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Lyman Zerga (UK)

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Malone sliding mirror door wardrobe walnut
Malone sliding mirror door wardrobe walnut

1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible. Avoid at all costs., 29 Aug 2014
Steer clear. These are nice looking wardrobes but the design and build quality is awful.
The obvious flaw, that you've probably spotted from the picture, is that there are no handles on them. So opening the mirrored door means getting fingerprints on it. Not a disaster, but fingerprints do spoil the clean lines somewhat. Except that those clean lines are already spoiled in another, far more dangerous and annoying way:
I bought the 2-door and 3-door version of this (in grey). On assembling them it was immediately obvious that the sliding doors weren't going to slide properly, because the horizontal top piece of the wardrobe - particularly on the 3-door version - can't hold its own weight, so it bows in the middle. So as you slide the door to open it, it's being pressed down on by that bowed top panel. There are adjusters on each side of the bottom of each door so that you can raise or lower the wheels that run along the groove as you slide the door, and that of course raises or lowers the top of the door too. So in theory you can lower the doors so that the top shouldn't foul on that bowed top panel. In theory. In reality, lowering them enough that they don't foul on the top panel means having them so low that when they're fully closed the doors fall out of the wardrobe. If you're lucky they'll fall into the wardrobe and the bottom of the doors might bark your shins or land on your feet. If you're unlucky they'll fall out towards you. And that mirrored door is pretty damn heavy; not something you want falling onto you if you're under 6ft tall. The first time the mirrored door fell on to me (in what must have been quite a Laurel and Hardy moment for any onlookers) the little wheels at the bottom of the door managed to scrape the door that was behind it, so now that door has two nice 6-inch vertical gouge marks at the bottom of it.
It's possible to adjust the doors so that they don't fall out, with a bit of trial and error; but then what happens is they won't slide all the way open; they'll judder and shake when being slid, and then they'll grind to a halt about 2/3 of the way open. The best I've managed to do with them is get them so that they'll slide maybe halfway open without juddering too horribly, but when they're closed they're not flush to the outside of the wardrobe so it looks like the wardrobe is leaning to the side. Before I found that 'sweet spot' (ha!) that let me at least open the doors, sliding the door at the front caused the adjuster screws on its rear to scrape the front of the door behind it, so now one of the doors (not the one with the two gouge marks in it - thanks, Sods Law) has a nice horizontal scratch across the bottom.
If they'd strengthened that top panel so that it didn't bow, none of these problems would exist. What boggles my mind is that they didn't spot this flaw when they tested the design. Or maybe with the test model they *did* use a strengthened top panel, then when they went to manufacture they used a cheaper, less rigid wood. Whatever they did (or didn't do), it means I've got two fairly expensive, ill-fitting, gouged and scratched wardrobes whose doors judder and don't open all the way and which I open very gingerly, always expecting that the door is going to fall on top of me. And with fingerprints on the mirrors.
And the finishing touch to all this: Dwell went bust before completing my entire order, so the matching set of drawers that I'd ordered never arrived. (What made this more annoying was that, over the 6 or 7 months that I was waiting for the set of drawers and kept phoning Dwell to chase it, they told me all manner of tales about why it was delayed. At one point they told me it was on a container ship that was anchored just off Portsmouth and would be ashore just as soon as they could afford to pay Customs & Excise the relevant fee for the ship to dock! Brilliant!!) I would have been left £230 out of pocket if I'd not paid for the order on Visa and been able to claim it back. I gather Dwell managed to get away with not completing hundreds, maybe thousands of customers' orders, and yet they somehow managed to keep trading. Oh, I got a number of apologetic emails from their Director, who was so very genuinely sorry about what had happened and he hoped it wouldn't put me off ordering from them again.
So, Dwell: not only manufacturers/sellers of poor quality furniture, but also crooks. Something for you to, ahem, dwell on if you're thinking of buying from them.
Bitter? Moi? ;)


