Some LD help, please

Discussion in 'Laserdisc' started by Fistfuck, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    No, not no matter what. You will need an RF demodulator if you want to hear Dolby Digital 5.1 sound from laserdiscs. If you don't have an RF demodulator, you can still listen to the Dolby Pro-Logic Surround (happy, Paff?), which many think sounds just as good, if not better than Dolby Digital 5.1. I'm not one of those people, but I can't say I've done back to back comparisons.

    Dolby 5.1 goes from LD player to RF demodulator and then into your receiver. Technically it isn't Dolby 5.1 until it's processed by the demodulator, but lets not get too technical here.

    DTS is a whole different game. If your LD player has Digital/PCM output and your receiver has the appropriate (coax or optical) input, then you're all set. DTS LDs are SWEEEEET!

    Digital Out is fine for DTS and Dolby Surround. You need an AC-3 RF Output to get the Dolby Digital off a laser (and then feed it into the demodulator and into the receiver from there).
     
  2. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    So I'd be set for DTS, sweet.
    Are all the LD players with digital outs capable of DTS?
    How much better would say 5.1 sound from a laser is compared to Pro-logic? In sound quailty and dollars (like is it worth $100+ if I can't find a cheap one?)
    I don't have the best sound setup. Just some small Sony speakers from an "all-in-one" 5.1 system that died, and an old Kenwood reciever I got for $100. It's far from top of the line, but I can notice the difference between DTS and 5.1 from my dvds, and it's plenty loud for my room.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2003
  3. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    If the player has digital out, it will output DTS. But you need to make sure it has the digital out you need (optical or coax), or that it has both (many have both).

    I can't answer how much better 5.1 is compared to Pro-Logic. I just don't know as I've never done back to back comparisons. I think Dolby 5.1 is better, but that's just me.

    $100 is tough to justify when many of the Dolby 5.1 lasers are on Dolby 5.1 DVD. The only reason I did it is because I know I can drop this demodulator I have on ebay and get ~$200, even though I only paid $90. The only 5.1 laser I have, at least that I can think of, that isn't on DVD is The Frighteners: Director's Cut. And that's really just a technicality, since the theatrical cut is on DVD. This Director's Cut has 12 additional minutes, however.

    Also, many people swear up and down that Dolby 5.1 is much better on LD than on DVD. That is why some still prefer having Dolby 5.1 with laser, even though a DVD is available. My system isn't good enough to produce such a difference, however.
     
  4. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Cool, thanks Dave.
    Now what's up with that Frighteners boxset?
    You still into trading or selling, cuz I'm still interested!
     
  5. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Wow Dave...I completely agree with you.

    Yeah, all you need is a Digital Out (play it safe, just look for an optical out) for DTS.
    You'll need an AC-3 RF Output (and that's exactly what it will be called) for Dolby 5.1.

    However, investing in a Demodulator is questionable. Like Dave said, most Pro-Logic tracks sound nearly as good as their 5.1 (aka AC-3) counterparts. A few exceptions are action films, where you want those special effects in 5.1. BUT, almost all films on LD with 5.1 are available on DVD. One film I notice sounds REALLY better with 5.1, believe it or not, is Beavis and Butthead Do America. That's even more interesting, as NOWHERE on the LD or cover does it list a 5.1 track, but there's definitely one there.

    Yes, some say that 5.1 sounds better on LD, but it's really marginal. Here's my Demodulator formula: Go through your collection and pull all the AC-3 discs (Note: These discs will say AC-3 Dolby Digital, NOT the ones that just say Digital Sound). Realize it will cost about $100 to hear those discs in 5.1. Decide which ones you want to hear in 5.1. (Example: As Good As It Gets is 5.1, but does it really matter that much). Then consider how much it would cost to just replace those LDs with DVDs. If it's less than $100, don't buy the Demod.
     
  6. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Thanks Paff,
    One more real question, does the CLD-D504 have the digital memory to freeze CLV movies? (if not, what's the cheapest one that does)
    I figure I want that option also if I'm gonna get a new player.
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure it doesn't. You have to go to 600 or 700 level to get that feature.

    HOWEVER, I would definitely not make that a point in my purchase decision. Even on my 704, the freeze-frame on CLV discs is pretty poor. That's a problem with LD technology in general.

    Two-sided play, Digital Output, AC-3 RF (just in case) are what you really want. I think the 504 does all of those things. It's a decent mid-level player in my book.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    I used to own the 504. It goes not have the ability to freeze memory. Actually, the cheapest player that has that ability is probably the one I own - the CLD-D606. I scored it for $150 new off ebay. Sweet ass deal if you ask me. It has optical digital out and coaxial AC-3 RF output. Basically, it has everything you would want from an LD player (unless you want coaxial digital out). It's a good player. Nowhere near as good as my previous player - the LD-S9 - but this one certainly gives me bang for the buck. The picture quality is quote good on it; it's only slightly inferior to the CLD-D704, which cleans up the pictures a bit more than the 604.

