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Eastwood Hifi, 16 Q North Business Centre, 829 Old Northern Road, Dural, NSW, 2158 Tel: (02) 9651 4922
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Hi Fi industry and miscellaneous comments

Sign up for our email newsletter and get the stuff I’d be sued for on an open webpage. Don’t subscribe if you get easily offended, have no sense of humour or are a wowser - If you really do enjoy our irreverent humour however, please feel free to offer your opinion on Google+ by clicking on the Logo above. We also have a Specials e-mail which we send out about twice a month. To be on the list for those, you need to click HERE  and put subscribe in the subject line. 16th April 2018: So long Tannoy: Another week and another brand saying so long. This time it is Tannoy as the local importer has decided to relinquished the agency. So what does this mean? We’ll have some very hot pricing on all new and ex-demo Tannoy stock so please give us a call for pricing and availability as it may be your last chance to own a pair. Hopefully someone else picks up the agency soon as it will be a big shame if they are gone for too long! 12th April 2018: What Hi-Fi Revise their review of the RX-A3070: UK publication What HiFi originally rated Yamaha’s flagship RX-A3070 AV receiver only 3 out of 5 stars. Thet recently revised their rating to 4 out of 5 stars. Interesting…. You can read their explanation and review by clicking on the link below https://www.whathifi.com/yamaha/rx-a3070/review 4th April 2018: Oppo’s unexpected announcement: Woke up to some disappointing news this morning that will upset the industry. Oppo have announced that they will be ceasing production of their popular range of blu-ray and 4K players later this year. Now although we don’t sell Oppo there are many brands that will be effected by this as the platform for the Oppo is the  MediaTek motherboard. This platform is used by many other manufacturers such as Cambridge Audio, Primare etc. meaning they too will be forced to pull the plug on their current UHD-Blu-ray offerings. Expect a rush on these players whilst they are still available and possibly a price hike from of the greedier resellers! Subwoofer Sale: We’re having some great success with the Easter subwoofer sale that we started running last weekend. Stocks are starting to thin out a little now on a few of the offerings so if you are considering a new subwoofer then jump on a unit as soon as possible as these deals won’t last. Specials can be found here: Easter Subwoofer Specials. 27th March 2018: After the success we’ve had with the incredible Emotiva S12 subwoofer we have been able to secure a batch of its smaller brother the S10. With a 200w amp and a serious 10” driver you will get huge impact and room filling bass that is fast and accurate for stereo use all in a more compact form factor. These units are hugely discounted for the small batch of stock on hand, reduced from $849 to only $449. If you are in the market for big, quality bass at a budget price point then snap one of these up whilst you can. The bigger S12 is also still available reduced from $1099 to only $699! We recently watched the 4K release of Baby Driver, here is what we thought of the audio/video experience: Baby Driver Blu-Ray and Ultra HD (released 2017). A slick and entertaining movie about a young getaway driver who lives to the beat of his own soundtrack. Music plays a major part in this film; there’s almost always a song playing throughout the entire duration, and all the tracks come through cleanly with plenty of detail and weight when necessary. Demonstrating the considerable influence music has over the film, there’s a memorable shootout at 1 hour 3 mins where the gunfire is delivered in sync with the beat of a song that’s playing in the background. It could be considered gimmicky but it works great in context with the film’s vibe. It has recently been brought to our attention that some of you are having difficulties reaching us via phone. This seems to be caused by a problematic number so please make sure that you are ringing us on 02 9651 4922 only. If we have called you in the past then there is a chance that you may have stored a different number so please check and replace it with the number above to make sure you get through without difficulty. 21st March 2018: So, it’s been a while since we’ve put together any blog content but there’s a lot happening in the industry at the moment and we’ve decided that this might be the best way to keep you all up to date and informed! From now on we’ll try and keep you posted on all of the latest news and gossip in the industry along with movie reviews and scene recommendations that stood out so that you can test you own systems with top notch audio or video content. Let’s get stuck into it. Let’s start things off with something that I am personally quite excited about. Now it’s no secret that I am a massive fan of Paradigm so any news of new releases immediately has me wondering where I can use them and how can I justify a completely unecessary new purchase to my better half. Paradigm have just announced two new loudspeaker ranges including a long awaited Premier series which will sit perfectly between the Monitor and Prestige offerings. Very little info is currently available on the range so watch this space for more details as they emerge!      