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Blackmale (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, yes, yes....but why do we do this?, 12 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very professionally packaged solution delivered mightily quickly from the supplier.
In situ this is a very effective solution. In place within seconds, to the din-sized space vacated by the former occupant. Simple connectors made this a like for like installation even though the new and the old were separated by 26 years.
Performace is up to the mark albeit with a little qualification.
They suit the majority of unstressed HiFi applications and musical tastes. They are budget by price, genuinely HiFi in nature, though well short of "reference" in their detail. I'd anticipate they would excel replaying a multi channel video soundtrack.
The unit delivers smooth rounded fullsome bass of the tradditional rather than sub frequency variety. Very clean, distortion free under load, without the belly warping lowest of the lows. Ultimately, unspecial but still easily worth the few beans that it cost.

At this price point it almost defies criticism, but if I really must? Then.....I really must.
I don't think you CAN fault this speaker, but I was left wondering what on earth I was doing replacing chassis in the first place? ? ?
There were (at the last count) seven pairs of speakers in the household and yet somehow the majestic cabs that once housed Acoustic Research Teledyne R43's left me feeling some things just shouldn't be binned - a concept not justified by either logic or money. Design and technology has moved on and while humble Skytronic may have surpasssed the 1984 benchmark, so has every other manufacturer these days.
My replacement was triggered by the originals simply expiring with age. Worn out rubber gaskets just crumbled away, which begs the question - what kind of state are the other five drivers in? I discovered after I'd fitted this that the AR's would also need a new tweeter, plus two new mids (although one still bleats without flapping). The other woofer by the way....was replaced years ago.
So by the time this story is told, I have two AR cabinets, with a selection of unmatched speakers in them, all in the cause of preserving a family heirloom that once blasted me through the 1980's at my fathers expense.
I could replace them with superior cabinets tomorrow for not much less than the sum total of the chassis they'll eventually house.
In conclusion, this was a pointless excercise. But the speakers? Well, if you really must, then you really must...They are at least worth it.

Wireless Internet USB Adaptor WiFi Dongle For Windows ME/CE/2000/XP/Vista(32-Bit)/Windows 7
Wireless Internet USB Adaptor WiFi Dongle For Windows ME/CE/2000/XP/Vista(32-Bit)/Windows 7
Offered by Digiflex
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly, so nearly perfect., 12 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First off, mine went back, but there is qualification so don't necessarily rush to write this off for your own needs.
First it is a very simple device and it works very simply indeed, as well as very quickly.
Installation was achieved within seconds and immediately the dongle started to pickup the domestic network.
Signal strength was strong and consistent with no significant issues regarding drop outs or general performance etc.

The problem? This one was acquired to connect my mothers laptop to her own WiFi system. The design of said laptop always presented the dongle at a fairly vulnerable angle to the rear leaving it heavy exposed to any movement while atop said lap. The machine would be in regular sustained use, and often left lying in a variety of situations where the lighter-weight construction of the dongle would lead to folding of the USB connecter, or where the plastic body could easily be broken or crushed.

In summary I suggest that if your application is a desktop PC, or a laptop or other device that spends most of it's life on top of a desk or at the very least stationary, this remains an excellent option and worthy of your consideration.
If as in our case you will be fitting this to something more portable, try attatching a similarly sized USB device beforehand, (such as a pen-drive) just to test where it protrudes and whether by doing so it is likely to be bent or broken.
In our case we switched finally to card-slot based solution. Slightly more expensive but bomb-proof in such an application.

Sounds From the Woods
Sounds From the Woods
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Rarified exploratory and historical, 26 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not really something you would select without a very good reason. This a slice of tradditionl drum based music from the earlier era of the Ghana's recording industry. A little rough around the edges, but this has been mastered from old fashioned twin reels decades old.
it takes you there and is of historical interest. Doesn't move me musically yet, but personal taste is a subjective issue.
Listen to the sample before buying. I remain indifferent to recommending that you buy.

This Used To Be My Playground
This Used To Be My Playground
Offered by thegreatergoods
Price: £6.24

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure - am I alone in this?, 24 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is Pop in my collection, but not a lot of it and after half a lifetime listening, I just can't take much more of it. But from a purely personal view I adore this song. It is a love without justification.
The ex-Mrs. Penn, soon to be the ex-Mrs. Ritchie, deserves accolades aplenty for carving the path between the mountains of men that dominated pop music in the 80's. However, given the task of trying to pick out a genuinely interesting listening experience from her vast library spanning three decades? I confess I'll struggle....until that is I return to My Playground.

