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Laser Disc mods - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
Ive been busy with work... So not much done.... I did replace the video wire jumper between boards that carries video. That was fun.. That made a big differences...

I got my Tektronix 1740A waveform monitor / vector scope. I got cheated on getting my Video Essentials... They sent me A Video Standard and said it was the same... BUT I now have a VE coming to me...

I did go ahead and make some compairsion measurements and posted them on youtube..

Once I get me VE I will do many more measurements and do more compairsons. Its great having a easy way to verify performance and measure differences. It also lets me accuratly set levels.. VERY handy...

My measurements.. This is a play list and will play the vids one after the other..
post #32 of 58
Thread Starter 
I updated the above playlist with a few extra measurements and comparisons..

I had a setback... My primary 99 has developed the dreaded spindle motor squeal. The motor must be replaced. What amazed me was that Pioneer service still sells the assembly ?! $80 but still thats amazing..

So this means any older player would also benefit from replacing the motor. In my case after the unit sat disused for a long time I suddenly started using it like crazy. I think a lack of lubrication because of age caused wear on the spindle shaft in the bearing during my recent massive use and this led to bearing squealing. Yes I lubricated it and the problem just reoccurred.

So on any player I think replacing the spindle motor with a fresh new one is manditory as part of refurbishment.

This requires a insane amount of disassembly of some VERY precision and critical parts of the transport. Its very time consuming. However it allows replacing the lubrication on critical spots like the optical block guide rod and some critical gearing on the optical block drive. These over the decade had collected tiny amounts of dirt and this mixed with the 10+ year old grease was just not ideal. I super cleaned these and then used a list of special lubricants. The lubricants/grease are just super critical and the exact viscosity and type are critical. I was able to use a better special mixture. some PTFE and molybdenum based additives to the exact type of grease specified by pioneer. This resulted in a MUCH smoother movement of the optical block. Also the sled signals showed it was moving more smoothly and responding to tiny movements of the sled better. Once the motor gets here im going to add the same mixture to the motor shaft/bearing to make sure over the next 10 years it works well with less wear..

My Video Essentials will most likely be here tomorrow ( monday ) I cant wait for that..

I have a manual for a HLD-X9. Its stunning similar to the 99/79 in circuit topology and ommisions in quality parts. SO no doubt I can make a X9 look a lot better. I have also noticed now that the 703/704/503/53/79 are all very similar in topology. So I am now pretty confident I can mod any of these players with a nice outcome.

Im going to mod the second 99 once I get VE and do A/B measurements. Doing the second one will be more like production and FAR quicker then doing the R&D that the first one required. This will tell me how long a player will take to modify.
post #33 of 58
Thread Starter 
post #34 of 58
post #35 of 58
Just realized something, Are you SuperMan? !?!?!!

post #36 of 58
Thread Starter 
Look what I got

True geeky happiness.. And brand new too...

Lots of very useful test signals..

post #37 of 58
You Bastard!!!!

I have a couple scopes, maybe you can guide me to how to check video signals etc. I have
been learning slowly how to use scopes but do it so infrequently it doesn't stick !

post #38 of 58
Thread Starter 
Well.......And this is a kinda difficult call as I dont know how many more are left,,, but believe it our not,, Pioneer still sells these brand new !

This is a difficult call as I feel you guys might buy them all out...

But here it is.. In stock...


The test signals are about a zillions times better then A Video Standard and Video Essentials. Shockingly better..


The color bars are amazing test signals. The patterns on the disc are just absolutly reference quality.

Of course those patterns are really just useful to people like me doing engineering or alignment...

Its got some crazy test patterns just for laser disc work. Plus a really really cool ramp signal. Its a truly awesome disc...

The disc is also just hyper flat, no wobble AT ALL..

I dont think they are still making them are they ? I donno but amazing its still a stocked item... Also amazing that Pioneer still stocks parts like a optical block and spindle motors and a whole list of parts for LD players. It seems to show someone back there really likes LD...
post #39 of 58
Thread Starter 
nashou66, to do these kinda of measurements and views of the signal you need a waveform / vector scope. For composite and component for standard def these are under $300 used on ebay. For HD its gonna cost money..

Go to ebay and look for Tektronix Waveform monitor / vector scope.

