Showing posts from 2012

Oppo BDP 105 review - audio performance

Oppo BDP 105 review - audio performance
Partnering equipment
Musical fidelity A5.5 stereo amplifier B&W 804D QED XT 300 speaker cables, kimber I/C, wireworld oasis power cables
The Oppo official website has plenty of info on the various features:
Details of the various functions of this versatile machine can be found elsewhere, but key audio features include:
Sabre 32 DAC - no longer stacked, but it remains to be seen of that was a better arrangement Inputs coaxial, optical, hdmi and USB to use the internal DAC Wi fi playback of a variety of formats
The latest flagship Oppo has evolved into more than just a simple universal player and has a long list of functions, which give it capabilities beyond even the new generation of cd players with one or two digital inputs.
Oppo has been quick to recognize that it cannot win the pocket rocket Blu Ray player, or even merely on the pedigree of the components, but it has tried to embrace the digital ag…

Subwoofer buying tips

Having moved from a very budget sub in my early days (Robertson Audio 12") to more expensive ones as my ability to afford them went up, I have some advice for other bass lovers…. I am not expert, there are many more experienced gurus out there, but I do want to spend the least to get the right sub.

Sort that out early at the same time as your other HT purchases. The same principle applies: give yourself as big a budget as possible and buy to the point of pain. It’s no point buying something to a certain budget, then regretting it later on, when it doesn’t meet your needs, then you need to dispose of the first one and spend more on the second…
Second hand or first hand:
The good thing about second hand items is the value and price. You can save a lot when others upgrade. But the downside is subs can be driven hard, and unless you are familiar with the items, or know the owner well, there is an inherent risk.
Some more intrepid souls will do mass orders of popular subs…

My Setup 12 / 2012

PS64D8000FM Samsung plasma TV

Denon AVR 4520 – XT 32, 11.2 capable with nine amps inbuilt, twin sub out
Rotel 1572: 2 channel power amp with 250W per channel driving the front pair of
804D  Oppo BR player BDP 105 as CD and HT source Apple TV (Gen 1) for music and photos HTM4s centre, Radius 90HD for height and wide channels Usher 520 for rear back Monitor Audio RXFX in dipole mode for side surrounds JL Audio F113 for low bass Hsu MBM for mid bass (tuned to 50-120 Hz) - sited behind my main seat QED XT 300 for front and centre speakers QED Micro speaker cable for the rest Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI for Oppo to amp Aiborg flat HDMI cable, LHS and AQ Forest HDMI cable - amp to TV and other sources Audioquest Snake subwoofer cables Wireworld Oasis 6 Interconnects
Assorted Xindak, PS Audio and other power cables MK wall power sockets Rhodium Right Angle Plug adapters for USA power cables Auralex subdude platform and under centre speaker Da lite screen Glass optical cables

For my desktop: KEF X 300A Stereo sys…

Hobbit - Movie review

It’s been more than 5 year since the LOTR series ended, and at that time, we were all enthralled by the mystical world of Middle Earth, the scenery, the men in armour bonding whilst defeating the forces of evil in adventure after adventure. Since then, fans have been clamouring for the Hobbit to be made.

SO it with great fanfare that we welcomed Hobbit this month, especially after the start stop efforts in making it in NZ, the 48 fps movie making process and just the duress suffered to make this happen.
I must have been a little jaded, but the word is : Rehash…
Sure, there were the heady battles, the camaderie, the fabulous NZ scenery doubling up again for Middle Earth (didn’t spot any chaps in modern clothes or wearing watches this time), and of course the new awesome 7.1 surround.
But somehow it wasn’t as novel, as tight as before and the new band of brothers or dwarfs to be more exact, were more faceless, and more is not always better. There were more members, and it was no longer a s…

Getting that Rumble in the sofa and the thump in the chest - Bass in your HT system

As those who have been following this blog  will know... I had a new Home Theatre Den created late last year, and have stocked it with a 11 channel HT system, and have since gone through three sets of main speakers, and five subs...

After many years of playing with HT, I figured that I can do a pretty decent job of creating that ambiance, tweaking the speaker levels, delays, placements etc to create an immersive experience for the ultimate home cinema enjoyment.
My bearbug has always been the bass.

The Holy Grail has always been that thump in the chest (mid bass 50-250Hz), and the rumble in the sofa / floor (low bass < 40Hz). I first heard the ultimate bass experience at the bass guru's home, it was a truly visceral experience...

