Star Wars LD's and Laser Rot

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Strang, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 1999
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Can anyone tell me which of the Star Wars LD's to look out for when it comes to laser rot?

    I'm wanting to get Empire and Jedi on LD (already have episode 4).

    The ones in particular I'm eyeing are both sealed and have the original artwork on them. They're widescreen and linear PCM stereo "Dolby Surround."

    Thanks
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1998
    Messages:
    3,632
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If they're not the versions with THX badges then they're not really worth having. The earlier releases (there were at least two) did suffer with rot but more importantly had lousy transfers.
     
  3. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I bought the big THX set on eBay & it was riddled with rot. BEWARE! Ask for a $$$ back guarantee on any transaction.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,703
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    It's The Definitive Collection boxset that's has a substantial rot %. Scott, avoid the WS editions with the partly gray covers. Get the "faces" THX editions like Rob advises. The Special Edition boxset has the best image but it's the altered films. You may or may not want to get it too? Best wishes!
     
  5. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1998
    Messages:
    2,009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The first widescreen releases are, as Rob says, not worth owning: poor transfer, poor sound. The Definitive Collection set has a history of rot, although I've owned five of 'em and none had any problems. I've never heard a single complaint about the SE 5-disc box - highly recommended for best picture and sound among all Star Wars sets, if you can handle the changes. Which leaves the THX "faces", available individually laser discs. If you can, try for the "Kuray" (spelling?) pressed discs (pressed in Japan). These are supposed to better than the USA pressed versions.
     
  6. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try to find the THX "Faces" pressed in Japan, I can't remember the name of the facility, but the matrix # will be followed by a -K[​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 1999
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for everyone's input. I've heard that the box sets are riddled with rot so I was deliberately avoiding them.

    I do have the first one of the series with Darth's face on the front. The artwork on the older ones is better in my opinion but the quality of the of THX Episode 4 I thought was really good. I got it new from Evolution AV last year for $6. If I'd not been stupid, I would've bought more one copy.

    Is the mix a little different for these LD's? I seem to remember the music being more pronouned on ealier versions when 3po and r2-d2 eject in the escape pop. The music isn't really loud enough in that part.
     
  8. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    564
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Having owned several of just about every possible version of the LD's -- the Posters Set (Special Widescreen Edition) is OK from a collector's point of view, but are not very good transfers. I haven't seen much rot with those, but I have had several with lots of extraneous video noise bars and I have a couple Technidisc pressings which do have some rot.

    The Definitive Edition is the best transfer, but of the sets I've owned and screened, I'm guessing at least 1 out of 3 sides has at least some rot though sometimes it can be pretty minor. I think I have bought maybe 1 or 2 sets that were for the most part clean.

    The Faces/THX-CLV set sounds like you have the SW is not prone to rot that I have found. The transfer is just a bit softer than the DE and I'm beginning to believe it was tweaked to be a bit warmer. Especially after doing A/B on a 704 and CLD-99, I'm now convinced that it has a slight, but distinct red tint to the print. This is seen on both the US and Kuraray pressings and I think it is more exagerrated on the 704. I had always thought the transfers were identical to the DE, but after having Tim question me about some details I went back and did a lot disc/player switching and I think he is right.

    The SE set is clean, I've never seen any rot in the 6-8 sets I've screened. The video is sharper than the DE, but there is definately a bit of digital stuff I can see at times. It may also be a very much touch softer than the DE looking at a lot of background details, but there is virtually no scratches/grain/dirt/speckles that I have seen. It is a US Pioneer pressing so there are the occasional rolling dropouts and maybe a touch of video noise apparent in some uniform backgrounds.


    I do have a question for folks with the DE-- what do you think the market/price would be for single discs out of the DE -- 15-17-20 per disc? Obviously, far less than a full set would cost and with a guarantee that you get a good disc. If you wanted one with just one specific good side -- ??7.50-10. I know lots of folks have sets with a 1-2-3 bad discs that would probably like a replacement and not that many people are going to break up a set, but I have a couple sets with some good/some bad discs that I don't want to sell b/c of the rot. Over the last 5-6 years, I've bought and sold sets if I found a cheap set on Ebay or locally, but I have tried my best take out rotted discs before selling. Unfortunately this has left me with several discs/boxes that either I'll eventually end selling as defective/as-is playable at a discount or a possibility of helping other people 'repair' their set and defray some my expenses.
     
  9. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1999
    Messages:
    8,085
    Likes Received:
    353
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Real Name:
    Tim Glover
    In my dealings with the Star Wars laserdiscs, you will find no one that is more knowledgeable and fair than David Norman.

    I had one disc from the DE that had rot...(would you believe the Obi Wan/Vader duel in ANH!!!) and David helped me out by selling me this particular disc from the batches he has collected over the years.

    He really should have charged me more!

    If any of you have some discs that have gone bad, David will treat you right! [​IMG]

    And, regarding the transfers. Yes, David and I did some corresponding about the Faces editions, and the DE. I have the 704 player he's referring to and the Faces editions, while very good, are warmer looking. Looks as if they were not given any sunscreen while on Tunisia [​IMG] Skintones, image depth are all more naturally rendered and superior to me on the DE. I've done these A/B tests as well and there's no denying the DE are better.

    May The Force Be With You!
    :b
     

Share This Page