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Doktor Futtocks
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth the money!, 12 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II a few months ago, and was delighted with it from the start. But I'd read a few reviews and knew that the V-PSU was considered a significant upgrade to the standard wall-wart. Then I went online and browsed a few message boards for more opinions, and the overwhelming majority of people said the same thing.

So I bit the bullet and bought the PSU. I'm absolutely thrilled with the improvements it makes. I compiled a short but varied playlist of well-recorded and/or familiar music and did back-to-back comparisons, but the difference was pretty obvious right from the first few seconds of the first track (Dusty Springfield singing 'Son of a Preacher Man') all the way through to the end (a movement of Reynaldo Hahn's Violin Concerto).

Vocal and instrumental textures are more realistic, multiple voices are more distinct and less homogenous. The stereo image is wider and deeper and bass notes have more definition.

I would pretty surprised if it didn't have a similar effect on the other V-series components. If you have one or more of them, I would recommend the V-PSU II as a great purchase.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2014 10:53 AM BST


Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010]
Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Viv Richards

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Cricket Fans, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A star-studded account of the rise of the West Indies, and not just as a force in Cricket. It shows how the island nations found pride and identity through sport, and how they earned respect from the Cricket-playing world.

Hindsight allows one to chuckle pityingly at Tony Greig's use of the word 'grovel', as we know now the pain and humiliation his comment caused to be piled upon him and his team, but many of the West Indian players of the time still feel a lingering resentment about their treatment by the English and Australians.

There's nothing here to put off those who either dislike or know nothing about Cricket - it is a film which would find its place in the heart of audiences from any country.

The reminiscences of West Indian legends, both sporting and non-sporting, is punctuated by footage of brutal bowling and classy batting, as well as occasional musical interludes.

One of my all-time favourite sports documentaries.


Empire of Silver (Conqueror, Book 4) (Conqueror 4)
Empire of Silver (Conqueror, Book 4) (Conqueror 4)
by Conn Iggulden
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Fails to grip, 20 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is my first read of this author's work, so I can't make comparisons to earlier books in the series.

The historical period covered is a fascinating one, with Ghengis Khan's death leaving such a void at the centre of an enormous empire. Iggulden certainly gives the impression he's done the research.

However, this book didn't really grab me as much as I'd have liked. It isn't a bad book, maybe not even a really disappointing book. It just failed to engross me in a story that should have had everything.


Rowan Atkinson's The Atkinson People (Classic BBC Radio Comedy)
Rowan Atkinson's The Atkinson People (Classic BBC Radio Comedy)
by Rowan Atkinson
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 12.53

3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly enjoyable, 20 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a series that I completely missed at the original time of broadcast. It dates from (I think) just before Rowan Atkinson shot to fame as part of the 'Not the Nine o'Clock News' team.

Each of the four episodes profiles a fictional celebrity, but, although it has some funny elements, it shows its age with the leisurely pace of each episode. The writing is a collaboration between Atkinson and Richard Curtis, both still very young and yet to find and refine their respective styles.

So, an interesting oddity, but not a long-lost comedy treasure.


Chet Baker: 100 Masterpieces
Chet Baker: 100 Masterpieces

4.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable Value, 21 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's hard to find anything to criticise about 100 Chet Baker tunes for under six quid. Wonderful music, and you can listen for ages without repeating yourself, such is the size of this compilation.

The only negative thing I can say applies to every Amazon download - MP3 only? Come on, Amazon, offer us an option of at least CD-quality downloads! You're falling behind the market in this matter. MP3 belongs to the era of dial-up connections.


MUSICAL FIDELITY VDACII DIGITAL TO ANALOGUE CONVERTER [Electronics]
MUSICAL FIDELITY VDACII DIGITAL TO ANALOGUE CONVERTER [Electronics]
Offered by Nintronics
Price: 149.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more hesitation - just buy it!, 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as an upgrade to my previous DAC, which was limited to CD-standard bitrate as maximum. It still sounds pretty nice, but USB DAC technology has moved on a lot since I bought it and I was looking for improvements and an extra input. The V-DAC Mk.2 was the right price and featured higher bitrate capacity as well as an asynchronous input and upsampling, so was pretty much what I was looking for. I was also glad that the looks had been improved from the rather naff Mk.1 version.

