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I. McMillan (Guildford, UK)

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Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 USB Digital To Analogue Converter
Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 USB Digital To Analogue Converter
Offered by Nintronics
Price: £129.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My second Dragonfly in 18 months..., 25 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When the first Dragonfly hit the streets a few years ago, like many others I suppose I was intrigued by the reviews but balked at the price of then £215. I weakened and I am very pleased I did. This little chap is a constant companion and - as it says on the tin - turns your PC into a proper hi-fi. (I have a Linn Akurate system at home so these things are important to me). I have just received my second Mk II Dragonfly - the reason was simply one of convenience, I was having to remember to take this vital bit of electronic wizardry with me on frequent trips and I was genuinely disappointed If I left it behind. My PC gets moved around the house all the time when I am at home and plugged into the various active speakers in whichever room - with Spotify, the Beeb's 6Music and the music I have on the PC itself - mostly 24-bit Studio Master stuff - I am sorted.

Now for the direct comparison between the two Dragonfly versions. So far I have swapped them about using a pair of high-end Sony in-ears and the sound of the new 1.2 version is slightly softened in the higher frequencies giving a softer-but-not-necessarily-better sound because a little detail is lost in the process and, with some pieces tending to be a tad more 'boomy' at the bass end although the effect is negligible. I have to stress that the new one is not 'run-in' although I would doubt that this would make any difference in this case. When you consider that the cost of the 1.2 is £130 v £215 for the original, the device is VERY good value.

Compared with my other DACs - a HRT Microstreamer (i paid £180) which pushes out marginally better sound than the Dragonfly but is not as small and neat and my Arcam rDAC (i paid £329) which is better still but is a fixed installation driving bigger speakers and is not really a portable device.

So... the best value by far is the new Dragonfly and if you are considering one then this reviewer would urge you to go ahead with confidence. Enjoy.

Shadow of Heaven [VINYL]
Shadow of Heaven [VINYL]
Price: £21.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transcendent album., 12 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Shadow of Heaven [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Jamie Lee and crew must be very proud of this new recording. 'Shadow of Heaven' is beautifully constructed and moves at its own pace, paying scant attention to the trends and fashions of the contemporary music world. It's evocative and airy compositions which often possess Puccini-esqe melodies bear repeated listening, in fact demand it. It has been a few months since I received my vinyl copy and CD and it is my steady fascination with this album which has prompted this review - from a normally-reluctant reviewer. New musical talent of this scale and sensitivity will find a wide audience, of that I am sure.

Price: £2.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a novel, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Schroder (Kindle Edition)
Reading Mags' review above, I can add little to that concise and beautifully put paragraph. This book is a jewel - special in every sentence and idea.
I started to read it when a bit tired and when it quickly dawned on me how capable Gaige's writing is, I started again from the beginning but only reading it when fresh and able to fully appreciate it's subtlety.

Salomon Quest 4D GORE-TEX Waterproof Trail Walking Boots
Salomon Quest 4D GORE-TEX Waterproof Trail Walking Boots
Price: £110.21 - £167.38

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Soles peeling off after 25 months moderate use, 21 Jan 2013
I Bought these after a try-on session at Snow and Rock. They were amazingly comfortable straight away but after a few months started to leak a bit. They quite quickly deteriorated from there to the point now where the soles are staring to come apart. Salomon UK were not interested at all and neither were the retailer because they were just out of warranty. Although we use them on average every third day for dog-walking, In my view they should be better than this. I would urge you to opt for another brand that perhaps still manufactures in the west and is more concerned about long term reputation. Perhaps it's me but I think these performance boots should last longer than 25 months.

Life Is People [+digital booklet]
Life Is People [+digital booklet]

5.0 out of 5 stars An album for our time., 3 Jan 2013
I was sent a track via Spotify - 'Cosmic Concerto' and it took a few listens to dial in to it's message and it's beauty. The complete album is much the same and it just grows and grows. It is bewitching. I would recommend anyone to buy two copies and give one of them to a good (audiophile) friend.

Classic Rock Legends: Bill Nelson [DVD] [2011]
Classic Rock Legends: Bill Nelson [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Bill Nelson

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Musical Event, 2 Jun 2011
I was there with my son (a fan, of course). It was a class evening in the company of some very accomplished musicians. We have been waiting eagerly for the DVD to drop through the door to see how well it'd been captured.
Well, no worries there! A must for any Nelson fan includes the full set and an interview with Bill too.

The thing about Bill Nelson's work is that I never tire of it. It seems timeless and transcendent. Those bewitching melodies and layers of sophistication... aaahh.

Grundig GUFSDTR500HD Set-top Box
Grundig GUFSDTR500HD Set-top Box

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grundig HD PVR 500Gb, 25 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having bought a Humax Foxsat for one room, I was curious to see if the Grundig unit would be better and so bought one for the bedroom.

It was returned because of the following perceived shortcomings:

Fan noise - the FoxSat has no fan - so it is MUCH quieter, essential in a bedroom.
The Remote control is probably a bit simpler to use but cannot be programmed to operate the TV as well so you have to have two remotes on the bed.
There is no programme 'search listings' facility meaning that programming recording schedules is more tedious.
It may have been the set I bought but, when switching to SBY, the fan just kept running and so the machine has to be switched off at the plug to silence it.

Overall it is a simpler format and interface with less functionality than the Foxsat which still seems to set the standard for these machines. Considering that it is only £50-odd cheaper than the Humax, I would consider it much inferior in value for money.

Hope this helps in your browsing. I wish someone had provided this info beforehand which would have saved me the time and effort of the return.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2011 1:57 AM GMT

by Matthew Glass
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking, relevant and entertaining read., 4 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ultimatum (Hardcover)
I have missed out the normal first three or four paragraphs of a standard review and just written the last because that is perhaps the bit the reader is most interesed in.

It kept me gripped, especially towards the end and was a believable political narrative. The book reads like a screenplay and the dialogue-rich style is appropriate. It's most important contribution is to provoke thought about whether mankind will ever be able to rise above our most primitive instincts and act in concert to tackle the real issues that are already out there staring us in the face. It provides a believeable possible outcome if we fail. Sadly, Copenhagen recently only gives this scenario more credence.

Like most reviewers, The Economist led me to this book and I was not disappointed.

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