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 Post subject: Another Laser Disc Geek! (...and proud of it!)
PostPosted: 18 Jun 2017, 13:00 
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Joined: 04 Jun 2017, 10:06
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Location: United States
Hello to all! WOW! This is like finding a Laser Disc safe-haven. Too bad I couldn't have found something like this back in the 90's.

My introduction to Laser Disc started back in the mid 80's actually. My small town has a street fair every year and every year they put up a very, very long tent where local and out of town businesses can rent space for a booth to sell their wares and make themselves known to the public. By the mid 80's my family already had a VCR but as I was walking through this tent, I came across a man introducing my town to the Laser Disc technology. I remember thinking how cool it was to see him put a huge metal disc in the player and a movie would play! It seemed so far ahead of its time. I also distinctly remember the one Disc cover he had prominently displayed on the table: Halloween II (one of my favorite movies), with the orange pumpkin/skull. Laser Disc made such an impression on me that night, I had never forgotten about it. I thought to myself, Someday, I'm going to own one of these players!

Jump to 1990, I've graduated High School and already had a full time job. After buying my first car, my next goal was to buy a nice Receiver with Dolby Pro Logic, A television, and of course, a Laser Disc Player. By 1991, I had already taken the dive into buying CD's and getting rid of my cassette collection. So the first player I bought was the Pioneer CLD-M401, which was also a 5 CD player as well.

How I went about getting a hold of this player was interesting. I live in a small town, so I had to drive about 30 miles just to get to the nearest store that sold Laser Disc players. I had a choice between two stores at the time: Best Buy or Sears (this was either 1992 or 1993. Can't remember which. Hey, I'm getting old. Sue me). I went to Best Buy first . I went to the Electronics section, looked over the players available and, having started collecting CDs, the CLD-M401 stood out from the rest. I DEFINITELY remember looking over the placard on the shelf, noting the model number, features and of course the price. A worker for the Electronics department came over and asked if I needed help. I told him I was very interested in the player but I had somewhere else to go to shop (I didn't tell him I was going to Sears to see the players they had available) but that I would be back to buy this particular player. Sears did have the CLD-M401 also and for the EXACT same price as Best Buy. My Brother who drove me to the stores in his truck said he wanted to go back to Best Buy to purchase something there before we drove home. I thought, Yeah, I'll just go back there and, while my brother buys whatever he needed, I'll just buy the player there also. Except when I returned to Best Buy, someone switched placards. Same Brand name, same model number, same features, but much higher price! The same employee whom I spoke with earlier came over and asked if I was ready to make the purchase. I said, "UH, not at this price! Someone switched placards!" He swore no one switched them. "Listen! I was just over here an hour ago looking at this player! I know how much the placard said the price was! Someone switched placards!" He denied it again so I left, returned to Sears and started talking to one of the salesmen there. He said he owned a Laser Disc player himself while explaining some features to me about the CLD-M401. He seemed genuinely enthused that someone else was interested in Laser Discs like himself. I asked him if he got a commission for selling products, and he coyly admitted he did. I told him, "Well, you're about to have a great day today! I want that Pioneer Receiver with Dolby Pro Logic, those Pioneer tower speakers, those Pioneer center and surround speakers......AND I'll take the Pioneer CLD-M401 Laser Disc player!" You should have seen the smile on his face. You should have seen the smile on MY face. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning! I couldn't wait to get home and set everything up! And don't tell my Boss, but I called in sick that day so I could stay home and watch movies on my new player!

At one point I bought the huge Aliens Collectors box set. When it got to the part where Riply goes to retrieve Newt at the end of the movie, I was laughing and amazed at hearing the hissing and clanging sounds coming from my back surround speakers! I had never experienced anything like that before at home! I was DEFINITELY in love with Laser Discs!

