1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

laserdisc players.Anyone on here using them?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by timbo72, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    My Pioneer Gold Laserdisc Player is still proudly connected to my Home Cinema set-up.
    I replaced a lot of the discs with DVDs, but I still have a couple of hundred discs left including many prized box sets.

    I travelled a long, long way back in the 90s to get these nostalgic shots of Ken Cranes.

    kcrane.jpg
    click on images for larger picture
    kcranes.jpg

    Those were indeed happy times.
     
  2. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Rob Ray
    Doug,

    Those pictures almost bring tears to my eyes. I made many friends in that room and others like it. Buying online somehow isn't the same. Thank goodness we can at least share our enthusiasm with the folks here at HTF.
     
    Randy Korstick and LouA like this.
  3. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    831
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    Real Name:
    Sumner Northcutt
    I don't have any LDs but would suggest to people wanting to get rid of some, state first in a post here at HTF. There may some people interested.
     
  4. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    786
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Real Name:
    Mark Probst
    I lived in San Diego county at the time and used to drive 100 miles twice a year to Ken Crane's bi-annual sale, which believe it or not was only for 20% off retail. Everyday price was just 10% off retail. Times have changed!
     
    Rob_Ray likes this.
  5. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Rob Ray
    I remember those sales quite well and used to meet many folks from San Diego while waiting for the doors to open up. This was when they were at their first location further north on Beach Blvd. I remember many of us lusting after Kevin Brownlow's Hollywood documentary box which was one of the featured products of one sale, where it was priced at an incredibly low $99.99. It's one of my prized laserdiscs to this day.
     
  6. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    More on Ken Cranes and our visit in October 1994.

    I remember there was also a large Ken Cranes TV & Video shop over the road and we had lunch at Jack in the Box which I think was next door.

    My Wife and I also visited and bought Laserdiscs at the A01 Video shop, Warehouse CDs &Video, not to mention every Tower Records Shop we came across. (Especially the one in Anaheim and the one near the University in Phoenix Arizona)

    By the end of the trip our suitcases were bulging with Laserdiscs and I remember my Wife wanted to buy a small porcelain figure in Taos, but I told her there was no more room. She has never forgotten or forgiven me. ;)

    kcrane3.jpg
    Click on image above should give a larger picture.

    kcrane4.jpg
    The blue bag on the counter contains the Snow White box set plus lots of other goodies.

    Doug.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    Love these pictures. Keep them coming, please!

    Does anyone have anything from Ken Crane's on Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance?

    There was a laserdisc store in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago when I lived there for just over a year in 1985/86... much like Ken Crane's, with every laserdisc, plus players, new and secondhand... the name will eventually come to me. Greatest place ever.

    Those were incredible years.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    And very expensive years. :)


    Sorry, but that exhausts my Ken Crane photos.( but not my very happy memories)


    Doug.
     
    Brian McP likes this.
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    17,038
    Likes Received:
    894
    Location:
    Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
    Real Name:
    Sam
  10. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Rob Ray
    The Ken Crane's store on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance was an electronics hardware store owned by Ken Crane, Sr. as part of chain throughout Southern California. They carried laserdiscs as sort of an afterthought with a selection similar to that found in other stores where the focus was on the hardware. The laserdisc store was owned and run by Ken Crane, Jr. until he sold it to, I believe, Image, sometime in the early to mid 90s. I would sometimes see Ken Jr. having dinner at the Hof's Hut across the street from the store. We laserdisc collectors were on a first name basis with staff and other customers. Such was the niche market in those days.

    But would I trade those days for what we have today with BluRay and the hundreds of titles available through the Warner Archive? Not really. I miss seeing the huge selection of large shrink-wrapped classic Hollywood product staring back at me from the shelves. And sure, we complain about slow release schedules, the lack of extras and the cheapness of DVD and BluRay packaging, but remember high prices, disc-flipping and laser rot? No matter how superb the laserdisc transfer was, you would always find speckling and color noise even in the best transfers of that analog world. I still have my laserdiscs and my memories, but it's BluRay that I watch in the evening.
     
    Mark-P likes this.
  11. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    485
    Real Name:
    Bill
    Laserdisc often still gets the last laugh when it comes to uncompressed original theatrical sound mixes though.

    My DTS LD of Mortal Kombat blows the Blu Ray audio mix out of the water.
     
  12. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Lake Worth, Florida
    Real Name:
    Gaston
    I watched Highlander 2 Renegade Version LD last night. Not as good as the first but a fun watch nonetheless. The DD track was quite good and the packaging is excellent.
     
