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W. Stallwood "Digimatic" (UK)

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AKG K452 High-Performance On-Ear Headphones with In-line Microphone - Blue
AKG K452 High-Performance On-Ear Headphones with In-line Microphone - Blue
Price: £53.49

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good for the money, great for the office or commute, 28 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed some headphones for use on the train and in the office. I already have a pair of beloved Sennheiser HD560 Ovation II's which cost nearly 2 weeks wages back when I was 19.

Twenty years on I still know why the Sennheisers changed what I thought about headphones, they are outstanding. But they are huge and clumsy and being open backed, leak sound so badly they are nowhere near suitable for office use.

So I just bought the AKG's. I was attracted to K452's as they are the android compatible update to the K451 which has received some very positive reviews. Closed back and highly portable and at £60 a reasonable price for “good” headphones.
Overall I am really impressed, they are very comfortable, have a pleasant sound, convincing bass and barely leak at all even at moderate listening levels. The nice travel case and replaceable lead (there is even a spare lead with no remote included) give the impression they will last a while.

Considering the “fashion” headphones at this price point and how terrible they sound in comparison ( yes I did try some Beats Audio cans for a laugh ), I think these are very good value.

Some compromise had to be made though...There would be something very wrong if a pair of highly portable closed can travel headphones could compete with my beloved Sennheisers. But by golly the AKG's have a good stab at it. It's probably fair to say though that they aren't challenging enough to be a serious listening headphone.
Their character is completely different and perhaps somehow more neutral although there is a definite warmness which makes them very easy to listen to but might annoy some listeners.

However I think for my intended application this is not necessarily undesirable and the absence of any significant leakage up to pretty reasonable listening levels combined with a nice level of isolation (you'll hear train announcements enough to pull them off but background chatter is significantly muted.) make them the ideal commute/office headphone.
The replaceable leads, Android compatible remote nice travel case and built in mic are all welcome additions. Though the owner is left to figure out for themselves how to drive the one button remote which I think is unfortunate.

I deliberately tried some tracks I know can be challenging for headphone listening
Notes below:

Pristeen – Julian Cope

AKG's not as bright as the Sennheisers....very slight boxiness but only noticeable in direct comparison. Much easier to drive and go very loud on any source.

Alphabet St - Prince

The Sennheisers are ruthlessly accurate...every artefact of the recording has a pink hi-lighter drawn round it. Great when you have have great source material but they aren't very kind to mp3's. Moving to the same song on a vinyl source (the lovesexy album has to go down as one of the biggest digital remastering disasters ever) and the Sennheisers open up and sing into your ears in a way the AKG's could only aspire to.

AKG's are punchier at bass but a fair bit warmer and not as much detail comes through.

Ghosts and stuff – Deadmau5

This is actually more listen-able on the AKG's, there is a pace that is lacking on the Sennheisers and weaknesses in the recording are smoothed. The bass is more convincing (surprising for the smaller cans),

Track 4 – LFO

Asking anything other than a club system to properly render this track is a big ask, the Sennheisers completely lost their way....AKG's pump along happily trying to breathe bass which is so convincing here I had to actually take them off at one point to be sure I hadn't left my speakers connected.

BYOB – System of a Down

AKG's had me happily listening..Sennheisers open the track up maybe a bit too far but also make me wish I had a copy of this to hand at higher than 192kb bit rate.

Give up, remix (from the fixed EP) – NIN

AKG's do a good job but Sennheisers turn the track into the complete assault on your senses it should be.

Mad about You – Hooverphonic

The warm punchy nature of the AKG's actually pull this track together though some vocal detail is lost

Los Chicharrons / Chicharrons n Boogaloo

The roughness of the mastering on this track makes it actually quite hard to enjoy on the overtly revealing Sennheisers...AKG's had me hopping around the room.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 10:14 AM BST

Chernobyl Notebook
Chernobyl Notebook
Price: £3.18

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good factual account, 23 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The translation is raw but somehow this reinforces this book as the most complete description of the events surrounding and leading up to the Chernobyl disaster. It's an unedited and unpolished account that actually reads in places like it might have just been fed through Google Translate. But this does mean it is the authors own words and nothing has been lost in translation.

If this subject interests you then this may actually be the most factual account available. If not then you will probably find it somewhat depressing. Myself I was somewhere in the middle. The detailed accounts of the human sacrifice were particularly moving.

