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Simon Parsons "simonp6"
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VERSAILLES METAL GARDEN ARCH
VERSAILLES METAL GARDEN ARCH
Offered by UK Garden Supplies
Price: £46.95

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the asking price., 24 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: VERSAILLES METAL GARDEN ARCH
Can't believe I'm reviewing a garden arch. Must be getting old. Anyway, I was looking for an arch for our garden and was turned off by most of the cheaper options because they are typically solid black or green. The thing is like about this one is that has a much more subtle weathered metal effect that blends into the garden a lot better. It's easy to put up (take your time to get the first four pieces straight and level) has an attractive design and is well made. Provided you install it properly it should last for years.


Numatic HVR200A Henry A1 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner plus Kit A1, Red/Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Numatic HVR200A Henry A1 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner plus Kit A1, Red/Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Price: £115.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Regarding Henry....., 6 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought Henry after twice returning defective Vax cleaners that cost a similar amount. I was immediately impressed by the robust feeling of the cleaner and accessories. It's perhaps not as powerful as much more expensive Dysons, but the power is perfectly sufficient for normal use (wooden floors and rugs in our case). Other positives include the very long flex, lightness, dual power settings, quietness, and ability to make use of a disposable dust bag. The design of Henry seems to be very simple and he has a sturdy feel about him that suggests if you don't mistreat him, he'll still be cleaning your floors in ten years time. Oh and I like his smiley face :)


Vax C89-P7-B Power 7 Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
Vax C89-P7-B Power 7 Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £88.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely dreadful - avoid like the plague!, 24 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just returned the second of these and will be ordering a Henry today. I went for this Vax when my old Dyson finally started to go downhill after about 10 years of loyal service. The price seemed reasonable and most of the reviews were positive.

Our house isn't particularly big and has wooden flooring throughout, with just a couple of Persian rugs that need a good hoover to remove cat hair (they are vacuumed regularly, so the cleaner never has a big job on its hands). When I received the first one I was initially quite impressed. It looked quite snazzy and seemed powerful. However, within about half an hour, the power started to fluctuate - you could hear the motor slowing down and the cleaner lost suction. I tried all the usual things - checked for blockages, changed the wall socket, changed the fuse etc. Nothing helped. Back it went to Amazon and a new one was delivered. The replacement worked well for about a month when exactly the same problem occurred. Bearing in mind that this cleaner had very light use in a house that is always very clean and has mostly wooden floors, I just couldn't understand what was wrong with it. Again, I tried all the usual steps to rectify the problem but it didn't do any good.

I'm left with the unavoidable conclusion that this is simply a poor quality product. I don't expect the world for this kind of money, but a product that doesn't conk out after very light use isn't too much to ask. Having read the reviews of Henry and discovering I can get a reusable dust bag for a fiver, I am more than happy to pay a few extra quid for a more robust and reliable product. Clearly, some people like this cleaner. Perhaps I was just very unlucky.

My advice would be to avoid this cleaner and get a different brand. Henry's are retailing on here for under £100 and the reusable bag removes my only reason for not buying one before. I've never owned a Vax before. It's safe to say I never will again.

The one positive aspect of all this was that Amazon customer service helpfully agreed to give me a refund outside their usual 30 day limit. The cleaner was collected promptly and the refund processed very swiftly.


Jackson C Frank
Jackson C Frank
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning..., 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
I'd never heard of this guy until I was intrigued to find out who was responsible for a song (Marlene) which plays at the end of the film Martha, Marcey May, Marlene (which is very good, by the way). I'm not great at writing about music and other reviewers have done Jackson C Frank's talent and tragic life story more justice than I could. I will simply say that this a genuinely beautiful album by an incredibly talented and woefully unknown artist.


No Title Available

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good so far....but not perfect, 12 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll qualify this review by saying I've only lived with my new F series Walkman for a week, so am still getting used to it. And I have not tried the earphones that come with the player - I'm using a pair of excellent Shure SE535s.

I've had a number of Walkmans in the past, always preferring them to Ipod's for sound quality above anything else. So what are my impressions of this model...

Design and Aesthetics

In terms of height and width the F series is quite similar to an Iphone 4S. It is, however, much thinner and lighter. Overall it has an unflashy minimalist design that I like a lot. As ever with Walkmans, it feels robust and well made.

Sound Quality

Very impressive! I bought one of the new E series Walkmans for use when running etc. Although it's good, I can definitely hear a difference with the F series. Your choice of earphones will obviously make a big difference, but I am really enjoying the sound from this player - very clear, but also warm. Sound quality has always been one of the Walkman's selling points and this player continues the Sony tradition.

