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 Post subject: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 10 Oct 2013, 22:33 
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I have owned my HLD-X0 for a few months now and decided to review it here. I had always heard about this player as being the very best Laserdisc player ever manufactured. There is little information scattered around on the internet. There is a little bit here and a little bit there but not a single article or a webpage with more than a few words about this machine. I will include what I have learned over the years from online sources and what I have confirmed myself.

On The Outside:
It only comes in black finish. The manufacturing stopped in 1999 so it never got the new Pioneer logo update. It measures approximately H22cm(8.5") x W47cm(18.5") x D48cm(19") and weighs 36kg(80lbs). Its design is very minimal with few buttons and a small digital read out in the front. Digital read out display characters are mainly blue with a few red indicators. Its power cord is hardwired to the machine so can't be replaced but it is long enough for most installations. It works on 100 volts so you either need 120v to 100v for US or 220v to 100v for EU step down adapters. It has all possible outputs in the back. It has a pair of S-video, a pair of composite(one of them is BNC type),a pair of MUSE (they are standard composite type connectors), a pair of analog RCA, a RF (AC-3) out, a Digital Coax, a digital optical and an ATT type glass optical digital output connectors.

On the Inside:
The player is able to decode NTSC Laserdisc signal internally and separate Y/C using its 1st generation NEC PD6480FG 3D motion-adaptive comb filter. It can also lock onto the MUSE signal on Hi-Vision discs and transport it to a MUSE decoder. It has the Burr-Brown 1702 Digital to Analog audio convertors which was the best at the time. HLD-X9 also has the same 1702 DAC but it is the K version. HLD-X0 has the PK version which is the highest quality version. The player also has a separate power supply for its audio section for better isolated noise floor. After intensive testing I can confirm the player has an internal fan or something that makes fan-like noise. It kicks in after a few minutes of playback and keep on even after the disc has been stopped. In general it operates noise free but you can hear the fan if you are close enough. Disc operations and the tray is very quiet. You don't hear nearly any mechanical noise from the player during playback or any trick play functions.

On the Menu:

There are two available menu screen on NTSC playback. First one gives you video options. You can select from Standard, Sports, Art, Memory 1, Memory 2, Memory 3 than it takes you to fine tweak screen with adjustments. Second screen is for audio adjustments. Here you can select Analog, Digital audio, Left/Right/Stereo. You can also select which internal clock the player should use for audio jitter. You can select Video timing or Audio timing. I think this options is relevant only when you use analog RCA outputs for sound.

There are also 2 separate screens on MUSE playback. First one is video adjustments. It is very basic with 3 options with no tweaks. Options are Soft, Standard, Sharp. There is also a second item here which is Equalization On/Off. These have very subtle effect on Muse playback.


On the Adjustments:

First of all I want to make this clear for everyone. For many years it has been speculated that BNC output is the purest output with no processing at all. It is NOT true. BNC output has the same output as the composite output. You get OSD on video and all video adjustments work on this output. BNC and composite connectors offer equal video quality. I have also verified with extensive tests that 3D Y/C filter adjustments effect composite output. Only explanation I have for this is this unit also separates Y/C before TBC and all video processing and than combines it for composite output.


NOTE: WILL BE UPDATED SOON
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2013, 03:09 
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interesting to read the part about the Y/C on composite.
i've never tried my R7G to see if it works on composite, i've only used the S-Video.

now i have to try that out to see if any other 3D comb filter players work the same.
looking forward to reading more about this beast.

one thing i have to say is too bad the power cord is hardwired, it's always nice to have beasts with removable power cords, so they don't
mess up at the player end and dry rot.

i've seen that too many times on older audio and Guitar amps.
but then again they are always moved around for guitar amps :think:

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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2014, 20:24 
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digging with the service manual lately. here are a few foundings

analog to digital convertor is a 8bit hitachi adc. comb filter is the nec PD6480GF which is 3D adaptive. It has all three modes available to a comb filter. interfield(2D), interframe(3D) and notch filter modes. it can select modes accourding to the signal type. Digital to analog conversion is a hitachi 3ch 10bit DAC. 3ch are composite(y+c), y(luma), C(chroma).

noise reduction is done in 2 steps. NEC PD6480GF has its own noise reduction ability. Once the signal is split to Y and C, each path has its own noise reduction ICs with memory. This is why HLD-X0 has more noise reduction settings/adjustments than CLD-99(similar nec chip), or faroudja ld-1000(same nec chip).

i dont know the ability of the NEC comb filter comparing to newer ones. this one seems to be tuned for LD. i think where HLD-X0 shines is its analog section. power section is amazing and regulation is done by discrete components with less resistance variances.


I have revisited the service manual today. I can confirm that this player does NOT recombine Y+C for neither of its composite outputs. Both RCA And BNC connectors have their own OP amps however they are in parallel. I can also confirm that BNC does NOT have a different path or nor it is purer. D-Ext function appear happen in analog domain which explains crushing blacks. I continue to not recommend using this function. (Just adjust blacks on your display which works in Digital on modern tvs).

I believe YNR, CNR and Sharpness comes from the NEC chip which doesn't have any effect on the Composite output.


