Sony Laserdisc vs. Pioneer

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Blue Nile Fan, Oct 19, 2008.

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  1. Blue Nile Fan

    Blue Nile Fan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Akron, Ohio
    Hello Forum,

    Need some help on a Laserdisc question. I currently own a Pioneer CLD-D502 Laserdisc Player with RCA jacks only. I have owned it since new in 1995. I have several LD's which I play every now and again, but still want to keep my LD player. I now have an opportunity to purchase a SONY MDP-500 LD player. It has the both sides play, S-video outs, and an digital optical out. It would be an upgrade from my Pioneer in that regard, but overall, would it be a good idea to switch out? I am doing a bit of horse-trading, and would only spend a small sum of money to acquire this SONY. My friend wants an LD for his stereo, so between us, we are going to trade back and forth to make this happen.

    I know that the LD market is dead, but again, I have movies and concerts already and wish to keep my LD for some time to come. Also, I have opportunity all the time to get LD's cheap at some local record shops. There are (2) nearby that have stock on used ones all the time and take them in as trades. Some nice titles too. I have already invested in it, so I am in for awhile. I just would like to know if this would truly be an upgrade or not. I know that Pioneer is the leader in the LD market over SONY, but the MDP-500 is a newer model, and was produced just before the DVD market overtook LD's.

    Thanks forum!

    Blue Nile Fan
  2. christopher

    christopher Forum Neurotic

    get it. worth it alone for the digital out.

    later, chris
  3. macready

    macready New Member

    Oregon, USA
    Sony laserdisc players suck. Avoid.
  4. ubsman

    ubsman Active Member

    What does everybody think of the Pioneer DVL 919? I've got an opportunity to pick one up for about $150. It has component outputs. Do you suppose they only work with DVDs though? Also has a coaxial digital output.

    My Panasonic LX900 is getting kinda funky.

    Attached Files:

  5. JoelDF

    JoelDF Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    I had a Sony MDP-455 and it sucked. Unless the pressing was perfect, it always had tracking issues (wavy distrotion in the image)

    The Pioneer 704 I bought to replace it is so much better.
  6. ubsman

    ubsman Active Member

    The Panasonic LX900 and LX1000 do what you describe also. And the Pioneer doesn't... at least not the 704, which is the only Pioneer I've owned so far.

    Those non-perfect disks tend to be Pioneer disks also. The Fox ones are always perfect.
    And, the problem never occurred on any CAV disks.
  7. christopher

    christopher Forum Neurotic

    i've got one and i like it.

    grab it!

    yes, component out will only work on DVDs.


    later, chris
  8. PhilCohen

    PhilCohen Forum Resident

    Pioneer players had proprietary technology to ignore disc warpage. None of the non-Pioneer players can ignore disc warpage as well. I've owned players by Pioneer,Phillips,Sony and other brands, and there's no question that Pioneer made the best Laserdisc players. I still have one of my Pioneer players.
  9. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    I had a pretty nice Sony LD player for a while... sorry, can't remember the model number, but it was probably a post-1990 model with some decent, modern features. It was quite unreliable. I had a multi-year odyssey trying to get it repaired, and in the end I essentially threw it in the trash. I've since found myself a nice Pioneer player to keep myself entertained (I hope).

    I've also heard the CW that Sony players suck, and I can't disagree. Buyer beware.
  10. wildchild

    wildchild Active Member

    Get it
    Play's ld and dvd.
    Also makes one bada$$ cd transport!
  11. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    C'mon, they're not that good! :laugh:

    All U.S. Sony models feature the same mediocre 47-48 db video performance. They're all poorly built and seldom last a long time. Many models have chronic drawer problems. None has useful S-video output.

    Sony made handsome players for the North American market that look good but they're excrement, IMO. I had one. I threw it away after it's main board went out about a month after the warranty expired. It went out whilst playing an X-Files LD and the laser head went beserk and dug a canal in it.