Interface

Hmmmm....I don't find choosing music quite as quick or as intuitive as on my previous X series Walkman. I also strongly dislike the button which sits on top of the unit for locking the screen and reactivating it. It is too small and positioned in such a way that I find it difficult to press first time, every time. I much preferred the nice big hold button on the X series

And, of course, there's the inclusion of the Android operating system and various "apps". If, like me, you already have a 'smart phone' this all seems a bit pointless. It makes the Walkman feel like a smart phone with the useful "phone" bit taken out. I've had a cursory play around with the apps, but I very much doubt that I will ever use most of them again. And remember that, unlike your phone, apps such as email will only work if you are connected to the internet by Wifi at the time.

None of these points are deal breakers for me - I bought the player for its sound quality and it delvers on that. Still, I would have preferred Sony to have stuck to the pure Walkman tradition and left the other stuff to the smart phones.

Software

I found that my usual choice of media management software - the excellent 'Media Monkey' - didn't recognise the F series at all. Having only ever used a much old version of Sony media management software I installed their 'Media Go' software with some trepidation (you'll find it on the player itself - just run the application from your PC to install it). Surprisingly I am finding it very easy to use and have no problem quickly transferring music to the Walkman, making playlists etc.

Battery Life

I haven't timed it, but as with previous Walkmans battery life seems very good.

Video Quality

Again, not something I really care about, but the sample video that came with the player looks very impressive.

Overall

While I think the decision to make this player a sort of Walkman-come-smart-phone-without-the-phone is questionable, the F series is still a very good portable music player. It looks good, sounds fantastic and, let's face it, is way cooler than any Ipod! Enjoy.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2013 2:16 PM GMT


Shure SE535 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones - Bronze
Shure SE535 In-Ear Sound Isolating Earphones - Bronze
Offered by TT WARES
Price: £339.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal (and finally a detachable cable!), 2 Sep 2012
My first foray into the world of high end earphones were the Shure SE530s. I loved them, but their one major weakness was that when the cable failed (as they often do) the earphones were finished. My last pair of earphones were the very good Sennheiser IE8s, which I bought because, as well as being excellent sound-wise, they have a cable that can be detached and replaced if necessary. I've owned the Sennheisers for about 4 years and they are great - very good bass and a really durable piece of kit. However, I recently noticed the Shure SE535s were coming down in price and decided to give them a go. What swayed me, in addition to the many great reviews, was Shure's decision to implement a detachable cable. I can now relax knowing that a £300 pair of earphones won't be useless if the cable fails.

Impressions - WOW. I don't claim to be an "audiophile"; I don't know all the technical terminology, but what I can say is that to my ears these earphones sound incredible. The Sennheisers sounded very good, but these are a cut above. The sound is so clear and full - (I use a Z series MP3 Walman). I'm hearing elements of songs that I don't remember hearing before. I can't wait to use them on my daily commute (an added bonus of such brilliant earphones is that they completely drown out the sound of other people's inane mobile phone conversations on the train! - thank you Shure!)

One very important piece of advice - you must spend time trying the different tips supplied with the earphones - if you don't get the right fit (i.e. very snug) you won't get the full benefit of the sound. I found that switching from the medium sized tips to the larger ones made a very significant difference to the bass response.

And if you're not used to how they are worn (over the ear) they will take some getting used to, but stick with them, as the benefits are more than worth it.


Sony BDPS185B.CEK Compact Size Blu-ray Player
Sony BDPS185B.CEK Compact Size Blu-ray Player

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failed completely on first use!, 2 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned a range of Blu Ray players in recent years from the high end (£1K+) Sony BDP5000ES (what a great machine!) to more sensibly priced players from Panasonic and the ubiquitous PS3. I recently cleared out all my home cinema equipment, having tired of the hobby. However, I found that I missed having a Blu Ray player so decided to get an inexpensive one for occasional use. I chose the BDPS185B in spite of some mixed reviews because I've had generally good experiences with Sony products. And the compact size of the player was just right for my new slimmed down living room set up.

Unfortunately, my experience of this player was nothing short of disasterous. I set it up according to the instructions and ran the firmware update process by connecting the player to my home network via an Ethernet Cable. The player completed the update process and turned itself off, as indicated in the manual. On restarting the player I just got a frozen screen. I tried opening the disk draw with the remote control - the draw starting going in and out repeatedly and wouldn't stop. As with a lot of AV equipment, a solution can often be achieved by simply switching the unit off for a minute or so and then restarting. I tried this and the disk tray seemed to be ok. I then tried inserting a Blu Ray (The Dark Knight) to see if it was working ok; the result - a frozen screen, a very loud whirring noise from the player, and my Blu Ray is now permanently stuck in it. In short, the player is completely kaput and is now awaiting collection for return to Amazon and a refund.