Yes you can look at the signal with a normal scope but its musch more annoying to do.
post #40 of 58
Yeah I thought you were going to say that, I wanted to get a sencore SR70 or something like that once. But the one you have looks fine as well.

I need to sell some more Marquee bellows if I want to get one!!

post #41 of 58
Cool disc. Too bad I didn't have this when I had my HLD-X9 and HLD-X0.
post #42 of 58
Kudos, and thanks for sharing.

I still have a CLD-97 (with AC-3 out mod) that runs perfectly and about 80 titles. I fire that puppy up once or twice a year just for grins.
post #43 of 58
Originally Posted by Kurtis Bahr View Post

What you need to do is get a properly adjusted CLD-97 or LD-S2 to compare this to when finished. I used to do Audio mods, upgraded resistor, capacitors, replacement of cheap diode bridges and definitely improved sound, took some digital edges away from the picture on DVD players, spent numerous hours and money. Then I bought a higher end units and found it was a little better than my modified unit.

With that said I am not a fan of the CLD-99, Pioneer used DNR to reduce noise levels where the CLD-97 and to a better extent the LD-S2 had lower noise levels due to special board layout designs. The CLD-99 has the same amount of noise as the CLD-D704. The 97 and S2 have separate analog and digital power supplies and they have more beef but they do not have the better Diode bridges or caps etc. But their layout of the boards and internal shielding allow for a better picture you are trying to get from the CLD-99. The 97 and S2 will not be as sharp as the 704/99 but the viewable noise is much lower.

I gave up and started buying the better unit to start with. If you want a properly working CLD-D704, CLD-97, CLD-99, CLD-D704 let me know as I have ones all adjusted and ready for sale. I suggest you switch to the 704 if you want to mod a unit with the 99 picture as the only difference is part positioning on the boards to get the video module on top for the 99 and on the side for the 704 but the picture are similar.


Be willing to trade a CLD99 that needs adjusting for one already to go + cash of course. My CLD99 works well enough. But I can see since I had Duncan go through it abvout 6 years ago that it has deteriorated some.
post #44 of 58
I must ask, Why haven't the LD-S9 been in this discussion, i see a lot of background noise (especially when its idle my screen is crawling with tiny dots, but my cld-r7g does not), have anyone here done video modificaions to the S9 (cld-79), as giving a clearer signal is something i really need, especially when i want to transfer films to a pc capture card, those cards just hate JAP players :/
post #45 of 58
LaserdiscModder, what upgrade do you think made the most difference of all? Also, would a BNC composite output upgrade improve the picture in your opinion?
post #46 of 58
I know this discussion is above my pay grade, but I spent about 13 years with a middle-of-the-rad CLD-M401 5cd changer laserdisc player. It wasn't until 3 years ago that I upgraded to the CLD-D704 (clone to the Elite CLD-79). Man, the difference was amazing! I had no idea LD could look that good.

I would love to see the mods you are doing to the 99!
post #47 of 58
From my experience, larger screens demand a better player. The signal becomes clearer, sharper, and more vivid. My only complaints about the 704 is the digital studder of the FF and REW controls, the digital field memory only capturing half the video frame, and mine sometimes being slow to eject. Otherwise, a great purchase.
post #48 of 58
Any updates on this? I have a 4300D that I want to mod for cleaner output.
Any guidance really appreciated.
post #49 of 58
I'm going down this path with my 4300D as there is no PAL player equivalent of an X0/X9/X1/S2, so the 4300D is my weapon of choice.

I am doign cap replacements and building a new video amp circuit and going to try and pick the video up earlier in the chain to see if the signal is any cleaner by bypassing the OSD overlay chips etc.

I wish I had the expertise to do the digital output from the TBC, if anyone can give any pointers on that, I'll give it a go. I'll share all results and before and afters here so we can see if any of it actually imroves things.

I'm calibrating the LD first according to the service manual using the test disc and scopes.

post #50 of 58
Originally Posted by UncleWill View Post

LaserdiscModder, what upgrade do you think made the most difference of all? Also, would a BNC composite output upgrade improve the picture in your opinion?
I can't see a BNC connector making any difference as although the impedence is wrong on an RCA jack, it is over such a tiny distance that it isn't going to make a difference to the image. RCA jacks are used on HD connections via component and that is a radically wider bandwidth signal, you won't see it on a composite SD signal.

