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 Post subject: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 01:35 
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I've been hanging about street corners around here for long enough so I should probably take off the wide-brimmed hat and introduce myself.

My name's Xander and I'm a bit obsessed with tech that predates me, which until recently has mostly been on the gaming side (I've been restoring / modding old games consoles for a while now, for example). I'm hardly an expert but I'm not totally inept, at the very least. My latest tinkering escapade of choice is to finally see what this LaserDisc lark is all about. I've picked up a handful of LDs already but they won't be much use if I don't have anything to play them on, so I'm in the market for a decent player. I don't really expect top notch video from this format regardless, so I'm not necessarily all that fussed about whether it has the best 3D comb filter going or what have you; the thing that has always impressed me about this format is the high quality audio, which would appear to be significantly superior in many (even most?) cases compared to what we generally get on Blu-ray. So the most crucial things I want are rock solid digital audio and the highest quality but reasonably affordable analogue audio performance that I can find.

But here's the rub: I live in Scotland. There... really aren't a lot of LaserDisc players to go around up here. I'm extremely nervous about having a player shipped to me in case it arrives destroyed. If there happens to by some miracle be another Scot (or at least Scotland resident) around here who has a player to sell for a fair price, and is open to either arranging collection or meeting somewhere for handover (which could arguably be better under current global outbreak circumstances), please do give me a shout.

Alternatively, if you happen to have something like a CLD-99 Elite or a similarly capable alternative and are in the UK within reasonable vicinity of central Scotland (maybe we could meet somewhere in the middle if you're in the north of England for example), then also gimme a shout and let's see if we can figure something out. If you'd like the security of Paypal/eBay, I am more than happy to do business over there in the event of a sale actually going ahead. I've had radio silence from the majority of sellers I've contacted on eBay thus far, which isn't ideal.
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 01:51 
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You really won't get any advantage to audio unless you have a nice amp and speaker setup.

If you are using lower quality then you won't really notice.
Good luck on getting a player and enjoy the format if you do succeed.
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 02:49 
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rein-o wrote:
You really won't get any advantage to audio unless you have a nice amp and speaker setup.

If you are using lower quality then you won't really notice.
Good luck on getting a player and enjoy the format if you do succeed.


The stuff I have currently is not high end, but that's something I'm gradually upgrading at the earliest affordable opportunity. I think the current plan is to aim to have my speakers replaced entirely by the end of this year. Right now I have 7.1 but they're kind of a Frankenstein's Monster deal with L+R that don't match my Lss+Rss and neither match my Lsr+Rsr, and the centre is from a different range as well. As for the sub, I do have one, but it's ancient and it's one of those entry level things where the sub is the amp and you plug the other speakers into it, so definitely not high end there either. The trouble is of course that although my fronts sound pretty decent (especially for music) and my centre sounds fine for the most part, the handoff between speakers is crap because they all have totally different frequency response. Specifically, the centre is significantly warmer in the midrange compared to L+R, which probably makes sense given that the C channel is primarily reserved for dialogue most of the time. But the thing is, I also like a good mono mix, and it kind of irritates me to have them come out of L+R and have sort of a perceptual gap between the sound and the screen (a bit like using a touchscreen on some older smartphones that have a bit of distance between the glass and the panel underneath), so I'd really like to have a top notch centre speaker rather than the bargain basement Tannoy 7C I have right now in order to chuck all mono out of that single speaker and have it not sound compromised by doing so. The receiver is a perfectly serviceable but hardly top of the range Denon. Does most of what I'd like although annoys me that it doesn't have surround analogue input, only digital for surround and the analogue is limited to stereo.

But yeah, very important to me that I can do both digital and reasonably nice analogue for the audio! Futureproofing and all that, right?

Anybody in Scotland with a decent (and obviously fully working) player for sale, please let me know.
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 02:55 
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Hello Xander,

I am also in Scotland & I fully understand the concerns regarding LD players arriving damaged, not much fun when that happens.

Your best bet is to pick the player up from the seller - you get the chance to see the unit in action & avoid the "it was in perfect working order when I sent it out" scenario which can happen.

You may have to travel a bit of a distance though.

I have picked up a few players in the past from north of the border so they do turn up but not so much now.

Sadly there is a seller in Scotland that should be avoided. If you get the "sorry can only send out, no personal uplift" from a seller in Scotland please take care & perhaps best avoided.