Last edited by substance on 16 May 2019, 18:09, edited 1 time in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2014, 23:22 
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I have for years said on most players the composite is just a recombining of the Y and C outputs. It is just many monitors have better processing for the composite signal verses the S-Video. On the LD-S2 it has an output that bypasses the character generator for on-screen displays which helps. The CLD-97 was the last machine to recombine in the digital domain, newer ones use a cheap resistor network to combine. The digital processing makes the picture a little sharper so it became standard. The real difference is players like the X0 and S2 are designed with care for lowest noise in the electronics so they just look better if you like a smooth analog look. Newer players have much more internal digital noise and that is why the picture has the digital look.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2014, 12:07 
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I hope you can add some video captures of what the video actually looks like, compared to some other unit
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 01:35 
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Does anyone own an HLD-X0 and an HLD-X9 so that they can show how the picture quality compares side by side.
Many people say the X0 is preferable however I know a few people who bought X0's and regretted it.
The 'smooth analogue look' that is often referred to means a softer out of focus picture and I know I personally prefer a sharper image.
I have an X9 and would consider buying another (maybe even 2 more) but I don't think I'd be swayed to go for an X0 based on the comments about the image.


Last edited by laserdisc_fan on 05 Dec 2014, 03:23, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 01:56 
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If you really like the sharpness of the X9 and the digitized background doesn't bother you then don't worry about the X0. Some people prefer the sharp picture and some the more film like smoothness. I prefer the smooth picture so my favorite is the CLD-97 since I want a double sided player. I know others that prefer the CLD-99.

Both are good units.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 05:08 
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I am considering getting a x9 but not this year. I will be moving in july then depending on space I may add a x9.

I promised a few people captures already. When time permits i will make captures and post some frames here.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 15:24 
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I've been thinking about getting either an X0 or X9 for a while but haven't quite decided. What I mainly find frustrating on LD is the level of noise so naturally the HLD-X0 would satisfy me the most. But, after reading about what kind of results you can get with the X9 if you've got some good external equipment it almost feels like the X9 would give me much less trouble to get good picture from. The X9 is cheaper, easier to ship, easier to repair (though not completely trouble-free) and overall more compact yet better than my CLD-R7G. That might just be what I need. I don't expect sharpness to differ too much between the units and that's fine by me.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 19:40 
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I haven't been impressed by what I've seen of the X9 on megapixie's comb filter tests, myself. Still has plenty of echoing/ringing, for instance. (edit: These are analog-level concerns, not related to the comb filtering, which isn't quite perfect due to noise/TBC issues, either...)

If given the choice between a 97 or an X9 falling into/near my lap, I would take the 97.

There's definitely a tradeoff between sharpness and analog artifacts - you can get 20-40 more lines of resolution, but often at a price. LD's technical limits were pushed hard in the 90's.


Last edited by happycube on 05 Dec 2014, 22:43, edited 1 time in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 20:36 
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If I'll get an X9 I won't use its S-Video output and 3D comb filter will be set to zero.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2014, 22:51 
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I'm more concerned about the ghosting on the frequency wedge, which gets quite pronounced around 3-4mhz. The analog bits on megapixie's X9 simply aren't that great, especially for the player's price/status.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2014, 00:24 
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The X9 with composite out to a decent 3d comb is really very good. You can add in 1 or 2 notches above half way of CNR to reduce noise without losing Any detail.

I'd like to add that YNR should be left at minimum to provide maximum clarity/detail.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2014, 06:29 
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kencol wrote:
The X9 with composite out to a decent 3d comb is really very good. You can add in 1 or 2 notches above half way of CNR to reduce noise without losing Any detail.

I'd like to add that YNR should be left at minimum to provide maximum clarity/detail.



Good morning Kecol,

I shall check the YNR on my X9 the next time I give this a spin sir


The X0 will be coming along at some stage.........

Everyones comments, views and insights are much appreciated here


Kind Regards to all

:wave: :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2014, 14:17 
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Hi Benmbe, let us know your experience with the noise reductions when you have a look.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2018, 17:03 
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HLD-X 0

important point

HLD-X 0 is sensitive to static electricity

The latest attention is necessary

Static electricity breaks laser diode and demodulation IC

popular Model can withstand up to 3 kv
HLD-X 0 will break at 30 V


ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
Player
Pioneer LD-1000(1981)
Pioneer LD-S1(1986)
Pioneer HLD-X0(1995)

TBC
FOR.A FA-395
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Frame Synchronizer)

Scaler
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Display
Panasonic TH-32LX75S(LCD)


Last edited by powerofld on 19 Dec 2018, 00:02, edited 4 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2018, 21:04 
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Wow! I haven’t realized it’s been 6 years plus with this machine.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2018, 01:44 
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substance wrote:
Wow! I haven’t realized it’s been 6 years plus with this machine.


Your house must not have any static.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2018, 01:51 
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thank you powerofld ! Now I know why mine died last year...
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HLD-X0 Review
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2018, 03:23 
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Man, my house is almost 80% static due to the dry heat right now.

An X0 would be toast on a daily basis in my house.

I do hope there was something lost in translation about the static.
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