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 Post subject: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 03:35 
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So I recently picked up a CLD-D703 and honestly, I'm not too impressed with it.

1) Speckles/blips on discs are much more present than they are on my CLD-1070 (I probably have said 1080 on other posts, but it's a 1070).

2) I notice a weird type of subtle grain on the picture that is hard to describe but there's like a texture on the image that doesn't seem like it's inherent to the information on the disc. Note that I've been turning off the DNR as other have recommended, so maybe that would help, but I don't like the idea of old tech noise reduction altering the original image.

3) I have one disc that has distortion on sibilants ('s' sounds) that isn't present on my CLD-1070. I even toggled the different audio modes and it's always there. It's possible it happens on other discs, but I haven't noticed in the small sample I've tested.

So I'm thinking that for my purposes, the D703 is just not the type of player I want. I've read a bunch of praise for the CLD-3030 and something tells me that would be a nice player to look for if I want to get something either better than or at least on par with my 1070 as a backup. I really actually like the simplicity of the single-side play funtionality too, and it seems like a safer bet when buying a shipped player from eBay.

Anyway, has anyone else had this experience with the D703 or D704?
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 15:13 
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While I've never had one, You are dealing with a situation of reviews with CRTs and non CRTs so you need to be very understanding of what was said at what time
and what other equipment was used to test it.

After all that you are dealing with very old video technology that was squeezed within a mm of its life at the end to keep up with other changing technology.
While people will say this or that player is the best and this or that player is mid range etc. You will only get so much out of an LD that you can keep chasing that
white horse and never catch up to it.

For your situation of copying its very hard to say what is best and will you get any better on a budget, if you have unlimited funds then your real best option
is to get the actual film of whatever you are trying to capture and do it that way.

Otherwise you are always going to be limited to what LD has and is.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 16:22 
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Yeah, I understand what you're saying exactly. I hope I'm not "chasing the white horse" too much :) Still, I'm really just asking if others have found that the CLD-D703 or D704 is actually not as "good" of a player as older "lesser" models, or perhaps if they find that the cons can outweigh the pros on these models. Regardless of the peak quality a laserdisc can achieve, it seems like my CLD-1070 plays them better and with less visual artifacts.

Perhaps this might also be a good opportunity to discuss some models that others have rated poorly or are known as not great players but you guys actually seem to enjoy them more. I realize there's a chance of "letting the cat out of the bag" on well-kept secrets, but oh well.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2019, 21:30 
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I own three 703/704 machines but have never had time to do an A/B comparison to my CLD-3030 or other player of an older generation. However, here are my thoughts on you questions based on what most people have said on this forum and word of mouth....


alexpigment wrote:
1) Speckles/blips on discs are much more present than they are on my CLD-1070 (I probably have said 1080 on other posts, but it's a 1070).

2) I notice a weird type of subtle grain on the picture that is hard to describe but there's like a texture on the image that doesn't seem like it's inherent to the information on the disc. Note that I've been turning off the DNR as other have recommended, so maybe that would help, but I don't like the idea of old tech noise reduction altering the original image.


As rein-o said, you have to look @ it from the perspective of when the 703/704 came out. We still had CRT TV's so the attempt was to try and squeeze as much resolution out of the LD format @ that time. Thus, these models do represent the first players w/ DVP (Digital Video Processing) to compensate for inherent noise levels and general weakness of the LD formats picture. Fast forward to today, we now have a problem of which digital displays will add processing to a composite input and basically induce "double" processing (what the player is doing and what the display is adding to it). Thus, I do expect more artifacts and the only way to probably reduce (but not totally eliminate it) is to not use the VNR at all or minimally.

As for players that were made before the 703, you should probably have a better picture since these were made w/ a straight analog video output but I personally think I get enough artifacts from my CLD-3030 due to the video processor on the digital TV I have now (I am in the process of utilizing a DVDO VP30 to see if that might improve my situation).


alexpigment wrote:
3) I have one disc that has distortion on sibilants ('s' sounds) that isn't present on my CLD-1070. I even toggled the different audio modes and it's always there. It's possible it happens on other discs, but I haven't noticed in the small sample I've tested.


Not sure about the "s" sounds but I probably never noticed if it was there.

The CLD-1070, if my memory serves me right, was a player that utilized a 4x oversampling, 16bit DA converter. My CLD-3030 also sports a 4x oversampling, 16 bit converter as well but it has two of them (one for each channel). I will say, any player that came out w/ this multi bit system do sound warmer than the players that use the 1bit DLC which made it's introduction w/ the 90's series players (e.g.: CLD-1090, CLD-2090, CLD-3090, CLD-M90, etc.). So you are probably right in picking up a difference in sound. However, if you utilize the digital out of the 703 and run it into a more modern day AV Receiver, the outboard processing should improve it quite a bit. Are you using the analog outs of the player for this listening test?

alexpigment wrote:
So I'm thinking that for my purposes, the D703 is just not the type of player I want. I've read a bunch of praise for the CLD-3030 and something tells me that would be a nice player to look for if I want to get something either better than or at least on par with my 1070 as a backup. I really actually like the simplicity of the single-side play funtionality too, and it seems like a safer bet when buying a shipped player from eBay.


