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Posted: 24 Feb 2023, 21:12 

I just got a CLD-53 a few weeks ago (my first LD player). Drove 6 hours (round trip) to pick it up for about $100.

Not sure if I'm allowed to post URL's since I'm a new member, but I'll try. Here's a sample video capture from my CLD-53:
Youtube's probably going to murder the quality, but I've also uploaded that clip there just now.

I am somewhat competent at reading schematics, and from what I can see the -53 puts its composite signal through a comb filter to split it out to s-video, and the output composite signal is a recombined signal derived from the separated luma and chroma output of the comb filter. The comb filter is a decent 2D one, but it's not truly remarkable like some of the 3D ones are. I do notice slight rainbowing (which is basically where luminance information gets seen as chrominance information on sharp edges). The 3080 appears to use a Pioneer-made comb filter that I can not find a data sheet for (VTF1032), which is also recombined for its composite signal. My instinct (admittedly based primarily on pin count) is that the Sony CXD2023Q chip in the CLD-53 is the better one.

This capture was made after calibrating the card with an NTSC-J laserdisc with SMPTE color bars. I captured it over S-Video, operating on the theory that splitting, combining, and re-splitting the composite signal is worse than only splitting it once. Note that my capture card is not the greatest; I have two to choose from; one does excessive chroma subsampling (the chip captures in YUV 4:2:2, which is fine, but then there's another chip between the capture chip and the PCI bus that downsamples it further to YUV 4:2:0, because of course there is.) and the other has noisy chroma. I picked the noisy chroma card. It's especially noticeable in blues like in this clip, but that noise is not present on other devices I play it on.

Should be possible to lift a pin and tie it high on the comb filter chip (Sony CXD2023Q) to make the raw composite signal go out... albeit on the S-Video luminance pin. The chip has a miniscule pin pitch, so I'm not sure I can recommend doing that.

Considering opening mine up and pulling composite from just before the comb filter and trying to make my own amplifier/line driver for it (has to be able to push a 75 ohm load).

Ignoring that for a moment: as it sits, it's a pretty decent player from what I can see and tell. Mine came with the remote and manual and is pretty spotless; spins up without issues.

It has no AC3 RF output, although I suppose it could be modified to have that, if one cared enough. Demodulators are too rich for my blood, so I'll probably just keep an eye out for old amps with integrated AC3 RF demodulators.

Also, I'm considering picking up a domesday board or at the very least modding one of those CX2388X video capture cards (for use with the CXADC linux driver) to capture raw disc readings. If I do that, the quality of the analogue circuitry (apart from the pickup) should matter less in the long run.

All in all, it's a relatively late player (new enough and just high end enough to have digital S/PDIF and TOSLINK, at least). It seems to be highly related to the CLD-D503, which lacks those digital outputs. It does predate the advent of AC3 by one year.

I've run several discs on it, including some test pattern discs, and to me it's not bad, even without any mods. If the -53 you're looking at is in good shape, I'd say they're decent players.

The 3080 looks fun, with that little pop out control panel. I'd be worried that in the long term the cables or ribbons or whatever they're using to connect that control panel to the drive circuitry will fail and render the onboard controls non-functional. Might take ages for that to happen, though.

If the -53 does not have a remote, then you won't be able to do single-frame advance stepping on CAV's. There are third party replacement controllers that should work; the remote part number is CU-CLD103, so anything that claims compatibility with that should work.

From a quick glance at the schematic, I think that the 3080 does also split and recombine the Y/C signals for composite out (ARP1999 service manual, page 36, YCSB assembly). The 3080 looks to use much more discrete circuitry than the -53 does (which could be a good thing since it means fewer custom chips, probably, but could also be a bad thing since there are more points of failure...).

The -53 uses a "one bit dac" ("legato link conversion"). In theory at least this is a good DAC, should you be doing analogue output.

The 3080 has a VFD (vacuum fluorescent display), which I have a hankering for. Looks like the -53 does, too, according to the schematics.

If both players work well, are complete, etc., it doesn't matter too much which you pick from what I can see. One downside I do see for the 3080 is that it doesn't have a coaxial SPDIF output (only optical). That's probably not going to be an issue though.

One other thing, the mechanics inside the 3080 might be simpler. The 53 has this silly mini-tray where you can make just a smaller CD-sized tray pop out of the player. That requires additional moving parts to implement, of course.

I don't know enough about the 3080, but I can tell you that anecdotally my -53 seems okay so far. Since it seems to have a lot in common with the CLD-D503, that might make it easier for me to find parts units when/if it dies. The 503 seems a little more common than the -53 is.

Aesthetically, I like the 3080 more, but aesthetics are my single lowest priority when choosing electronics.
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