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Martin Katscan (London)

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The Complete Albums Collection [VINYL]
The Complete Albums Collection [VINYL]
Price: £39.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Idea, With A Fatal Flaw, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before I get bashed by diehard Maiden fans, this is not a review of the individual albums, which are brilliant and are produced in excellent quality vinyl here.
This is a review of the box set product as a whole.

Anyone who like myself, now owns all 8 LPs which the box is supposed to hold will already have discovered a massive problem.
The flaw? You guessed it... There is no way to fit all 8 albums in the box!

The sad thing is, it's really obvious what happened. The packaging designers didn't actually test a mockup with the actual albums and they sent the box into production based on having space for 8 standard LPs. No-one thought to tell them that Piece Of Mind was a gatefold or that Live after Death was a double album.

Sorry, but a company the size of EMI letting this one passed quality control?
Really out of order guys!
Replacement boxes should be supplied free of charge.
That will never happen obviously, but it should.

Well I guess on the plus side, I can now use the box to hide my 'bongo mags' from the missus ;)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2014 12:54 PM GMT

Infestissumam [VINYL]
Infestissumam [VINYL]
Price: £18.31

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the bad CD master - Buy on vinyl if you can!, 18 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Infestissumam [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I'd heard a lot of reviews of this album which repeatedly stated 2 things:
1. It's not as good as 'Opus'.
2. It suffered from a terrible over compressed 'brick wall' mastering process (producing a loud sound but with audible digital distortion and loss of nearly all dynamics)

To the first point, I have to be controversial and say I actual prefer this album to their first!
I guess it depends what you like about Ghost's sound as to which you would prefer. People seem to spend FAR TO MUCH time deciding how 'metal' something is as a level of quality. I personally find that to judge Ghost on how 'metal' they are is to completely miss the point. Ghost are a refreshing escape from the factory line rotation of formulaic metal 'products' around. They exist on their own as a unique and brilliant oddity. (Until, that is all the inevitable clone bands start emerging on the back of their success ;)

Anyway.. Point 2.
It sounds better on vinyl!!!
That sounds like a typically hipster, audiophile bore thing to say, but it's true.
Forget for a minute the constant debate of whether vinyl generally sounds 'warmer' or has more 'soul' than digital, there is in this case another important factor.
It's mentioned in reviews everywhere that this album has suffered what's become known as a 'Death Magnetic' master, where in an effort to make the record sound as loud as possible, all the dynamics and 'life' has been squashed out of it leaving a distorted chunk of a sound.
So why is the vinyl version going to be any better?
Because the physical 'limitations' of vinyl, when done properly, music has to mastered to a completely different standard than digital. Mastering engineers who know what they're doing have to approach a vinyl master in a different way and are forced to leave far more 'headroom' for the intended dynamics of the original recording to shine through. Also because vinyl records are unlikely to be played on radio, tv or online playlists, they don't have the same need to compete in a 'loudness war' with other releases.

So if you are going to buy this album and have a record deck around the place, do yourself a favour and get it on vinyl. Not coz it's cooler (obviously it is though ;) but because it really does sound better!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2014 5:09 PM GMT

Numeric Keypad for Apple Mac Keyboard (Bluetooth)
Numeric Keypad for Apple Mac Keyboard (Bluetooth)

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good While It Lasted, 12 Sept. 2011
I bought this numberpad as my new iMac came with the the stupid new 'numberpadless' bluetooth apple keyboard and as some one who uses their mac for the two main purposes of music production and web design, a numberpad is absolutely necessary for cubase shortcuts, entering color values etc.
(You would have thought Apple, a company built on serving professional musicians and designers, might have thought that one through a little harder? But I guess since the success of all their 'iDevices' demographic has shifted.)

Anyhoo, I was very surprised that Apple seem to have missed the trick of upselling me an add-on numberpad themselves, but apparently they actually missed that one opportunity to rip me off (we have a love hate relationship, me and Apple.)
I searched and searched online and no official release of such an add-on seemed forthcoming, but this 3rd party piece of kit kept cropping up.
So after a few favorable reviews I took the plunge. I knew it was overpriced but had little alternative other than returning to a wired USB keyboard with integrated numberpad.