I have noticed that on Ebay there are a lot of these players for sale marked as "refurbished". This, along with own experiences, leads me to believe that Sony have cut back on the quality of their components to such an extent, in an effort to make a very small and inexpensive player, that reliability is suffering as a result. I obviously didn't expect something on a par with a high end player, but something that actually worked would have been nice! I won't be buying a budget player from Sony again.


Sky DRX890 Sky+ HD Digibox 500GB
Sky DRX890 Sky+ HD Digibox 500GB
Offered by highstore
Price: £139.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great...., 7 Jun 2010
Clearly, there are people on here who've had very bad experiences with the Sky HD box. I certainly sympathise with them but, to give a bit of balance, I've had Sky HD for about three years now and although I did have the box replaced once due it being damaged following a house move, it's been generally very reliable.

Paired with a good TV and quality home cinema set up, I've found watching movies in particular much more pleasurable with Sky HD. The improvement in picture and sound quality is very substantial compared to standard definition (although this obviously depends on the source material - newer films clearly benefit most).

Reliability issues aside, the box itself isn't perfect. For me, its main drawbacks are:

- lack of support for 1080p resolution (although HD content does look very good in 1080i)
- No support for surround sound through HDMI (for some bizarre reason, if you want to connect the box to an AV receiver for surround sound you have to use an optical lead - but again this isn't that big a deal - it works fine)
- it can be quite noisy, making a `whirring' sound at certain times (but this tends not to be audible unless the volume is muted)
- it has a rather cheap plastic appearance which doesn't sit well surrounded by good quality AV equipment
- The remote is clunky and less responsive than it should be

Despite all these minor niggles the sheer pleasure of HD for me makes it worth the investment. I would certainly not go back to solely non-HD viewing now that I've experienced the joys of HD. I still find Sky HD preferable to Virgin HD due to the better selection of channels and access to significantly more film content.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2011 8:41 PM GMT


No Title Available

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great so far..., 12 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only owned these for a few months hence the title of my review, but so far they are proving to be a great accompanyment to my digital Walkman. I previously owned and gave a positive review to the similarly priced Shure SE530s. However, while sounding excellent, after a year of careful use the Shures began to suffer persistent cable erosion, so I decided to replace them. Following quite a bit of research I settled on these Sennheiser IE8s. Sound quality, I would say, is on a par with the Shures - superb, provided you take the time to choose the right tips to fit snugly into your ears - otherwise you will lose bass. What really helped to sell these to me is the interchangeable cable, which the Shures don't have. This is a great feature because it means that if and when the cable starts to fail (and let's face it they always do in the end, no matter how carefully you treat them) it can be replaced at very little expense. This is highly preferable to having to replace an entire set of earphones at great expense if the warranty has expired. Spending this kind of money can initially seem self-indulgent but if, like me, you commute to work throughout the week a really good set of noise-cancelling earphones likes these are a sound investment.


Sony KDL-40W4500 - 40" Widescreen 100hz / 1080P Full HD Bravia  LCD TV - With DLNA Technology & Freeview (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony KDL-40W4500 - 40" Widescreen 100hz / 1080P Full HD Bravia LCD TV - With DLNA Technology & Freeview (discontinued by manufacturer)

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding picture quality, 12 Jan 2009
I bought this to replace a year-old Samsung 40inch LM87 which itself was a very good TV. After ordering it, I did get a slight case of nerves when I read about some users encountering a problem with so called back-light bleed (uneven patches of light behind the screen when viewing dark screens), but I can see no evidence of this on my set.

Compared to the Samsung, the Sony displays a noticeably better picture on HD (both Sky HD and Blu-Ray). Colour reproduction and handling of motion are significantly better, even to the extent that my girlfriend, who always claims that she can't see the difference between such things, has had to admit that the picture is better. The Samsung was great with HD sources, but images did sometimes suffer ghosting and motion blur. The Sony has none of this and is visibly sharper.

Standard definition Sky broadcasts look great, but as with all TVs they are limited by the quality of the source material.

I can't vouch for the sound because I run my equipment through an AV receiver.

Other plus points are the good quality and easy to use remote and the intuitive and easy to follow cross bar menu (similar to the PS3's).

Overall this is a really excellent TV.

A tip to anyone considering buying this or any other good quality HD TV: Most of the time the factory settings for the TV are way out. Spend some time trying out the settings to get the best picture. For example, the Sony comes with the back-light set quite high - you get a much better picture with it turned down to a lower setting. Also, don't assume that turning on all of the picture enhancements (this TV has several) results in a better picture. Often, particularly with HD material, you will get a more natural picture with them turned off - less is more in other words. The good news is that it's easy to set different preferences for your sources - for example I have different settings for Standard definition TV, Xbox 360 and Blu-Ray/Sky HD.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2009 5:48 PM GMT


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