There is little here that I can apply objective appraisal to, but I find myself magnetically drawn to this mournful oddball ballad, that somehow sounds desperately sincere. There is something within each of us that longs to return to places of the past and this is the perfect backing music to remind me of the pain from knowing that you shouldn't.

The production is 90's plastic, very Korg M1 and mostly synthetic, with little in the way of acoustic delivery, but all the right bits are COPIED to the right places. Three versions (radio extended and instrumental)stretch the disc playing to close on 20 minutes and sufficient for my household to rally against me for "....playing that wretched song over and over again...." It wasn't wretched the first time, I can assure you.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2013 11:54 AM BST

Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks

4.0 out of 5 stars it's THAT bloke,. You know... the one from... American Idol, 24 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Taylor Hicks (Audio CD)
And try as Taylor deserves to, he won't easily shake off the tag.
The emergence, announced by the most startling Ray Charles emulation from a boy with blue eyes, was far from the stuff of 2nd class Vegas caberet, and well worth a recording by itself. Harry Connick and Buble' made careers out of aping Sinatra, there was easily room for a left-field take on the ivory tickling enigma exiled from his native Georgia.
But the demograph of THE SHOW that brought Hicks to worldwide attention demands a different direction sufficient to carry 7 digit downloads, so we get a Route-66 car-wreck between Rascal Flatts and Bruce Hornsby.

It works but demands several listens to earn respect that it threatens to lose all too easily.
The collection is well-penned and as SONGs go most are pop-delights. But it all lacks sincerity or a faithful direction, striding too easily between AOR and bubble gum. The Runaround as an opener is a pastiche.
Hicks voice doesn't cut mustard and is at times way beyond the neck twisting performances he served up with TV dinners just a few years before.
The croak has mostly gone and taken the edge with it. Mr. Hicks sounds a little under-rehearsed and is frequently found wandering looking for an interesting path through the material before him.
The band is well selected, but never sounds like HIS band, more the seasoned house players for tonights "...special guest at the Golden Lion...."
Hicks can deliver and this is far from poor. As a first offering it is worthy of your hard-earned and will get played regularly, but we were promised Leona and got SuBo. There is a story, there is a nice listening experience, but here was a promise to shatter the formulaic mould of the reality, gameshow, talentless competition with someone who dared to untick the boxes.

I want to love the eponymously titled TH and one day....I probably will, but the irritations of some of the earlier numbers are not quite ironed by the luscious treatment given to some such as Paul Youngs take on Marvin Gaye's WHEREVER I LAY MY HAT.
Available so cheap now that you simply cannot justify avoiding it. Road-trippin' that should have been jazz flippin'

Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald 1934-1941 Vol.1  [DVD]
Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald 1934-1941 Vol.1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ The Chronological Donald
Offered by justabimat
Price: £28.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic shorts, presentation not as irritating as you may think. Un-missable, 24 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Suppose you don't have Disney channel for your junior clone, or you just want to re-live your own early years, these are genuinely sidesplitting cartoons of a type too sadly lost to political correctness.
Since the 1990's media culture has weaned - with some justification - young ones away from the violence of guns and fighting. Fair enough when you see some of the appalling beat-em-up toys you can buy for corn-fed tots in the US-of-A. But it's gone too far. Far too far and if you are truly irritated by the overly sensitive syrupy mush that is the entire starring cast of the Night Garden, then this is the perfect riposte. Good old fashioned rotteness at some other poor souls expense, that is painfully funny.
Laugh without mercy or justification, poke fun at the hapless and weak and feel no guilt afterwards.
This the good honest fun that folk one time came home to after they'd finished building the world.

The collection charts DD's earliest outings chronologically and in all guises and pseudonyms.
Much has been fairly said of The Commentary - which is simply too anal and is pitched at the level anorak suited buffs would demand at a Disney convention lecture. It is wholly unecessary and jarrs obliquely with the thickly splashed slapstick of the 'toons, but mercifully (depending on how your DVD player navigates) quickly rolls by without disturbing the entertainment.

Easily the best of Disney "short" stars at his best. If you get a chance to play infront of virgin-eyes watch the reaction of tots who've never seen DD before. Well over an hour of animated gold.

