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Mr. P. Hughes "Paul" (UK)

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Sony DSCRX100 Advanced Digital Compact Premium Camera with Large 1-inch Sensor and Bright High Quality Lens
Sony DSCRX100 Advanced Digital Compact Premium Camera with Large 1-inch Sensor and Bright High Quality Lens
Offered by ASK
Price: £299.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great walkaround camera - Batteries work fine, 22 July 2013
I wanted one of these for a while but was put off by the reviews saying the battery life was limited and could drain. Anyway, took the plunge and I am really happy with it. Not had any of the issues mentioned online. I reckon that's because I keep it in one of those retro faux leather cases so the power button can never accidentally switch on. Just came back from a trip where I shot 400 stills and videos. I only had to change the battery once on the last day. I also bought a cheapy copy battery from Amazon and it was great. Works fine. Anyway, this review was just to add balance and to say, don't waste too much time mulling over all the posts about battery drain. It's a cracking camera and the best walkaround compact I've ever had.

Jose Ferrer 3/4 Size Classical Guitar]
Jose Ferrer 3/4 Size Classical Guitar]
Offered by Stompbox
Price: £73.50

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully a Helpful Review, 31 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm writing this review because I bought two of these for my sons and noticed some good but some really bad reviews from people who clearly know nothing about guitars. I'm guessing a lot of people buying these are parents for their kids so hopefully this review will help. BTW - I own around 40 instruments and have played for 25-30 years.

First thing - this is £60-£70 guitar. With that key fact in mind it is excellent value.

Positives - It's Chinese made but made well for the money. It has solid construction, it's braced well for a budget guitar, the neck/fingerboard is nice, straight and playable for kids. It looks and feels to be better quality wood than some other budget classicals I've seen but I'm not a wood expert. The bindings are good and the finish is NOT the really horrible thick and gloopy stuff seen on some budget guitars. The tuners and nut are fit for purpose and the frets are smoothly finished at the edges and even (important for little fingers). The neck is also not as thick as on some classsicals - again good for learners.

Negatives - Out of the box, the action (space between the strings and fretboard) is way too high. I'm going to sand down the bottom of the saddle (the white thing at the bottom of the strings)to bring it down a bit. It's not the end of the world, very easy to fix and you can find youtube films on how to do it easily or your local guitar shop will do it. It's still playable even without this and a matter of personal taste. Other downside is that the tone isn't the best but then, what did I expect for the money? It doesn't sound like a £500 guitar because it's not. It's a very good budget guitar and the tone will improve a bit in time.

Conclusion - If you are looking for a budget guitar for kids or small adults to learn on then this is ideal. It's playable and well made and sounds ok. It's much better than the really cheap 3/4 classicals I've seen so if you're swaying between spending £40 or £70, spend the extra and get this. It will last them twice as long and encourage them to play.

I hope this helps.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2015 8:32 PM BST

A Country Folk Christmas
A Country Folk Christmas
Price: £6.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas Album., 18 Dec. 2012
This album is a fantastic alternative to the usual sleigh bell, syrupy Christmas ballads. It's a rootsy, Hank Williams era country style take on on some of the most traditional Christmas Carols. Some cracking versions on it. It's well worth a listen.

No Title Available

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behringher b205d, 14 Jun. 2011
I bought two of these just to add a bit of reinforcement to the sound of our band for small gigs (all acoustic banjo, double bass, accordion, fiddle, guitar, snare&cymbals). I wasn't expecting a lot for the money but I'm very happy with them. We've used them live with a small PV8 mixer at an outdoor gig and the results were great.

PROS - Small, light, portable, loud, defined, great connectivity, low cost.
CONS - The only thing I connected they didn't like was an electric bass - they began to rasp badly when I cranked it up. However, they handled a mic'd double bass and mp3 recordings with heavy bass very well, so I think it would just be a case of learning the limits for an electric bass. They do distort a bit when you go full whack but again it's about learning to use them. They can go really loud before distortion.

I can see these being used as a practice amp, small PA (I think you need 2 if it's a band PA), back line or as a monitor for bigger gigs. As a PA I'd happily play a pub gig with the band using them and expect them to be loud enough. We're also going to try connecting them to a generator and do some busking (street performing for US readers). They're cheaper than most busking amps and a lot louder.

There is also an almost identical Mackie 150 on the market but I can't see why you would spend the extra. I gave it 5 stars taking into the cost v performance. It's not a stadium PA but if you're playing stadia, you're probably not online looking for reasonably priced 150 watt compact powered speakers? If you're a mere mortal who has to carry a lot of kit and wants something that's flexible with many uses these speakers are amazing for the price.

