Laserdisc Digital Sound

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Dick Boneske, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    I have many Laserdiscs (many with 5.1 sound) and a Pioneer CLD 1080 player that does not have the AC 3 output jack. If I buy a player with the RF AC 3 jack, will my Pioneer 1014 receiver decode the 5.1 output or do you need a separate decoding box? People have told me the jack can easily be added to my present player, but I have no info on this.

    This may be a stupid question, but after owning various Laserdisc players since 1983, I never pursued the AC 3 capability. Now that I have the rest of the system in place, it seems logical to replace the CLD 1080 with a player capable of digital sound.
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I believe you'll need an RF Demodulator to decode it to AC3 from the RF jack.
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Nick is correct. To get AC3 sound, you will need a LD player with an AC3 out and an RF demodulator, which then hooks into one of your recievers digital inputs. I recommend contacting Bayview Electronics to see what they have for sale. I would go for a Pioneer CLD 704.

    http://www.laserdiscservice.com
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    There have been receivers with the RF demodulator built in although they are normally the more expensive versions. Does any current receiver have this feature? I don't know but I doubt it.
     
  5. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the feedback!!

    Does the old Pioneer VSX-99 have AC-3 RF input capability? There is one on ebay now fairly cheap. This would be a reasonable way to help accomplish what I want to do.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    A 6-year old Pioneer VSX-D606S has a built-in AC-3 Demodulator, but it's fairly limited in inputs and customizability. Do a google search on that model for more reviews.

    An older Denon 5700 receiver also has a built-in AC-3 demodulator, but I have no idea how much the used ones go for if you look on Ebay, and Audiogon.

    If you really want AC-3 playback from LD, getting a standalone AC-3 demodulator would be the better route, and that would allow you to get a more current model of receiver without tying you to technology that's 5-7 years old.
     
  7. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I agree with Patrick. The only current recievers that have a built in demodulator are the very expensive flagship models from Pioneer Elite. My 49TXi has one built in. I think a few other vendors still put them in, but they aren't cheap. You can probably get a Yamaha demod for ~$150.
     
  8. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    It looks like that model has an AC-3 in if you decide to upgrade your player. If I remember that model receiver was pretty good overall
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Frequently you can get a standalone Dolby Digital decoder with RF input for less than the demodulators. This will, of course, have to be piped in to your receiver via the 5.1 analog inputs, but it will handle all your DD source. I got my Yamaha DDP-1 for $25, which was a decent deal even though I had only one AC-3 disc at the time and no 5.1 amp! Since then I have upgraded my equipment and bought another AC-3 LD, both steps I was going to take anyway.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    What AVR do you use????


    I dunno, many modern AVR's have sophisticated enough processing going on, that they generally do nearly wonders with 2 channel surround sound. It will be interesting to see how it goes for you attempting to get it done.

    Then again, if you have a large library, a backup player is seen as a must these days. You may as well just go a head and buy one that offers it, using your existing player as you backup player.

    I get into the situation of it being somewhat a PITA, AC-3 prefered, no AC-3 but digital sound, then optical is prefered, ok many discs do not even have digital sound, then I have to go all the way back to analog. The switching of this, is not as simple as it should be from the same source device is all. I tend to use the optical most, then going back to analog for those discs that have no digital sound. Bummer the optical will do full DTS but only the AC-3 will do DD 5.1.....
     
  11. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I have a Sony TAE 9000ES preamp and it has optical coaxial analog and RF AC3 input for LD. AC3 & DTS LDs are incredible sounding that's for sure.
    It can be bought fairly cheap used now a days.
    I still have mine and can't complain
    Just an idea
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Dick, when you say Digital Sound in regard to the Laserdisc format, well, that's by definition 2 channel PCM. You've had LD long enough that you should remember when all LD's had analog sound, usually CX encoded.

    The VSX-99 has the AC-3 RF input, si. The disadvantage of this unit is that it only has 2 digital inputs, the AC-3 one and a regular digital co-axe one that is wired to the Satelite video input. I'm pretty sure it's a Dolby Digital only digital input too. BTW, my brother has one.

    The Elite SP-99D stand-alone AC-3 processor has only 3 digital inputs. One AC-3 RF and one toslink and one co-axe. However, the two non-RF digital in's can do either DD or PCM. It has has two analog in's. One is a regular 2-channel input. The other is a 4-channel (Pro-Logic) input, with just one rear input. This unit I know well. I got one in '95 and stille have it. I used it with the Elite C-72 analog A/V pre. The C-72 has a line-level output to feed into the SP-99D's analog input. BTW, it has a regular preamp output also. The SP-99D might be worth considering?

    IMO, one of the best AC-3 RF equiped units is the Marantz AV9000 pre. This is what I use now. It has DTS too. There is a very similar reciever too, but I don't remember the model #.

    Denon and Sony ES both made out-board digital processors with AC-3 RF. They both have digital outputs too, a big advantage. The SP-99D does not.

    Using an out-board AC-3 RF demodulator ain't a problem eiher as long as you have an extra digital input to burn....
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    A few years back a friend of mine helped me add an AC-3RF output to my Pioneer CLD-S104. We followed these instructions.

    It was fairly easy, well easy if you know anything about electronics. There're some diagrams here. I believe when we assembled mine we left out the "mute" portion and it worked fine.

    The Yamaha flagship receivers all have an RF input.
     
  14. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i have the pioneer cld-d704 player and denon avd-2000 and i get excellent results with dd encoded discs.

    CJ
     
  15. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    What's the best home Laserdisc player ever made for sale in the U.S.? I'm talking best picture
    and sound quality, high-end features, build quality, etc.

    Thanks for any info.! [​IMG]
     
  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lee, I'd say CLD-97 with the RF mod added. The Runco LJ-I & II are proably real close.

    The Japanese players are better and you can track them down in the U.S. The HLD-X9 is better than the 97 and so is the LD-S9. Remember better is better, regardless of kuntry auf oregin.
     
  17. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info. on the high-end laserdisc players. [​IMG]

    That CLD-97 is something. It's built like a tank, 37 pounds! [​IMG] None of that
    flimsy construction you see so often these days in players.
     
  18. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    You should see the Japanses HLD-X0. It weighs around 79lbs. The X9 is about 40lbs.
     
  19. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    79 pounds! hehe That's more than my amp weighs. [​IMG]

    Yeah, I have an appreciation for well-built audio and video equipment. They should
    have maintained the build-quality of the CLD-97 and just kept improving the electronics
    in later models. Instead of going with what amount to upgraded non-Elite players
    after the 97 and just calling them Elite players.
     
  20. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Goodness gracious Greg, they only have kilos in Nippon. So, the X0 only weighs 35 kg. [​IMG] The Elite LD-S2 came in at verily near 30 kg too. In fact later versions with the better comb filter, were, I think, 70 lb's or 31 kg...?

    Lee. the CLD-95 is built about the same as the 97. The Panasonic LX-900 and LX-1000U both weigh right around 30 lb's. 30+ lb's is a good idea for LD players given the disc's size and speeds. It's a practical neccessity with Muse capable players like the HLD-X0 and HLD-X9 given that Muse LD's go considerably faster stille.
    Di nada, m amigo![​IMG]
     

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