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Reviews Written by
M. N. Green "mgkwacker" (England)

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Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge
Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge
Offered by Williamthakker
Price: £294.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice upgrade, 5 Aug 2014
I upgraded to this from 2M blue. (which I was very pleased with & previously reviewed)

In my opinion, this is a better cartridge, but only marginally, it has less surface noise, slightly better bass definition, but the top end sounds about the same as blue, and I was expecting this to be more open and extended, it is slightly less "shrill" and there seems to be more airiness around hats and brushes though.

The notes tend to linger longer, than blue, and it has the same "sound" as blue, not warm or coloured, just nice and neutral with nice attack on punchy bass and drums.

It tracks very well and on my most warped record, even with a 550g puck, which is still bad, it tracks perfectly, and tracking force is only 1.5 grams

Overall, not disappointed, but then not blown away either, but a good solid upgrade, if not brilliant, recommended for good arms.

Mine is on an Audiomods IV tonearm on an Inspire Apollo full Acrylic Turntable fed through a LFD LE P/Stage, which gives great vinyl playback, through Primare A34.2 monoblocks into Kef R500 speakers

ADDM :: This Cartridge has now had about 75 hours, and is showing its true colours, more refined than the blue, the top end is now beautifully distinct and airy, and the midrange and lower registers are excellent, this has taken twice as long as the Blue to come sweet, but is well worth the wait. Highly recommended.

Nikon D7100 Digital SLR Camera Body (24.1MP) 3.2 inch LCD
Nikon D7100 Digital SLR Camera Body (24.1MP) 3.2 inch LCD
Offered by global blue
Price: £731.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great compliment to my D7000, 28 May 2014
I did a review of the D7000, 2 years ago, and stated that "I was at one with my camera" and that had taken about 10 years in the digital field ~ although the D90 was a good camera as well. (enthusiast level)

So I now have a D7100 !! just laziness !!! I have the 17-55 non VR, 16-85 VR and 70-300 VR, and recently bought the 10-24 non VR lens, and you know what, I was sick of carrying lenses, so I bought another Body !!

So now I have the D7000 & D7100, with the 10-24 on 7000 and the 16-85 on 7100. I actually prefer the 16-85 over the 17-55 as the VR is almost as good as the constant f2.8 lens, and is a lot lighter to carry.

Over the 7000, the new 7100 is an improvement definitely, nicer screen, better auto-focus and the images are just slightly better on like for like ISO ratings, and the ergonomics are slightly better too, especially the selector knob lock !! (7000 can easily be knocked to anther selection) The internal viewfinder info is a lot nicer, and it is even better than the 7000 in low light, (and I thought that was extremely good) With the 16-85 on 7100, you can crop 50% and still have a really nice pic, 5-7mp, with great colour and contrast. Overall I could not be more pleased !!

I think Nikon have done a brilliant job in providing the serious enthusiast with an excellent performing camera.

The D7100 is an excellent camera and slightly better than the D7000, and I recommend it wholeheartedly !! Buy one, incredibly cheap for such a good camera!!

Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge
Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge
Offered by Williamthakker
Price: £169.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patience needed, 31 Mar 2014
I purchased this cartridge as I heard it demo'd, and it sounded very revealing and detailed, with very nice soundstage, good seperation of instruments and great vocals, and it was fitted on an inferior Turntable and arm to mine. It was to replace a Denon DL110

Initially I was quite disappointed, as it was edgy, harsh and thin. I actually thought it could be faulty (had a rega Elys II faulty) and rang the dealer, he said to wait and give it several hours and run it at the full weight of 1.8 grams, I was tracking at 1.7g.

So after a day, it sounded marginally better, but after a week everything went sweet and the bass developed properly and now I feel it is an excellent cartridge for the money, with good seperation, excellent highs and authoritative bass with a wide soundstage and very good detailing, just what you expect from vinyl. Much nicer than the Denon, and way more revealing

I highly recommend it if you have the patience to let it develop, about 30-40 hours with mine

Mine is on an Audiomods tonearm on an Inspire Apollo full Acrylic Turntable fed through a LFD LE P/S, which gives great vinyl playback, through Primare monoblocks into Kef R500 speakers

Rega Fono MM MK2 Phono Stage Black
Rega Fono MM MK2 Phono Stage Black
Offered by Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, Yeovil.
Price: £198.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for price, 5 Mar 2014
I purchased this nearly a year ago, and it replaced a Graham Slee gram-amp, which I found rather thin, this was cheaper and in my opinion much nicer, with a fuller sound and very nice placement and soundstage, without losing any detail that vinyl sources reveal.

