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Profile for Steve Kindleson > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Steve Kindleson "Steve Kindleson" (London, UK)

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SEOBEAN Men's GYM Running Workout Shorts Lounge Underwear 9 Colors
SEOBEAN Men's GYM Running Workout Shorts Lounge Underwear 9 Colors
Offered by more-max EU
Price: £10.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to 'short', 29 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are shorts – i.e. unlike the great baggy bloomers that count for ‘shorts’ these days, these shorts are… short. They hark back to the 1970’s and early 80’s when athletics shorts were light weight, cool and provided freedom of movement. I usually take between 32 and 34in trousers, and the large size here fits fine. Nice range of colours, quality seems good, excellent value, too.

The Architect's Apprentice
The Architect's Apprentice
by Elif Shafak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cliched and, frankly, juvenile, 21 July 2015
This novel reads like the screenplay for a Disney animation of classic tale with each character dubbed in a modern American accent. The story telling is littered with clichés, some of them modern others quaint but all grafted awkwardly onto a tale set in sixteenth century Istanbul. Atmosphere is evoked by lazy lists of ‘evocative’ phrases. If it wasn’t for the sometimes graphic depictions of illness or violence, the book would be appear to be written for an eight- to twelve-year-old.

The gushing reviews included on the jacket beggar belief. Did the Independent really suggest that this ‘novel… will surely realign attitudes both to the imaginative possibilities of fiction and to the constructed reality of the world around us’?

Surely it will not. All I can assume is that this media savvy author has made some friends amongst the book reviewing community of the British newspapers. (In the meantime ask yourself: what is your attitude to the constructed reality of the world around you? No, I haven't a clue either. This kind of criticism is as intellectually bankrupt as the the novel it is discussing.)

beyerdynamic T90 High-End Headphones
beyerdynamic T90 High-End Headphones
Price: £317.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Headphones that Suit My Kind of Listening, 15 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
By some considerable distance the best headphones I have ever used. To set the context, I was looking for a pair of head-phones that could deliver exceptional musical sound quality when listening at home. I normally listen to classical music of all sorts, especially chamber music and song, on a Naim Uniti 2 and Neat speakers. I use CDs, HD FLAC files and streaming (Spotify etc). The sound quality delivered by these Beyerdynamic T90 headphones is very similar in character to that which my speakers deliver: very open, accurate and musical, by which I mean acoustic musical instruments and the human voice sound, through the speakers and through these headphones, pretty much identical to how the instrument or voice would sound if it were playing/singing in the room you are listening in. To me that is essentially what I look for in musical reproduction. Am I hearing something that I can honestly say I would be hearing at a live event. Apart from the excellent musical performance of these headphones, they are extremely comfortable with the soft cushions completely surrounding the ear. Being of aluminium construction, they are light and strong and appear to be well constructed.

J.S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
J.S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
Price: £13.57

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach of Wonder, 5 Sept. 2014
I don't know how this recording flew under my CD buying radar for a couple of years - it must need adjusting because I have been missing something very special indeed. Thankfully I've at last picked it up.

I adore these pieces and have listened to many recording on various instruments and in various styles. Having listed to Peter Hill's Book 1 I cannot think why I should ever return to another pianist at least for listening at home.

The slower pieces are, in many cases somewhat slower than has become the fashion of late, but Hill's ability to maintain momentum through perfect rhythmic control reveals the astonishing beauty of these pieces.

The faster pieces avoid the relentlessness that can occasionally infect even very fine Bach playing. The emphasis is always on revealing and then clarifying their polyphonic magic.

In summary, for me, Peter Hill's Bach balances sound, rhythm, textual rigour and sheer musicianship in a way that is by some distance more satisfying than any other pianist I have heard.

The sound of the piano is superb and has been recorded in such a way as to make it ideal for domestic listening - the sound fits, as it were, perfectly in your living room. Crisp and clear but also gentle and warm. The Steinway used is a gorgeous instrument and the piano technician is rightly credited in the sleeve notes.

White iPod Touch 5 Low Profile Covert Branded PU Leather Wallet Case / Cover / Pouch
White iPod Touch 5 Low Profile Covert Branded PU Leather Wallet Case / Cover / Pouch

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Cheap" says it all, 19 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Received 2 days ago. Already in the bin. Hopeless quality. Nasty colour (e.g. not actually white). It actually fell apart (the plastic iPod holder came away from the "leather" cover and looked like it had been glued on with Pritt.

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones  B&W - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones  B&W - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars "All the others are gimmicks"!, 19 April 2014
I have been frustrated over the years by in-ear headphones. Some have had excellent sound but have been tortuously uncomfortable, some (many) had extremely poor sound quality, others simply unusable. What I need is a combination of sound quality, a reasonable (although not complete) sound isolation and comfort. With this in mind I visited a store in London and was faced by a wall of boxes containing every in-ear phone under the sun.

Fortunately a young man (a customer in the shop) recognised my bafflement and advised me to buy these stating that: all the others are gimmicks.

I took his advice and have not regretted it. Simply put, these are by far the finest in-ear phones I have ever used.