Now tapping the composite signal earlier inside the laserdisc player, running that out through a higher quality amp circuit might get some improvement if you can bypass some noise inducing electronics inside the player.
post #51 of 58
circuit boards sitting on carpet, there's something you don't see every day smile.gif
post #52 of 58
Originally Posted by nashou66 View Post

You Bastard!!!!

I have a couple scopes, maybe you can guide me to how to check video signals etc. I have

been learning slowly how to use scopes but do it so infrequently it doesn't stick !


There is a great book called How to test almost anything electronic, it gives a great overview of using scopes and is a handy reference for fixing almost anything.
post #53 of 58
I have a LD-S1. LD-S2,99, 703, 8000 and a bunch more.

The optical pickup and assembly for the LD-s2 is basically the same as the X0 and is the best ever made. It also is the most stable which is very important for a 12" spinning mostly analog disc. If you could tap this it would be the best player. I would not do this with a X0 as they are to valuable.

I am just throwing this out there.

99 is really a poor player with a cheap build quality. I have a few.

Not all laser disk pressings are the same. In fact most are terrible and have serious flaws that were never fully corrected even at the end of the 1990's. This includes even most THX titles in which I have had to compare many copies to get one that was clean from laser rot and pressing issues. THX disks were supposed to be reference calibrated but again this is also not true. Each title can vary widely in resolution, color accuracy, and sharpness artifacts/noise/digital artifacts from the mastering process which varied from each master house and technician!

the old 1997ish widesreen view book has over a 100 pages of laserdisc info including the history and how the signal is generated and processed so you may want to check that out. I think they still have copies for sale. It was called lasermagic. Also great reference for LD title information.

For the guy with PAL disks. Sorry to put it like this but seriously you are wasting your time. PAL LD was very limited compared to NTSC in both players and titles and for the most part were far lower in quality. Many were the same transfer from NTSC just frame rate corrected which make them less than there NTSC cousins. No added resolution.
post #54 of 58
you only need one player , the HLD-X0 , no modding required.

and PAL wasn't as bad as you say, some titles were much better in picture quality than the NTSC counterpart.

post #55 of 58
Since the information was asked for higher up in the thread, I thought I would point out the following.
For NTSC LD, the carrier frequency (corresponding to blanking level) is 8.1 MHz ; sync tip is at 7.7 MHz, and white peak at 9.3 MHz.
For PAL LD, the corresponding figures are 7.1, 6.8, and 7.9.

It can be seen from this that PAL LD, despite its wider bandwidth, has a smaller deviation. The result of this much lower index of modulation is that the signal-to-noise ratio is unavoidably impaired. The reason for this is simply that the inner radius of the PAL & NTSC discs is the same, & the highest frequency which can be recorded is dependent on the minimum pit length ; if the inner radius had been increased somewhat, by reducing the playing time from 36 to 30 minutes/side in CAV (from 54 000 to 45 000 tracks), keeping the outer radius in the same place, a higher carrier frequency could have been used, allowing a greater index of modulation.
post #56 of 58
LaserDiscModder doesn't mention where he found it but thought I'd point out that the Pioneer GGV1069 LD is still being sold by Pioneer Parts for $48.75 USD.

You can find it here: http://parts.pioneerelectronics.com/part.asp?productNum=GGV1069

Mine is showing up today smile.gif

I ended up here by searching for ways to improve/lessen the noise introduced by the player into the video signal.

One thing that I noticed on the youtube scope examples is the fluctuations that could be interpreted as noise.
That part didn't seem to be different between the two players and seemed to be random (eg noise vs. what's on the ld).

Would be interesting to see a couple of captures of the signal from both players and using avisynth historgram luma to check on the noise between the two.
Edited by Signal64 - 11/13/12 at 11:28pm
post #57 of 58
I wish you could do this mod to my marantz lv-520 which is elite cl-59 under the chassie . I bet with better caps and things like that it would preform better than the stock player .
post #58 of 58
i have the Marantz LV520 with the Nakamichi DE-1 AC3 rf demodulator. but im having some issues playing discs sometimes. can you upgrade it and maybe fix it at the same time? im in Phoenix,az
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