Showing posts from January, 2015

American Sniper - movie review

Firstly war is a difficult thing to stomach and the act of killing someone is not something that is pleasant.
If one uses a missile, or engages in air to air combat, the act of killing is quite different from killing someone up close and personal. On the other hand, using a high powered rifle, with the aid of a scope, the act of killing is both distant, and yet up close and personal. You have a second or even more from firing to impact, and life comes to a standstill during these seconds. The sheer act of breathing becomes a loud noise that can drown out even the largest canons, and you can literally see the effect of your shot.

Having fired everything from a 5.56 to a 7.62 to LAWs, 88mm RR and even a 105mm, each one is quite different. The 5.56 has little kick, and yet does a lot of damage from a rifled barrel. Small wound in, a terribly huge exit wound. The 7.62 can kick like a horse, and that is one aspect in which Bradley Cooper doesn't quite get it right, as he is…

Buying A New AV Amp / Processor in 2015

I decided to start a thread on this as I am looking at a new AV receiver / processor and in the course of of my buying process, I received messages, talked to other members and also got very helpful advice from pros.

So I want to share my thought process, so others can learn and also benefit from my journey.

I sold my Denon 4520 last year, and have been awaiting the arrival of the new 3D sound formats since I got wind of this. At that time, there was scant information, only that Atmos, and Auro may arrive, and now we have these two formats as well as DTS X on the near horizon.

In addition, I managed to add the four speakers required for Atmos: Top Fronts + Rears, and also a VOG : Voice Of God. I also retained my original Front Heights which will come in handy for Auro.

With this in mind, I held back initially when the first wave of Atmos amps hit the market, and I soon realised that you have to really go in with your eyes and ears open.

The main caveats:

- none of the current am…

The Four - movie trilogy review

Some movies make you laugh, cry and others allow you to sit back and enjoy the action. For others you need to suspend the disbelief and enjoy the surround sound, even if the plot is rather stupid.

And sadly "The Four" trilogy doesn't even qualify for the latter group. No doubt the sound engineers had a field day, and again Chinese money gave the three shows really serious production values beyond what Hong Kong studios can offer, but it's not enough to save these movies.

The plot borrows a lot from a variety of sources, including X Men, where a group of individuals with special powers gather to fight evil. It then uses Justice Bao and the treasure trove of stories on corrupt officials, weak emperors and their cronies to formulate a story. But despite a liberal use of CGI and a rather stellar ensemble cast, the stories lack depth, and even if you suspend, burn or totally eliminate disbelief, it's still hard to swallow the talking tree which revives the…

Adding Ceiling Mounted Speakers II

I think the advent of Atmos / Auro has led many to consider adding ceiling speakers.

As previously discussed (, the ceiling can be a concrete one, and so there's cutting involved, or a false ceiling.

If it's the latter, then one must really ensure that the ceiling can bear the weight.

Most false ceilings in domestic settings were built by contractors to hold the weight of some light fixtures, with cables inside and nothing much more. They usually use aluminum struts the situation is worse if one has a central false ceiling that is a single monolithic structure which is lightweight and quite flimsy.

Eg, I got this from :

And to add anything more than 3 kilos (multiplied by 4 speakers) will need reinforcement or a complete tear down of the ceiling.

So some planning is needed before trying to add any speaker that one may already posses. Oth…