Showing posts from March, 2011

Ultimate Ears Super5 VI - review

First some links :
Technical DetailsExclusive top fire armature speaker, which produces powerful & extended high definition soundMiniature high performance microphone for hands free phone callsIn-line multi-function button answers & ends calls & controls music/video on iPhone (not included)In-line microphone Sensitivity - -40dBV/Pa, 1 kHzSpeaker Input Sensitivity - 115 dB SPL/mW at 1 kHzFrequency Response - 15 Hz - 15 kHz  Cord: 46 Inches (116.8 cm) Driver Unit: Single driver proprietary balanced top fire armature Ear coupling: Intraaural (Ear Canal Fit) Frequency Response: 15Hz-15kHz Impedance: 13 Ohms (at 1Khz) Input Connection: 1/8 (3.5mm) Gold plated Manufacturer Warranty: 2 Years Max. Power Input: 50mW* Microphone (w/a): Sensitivity: -40dBV / Pa at 1kHz Noise Isolation: -26dB Sensitivity: 115dB SPL/Mw at 1kHz Weight: 0.49 oz (14…

Umizaru III movie review

Umizaru IIII don't think the producers planned this when they made them movie but the screening on the airlines around the world coincided with the current nuclear disaster. And being no stranger to many natural calamities, the Japs are masters of the disaster genre. This is the third installation of this hit series sort of like Tom Gun in the water, with hot Jap bods and equally kawaii Jap girls instead of Tom Cruise and co. This time it is an oil rig and a gas platform which is in danger of explosion and the Sea Monkeys are sent to the rescue. If it reads like a TV episode well thats because the movie evolved out of a series and it's filled with little twists and turns but in the end you know the hero will live through each difficulty albeit with some scratches. Right now japan needs such stirring stories filled with heroism and Umizaru hits the spot. There is plenty of muscle and eye candy and the main actor with his toothy grin will make most girls delirious and even plea…

Unstoppable - movie review

Lets call it what it is, its a summer blockbuster and will not stretch the acting chops of the two main protagonists.
It is a one track story line with an end that hurtles into view with little doubt.
They will destroy some stuff and maybe a life or two will be lost but at the end the runaway train will be stopped and the heroes will survive to busk in the glory of their selfless and brave attempts.
Those pedantic ones will rue some inaccuracies in the story but if you overlook this you will find a rather gripping tale of two rather ordinary men who decided that despite the risks and it was a company which had let them down, they stood up to be counted and did the deed.
In this day and age with the Fukushima 50 in the headlines, such personal sacrifices are stuff which inspires us and gives us hope in mankind.
Not everyone is made of such heady stuff but it makes us all more grateful and also aware of our own fragility when we shy away from such bravery and sacrific…

Reign of assassins - movie review

Reign of assassins
John Woo has had many hits but most of his better works have come in the 80s and 90s. This could be a return to form for him and he has used the traditional martial arts genre to showcase his skills and has added a multiple-cultural cast plus elements of intrigue and romance coupled with swordplay to good effect.
It begins like a classic swordsman movie but you know there is more than mere swordplay within the first few minutes with change of lead lady from Kelly Lin to Michelle Yeoh within the first two opening acts.
I always say good chemistry between the main actors is a vital ingredient for a great show and the addition of Jung Woo Sung as the hard working village coureir adds a twist and again the provision of some nice humor and romance lifts this movie up and helped to make it better than average.
A martial arts show is incomplete without good choreography and you will like the action scenes too.
Kelly Lin will be the main source of eye candy but at clos…

My current gear 3 2011

My current gear - 3 / 2010 Home Theater --
Denon AVR 2809;Monitor Audio GS10,LCR; Usher 520 (Red) as rears; PSB 10s dipoles; SVS PB 12+; Velodyne miniVee
Toshiba Xe1; Oppo Nuforce BDP 83; QED XT tube 300/micro for rear; GW TD 1000 conditioner;

Audio --
Oppo  BDP 95; B&W amp;W 805s; Musical Fidelity A 5.5; Sangean DDR-3 DAB tuner; PS Audio Juicebar, Belkin PF50 PureAV Power Console, Wiremold power brick, PS Audio Power Cables (amp), Oyaide 750 interconnects and power cable, XinDak Coaxial Cables, Jumper cables; Anticable speaker cables;
Pioneer 507 XG; Panasonic DMR - EX85

Oppo BDP 95 review - is it a tube, a solid state or a BR player...