In 1996, some of my family members decided to break into my house and steal my Laser Disc player to pawn for money to support their drug habit. (Thankfully and miraculously, they left my receiver, speakers and television alone)! Unfortunately, I couldn't find another CLD-M401 at the time so I bought the Pioneer CLD-D505, which I was still very pleased with. In fact, as you might have guessed, I STILL own and use this player to this day (about 21 years)! I most definitely got my moneys worth from this purchase! (As a side note, I purchased a 32 in. Samsung TV in 1992 or 1993, the same time I bought the speakers, receiver, and Laser Disc player. Say what you want about Samsung, but that television alone lasted me over 10 years before the CRT tube gave out)!

I want to end this by sharing some fun experiences I have had using my Laser Disc Player: After my Grandfather died, my Grandmother asked me to move in with her to help her out with every day things. I agreed I would. I always got along with my Grandma, drinking coffee with her in the mornings, taking her for car rides like my Grandpa would do and just joking with her and having a good laugh. There were times I would use the shuttle/jog dial on the remote to set up a movie on Laser Disc at a particular scene, then I would press pause. I would turn up the volume on my receiver almost all the way. Then I'd call for my Grandma to my room and as soon as she entered my doorway, I'd press the play button on the remote and watch her jump a mile high! She would seem mad at first, cursing like a sailor, but then we both would start laughing. It was a hoot! The scenes in movies I surprised her with were:

1. Salem's Lot, when that evil looking blue vampire with the yellow eyes pops his head up on the screen while killing the man in the jail cell.

2. JAWS, when Richard Dryfuss is under water looking at the boat wreckage, and Ben Gardner's dead head with the missing eye pops into view.

3. True Lies, at the beginning when Arnold Schwarzenegger sets off the (VERY!!!) loud explosion at the party. I had my receiver set to darn near the highest number on the volume dial! The speakers rattled my bedroom windows when that explosion went off.

anyways, I am glad a site like this exists and that there are like-minded people who enjoys the same thing. Hopefully someday I will get back on my feet financially and can purchase some discs from some of the shops on here. Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: Another Laser Disc Geek! (...and proud of it!)
PostPosted: 18 Jun 2017, 17:49 
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Joined: 03 Aug 2013, 17:32
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Location: OREGON, U.S.
welcome!! first time i recall seeing an LD myself was the mid/late-1990's; my folks were shopping at our local FUTURE SHOP (soon to become BEST BUY)
for a new bedroom T.V. and VCR, and i was entertaining myself browsing, and i recall coming across an LD player, not really certain what it was, and fiddling with it for fun.

anyway, i finally get to the tray OPEN/CLOSE, and the main LD tray expels... revealing this monster-sized CD of which i'd never seen the like of before!!
for whatever reason, i was just too young and scatterbrained at the time, never thinking to ask about it, and just moving on to something else...

jump to Y2K, i experience the Internet for the first time. one thing leads to much more... and i eventually begin hearing about this "LaserDisc" thing,
which turns out to be precisely what that "Jumbo-CD" thing i saw years before was, and i begin, via EBAY to delve into, and learn all about,
all the super-sexy CE gear that happened back when i was a snot-nosed tween that couldn't care less.

i begin browsing LD players specifically, and this very image here leapt out at me, Love at First Sight;

Image

1988 PIONEER CLD-3030, the first vintage CE product i had ever seen that had TAKE ME HOME written all over it.
i had t wait some years before finally obtaining one, going through several intermediary players in the process,
but by 2008, a little-used, almost cherry example was finally mine, and, in the years since, i've become something of a resident expert on this model,
despite my relatively minor stance here as an LD enthusiast...
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* PIONEER CLD-3030 Compatible LDP (1988) (( CLD-3030 Chassis-based LD players ))
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 Post subject: Re: Another Laser Disc Geek! (...and proud of it!)
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 10:08 
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Joined: 01 May 2016, 06:38
Posts: 514
Location: Australia
Great stories Ghost and Tasuke.

I love hearing stuff like this.

Wow, those were the days, when a first job could buy a car and home cinema. I work full time but after rent and taxes I don't take home much. 40 years old and still haven't got my first car, all my gear is bought used for a fraction of the original retail.

The 90s were a great time, wish I was a little older then.
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