Profile for Gerard > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Gerard
Top Reviewer Ranking: 207,795
Helpful Votes: 126

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Gerard (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Page: 1 | 2
Sea Island Sumatra Kopi Musang Kopi Luwak Whole Bean Coffee Bag 125 g
Sea Island Sumatra Kopi Musang Kopi Luwak Whole Bean Coffee Bag 125 g
Price: 38.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best coffee I ever had...but can I have it again..., 10 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Clearly there are animal care, authenticity and price concerns for this coffee so I'm torn between them and the taste. Tastewise it's the smoothest, most balanced and complete single origin coffee I ever had ... it's super smooth, full of chocolate flavour and there's the distinct additional flavour added by the way it's been produced. I'd drink it every day were it not for the downsides...

Son Of The Seventh Son
Son Of The Seventh Son
Price: 7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seventh heaven..., 19 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I saw Mud Morganfield singing 'Son of the Seventh Son' on Jules Holland's show and was blown away by his powerful voice. The album gives me that song plus an additional 11 tracks to enjoy. It has a good variety of faster and slower songs, but all of which have a solid Blues feel. In the past I found Blues a bit downbeat so got limited enjoyment from it , but this album has a more upbeat feel which has me hooked and I'd therefore recommend it to anyone thinking about getting into this genre.

Offered by DAQOnline
Price: 759.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome sound, great value, 27 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Musical genres listened to (in order of time spent):
jazz, rock, indie, electronica, classical

Similar equipment owned or used: Ultrasone Edition 8, Ultrasone Pro 900, Grado SR60i, Ultimate Ears Triple Fi Pro 10, Shure E3C

Other hifi equipment owned: Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus

Why I bought these: I wanted top quality sound with great isolation to stop external sounds leaking in and stopping me enjoying my music.

Good points for the Ultrasone Signature Pro:
To start with a caveat, these are probably not a bass-seeker's dream phones. Having said that, in music which calls for it (e.g. Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine'), there is ample bass. But rather than it being bloated and resonant like with cheap phones, the Sig Pro's bass is crisp, quick and punchy. It has quantity AND quality, but with the emphasis very definitely on the quality side.

There is lots of detail available in bass, mid and high frequencies. You can easily separate out all the musical instruments in a recording. I noticed things that only the Ultrasone Edition 8 (at well over a thousand quid) brought out. For all the detail, your music is presented, erm... musically, as opposed to overly analytically. This means, in my experience, that you can listen to these phones for many hours without the fatigue that usually comes with highly analytical headphones.

The isolation is fantastic: at only moderate volume, you hear nothing when snapping your fingers beside your ears. In terms of sound leaking out, provided you sit 1.5+ meters from your colleagues you should be able to enjoy your music without inflicting much noise on them. However, if you want to listen more loudly, probably the only way to go is in-ear monitors as there'll definitely be some leakage as you push the volume.

The soundstaging is superb for a closed headphone. They sound nearly as open as the Grado SR60i; it's like the music is coming from 5-8 inches outside your ears.

The build quality is solid and feels like the headphones will last for a good few years (and of course there's the 2-year warranty if purchased from an authorized Ultrasone dealer to cover you if anything does go wrong). They're made of the same plastic as the Ultrasone Pro 900s. Basically it's a high-grade plastic that feels sturdy and, unlike lots of other plastic stuff, it doesn't feel cheap. I believe the drivers are the same ones used in the Edition 8s.

Finally, they're very easy to drive. I have a Sony MP3 player and I can have it at 80% of max volume and that's plenty loud.

Bad points for the Ultrasone Signature Pro:
As you'd expect, for something with such good isolation, they clamp your ears a lot! I modded them a little to ease the pressure on my ears, which would otherwise become tiresome. But that is very easily accomplished so it's a gripe rather than a real issue of any kind.

Other points: They need broken in for a minimum of 50h+ hours. The package includes 2 replaceable cables and a semi-rigid carry case, both of which add value for me personally.

