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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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Check out EzyHD for all of your cable & accessory needs! Google+ review Product review logo Review us here! Google+ review Product review logo There’s 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 I’ll 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)
Dunkirk Blu-ray and 4K UHD (released 2017). After winning Academy Awards for both Sound Editing and Sound Mixing our expectations for Dunkirk's soundtrack were high. We’re glad to report it delivers from the outset, when a quiet street in a French village is suddenly rocked by rifle and machine gun fire. During this short scene all speakers come to life with some surprisingly loud sound effects and bass extension, made all the more jarring as the proceeding moments are very quiet.


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 once a month. To be on the list for those, you need to click HERE  and put subscribe in the subject line. 29th November 2018: Definitive Technology Promo Final Days: The Definitive Technology upgrade promotion is due to finish at the end of trade tomorrow so make sure to get in any orders quickly to take advantage of one of the best promotions we’ve seen in recent years. Kef  Q Series With EISA Award: The Expert Imaging And Sound Association have awarded the KEF Q Series as their Home Theatre Speaker System of the year 2018-2019. The system comprised of the Q750 front speakers, Q650c Centre Speaker , Q350 rear speakers and the matching Q50a Dolby Atmos enabled speakers. The speakers are available in black or white and we have them available in our demonstration rooms ready for auditioning, pop in for a listen today! 16th November 2018: Panasonic Release Premium UHD Blu-ray Player: The latest premium 4K Blu-ray player to hit the Australian market is Panasonic’s DP-UB9000. This model has already seen an overseas release and has taken out the EISA award for “Best High End UHD Blu-ray Player.” Winning 5 start reviews from industry heavy hitters such as What Hi-Fi? and Techradar this looks to be the answer that home theatre enthusiasts have been waiting for ever since Oppo ceased manufacturing their popular UDP-203 and UDP-205 players. With a retail price of $1649 it seams aggressively priced for the level of audio and video quality on offer here. With stock due to arrive mid- December I’m eager to get my hands on one and I bet a lot of you are too. We’re taking pre-orders now so if interested in securing a unit please give us a call on 02 9651 4922. Rotel: We’ve opted to strengthen our range of stereo components by adding Rotel to our brand portfolio. Offering beautifully built, incredibly reliable and affordable Audiophile components including CD Players, DAB+ Tuners, Amplifiers and Network Streamers, they have something for most users and budgets. Tonally they are a match made in heaven with the Monitor Audio speaker line up so pop in today for a listen. 26th October 2018: Monitor Audio Arrives: Monitor Audio have recently changed importers here in Australia and are now distributed by Uncle Paul at Melbourne based Interdyn. This has meant that we’ve been able to secure access to this premium British loudspeaker brand and we can immediately see why they are considered one of the biggest names in the industry. One of their most exciting products is a simple product called the Soundframe which gives superb hifi quality performance from a wall mounted artwork/speaker. These are a great way to add audio to a room in a beautiful yet discrete way. Available in store from early November I’m predicting them to be a massively popular product so keep an eye out for them! Q Acoustics Win Another Award: Another week and another award for the new Q Acoustics 3000i series. This time it is the turn of the 3050i floorstanders and they have just been awarded the EISA 2018 - 2019 Best Buy in the Loudspeakers category. Available in store to audition they are a superb speaker at a very affordable price point to suit both audiophiles and home theatre enthusiasts. 13th October 2018: Paradigm Premier Series Now Available: It has been a long wait but we finally have the entire Premier series on the shop floor and ready for auditioning. They marry superb sonic performance with beautiful looks so definitely a must listen for your short list. We’ll have them on our site in the coming few days. Optoma UHD51 4K Projector: We have just taken delivery of our new UHD51 4K projector from Optoma. This brings 4K projection to the masses with a retail price of only $3,299 and boy is it impressive for the money. With 2400 lumens output and a claimed 500,000:1 contrast ratio it really shows off what HDR can offer in a projection system. A truly superb offering and exciting to see image quality of this level dropping so significantly in cost. Available in store now to audition. 