Premier Series     Monitor SE Series The second of the new ranges is the Monitor SE series which is due to land in store for the end of April. Being one of Paradigm’s biggest resellers we’ve been lucky enough to sample a pair of the new Monitor SE Atoms which are absolutely fantastic. We can’t wait to get our hands on the floorstanders as the small Atom given us some very high expectations. Available in Matte black or a Gloss white they look set to take on Q Acoustics for the top spot in affordable hi-fi. More info on the new Monitor SE Series can be found here: https://www.paradigm.com/monitor-se/specs.php 
Why Q Acoustics Speakers Deliver Award Winning Performance Q Acoustics are unlike any other loudspeaker company on the market. They are a young brand, only established in 2006 when a team of professional engineers and businessmen got together with the sole purpose of creating best in class loudspeakers with outstanding audio performance. In their first year, Q Acoustics released their first range of loud speakers, the 1000 Series, which went on to become best sellers’ due to competitive pricing and top of the line quality. In 2009, the 2000 series was released which took all the best components of the 1000 series and improved on them, to set a new standard in audio performance. Between 2009 and 2014, the Q Acoustics brand grew exponentially, releasing more award-winning products such as the Concept 20 from the Concept Series which showcased ground-breaking cabinet making and introduced an industry first with ‘Gelcore technology’, greatly reducing cabinet distortion for the purest sound. Concept 20 went on to win “Product of The Year” by What HiFi. 2014 also saw the launch of their first ever ‘one-piece’ in the shape of the M4 soundbar incorporating BMR driver technology, with superior room-filling sound that Q Acoustics have refined so perfectly. The critically acclaimed M4 soundbar quickly progressed to win What Hi-Fi ‘Product of the Year’ not once, but twice! Their ground-breaking speakers have been described as some of the most forward-thinking products in existence which for a company only just over 10 years old is unheard of. The reason Q Acoustics are such a revolutionary brand is largely due to the way the team approach their business. They are always working on new innovative technology and new ways of extracting pure, full sound from every loudspeaker, subwoofer or hi-fi system they create. Please call through to the store on 02 9651 4922 for our best pricing and stock availability on Q Acoustic speakers.
The Best of Rega Turntables & Accessories. Get the Most Out of Your Vinyl Rega have been one of the best, most well known names in turntables and have consistently produce high quality turntables, audio equipment and accessories for music makers in the UK and around the world for over 40 years. Music lovers and music makers have been turning to Rega for decades not only because of their outstanding quality and natural dynamic performance but also due to their user friendliness and stunning simplicity. Our range includes the Planar 1, 2, 3 and also soon the the highly anticipated 6. The Planar 1 is their most popular turntable. It’s by far one of the most user friendly turntables you can buy, taking mere seconds to set up out of the box and is the only turntable you need for spinning your favorite vinyl’s. Every part of the Planar 1 has been meticulously designed for quality performance including its 24v, low noise, synchronous motor to reduce vibration transfer combined with a brand new RB110 tonearm fitted with Rega's bespoke zero play bearings. For something slightly more advanced, the Planar 3 is packed with features including improved tone arm, aliminium bracing, improved cable quality and first and foremost, sonic performance making it a truly new turntable, carrying over just two components from the previous model. Rega turntables and their accessories are made with the highest quality materials designed to preserve your vinyl’s and whichever model you chose, they are all built to last a lifetime. Bases in Sydney, Eastwood HiFi are the most trusted reseller of Rega products in Australia, making available all your favorite Rega turntables at affordable prices. We offer very competitive discounts from the retail price so please call through to the store on 02 9651 4922 for our best pricing and stock availability.  
