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Any recs for good laserdisc players?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Stephen Gladwin, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Stephen Gladwin

    Stephen Gladwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Heh, with all this talk and hysteria about Blu-ray and HD DVD, I'm finally thinking of getting into laserdisc! WHY? Well, there are still plenty of titles that still haven't been released on DVD (or are long out of print) that are cheaply available on laser (like a zillion HK action films!).

    Anyways, my questions. What features should I look for in the best laserdisc players? What are some good models? Basically, I just want maximum compatability and reliability. I've been unanimously told that Pioneer is the only way to go. Also: how have people's experiences been buying laser players on ebay? I always see a ton of 'em on ebay (used) for rock bottom prices and wonder if it's too good to be true...

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    You want to go with Pioneer for sure. Pioneer made very good players and the upside is you can still get parts for them and there are still a few folks around who can service them when needed.

    Buying players on ebay is tricky. I've bought two and had both arrive great. I've read many threads about folks getting players and they were broke. I would recommend staying away from ebay if possible. If you are really serious about LD, I am thinking of sellling my Elite CLD79. It is one of the great players and is in mint condition with low hours on it. It is a backup to my X9 but I never use it so I might let it go. PM me if you want some details about it. Other than that, I highly recommend contacting Duncan Hunter of www.laserdiscservice.com He fixes players and sells refurbished ones and is highly recommended.

    Laserdiscs very greatly in quality from the lower end players to the high end players. With DVD, the differences from cheap to expensive can be mostly subtle. With LD, a good player is very noticeably better than cheaper ones. The ones you see for rock bottom prices on ebay are generally older, low quality players and I would recommend staying away from them. You can spend $50 for a player with mediocre video quality or spend more and get a high quality player that you will be happy with. It really boils down to what you want to spend. The super high end players like the HLD-X0 and HLD-X9 can go for a few thousand depending on condition. Great players like the CLD79, CLD 99, and CLD97 go for far less. The non elite CLD704 is also a great choice and can be had generally for a few hundred. It is the same as the Elite 79 but the 79 is a better constructed, more elegant looking player.

    My first player was a pioneer elite cld52. Good player but lots of video noise. I then bought a pioneer elite cld79 and it was a big step up in quality. I later bought a japanese hld-x9, and it's a big step up from the 79.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I'd concur with the above. I have both a CLD704 and the Elite 79. Many other players are Pioneer clones and have the same basic guts though. You can go to - http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/pioneer1.htm for info on Pioneer players and also the others brands (on the right) and if known it will tell you what is a Pioneer clone.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Panasonic players have a good reputation also. Avoid Sony. Avoid Phillips. Pretty much only Pioneer, Sony, Philips, and Panasonic ever manufactured LD players. I'd guess that 90% of the players that don't say "Sony" or "Phillips" on the front are Pioneer OEM. The rest are OEMed by Panasonic. Some of the Phillips LD transports were used in uber high end CD players in the mid-90s.
     
  5. Rod J

    Rod J Stunt Coordinator
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    I've owned 3 LD-838D's (NTSC) (still have 2), a CLD-D704 (NTSC), a CLD-D925 (multi standard), and a CLD-D515 (multi standard). Unless you have DTS encoded discs that you have to hear, I'd recommend te LD-838D. Some of the later models may have a slightly better picure, but every 2 sided player I owned ended up in the trash - they're mechanical nightmares. The LD-838D was also much better at playing marginal discs - they would play DiscoVision discs like "If I Had a Million" that none of my other players would recognize. Pioneer may still have some new combination players, but if you don't want to spend a lot check out the LD-838D.
     
  6. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Hunh, I watched a copy of "If I had a Million" on a DVL-909 a while back, at the University media library. No trouble at all, although the soundtrack was not excessively easy on the ears (mostly the source I'm sure).

    Personally, I've had very good experience with the CLD-D704 and its clone, the Mitsubishi M-V7057. The 704 did have a problem with the side-change when I first got it, but I got that fixed for consideably less I paid for it -- a simple matter of cleaning the microswitches which detect the head position. Honestly, the side-change mechanism in a double-side LD player is not much, of any, worse than the cassette elevator in a front-loading VHS deck.

    The 704 or its clones are best value for the money in my opinion. You really have to go to a MUSE High Definition capable player to get much improvement, and it has one of the best composite-video pictures (with noise reduction OFF) of any US consumer player. Also, it's relatively new, and it has digital and AC-3 RF outputs for the various audio formats.
     
  7. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I had a Denon that was decent, I am sure it was a re-brand but I can't remember from what
     
  8. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

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    AH................an LD player thread. Gotta speak up[​IMG]. Bascially, any of the 700 series from Pioneer(701,702,703,704), the elites(cld-59,79,97,99), Panasonic LX-1000 and 900, the mitsu 7057(pioneer 704),the runco LJR I and II, manintosh 7020, the Denon 3500,and pioneer LDS-9,LDX-9,and LDX0. Everything mentioned above except the LDX0 are side-flippers:all have s-video out, and digital outputs(some also have ac-3 RF outputs, but you need a demodulator to decode the AC-3 signal). Hope this helps..........Also sent you a PM.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    The Mac 7020 is a Pioneer CLD-97 with a Mac faceplate and an AC-3 out. I almost bought one a couple of times and when I dropped off my CLD-79 at Kurtis Bahr's place to have it fixed, I was excited to see he had one in the pipeline to repair (he was excited too). When I picked up the CLD-79, I asked and he told me the scoop.
     
  10. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Pioneer CLD-704. I bought one from Kurtis Bahr who has become a LaserDisc legend so to speak. He actually built me one from from spare players he had laying around and it has worked flawlessly. He really knows his stuff about LD players down to the nitty gritty.
    I can try to dig up his email address although some of the other locals here that have chimed in may actually have it handy (Phil A or Philip Hamm). I would recommend talking to Kurtis first and then seeing if he has any players for sale.

    Jeff
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Denon used both Pioneer and Panasonic as OEM for their players through the years.
     
  12. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  13. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Phil. I might actually contact him myself to pick up a spare LD player.

    Jeff
     
  14. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    Hi all nice to see a Laserdisc thread again, I have 2 Marantz players a 500 & a 520 they are probably Pioneer clones and can be had for a resonable price. I recommend the 520 it has optical & AC3 out

    Al
     

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