Cowon EH2 Audiophile Earphones
Cowon EH2 Audiophile Earphones
Offered by Advanced MP3 Players
Price: £139.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound; suit electronic music perfectly; great value; not for joggers, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been listening to portable music players since the very first Sony Walkman, and I've lost count of the number of pairs of earphones I've tried in all those years. Last year, as soon as I could afford to finally do it, I shelled out a month's disposable income on the much-hyped Shure Se535s, thinking I'd found the ultimate in-ears (after spending a month or so feeling guilty at such an extravagant and expensive purchase).
This year I swapped the Shures for these, and I'm so glad I did. What the Shures did well - detail, mid-range, musicality - they did very well. But where they lacked was with the deep bass reach and oomph, and with the very top end, which lacked crispness and brightness. For audiophiles who sneer at anything less than FLAC, who listen to vocal or acoustic stuff, jazz, classical, indie, rock - 'proper music' as your dad would say - and who like a detailed, accurate, neutral, flat or natural sound, the Shure's were probably perfect. For the rest of us, who don't think the size of a FLAC file justifies the tiny, tiny increase in quality over a 320MP3, who don't wear cords and cardigans and who listen to bass-heavy dub, dance and electronic music ("It's just noise" - your dad), there are the Cowon EH2s. If you like brightness in your treble, a bit of colour in your music, excitement, and bucketloads of full, rounded, beautiful bass, these are what you want. That's not to say they're lacking in mid-range, stereo imagery, sound stage, and all that other stuff that the chin stroking guys in my local hifi shop like to bang on about. They're not quite up there with the best (or at least, the best-marketed) of the consumer-level audiophile 'phones, for sure (for Shure?), but they're no slouches.
Bottom line: listening to the £300-plus Shure 535's never moved me, never put a smile on my face. Listening to these, I'm all grins.
And for less than half the price of the Shures, too.
Aside from the sound quality, another big plus for me is the cable, which is soft and light, and which is almost silent - ie, no annoying cable-rub noise travelling up into the earpieces when I'm walking, to spoil those quiet passages of music; and the build quality and finish, which are just lovely, if you go in for that sort of thing.
There are a couple of minus points, so in the interest of balance - and so that you don't think I'm just a fanboy or on the Cowon payroll - they're as follows:
The 'phones come with 3 pairs of silicon ear buds (small, medium, large), and 3 pairs of foam buds. But the foam buds... why, Cowon, why??? ... are covered with a layer of silicon. Foam tips are perfect - they stay in place forever, even when things get a little sweaty. Silicon tips don't: you get a little sweaty, they go all slippy, come away from the optimum in-ear position and you lose the noise isolation and the bass. So while the foam tips that Cowon provide give you more noise isolation, because of the silicon outer layer they don't stay in place so well. They do provide one pair of all-foam tips, in a light cream colour, but they're in Large size only, so they aren't going to suit those of us with dainty lug-holes. I've invested in some Comply foam tips (TX400's, which are a perfect fit - and which even come in red so they match the colour of the cable, which is nice), and now the earphones stay in place throughout my commute and walk to work. Even with the Comply tips though, I doubt they'd stand up to anything more than a brisk walk; if you're thinking of getting these 'phones for jogging or sports, I'd probably advise against it and recommend you get something better designed to withstand a lot of movement.... actually, to their credit, the Shures do that much better than these, now that I think about it.
The other minor quibble is that the metal ends of the phones are labelled 'L' and 'R', as they should be, but the lettering is so tiny and is engraved into the metal such that it's impossible to read in anything but broad daylight. So if you're putting these in at night and you're a bit OCD and simply have to know that you've got them in the right way round, you'll need a torch. Again, not a deal-breaker by any means, but it would've been nice if they'd made the 'L' and 'R' more visible.
And that's it really. Those two minor gripes aside, these are the best earphones I've owned. They might not set any new records when it comes to resolution, but they can hold their own against anything in this price range. What they do better than anything else though is to sound bright, colourful, rich and bassy, and to make music a pleasure to listen to. And they're not so expensive that you spend weeks deliberating over the purchase (and then regretting it afterwards, as I did with the Shures).
I've read other reviews and forum posts that don't rate these as highly as I do. I guess tastes differ, but these really do suit my needs perfectly. Paired with a Cowon player, and with the EQ properly tweaked to suit the music, they blow the competition away.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 3:56 PM BST


Dreamtime Submersible
Dreamtime Submersible
Price: £6.93

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic and a bit special, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great coming together, this. Evan Marc at the top of his game, and Hillage happy to let his guitar gently, subtly add to the magic rather than take over or be the focus, as with his System 7 stuff. More like the Mirror System stuff, but more uptempo and minimalist. It's so well produced, and the two artists just work so well together, that the end product is really something special, hypnotic, facinating. I think another reviewer said it took a few listens to appreciate. I think it just takes a proper listen. Put it on as background music and it'll probably seem boring, repetitive, unimaginative. But listen to it attentively and it soon becomes clear that there's some top quality musicianship going on here.
More like this, please.


Earthjuice
Earthjuice
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Proper, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Earthjuice (Audio CD)
Proper ambient dub - leans more towards the dub end of the spectrum than the ambient, but if you like the Waveform Transmissions series or dubby offerings by the likes of Doof, then this is right up your alley.