As good as they sound when driven off a good MP3 player (my rating is 85/100, as compared with the Grado SR60i and Ultimate Ears 10's 60/100 or the Ultrasone Pro 900's 75/100), they sound so much better (around 95/100) if you add a digital-analogue converter (DAC). Why? There's a big jump in dynamic range and the separation of instruments, and therefore your music sounds crisper and richer. A headphone this good deserves a top feed and a good DAC gives it exactly that.

5 out of 5 stars. Hope this helps your decision making process!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2012 12:12 AM GMT

Ultrasone - PRO 900 Headphones
Ultrasone - PRO 900 Headphones
Price: 333.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphones that allowed my enjoyment of music to go up to the next level!, 16 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these having had a set of earbuds (Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10s that cost approx 200). The earbuds had an awesome sound and great isolation, but over the years it became tedious having to fiddle with getting them into and out of my ears to talk to people in work.

I wanted to keep the sound quality and isolation, but lose the inconvenience. These earphones delivered on all fronts. The sound is a lot better than the earbuds for the following reasons:

* The soundstage is surprisingly wide for a closed earphone. It's a little less wide than my open cup Grado SR80s, but you certainly couldn't use them in an office environment as everyone would hear your music; overall, the Grado's sound is eclipsed by these anyway

* The bass is powerful, which works very well for the music I listen to (ordered by the amount of time I spend, the main genres are: jazz, dance/electronica, alternative rock, pop and a little classical). The bass is well balanced and, to my ears, it never overpowers or dominates, but I can relate to why some reviews say the headphones sound a little warm

* There is more/better tonal range as these headphones are extremely detailed. This means you hear everything that's in the source music - if your source is not very clean, it'll probably be a pain to listen to - I have some old jazz recordings from the 1950s and 60s and these headphones expose every flaw. However, the upside is that for clean recordings, done at good bitrates, the headphones connect you with the texture of the music in such a way that you can, for example, almost feel the resonance of bass notes. There is also a wonderful separation of instruments, so in classical music I can pick out and focus on a single instrument like never before

In summary, I would agree with an online review that stated the headphones sound authoritative, and like they're worth every penny of the purchase price. I absolutely love them and I can listen to them for hours because they're extremely comfortable. They come with a carry case that I find perfect for transporting them to work.

So are there any negative points? Yes, but they're not deal breakers in my opinion. They are:

* You need to break the headphones in for a minimum of 100 hours. They sound good straight out of the box, but the sound gets better and better the more you use them, reaching their optimum level around the 200 hour mark

* They sound better the harder (read louder) you drive them (obviously there is a maximum usable loudness point for all headphones. For these it's way above the level I'd ever want to have them, so they're way loud enough for me). They are not overly hard to drive as they're only 40 ohm, but an iPhone may struggle to get the best out of them. I therefore use them exclusively on my Sony Walkman, but I could buy a headphone amp and use them with a phone if I wanted to

* They aren't completely silent to the external environment so if you have them cranked up, or if there are loud noises around you, then they'll hear your music and you'll hear them a little on quieter tracks. Sound leakage hasn't been an issue for me as our office noise is reasonable for the level at which I get good performance from them without hearing virtually anything of the background noise, except for maybe the occasional door being closed loudly. There have been moments when I'd love to be able to crank them up a few dBs more because, as I said they sound better louder :), but I'm just a tad concerned they'd be audible to colleagues. This is the same for the vast majority of closed cup headphones, but it just wasn't an issue for the earbuds as they gave near total isolation. However, given the gain in sound quality, I'm happy with this tradeoff

5 out of 5 stars!

Professional Barista Coffee Tamper (57mm)
Professional Barista Coffee Tamper (57mm)
Offered by CoffeeClassicsDirect
Price: 21.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality product that makes a difference to your coffee preparation..., 17 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this after getting fed up with the cheap plastic tamper that came with my new Gaggia Classic coffee machine.

