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Beardfreak "beardfreak" (UK)

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BlueRigger High Speed HDMI to DVI Adapter Cable 3 Meters (10ft)
BlueRigger High Speed HDMI to DVI Adapter Cable 3 Meters (10ft)
Offered by BlueRigger LLC
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for money, 10 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great value for money, decent lead. Obviously you can pay a little more & get something more robust, but at this level of expenditure, no problems at all. I also like the funky blue ends, they have a nice shiny metallic feel & look classy. Thumbs up & 4 stars.


Tao Te Ching (Shambhala Pocket Classics)
Tao Te Ching (Shambhala Pocket Classics)
by Zi Lao
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars You also might need a magnifying glass to read the text if your eyesight is poor. If you can find it, 10 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Decent translation, but this pocket version is paperback & really flimsy. You also might need a magnifying glass to read the text if your eyesight is poor. If you can find it, go for the larger hardback edition with the illustrations.


KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black
KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black
Offered by BROXY
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well built, aids comfort, especially for those of us with larger hands. Decent price as well.


KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black
KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, I have large hands & this device definitely ..., 10 Oct 2014
Highly recommended, I have large hands & this device definitely helps in terms of comfort. It is robustly designed & all necessary ports are easily accessible. This can make the shoulder triggers a slight stretch compared to the unit without the grip, but if you have long fingers like me, no problem.

Ignore the low scores here, the grip should not damage the unit nor does a shipping problem deserve a 1 star review for the actual device. Please think carefully before posting nonsense on here.


Denon PMA720AE Integrated Amplifier - Black
Denon PMA720AE Integrated Amplifier - Black
Price: £169.95

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robust Amp with reasonable sound stage, 10 Aug 2013
I can only give you my impression of the Amp of course and this will not be a definitive review, I am not a technician, nor am I a rich man who has sufficient disposable income to contrast this entry level Amp against other models on the market, that will cost us triple the amount.

I have a modest income, but I do love my music, and so decided to buy this particular model after my old Teac Ref 500 died (the Teac was a powerful & detailed Amp and lasted for 12 years of daily use). The reason I bought an entry level Denon, was purely practical. I no longer have sufficient resources to plow into Mid-range equipment, but I wanted a brand I trust, with a robust build quality, plenty of input options, and minimal fuss on the front panel. So my initial considerations were aesthetic, oddly enough. Superficial man that I am.

I read a few reviews across the net regarding sound quality and found the usual mixed reviews, but I have learnt not to 'entirely' trust others opinions, and occasionally I'll take a leap of faith with audio equipment.

Anyway, I placed my order and Richer Sounds delivered two days later (also texting my mobile & Emailing to arrange a suitable day - which was nice).

So it arrives, and the box was far heavier than expected - which quietly delighted me. A lightweight unit isn't always the best sign (indicating little under the hood and a flimsy shell). I quickly unpacked my new baby and carefully placed the contents in front of my Hi-fi stand. In the box you'll find the unit itself of course, instruction manual & CD (containing a more detailed manual for your PC) and also a really nice looking remote control, which doesn't feel flimsy or cheap.

I unpacked the Amp and placed it on the stand. My initial impression was - for £200, this looks really tasty. It feels cold, metal, heavy, and sturdy. The only flimsy item is the grill on top (for venting) and I wonder if this can be removed to clean the unit's circuitry (but I haven't investigated just yet). The knobs and switches on the front are appropriately spaced & they seem pretty durable upon initial inspection. At the back, the connection points and ports also have an expensive look and feel, so at a component level, to my layman eyes, I am satisfied that this is money well spent.

Onto the sound!

I have an old pair of Mission M74 floor-standers which have a nice warm response and deep heavy bass when wired correctly - so following the instructions from the PDF (not the paper manual) I carefully bi-wired the speakers.

Time for lift off.

