Listening to the Mirage Satellites and watching an Epson 3600 Projector in Action - the problem with Sats and Ceiling mounts

Just sharing a little movie night I experienced at a friend's home recently..

He has a place with a 5.1 setup using Mirage Sats and a 6" sub, and a Epson 3600 Projector. His source was a Denon BR and a 1910 AV amp in a small living room of his apartment.

The Front Left and Right channels were mounted near the top of the wall next to the ceiling, and the rear surrounds were also just as high. The centre was on his console, just below the edge of his Remaco screen which has a gain of 1.3.

We used Hero, and the Art of Flight as demos.

We used two scenes used from Hero:

- the fight between Donnie and Jet at the chess parlour first:

You could hear the sound of raindrops and the splatter onto the floor, the Mirage satellites did a nice job with the highs, and you could get a good sense of ambiance. However in the sound transitions from one speaker to another, they didn't do so well, as the sound was isolated to the ceiling, next to the speaker, and when the action traveled from one speaker to the adjacent one, there was a gap instead of a convincing transition. In particular when the action was panning from the left to right and vice versa, you could not get a smooth panning of the action and the sound leapt from one speaker to the next, with a large gap in between.

The other issue was the integration between the sub and the small sats. The mids, and even the bass was lacking, and where you are supposed to get a solid thud, you get a mild rumble.

One of the reason could also be the fact that he was using a small subwoofer with a 6" cone, and integration / calibration was found wanting.

- in the second scene at the book room, again you hear good ambience but as Hero (Jet Li) flies around the room, you lose the smooth transition, and you can clearly hear that the sound is limited to the speaker. Furthermore, the sound comes from up high, which works for ambiance, but instead of the action occurring around you, it's high up above the listener.

On the other hand, the Epson which is almost 5 years old, did a sterling job of conveying color, depth, and detail. The only caveat was that the blacks were more greyish in nature. But in bright scenes, and even darker ones, the color was very impressive. You do get some "soap opera effect", and if you are bothered by this, then you should choose your projector carefully...




In conclusion, the Projector impressed, and the Mirage Sats had high WAF, with a very nice treble, but ceiling or near ceiling speakers are certainly not the ideal position for surround placement, and a large distance in height between the centre and the fronts make for a poor transition and panning.

Do plan your placement or if WAF takes precedent, then understand the limitations of the surround envelop you can create.

Cheers


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

Washing Machine Buying and Usage Tips



I used to think that buying a washer was a simple affair, you choose the capacity, whether it's a top or front loader, and and viola!

The different technologies behind the various brands is pretty daunting,  and it's good to have some ideas of what you need.

First some washing tips:
From here: (http://singaporebrides.com/weddingforum/threads/washing-machine-which-brand-is-good.2631/page-7)

 Recipes to washing care...

Grease/Tar - Smear both sides of the stain with fresh butter, and leave overnight, then scrape away delicately.

Rust : use orange juice or vinegar

Red wine: put some white wine and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt to prevent saturation, then soak in cold water.

Grass: on white fabric you use a diluted solution of bleach and water. On coloured fabrics, using 90% alcohol can give good results. alternatively dampen the stain, cover it with castor sugar (fine grain sugar) and leave for an hour

Ink : Rub with fresh milk or lemon juice

Chewing gum : Ice cubes to harden the gum and scrape it off or use nail polish remover to dissolve it (if the fabric allows)

Ball poin/ felt pen: dab the stain with a rag soaked in 90% alcohol

Blood: Soak the fabric in cold water or carbonized water, added with an aspiring tablet. Do not use bleach

Very dirty shirt Collars: Smear the collars with shampoo. Shampoo contains agents to dissolve bodily oils.

Cocoa, tea, coffee : put a little glycerin on the stain and rinse with diluted vinegar.

Make up : Remove the stain with some ether

Eggs : Leave the stain soaked for 2 hours using the hand soap solution and wash off.

Fruits : use a mixture of 90% alcohol, lemon juice and white vinegar.

Winter clothing: DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER it will slacken the knitting.
-To remove residual water from your sweater after you have selected the "rinse Hold" button, spread the sweaters flat between two absorbent towels and pass over with a pastry rolling pin. The fibres are preserved and the shape of the sweater will be maintained (NEVER WRING IT LIKE A FLOOR RUG)

To maintain the full volume of your padded overcoat, place some tennis balls in the drum. They act as beaters to evenly distribute the padding inside the clothing.