Third Week with the Oppo 95 – the sonic signature
The review begins here:

There have been some early comparisons between the 83SE and the 95 and one standout point is the more “tube-like” sonic signature of the 95, with a warmer tone than the older 83.
I tried the Oppo 83 NE in a HT based system before the weekend and I remember that it had a lot of detail, and will suit those who listen on the seat of their pants, but for those don’t want a “hot” treble, it is best to avoid using it with a treble happy assembly.
On the other hand, the 95 is more even or actually ventures to the warmer side of neutral and for those who prefer this, it will withstand prolonged listening sessions, and in particular, when I tried my “treble-hot” violin test disc, it was more listenable, and invited me to sit there longer, and finish the whole disc.
As I moved onto the third week of auditioning, the sonic signature is more stable, and y…

A Review Of The Rega Planet 2000 CD player

Starship Enterprise has landed….

HT has been a large distraction for me in recent years, with sounds and sights revolving around me, it’s a very seductive proposition.

But even so, I have always kept one leg in audio, getting a musical AV amp, and then upgrading my speakers to make a difference in stereo. But my weak link has been my CD source. My last proper CD player was the Marantz CD 63 KIS and I also used it with a Camelot DAC, but somehow, using a coaxial cable to my Reference series amps was good enough and since then I have been using my trusty Pioneer DVD 525 as a transport to play music.

The journey to seek out a good CD source has been a long one, with my last player almost 6 years ago. And with a ton of DVDs to keep me occupied, the search has not been too active. I also dabbled in tube amps, but I found that my Marantz sounded better than that tube amp and so I gave it up. I was not done experimenting in stereo yet, and so began a search for a fairly reaso…

Velodyne Minvee Review, AKA SPL 800i

I have a SVS. A rather big one, so why join the Velodyne club?

First of all, I still have my SVS, this was a opportunitistic buy from Circuit City at a manager's price, so I decided why not?

I had been looking for a new sub to augment my SVS, try and fill in the 28-32 Hz region a little better.

With my new Yamaha 663, with 2 subouts, I think I have a better chance of sorting out the sub issue and get more of the addictive thump in the chest bass.

So let me tell you a little more about the Velodyne miniVEE

Specifications MiniVee
Driver: 8" (6.5" piston) forward firing
Kevlar reinforced resin cone
2 ½" dual-layer voice coil
Die-case aluminum basket
Amplifier: 2000 watts Dynamic power,
1000 watts RMS power
High Pass Crossover: 80 Hz (6 dB/octave)
Low Pass Crossover: 40 Hz - 120 Hz (12 dB octave
initial, 48 dB octave ultimate) or
bypass with Subwoofer Direct
Frequency Response: 28 - 120 Hz
Magnet Structure: 204 oz. (12.7 lbs)
Inputs: Gold plat…

Nuforce Icon Amp review

I shall start at the end first, and tell you an easy way to get convulsions, glazed eyes, expressions of pain and sheer sadness....

Buy a Nuforce Icon for SING $300.

The links to some websites on this:



USB (USB 1.1, 2.0 compatible)
3.5mm Stereo
Speaker Outputs (RJ45 connectors with 15 micron thick gold plating). NuForce RJ45 to banana plug speaker cables are provided with NuForce Icon.
Headphone Output:
Maximum output @32 ohm Load: 31.25mW
THD (20Hz ~ 20KHz) : < 0.03%
Frequenc Fresponse (20Hz ~ 20KHz) : < -1dB
Line Out (for Subwoofer) connection
USB DAC: USB 1.1, 2.0 compatible. USB native bit rate: 32-48kHz, 16-bit
Power = 12WX2. Peak power =15WX2
THD+N=0.05%, 1kHz, 2W @ 4 ohm load. THD+N=0.06%, 1kHz, 2W @ 8 ohm load.
Power Bandwidth : 26Hz ~ 50kHz, -1dB, 1W @ 4ohm load
SNR = 84 db …

Review of the Denon AVR 2809 as a processor

Review of the Denon 2809 as a processor:

I have just bought this, and I am using it as a processor for my HT.

I had sold off my Yamaha 663 as I did not like the BTB/ WTW limitations, the lack of processing for lossless bitstream signals and that mine was a 110v USA model.

