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Help with finding a Laserdisc player

Old 01-04-03, 04:10 PM
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Help with finding a Laserdisc player

So, i really want to get some decent digital copies of the Star Wars films (I haven't had much luck with dvd bootlegs) so i figure I should get a laserdisc player and whatever the best ld copies of the trilogy are. Think you guys could help me out in picking a model of player and finding the discs?
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Old 01-04-03, 04:17 PM
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ebay has all (LDs, LD players, DVDs)
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Old 01-04-03, 04:23 PM
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yes yes, but i'm completely unfamiliar with LD specs and such, so i was hoping to get recomendations on what player to buy.
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Old 01-04-03, 04:29 PM
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Pioneer was always highly regarded.
i'd look for something that had component or at least s-video outputs.
don't know any specific models.

i bought mine in 1991 and it only has composite and coax (?!) outputs.
any models with component and s-video would be later models and should have all the other necc, bells and whistles (dual side play etc).
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Old 01-04-03, 06:43 PM
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Laserdisc is analog, not digital. LD players can't have component outputs, just composite or S-video.

Monk, see my site below.
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Old 01-04-03, 08:09 PM
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Laserdisc has digital and analog audio, no?
A friend gave me a used Pioneer V4000 player , and the Star Wars Definitive Collection discs cannot output audio on the machine! Methinks some discs have different sorts of audio.
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Old 01-04-03, 08:38 PM
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The best consumer level models ones to look for are Pioneers 7-series (LD only models CLD701 thru 704 and the DVD/LD combo DVL700). They put out premium Elite series models as well, but those are still pretty expensive on Ebay. The 7-series has excellent picture quality as well as super-fast side switching, jog shuttles on the remote and player itself and digital memory for CLV disc (the overwhelming majority of LD's) special effects like smooth scanning and still frame advance, plus the full suite of outputs to get the maximum effect from your LD's (Toslink optical out for PCM audio (701-704, DVL700) and an AC3-RF for Dolby Digital (704 and DVL700 only, plus your receiver must have an AC-3 RCA input to get the DD5.1 however). You can usually find the a decent 7-series on Ebay for $100-250. Pioneer 4,5 and 6-series models are decent as well, but as you go down the chain so does the picture quality and features. You may be able to find new or used DVL-909 and 919's (I believe Pioneer's last combo DVD/LD players), as well but they'll be fairly expensive as well.

Last edited by matome; 01-04-03 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 01-04-03, 09:54 PM
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Just from personal experience, I'd stay away from the Sony MDP-333. I never thought the quality was spectacular, lackluster performance, front door problems. I love Sony, but I loathed this thing after I bought it.
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Old 01-04-03, 10:19 PM
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Good info here. I highly recommend the CLD-703 if you are willing to go non-dolby digital or CLD-704 if you need dolby digital (AC-3 in the laserworld). There was a company that offered a $75 upgrade kit to add AC-3 to the 703. I did it on my last 703 and it was easy. Not sure if they are still in business.

Oh..as noted, in order to use that AC-3 Dolby Digital, you would need an older/more expensive receiver that could accept AC-3 RF input, or get an RF Decoder, something not too easy to find.
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Old 01-04-03, 11:06 PM
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thanks a lot for all the great advice guys. Do you have any suggestions for where to buy the Pioneer 7-series players outside of ebay (i'm having a hard time locating them on the 'ole auction site)?
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Old 01-04-03, 11:20 PM
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Ebay is pretty much it nowadays. Or keep reading alt.video.laserdisc newsgroup.
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Old 01-05-03, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Laserdisc is analog, not digital. LD players can't have component outputs, just composite or S-video.

Monk, see my site below.
My Pioneer DVL-919 has component & S-video outputs.
Yeah, the component outputs are for the DVD player only, but they're definitely there
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Old 01-05-03, 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama
My Pioneer DVL-919 has component & S-video outputs.
Yeah, the component outputs are for the DVD player only, but they're definitely there
Can you post a picture of this. I also have never seen component video on a LD player. I had the Sony MDP-605 and the Denon 1600. I also would have to say stay away from the Sony LD players. I had 3 of the MDP-605 and they all made the picture look like $hit.

Nevermind the picture I found it.

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Old 01-05-03, 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by TheKobra
Can you post a picture of this. I also have never seen component video on a LD player. I had the Sony MDP-605 and the Denon 1600. I also would have to say stay away from the Sony LD players. I had 3 of the MDP-605 and they all made the picture look like $hit.

Nevermind the picture I found it.
I think you may have not understood what DVD_O_RAMA was saying. He was making a joke.

The Pioneer DVL-919 is a combi player that plays both lasediscs and DVDs. The component video works only for DVDs.

I've got one of these players too.
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Old 01-05-03, 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Disc-Flipper
Laserdisc has digital and analog audio, no?
A friend gave me a used Pioneer V4000 player , and the Star Wars Definitive Collection discs cannot output audio on the machine! Methinks some discs have different sorts of audio.
The V4000 is an industrial model that can only play the analog soundtrack on discs. The Star Wars Definitive Collection discs only contain the movie soundtrack on their PCM digital tracks. The analog tracks contain the audio commentary. If you are hearing dead silence, that's because the commentary on those discs sucks. There's about 15 minutes of commentary spread out randomly over the entire trilogy.