Good luck with the player hunt.
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 18:55 
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Managed to agree a slight compromise and ended up just buying a CLD-2950 with a collection as well, which is mostly stuff I didn't really want but that is nonetheless quite nice to have. And this means avoiding any post so that definitely helps.

Brain soup at this point but I'm reasonably sure the CLD-2950 is the one that can't play back analogue PAL audio... I'm sure there is a better place to ask this, but in case anybody is here and knows: if I attempt to play back a PAL LD with digital audio on a CLD-2950, will any sound come out of the RCA output or only the TOSLINK? As in, will it play the digital audio track but converted to analogue out of the RCA output, or will it just be silent from the RCA and have the digital audio coming out of the TOSLINK?

My assumption is that it won't *read* analogue audio (as in, audio stored as analogue on the disc) but it might read digital audio and run it through a DAC or something (if it has one for those who for whatever reason don't have TOSLINK on their decoder or whatever). But maybe the RCA output is just totally silent if you're playing a digital-only LD?
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 20:50 
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Hello again Xander,

Well done with the 2950, that is a rather good player - enjoy.

As for the analogue playback I had one of those players & pretty sure it played ever LD that I popped into it.

Below is a bit from a review from back in the day - hope the details help.

The CLD-2950 is the top of Pioneer's PAL market LD range, and while expensive at just under UK#700 has won a wide range of plaudits including What Video magasine's Best Buy. A fully featured dual side play PAL/NTSC dual standard LaserDisc/Compact Disc combi player. It is one of the few players still able to reproduce the original Analogue sound LaserVision discs (made as recently as 1989), and the only PAL market player factory fitted with an S-Video output. Originally released in June 1994, it was rather surprisingly retained in the range in 1995, when the cheaper dual side play CLD-D515 machine was launched.

Features
Pioneer highlights the following features:

High Speed Gamma-Turn mechanism for continous playback of both sides of an LD.
Horizontal Resolution (PAL/NTSC): 440/425 lines
Compatible with TV in 16:9 aspect ratio
1-bit Direct Linear Conversion for CD and LD digital audio
Analogue sound replay from both PAL and NTSC LaserVision discs
Hi-Quality circuit (3-line digital Y/C seperator, Noise reduction)
Independant CD tray with Direct CD mode
Film Mode - (suppreses captions and display in order to disturb movie viewing less, particularly at the side change).
S-Video, phono and two SCART connections
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 Post subject: Re: Diving in...
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2020, 20:58 
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je280 wrote:
Hello again Xander,

Well done with the 2950, that is a rather good player - enjoy.

As for the analogue playback I had one of those players & pretty sure it played ever LD that I popped into it.

Below is a bit from a review from back in the day - hope the details help.

The CLD-2950 is the top of Pioneer's PAL market LD range, and while expensive at just under UK#700 has won a wide range of plaudits including What Video magasine's Best Buy. A fully featured dual side play PAL/NTSC dual standard LaserDisc/Compact Disc combi player. It is one of the few players still able to reproduce the original Analogue sound LaserVision discs (made as recently as 1989), and the only PAL market player factory fitted with an S-Video output. Originally released in June 1994, it was rather surprisingly retained in the range in 1995, when the cheaper dual side play CLD-D515 machine was launched.

Features
Pioneer highlights the following features:

High Speed Gamma-Turn mechanism for continous playback of both sides of an LD.
Horizontal Resolution (PAL/NTSC): 440/425 lines
Compatible with TV in 16:9 aspect ratio
1-bit Direct Linear Conversion for CD and LD digital audio
Analogue sound replay from both PAL and NTSC LaserVision discs
Hi-Quality circuit (3-line digital Y/C seperator, Noise reduction)
Independant CD tray with Direct CD mode
Film Mode - (suppreses captions and display in order to disturb movie viewing less, particularly at the side change).
S-Video, phono and two SCART connections


Aaaaaaah I know what I've done! Like I said, brain soup (been researching players for days now)... I mixed up the 2950 and 2850! It's the 2850 that doesn't play PAL analogue tracks: http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_cld-2850/pioneer_cld-2850.htm

You've just made my day there, I was thinking I'd be unable to play back analogue audio for older PAL discs. I don't even know if I have any yet in my initial collection here, because the seller doesn't even know which of his discs are PAL and which are NTSC. I checked as many as I could read from the low-res photos and quite a few of the important ones are NTSC, which is good news from my POV. But there will quite likely be some old analogue PAL tracks I would like to be able to hear.
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