I use it with an Inspire Apollo full Acrylic T/Table, Audiomods arm and Ortofon 2M blue cartridge, and on my Cyrus 200 Watt monoblocks sounds ace through Kef R500's.

Highly recommended, and a bargain at the price.


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent monitor speaker, 5 Oct 2013
This review is from: KEF LS50 (Electronics)
I never really got on with Kef, but when my Linn's packed in, I auditioned several, Monitor Audio, Spendor, PMC, Dynaudio and Kef.

Bought Monitor Audio GX100 standmounts, for the lounge, later put in study, now replaced by these KEF LS50's

When the R series came out, I went and had a listen, and they were brilliant, so I bought a pair of KEF R500 Floor-standers, (for lounge) and have since bought a pair of Q300's for my son and now I've bought these LS50 anniversary editions for my study, replacing the M/A GX100's.

These LS50's have exceptional detail, placement and soundstage, and drum up some very decent bass, considering their small size, and continue these excellent ranges with the latest generation Uni-Q drivers. Very highly recommended speakers. I drive mine with a Primare I22 Amp with Naim CD5si, Cyrus CD8se2 and Rega Saturn as sources and it is a wonderful combination, but you must use copper speaker cables and interconnects, the Kef's do not like silver plated or solid silver!! I use Ecosse 270 monocrystal, weighty and extremely detailed speaker cables with Merlin Chopin MK4 and Chord Cobra I/C's.

There is something about D Class amplifiers that just match these speakers fantastically, adding the speed and detail that Class A/B don't seem to be able to offer. No matter which CD player I use, as all have their own "sonic signature", the retrieval and detail is excellent, with Bass developed, that completely belies their small size, and I'm as happy with these as any other purchase I have ever made, actually way surpassing my expectations, and I'm hard to please!!

Kef are on a massive roll and are "flavour of the month" at the moment, but they are very deservedly so, having made a series of speakers that are truly great to listen to, with all genres of music and at all price points, which will satisfy most customers.

Go and audition these LS50's yourself, you will be massively surprised, and they are very capable of being driven well by amps like Rotel, Rega, Yamaha, Marantz etc., without shelling out lots of money for powerful amps, even though they're only rated at 85db sensitivity, they perform excellently. Very highly recommended!!! VERY !!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2014 7:56 PM GMT

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens, 26 Sep 2013
Just a confirmation of what everybody else says, this is a great lens.

I bought this to replace a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, which was a nightmare when the sun or even bright lights got in the frame, terrible flare, tried UV, Sky and polariser filters, no difference, so made the decision to spend the money and get the lens I really wanted, and I find the Nikon great, and the extra 4mm on the end is a help, and saves sometimes going for the other body with 17-55 on, and is great at most apertures, (I try to avoid wide open, usually f8-f16 if possible) It's sharp and has good colour rendition and contrast.

Very pleased with it on my D7100, where it seems to have displaced the 17-55 to the D7000, so it has to be good to do that !!

Should never have bought the Sigma, stick to Nikon, great Kit across the board. (at least all my 77mm filters now fit this as well !!!)

AKG K 701 Headphones with Ear Hook
AKG K 701 Headphones with Ear Hook
Price: £199.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely headphones with good kit, 24 Sep 2013
I've had mine now nearly 3 years and they've had thousands of hours so are very well burnt in.

I have 4 headphone amps, Graham Slee Solo ultra linear diamond special edition, Lehmann Black cube linear, Matrix and Lovely cube.

The AKG's are particularly detailed on the lovely cube fitted with Burr Brown OPA 2111 AM op amps with a 10db gain, and are very nice on the other three amps as well. My other phones Sennheiser HD650's are not as detailed, but offer a better bass definition, ie, deeper, but not as controlled as the AKG's, which are much leaner but taughter, so horses for courses, I use the AKG's most, but use the Senny's on rock & pop, as they just give a better sense of enjoyment on faster paced bass lined driven music.