I then bought a 2309 which I sold in a week as the remote was truly aweful, so here I am with the 2809!

Initial impressions:
Great remote, lots of codes.
30 000 mFarads of capacitance instead of 24 000 on the 2309.
The flap is actually a hindrance and the buttons on the front are less friendly than the 2309.
The Quick Select buttons are great.
Setting up is highly dependant on the position of the mike, and you must turn down the subwoofer levels, less than 12 o'clock
Use as many positions as possible - see the Auddysey or the AVS 2809 forum for more info.

Had a chance to try some old familar hits with the 2809 last night.

IMO Audyssey is a real boon, and will help, with the caveats that you still need good speak…

Marantz Sa 8003 Review, Modified version of this SACD player

When a system is running with all its components in synchrony and the sum total of the parts working well together, the music it produces is truly music to the beholder.

I have long suspected that even with a top of the line Marantz AV amp and the B/W 805s, the two of them will run on the warmer side of things, with some bloom in the bass.

I still feel that the 805s is one of the best bookshelf speakers this side of 5k, and it present a close to neutral picture with the abilty to present a sonic landscape and let you divorce yourself from the confines of the boxes and sit down to enjoy the music.

However it needs a tight rein on the bass, and enjoys being driven with power. In order to achieve a neutral balance, I was reluctant to commit to a straight out of the box Marantz Cd player and add more warmth to the whole sonic picture.

I had been talking to a professional on the possibility of either an Mod Oppo or SA 8003, when the opportunity presented itself to get a SA 80…

Dared MP 5 tube amplifier review

An IPOD, Monitor Audio RS6 and a very small amp

Ipods are meant for teenagers.
Cheap amps are not hi fi.
All amps sound the same.
Small amps cannot drive floorstanders
Audiophiles are retired ah peks who have time to sit down and enjoy the whole CD.

The Dared tube hybrid amp looks better in red than Scarlett Johansson in a red dress.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong and hmm I guess the last one is wrong too 

I unpack my new Dared MP5 hybrid tube pre-amp with a solid state 10w pc power section. The packaging can put many other more famous brands to shame. The word is ATD. Attention to detail. There is adequate packing material to make sure this amp survives a rollercoaster ride from ROC. The first thing you see when the box is opened is a set of gloves and a cleaning cloth, which will be needed to wipe off the inevitable fingerprints you leave behind on the chrome polished surfaces.

Next the cabling (USB connectors, RCA cables and a phones to RCA cable) are neatly stored in…

Oppo BDP 95 review Part II - a weekend of music

The Oppo 95 comes with a nice Rotel toroidal power transformer feeds a full-wave bridge rectifier on the linear power supply. Four audio grade 3300uF/50V ELNA capacitors are used for bulk filtration before feeding a set of positive and negative linear voltage regulators. Another set of 470uF/25V ELNA capacitors are used for post-regulation filtration and current storage.
Now to put this into perspective: some Amps don’t even have that much capacitance!

A Weekend of Listening:
So I get some down time to sit down and listen to this player. Bear in mind, its only been in my system for about 2 weeks at this point, and I don’t really want to run it day and night just to run it in that much faster.
Instead, I let my dad play with it, watch his movies, listen to his CDs etc. Since there is no complaints (I took away his Nuforce Oppo 83), I guess that means the level of satisfaction remains…
I have a collection of discs with drums, which allows me to demo good bass, beats and I enjoy a nice …

Oppo BDP 95 95 or 93?

I get asked this alot, and it is also a FAQ or FA D(discussed) topic recently.

95 or 93


It's a question you will need to answer -

How is your music to HT ratio?

So in summary:

If you use the Oppo primarily as a BR device for HT, with an occasional dabble in music, and will be mainly using the HDMI as your main connection between the BR player and AV amp, then the 93 is more than enough.

In fact if you don't need the video chip, the 3D etc, a basic BR player from the mainstream brands will do.

However if music plays a significant role, if you have a serious AV amp or better yet, a stereo amp, then it pays to either use the RCA output of the 93, which can be sufficient for the occasional user,


Go the full way and get the 95.

Until we sort out some audio shootouts, we cannot really answer the question as to how much better is the 95. But I would wager that it will be better - in the Right system - and how does it compare to a Audiolab CD player with the same DAC?

Well aga…