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 Post subject: Hello, LaserDisc Database!
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2022, 05:15 
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My username was supposed to be "CAValier", but here we are. I got back into LD several months ago, and I've been fighting the addiction since. A good friend of mine was cleaning out a few rooms in his house in order to downsize, and came across a stack of about 50 discs and an immaculate Yamaha CDV-1600. He asked me if I wanted it, otherwise he was going to throw it all out. Since then, I've purchased or acquired 100 more discs, and three more players... with dozens more discs on the way. My better half doesn't see the point, but she appreciates that I'm passionate about it.

The Yamaha CDV-1600 worked great for a while, but it stopped working. I was already hooked, so I went searching for another.

The first player I bought was an immaculate Pioneer CLD-D501 I found on Craigslist in a neighboring town. Good price. Made the two hour trip to pick it up, complete with inverter and composite TV in the back of the vehicle... only to find the player wouldn't eject. The guy was nervous thinking I'd bail on the deal, but I gambled on it. Got it home that evening and replaced the main belt, cleaned and lubricated mechanical parts with PTFE or white lithium, depending on the part. Since then it has been dead-on reliable.

My entire goal all along was to do my best to upscale LD to 1080p and correct the aspect ratio so I could enjoy discs without getting an older TV. I experimented with a variety of configurations with the CLD-D501, and it was great... but...

I found a CLD-D702 for dirt cheap on eBay, listed as "for parts/not working". The guy included the transit screw, so again... I gambled. I did the same thing I did with the CLD-D501, and the player sprang to life. A considerable upgrade from the CLD-D501, but I still wasn't "there".

Days later, I found another local guy selling a Mitsubishi M-V7057 (Pioneer CLD-D704 licensed clone) and a boxset for a very reasonable price. Made the two hour trip to do the deal, and discovered that while it's in fantastic cosmetic shape, it barely worked. There was a nasty screech on the main spindle, the auto-flip didn't work at all, the ejection mechanism was iffy, and it appeared the brake wasn't working. I gambled on it anyway... paid for it and took it home. I pulled it apart and went through the usual motions, but also scrubbed the brake with a magic eraser and isopropanol. Now it works beautifully and -- to date -- it's the best LD player I've got.

Following that experience, I did the same thing to the Yamaha CDV-1600... scrubbed the brake, lubed the spindle bearings, cleaned and lubricated mechanical assemblies, and replaced belts... and it resurrected!

I've been using an Anchor Bay DVDO iScan HD all along, varying input methods, but I think I've got it (mostly) dialed in now. I wasn't a fan of its comb filter, so I brought out a retired piece of equipment from my old living room setup... a Meridian G98DH disc transport, which has a fantastic (to my eye) comb filter and deinterlacer, with black level adjustments and s-video/component (BNC)/HDMI out. I wanted to use the component out, but all I had were RG179U BNCs that were used for SDI at one point, so I had to modify the DVDO iScan by desoldering the RCA component jacks, making little RG179U pigtails and soldering up chassis mount BNC connectors.

However, the 20 year old Meridian G98DH was showing its age. Power supply failure, swollen caps on the VFD display board, solder stress on one of the Silicon Image chips so the image rolled and cut in/out randomly. A few Panasonic FM caps, lots of Amtech tacky flux, Kester 63/37, some drag soldering and a little hot air rework... and she's peachy.

Now, it's setup like so:

CLD-D704 clone -> Meridian G98DH via composite (4:3, deinterlacer/comb filter) -> DVDO iScan HD via component BNC (upscaling to 1080p60fps and framed for 16:9) -> 1080p panel via DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

I've never seen LD look this good. I know there are better players, and definitely better displays (I'd kill for a 9" CRT projector, as example)... but it's what I had on hand or picked up for cheap. A little elbow grease and I'm very happy. I lucked out on the latest player, because there's absolutely no contest between it and the older, lesser players. I plan to modify this 704 clone... full recap, probably a linear power supply and some rewiring... maybe replacing the crystal with a precision oscillator, among other stuff. I'd like an Elite, but it's not in the cards right now... so I'll hot rod what I do have.

I made my first purchase on an lddb shop a few days ago, and it was substantially smoother than eBay, albeit a little less automated. I love this community and what it represents, and I'm happy to be a part of it. I intend to take photos of equipment that I have that's in the hardware database but not yet populated... and I plan to stick around for a long time.

In summation, thank you all for helping keep this format alive!
 Post subject: Re: Hello, LaserDisc Database!
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2022, 00:09 
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Nice story on resurrecting your players. You're are doing a great deed keeping these players away from the landfill or recycling center :thumbup:.

Enjoy the hobby :).
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