Showing posts from 2014

Kano - movie review

When someone thinks of a Taiwanese movie, you would not normally expect a movie in which 95% of the dialogue will be Japanese. Yet, here is a movie about a Taiwanese team based in Kagi or Chia-Yi, set during the occupation of Taiwan in the 1920s, and how the mix of Japanese, native Taiwanese, and Han Chinese go from absolute losers to feature in the final of the top middle school baseball tournament in Japan.

Sure the actors are raw, but the director takes great pride in getting the accents right, and the coach is wonderful and the movie is less about nationalistic sentiment of an occupied nation, but more about beating the odds and digging deep during a difficult time when half of North Asia was under Japanese rule.

It's a little longer than it could have been, some of the training scenes could have been edited out, but it's heart warming, and a good effort.

Highly recommended for sports fans, and worth a watch even if you aren't one.


Free to air channel frequencies


Chef - movie review

Jon Favreau usually is associated with more action movies like Iron Man, Aliens and Cowboys, and he spends more time behind the camera or in the directing chair these days, but I am glad he decided to take on a different kind of project that warms not only the heart but also the stomach..

In fact, if you aren't reaching out for a cubana or some kind of sandwich after watching this, you aren't human... Jon actually took lessons from a food truck chef to make this show and that's really him chopping those veggies at top speed.

This light-hearted and yet moving show depicts Jon as a chef who cooks well albeit unhappily at a top restaurant in LA, and his creative juices are suppressed by his boss, played nicely by Dustin Hoffman. A top food critic lambasts his efforts and he goes berserk,  leading to a meltdown and his sacking.

At the same time, he has trouble connecting with his son, who lives with his estranged wife, played by a super hot Sofia Vegara. He th…

Adding Atmos / Auro speakers to an existing setup

When one adds speakers into an existing setup, there are a few considerations:

1) Space

Do you have space, and what kind of speakers can you add - floorstanders, space for stands and space in the ceiling for speakers is no different.
As it's an added on item you may already have stuff on the ceiling, such as fans, lights or even other speakers.. If they are too close together, the sound will be affected.

2) Mounting

Are the speakers mounted directly onto the concrete ceiling or will they go into a false ceiling? Cutting into concrete is no mean feat.. there's lots of dust, and you will need to cover up your stuff in the home if you want to avoid dust. Trust me, they will get into everything if you don't cover up..

If there are items where dust is a no no, move them..

As for false ceilings, will the ceiling take the weight? For small speakers like the Anthony Gallos, that's usually no issue, but if you are using regular bookshelf speakers, adding 4 or mo…

Making A Home Theatre Den In My Mum's Place - high WAF

I decided to design a rack myself with the help of Nic and my ID for my mum's home, and this is a full tower rack, plus a front console which can store four CD / BR players, two set-top boxes / Modems, one processor and three amps / power amps.

The rack is made from mahogany, and can be stressed to carry 300 kg or so.

It has slits for ventilation, and a sliding side door to access the back panel. There are double magnets to hold the doors to prevent shaking.. and we tested the place with a solid sub to check for vibrations.

In addition there's a LED light strip stuck to the wall behind the shelves.

Each shelf can also be removed totally, allowing for a PA rack to slide in..

I also sized the bottom to fit up to a JL Audio F 113 or Rhythmik F15HP.. and there's an inbuilt Auralex-like pad at the bottom of the console.

The front console follows the basic dimensions of my old rack, but the top is removable to access the gear inside, plus a rear access panel which opens…

Atmos arrives in my den...

New year, new gear...

Well it's not 2015, so not everything is in place...

But here's what I will be getting in the next few weeks or are in place recently:

JL Audio E 112 - two units
Auralex Gramma
QED Revelation Signature
Anthony Gallo A'Divas

I am current waiting for things to settle before I decide on which AV amp / processor..

The MLP is sited under the fan, which I don't use for critical listening... but the blades don't hit the speakers... and they are far enough to avoid influencing the sound..

The speakers are 35 degrees from the perpendicular, pointed towards the MLP. The speakers are in line with the front speakers. 

The one in the centre is meant for a future Auro Voice Of God project..

The cables were cut and buried into the ceiling.. that was one dusty and tough job...

We used a combination of QED Classic and Micro..

And what's already in my current setup:

PS64D8000FM Samsung plasma TV

Marantz PM 11S3 : 2 channel stereo amp with HTbypass and 100W per chan…

Pioneer Sp-Bs22Lr review

A link to the technical info:

Description: Two-way bass-reflex bookshelf speaker (not magnetically shielded). Drive-units: 1" soft-dome tweeter, 4" structured-surface cone woofer. Frequency range: 55Hz–20kHz. Nominal impedance: 6 ohms. Sensitivity: 85dB/2.83V/m. Maximum input power: 80W. Crossover frequency: 3kHz.
Dimensions: 12 9/16" (320mm) H by 7 1/8" (180mm) W by 8 7/16" (215mm) D. Weight: 9 lbs 2 oz (4.1kg).
Finish: Wood-grain vinyl.
Serial numbers of units reviewed: LNV004559VC (auditioning), LFNV0082030C (measuring).
Price: $159.99/pair. Approximate number of dealers: 50+ (plus Best Buy).
Manufacturer: Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., PO Box 1540, Long Beach, CA 90801-1540. Tel: (800) 421-1404. Web:

And the info blurb from the official website:

70 Years of Audio Firsts
These speakers come with a remarkable pedigree of over 70 years of Pioneer audio heritag…

Speaker placement - tips and info


Speakers: Size matters...

Size matters - do we buy the biggest baddest speaker or choose what suits?
That may be a simple concept, but often we think with our hearts and wallets instead of our minds...

Front speakers:
Our eyes, and our budget can allow us to buy really sweet and large floorstander speakers which are actually too big for our rooms. Then there's a lot of room treatment that needs to be done.

How about surrounds?
Actually many have also found that a good sized surround instead of a tiny one makes all the difference.

Centre speaker:

This speaker definitely benefits from a larger cabinet. The centre speaker and sub are the lynchpin of HT and carry most of the signals. Avoid buying the small WAF ones that can't do male baritone voices.

Atmos speakers:
Well do consider physics here... if suspending speakers for an Atmos / Auro setup is being considered, getting too small a speaker can affect the sound and dispersion, too big and it may not be practical for mounting, or what looks ok initially then S…

Denon X4100 Review

First the technical blurb:
This amp is almost identical to last year’s model, the 4000 and the new feature most are looking at will be Atmos, the potentially game-changing new sound format that promises to bring home theatre to a whole new level (pun intended).
So it has 7 channels of amps, pre-outs to allow 9 channel processing, Audyssey XT 32 and Sub EQ as well as lossless sound formatting.

Accompanying system:
B&W 804d Front channels; 805s rears, HTM4s centre, Anthony Gallo A’Diva as ceiling Atmos speakers in Top Front and Rear positions KK 808 (two units) KK 12012 single unit Oppo 105 QED Revelation speaker cables for the fronts and Centre; QED Micros for surrounds Rotel RMB 1572 to drive the Top Rears

This was about a simple exercise to try out Atmos in a domestic setting, and also to listen to the KK subwoofers, but the Denon was also central to the demo, so I de…