    Pioneer is the brand!
  12. StyxCollector

    StyxCollector Man of Miracles

    100% disagree. My Sony is still going strong. It replaced another Sony only because this one flips sides.
  13. Jamie Tate

    Jamie Tate New Member

    My experience too. Bought a Sony model in '95 and it lasted until early '96 (but the display didn't last quite that long). Got it fixed only because I liked the mediocre video performance. :laugh: It always made a loud grinding noise and you could see when a side chage was coming up because the video would get all glitchy. What a nice feature! :D

    I was recently given a Pioneer player by a very kind friend and it smokes the Sony in every way except aesthetics.
  14. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    LOL. My old Sony had a metal piece on the spindle clamp that would unpredictably spring off when the drawer was opened. If I opened up the player and took great care, I could replace it -- and it would stay on just long enough to play another disc side! :laugh: An adventure, one could say.

    I recently found a nice, used Pioneer CLD-D704 on craiglist. What a relief!
  15. harmonica98

    harmonica98 Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Just to reiterate, it's generally best to stick to Pioneer for Laserdisc... unless you happen upon a McIntosh!

  16. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I have a Pioneer. Still works, still hooked up and still watch it occasionally. I have some concerts on Lasediscs that are not on dvd yet (eg. Billy Joel Live From Long Island), so I keep them ready to play!
  17. wkohler

    wkohler Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    I had a Sony. It sucked. I had a lot of distortion issues.

    I got more than I paid for it and replaced it with a Pioneer DVL 700. That was alright. It did LaserDiscs fantastically, but the DVD output was terrible (of course, I didn't buy it to play DVDs). I doubled my money on that and said goodbye to LaserDiscs. I only had 6, and since I'm not a movie guy...
  18. stevelucille

    stevelucille Forum Resident

    Rochester, NY USA
    I also had a Sony that was nothing but problems. My Pioneer works fine. And I don't have to keep my fingers crossed every time I play a disc.
  19. blind_melon1

    blind_melon1 An erotic adventurer of the most deranged kind....

    I have a DVL-91 Elite (very similar to the 919), I really like it... smokes my older yamaha and another pioneer unit that I once had.. Component is for dvd only, I found the composite out to look better than the s-video... Looks great on my lcd even :)

    I have read that video quality is compromised on the dvd/ld units, but I can't imagine ld looking much better (unless you spent thousands on a rare japanese deck)... I may be wrong though.

    Stay away from the sonys, from what I read they were plagued with issues, if you type in that model number of the sony you mention into youtube, there are a couple of videos of broken ones in action!~
  20. One place to get usually free LD players is corporations and university media/AV depts that are phasing out LDs.

    They are often professional models and rarely used.

    Even if they keep a few, there's a ton of in some closet somewhere.
  21. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Golden Gate
    Never had a Sony, but the prevailing view is that they never made a good LD player.

    Pioneer was always the boss... they invented / developed the format.

    Had a 919... surprisingly good DVD player, surprisingly decent CD player.

    But disappointing video on the LD side... somewhat dark and murky... and that's after going through two units (for an unrelated problem).

    If the LD video is of high importance, try and find one of the older models... they show up on Audiogon infrequently.

    Model numbers to hunt for:

  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    The best Pioneer players by far were the Elites (CLD-97, 99, etc.) The top-of-the-line were the LD-S2's, which were stellar. They also weighed about 50 pounds and cost around $1500 at the time they were released, more than 15 years ago. You still see them show up on eBay from time to time.

    As long as you can keep the laser sled assembly clean, they'll work for a long time. But this is a pretty dead format. About the only reason to get one at this point is for the handful of discs that have yet to be released legitimately on DVD (like Let It Be, among others).
  23. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Those Pioneer Elite players are beautiful, and I'm still hoping to run across one at a garage sale someday for $50 :) , but it's true they still command high prices on eBay and elsewhere. If you can find a late model, non-Elite Pioneer player, I think that's probably the "best value" approach.

    Pioneer is king, no doubt, but I believe Panasonic gets a bit of respect for their players.
  24. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    I still have my Sony LD player, using the optical out to my A/V amp. It is one of those that flips sides, and it still works. Well, the front light panel is completely dark, so I have no idea what track I am viewing, and I can no longer play CD's since they get stuck to the disc stabilizer and I end up having to break the CD in order to get it out of the player. The only discs I can think that I would need to watch are Song of the South and the CAV Roger Rabbit so I can see the hidden naughty drawings. Buy the Pioneer.
  25. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    Agreed. They don't have the PQ that the Pioneers do.
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