Atlas World Music AS-L10 Cuatro de Puerto Rico
Atlas World Music AS-L10 Cuatro de Puerto Rico
Offered by Knock on Wood
Price: £99.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Cuatros are fantastic for the money., 15 May 2009
This supplier has a shop in London that I've been trying to get one of these modern 10 string Cuatros off for ages. they had them in stock yesterday (may '09). I've got it back home now and can't speak highly enough of it.

I paid the same price as on Amazon and I am not exaggerating to say it is incredible value for money. I play folk/trad/country and it sounds great - loads of warm sustain when played open and softly and very rounded as described. Cuts right through like a fuller mando when picked or played hard. Sounds almost like a soft autoharp when played arpeggio.

To hear a Cuatro played well I recommend getting an album by Edwin Colon Zayas - Bien Jibaro. It's on Amazon as well and is brilliant. There's also a chord bible on Amazon.

One thing I would dispute in the official description here (and I may be wrong) is that this type of cuatro is used in South American music - I'm not sure that is the case. It's my understanding that that is more likely to be the Venezuelan cuatro. This type of cuatro is firmly Puerto Rican.

Anyway, great instrument with a unique sound for less than the price of a guitar effects pedal.

Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black
Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLE - SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT SOONER, 20 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the Squeezebox after a lot of research and comparison with the Soundbridge. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous after buying the Logitech Harmony 1000 universal remote which I really didn't like (look at my review).

However, this is an amazing bit of kit and sounds great too.

I put off going down the route of wireless media streamers because I thought it was going to be too difficult to set up.

I started this afternoon by dusting off an old PC, it took about 2 hours from geting the stuff from the garage to sitting listing to my playlists on the Squeezebox.

I can't believe it works so well. I'm going to buy 2 more on the grounds that I've found something that works brilliantly.

Thoroughly recommended.

Logitech Harmony 1000 - Touch Screen Universal Remote Control
Logitech Harmony 1000 - Touch Screen Universal Remote Control

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps not all it seems., 18 Jan. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was awaiting the arival of this remote with great anticipation. As I have a lot of AV kit I was particularly looking forward to the "activities" function - ie one button switches between watching tv to watching the DVD etc.

Problem is..... activities only work depending on the kit you're pointing at. eg, it took ages for me to get the Harmony set up as my HD DVD player on standby doesn't register as an input by my samsung TV. Therefore the sequence doesnt work when the Harmony tries to spool through the inputs as one is missing.

It's been really frustrating and I've had to pull some kit out of my set up completely to get it to work.

You could argue that's a issue with the TV. Some problems I have with the remote include......

1) It locks up now and again.
2) The controls for certain things like my SKY box could be better designed in default. (eg back up button not available on front screen).
3) It is a bit of faff going between devices and feels slow.
4) The "has that solved the problem" process it goes through when things aren't working will drive you mental after a while. The upshot is that it is fiddly and slow and my wife has started pulling the orginal remotes out of the coffee table drawers (which incidentally confuses the harmony more in some circumstances).
5) Sometimes when I press the volume up when watching my PVR it changes cahnnels.

If you have a few items of AV equipment (say a TV, Sky Box, DVD player and they are all left on all the time) it will probably work fine. If you have a more complicated set up with quite a few inputs ie PVR, SKY, DVD, AMP, TV and they're all connected you may find it more problematic.

Maybe I just had an awful experience, maybe I'm not doing it right (in which case it is harder to use than they claim) but I only use this unit because it cost me so much (£200) other wise I'd buy something else (and test it first).

Sorry, but that's the way I feel about it.

Amazing Grace-Complete Recordings
Amazing Grace-Complete Recordings
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £12.90

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Grace, 17 Jan. 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hate live albums. They're normally badly recorded with half baked versions of songs you love. This is an unquestionable exception to the rule - and so much more. Turn the lights off and give up an hour of your life to listen to one of the most evokative CDs you'll ever hear. It's like the best Aretha Franklin record mixed with a talking book. Not only does this soulful masterpiece draw you into the music and world of the Franklin Family but the recording is analogue stereo's honey toned finest.... and, I suspect (although you can't tell without the original) that the remastering is exceptional - it sounds it. If you're one of those people who just like the sound of things that come from Aretha Franklin's mouth then buy this. It's great.

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