Sony 4K Projectors - Native 4K now starts at new lower pricepoint. Sony have just announced a new range of native 4K projectors that will bring the full 4K experience to the masses. The cheapest of three new offerings comes in at only $7999 when it arrives here in Australia in late September/early October. The new offerings start with the VPL-VW260ES which features 1500 lumens output, HDR including HLG, Sony’s fantastic reality creation and up to 6000 lamp hours making it an incredible package at a price not yet seen so far in the industry for native 4K. The second unit is the VPL-VW360ES which offers similar specs to the 260 but with the inclusion of a dynamic iris and motorised lens memory for users that want to experience Anamorphic widescreen without the need for an external lens. The VPL-VW360ES will go on sale at $10,999 and is also expected late September/early October. The third and most expensive new release is the VPL-VW760ES. This unit offers a 2000 lumen output from a laser light source for beautiful inky blacks and a life span of 20000 hours on the laser. Virtually no maintenance is required so is perfect for high installation or difficult to reach locations. Extremely flexible lens shifting for mounting in even the most difficult of spaces and is whisper quiet for overhead mounting. No Australian pricing has been announced for this model yet and is due to follow the other models slightly later in the year. The 260 and 360 models will be available in black and white options and the VPL-VW260ES will be available instore for demo when they become available. Please give us a call for discount pricing and product availability.
The New Flagship Speaker Model: Q Acoustics Concept 500 Q Acoustics have been bringing us expertly engineered audio products for over 10 years now and with every new release, delivering more inspirational designs and state of the art technology at affordable prices. The new Q Acoustics Concept 500 achieves the perfect balance between art and technology. It’s a floor standing loudspeaker that brings together stylish, sleek designs with powerful, crisp sound. It couples low directivity with wide bandwidth, good sensitivity and sensible impedance, making the new Concept 500 an easy load to drive whilst allowing amplifiers to deliver their best performance. To create a stereo sound quality of that found in a live performance, requires high quality drive units, a well-designed crossover and an accurately constructed cabinet. This was the goal of Q Acoustics and to achieve this with the Concept 500, they put together a truly talented team with many years of combined experience in the design, engineering and manufacture of loudspeakers. The teams hard work and determination paid off and resulted in an exceptional loudspeaker, worthy of any high- end system. Where Q Acoustics have really done well, is with the bass tones in the Concept 500. Reviewers have described the bass as breathable and warm but at the same time, tight and controlled. Achieving a pure, rich bass within a floor standing loud speaker that doesn’t distort, is not an easy feat to achieve, yet they most certainly have with the brand new Concept 500. Please call through to the store on 02 9651 4922 for our best pricing and stock availability on Q Acoustic products. Only the retail pricing is shown below. We offer very competitive discounts from the retail price on our range of Q Acoustics speakers. Please call through to the store on 02 9651 4922 for our best pricing and stock availability.
The Home Cinema: How to Make the Dream a Reality Have you always dreamed of having your very own home cinema? With a little know-how, you can transform that spare room into a dedicated home cinema space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. The definition of a home cinema is a space in the home that is 100% dedicated to an exceptional audio and visual experience. It differs from a home theatre as it does not double as a living room, family room or den. The first thing you will need to consider when setting up your home cinema is your projector and making sure you have the space for it. For the best viewing experience, you can either paint a ‘projection wall’ or use a projector screen, both options work well. Also, think about whether you want to watch movies in HD, 3D, or 4K because this will help you decide on the right projector for your needs. Secondly, think about sound quality. A good surround sound system, configured correctly should transport you from your home, into a whole other world. Either 7.1 or 9.1 speaker configurations will give you the highest level of audio performance possible and both are ideal for home cinemas. You may even want to add some soundproofing to help keep sound in the room, rather that throughout the home. Lastly, why not go all out and purchase some comfortable and functional cinema seating? Often neglected, cinema seating can turn a simple home theatre room into a professional looking home cinema. Cinema seating creates a ‘wow’ factor that will blow your friends and family away! Eastwood HiFi has everything you need to set up your home cinema. Browse our products and make sure to call our store on 02 9651 4922 for competitive discounts on recommended retail prices.