    My sell / hold relationship with The Frighteners continues. For now I'm holding onto it. :banana:

    One other thing that neither Paff or I have mentioned in regard to Dolby 5.1 lasers and the justification for purchasing a demodulator is the price of laserdiscs! You can get boatloads of Dolby 5.1 lasers for less than $10.00 each. Even less if you buy in bulk. If you don't care about 16x9 enhancements and perhaps less extras, a Dolby 5.1 laser can save you money over a Dolby 5.1 DVD. DVDs are pretty cheap on the used market, so that isn't always the case. Just something to consider.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    That's happened quite a bit, actually. It with either the first or second Brady Bunch movie that had happened to. And I know there were a few others. Brady had a 'Dolby 5.1' sticker on the shrinkwrap, which may have been the case with Buttmuncher too.
     
  10. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    You bastard!:cry: J/K I'll keep the money I made off ebay until you're ready to part with it. I'll be waiting to give it a good home (even better home when I get a new player!).

    Last question, how much does the video quality drop from player to player (I assume the better the player the better picture), and is it really noticable. I'm leaning toward the 504 now, unless it just looks like shit compared to say the 605. It looks like it's a $50-100 difference on ebay right now.
    I have 32" flatscreen Wega, bottom of the line for ones with 16:9 mode.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    You won't see much of a difference between the 504 and the 604. 604 is slightly better, but if the decision is to save $25+ on a 504, I'd get the 504 myself. It's a good player. Just make sure it has digital out. I can't honestly remember if it does. I think it does, but I believe it's coax only.
     
  12. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Thanks again Dave.
    I just bid on a 504, hoping to snag it for under $100!
     
  13. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Dave or Paff,
    I've been offered a Pioneer Elite CLD-52 for $175.00 shipped from a guy who refurbishes LD players and sells em on/off ebay. It has remote and manual as well.
    What's the opinion of this model? It does have what I'm looking for (digitial outs, not ac-3 though, and both side play), but is that a good price or a striaght jack?

    Oh yeah, the 504 doesn't have digital out (just ac-3, but I'm not looking for a de-mod, esp. since I think I have 1 laser with 5.1!), and I got outbid anyway!
    I was sent some pics of the CLD-52, and the only thing wrong is some scrathes on the top and sides, and no ac-3 outlet (it looks like one was there, or could be there, but isn't there!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2003
  14. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Don't quote me, but I believe that the 50 level Elites are close to the 500 or 600 level non-Elites. I know the 704 I have is pretty much the same as an Elite CLD-79.

    So $175 sounds about right, especially if the guy is reliable and has checked it out. It's not a steal for either one of you I'd say.
     
  15. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    That's right. I forgot that about the 504. It doesn't have digital output.

    Personally, I'm really turned off my the CLD-5x models. I had nightmares with a CLD-59. It kept producing these scrolling lines on my TV screen. I changed the cables, tried different TVs, different power outlets (dragged my LD player to work to do that), but the problem just wouldn't go away. It was under warranty so I brought it in for repair. They said they fixed it but the problem remained. I called Pioneer and they agreed to swap it. The swapped unit had the same problem! I found someone else on alt.video.laserdisc having the same problem with a CLD-59. Finally I gave up and dumped it on ebay. From there I got the 704, which was great.

    Obviously that's just a small, isolated incident. Not a lot of people have had that problem, but I believe a smaller percentage of CLD-59s have that problem. No idea if the CLD-52 would have it, but I would never buy a lower numbered Elite LD player again.

    What's wrong with this 604 auction? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3011766868&category=3317

    I bet it will sell for under $150. By the way, never place a bit on ebay until the last 30 seconds of the auction (last 10 if you are on broadband). Just wait until that time and bid the most you are willing to pay. That's the best strategy.
     
  16. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    That 604 is nice, though it might go higher than $150. Hard to say. The only problem with E-Bay (and this is a 1 feedback seller) is how reliable the unit is, and how well it will be shipped.

    If the player has been sitting around for years without use, the belts may be dry-rotted and shot, and the gears are not greased properly. Again, you never know. That's an advantage you get from buying from experienced LD resellers. I paid $480 for my 704 (well, a little less by trading in some discs) from Ross' Exchange. He gave that player the once over twice, doing all the adjustments, alignments, and lubrications.

    So who knows. It's a gamble. I'd probably prefer a CLD-604 to a 50 level Elite, but if the Elite is from a reliable seller, it may be less of a risk.
     
  17. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Thanks for the input guys.
    I emailed the guy selling that 604, and it doesn't have the remote or manual. Plus I'm getting sick of being outbid, and usually can't be online when the auctions close as I don't have my own computer right now.
    I think I'm gonna go for the Elite 52, the seller who works on em has said it was just re-alined and works perfect, has the remote and manual and will be shipped insured. Plus he has a high feedback from ebay and seems really cool from his emails. I'd have to say it's definitly less of a risk.
    The positives are outweighing the negatives, and since I only have about 20-30 lasers I don't really need a top of the line player, I'm just sick of getting up to flip the discs, and figure a digital out will give me better sound than the analog out I'm running now. To top it all off, the only laser I have with 5.1 sound is Uncle Sam, and I only got that for the Issac Hayes commentary in the first place!
     

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