But it was a bit too much for me to be honest, as I am truly conscious of presbycusis and noise induced deafness. I then visited the homes of others and found that in modest setups, they had this magic combination of rumble and thump. I…

The Bullet Vanishes– movie review

The Bullet Vanishes– movie review

Lau Ching Wan has played the quiet, reliable man, who is deeper than he looks, and can be depended to turn in a solid performance. Nic Tse has become more than a spoilt brat, and together they make this into more than what the sum of the parts are.
Hong Kong’s film industry has gone down the drain creatively, and it’s sad that they need to hash together this movie from parts and bits from many recent Hollywood hits to make this.
Those familiar with Robert Downing Jr’s Sherlock, and Inspector Galileo from Japan will see many familiar elements. There is an exact duplicate of the slo-mo explosion scene from the first episode, and they even borrow the theme music from Inspector Galileo, and the blackboard scenes… the music, the clothes and the mood and even the grain of the film borrows heavily from the former movie.
But even so, the two protagonists show so much solid chemistry together, that you tend to excuse these and focus on how well the two combin…

Moving into the world of Home Theatre - choice and getting the components

Welcome to the world of HT and I had some points to add before you commit and end up regretting your move:

For new members considering a whole HT system, and are moving up from a home theatre in a box  (HITB) or are going to dive right in, this is general suggestion based on my own buying experience.

I shoot straight and come straight to the point, so you may or may not like my style of writing.

- Most new home owners live in the the modern pigeon holes we call homes.
You have a relatively confined space, that DOES NOT suit those huge floorstander speakers.
 The only way you can do this is to add a lot of room treatment, and from my experience, most people don't budget for this. In fact if  you have completed renovations that's hard, but if you have not begun, do give this some consideration.

Many new home owners don't look like the sort to spend another 1-2k on room treatment alone. But this is an important thing to discuss with your contractor, and you can read more …

Ken Krisel Subwoofers

I had a chance to listen to the Ken Kreisel Subwoofers subs recently, thanks to the warm welcome of some friends and also watch a couple of bass gurus at work.

They were also very kind enough to give a tutorial on bass, mid bass, and many other things.

They now belong in my Hall of Wow... along with some other speakers I have heard.

Just a pair of 8" ones, set up properly can give a very solid punch. That's in the higher frequencies than I expected, going up to 240 Hz, which was not what I had expected.

They exhibit speed and slam, and will be very impressive in our small homes.

If that's all you desire, then they will be able to show their superiority to some of our traditional favorites from Hsu, SVS, and even Rhythmik and JL Audio in this aspect.

In the same room we also had the JL Audio F 113, and it was a different kind of sub.

The JL Audio digs deeper, and gives that awesome rumble still, but will lose out in speed and because it can dig…

As One - Korean Movie review

As One - Korean Movie review

I like table-tennis and sports movies in general, and this combines the two into a movie based on a real story of the two Koreas, North and South combining in 1993 for the World Championships..

It's a simple premise, of two unlikely partners, so close and yet so different. The movie takes us through the throes of these foes, forced by political reasons to work together to defeat the mighty Chinese juggernaut, and bring home the gold medal.

A touching movie with plenty of action, which I suspect was CGI, but it brought back memories of the battle of the Chinese involving Singapore and the PRC in the recent Olympics.

Recommended for all Table Tennis fans and you don't need to know Korean to appreciate this movie.

I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.

Key of Life – movie review

Key of Life – 鍵泥棒のメソッド / Kagi Dorobo no Mesotdo

This is a Japanese comedy which garnered much praise in Japan, and even if you do not understand Japanese, and have to rely on the subtitles, it is a movie that you may want to consider.
The plot is relatively simply to begin with. A hitman loses his memory after a fall in a public bath, and a loser part-time actor capitalizes on the situation and tries to assume his identity. This is complicated by a magazine editor, who has set herself a goal of finding a husband in two months.
There is more than meets the eye to the hitman, and he and the editor begin an unlikely relationship, and it is complicated by the people who want someone dead, those who are supposed to be dead and those who want to avoid being dead.
The flow is rather good, and the choice of actors is impeccable, with a stone hard faced Teruyuki Kagawa playing the hitman in question, whilst the buffoon is played by Masato Sakai to perfection. And of course the lovely Ryoko Hi…

Finding A Friend For The End Of The World

This one was another show which is outside of my usual Micheal Bay-esque actioner, but it was an interesting viewing at 4 am in the morning across the oceans.
Steve Carrell plays another 40-ish man whose wife leaves him and then he decides that he wants to go meet his first love.
However the main kicker is that this show is set in the last days of the earth. In a scenario not unlike Armageddon, a large meteor is about to end life on earth. In three weeks time, to be exact, at the beginning of the show.
So he journeys across USA looking for his first love, and he travels with a hypersomniac in the form of the Kiera Knightly, who looks very different from her Pirate days.
Their travails form the main part of the story, as they look for old long lost parents, loved ones in the midst of an interesting portrayal of how people would be in the midst of impending doom.
An interesting vignette is that of his cleaning lady, who doggedly continues her weekly cleaning of his apartment, even as d…