When the LMP pad arrived in the post I was equally both impressed and suspicious of the blatant Applesque packaging and apparent build of the device.
It sure looked a hell of a lot like a genuine Apple device.... But then on one level that makes me uneasy as it smacks of 'dodgy'... A fear that was given further weight when on further inspection i realised it wasn't made from trusty milled aluminium like the keyboard it was going to slot onto, but a cheapo painted plastic 'approximation' of aluminium.

OK I got over the looks and slotted it onto my keyboard..
Well, not exactly a seamless fit. First of all there's the nasty but i guess necessary joining bracket thing (plastic again.) Thing is if it worked well you'd forgive it's looks, but it's pretty ineffectual and I found myself constantly pushing the keyboard and pad together as whenever the keyboard is moved, they start to literally 'come appart at the seams'.

So given that it's cheap, ugly and doesn't integrate with the keyboard quite as promised, does it still perform the task of allowing me to input numeric data in a convenient one-handed manner?
YES!.. well it did.. for a while at least.
The first bluetooth pairing went smoothly and I was up and running in no time. Great!
The problem is, since that initial pairing, it has become steadily less and less responsive (nice 1 second delay on key strokes some times) and has kept loosing pairing.
Now it won't pair at all.
I've tried new batteries, deleting it's entry in system prefs and re-pairing from scratch, but no go.
Whether it's a result of the device just grinding to a halt (unlikely) or incompatibility with subsequent Apple system updates (possible) the fact remains that it no longer works at all. It just flashes it's pairing LED at me feebly for a few minutes and then gives up.

So after this experiment where do i go?
Sorry to say I'm going back to a USB 'full length' keyboard while they are still available.
(Still haven't heard or read an explanation as to why Apple lost the numberpad on the bluetooth version? .. Surely if I wanted a laptop keyboard I would probably have bought a laptop right?)

The Mighty Boosh on Tour: Journey of the Childmen [DVD]
The Mighty Boosh on Tour: Journey of the Childmen [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julian Barratt
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.60

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roll Up And Pay For What Should Have Been An Extra On Future Sailors, 17 Nov. 2010
Like I say, to charge for what should have been a DVD extra on future sailors is taking the Michael if you ask me.

Perhaps sensing the Goose is running low on golden eggs, it gets squeezed like a tube of toothpaste to dribble out a kinda amusing, kinda interesting, but ultimately kinda forgettable 'on the road' documentary that doesn't really reveal anything apart from a depressing picture of how apparently bored these guys are with what fame has afforded them.

I know it sounds like I'm joining in with the backlash, but when something/someone showed such invention and lust for life it's sad to watch it/them seemingly just going through the motions.

Hopefully they soon either return to form or just kill off the Boosh altogether to concentrate on new and exciting things that might recapture the spark that was once there.

I Blame The Government
I Blame The Government
Price: £6.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why?...Just...Why?, 17 Feb. 2010
This review is from: I Blame The Government (Audio CD)
This sounds like a band dying.
A last desperate, flailing stab in a totally new direction, to try and massage the heart of the thing into surviving for a another go round.
Of course there's nothing wrong with experimentation, but this is so far removed in style and spirit you question if the Trades Descriptions act should be broadened to include such things.
OK.. On it's own it's not a terrible album I guess, It's just not anything to do with why you loved Carter USM in the first place (as my learned colleague states above ;)
For completest fans only.

Zompoc: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
Zompoc: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
by Nick S. Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Man's Max Brooks, 8 Jan. 2010
Er? Has no one else noticed this is a complete cynical rip-off of Max Brooks' already classic 'Zombie Survival Guide' that came out 5 years prier?

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Full Version (PC DVD), 1 User
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Full Version (PC DVD), 1 User
Offered by Areema Online
Price: £184.50

32 of 166 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Closing The Gate(s) After The Horse Has Bolted, 4 Sept. 2009
It is true that most actual reviews of Windows 7 are very favourable.
It may very well be the best MS OS to date.
Not having tried it I can't dispute that.
However this doesn't change the fact that the millions who were sold an unfinished, broken system hungry piece of rubbish in the form of Vista are being shown a massive middle finger by MS by being asked to pay to upgrade to this, which to all intents and purposes is merely a working version of Vista. The version we should have got for the price we paid in the first place.
Make no mistake. This is extortion.
Comment Comments (18) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2009 11:53 AM GMT

Sony MDR-ED21LP Groove Shaped Earpiece headphones (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony MDR-ED21LP Groove Shaped Earpiece headphones (discontinued by manufacturer)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best All Aound Mid-Price In-Ear Headphones, Without A Doubt, 13 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK so everyone knows how rubbish the standard headphones are that come supplied with your new iPod right? They have no bass response to speak of, they constantly fall out of your ears if you so much as move your neck, everyone around you on public transport wants to kill you because of the horribly loud tiny sound spilling out of them for all to hear and they have 'Mug me for my iPod' written all over them because of their tacky white cable. So the first thing most right thinking people do when they get a new iPod is to replace them with a hopefully superior pair.