It is a good quality product (good size and weight, and nice polished aluminium finish) well worth the price I paid, which was 26 pounds delivered from Amazon marketplace merchant nextdaycoffee.

This coffee tamper gets me one step closer to achieving the the perfect espresso as I'm now able to tamp the coffee consistently each time, whereas the plastic tamper was a bit hit-and-miss. It also fits the Gaggia 58mm basket pretty much perfectly. I'm glad I decided to purchase it. It's a once-off expense that'll easily outlast my current coffee machine and grinder, so I can make use of it for many years to come.

Klipsch Custom 1 - High Performance Noise-Isolating Earphones
Klipsch Custom 1 - High Performance Noise-Isolating Earphones
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: 68.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly poor fit for my ears, 5 Dec 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
All the ear gels supplied with these headphones are unsuitable for me. This means the headphones fail to stay in my ears, they are uncomfortable and the sound quality is unacceptable (since it depends entirely upon the headphones fitting well).

It's a shame Klipsch couldn't include a wider range of ear gels so these fit better. I think this reflects badly on the manufacturer because I've never had this issue before and I have had similarly priced in-ear headphones from 2 different manufacturers (Sony and Shure). I am going back to get another pair that worked for me in the past.

Kensington Expert Mouse Optical Wired USB Trackball for PC and Mac - Silver and Black
Kensington Expert Mouse Optical Wired USB Trackball for PC and Mac - Silver and Black
Price: 63.44

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good mouse ... buggy mouse driver, 13 Sep 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought an Expert Mouse few weeks ago because I was developing RSI in my wrist. The RSI has now all but gone. Heartily recommend this product to help if you have any kind of wrist problems due to mouse use.

I can't give it 5 stars because the software has an annoying bug (it's highly annoying to me anyway!). Having scanned various discussion boards, it's clear that you will have problems running .NET programs you've developed on a Windows XP computer. Every time I want to run a .NET program, I have to kill off the kmw_run and kmw_show mouse processes before the software will run. If the processes are running, the software simply crashes. I have used the mouse on a Windows 2000 system and the is no problem running .NET software. I don't know if the issue is present in Windows Vista.

Apparently Kensington have been informed of the XP .NET issue, but there's no expected fix date yet. Their last release of Mouseworks (i.e. the mouse's driver) was back in 2006, so hopefully there'll be a fix sooner rather than later.

Unless you develop software using .NET on a Windows XP system, I believe your experience will be better than mine. I'd have given it 5 stars with no hesitation but for the annoying software bug.

TT SuperBikes (PS2)
TT SuperBikes (PS2)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: 36.73

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome road racing simulation!, 29 May 2005
This review is from: TT SuperBikes (PS2) (Video Game)
I'm a biker and I've always been a fan of road racing. I bought "On-Bike Road Race Experience" ( to get a rider's-eye perspective of how tough and satisfying it really is.
I was blown away with the on-board cameras in the DVD: riders fly along almost impossibly twisty narrow roads at speeds of up to 190mph; they go from upright to fully cranked in fractions of seconds and miss solid stone walls by a matter of inches; they're fully committed blasting though corners at well over the ton; there are wheelies galore - even when almost fully cranked over and while travelling at lunatic speeds.
This game demands YOU do all of the above if you want to be competitive. It delivers an experience of road racing that is truely mind blowing!
As a biker, I thought I was riding pretty fast and close to the limit. Do you think you are too? Do you believe that if only you could race on closed public roads you'd be far faster? If you believe that, this game will open your eyes about what fast is. The sense of realism is truely superb and you become part of the frenzied action.
Top marks to Jester for allowing us to have such a realistic and engrossing experience!
The game is challenging - but then so is road racing (and you will experience how hard!). If you have any interest in racing - whether cars or motorcycles - this game delivers a uniquely compelling challenge which will suck you in to hours and hours of adrenaline-fuelled madness.
5 stars without any hesitation!!!