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Thereís impressive surround sound steering and deep, punchy bass during the various heists, car chases and shoot outs. Gunshots are particularly loud and potent. As the action picks up in the last third of the film the soundtrack turns it up a notch as well, getting noticeably louder. Baby Driver has an exciting and novel sound design (especially when it comes to the music) that really adds to the enjoyment of the film.  The latest Star Wars installment is due for a 4K release tomorrow so Iíll be picking that up as a day 1 release after reading a great review of the US release, it has me excited for a top notch audio and video experience .
Yamaha AVENTAGE - We are official stockists of Yamaha’s full Aventage line up of premium AV products. We offer expert advice on Aventage and ancillary equipment. We will try to match any genuine advertised price on Yamaha Aventage Products (In Stock Items Only)
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Steve’s

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December 1st - Stereo Amplifiers are becoming more popular (as are Turntables) since the advent of SoundBars for TV which aren’t really suitable for music listening (perhaps with the exception of the Definitive Technology W-Studio range). I see Yamaha have done a dump on their slow moving AS1100/2100/3000 range in certain colours but even at the dump prices they represent only good but not outstanding value. We’ve looked and listened to the alternatives and have decided the Anthem i225 beats the pants off the 1100 and 2100 Yamaha’s so we’ve put those on sale at $1499 with free shipping (normally $2999) as the Stereo Amp du jour (or month depending on how the stocks hold out) - here’s a taste of the reviews - http://www.digitaltrends.com/amplifier- reviews/anthem-integrated-225-review/ Sure, the price in the US is $1500 but that equates to over $2200 Australian with GST so we figure $11499 is a great price. October 5th - Ah, the joys of retail. One of these days I’ll get a break from people who don’t read manuals (although I must admit to using one myself as a last resort). Some of the calls I’ve been getting lately leads me to believe there are people out there who couldn’t take a piss without someone telling them what to do. Sad but true! The new range of Definitive Technology Speakers with built in subwoofers are just amazing - we’ve been playing around with them for the last week or so and whereas the Martin Logan Motion series are still my personal favourites, the DT’s are actually better value in some model ranges, we have them all in store for demo (the 9000 series Def Techs that is) so it could be worth a visit. September 22nd - Just back from the F1 race in Singapore. Lots of fun although the F1 cars are way quieter than back in the days of the exhaust diffusers so perhaps not as exciting. Here’s a photo of me re-acquainting myself with the Singapore Sling So, to help me pay for the excesses during my sojourn, I’ve had to do some dirty deals, consequently if you’re in the market for Yamaha’s new RX-V2081 A/V receiver or YSP-2700 SoundBar then give me a call on 02 9651 4922 and I may just drop my pants (metaphorically speaking) as I have overstocks on those at the moment. 7th September - Sorry if I’ve been a bit lax on the blogging front but I’m still recovering from the op. All good now however so I can start abusing people again without pain (to me that is). Talking of pain, our thoughts go out to Mel Chillari, founder of Apollo HiFi, who had a really nasty accident, broke nine ribs and has bleeding on the brain. he’s currently in the ICU at RPA. Get well soon Mel, we miss you. Definitive Technology have released a new range of speakers with built in subwoofers. The last range was good but our initial testing of the new 9000 series indicates a significant improvement. More on that range later. August 24th - Yamaha have now released their flagship RX-A3060 A/V Receiver and one now resides in Chez Neil. Not sure if there’s a great improvement on my older RX-V3079 (AKA RX- A3050 - almost) but there seems to be an improvement in picture quality from native 4K sources so maybe a tweak in HDR management. Who knows (who cares) but any improvement is welcome. Sonically, it still leads the pack when teamed with my Martin Logan’s (various receivers react differently with certain brands of speakers) so I’m a happy camper. August 15th - Back in store after having my gallbladder ripped from my very being - kind of like giving birth to an Alien (as in the movie) - I have the photo’s to prove it! I feel great now although I’m off the piss (technical term) which means I’m more focused and nastier than usual (yes, that’s actually possible). One thing my forced lay off did was give me plenty of time to