Try skipping forward to Chapter 3 on the first disc. That's where the first couple sentences of the commentary are.
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Old 01-06-03, 12:49 AM
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As far as finding a player, my advice is stay away from Ebay. I bought 3 players there in the past year and a half, and two arived broken. Now, I know it's not ebay's fault, but every joe shmoe who finds a LD player at a garage sale can pout it up there and slap it in a crappy box, and you get a million pieces. My suggestion is Audiogon. Alot of the audio guys overthere use LD players as CD transports due to their build. I got a brand new Panasonic LX680 (with optical and AC-3 outs) for 100.00 a couple of months back. You can almost allways find a good Pioneer player on their boards. My next option would be internet classifieds in your area. If that dont work, maybe try some pawn shops. You can probably get a good deal, talk them down. Most of those guys know they will never move a LD player again. I also agree with staying away from the Sony players. Lots of mechanical problems and no support. Pioneer will usualy make parts for about 10 years after production stops, so if you get a pioneer player, you should be able to get it fixed in 3-5 years if you have any problems. Also check out home theater forum or avs forum for info and calssifieds. A member on HTF nomed Rachel B seems to be about the most knowegeble person on LD's I think I have ever read. See if you can find some of her stuff. And Josh's site is a good one. I also like laserdiscarchive.co.uk for hardware info. Good luck and welcome to laserland.

Last edited by uli2000; 01-06-03 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 01-06-03, 01:14 AM
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I would get either the Pioneer CLD-704 or an Pioneer elite model like CLD- 59 , 79 or 99

The problem you will have is that you will also need a Rf demodulator to let you play the dolby digital soundtracks on laser discs since they use a modulated signal.

make sure any LD player you get has an AC-3 output or I would pass on it altogether.
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Old 01-06-03, 10:00 AM
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Any disc that has a Dolby Digital track will also have normal PCM digital tracks containing a 2-channel surround mix, decodable by ProLogic.

RF demodulators are expensive, and the PCM tracks on a laserdisc often sound better than Dolby Digital anyway, if you can live with the lack of discrete rear channels.

For a newbie just experiencing laserdisc for the first time, I don't think Dolby Digital is a realistic priority.
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Old 01-06-03, 01:12 PM
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Hey Monk!

THIS is what 'I' did, and it worked out really well for me!

If your willing to do a little 'phone work', you may be pleasantly surprised.

I hope you find what you want!

That Edit King Gentleman Fellow

Last edited by The Edit King; 01-06-03 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 01-06-03, 03:28 PM
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Wow King, thats a great Idea! Im gonna start looking for a backup player, and I think ill go that route.
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Old 01-06-03, 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Any disc that has a Dolby Digital track will also have normal PCM digital tracks containing a 2-channel surround mix, decodable by ProLogic.

RF demodulators are expensive, and the PCM tracks on a laserdisc often sound better than Dolby Digital anyway, if you can live with the lack of discrete rear channels.

For a newbie just experiencing laserdisc for the first time, I don't think Dolby Digital is a realistic priority.
since almost all the newer laserdisc players had ac-3 output I would think it would be nice to get a laserdisc player with this capability.

I knew Rf demodulators were a bit hard to find although some older receivers(denon 3200 for sure) had a built in ac-3 input that demodulated the laserdisc signal.

I would disagree that many dolby digital laserdiscs actually sounded better using the dolby prologic tracks.

I still think that if you are going to get a laserdisc player you should try to get a unit that you could use to playback Dolby Digital signals. since the units would be newer players they might also last a bit longer.
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Old 01-07-03, 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by gcribbs
I would disagree that many dolby digital laserdiscs actually sounded better using the dolby prologic tracks.
I used to think that, because I was being wowed by the discrete rear channels, but the more I came to listen the more I realized that the Dolby Digital tracks sounded compressed and flat in the mid-range in comparison to the sonically richer PCM.

There are a number of titles that I can't stand to listen to in Dolby Digital. I own Starship Troopers on both LD and the most recent Special Edition DVD. The 5.1 tracks on both have lots of zippy surround effects, but listen to the sound of the machine gun fire. There's a thumping from the subwoofer when the guns fire, but the sound is still thin and weak. The PCM, on the other hand, has a more full-bodied sound. You can hear the bullets rattling. That sound is simply missing from the Dolby Digital.

I still think that if you are going to get a laserdisc player you should try to get a unit that you could use to playback Dolby Digital signals. since the units would be newer players they might also last a bit longer.
With this I'll agree, but DD is such a pain in the neck to get from LD that it almost isn't worth the effort.
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Old 01-07-03, 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z


...but DD is such a pain in the neck to get from LD that it almost isn't worth the effort.
Totally agree with this, if your receiver doesn't have the RF input I wouldn't go crazy. The PCM Pro-Logic is that good. I know it's been debated ad nauseum on the forums, but I still believe DVD is hard pressed to match up sonically to LD in any sound format (DPL,DD or DTS). Don't put yourself out of experiencing LD's, just for the lack of AC-3 equipment.
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Old 01-07-03, 12:24 PM
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I agree about the AC-3 Dolby Digital. In fact, I ended up selling my AC-3 player a year ago and kept the non-AC-3 model. Not that many of my 500 discs were AC-3, and those I am very happy with the sound from PCM. Laserdiscs are known for doing PCM Dolby Surround very well.
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Old 01-07-03, 02:45 PM
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Talk about sound!

There's this Dolby Digital intro on some Laserdiscs that starts unexpectedly with a Really Loud Expolsive Thunder Pop & Crack, a Lead Guitar Feedback Wail, and a Helicopter (((Wopping & Popping))) up over a Theater, that from time to time has had me jumping out of my chair and nearly into Cardiac Arrest, ducking for cover and desperately fumbling the remote while trying to find the volume control button on more occasions than I am willing to admit in public.

THAT is something my DVD's have yet to do.

The Edit King & Fancy Lad Gentleman Fellow

Last edited by The Edit King; 01-07-03 at 06:22 PM.
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