(I listed on classical music of all sorts and travel on the tube using these with absolute pleasure),

Brahms: The Violin Sonatas
Brahms: The Violin Sonatas
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.42

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unalloyed delight and pleasure - a classic, 1 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Brahms Violin Sonatas are amongst my favourite works in the entire repertoire of classical music. I have listened to these performances this evening and, granted, I need to listen many more times to form a "mature" appreciation. But right now I can think of few disks in my collection of 4000+ that I feel more eager to revisit again and again. Whether or not this disk proves to be the classic I right now feel it must be, the mere fact that I have listened to it with such unalloyed delight and pleasure has led me to want to write this so you might be encouraged to enjoy it as well.

Mahler: Symphonies 1-10; Totenfeier; Das Lied Von Der Erde (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) [Blu-ray] [2014]
Mahler: Symphonies 1-10; Totenfeier; Das Lied Von Der Erde (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) [Blu-ray] [2014]
Dvd ~ Mahler
Price: £80.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but for me problematic video direction, 1 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I subscribe to the "less is more" school of thought when it comes to video direction. So I found the direction on this set consistently frustrating. Almost every bar is viewed from a different camera angle and almost always in close-up. Rarely do you see a complete orchestral section let alone the whole orchestra. These days with such superb picture quality such editing is unnecessarily annoying. It detracts rather than enhances the visual experience.

The Haitink is (as ever) superb. The Maazel is (as is generally true) poor - he doesn't seem to want to be there at all and the orchestra do their best to ignore him. Other are in between - so generally good.

The orchestra is magnificent throughout.

Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen
Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen
Price: £433.88

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest compact camera bar none, 19 Aug. 2013
First off I'm an amateur ([...] with no interest in Ricoh/Pentax. I just think this is a wonderful camera.

If you prize exceptional image quality, build quality, portability and the ability to point-and-shoot or manually adjust every facet of picture taking I would suggest you take a close look at the new Ricoh GR.

Since the 1990s and the days of 35mm film, the GR range has set the standard for gimmick-free compact cameras aimed at people who like taking and looking at photos.

I've owned and loved a Ricoh GR Digital 3 (GRD3) for about three years, and also love my Olympus OM-D, but this new incarnation of the GR is proving a game-changer. However good the GRD3 is - and it is very, very good - in the final analysis, cameras with larger sensors usually win on image quality. Now the GR has its own large (APS size) sensor behind a new pin-sharp 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) lens. Together lens and sensor deliver exceptional image performance, which, coupled with its rugged, compact form, is tending more and more to have me pick up the Ricoh GR rather than the small but comparatively much larger Olympus. I doubt there is any camera on the market that matches the ratio of image quality to size/weight of the GR.

Close comparisons between images captured with the GR and those captured with the OM-D with the very sharp Lumix 20mm pancake lens stopped down to f9,0 reveal differences that are marginal if not entirely negligible.

One further point on image quality with the GR. I have captured great images at ISO6400. Sure there is grain/noise at high ISO, but somehow its `good' grain/noise. This must come from the exception pairing of lens and sensor.

From a controls point of view, Ricoh have maintained the wonderful ADJ. button on the back face. The ADJ. button can be programmed to access and adjust any five controls you choose. I have it set to ISO, metering (matrix, centre, etc), capture type (RAW, JPG), aspect ratio, focus type and effect. Thus with three buttons/dials I can adjust all of the above plus aperture and shutter speed. This simple to use button enhances the useability of the GR way above any other camera I have used or owned.

It you are put off by the fixed focal length (i.e. non-zoom) lens, please don't be. Unless you are in the market for lenses costing many thousands of pounds, zooms are never, ever as good as fixed focal length `prime' lenses. I have tried to disprove this and wasted many hundreds of pounds in the process. No more. If you value image quality fixed focal length is better, believe me. And the GR proves it. From a creative perspective I find using fixed focal length far more interesting to use than zoom. If you want to get closer to something, get closer to it (unless you are taking a dangerous wild animal while on Safari - for which I would not recommend this camera, much less any zoom compact).

I have recently tried the Leica D-Lux 6 and the Sony RX100. Both are very capable cameras and both are smaller than the GR. For my hands both are too small to be easily used - they feel fiddly and over complicated. More importantly both compromise by using zoom lenses. On balance, for my kind of photo taking anyway, the GR is in a completely different class.

A final quality of the GR is that its physical appearance is the opposite of bling. It is plain black - the initials "GR" the only readable lettering on the front face. It won't attract attention to you as a photographer and it will minimise the attention of potential thieves.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2013 4:12 PM BST

A History of the World in Twelve Maps
A History of the World in Twelve Maps
Price: £7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A History of the World of Thinking, 16 Aug. 2013
"A History of the World in Twelve Maps" is one of the most enthralling, enlightening and mind-expanding books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Whilst each map is placed within its historical context it is also placed in the context of its contemporary "thinking" - thinking that influences, and is influenced by, each map.

Thinking is necessarily broad and Brotton successfully synthesises geographical, cosmographical, philosophical, theological, political and scientific thinking to present a holistic context for each chapter.

I have a general interest in many of these subjects and a specialist knowledge of none. In my opinion Brotton is pitch perfect for the enquiring, thinking reader.

This is a lengthy book but one I look forward to reading from cover to cover for a second time in the not too distant future.

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