  13. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2000
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Tina
    I have numerous LD players, a few AC-3 RF demodulators and about 500 LD titles. I really enjoy having and watching laserdiscs in my home theaters and continue to add a few titles on an as-I-go basis. They co-exist nicely with all the other formats I have going on in my theaters (Blu-ray Disc, HD/DVD, D/VHS and cable HDTV). Upon seeing those Ken Cranes Laserdisc store photographs, now I wish I had gotten into the format sooner in the 1990s than when I finally did in that decade. But once I got into laserdisc, I did so gladly and happily--as I accordingly remain so to this day!!!!!
     
  14. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    Good sentiments, Rob_Ray.The reason I remember the Hawthorne Blvd. store are that I bought my first "real" TV there, the LARGE (25") Mitsubishi monitor with separate tuner and control box in 1984. I finally let it go in 2010.But though the place was mainly electronics, that's also where I splurged on my first laserdiscs, one favorite still being The Magnificent Ambersons.
     
  15. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Rob Ray
    I bought some of my earliest laserdiscs at Big Ben Records and Tapes around 1983. And when in L.A.'s South Bay in later years, I would check out the Tower Records on Hawthorne Blvd.
     
  16. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    West Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    T R Wilkinson
    i know the store you mean in Chicago - that was my source. It was in Park Ridge and I believe it was called "Laser Audio/Video". They later moved to another location and went out of business in the late 90s I believe.I bought my Pioneer 1776 there and many others when I could save up enough and get my mom to drive 40 minutes each way. When I got a car I got out there a bit more often, and there was also a rental place in Mt. Prospect that had all kinds of rare discs I would rent and tape off. I still have 3 players and one on the way, I only paid for one of them, and it was $10 at a garage sale, the other three were given to me in lieu of the dumpster. I've got 70 Criterion discs (of 322, and eventually want to have them all) and about 50-60 other discs. I used to have more actually but they've been lost and I still have several back at my moms house. They're great for the artwork, the exclusive content, and even occasionally to watch ;)
     
  17. YANG

    YANG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 1999
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    2
    Oh yeah... YEAH!
    Count me in, not giving up on my LDs.
    My collection was recently given a new lease of life by a Mitsubishi Laserdisc player which i had picked up during some company's dumping of expired assets, with little image defect(kind of disturbance on the left side of the screen where vertical lines are observed, affecting about 5% of the whole movie image presentation), The player seems to be kind of high-end stuff, and rose wood decoration on the sides, with auto-reverse playability.
    With both optical and coaxial as well as AC3 RF digital output connection sound was compensated by connection from the optical output of the player to the recently acquired PHILIPS SOUNDBAR that accepts optical connection input.
    YES!!! Laserdisc's DTS digital surround from the digital track can be reproduced thru the soundbar's on board digital surround decoder!

    Been rocking my home with these discs since last week, during the weekends.
    Last week's program:
    APOCALYPSE NOW(non-R.E, Dolby Surr edition)
    TWISTER(THX-ed, S.W.E)

    Yesterday:
    LONG KISS GOODNIGHT(listened to DTS)
    SPACE JAM(DB Surround)

    Today:
    THE FUGITIVE(DB Surround)
    U.S Marshals(DB Surround)

    Hmm... what's for next week...?
    Maybe a FOX/Cameron Saturday, with THE ABYSS D.C R.E, and TRUELIES
    or a RON HOWARD Sunday with BACKDRAFT and APOLLO 13
     
  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    13,640
    Likes Received:
    2,384
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Real Name:
    Matt Hough
    I played last weekend the laser of Raintree County which I recently acquired on Ebay. Color was much stronger than I was expecting.
     
  19. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    313
    Real Name:
    David
    I am now back to having a back-up player. My Pioneer CLD-D406 has been sitting in the attic for several years. I bought it new back in the late 90's. One day a few years ago, it would not power on. So, I stored it and brought out my RCA LDR-310. It's been bothering me that I was down to my last player, so I started looking on ebay. I almost re-purchased a used Pioneer of the same model, when I decided to google the "won't power on" problem. On several archived posts, the name Kurtis Bahr kept coming up as an expert at repairing and advising others on how to repair their own laserdisc players. With his guidance, I now have my Pioneer operating again, and the RCA is back in the attic. I much prefer the Pioneer, as it plays both sides and has a digital optical out and AC3 out. Thank goodness I didn't toss the Pioneer to the curbside when it didn't power on!
     
  20. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,076
    Likes Received:
    754
    Wow What a blast from the past with those Ken Cranes photos. I was a regular shopper there from 1986 to 1999. I remember those employees very well. I used to have well over 2,000 LD's which were bought in that 14 year period. I'm down to about a thousand now. Sold many on e-bay over the past 12 years but I will probably keep the majority of what I have left. Still love my LD's although I seldom watch one. I have two players a Pioneer Elite and a Pioneer CLD-919 that plays DVD's and Laserdiscs.
     

Share This Page