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Reviews Written by
Zelazowa "Thimblerigger" (Tir Na Nog)

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Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone
Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone
Price: £36.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Condenser Microphone, 19 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a superb condenser microphone at a great price. It's solidly built and looks quality. Sound recording quality is top notch and it's inspiring to use with voice or for recording instruments. The set up I use with this mic for recording to PC or my Tascam Portastudio is Behringer C-1 microphone to Behringer phantom power supply PS400 [48v], on to a Behringer mixer the Xenyx 302 USB then to PC or portastudio.
That's great for recording direct in to Audacity or Garageband or whatever software you choose. Just make sure you balance your mixer settings carefully to the C-1 and you'll make good quality recordings. I think a lot of people use this microphone for podcasting. If you have a mixer that provides 48v phantom power then no need for the PS400.
The C-1 comes in a good quality black plastic case that provides excellent protection if needed... that was a surprise on receipt and I liked that a lot. There is a low level red light on the front to indicate that phantom power is being received... the C-1 is uni-directional receiving sound directly in to its front.

The C-1 is a class condenser and I think where reviewers talk about hiss it is almost certain that they are not setting their mixer up correctly. There are examples on YouTube showing you how to do this properly to get the best results from your C-1 or any microphone.

A terrific versatile condenser microphone for your home studio.

QTX 188.013 Microphone Windshield - Assorted Colors (Pack of 5)
QTX 188.013 Microphone Windshield - Assorted Colors (Pack of 5)
Price: £5.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Good windshields for the Tascam DR05, 17 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good well packaged set of 5 microphone shields! I have various dynamic microphones that these will be used on but my main purpose in ordering was to see if they would fit over the 2 electret condenser mics on the Tascam DR05... and yes! they do provide a nice snug fit. I've tried the Tascam with a windshield and it definitely helps cut out wind noise problems. They also provide protection for the mics on the DR05 and you feel more secure when using the unit. Thoroughly recommended as a good budget choice for the DR05 and I'll add an update when I've tried them on my dynamic mics with speech and vocals...

JOYO JF-14 American Sound Effect Pedal
JOYO JF-14 American Sound Effect Pedal
Offered by Stadium Music
Price: £34.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Leo might have tinkered with this one.....!, 12 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a terrific sounding sound effect pedal... that's it! Just one of the best I've ever used. I think it's important when reviewing effects pedals to show the equipment you use the pedal with. My main home studio amp is the Vox Pathfinder 15w and the guitar I used was a 335 style Washburn. I'm not really interested in whether this pedal sounds like a Fender amp or if you could leave your Fender Twin at home and just pop this pedal in your haversack and set off with your guitar to a gig. Just totally impressed by the musical sound quality of this pedal... the core sound is what counts and it is wonderful... of course you can fine tune the sound as there are 6 knobs on board to twiddle... to start with though just set them all to 12 o'clock and go from there.
So from guitar in to pedal and on to amp it sounds great... also good direct in to a Tascam dp006 portastudio. The overdriven sounds are rich, creamy, woody and crunchy and above all musical. The pedal is solidly built and looks great... I have just bought the Joyo ACtone and hope to review that one too.
I've played through a lot of Fender amps including the Fender Twin, the Dual Showman, Blues Junior and DeVille and in a live stage band gig they are stunning amps and sound wonderful with a good strat or tele. Like any musical instrument it's the core sound quality that counts... such as a piano, clarinet,violin, trumpet... same with electric and acoustic guitars and guitar amplifiers and pedals... you won't be disappointed by the quality of this one. I can't comment on its use live through a PA or with an amp [live] other than to say that nothing is better than you, your guitar and a quality amp moving air behind you on stage!
A smashing sounding pedal..... OK, does it sound similar to a crunchy Fender combo..... ? yes!