I powered the Amp on and tested the remote control (batteries supplied of course 2xAAA) - the volume knob has that nice motorized effect and rotates smoothly to touch (this remote is nice & I brushed my forefinger across the various option buttons). I cranked the knob to just under 1/4 of its actual circumference using the remote, and prepared for a listening session.

I have the Amp wired to a break-out box on my PC using an M-Audio Delta 44 and clicked Foobar open and racked up some tracks.

First up some Reggae, to test the bass end.

Groundation's track The Seventh Seal, a contemporary act, high production values. The track opens and I analyse the various elements in the music. Immediately I noted a distinct and clear vocal presence. The mid range was definitely pushed to the fore and I awaited with trepidation for the bass to kick in. It arrived, a little unremarkable I thought, when compared to my old Teac, not quite as penetrating, so I EQ'ed the track in Foobar and pushed the bass a little. Now I had a more satisfying & familiar sound. The high end was adequately served, but overall, on initial impression, I felt the Amp was promoting the mid range beyond the lows & highs.

I switched to Jimmy Cliff & then some old roots numbers I had tucked away in a folder. These tracks were fine, nothing unexpected or unremarkable and a similar sound to my now cap-put Teac.

I was a little concerned about the bass end, so I decided to move on to Solar Fields & Black Dog - both groups more ambient / abstract / electronic. Immediately I was impressed. There was an expansive & detailed sound emerging, and this time, the digital bass signal had greater presence and I could feel the low end of the mid range clearly. In fact, compared to my Teac, the Denon seemed to be presenting these elements within the music more profoundly.

I then decided to experiment with a little old school 'Can' and tried the album Future Days. Now, this sounds fantastic to me. I lay on the bed, closed my eyes and focused. The stereo separation within the production is great anyway, yet the Denon allowed a piercing insight into the various musical elements. The album came alive, and I smiled to myself as the music washed over me.

To sum this up, as this is becoming far more verbose & longer than expected. I believe, if you have a reasonable pair of speakers and the right setting, that you won't be disappointed with a PMA720AE.

The 'nerds' (bless em) always talk about the 'burn in' period, and to be fair, this happened with the Teac. After a few weeks the sound loosened & deepened slightly, so perhaps, over time, when the Denon has rocked out, the subtleties will shine through.

At £200, at the time of writing, if you can afford this, I don't think you'll regret spending the money.

Positives:

Great build quality overall.
Plenty of inputs.
Decent sound stage so far.
Remote control works well and looks/feels expensive.
Richer Sounds were on the ball (had to mention this as a positive).

Negatives:

Not really much of a negative, but I did have to EQ a couple of old favourites to help promote the bass end.
There is an annoying & bright LED highlighting input select that I can't seem to fade or turn off.
A disposable loudness switch, that isn't my cup of tea at all - tends to make tracks have a 'booming' quality.
The grill on top feels a little loose & flimsy.

All in all - I think you'll be a happy bunny with the PMA720AE - all the best & rock on!


Rupie's Scorchers: Classic Early Success Productions 1969-71
Rupie's Scorchers: Classic Early Success Productions 1969-71

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential old-school archive..., 24 May 2012
I noticed there wasn't a listing for this, so here it is:

01 - Rupie Edwards - Love Is A Wonderful Wicked Thing
02 - Lloyd & Devon - Love Is The Foundation Of The World
03 - Rupie Edwards - Uncertain Love
04 - The Concords & Gregory Isaacs - Don't Let Me Suffer
05 - The Concords - Buttoo
06 - Rupie & Sidy - Herbert Spliffington
07 - John Holt - Fat Girl, Sexy Girl
08 - John Holt - Man & Woman
09 - Neville Hinds - Your New Love (Organ Version)
10 - Gregory Isaacs - Too Late
11 - Lloyd Charmers - A Taste Of Music
12 - Rupie Edwards - Long Lost Love
13 - Glen Adams & The Rupie Edwards All Stars - Soulin' Way Out
14 - Rupie & Lynford Anderson - Promoters Grouse
15 - Winston Wright & The Rupie Edwards All Stars - Grandfather's Clock
16 - Rupie Edwards - If You Can't Beat Them
17 - Neville Hinds & The Rupie Edwards All Stars - My Piano
18 - Dobby Dobson - Don't Make Me Over
19 - Joe Higgs - Burning Fire
20 - Rupie Edwards - Here Comes The Sun
21 - Lloyd Charmers & The Rupie Edwards All Stars - I Can't Help Myself
22 - Hugh Roy Henry - Baby
23 - Karl Bryan - Go Dey (Young Gal Medley)