peruse the latest HiFi equipment reviews as I’m always looking for new ways to improve my sound here at home. As speakers are around 70% of the overall sound, that’s where I usually concentrate my efforts. After finding this review from Absolute sound however, I decided to keep what I currently have. http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/marti nlogan-motion-60xt/ Considering we’re selling them at less than the US price (when currency conversion and GST is factored) the 60XT’s are a no-brainer. My fingers are now about to seize up after such a long lay off so I’ll now go and contemplate my scars. August 1st - Off to the Doctors for a little surgery (no, I’m not getting Docked) so have put some hot specials in place to entice purchasing whilst I’m away. Check they specials out under Steve’s Clearance. July 26th - One way to eliminate the opposition is by stealth and there is no one stealthier than Mel Chillari (patriarch of the Chillari Clan - owners of Apollo Hi-Fi) You may have heard of my recent hospitalisation due to gallstones blocking my Bile Ducts, well it turns out that Mel was probably responsible as he loaded me up with Salami, Cheese and red wine when I visited him at his Port Stephens retreat just prior to the attack. Cunning indeed! I also have a cunning plan however and intend to invite him over to our Port Stephens retreat (a mere 100 metres from his) and fill him up with so much Grange that he won’t know what hit him - Expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? We’ll see. July 25th - During the week when things are quiet, we don’t mind demonstrating or talking to customers who have no intention of buying (we may just sow the seeds for a future purchase) but when they come in on a busy Saturday, they are oblivious to the problems they create in respect to inconveniencing other (actual) customers. Last week was a doozy (technical term) - one guy spent over an hour hogging the main sound lounge on the pretext that he wanted to audition some speakers with the view to a possible purchase. It was only after an hour that he admitted he had already purchased a pair of speakers elsewhere and just wanted to be sure he had done the right thing. It’s amazing how some people can walk even with a pair of floorstanding speakers having been rectally inserted. Even better than that was the guy who wanted to see the new JVC 7000 projector (we consider it to be the best projector under $12,000 currently available)  - he’s seen the Sony 4K projector elsewhere and wanted to compare (as if! You can’t see a picture in a different room with a different screen and source then make an objective comparison). I can tell you now that the JVC in 90% of all situations is the better projector at $6K less - the aforesaid gentleman (who it turns out had no intention of purchasing ANY projector) not only said he couldn’t see any difference between the Sony and the JVC but when he compared our JVC to the $1999 Optoma HD26 in the next room, said he couldn’t see any difference between that one either. As we bid him adieu and offered him a free eye test at the local Optometrist, I once again wondered why I bother. Maybe because most customers are interesting and I still get a kick out of explaining and demonstrating the latest gear. I guess I’m getting too old for self centred time wasters. July 16th - Long time between Blogs, that’s what happens when your bile ducts get blocked and they haul you off to hospital to get poked/prodded/sliced and diced. Sad really, The good thing (for you) is that things went a little quiet whilst I was on my back so next week I’ll do a stocktake and try to move some goodies. Just call me direct on 02 9651 4922 if there’s something you want at a good price and I’ll see what I can do. June 14th - Just returned from FiJi after a weeks break. Absolutely brilliant place to holiday as long as you don’t mind spotty Wi-Fi. After listening to live bands (and bloody good ones at that) each night at the Sheraton it was a revelation to come home and listen to how close my ML 60XT’s with the Dynamo 700 sub comes to reproducing that “live” feel. I just discovered a semi documentary on Hulu Plus (via my Roku) based on the life of Cilla Black and her performances through the system come out as raw as “The Cavern” would have been. Highly recommended if you can acess it, it’s just called “Cilla” June 2nd - This is getting way beyond my technical capabilities. When I changed the HDMI cables to 2.0 and used shorter lengths (1.5 metres instead of 3 metres) I was able to access certain picture parameters that were “grayed” out previously. I can now achieve a far better picture when playing native 4K movies (upscaling standard DVD and Blu-Rays gives no benefit at all). The technical experts at KORDZ tried to explain it all to me but