Thanks for the comments guys.
Well the 16P9S arrived today and I did what jm1647 suggested, hooking it up 'outside' the player. Worked good! Unfortunately, it still didn't play some of my burned DVD+R DualLayer discs that the old LiteOn loader was having trouble playing
So, I moved the 16P9S into my PC and it does properly play the DVD+R DL disc! My stand alone Denon DVD player plays it as well. The only thing I can figure out is that the LVD-2001's firmware (latest at v302) for some reason cannot navigate a few of my DVD+R DL's. I use PowerDVD5 in the PC to playback discs.
Sigh.. oh well, only out $22. I suppose I'll keep it in my PC for now strictly for ripping purposes. It is replacing a functioning Pioneer DVD-ROM drive from 5 years ago that has served me well.