Needless to say, this selection speaks for itself!


Batman: Arkham City (PC DVD)
Batman: Arkham City (PC DVD)
Offered by GeeksWholesaler
Price: £5.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of software, but beware the installer!!, 30 Jan 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought the game and had no joy at all installing it, using that awful "Windows Live Nonsense" - take note Microsoft, sort your installers out and sign-up procedure... this is disgraceful, two sessions (3 hours in total) attempting to get the damn thing installed and then I had to return it.

Fortunately you can buy the game on Steam.

My system, which runs the game high quality at a decent frame rate:

Windows Vista 64
Q6600 - stock speed
4 GB - DDR2 / 800 Mhz RAM
M-Audio sound card
NVidia Geforce 9600 GT
+ 360 wired controller

No issues.


Alice: Madness Returns (PC DVD)
Alice: Madness Returns (PC DVD)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £6.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Art style + atmosphere, a wonderful trip..., 8 Dec 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
A quick thumbs-up for this video game. A wonderful art style, marvelous attention to detail, true to the contemporary re-imagining of Alice as a somewhat disturbed & fractured psych-patient, with plenty of emotional baggage to cast off in her own private retreat we know as Wonderland.

Amusing cut scenes - excellent music, voice acting and spot effects.

The game - linear platforming & combat action. Nothing wrong with that though for me, as I was prepared for this style of play and as long as the game implements this formula slickly, I don't mind at all.

My PC is:

Q6600 (standard clock)
4 GB Ram
Nvidia 9600 GT
M-Audio sound card
Win Vista 64 bit

Performance wise - OK. I turn off the dynamic shadows and post-processing to improve frame rate much of the time.

Also, I have noticed a drop in frame rate when there are volumetric fog effects, but overall the performance is fine.

The game possibly needs patching, as I am sure some of the minor performance issues could be addressed.

I also play the game with a 360 controller - I can't imagine the game playing particularly well with keyboard & mouse.

OK, over & out.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap junk., 22 Nov 2011
These look great when you first see them - neat, small, interesting logo, and a funky yellow stripe. But, they do not last! A month down the line and both souls had small holes at the heel end. Two weeks later, I threw them away.

So, if you don't mind less than 2 months wear for the price - go for it.

I paid £14 for mine and was disappointed and will never buy again.

Be warned - these are cheaply tacked together.


Pursuit Of Pleasure
Pursuit Of Pleasure
Offered by neil_anderson1967
Price: £22.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Sombre, reflective, genius?, 14 Nov 2011
This review is from: Pursuit Of Pleasure (Audio CD)
How to describe this release...? November skies, only bleak horizons, domestic grave-yards lit by cheap & intermittent fluorescence, glancing through grey & tattered net curtains perhaps, or the death of a loved one that consumes each waking moment with thoughts of ones own demise and the ephemeral nature of being?

All these thoughts and feelings are wrapped neatly in richly textured digital landscapes where carefully selected statements help punctuate chords that ebb, flow, rise and fall, and loop back upon themselves.

This is musical poetry. It is a feast for those of us who prefer something most definitely contemplative and oriented towards the obscure, the abstract - these are realms where Edgar Allen Poe would day dream (no doubt?) and where Edvard Munch broods near Oslofjord.

Highly recommended for lovers of what can loosely be deemed 'dark ambience'...


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