3rd October 2018: Yamaha Trade & Save: Off the back of the great success on last year’s Trade & Save promotion Yamaha have decided to offer this again. Running from the 1st October through to the 31st December 2018 new buyers can trade in an older AV receiver as a credit towards a shiny new AVENTAGE unit. Trade in units must be in fully working order including remote control and must be paid for in full before the end of the promotional period. The trade in will attract the following discounts depending on the AVENTAGE model being purchased. Discounts are from the retail pricing. Full T’s & C’s check out the link HERE. CX-A5200 - $500 trade in value     MX-A5200 - $500 trade in value RX-A3080 - $500 trade in value RX-A2080 - $400 trade in value RX-A1080 - $300 trade in value RX-A880 - $250 trade in value RX-A780 - $150 trade in value 26th September 2018: New Yamaha Turntables: It’s been over 20 years since Yamaha last released a turntable and now all of a sudden they’ve given us 3 of them! The latest flagship offering is the GT-5000 based on the iconic GT-2000 from the early 80s. Set to be an expensive unit when pricing is released we’re expecting it’ll cost somewhere around the $8k - $9k range aimed squarely at the high-end enthusiast the simply has to have the best. The two models which we’re more interested in are the more modestly priced TT-S303 and TT- N503 with stock expected to arrive in store sometime in November. The TT-S303 offers classic styling with a beautiful glossy black finish, clear acrylic cover, straight tone arm and a built in phono pre-amp for $599. The TT-N503 brings the same performance and features as the TT-S303 but also adds MusicCast. This will allow you to stream content too and from the turntable accross your home network. This model will be more commonly known as the Vinyl 500 and is priced at $899. 19th September 2018: New Paradigm Defiance V & X Subwoofers: Paradigm’s latest Defiance series subwoofers have just started arriving with the V10 and V12 now available in store to audition. The latest subwoofers are a decent performance upgrade from the outgoing PDR and DSP series only now offering more features and better value. From the V10 upwards we now get app control allowing for adjustment from the comfort of your seat, ARC calibration for accurate in room optimization and improved musicality. The premium Defiance X series offer bigger power output, more heavy duty drivers and a larger 15” model for the ultimate home theatre enthusiast. This is how the range will look: Only retail prices are shown. V series pictured below. Defiance V8 = $749.00 Defiance V10 = $999.00 Defiance V12 = $1249.00 Defiance X10 = $1999.00 Defiance X12 = $2499.00 Defiance X15 = $2999.00 16th August 2018: The Yamaha RX-A3080 finally arrives: After months of waiting the latest range topping AV receiver from Yamaha is finally available in store and  it was well worth the wait. Bundled with a free Amazon Echo Dot, we finally see the introduction of voice control over the MusicCast family. XLR inputs were a big addition to last years model but now we also see XLR pre-outputs for the front channels, a third HDMI output and selectable HDCP version per input which will delight owners of those pesky Fetch TV and Foxtel IQ3+ boxes. MusicCast Surround technology now allows us to use one of two new MusicCast powered Speakers as wireless rear surrounds. The MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 will be priced at $349 for the smaller MusicCast 20 and $699 for the larger MusicCast 50 and both models are available in either black or white. Stock is available now so please pop in for info and a  demonstration of this new wireless rear technology. In ceiling speaker clearance: We’re currently way overstocked with the Yamaha NS-IC600 in ceiling speakers. These speakers are perfect for use as part of a multi-zone set-up, rear surrounds or height channels in a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system. Their normal retail price is $449 and for the next 30 pairs (or until Yamaha tell us to stop,) we’re selling them at less than half price at only $199 per pair. Grab a pair or two today before they all go as this is a one off deal only! 28th July 2018: KEF store credit promotion: After the industry’s slower start to July some of our suppliers are really ramping up their promotions to try and pick things up. Firstly it was Definitive Technology with the super deal listed in the last blog entry below and now its is KEF with their impressive Q Series. Simply purchase any Kef Q Series speakers during the month of August and receive the following back in store credit via redemption. KEF Q150 = $40 Store Credit KEF Q350 = $60 Store Credit KEF Q650c = $70 Store Credit KEF Q550 = $100 Store Credit KEF Q750 = $150 Store Credit KEF Q950 = $200 Store Credit Click on the image to the right for the Ts & Cs. Test disc recommendation: After my last disc & soundtrack recommendation had set the bar very high I was pleasantly surprised at another recent 4K release called Ready Player One. This is the latest offering from Steven Spielberg and features one of the most dynamic Atmos scenes that I’ve heard to date. Skip to the second chapter (I think,) to watch the race sequence turn the volume up and really see what Atmos can offer. There area couple more impressive sequences like this throughout the movie so well worth a watch and with over 130 Easter eggs hidden throughout it’ll keep you coming back to find them all! 19th July 2018: The mother of all speaker promotions: So this has to be one of the best promotions that I have seen in my 15 years with Eastwood Hifi. Our friends over at Definitive Technology will be running a promotion with us for the whole month of August where you’ll be offered a complimentary 1 model upgrade. This is how it will work:  - Buy a BP9020 and get a FREE UPGRADE to BP9040  - Buy a BP9040 and get a FREE UPGRADE to BP9060  - Buy a BP9060 and get a FREE UPGRADE to BP9080 -  Buy a BP9080 and get the BONUS CS9080 Centre Speaker. This promo shows some incredible discounts and is a superb opportunity to grab yourself that speaker upgrade which you’ve been promising yourselves