[Highest Cost-effective] RAVPower Portable Charger 6700mAh Power Bank External Battery Pack with 2.4A Output 2A Input and iSmart Technology - Black
[Highest Cost-effective] RAVPower Portable Charger 6700mAh Power Bank External Battery Pack with 2.4A Output 2A Input and iSmart Technology - Black
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific little portable charger, 10 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really superb basic solidly built charger... Really like the 4 blue lights for state of charge indications. The sockets are firm and feel solid... I have used it to charge my Lumia 520 on a recent 1000 mile journey... Charges very fast. Manages 2 full charges no problem and would probably do a third easily... those blue lights keep you well informed as to status. Highly recommended
Edit update:
I did a little test on charging time with my Nokia Lumia 520 that needed a full charge from 0% to 100%. Using the fully charged Ravpower [4 blue lights showing] it took just 1 hour 20 minutes to fully charge my Lumia 520 with 3.5 blue lights remaining.

Nokia Car Charger DC-4
Nokia Car Charger DC-4
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars This one is excellent.., 19 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Always worth buying an actual Nokia charger... buy one of these by another maker and you may run in to problems. This one is excellent... a little green light comes on to indicate power to your mobile! It feels quality and solid and is recommended... don't buy a cheapo... you might get lucky... for a while! Anyway the Nokia made chargers are not that much more expensive. Buy Nokia... you know it makes sense.

65% OFF - QUAD CORE - 7" 8GB HD 1024x600 *UPGRADED* 1GB RAM - Android 4.4.2 KITKAT (ANDROID 5.0 LOLLIPOP MANUAL UPDATE INCLUDED) - Tablet PC - Miracast Active (Wireless HDMI) Silicone Protection - Dual Camera - WiFi - Supports: Google PLAYSTORE Youtube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, wired HDMI (via external adapter) Games 3G Calls (via dongle) (Purple)
65% OFF - QUAD CORE - 7" 8GB HD 1024x600 *UPGRADED* 1GB RAM - Android 4.4.2 KITKAT (ANDROID 5.0 LOLLIPOP MANUAL UPDATE INCLUDED) - Tablet PC - Miracast Active (Wireless HDMI) Silicone Protection - Dual Camera - WiFi - Supports: Google PLAYSTORE Youtube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, wired HDMI (via external adapter) Games 3G Calls (via dongle) (Purple)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent 7" tablet... for a while..., 23 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently bought the Chromecast and needed a budget tablet to act as remote control... so I bought this Trimeo with no experience of tablets or the Android system. It operates the Chromecast really well so now our TV is a little smarter and we're able to watch the usual suspects on video! But what I didn't realise was I had bought more than just a remote control... this is an excellent little 7" tablet for not a lot of money. The Android system was new to me but didn't take long to sort out. This really is a surprise of a tablet and great fun to use.

Around the internet it's very fast and is brilliant for surfing your favourite sites and for checking on your emails which you can set up with the gmail account on board. Video playback is equally impressive and works excellently whether you are watching downloaded iPlayer or SD/HD live streams... TVCatchup works superbly and terrestrial TV streams really well. I think the 7" screen is just about right... picture quality is very good and the more I use it the better it seems to get! Clearly for a lot more money you can improve on the screen but really this screen was an eye opener as it really is rather good for the price... very watchable with good definition.

The sound direct from the tablet is alright and does the job but a good pair of headphones will provide a really good sound quality listening to voice or music. You have direct access to the thousands of applications so you're spoilt for choice. Memory is limited but that's no bad thing as it makes you decide what you really need to have on board... you can add up to a 32GB SDHC card just in case you want to go beyond the 5GB or so that is available after system use. Fine tuning the Trimeo is straightforward via the settings link in the main menu... you can control where apps are saved to keep the tablet running smoothly... and run smoothly it does. I have been totally surprised by just how good this tablet is and have pretty much used it non-stop over the last 4 days... at the moment a charge is lasting about 4 hours and it may last longer with further charges as the battery settles in.

Just to add that the Lollipop 'upgrade' may not be advisable as it could slow things down on this tablet due to the RAM at 512mb... the on board KitKat 4.4.2 is more than capable and very slick.

For the price this is a terrific tablet and great fun to use... I've hardly been on my PC since I bought it.