Chill Out Or Die Vol2
Chill Out Or Die Vol2
Offered by music_by_mail_uk
Price: £13.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Chill Out Or Die Vol2 (Audio CD)
I had this album on cassette, back in the day, and recently (2014) bought it on CD. It was never exactly a favourite back in the day, but I thought listening to it with more mature ears might be interesting. It was, to be fair. Interesting, and terrible, and something I'll probably never do again.

I like my ambient to be soothing and hypnotic (without drifting into new age whale-noise territory), laden with spine-tingling arpeggios, natural sounds, dub-esque special effects, panning, pads, all that sort of loveliness. I even like it a bit melodious sometimes. I know, I know, I'm a lightweight. What I don't like is dark, discordant, nightmarish, just-plain-weird-for-the-sake-of-it stuff, like this. I did like (and still do, very much so) the third album from the COOD series, which is not without its... let's say 'challenging' tracks, truth be told. But even when it's not making me smile, it's still fascinating and absorbing. It's not hard to listen to, like most of the stuff on this double album. And it's not just that it's dated - again, COOD3 is from the same period, and it still sounds futuristic to me. This, however... This is like the soundtrack to an epic bad trip. It's the sort of thing you turn off quickly if someone else comes into the room, cos you just know their first words are going to be "What the..?" And that should in no way be taken as a recommendation, kids.

I'm sure somebody, somewhere, finds this stuff appealing. People who like to be challenged by music, who enjoy discomfort, or who just marvel at the tech and the talent that it takes to make noise like this. It's not without artistic merit, not at all. It's just not pleasant to listen to. Call me old-fashioned, but listening to music should, for my money, be something you enjoy, not something to be endured, to be got through so you can come out the other side feeling like, phew, you made it.

So, not surprisingly, I'm not going to recommend this to you if you're a casual explorer of the ambient. This is for the headstrong only. But do try volume 3 if you fancy something a bit off the beaten track, a bit challenging and a bit special.


Ketama Vision
Ketama Vision

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, poor quality, 2 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ketama Vision (MP3 Download)
Outstanding music, as you'd expect from Youth - fairly upbeat, tribal dub with some breakbeats here and there, some nice ambient touches and Orb-esque samples, some proper modern dub towards the end of the album, and of course, wicked basslines throughout. So what's not to like? Here it is: The sound quality is poor for the first few tracks. It's as though the engineer has muted the midrange and the upper bass, pushed the treble and the sub-bass up to max, and then left the room and gone for a bit of a lie down, then he's come back in the room, cocked his head to one side and said, "Wait, that sounds crap", gone back to the mixing desk and fixed it. OK, you might be able to adjust your tone controls or your EQ to compensate somewhat, but for the first 15 minutes it'll still sound as though you're listening to a very low bitrate mp3 (or, if you're of a certain age, a bootleg cassette that you bought on the way out of the club against your better judgement... you got home and played it on the stereo and it sounded bad, but you put that down to the battering your ears had taken because you'd stuck your head in the bass bin for a bit of a giggle... then you played it again a week later and it still sounded terrible. That wasn't just me, right?).
Also, you get a full-album-length mixed version, which is cool. And you get the individual tracks too - which can only also be cool, surely? So, like, sound quality aside, it's still pretty good value, right? Hmm. I dunno. Before you take your chances on me being picky here and you click 'Buy with 1-click', know this: the mixing on the mixed album isn't that great (there's even a beat clash in the first mix). And most of the rest of them are just straight out-in mixes. Where there's a bit of real mixing, what they've done on the un-mixed tracks is take the mixed version, separate the tracks, fade in and out at the start and end of each one, and insert a second or so of silence in between. But like, it's still the mixed version you're getting, just with annoying fades and bits of silence in there. You can hear the next track coming in, then it fades to silence, then it fades back in and you hear the last track fading out. More discomforting bootleg memories, at no extra cost!
Maybe this isn't Amazon's fault - probably it isn't, in fact. Probably this is just how the original album came. And it's hard to find a copy of the album on disc, so this download is probably still seeming pretty appealing to you, I guess. But if you can find the individual tracks elsewhere to download, piecemeal, in their full, un-mixed, un-faded-in-and-out glory, you'd be as well to do that.
Again though, can't praise the music itself highly enough. Just wish it was presented better.
Cheers.