The system it went into comprised a Samsung Netbook, with external hard drive for lossless audio files, via the DAC to a Cambridge Azur 740A amplifier and KEF iQ7 loudspeakers.

Out of the box, installation was painless and immediate. For those of us who used computers way back in the early days and know what things used to be like, isn't the USB interface a wonderful thing? Initially, it was connected to my laptop and run "as is", with the laptop volume set to maximum and system sounds disabled. It sounded wonderful, but I knew that was just the start. Using Foobar2000 as my media player, I installed the WASAPI plugin, to bypass the Windows Kernel Mixer, and now I began to tap the V-DAC's real potential.

Compared to my previous DAC, there was just more information coming through the loudspeakers or headphones. More detail, more physical impact, more background ambience, better dynamic contrast. The first weekend I got, I listened for about 8 hours pretty much without a break. It did a decent job with poor recordings, made good ones better and turned excellent ones into an addictively immersive experience.

Next, I connected my DVD recorder, using the optical input. Improvements to the sound of TV and Radio stations were also noticeable here, within the limitations of Freeview TV's technology. A recording of the BBC's wonderful 'Transatlantic Sessions' was played first and was a delight to listen to. Radio 3 was the most improved of all. Okay, so there's a slight inconvenience in having to flick the little switch between inputs, which means I don't use the DAC for all my TV/Radio, but for films and music, it is a definite must.

Not having owned the V-DAC for very long, I can't comment on reliability, but Musical Fidelity have a good reputation and owner reviews I've read across the internet don't seem to indicate any cause for concern. I will also have to save up for a while before I see if the V-PSU delivers even more improvements to what is already a special little piece of kit.

Yes, you can spend more and get more, but when you consider the price, this deserves all 5 stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2014 10:55 AM BST


Solo
Solo
by Rana Dasgupta
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two parts, 17 Sep 2010
This review is from: Solo (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I loved the first part of this book, which follows the central character's life in flashback, giving the reader a view of a nation and a world going through massive changes. Rana Dasgupta's writing is strong and persuasive here, and I will definitely keep an eye open for more of his work.

I would, however, have to say that the second part, which follows the tale of a musician, imagined by the protagonist in the first half, just doesn't work as well. It feels forced, unnecessary and unconvincing.

The third time I re-read this book, I just stopped at the end of the first part. Much better that way.


IZIBOR, LAURA-LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD
IZIBOR, LAURA-LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 16.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Good voice, but stronger songs needed, 17 Sep 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This striking young lady has a voice that is sultry and evocative. Unfortunately, having listened to the album several times, her songs don't quite match up.

Age, experience and maybe some intelligently-chosen collaborators would probably see her material become stronger as time goes by. If that happens, she could become something really rather special.


Don't Look Behind You: True Tales of a Safari Guide
Don't Look Behind You: True Tales of a Safari Guide
by Peter Allison
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better..., 17 Sep 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The blurb for this book sounded like it was ripe with good tales, and so it proved. Unfortunately, the writing style isn't quite as good as the stories deserve. There are moments where you should be completely gripped by tension, but the workmanlike (if likeable) prose somehow misses this.

Enjoyable, but not as good as it could be.


They're a Weird Mob
They're a Weird Mob
by Nino Culotta
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A much-loved literary Hoax, 1 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: They're a Weird Mob (Paperback)
When this book was first published, it was taken at face value; the story of an Italian immigrant arriving in Australia and his comic tales of settling into this brash new society. A huge best-seller down under, it remained popular even after it was revealed to be the work of John O'Grady, an Australian through and through.

There is no doubt that this continued popularity is partly down to the book's conclusions that Australians are the best blokes and Australia is the greatest country on earth. But it can't be ascribed solely to jingoism; that would devalue the laconic, gentle humour and the affectionate observations of Australian society of the time.

An enjoyable, easy-going read.


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