The Illustrated Anansi
The Illustrated Anansi
by Philip M. Sherlock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well presented classic "African" fables, 24 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Illustrated Anansi (Hardcover)
...and i don't want to start intercontinental trouble...but it's as well you know that these are the West Indian versions of the much travelled Ghanaian legendary spider.
Beautifully presented in a brightly illustrated solid white hard cover, we get a selection of well known favourites of the African arachnid. Plenty of story telling material to keep young eyes wide open at bed time, the stories are written as close to the tradditional as the could be, preserving culture at the expense of some of the easier listening, but still easily suitable for infants and juniors.

Told and retold throughout the Africa and the Americas, as a rough rule of thumb, the further West Anansi goes, the younger he becomes.
These versions have a contemporary flavour, very much rooted in the late 20th Century, most obviously demonstrated by the technical references and of course reggae-reggae headgear.
Fine for home, requires judicious use if you were aiming at cultural material for a Ghana project (which I was co-opted to do.) The real history is lost in this edition, but the stories well worth discovering.

Thats the Way Love
Thats the Way Love
Offered by pulserecords
Price: £3.94

5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal choice but love it just the same, 24 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thats the Way Love (Audio CD)
Can't really be objective about this track, because it sunk a meathook into my flesh that I have failed to dig out almost 20 years on. The Maxi-CD serves up the most popular selection of mixes and despite those years delivers a wide enough cross section of styles to still satisfy the ears and groove-legs.
Six slices in all, UK radio/album version followed by CJ Macintosh seminal 7" and 12" versions, both adding just enough to deepen the furrow ploughed by the weighty original.

FXTC club mix goes exactly where you'd expect, straight down the middle of 1993 dancefloor with hot-pants and platforms akimbo. The rear is tidied with "Macapella" and "FXTC Instrumental" for meddlesome DJ's to bootleg their own.

You could take almost any of the versions, there is still huge milage remaining in this aged floorfilling wonder.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2012 3:38 AM GMT

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good quality, 24 Aug. 2010
Bought the white version only for the button down collar and so was prepared to be bumped. What a total surprise for possibly my bargain of last year. Very thick cotton rich weave wears as a quality item. Wife says no laundry problems and they pass her stringent quality control standards for staying brilliant white one year on, with no fraying or splits. Easily up to the branded best below £30. Buy with confidence for..... "buttons." Err sorry.

Songs and Stories
Songs and Stories
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to finest form - with one exception, 17 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Songs and Stories (Audio CD)
George and his music have moved through so many chapters, there is a need to establish exactly which part of the congregation of his broad church this should appeal to. Soft Jazz is the easiest box in which to hole the pigeon, if only for the self announced sourcerer's apprentice Norman Brown turning up to start the House Party at No.6

Praise? it is beautifully captured and draws a tight line through George's most popular years of the 1980's. EASY to the ear yet still kept sufficiently REAL to be occaisionally challenging. It is a major step forward from the misguided "Irreplaceable" which left GB looking lost in search of AKON or some equally youthful parody.
Criticism? Too safe. The cast list is a who's who of soul titans name checking (would have been name-dropping if it were not for GB's own stratospheric credibility) James Taylor, Donny Hathaway, Bill Withers, Christopher Cross, Lamont Dozier and Marcus Miller and that's only the writer credits. With said Norman Brown, the enigmatic Lala Hathaway, Greg Phillanganes, Paulinho De Costa etc. etc. among the monumental players George can seemingly summon at will.
The only person who could pull a better line up together would be God himself calling on Lennon, Jackson and Miles Davis to help with his comeback album.
There is an inescapable air of predictability around the collection, which dips to the casual when we arrive at Rainy Night. GB clearly wanted to do it, but couldn't hit it (vocally), so we have him crouching down an octave on Randy Crawford's seminal original. The first time you'll hear him give away his true age and dangerously close to blue-plate specials at a Vegas hotel cabaret. Unnecessary.

Ultimately there is not enough edge to the collection lacking the deep furrow ploughed by ABSOLUTE BENSON with The Ghetto or the slamming and frenetically latin El Barrio which marked that album for consideration as possibly his best of the last 30 years? Discussion invited.
Notwithstanding, the high points for me personally are the aptly titled Living In High Definition and Exotica. Both are kept to instruments and scatting for the other side of George we love. Any GB "fan" will be entertained by Songs and Stories, the title gives the strongest clue to the direction and so perhaps we should forgive the lighter playing in favour of the need to simply enjoy a good tune.

The temptation to award the final star is overpowering, but I resist on the basis Benson's best strategy to cut a long-player has been to avoid fusions and alternate between the Soft and the Jazz.
Even George can't please all HIS people all of the time...

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