Love & Revolution-Deluxe-
Love & Revolution-Deluxe-
Price: £25.73

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong, 29 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got to disagree with the other reviews here. For my money, this is a pretty woeful entry in Nicola Conte's otherwise excellent body of work. If you look closely, you'll see that this isn't released on Nicola's own label (Schema). Look even more closely and you'll see it's not really a Nicola Conte album. Stick with me here. OK, it was produced by Nicola Conte, most of the tunes have got his name on the credits, and it's got his name in big letters on the cover, obviously; but look down the bottom of the cover: "Arranged by Magnus Lindgren". The tunes just don't *sound* like the Nicola Conte we know and love. Where his tunes - and, even more so, his reworkings of other people's tunes - ooze cool, effortlessly, this one tries too hard for its flowery, psychedelic, love and peace vibe that, while it doesn't miss by a mile, it nevertheless misses. And when you aim for cool but miss, you come off sounding deeply uncool. Trying to be cool just ain't cool, you know? Also, whereas Nicola's other albums took a good few years to produce, this one was knocked out in less than a year. And you can tell. The lyrics are just awful - so awful they make me cringe. The musicianship is pretty spectacular, and the solos are tight - you'd expect nothing less from the likes of Timo Lassy, Fabrizio Bosso et al. But those lyrics...
Anyway, clearly I'm in the minority here, judging by the other reviews, so each to his own, horses for courses, etc. I just wanted to balance things out a little, as I feel pretty strongly that this shouldn't be the most positively-reviewed Nicola Conte album on Amazon. If you're new to Nicola Conte, can I suggest you check out his other albums first, then come back to this one if (or rather, when) you get hooked?
Oh, and before I go, I just can't post a review without mentioning the cover. Seriously, look at it and tell me you're not embarrassed for the guy.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2014 10:22 PM BST


International
International
Price: £7.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Gem, 2 April 2012
This review is from: International (Audio CD)
Saw that other review (1 star - "run of the mill"!) and had to redress the balance. This is a great album. Shades of old school hip hop, big beat, breakbeat, whatever hole you want to peg it into, it still stands out now, 15 years after it was released. Back when this was released, it was ahead of the game. There are some class tunes on here, from the downtempo beats of 'Hip Hop Loves You', to the frantic killer 'Wrecktify'. This is all really well-produced stuff, with some nice scratching, big beats, and a wicked sense of humour in the samples (remember that, when hip hop used to have its tongue in its cheek, when it was party music and not just background music for some moody rapper to spit invective over?).
If you ever dug big beat, Freestylers, Crystal Method, Monkey Mafia, all that wicked mid 90's underground stuff, give this a whirl.
One star... my arse. /shakes his head


Manisola
Manisola
Price: £16.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Manisola (Audio CD)
Insanity Sect featured on the Ambient Dub series of albums in the mid 90's. Their tracks on those albums were just brilliant. They stood out for being 10-minute-plus in length; slow building, beautifully trippy odysseys through space, really polished in the production, with nice hypnotic beats, great effects and samples. They were some of my favourites on what were, for the most part, a brilliant series of albums. For some reason though, it's taken me until 2011 to get round to buying their album. Having paid £[] for it, I feel well and truly short-changed.
Maybe time has taken its toll a little and, had I listened to the album back in the day, it would have impressed me more. It does, perhaps inevitably, sound dated - much more so than the tracks of theirs on the AD series. The production just doesn't seem as impressive - as though they laboured, sweated and toiled over the AD tracks and then rushed this album out to capitalise on that instead of taking their time to polish each track. Only the last couple of tracks come close to the layered, textured, spacey ambience of the AD tracks - and one of those is actually a watered-down version of Solar Prophet, from AD4 (the AD4 version is far better than this album version). The rest of the album just doesn't live up to my expectations, unfortunately. A real shame, as, if they'd even come close to replicating what they did on the AD tracks, this would have been a brilliant album.


MICRO USB DATA CABLE / SYNC LEAD - PHONE ACCESSORY - SUITABLE FOR ORANGE SAN FRANCISCO / ZTE BLADE. FREE UK DELIVERY. UK-GOODS
MICRO USB DATA CABLE / SYNC LEAD - PHONE ACCESSORY - SUITABLE FOR ORANGE SAN FRANCISCO / ZTE BLADE. FREE UK DELIVERY. UK-GOODS
Offered by datablender
Price: £2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 22 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This cable works as a data connector - ie, if all you want to do is connect your phone to your PC to swap files - but don't bother buying this if you want to use it as a USB charger. It charges the phone, but at a snail's pace. I've had it plugged into the USB socket of my PC at work for 8 hours today (don't tell my boss) and it's charged the phone by less than 20% in that time. (By comparison, when I use the cable that came with the phone, it'll do a full charge in less than 3 hours). I tried it at home in my laptop and it was just as slow. I've also tried it in a wall socket adaptor, and then it only charged while the phone was awake; as soon as the phone's screensaver kicked in, it stopped charging.


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