Sources are Sonneteer Byron, Primare CD22, Rega Saturn and Cyrus CDi, CDP's

With good Kit The AKG's are very nice headphones and I recommend them for classical, folk, acoustic and Jazz, wholeheartedly, they are more akin to my Kef R500 speakers, ie very natural.

They have a wider soundstage than the senny's as well, which are quite narrow.

Now a real bargain at under £200.

Graham Slee Solo SRG II Studio Reference Green Headphone Amplifier
Graham Slee Solo SRG II Studio Reference Green Headphone Amplifier
Offered by iHeadphones UK
Price: £329.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the magazine reviews, 23 Sep 2013
I own this and the Graham Slee Solo Ultra linear diamond special edition, the mark II.

This model, in the G/S range, is the most over rated I feel, and is only slightly better than a Novo, but no where near as good as the ULDSE.

I have the dedicated psu and it doesn't hardly make any difference to the Solo, so I leave it permanently on the Solo ULDSE.

The matrix which I have also reviewed and the Lovely cube are slightly better and considerably cheaper. I now use the Lehmann black cube linear which is slightly better than the ULDSE, as my main amp, which is roughly the same price. I use both AKG 701's and Sennheiser HD650's for listening and both perform admirably with all the aforementioned amps, with the AKG's being especially detailed with the lovely cube fitted with Burr Brown op amps, with a 10db gain.

I think for your first venture into h/Amps try the matrix, then progress from there if you want extra detail and bass.

All my amps are connected with high quality interconnects, reference, on my Lehmann, which does get the best out of the amps. Sources are Sonneteer Byron, Cyrus CDi, Primare CD22 and Rega Saturn
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2014 6:37 PM GMT

Chord Cobra VEE3 Phono Pair 1.0M
Chord Cobra VEE3 Phono Pair 1.0M
Offered by home AV direct
Price: £95.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality interconnect, 12 Sep 2013
I use two pairs of these, one to connect my Rega T/T to pre/amp and another pair into my headphone amp, and the results are very good and well suited to my requirements. I feel these are the best value Chord interconnects as when you go up to the Chameleon, Cadenza, chorus, anthem and signature, there are a lot of competitors offering a similar sound for less money.

I rate these better than Atlas or wireworld, and are very good value, with clear vocals, great mid-range, good timbre and deep controlled bass.

My high end interconnects for my Cyrus X series Hi-Fi via Kef R500's are Clearer Audio Silverline Optimus reference, real quality but high price.

I recommend these interconnects.

Matrix M-stage Headphone Amplifier Amp class A NEW Version OPA2134 Silver
Matrix M-stage Headphone Amplifier Amp class A NEW Version OPA2134 Silver

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but bettered by a competitor, 8 Aug 2013
Borrowed this as I was after a better headphone amp than my Graham Slee solo (very over rated in my opinion) and G/S Solo Ultra Linear Diamond Special Edition and also had the opportunity to use a "lovely Cube" as well, which is very similar.

The Matrix was on a par with the G/S solo, slightly better defined soundstage, and slightly better bass definition, but not quite as detailed through AKG 701's, no difference on the Sennheiser HD 650's, but considering the price, it is a very good purchase, and most people would be very happy. Not as good as Solo ULDSE.

The Lovely Cube (a pure clone of the Lehmann Black cube linear) was better in every department, punchier, better soundstage, deeper controlled bass, higher extensions (again down to the AKG's) and an airyness around the instruments as well, which is hard to find on cheapish headphone amps. On the whole a great headphone amplifier. The one I tested had Burr Brown op amps fitted which I understand is different to the standard, but you can add these in and it still only costs about £250 including import duty, and P&P.

Tested with a Cyrus CDXT se2 source via Cyrus DAC XP+ via Clearer audio silverline optimus reference interconnects, with Mains conditioner into Merlin Tarantula mains block and Merlin Tarantula power cords. The results of the lovely cube are on a par with my G/S Solo ULDSE and quite a lot better than the standard G/S solo, so considering it's nearly £400 cheaper than the Solo ULDSE it's an absolute bargain if it proves to be reliable.

It was so good I've ordered one myself !!

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