Laserdisc player advice

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by 0x15e, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. 0x15e

    0x15e Auditioning

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    I've just recently gotten into laserdiscs and while the player I'm using right now is decent, I'd like to find something better.

    What I'm using now is a Pioneer CLD-2090. It works and has decent picture quality but it's in pretty rough shape. The drawer is all kinds of noisy when it opens / closes and sometimes the side flip function gets stuck or, in really bad cases, it causes the player to hang completely and I have to unplug the power cable to get it right again.

    I've been doing a lot of reading and I think I've narrowed my choices down to a few models:

    Pioneer CLD-704, CLD-703, DLV-700, DLV-909, or DLV-919, Mitsubishi M-V7057, Panasonic LX-900

    What I'm looking for is reliable LD playback w/ good picture quality (at least as good as the CLD-2090, preferably better). I'm never going to bother with an AC3 demodulator so I don't care about that. I also don't care about DVD playback since I have a good DVD player already. All this needs to do is play LDs, and play them well.

    Of the models I listed, are there any that I just absolutely shouldn't fool with? Are any of them significantly better or worse than the others? Finally, is there anything really important I need to know before buying one of these used?

    Any advice or just general info would be really appreciated.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I have a CLD-701 and it has always performed just fine. I had a Panasonic, which may have been the LX-900, and it was nothing but trouble. In fact, I went through maybe 3 or 4 of them before exchanging it for the Pioneer.
     
  4. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    The Mitsubishi 7057 is the same as the Pioneer 704, although I happen to think the cosmetic changes were for the better (blue display instead of amber, sort of thing). If you don't care about AC-3, 704 and 703 are equivalent.

    The Panasonics are supposed to be nice, but parts are no longer available. The DVL players are decent, but they tend to be a little flaky in operation because of the additional junk for DVD playback. Advantage is that you can still get one new, if you look.

    Talk to Kurtis Bahr ; he works on players and sometimes has one for sale. He comes on here from time to time, I think, and a post on "alt.video.laserdicsc" will usually catch him.
     
  5. 0x15e

    0x15e Auditioning

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    Yes, I've spent quite a bit of time looking at the Laserdisc Archive, which is how that Mitsubishi got on the list. [​IMG]

    Ok, so I'll skip the DVL players if they're known for being flaky. I definitely don't want to have to deal with that.

    I'm not sure what to think about the Panasonic. On one hand, I've seen people rave about how the only way to get something better would be to get an Elite Pioneer. On the other hand, it's a much older player and can't be serviced. It may come down to what kind of deal I could find on one.

    So I guess that gets the list down to the Pioneer CLD-D70x models (and clones). What exactly are the differences between the CLD-D701 and the D703/4?

    I'll try to get in touch with Kurtis and see what else I can find out.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I think the differences between the 701 and thhe 703/4 are minimal. Pioneer typically came out with a "new" model each year. I don't know what they would have added, since the 703/4 don't have the ac-3 out, as I recall. Maybe a "better" comb filter. The 701 has all the digital processing for clean stills and slo-mo on CLV discs, which is really the only feature LD players had which made much of a difference.
     
  7. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    I agree completely. I currently have both and easily think the Mits is the more pleasing cosmetically. Functionally they are the same.

    Pioneer replaced my 3090 lemon with a 701 and then a couple years later I bought an Elite 79 on closeout from Tweeter. 2-3 years ago I sold both and replaced it with a CLD99 that I bought from Kurtis Bahr which is basically an International multivoltage version of the Elite 99 with completely different cosmetics.

    http://laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserd...ite_cld-99.htm

    What's pretty cool is this picture is actually my player -- broken trim piece and all.

    I think the Elite 79/704/7057 are all basically the same internal players with some minor differences and other than the Elite maybe being a slight bit quiter in operation I don't think there's was a lot of diff in function. I did think they were a step above the 701 -- quicker with a better picture though the 701 was a fine player.


    I do highly recommend Kurtis parrticularly if you are on the East Coast (I've bought from him and he has repaired and tweaked each of my players. If you are West Coast you may want to look at http://www.laserdiscservice.com which is run by Duncan Hunter. These 2 guys may well be the 2 top LD experts in the US.
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    The 704 has AC-3 out. There are very minor differences with the Elite CLD-79 and the 704 (I got the 704 from K. Bahr after he fixed the 79 and since they use most of the same parts, I got stuff like a spindle motor and one other thing he mentioned sitting around). Kurtis, fortunately, is only 40-45 minutes from me. I don't have tons of LDs and when I was deciding to upgrade I had him come over my place and bring a bunch of players including his HLD-X9 so I could see the differences. I liked his tweaked CLD-97 (he adds the AC-3 out and turns off the noise reduction) but for the number of discs I have I could not justifiy it. The CLD-97 is also a nice player. The first time that Kurtis got a McIntosh MLD-7020 for repair I was over his place. When I E-mailed him back to find out the details of the player he told me it was identical to the CLD-97 with an AC-3 out and a McIntosh faceplate.
     
