Best LD player for $100?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by ForresterW, May 1, 2004.

  1. ForresterW

    ForresterW Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking spend about $100 buying a LD player and I wanted some help picking one out.

    thank you
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    For a few dollars more perhaps (have not checked recent used prices) a Pioneer 406 can be had. If also has the output for an RF demodulator should you later decide you want or need Dolby Digital. If you need to look at specs or features, this is a useful site: http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/pioneer1.htm
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Finding Forrester an LD player, hmnn.[​IMG] I'd get a Pioneer player made in 1994 or later. I'd put video capability over audio outputs. You may very well be able to get both though. All the pioneer players after 1994 can achieve 50 db video except the CLD's S104, S304, and the D406 that Phil mentions. They all do 49 db, which is stille better than most of the older players, excluding the high $ models. You can proably snag these 3 players really cheap and save dollars off your hundred...?

    Models worth a shake, CLD's D503, D504, D604, D605, D505, and DVL's 700 & 909.

    If you up'ed your ante to $200, you might be able to snag a better player like CLD's D704, D703, 59. You might even take a chance on Panasonic LX's 900 & 1000U? Panasonic doesn't suppourt them anymore but they're high performers and can be had cheap. I have a 1000U I got for $150. BTW, the 900 has a little better pic and is a bit less old. Good luck![​IMG]
     
  4. ForresterW

    ForresterW Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for the reply....but let me ask another question...

    so if I want a player that can play DD and DTS how much am I looking to spend? and which models are recommended?

    and also how much are DF modulators?

    I thank you again
     
  5. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Any LD player that has either a fiber optic out or a digital coaxil out can output DTS. To play Dolby Digital LD,you will need a player with an AC3 output. Only a specific AC3 output can pass the dolby digital signal as on LD's it is stored in RF modulated form. You will also need an RF demodulator. This can either be an external decoder on built into a reciever. Usually only the high end recievers have built in RF demodulators nowadays. External RF demodulators start around $100 and can go up from there.

    I would suggest you spend more than $100 on a LD player. You aren't going to get much video performance at that price. I would suggest a Pioneer CLD 704. It has the best bang for the buck and also has an AC3 output.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I would also say that the 704 is the best value. I currently have one of those as well as a Pioneer Elite CLD-79 (and they are comparable). Rachael has probably owned more LD players than the number of legs on a couple of dozen centipedes [​IMG] I've also owned the 406 and the Pioneer Elite CLD-59. The 406 is close to the 59 on video quality but just a hair less. I think (from memory) the 406 just has an optical digital out and the 59 has a coax. I have not followed prices recently but I would guess, depending on model, that a basic RF demodulator would go for something between $125 and $175. Some models that are more expensive allow on to input the digital coax out (as Greg noted to get DTS) and take the AC-3 out for DD and then have a single output so that you just use one digital input on your receiver or preamp. Someone I know found a decent (and working as I tested it for him) $700 (orig.) list Denon (I think - from memory) w/o remote for $20 in a thrift shop.
     
  7. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    You are correct, the 406 only has optical and AC-3RF.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Forrester, the only Pioneer player without an AC-3 output made after 1995 is the CLD-S104. The only other players I recommended without the AC-3 output are the two Panasonics and the two 1994 Pioneeres, CLD's D703 & D503. Although you might find these models with AC-3 RF outputs installed in the aftermarket.

    I think you should put an RF demodulator on the backburner. The LD PCM tracks are generally so good that many folks don't fool with AC-3 off of LD's. Myself, I listen to the PCM tracks on many AC-3 LD's. i.e. - the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition Boxset, I prefer the PCM Pro-Logic on the first two films...I like the AC-3 a bit better on the third. Virtually every AC-3 LD has been released as DVD except George Lucas'. Only about a thousand LD's between 1995-2000 have an AC-3 track.

    Put your money into a player that gives you good visuals. Worry about AC-3 later if you really get into the format and accumulate quite a few LD's that are actually encoded for AC-3. IMO, the best reason to collect LD's at this point is to get the original Star Wars (not SE), music shows, and old 30's and 40's films and other rarities, few if any of which will have an AC-3 track anyway. Best wishes from Laserland!
     
  9. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Very good advice. I would agree with it 100%
     

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