Of course electronics companies are well aware of this and have saturated the market with and endless array of in-ear style headphones. As such choosing a new pair may be trickier than you thought.
I've tried various models and manufacturers over the years, from ultra cheap 'emergency' generic 'fuzzy foam' type off the supermarket / petrol station shelf to supposedly high end Sennheisers.
Of all of the ones I've tried, none of them have come close to the Sony MDR-ED21LPs.
That's not to say all sony in-ear phones are the same though. I've had some real 'dogs'.

There are two unique features of this model which in my opinion make by far the best choice based on sound quality (especially at this price!);

1. The Bass response.
Many headphones claim to some kind of 'Ultra Mega Bass Boost System', but in reality this is rarely apparent on using the product, or if it is, it's at the detriment of the mids or highs, So you end up with a very 'muddy' sounding pair of headphone that find you constantly fiddling with your player's eq settings to no avail. The bass response of these Sonys is an absolute perfect balance on the other hand; deep solid bottom end with no loss of clarity and crisp mid and highs. This is helped in no small part by the next point...

2. The fit.
I've seriously never had a pair of phones which sit more comfortably in the ear! The 'Groove Shape' of these means they really snuggly sit inside your ear and just stay there. Apart from comfort this also means that you get a very clean, solid reproduction of their entire frequency range with very little outside noise.
There is very little (if any) external sound leakage as a result of their shape which means to people around you, they are all but silent even at very at loud listening levels. Also because you aren't losing half the audio level to leakage, they are really loud compared to other phones in this price range! You can sit back and laugh at people bitchin about the weedy enforced restricted safe levels on their iPod / Creative player. You get so much more out of the output volume, you seriously don't notice any restriction. In fact on most modern recordings you are very unlikely to have to ever touch max volume on your player.

So all in all I highly recommend these headphones.
They sound great, are well constructed (with a nice long lasting 'rubbery' cable) and are brilliant value.
I've had a couple of pairs of these and my only worry is that at some point they are going to be discontinued as everything is, so I'm probably going to have to start stock-piling them now while I can!

Chinese Democracy
Chinese Democracy
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's true... You really can't polish a..., 29 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Chinese Democracy (Audio CD)
Over-produced. Uninspired. Generic. Half-baked. Entirely unremarkable. Total lack of coherence or direction. Pompous rubbish made buy an embarrassing middle-aged man in leather trousers FOR embarrassing middle aged men in leather trousers.

Of course it isn't 'Appetite' and nor would I expect it to be.
That's the whole point..
After 15 years of writing, re-writing, recording, re-recording, fine-tuning and honing from a self-proclaimed genius, you'd expect some kind of dazzling, genre defying, challenging master piece wouldn't you?
Instead we get a rather stodgy, safe, radio-friendly dad-rock album (at best.) that sounds exactly like the some of it's parts (A delusional has-been rock star + a stream of session musicians with no artistic or emotional input or investment in the material.)

There is absolutely NO WAY a new, unknown band would ever get signed on the strength of this.

...Or maybe it's actually the best album ever created, and in hundreds of years when the rest of man has evolved to catch up with Mr Roses's god-like genius it'll all make sense.

...Not THAT likely.

Eat Me, Drink Me
Eat Me, Drink Me
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Midlife Crisis?, 30 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Eat Me, Drink Me (Audio CD)
Midlife crisis?...OK maybe that's unfair. Heartbreak can happen at any age and although painful has been the inspiration and driving force of some of the most powerful music and art out there, some real classics - Unfortunately this isn't one of them.
'Eat me' is at an ill conceived, badly performed, badly recorded, dull yawn-fest of self indulgence bordering on the juvenile.
The persecution complex exhibited on this album is embarrassing from someone supposedly so intelligent.
Maybe Manson had to get all this out his system, but did he have to inflict it on us?

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