Not all the time though. Just like the front pads the conditions must be right.
I got the pads at AutoZone. I think they are crap because:
1. The moaning, groaning, and scraping sounds.
2. Pad wear is ferocious. I get black dust like crazy on those chrome wheels and I noticed just today, while checking a wheel bearing, that the front pads are wearing even and smooth but after 10k miles they appear to be wearing down an awful lot.
3. The rear pads are a little two narrow for the rotor width. I have about 3/16" of rotor on the outside that the pads don't even touch. I figure that is about a 10% loss in braking efficiency even though the brakes seem to grab really well.
2001 SSEi- black; stock 92K
1995 Vette; Competition Yellow; stock; 38K