All video media whether streaming live TV, watching YouTube or TV Catchup play really well with the exception of:
the BBC iPlayer! Apparently there have been issues with iPlayer and Android tablets. On this tablet you cannot just go to the BBC site and watch iPlayer programs... you have first to install the BBC Media and the iPlayer app. Playback directly from the iPlayer is awful... colours run in to each other and the sound is out of sync. Downloading programs has helped to improve things on playback. In all other media areas this tablet is excellent so I guess this is an iPlayer problem?
Oh dear! The video problem unfortunately became worse and made things unwatcheable... yellow greeny bands up from the bottom of the screen. Ah well it was rather good and fun while it lasted. Usual excellent returns and refund from Amazon if needed [rarely] I notice anyway that I received 0 out of 1 persons that found my review helpful... to that one mean spirited person... bleeeeeh.

Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Windows® Mini Desktop PC with Windows 8.1, Intel Baytrail-T (Quad-core) Z3735F up to 1.83GHz, 2GB RAM+32GB storage
Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Windows® Mini Desktop PC with Windows 8.1, Intel Baytrail-T (Quad-core) Z3735F up to 1.83GHz, 2GB RAM+32GB storage
Offered by Azulle - UK
Price: £119.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quantum leap..., 13 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before I write anymore, just to say from the outset.... this machine is brilliant. I took a chance on buying it and am really pleased with what this superb little black box is capable of producing. My priority was to be able to watch good quality HD video 1080p... I also use the iPlayer a lot and my PC of the past 7 years has been showing its age a little so I thought lets give the Quantum Byte a go. The Byte deals with everything superbly whether you are streaming or playing from a stick or any external device. I have been amazed at how competent this box is at playing video.

It measures just under 6" by 4" and is under 2" in depth... weighs next to nothing and you'll hardly notice it on your desktop or by your TV. Connections are 3 USB, VGA, HDMI... !!! Ethernet [built in excellent wireless reception too] and SD. I use the HDMI to the DVI-D connection on my Samsung monitor and the high quality HD this machine outputs has transformed my viewing and monitor!

On board you have:
Windows® 8.1
' Intel® Baytrail(tm) T Quad Core Z3735F processor
' Intel® HD Graphics
' 2GB of DDR3L RAM
' 30GB total integrated storage
' 802.11 b/g/n Integrated Wireless Network
' 3X USB 2.0 ports
' HDMI & VGA input.

There is no fan and the Byte is totally quiet... you'll hear nothing. I'm not sure however if the hard drive is SSD... whatever it is, it's quiet and the Byte does not overheat.[Edit: just found out it's a Toshiba 30GB Disc Drive... though not SSD you're not aware of any drive at all!] After initial installation you'll probably be left with around 17 free GB.

On the back of the Byte where most connections are you have also the on/off switch, the DC 12v input and a headphone socket which you can also use of course to take to your sound system. Sound quality is top notch.

A few words about Windows 8.1... I am used to Windows 7 Home Premium which I've enjoyed using. I have a couple Nokia Lumia phones so using 8.1 on the Byte wasn't totally a new experience but I've found it equally a pleasure to use.

Back to the Byte... if you're looking for a really capable PC that plays 1080p HD video no problems and is well capable at general surfing I can highly recommend this little gem. I had the Byte up and running in no time... just added a wireless mouse and keyboard. If you need extra memory you have USB slots and the SD slot too. I'm just keeping mine fairly simple and don't intend to add much to the internal hard drive other than Media Player Classic. I have a wireless internet connection from router in the room above and normally I get about 12mB on my usual PC... the Byte receives 25mB on average through its aerial on the back.

To put it through its paces tonight I had a 1080p video playing alongside an SD video whilst surfing the net and processor use was still only around an average of 15%... RAM use averaged 56%. It's easy to quickly call up the task manager on 8.1 to check PC performance. No bloat ware on board.

It's very nippy around the internet and you can switch between standard desktop and Windows 8.1... with Windows 8.1 this really is a class act and is great to use and customise yourself. Start up time is fast... about 6 - 8 seconds and shut down is equally fast.

I'll update this review if needed but for the time being I can thoroughly recommend this cracking little machine. I had been checking out desktops at three times the price but the Byte has proved capable way beyond my expectations.