Anyway, I found some articles related to how to choose a washer:
http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-Washing-Machines

Plus this:

Wash settings
 Most machines have preset wash programmes, such as 'gentle wash' for delicate clothes, and water level options. You can customise and save favourite settings. These can be adjusted through rotary controls, a touchpad or a touchscreen. The first type is the cheapest.
Spin cycle
 The spin cycle for drying is measured as revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher the rpm, the better it will dry your clothes. However, this will depend on the types of clothes. For delicate clothes, the spin cycle is 300-500 rpm, while for thicker items, such as jeans, it is about 1,000 rpm.
Fuzzy logic
 This feature automatically chooses the best washing conditions depending on the quantity of clothes. It detects the weight of the laundry and then determines how much water, detergent and time is required to clean the load. So, you don't need to bother with any settings.
Temperature control
 If the washer has an in-built heater, this feature will help adjust the temperature of the water. This can prove useful in winter. Besides, hot water cleans clothes better. Some of the machines have steam setting, which helps fight dirt and stains well.
Time delay & pre-soak
 Time delay allows you to load the washing machine and start it later. This is useful if you want to avoid the noise at certain times. The pre-soak facility allows you to soak the clothes for a specified period, after which the wash cycle starts automatically.
WHICH WASHING MACHINE SUITS YOUR NEEDS?
Semi-automatic or Automatic
Semi-automatic
 These entry-level washing machines have two tubs, one for washing and the other for drying. So you need to keep shifting the clothes.
The good: Semi-automatic washing machines don't need a permanent water connection and also use less water than the fully automatic ones. They are also the cheapest and usually cost Rs 5,500-12,000.
The bad: These machines require manual intervention. They are also bigger in size and need more space, though they have wheels for mobility.
Automatic
 These washing machines have only one tub, where you can perform all functions. So you don't need to shift clothes.
The good: Such washing machines are energy-efficient. They need to be programmed only once before each wash load, which is why they offer more preset wash programmes. These are of two types—top loading and front loading. The bad: Automatic washers are more expensive. Top loaders cost Rs 8,500-35,000, while front loaders are available for Rs 12,500-75,000.
Top loading or front loading
Top loading
 These are of two types: agitators and impellers. Agitators have a pole with fins that protrudes from the bottom of the drum and moves the clothes around. Impellers have propellers at the bottom, which churns the water to move the clothes.
 The good: You can add clothes midway through the wash cycle. They have a shorter wash cycle.
The bad: They use a lot of water. Those with agitators are rougher on clothes, while impellers are good for delicate materials, but tend to tangle clothes.
Front loading
 In these machines, the drum rotates, tumbling the clothes to clean them.
The good: Front loaders are the most energy- and water efficient and also wash the cleanest. Most of them have a built-in heater to heat water.
The bad: These washing machines are more expensive than the others. They require a permanent water connection and the pressure of the water has to be high. You cannot add clothes midway through a cycle. Front loaders are heavy and cannot be moved easily.
Additional features
Automatic dispensers: These release the bleach, detergent or fabric softener automatically at an appropriate time during the wash cycle.
Extra rinse cycle: As the name suggests, it rinses the laundry for an additional cycle and is beneficial for people who are sensitive to detergent residue.
Air dry: When the drum rotates, this feature allows it to suck in air and blast it out on the clothes. This results in a more effective and faster drying of clothes, leaving them free of bad odour and bacteria.


The theory is this:

Direct drive is mechanically superior to belt drive because there is no belt or transmission between the motor and the basket.  This eliminates the components most likely to fail in the drive system.

 The motor in direct drive machines is typically a permanent magnet synchronous motor (brushless DC motor) versus an induction motor.  The rotor of the direct drive motor is connected right to the tub and is the source of the term "direct drive".  These motors have no wearout mechanism as there are no brushes to erode.
And the difference between a belt driven and direct drive washer may not be that big a deal...

http://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/help/buying-advice/washing-machine/3378-direct-drive-versus-indirect-drive-washing-machines.html


Where to buy your washer?

Actually this applies to many other household goods as well. Firstly, the when question: get it during a sale, so you don't end up paying SRP.

Otherwise there is honestly not a lot of difference in price between the various chains, often differing by less than 5% in price.
The smaller brick and mortar shops may offer about 5-10% less, but do examine the details.

For example, the same washer was $659 at Courts, $699 at Best Denki. But you can use your BD card to redeem free delivery and disposal of the older washer, and that costs $30 each, which means you saved $60. And you get rebate points with the BD credit card.
Furthermore, if you have points, you can redeem them for an even lower price.

Add free parking ($5 discount), and you might be ahead by quite a bit even though the Courts price looks lower.

Another thing to look at is the extended warranty. I tend to invest in this for something that's hard to transport, like a washer, as it's hard to bring it in, and labor + transport are sometimes more costly than the parts.

So if you are a BD card holder, again the cost of extended warranty comes down.
Gain City also offers the same deal, their machine costs $729 for the same machine, which seems more, but it offers a 5 year warranty, which brings the price to about the same.

Delivery date also matters, as some companies are more willing to hold that washer until your renovation is done.



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

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