Laserdisc equipment - is it as unreliable as I think?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Javier_Huerta, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I am looking for a good, nice LD player to replace my Pioneer one, since I think it's about to die a painful death (noisy motor, the tray sometimes won't come out).
    So a friend offers me his Sony MDP-405GX player. The tray doesn't come out, either, and sometimes the machine won't eject the disc. Which is a problem, since 9 times out of 10, it won't even play it.
    And my Pioneer was bought because I needed to replace a Philips player I had, which, basically, stopped working completely.
    I might buy my uncle's Radio Shack player, but he tells me I have to wait until it comes out of the shop. He hopes this time it will be completely fixed, since third time is usually the good one.
    Did I mention I also read the story about DiscoVision, Philips and Magnavox?
    Is Laserdisc always this unreliable??? I've had plenty of bad experiences with it - something I can't say about practically every other HT / audio technology I've tried (VHS, Beta, MD, DVD, tape, turntable, whatever).
    Still, I need to replace my Pioneer player, and fast. I have a nice LD collection I'd love to keep (including the three THX-Certified LD's with the original Star Wars trilogy!).
    I just hope I can find a nice unit which works.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    The thing with LD players are that they are very old technology, at a very large size and have tons of moving parts especially the dual sided players. A lot of parts wear out like rubber and plastic pieces.
    Out of all HT gear I think it's one of the most complex mechanical wise. I almost never seem to have a problem with any of my LD players except for mechanical related problems.
    There's also not a lot of people familiar enough on how to repair them because they were pretty much a niche format. I guess that's why people who have a fairly large LD collection have back-up players. I personally have 4 LD players, it would have been 5 if my HLD-X9 didn't break during shipping[​IMG] It was really screwed up, I picked it up and moved the unit a bit (not an easy task at 38 lb) and I heard a bunch of stuff moving around!
     
  3. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    My Denon has been used without a hitch since late '96.

    After reading some of the repair horror stories, I'm pretty glad it's always worked right...
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, your luck is muy malo. Sony players are renowned for problems galore, don't buy one. The Radio Shack player is proably the worst player ever made or atleast a top contender. Philips/Magnavox players are all very old now and never were the most reliable but certanly a cut above Sony's. Pioneer is your top choice and Panasonic could be a good choice if you could find a low mileage model.

    Pioneer is the top choice because they do stille suppourt their LD products. Panasonic doesn't suppourt as well at this point.

    I've had about 5 VHS breakdowns for every LD breakdown I've had over the years. A single-side LD player isn't mechanically much more complex than a CD player. Auto-flip is convient but does add another thing that could break. For me and proably for most LD users the format's reliability has been an advantage.

    I'd suggest you get a Pioneer player made since 1994. Even newer would obviously be advantageous. Elite players are usually a bit more reliable, in general. Most players will need a lens cleaning every 5 to 7 years. Things like spindle motors do fizzle and need replacing sometimes. In my experience LD has been very reliable. That being said, I just spent $200 having a new spindle motor put in my CLD-99. All machines break but Pioneer players tend to last quite well. Recuredos de Rachael!
     
  5. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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  6. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Any suggestions for online shops that sell LD players?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  7. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    Check in the hardware for sale section. Gregg Loewen had a 704 and a Elite 99 for sale. I'm surprised nobody jumped on these.
    Good luck
    Jim
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    My heavily used Pioneer LD-S2 has operated for 12 years without a single hitch. Might be a record.
     
  9. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    My CLD-D704 finally gave up on me two weeks ago (it will only play side A and the tracking is way out of whack), so I just bought a Panasonic LX-900 on Ebay tonight. I'll post a review comparing the Panasonic to the 704 soon after it arrives. I also had the high bid in on a DVL-90 but it was under the reserve at the close of auction. The DVL-90 is being auctioned again.

    Rachel,

    Thanks for your guidance on the issue of laserdisc player pecking order to help me decide that the LX-900 would be the best way to go (assuming of course it survives shipping). Sounds like the image quality of the Panasonic is at least as good as the 704. I got the LX-900 for $154.00 from a highly rated seller, which is about $200 less than I'd be able to get another 704 for.

    Note that there is another LX-900 on Ebay right now (auction ends on the 29th) with a minimum bid of $175.00. The seller was trying to get $299 with some fairly worthless discs thrown in on a previous auction but nobody bid on it, and now it is unbundled from the discs (at my suggestiion in an email to the seller).
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Would you slot the Pioneer 606 in between the 703 and the 604?
     
  11. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Rachel, thanks for you insightful information on LD players (and thanks to all who pitched in with their opinions, too!).

    My current LD player (a Pioneer CLD-S250) is still working (although the disc tray sometimes won't come out, and the motor makes all kinds of weird noises), so I guess this one will have to do until I find a new one.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, di nada! I was looking at the players on e-bay last night. There were a bunch of Elite CLD-59's. There must of been a half dozen. With that many at once, they should all bid low, proably? It sounds like you need one.

    Jay, di nada, too dude! Good luck with your LX-900. I've not had the 900 in my system to try, but I've had it's clone the Denon 3500 in there. IMO, the 3500 is better than a 79/704 but not as good as a 99, video wise. I have an LX-1000U in my studio right now that I bought on e-bay a few months ago. I don't think the 1000 is quite as good as the 900 but it's close. The 1000 was the predecessor model of the 900 and has pretty much the same feature set. Anyways...I think you got a good deal. I hope your 900 finds it's way home unscathed.

    Javier, you should put the 900 on your possible list too. The 59 has better audio but the 900 has much beter video. Best wishes cats!
     
  13. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    The Japanese Sony Hi-Vision players are reliable.

    But any NTSC player they make, I'd run clear. Unfortunately a Sony Hi-Vision player (C2EX) will run three times the cost of a 704.
     
  14. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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  15. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    So can I- I tried two of these when they were clearing them out for $300 (a very low price at the time for an LD player) and they had a TON of video noise on the reds and on the analog soundtracks. I got my money back and spent an extra $300 for a Pioneer.
     
  16. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    alan
    Damm, I was gonna say that! I knew you would say that but ya beat me to it![​IMG]
     
  17. Michael St. Clair

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    So who on earth made the Radio Shack player? I know the 'Shack sure as hell didn't.
     
  18. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Michael, Pioneer made the thang special to meet Radio Shack's exceedingly low standards. I never owned one but I looked at one in store. It took abot a minute to determine it really sucked. People say it breaks down at a very high rate. That's not suprising. It looked sort'a like a Pioneer LD-838D (no readout, just indicator lights...?), which I had BTW, but performed a few percent better than VHS, seemingly. Best wishes!
     
  19. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Rachael, do you know *anything* about the CLD-S250 player by Pioneer?
    I have it. If it's a nice player, I might try and find someone to fix it. As you might guess, eBay and buying used is out of the question for me (living in Mexico does have a couple of disadvantages) and I can't find anyone who can sell me a nice LD player.
    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  20. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Javier, I have never seen your model. I'm quessing it's very similar to the CLD-S201 but with a few more features. If you get it fixed, you should proably quit using the player's S-Video output unlss your display has an exceedingly bad comb filter to process (seperate) composite output. Why can't you get a new player off e-bay? Import restrictions? Can you send your player to a Pioneer service centre to be refirbished? Recuerdos!
     

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