Edit/Update 19th August 2015
I took up the Microsoft offer of 'upgrading' to Windows 10 from 8.1 on the Quantum Byte. After trialling Windows 10 for a week I found the Byte was not as responsive as with 8.1. So I opted for the recovery mode back to 8.1, which I prefer anyway, and now everything is back to normal and the Byte is zapping around the internet once more with no sluggishness. Note that should you download Windows 10 you have just one month in which to make a decision after which you can't revert to 8.1 or Windows 7.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2015 1:22 PM BST

Fire TV Stick
Fire TV Stick
Price: £34.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whose a clever stick...?!, 19 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fire TV Stick (Electronics)
So many positive reviews about the Fire stick and this one won't change a thing. It's an excellent TV stick and how it functions has been well covered. We bought this mainly for the BBC iPlayer and it operates superbly... mission accomplished! Just one more thing... we have a Toshiba Regza that is over 3 years old and the Fire stick works fine with this TV... it's just that some reviewers have said this stick will not operate with a TV that's over 3 years old? Not so, with this Toshiba Regza 32" Freeview HD it works fine. A bonus is that the Toshiba Regza remote does away with the need for the Fire stick remote as its operates the Fire stick too. Once having plugged the Fire stick in to the TV HDMI it comes up as Regza link and brilliantly the Toshiba remote will operate your Toshiba Regza and the Amazon Fire stick!!! Just make sure you switch your Toshiba remote to Regza link. The HD quality is superb and there's lots to explore on this clever stick!

Behringer VT911 Vintage Tube Overdrive
Behringer VT911 Vintage Tube Overdrive
Offered by Manchester Audio
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Overdrive not really... distortion / fuzz more likely, 12 April 2015
I bought this basically because it had a valve in the circuit and to experiment. First the unit is bigger than I thought... it's about the size of 2 standard stomp boxes. It does not take a battery as stated in the blurb and works from your normal stomp box 9v adapter. The valve on board is a 12ax7 / ECC83 and is easily replaceable with another by unscrewing the chassis... all very straightforward if you'd like to experiment with different valves.

OK straight on to the most important thing, what does it sound like? Well first it's going to sound different with various guitars and amps... also how you adjust your volume and tone controls will affect tone greatly... both on guitar and VT911. Although the unit is described as an overdrive pedal it's much more like saturated distortion. The drive control very quickly puts the unit in to distortion and even adjustments on guitar volume don't seem to have a great influence on the sound? It's hard to get those lovely crunchy settings where the guitars tonality comes through... but it will produce a very solid distorted drive with Strat or Les Paul. The tone control on the VT911 is quite useful and is probably at its best midway.

After a couple days I changed the valve to a Sovtek that I knew had more headroom. The on board valve was marked Bugera. The Sovtek valve despite having more headroom still produced a very quick distorted break up by level 1 - 2 on the drive... the VT911 can sound quite fuzz tone like. It's a shame the unit is not so good at capturing the actual tonality of your guitar to provide those lovely sweet crunchy tones but if you want an out and out solid distortion that is definitely very valve like this pedal is really rather good. It's well built and should stand up to live work fine. Technicalities I'm not sure about but this could be a fun unit for someone in to mods and the like! Overdrive however it is not... distortion to fuzz is more its thing!

Behringer PS400 Micropower Phantom Power Supply
Behringer PS400 Micropower Phantom Power Supply
Price: £21.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom Power to the people..., 10 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The unit I bought was the Behringer PS400 Micropower Phantom Power Supply. It's a small unit that offers either 12v or 45v phantom power [switchable] It has XLR mic input and XLR mic thru [output] so you'll also need a short extra XLR -XLR cable to connect from the PS400 to the Xenyx 302 USB or other mixer... I bought a one foot cable. The PS400 will provide your condenser mic with the correct power at 45v and you'll notice a huge difference in audio quality. The Xenyx 302 can also be used with a standard dynamic microphone that requires no power and will also produce excellent quality. The XLR input on the Xenyx can also be used with a microphone cable that ends in a 1/4" jack so it's very versatile! The key thing when using the mic is to adjust the gain first on the Xenyx... try say about position 3 o'clock then keeping Low High and Pan in their middle postions position the mic adjustment knob at about 12 o'clock... finally adjust the Main Mix knob until you have sufficient mic output without the clipping lights coming on. This unit will provide the necessary phantom power for the Xenyx 302 USB which does say it has phantom power... that's true but it's really too low for most condenser mics at about 17v? The PS400 does the job really well and is well built.

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