Black Google Nexus 7 Tablet (2012 Model) Case Cover (Second Updated Version of Case) - Retail Packed Executive Multi Function Standby Case with Built-in Magnet for Sleep / Wake feature for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet (2012 Model) - (8GB,16GB,32GB Wi-Fi or 32GB 3G HSPA+) + Screen Protector + Stylus Pen (Available in Mutiple Colors)
Black Google Nexus 7 Tablet (2012 Model) Case Cover (Second Updated Version of Case) - Retail Packed Executive Multi Function Standby Case with Built-in Magnet for Sleep / Wake feature for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet (2012 Model) - (8GB,16GB,32GB Wi-Fi or 32GB 3G HSPA+) + Screen Protector + Stylus Pen (Available in Mutiple Colors)
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the money, expected worse, 7 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
To be fair I wasn't expecting that much for less than a tenner delivered.

The design is looks a bit like one of those retro cool "Moleskine" notebooks which is exactly what I wanted.

The sleep magnet feature doesn't seem very reliable...often the case won't shut the screen down when it closes...but the sleep timeout handles that after a while anyway.

The bundled stylus is pretty much worthless....It offers no more precision than a finger.

The screen protector I gave away...the nexus 7 has gorilla glass so if it is in a case anyway I am not worried about protecting it with a cover and suffering with any drop in image quality or touch response, that said the person that applied it to theirs was more than happy and said it had no ill effects.

The case itself is fine...for the money you couldn't really expect much better. Stitching and materials exceeded similar priced phone cases I have bought in the past, feels like it will last a few years at least.

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great for the money, 14 Jan 2012
Had this over a year now and I must say it has been great.

Everything is still running on the supplied batteries (although the screen side is also plugged into a PC an I am not clear if it taps USB power from that)

No problems with sensors except the inaccuracies expected at this price point. Never lost sync between station and screen.

Station side is a little ugly but really what do you expect ? It's been through some harsh weather and gales and still looks almost new on top of my garage roof.

Set up was easy and the whole thing was assembled and operational on my garage roof within an hour. Barometer prediction screen even seems fairly reliable at predicting rain and sun !

Not using the supplied software through...for a start I don't run Windows and I find WviewWeather does the job much better than the results people have reported back from the bundled stuff. I think if this is all you want to spend then you will find it hard to do better and you'd probably need to spend at least twice as much to get something that is noticeably more accurate.

Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9EB 13.1 inch notebook (Core i5-520M 2.4GHz, 4Gb, 128Gb (Dual SSD), DVD+-RW/+-R DL/RAM, BT, Webcam, Win 7 Pro 64 bit)
Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9EB 13.1 inch notebook (Core i5-520M 2.4GHz, 4Gb, 128Gb (Dual SSD), DVD+-RW/+-R DL/RAM, BT, Webcam, Win 7 Pro 64 bit)

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Ultraportable, Linux users beware, 20 May 2010
I bought this machine for a client and despite having a few bad experiences with Vaio's in the past I have to admit it does seem well built, better than say a Toshiba Portege R500.

The screen is lovely as are the general aesthetics of the whole unit, thoughtful things like a top mounted drive eject button and automatic keyboard backlighting. Of course given the spec this is naturally a quick little machine, I didn't get round to benchmarking the SSD but Windows 7 felt snappy for once even when booting.

There is a bundled Orange SIM in the 3G slot and an option to register this under various schemes, but other SIM's seem to work fine and the built in 3G modem is a lot easier to use than many of the USB mobile broadband dongles.

The Speed-Stamina switch works flawlessly when switching you between the Intel and Nvidia graphics chipsets..on previous Z series machines it seemed to often require a reboot to switch..Not so here you get a brief flicker of the screen and then it changes over. There is also now an auto mode where it decides which chipset you need to be on for you.

Suffice to say in the process of setting this up for my client I convinced myself I needed one. So Credit Card in hand I did a quick google search to see how Linux runs on it and oh dear. Short version is that the funky speed-stamina switch and the EFI bios are causing some issues. The community did have it working on one bios revision but that particular revision doesn't work with Windows 7, and all the versions that work with Windows 7 won't work properly with Linux. So dual booting is completely out.

Even without that issue there are other problems with the Network port, Wifi on some kernels, Keyboard and trackpad. This is not a machine that follows any hardware standards by any means and will probably never reliably run any other operating system (or other version of Windows than the ones it is sold with)

Needless to say this will be fixed at some point, but it probably wouldn't have killed Sony to provide some support or even documentation on the hybrid graphics functionality. For the meantime a laptop that cannot run Linux is useless to me.

Furthermore you can forget running any version of Windows not supported by Sony, the hardware is just too non standard to cope without specific driver support.

In summary, a nice (though expensive) machine if you want to just run Windows 7, if you want to experiment with Linux (or like me use it more often than Windows) then walk away.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2011 11:56 PM BST

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