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Reviews Written by
W. B. P. Martin "Bonner Martin" (Katikati, New Zealand)

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André & Friends - Live In Maastricht [DVD]
André & Friends - Live In Maastricht [DVD]
Dvd ~ André Rieu
Price: £11.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Blu-ray of Andre Rieu, 19 Jan 2014
Technically, this is, without doubt, the best Andre Rieu album ever.
I do not say that lightly. I have 35 of his Blu-ray or DVD albums. In addition, I have a large collection of his CD's, starting from his saloon orchestra days. In the past, many of his albums while enjoyable, have been full of sound faults. One DVD even has two different recording standards, within the same audio track, changing from one standard to another at the concert intermission. DVDs are made with too high a sound pressure level, and run out of head room. On my audio restoration equipment, one can see the clipping and compression. Regretfully this has been a common fault on many of his DVDs in the past. I have also found DVDs that have been made with too low a bit rate, for the audio, causing sound degrading and crackle, in Forte passages.
Not enough post production care is taken before releasing an Album, for example. On the Brazil Blu-ray disc, there is very irritating low-frequency thumps, throughout the entire programme. This annoying sound was most likely due to a faulty microphone stand, which is rocking back and forth, or is being kicked. (This is easily removed in a recording studio. I do it regularly) Not recording instrument's sound; this was most apparent in "Rieu Royal" where the pipe band is playing at the end of the Blu-ray disc, the drum major is striking the drum but there are only the pipes sounds, with no bass drum. The sound on this otherwise fantastic album, sound like a low-frequency cut filter, has been used throughout the entire album.

With "Rieu and Friends" Blu-ray disc, the Video and DTS master audio is perfect. The video quality is the best yet. It is so good, on my Panasonic 65inch plasma, that it reminds me of video, shot with 4K cameras. Images are exceptionally clear, and sharp. So good, that the time can easily be read on many of the concert goer's wrist watches. The sound quality has been recorded very closely to DTS master audio standard, in my opinion. It truly is superb, rich in sound and tonal quality. All instruments can be easily heard on our full frequency, surround-sound system. The bite of the brass instruments is authentic, and fantastic. The electronic organ can be felt in all its low-frequency glory. It was used for magnificent effect during the playing of "You'll Never Walk Alone." The attack or rise time when the mallet is forcefully hit against the kettle drums can easily be heard and felt. Likewise, with the big bass drum, when that is struck. It is so well recorded, that I could feel the sound pressure wave in my chest from our top of the line "Rel" sub-woofer. The pipe band, drum major can easily be heard on this disc. Fantastic recording all round. I highly recommend this exceptionally good Blu-ray disc.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2014 3:14 AM GMT

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (The Nutcracker: Royal Ballet 2009) [Blu-ray] [2010]
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (The Nutcracker: Royal Ballet 2009) [Blu-ray] [2010]
Dvd ~ Miyako Yoshida
Price: £29.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (The Nutcracker: Royal Ballet 2009) [Blu-ray] [2010], 24 July 2012
These comments on the Blu-ray recording of the Royal Opera House performance of the Nutcracker are in relation to the DTS Master Audio recording which I considered to be, poor. There was no power or sparkle in the sound. It was dead and dull in sound quality and lacked in dynamic range. This was a great disappointment. I don't for one moment blame the orchestra, but how it was recorded.
It one goes to the Royal Opera House and sits in the Grand tier overlooking the orchestra, the sound is full of life, sounds fantastic and is spectacular. This is how I expect the sound on a DTS master audio to sound on our Sound system, which has a flat response from 8Hz to 20 KHz. Many DTS master Audio records achieve this. For example, listen to the DTS Blu-ray sound track of "Casanova" 2005. The orchestral music is full of life and sparklingly clear. Or Blu-ray of André Rieu "Under The Stars" tracks Nessun Dorma & Don't Cry For Me Argentina. The dynamic range, depth of bass and power is fantastic, the overall responses is sparkling and very moving.
It is a great pity that more care was not taken to achieve an open and full sounding recording, there is no sparkle in the cymbal's and the bass has little power. More care is needed with microphone placing as while one should hear movements on the stage, in this recording, it is excessive. Particularly when the dances are at the front right of the stage, where a sensitive microphone was picking up the thumps of foot falls on the stage in this region, movement at the rear left of the stage was audible but not so annoying.
I consider this recording flat and lifeless particularly in relation to the excellent recording of the Nutcracker played by Kirov Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev on Philips CD. A DTS Master Audio recording should run rings around a CD but in this case it does not.

Rage Of Angels [1983] [DVD]
Rage Of Angels [1983] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jaclyn Smith
Offered by Just4-U-Media
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rage of Angels, 12 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rage Of Angels [1983] [DVD] (DVD)
This a great story which my wife and I enjoyed. Love the roll as played by
Jaclyn Smith. We could really feel for her. Excellent story line. Regretfully the whole 3 hours was let down by the poor quality print, which looked like a VHS transfer with is soft focus and blurry image. Shame on you "Grab it" for putting out such a sub-stand print. I would give 5 stars for the story line and acting and 1 star for DVD video quality. Review equipment; Panasonic 65inch VT30 Plasma, Oppo Open zone Blu-ray Player.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Ramin Karimloo
Price: £8.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, 16 Jun 2012
Visually this is a stunning production, every-thing one could wish for when viewing on a 65 inch Panasonic plasma and sitting as close to it as I do. The singing was superb, but for me the DTS master audio sound was not up to scratch. Allocation of voices was often to the wrong speaker. When singing in the centre of the screen sound often came from right front speaker.
My 5.1/7.1 surround speaker system produces voices as natural as I can get them to sound and it was disappointing to hear tenors sing as if one had turned the bass control all the way down to full minus value. Comparing it to other DTS Master audio Blu-ray discs that I have, the sound to me was if the recording engineer to stop stage noise, like bumps and thumps and unnecessary foot noise had used a Highpass filter set to attenuate all lower frequencies. It was set so high that it robbed voices of some of their natural lower frequencies.
Even the organ low notes did not match the power of any of the other recordings I have of Phantom of the Opera.
I know that The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall was sent out as a live broadcast and had to be as good as possible at the time of broadcasting, but all unnecessary sounds like bumps and thumps and annoying foot sounds can easily be removed in a good sound studio between recording and Blu-ray production. This I do in my private recording studio, equipment is so sophisticated these days that even a cough or smallest sound can be removed without affecting the recorded sound
My wife sometimes finds DTS master audio sound tracks a little over powering and on the whole prefers DTS master audio because of it's completely natural sound.
In spite of this annoying fault it is a very enjoyable concert

Love Is Forever [DVD]
Love Is Forever [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Landon
Price: £4.74

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love is Forever, 5 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love Is Forever [DVD] (DVD)
I was looking forward very much to seeing this movie as I enjoy Michael London films immensely, but this film should never have been released on DVD with such a poor technical standard. The print looks like it is a transfer from some old VHS tape, it is blurry, and without any definition. At the begining there is some image flag waving which is typical of early VHS and shows very poor attention to workmanship in doing the transfer. It is sad that Amazon let their normally high standards slip and stock such a poor quality product. Of all the many hundreds of discs that I have purchased from Amazon, this is the first disc that I have received from them that falls way below an acceptable technical standard. To see how good DVD can be view "Man from Snowy River II" Review equipment Panasonic Plasma 65inch VT30, Oppo Blu-ray player BDP-93

Bonner Martin

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