  9. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I love my 704. Sure doesnt get much use these days. But i did fire it up last month, and i have to say my Sony 36"XBR cleans up the minor LD defects (not the players fault) pretty nice.
     
  10. 0x15e

    0x15e Auditioning

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    What connection are you using for that? Composite or S-Video? My 32" Wega (SD, sadly) seems to have a pretty good 3D comb filter in it and I'm just wondering how the one in the 704 stacks up against a modern Sony TV's.
     
  11. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I had it hooked up with the S Video on my last TV, however, now it looks better with the composite on newer Sony TV. The TV is a nice 36" ED TV, and almost makes it look as good as my DVDs, non anamophic ones anyway. The only real giveaway is the occasional LD dropout. Chroma noise is not the problem it used to be, but i do keep the color down just a touch on my LD setting for my TV, an old habit.
     
  12. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    I've owned a handful of LD players. The standouts: a CLD-990 that lasted for-frickin'-ever (bought new in 1991 and still running! Heavily used, too) and a CLD-504 modified by its previous owner to include a coax digital audio output. The 504 has significantly better picture than the 990, and looked great on my 52" standard definition set when hooked up via S-Video.

    Both look downright awful on my projector, sadly, and are not getting much use despite the 400 LDs lingering in the next room.
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    My Elite CLD-79 looks decent on my 100 inch screen. I had a CLD-406 and then a CLD-59 and on a really big screen they did not cut it. So I had Kurtis come over and we looked at several players before I made my decision. I traded him my CLD-59 and some cash for the 704 which shares the majority of parts with the 79 and I have the 704 in a secondary basement system. With my former 64 inch rear CRT, I was able to live with lesser players more easily.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It's not comparable. You don't want to use the S-Video out of any LaserDisc player, the only possible exception is the CLD-99 which has a good 3-D comb filter. Even that probably looks better at composite with today's TVs.
     
  15. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    You know, I always hear that and I've found it never to be true with any of my TVs or with my projector.

    Always try it for yourself -- don't rely on "commonly held internet wisdom". And I'm not saying that it's not true in some or even most cases, but with two modern TVs and a very modern projector it was completely untrue for me.
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Wow, you must have really bad luck with buying TVs with horrible comb filters!
     
  17. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    More than a few TVs these days have only cursory analog features. A fortiori projectors. They figure you're getting cable with U-Matic quality anyway, so it's always looked like crud. Those of us with LD (or local broadcasters with good technical practices), of course, know better, but we're not much of a target market.
     
  18. 0x15e

    0x15e Auditioning

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    I definitely never realized just how good composite could look until I watched an LD on my system. I also never realized how big a difference using the TV's comb filter vs. the player's would make until I'd done a lot of research. It's definitely something I'll experiment with, but so far, it looks like my TV handles composite very well.

    I think I've pretty much decided on a CLD-D703/4, whichever I can find first, for what I'm willing to pay. Hopefully, the 2090 will hold out long enough for me to find the new player. As long as it's working, I can take my time and wait for the right one to come along.

    Thanks again for all the help. [​IMG]
     
  19. BroomoLDmadness

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    Hello and good evening to you,

    I have just joined this forum, i am a serious Laserdisc collector also hardware.

    If you would like to correspond! then i look forward to hearing from all of Laserdisc enthusiast's on this forum, or all things AV

    I myself have LD & DVD combination players and top quality players and to be honest with you! the combi player that i have been using regularly for about ten years now has been flawless. The DVD player has frozen on scenes about four times aprox but i have a stand alone DVD player so do not use the LDs DVD-player anymore.

    Genuine regards from a new member in the UK
     
  20. 0x15e

    0x15e Auditioning

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    I just thought I'd follow up and let everyone know how things turned out.

    After losing a few, I managed to score a CLD-D703 on eBay for significantly less than I was willing to pay for one. I think that was about the most aggressive eBaying I've ever done. [​IMG]

    As it turns out, the comb filter in the D703 is considerably better than the one in my TV. When I connected it by composite, it was only marginally better than the 2090 but once I tried the s-video connection, it was like a night and day difference. With my TV, the D703 connected by s-video is far superior to the 2090 connected by composite. Now I just need to wait for my Video Essentials disc to get here so I can really get things set up right.

    Thanks again for all your help.
     

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