for a long time. The dates are firm so make sure you plan your purchase now so that you don’t miss out as the products must be paid for in full before the end of August. CLICK THE FLYER ABOVE FOR DETAILS. Average Movie, Great soundtrack: Earlier this month we saw the release of the movie Tomb Raider and being a bit of a nerd it was one that I was quite keen to see. The movie follows Lara Croft, a young twenty-something year old on her journey across the world to a mythical island with the intent of solving the mystery behind her fathers disappearance. As a fan of the Tomb Raider games I really wanted to like this movie adaptation and whilst there were some fantastic aspects to this release the movie itself wasn’t the most memorable. This isn’t a movie review, more of a recommendation for a top notch 4K video presentation and soundtrack to really show your system off. I’ve sat at home and watched/listened to a few key scenes at least 4-5 times now and it always blows me away the most memorable being the boat crash about 35 minutes in. It truly tests every aspect of an Atmos setup and I heavily recommend a watch (maybe a rent if not a buy.) If you’ve just bought a new setup and want a disc to really show what a system can do then it is at the top of my list for the time being. Just note that the Atmos soundtrack is not the default track and needs to be picked. The standard soundtrack is good but the Atmos track takes it to another level. 4th July 2018: End Of Financial Year Sales: So the end of the financial year has been and gone. We’ve had some great success this year with the release of Paradigm’s latest Monitor SE series and the Tannoy speaker clearance. We still have a couple of pieces of Martin Logan’s hit range, the Motion series. If you are looking at the Motion 20’s, 40’s or the range topping 60XTs call us for availability and a great price whilst we still have discounted stock available. REL HT Series: The guys over at REL have just launched their latest series of subwoofers called the HT series. Adding some serious cinematic impact along with the musical finesse that REL are known for is now more affordable than ever before. The range now comes in a black finish with some beautiful detailing on the top and feet with both 300w 10” and 500w 12” models on offer. Available in store to demo today. Call for more info. 19th May 2018: Paradigm Monitor SE series arrive: After months of anticipation the first batch of Paradigm’s new Monitor SE series has arrived in store. Available in black and gloss white finishes they are sure to be a big hit. The warehouse is all stocked up but they’ll likely not last very long so pop in for a listen and be one of the first people in Australia to own a set. 7th May 2018: Yamaha favourites are back in stock: After a few months of being out of stock the incredibly popular EF series of speakers are now back in store. With superb looks and performance they are an absolute winner for anyone seeking a very musical and cinematic experience on a tight budget. Partner this setup with the Yamaha RX-V683 also currently on sale for an incredible system showing over 40% off on a complete 5.1 package. Stock is limited but a hell of a system for less than $2500! Yamaha NS-SW300: Along with the above speaker set we have managed to secure some more of the fantastic NS-SW300 subwoofers. This unit consistantly reviews incredibly well and punches well above its weight mixing it with products well beyond its size and pricepoint. Have a read of the online reviews or come in for a listen, this sub simply cannot be beaten at its pricepoint. One to watch: Just a quick recommendation for anyone looking for a movie that really tests every facet of your system. Offering the most impressive Dolby Atmos soundtrack that I have yet heard, it is an absolute must for anyone looking to test a new system or see what these new object based soundtracks are capable of. The 4K picture is incredibly sharp and full of detail throughout the movie and features the latest in Dolby Vision to round off a fantastic 5 star presentation. If you have 2 ½ hours to spare then I highly recommend it. The movie itself isn’t too bad either! 26th April 2018: Tannoy Clearance: Due to the importer letting Tannoy go we are no looking to clear all of our Tannoy goodies at large discounts. All items will have a full warranty and full local support so it is a great time to snap up a bargain. Check out the Tannoy sale page HERE.  Dunkirk UHD Blu-ray Review: Shortly afterwards at the 6 minute mark British troops on the beach duck for cover as German planes launch an attack. As these dive bombers get closer they emit a frightening wail that gets louder and louder, which is very unsettling (and apparently quite close to the sound they made in real life as a form of psychological warfare). The musical score plays almost constantly, often with a pulsating bass line and accompanied by the sound of a ticking clock. These components (and others) combine to create a constant sense of unease and tension for the entire running time. Although this movie does not have overly aggressive rear surround effects (except at the start) it is loud and powerful, and almost overwhelming at times. And according to reports, this is what director Christopher Nolan was aiming for. 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 



Hi Fi industry and miscellaneous comments

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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.


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