Laser Disc player advice needed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd_Brown, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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    I'm looking to buy a laser disc player, but don't know much about them. I'm going to buy Star Wars on laser, cause I feel I that may be the only way I'll see the original theatrical version again. If I buy the Laser box set of the original trilogy, what type of Laser player should I look for? Sorry for the possibly dumb questions, but I want to see the movie I saw 13 times as a boy in the best way possible.
    Todd
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Todd, if you tell me how much money you've budjeted for the player, I could point you at some worthwhile models. Best wishes from Laserland!

    P.S.- if you go to the home theater basics forum you can read the completed part of my LD primer. I'm just now getting to recommended players but LD history and terms are finished.
     
  3. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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  4. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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    There used to be a "Laser Disc Primer" around here, but it doesn't show up on the search function. I'm wanting to buy a Laser player, but I want to get a little knowledgable first.

    Any help is always appreciated.

    Todd
     
  5. Peter O

    Peter O Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Todd for $200 you ought to be able to get smething with auto-flip and a digital output. Maybe an Elite CLD-59 (or the Marantz 520 or Yamaha 901 which are clones) or CLD-53 or CLD-52 or from their regular line CLD-606, CLD-604, CLD-503. You'd get a little better pic quality from a 700 series player like the CLD's 703 or 702. The 704 would be better and newer but it might sell a bit over you limit?

    Panasonic players might be worth looking at too. Watch for LX-900, LX-1000U, and LX-600. The 900 is the best of the lot and was their nicest player. The 1000U is an older version of it. I bought an almost new 1000U on E-bay last month for $150. The Denon MD-3500 is a clone of the LX-900.

    If you see a player you're unsure about feel free to ask me. Best wishes!
     
  7. Jim Mc

    Jim Mc Agent

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    Owning both a Pioneer CLD-59 and a Sony 7000 DVD player I must ask at this point why start into LDs. The availability of LD's has never been what DVD has already become. The picture quality of DVD is clearly better. Fewer and fewer PreAmps or Receivers are equipped with the RF input for Dolby Digital from LD. I have regrets about getting into LD 3.5 years ago let alone now.
     
  8. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I bought my first LD player about 6 months ago. I bought it for the same reason many are buying them now, so I could get the original Star wars trilogy in widescreen. I've probably got about 30 LD now and have not regretted getting one at all. In fact, I wish they were still being made. While LD video is not as good as DVD, it was getting much better towards the end of it's life.

    I do have a little advice for those looking to get into the hobby now. With dvd you can buy a $100 player and get very good picture quality, not great, but good. LD players are very player dependent. My first player was a Pioneer Elite CLD 52, which I now know is just an average video quality player, and as first I was disappointed in the quality of the Star wars lasers. About three months ago I bought an elite 79 brand new off ebay and it makes a world of difference in video quality. My point is to buy the best player you can afford. Better to spend a little more at the start than buy a player you may not be happy with.
     
  9. Peter O

    Peter O Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim, I'm getting into LD because there still are many films that aren't on DVD that I'm tired of waiting for. Also many that may never be on DVD like the original versions of Star Wars which I prefer to the SEs.

    Sure, I am not expecting miracles when it comes to video quality, but still it is the best option available now. I am also looking forward to hearing the audio on some films, which some here say is better than their DVD counterparts (like many full bit-rate DTS of films that the DVD only has available in DD).
     
  10. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If you're buying into LD just for three or four movies, I'd recommend maximixing your return on investment by buying a low budget single side play machine. There's no need to spend bucco bucks for DD compatability when Star Wars and many other LD exclusives don't even have DD and demodulators are going for $200 these days. Switching sides manually isn't that difficult, and I believe that players that play only one side have significantly simpler internals, therefore more longevity.

    OTOH, I wouldn't recommend anything older than a Pioneer x01 model. Some particular models to look for: CLD-S201 and clones (there are at least two industrial / educational units that are identical to the 201 - sorry I don't know the names), CLD-M301, 401, and 403. The best single side play players are the Pioneer CLD-S104 and 304 models.

    Also don't count out the Sony MDP-333 and 450, but only if you can get an incredible price. They aren't as reliable as the Pioneers but for just a few movies they should be sufficient. And they may make really nice low jitter CD transports as well.

    Don't expect DVD quality video, but the audio will be as good as you've ever heard from Prologic. And the video will be a big step up from VHS and cable.
     
  12. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Philip - if you're just buying for a few movies, then a lower-priced single-sided player might be your best option. I got a Sony MDP-333 off ebay for $40, because the door was "broken." I replaced the spring and used a little super glue and it's good as new [​IMG]
     
  13. Sean Dayton

    Sean Dayton Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Sean, the price of CLD-59's must be inching up...? They used to average less it seems. I advised several folks to buy them in the past and I watched quite a few auctions close at $250 or less. To correct a minor error that you stated... the CLD-D504 has an AC-3 out but lacks a PCM output. The CLD-D604 has the same pic as the 59 and 504 and has an optical output. The 604 wasn't produced in as large a quantity as the other two though, but it's not like you never see them.
    I absolutely agree with Phillip that the CLD-S104 is the best budjet player. I had one. The 304 is identical except it adds an AC-3 output. It was a low mintage model and you'll see a dozen 104's for every 304 that comes down the pike. I disagree with Phillip and Matt about the Sony MDP-333. I had one. I regretted buying it for a variety of reasons. I was never happy with it's pic once I got it home. It developed a drawer problem. The main board of mine went out not very far out of warranty and the laser went bezek and dug a canal in an X-FILES LD. I gave it away to a friend for parts for his 333. My player was proably a worst case scenario, granted. The pic from a CLD-S104 is considerably better than a MDP-333. The only thing the 333 has going for it is an optical output and good sound IMO.
    Outside of Pioneer, I like Panasonic. The intrest on e-bay is less in them too. I think I got really lucky on the LX-1000U I recently bought. It's damn near brand new and I'm the only person who bid on it, $149.99. My mom's CLD-52 is in the shop and she has my CLD-59 presently. I may be giving her the 1000U? It's a very good player if you can find one that isn't too worn out. It's built like a tank too. The LX-900 is even better, pic-wise. I's likes Pioneer and Panasonic.... [​IMG] Best wishes cats!
     
  15. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    FWIW..I have a Mits MV6027 and have been overall pleased with it.
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Rachael, you forgot the 304 has Karaoke as well! [​IMG]
    Scooter, isn't that a CLD-D704 clone? GREAT player!!! I remember how fantastic the Lion King intro looked at Scooterfest 2001 on the DVL-900 that you were using, and the 704 is even better than that!
     
  17. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Phil....not sure if inside it's a clone...the outside looks a LOT different. As for The Lion King on my 909..yeah that disc rocks overall...one of THE great pressings on LD. I'd like to point out that the disc Phil saw was projected on a 10X20' screen outside. Anything not up to snuff with either the disc or player, you WILL see it in that environment.
     
  18. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    One thing to consider with respect to budget players is that in some cases adding the AC-3 output is quite easy. I've got an S104 and a friend of mine put together the AC-3 output for just a few bucks in parts. It works great. Here's a few links:
    http://www.mnns.com/~ka0ywn/laserdisc.html
    Mine
     
  19. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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  20. Bob Segno

    Bob Segno Agent

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    Any opinions on the CLD-D406?
     

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