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Sony MHCGTZ3I.CEK Mini System with 20cm Subwoofer
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- Made for iPod - iPod over USB
- Unique "Twin USB" for MP3 dubbing
- Ultra power Sub-Woofer
- 3 CD Changer
- Power Illiminator display
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This Sony MHC-GTZ3i is a system that really packs a punch with 400W of thumping sound. It has a three disc CD changer, which is a useful convenience. Dual USB ports to playback and record all of your digital music , plus copying MP3 tracks. It has a three band equaliser, with eight presets, allowing you to bring out the best sound mix for your music. The MP3 Booster+ improvers digital music by filling in the high and low voids in compressed audio. The system features an impressive illuminated power metre, for easy monitoring of playback levels. Deep, rich bass boast with Z-Groove, delivers incredible sound to fill any room. The list of features is almost endless. The Sony MHC-GTZ3i is for those that want the most boom for their buck. If that is you, then you need look no further.
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The left and right speakers are (WxHxD)235mm, 365mm, 210mm.
The central unit is 235mm, 365mm, ~410mm.
The sub-woofer is 265mm, 365mm, 320mm.
So as you might see getting your tape measure out, this thing is a little on the large side, but it all comes in for good reason. When I set it up, the first thing I did was connect my iPod and play a few bassey songs...WOW! Before messing around with any of the settings, on level 15/30, I was already amazed with the quality. Went on then to play with some effects and preset EQ's (which is all nicely explained in the supplied manual) and was having a rave! Don't think lightly if purchasing this unit, as it is primarily supposed to be used for its bass, as even without the woofer, the speakers have two mini-woofers included. But anyway, thats the bass...moving on :)
There are 4 different inputs for listening, CD, Radio, USB's and PC.
CD is brilliant, what I love about it is that you can put 3 CD's into it (via the shuffler), and change them round at anytime without disrupting the one playing, very nice :) There's also the option to display track, artist and album information for MP3 CD's which is also very nice :)
The radio has RDS ability which I have noticed, though haven't seen DAB yet, but I'm not too fussed for this anyway. The frequency and signal strength is very good though, considering the FM cable is not too long, the AM being much longer.
The two USB's provided are fantastic. Plug in your phone, iPod, PSP, Memory Stick, Hard Drive...whatever, and chances are this thing will detect and play them! It also acts as a charger which is useful, as is the ability to record and copy files from one USB device to another.
Finally PC, though not technically that. This is two RCA (L/R) ports on the back which can be used by many different devices. Currently (using a splitter box) I have my Freeview, Xbox 360, Wii, N64 and PC going into this, playing Command and Conquer has never felt so boomy haha :)
Theres not much more I can add really, expect saying why are you waiting to buy this? It is truly amazing. As a tip though, if you don't want bass for whatever reason, the sub-woofer can be switched off at the press of a button on the central unit which is a useful feature, especially at night. If on the other hand you want as much bass that your ribs can take, use the Z-Groove feature and Rock Preset EQ, you won't regret it! :) Theres a link to this system's manual on Sony's website, so look there if you want to see some of the other features, too many to list here.
AMAZING bass and crystal clear sound.
Perfect for iPod.
Multidisk changer useful for uninterrupted playback.
Sub-woofer can be turned off without affecting the other speakers.
Beautiful display and illuminated front dial with range of patterns.
Compatible with pretty much any USB-MP3 device.
Feels a bit plasticy, tough to be honest, that's not what I feel the most from this thing! :)
Sony, I love you <3
The system is supplied with an AM loop antenna and FM lead and automatic tuning will find all available stations. The 3-disc changer is noisy and consists of three trays which need to be manually pushed back and pulled forward. I preferred the older rotating disc changer. It is possible to record music from a CD onto a USB device although a USB cable is not supplied. The audio format is MP3 but when transferring from USB port A to B it is possible to transfer WMA and AAC files. Compatible USB devices include the classic, touch and nano iPods and all Sony Walkmans and Walkman phones. The Sony PSP is also compatible. These devices can be operated from the unit or its remote. Using an audio cord (not supplied) it is also possible to connect a television to the system.
There are several sound presets but none of them aid the listener who prefers Puccini to 50cent. Thankfully the user is able to customise the sound to their preferences. There is a very useful surround effect and the Subwoofer can be turned off. Certain high street retailers are selling this system at over fifty pounds more. At such a low price this system is a must buy.
I'm very disappointed in this stereo, firstly it's very big, now ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem as I'd just put the speakers up on the wall as I did with my speakers for my old Hi-Fi but that is where it goes wrong. The wire for each speaker is no more than about 1 1/2 metres long, an absolutely pitiful length that is of no use whatsoever if you want to spread the speakers out, and get them out of the way as I do. You may think that you can simply attach an extension to the end of the wire but you can't because these wires do not have wired ends, they instead have a Sony proprietary plug that plugs into the back of the system, now you would think that if they are going to provide a pitiful length of wire, especially on large speakers, that they would have a standard wired end so we can effortlessly add an extension to it, but no, Sony didn't think to do the obvious and be helpful, instead they opted to be immensely stingy with the wire length (are Sony that hard up they can't provide a decent length of speaker wire?) and idiotic by providing a proprietary plug. Now you may be thinking well I'll just contact Sony and see if there is an extension you can buy, well don't bother because I did that and there isn't. So the only option you have is to cut the speaker wires and add your own length of wire that way, of course doing this invalidates your warranty, oh how helpful Sony are. I did ask Sony why they provided such a pathetic and useless length of speaker wire and needless to say they ignored my email, no surprises there, typical arrogant giant corporation.
The sound quality I would describe as average at best, yes it's loud but I doubt very much it's 400 watts, my previous Hi-Fi was 230 watts and this Hi-Fi certainly isn't louder, I suspect some marketing creativity has enabled Sony to come up with the 400 watt claim.
The remote control is very basic indeed, it doesn't even have a mute button, I honestly thought the wrong remote control had been put into the box given how basic it is, but no it is the right remote control and it's very poor indeed.
The features, such as USB ports for MP3 players and PC connectivity, are pretty standard nowadays and nothing to brag about. Not sure why they called the PC connectivity option PC when it will enable any device with RCA ports to connect to it, I've done this with my projector without a problem.
In summary this is a basic Hi-Fi with questionable claims on sound volume and quality, ultra basic remote control, basic features, and ridiculous and utterly useless length of speaker wire, needless to say this is going back. This is the first and last time I buy a Sony product, yes it really is that disappointing.
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