XFX Geforce FX5950 Ultra 256MB TV-OUT, DVI, VIVO
XFX Geforce FX5950 Ultra 256MB TV-OUT, DVI, VIVO

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to treat yourself and enjoy top graphics performance!, 23 Jun 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received my XFX 5950 card today and installed in a matter of minutes. (You *must* have a spare power connector from your PSU and one PCI slot adjacent to the AGP port to install this card.) I installed the card within about 2 minutes and booted up my PC. The Nvidia driver provided installed with no problems whatsoever and I was able to update it to the latest driver from Nvidia's web site.
At first everything was fine; then I loaded up MS Flight Sim 2004, which I managed to play for about 2 minutes. During my flight my PC switched itself off. I freaked out at first, thinking some serious damage had been done. There were no such problems though, as, after an investigation, I established that the issue was due to the demand that the card makes on the PC's power supply.
When I decided to buy the card I thought I would be OK, as I have a 300W power supply and the XFX web site states that this is the minimum PSU required. However, on the box it states 350W minimum. From my experience, it is clear that the 350W is the absolute minimum you need.
Later on I went out and bought a 550W power supply from a local store and my PC booted up with no problems. After that, whatever game I played everything went brilliantly.
I made an impulse buy in purchasing this card. Since then, I've read all the reviews about the 5950 versus previous Nvidia models and Radeon, it's main competitor. From these reviews it is clear that the Radeon 9800 XT, and the company's newest card, the X800 Platinum, are faster (and relatively less expensive); what I would say about XFX's Nvidia package is that this is a fantastic card with which you get a good bundle of games. These help to offset the price premium. I got full copies of Ghost Recon, Commanche 4, Moto GP 2 and Racing Simulator 3, and a bunch of playable demo games.
One thing is clear about whatever card you buy: if you are upgrading, you will enjoy much improved game performance. I upgraded from an FX 5200. FS2004 is now an absolute joy to play. I get c. 25FPS with all settings at maximum and with 4x antialaising and 8x anisotropic filtering.
One other major point to mention: before you purchase any graphics card from, check out the competition; I have done so and found that I could have got a similar card for a little less money elsewhere.
This card is a definite buy, but check out Radeon and's competition before making a final decision.

The Political Animal: An Anatomy
The Political Animal: An Anatomy
by Jeremy Paxman
Edition: Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and informative throughout, 3 Dec 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this book, Jeremy Paxman sets out to explore what makes politicians tick. This is one of the only books of its kind that I have come across; a similar book is "How to be a Minister" by Gerald Kaufman. By the end of the book's 10 chapters, the reader will have a clear understanding of each stage through which the ambitious politician must pass as s/he strives for the highest office in the land.
The first chapter explains in detail the key attributes required by anyone wishing to achieve political office. In subsequent chapters, Paxman shows what potential politicians must traditionally do to get noticed, what they must then do having been noticed and how they can begin their ascent of the greasy pole.
The chapter titles, the contents of which one can easily get a sense of, are as follows:
Out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings
Getting On
Getting In
New Boys and Girls
Look at Me!
Busy Doing Nothing
Power at Last
The Price of Fame
Feet of Clay
Being History
There follows an afterword in which Paxman explains the consequences of politics as it has evolved to date, along with suggestions of how things might be improved.
Throughout the book, Paxman's cutting humour and many, many years of experience in the political field both entertain and enlighten the reader. Unlike other reviewers, I would not say this book is in any way lacking in insight; in fact I found it to be thoroughly revealing. If you are still hesitant about purchasing a copy, I'd say that one only has consider what in-the-know reviewers say about it to be persuaded (by way of two examples: Lively, persuasive, excellent. Matthew Parris, Spectator; Devastatingly accurate, Michael Portillo).
Highly recommended-5 stars!

Page: 1 | 2