I’d need to sober up for far longer to take it all in. I think I’ll go play with the cats (Claw V1.0 and V2.0) May 31st - More fooling around with the 4K stuff last night. To get the best out of the HDR enabled units you need HDMI cables which handle 18Gbs (usually designated HDMI 2.0 or 2.0a although not always). Our friends at EZYHD will ship cables to anywhere in Australia and all their HDMI cables are 2.0. I’ve just ordered some and will give you the results after more testing. May 30th - Just connected my new Sony 75” UHD (with HDR) 4K TV up to all my sources (specifically my Samsung 8500 4K Player)  and discovered a couple of things - Unless you have everything set up perfectly, such as using HDMI 2.0 or preferably 2.0a cables, the picture isn’t much better than standard Blu-Ray. Unless the TV has HDR (High Dynamic Range) there’s bugger all difference anyway. A shit movie is a shit movie no matter what the resolution. Standard resolution programming (576p) is almost unwatchable - you need the HD channels or streaming  Apple TV/Roku/Smart TV app etc. to get any benefit from your new 4K TV. Most frustrating is the variation between the picture quality of various sources. After almost a week of fooling around with colour temperatures, Black Levels, sharpness and a zillion other adjustments, I still can’t get as good a picture as my Samsung 75” 1080p TV (although I have had that unit for 10 months and have had more time for fine tuning) for the majority of programming and would prefer that TV set overall. As we don’t sell TV’s, I have no ax to grind with any model so I’ll keep you informed on my progress. May 18th - Holy Crap batman, I’ve just had an Epiphany! All great subwoofers are not the same (Duh!). In the past I’ve stuck to my Martin Logan Dynamo 700 (RRP $1399) as nothing under $2000 came close - in my acoustic environment anyway. I’ve shied away from bigger subs as my weak, frail body has problems with moving and placing larger subwoofers. As we has a surplus of the Martin Logan BalanceForce 210 subwoofers however, I thought I’d try one with my set up at home. Well. after wrestling the 43kg, 48cm cubed box into our lounge-room, I tuned it in with the aid of the PBK kit and all of a sudden, my system was transformed, not only for the movies (talk about the earth moving for me) but also for music. I suppose I should have expected something pretty awesome given the $6000 price point (currently on sale at $2999) but I wasn’t prepared for such a massive improvement. May 17th - Fun times again as we enter this years EOFY sale. Some items you’ll have to call for price (such as Yamaha’s Aventage range), others are listed on the site. Best deals are on the Martin Logan speakers as we found some with damaged cartons (yes, really) so although the product is perfect, the shipping cartons are crap but at up to 50% off RRP, stop complaining! We now have the Samsung 4K Blu-Ray Players in stock (UBD-K8500/XY) available at $549. Talking of system set up and placement (which I wasn’t but now will), the lovely Noelene bought a new entertainment cabinet for Chez Neil which meant a slight repositioning of my beloved Martin Logan speaker system. to re-tune the set up I re-discovered an old recording which I used to use many years ago as my reference - I lost the original (around 1987 from memory) but found it for download. It’s called Fresh Aire III by Mannheim Steamroller (go on, Google it). The first track (Toccata) is what we used to call ”New Age” music although most of us from that era (it was recorded in 1977) are now “Old Age”. It offers a dynamic and sound stage which enables me to set up my levels and toe-in just perfectly. You should buy that one track just for a hoot! May 12th - Samsung have now released their 4K Blu-Ray Player with a RRP of $599. Absolute bargain as it also streams any Netflix 4K content. They also have two HDMI outputs, one for audio and video for connection to A/V Receivers with HDCP 2.2 and a second HDMI output for audio only so you can bypass the video and plug the primary HDMI output directly into the TV with the other HDMI going straight to the A/V Receiver. Very few movies available as yet but Roadshow will be releasing more next Wednesday. We’ll have stocks early next week. I’ve seen ads for the players at butchered prices already (even though most stores doing stupid prices have no stock). We’ll try to match pricing if possible but can’t always match the Internet cowboys as they have absolutely no technical support, throw you the box and then treat you with the contempt THEY deserve if you need help (just read their return policies). If you were wondering how we keep The Claw (V2.0) so clean, wonder no longer. The fur is a bastard to get out of the filter however.

Steve’s

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