I do like my CLD-3030 as it has always been a very reliable machine since the day I bought it. I have nothing really bad to say about it except that its picture quality is definitely not the best (I definitely expect my CLD-97 to kick its butt on a side by side test). However, I like my 703/704 as well even w/ the little time I have spent with them (they are currently boxed since I have no place for them @ the moment) and I do intend to cherish them still since we all can't be picky about owning a particular player since there aren't many machines in good working order that we can choose to own.

So in the end, if you can't stand the 703, then move on.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 00:08 
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I guess it depends what you're comparing it to.

I went from using a Sony MDP-A3, to a DVL-919 then a CLD-79 (Elite version of the CLD-D703/4.) The 79 quite easily gave a better picture than the other two.

Some years ago, I replaced the CLD-D605 that I gave my parents with a CLD-D703 and that gave a better picture than the 605.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 03:53 
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alexpigment wrote:
So I recently picked up a CLD-D703 and honestly, I'm not too impressed with it.

1) Speckles/blips on discs are much more present than they are on my CLD-1070 (I probably have said 1080 on other posts, but it's a 1070).

2) I notice a weird type of subtle grain on the picture that is hard to describe but there's like a texture on the image that doesn't seem like it's inherent to the information on the disc. Note that I've been turning off the DNR as other have recommended, so maybe that would help, but I don't like the idea of old tech noise reduction altering the original image.

3) I have one disc that has distortion on sibilants ('s' sounds) that isn't present on my CLD-1070. I even toggled the different audio modes and it's always there. It's possible it happens on other discs, but I haven't noticed in the small sample I've tested.

So I'm thinking that for my purposes, the D703 is just not the type of player I want. I've read a bunch of praise for the CLD-3030 and something tells me that would be a nice player to look for if I want to get something either better than or at least on par with my 1070 as a backup. I really actually like the simplicity of the single-side play funtionality too, and it seems like a safer bet when buying a shipped player from eBay.

Anyway, has anyone else had this experience with the D703 or D704?


1) Pioneer used to fill drop-outs with black pixels but changed that to white with the X080 series, many people complained about the visual differences. And the 703 does have a sharper picture so things are easier to see.

2) The 1070 has a lower noise power supply and a softer picture, the 703 has a switching power supply to save money which will increase noise that can cause grain and the sharper picture makes it easier to see the grain. Personally I turn OFF the DNR when watching the 703/704/79/99. You just happen to prefer the film like smooth picture, other prefer the sharp dynamic picture. Your preference is more toward the 1070. The LD-S2 would be the ultimate player for you.

3) The 1070 uses multi-bit DACs verses the bit-stream in the 703 but that should not be the difference. The 703 has much higher grade audiophile decoupling capacitors to let the high frequencies out and better define the sound field, the 1070 has typical decoupling capacitors and they act as low pass filters. On a audiophile home theater you would hear the difference. The 703 would be more open and clear and the 1070 more closed in.

These issues are all user dependent according to your preference. The 703 when properly adjusted will give a very nice picture, it is just not the picture you prefer.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 07:27 
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Thanks for the education Kurtis.

Always appreciate learning something new from you. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 19:45 
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Thank you ldfan & krbahr. I really do appreciate your insights and technical info as to what might explain the differences I'm seeing.

krbahr wrote:
2) The 1070 has a lower noise power supply and a softer picture, the 703 has a switching power supply to save money which will increase noise that can cause grain and the sharper picture makes it easier to see the grain. Personally I turn OFF the DNR when watching the 703/704/79/99. You just happen to prefer the film like smooth picture, other prefer the sharp dynamic picture. Your preference is more toward the 1070. The LD-S2 would be the ultimate player for you.

3) The 1070 uses multi-bit DACs verses the bit-stream in the 703 but that should not be the difference. The 703 has much higher grade audiophile decoupling capacitors to let the high frequencies out and better define the sound field, the 1070 has typical decoupling capacitors and they act as low pass filters. On a audiophile home theater you would hear the difference. The 703 would be more open and clear and the 1070 more closed in.


That's really interesting about the power supply making a difference in the noise level. As I mentioned, I also did turn off the DNR when doing quality assessments.

As for the audio - I don't find any general/widespread problem with the D703 on my system. I don't know if I'd call my system an audiophile home theater, but at least a budget audiophile system. It's an Onkyo TX-NR626 and Polk TSx 300T tower speakers. I believe my equipment is hifi enough to hear the differences, but without a direct A/B comparison on an ideal disc, it's a bit hard to tell the sound differences. I honestly don't feel like the distortion I described is subtle at all in a way that just the audio section of the player would explain it. It's almost as if there's a scratching noise when it hits certain notes. Again, I didn't hear it on the few other discs I tested, but it was certainly enough to where I didn't feel it was worth using that player for that particular disc at all. If the visual quality were a huge improvement on the D703, I would be fine combining the audio from player A and the video from player B, but again, I wasn't terribly impressed with the D703's picture either.

krbahr wrote:
These issues are all user dependent according to your preference. The 703 when properly adjusted will give a very nice picture, it is just not the picture you prefer.

I guess that's the sticking point there. I have no idea how to tell if my D703 is properly adjusted. Any tips in assessing this would be appreciated.

Lastly, the LD-S2 is nice but I don't see myself getting into the $1000+ LD player price range, or even the $300+ range for that matter. Would just like to know if there's an obvious next step up from the CLD-1070 without getting into the highly digital models.
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 Post subject: Re: Is the CLD-D703 (and similar) overrated?
PostPosted: 01 May 2019, 20:42 
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The audio of both of these players should be nearly perfect if things are working correctly.
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