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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 once a month. To be on the list for those, you need to click HERE  and put subscribe in the subject line. 16th October 2019: Cambridge Audio AX Now Available Cambridge Audio's latest offering are a AX series models. These are replacing the very popular Topaz series units which bring high end audio quality and performance to an entry level price point. With much improved aesthetics and a total ground up build of the range they offer top notch performance that belies belief and with some very positive industry feedback already they're likely to be one of our biggest sellers this side of $1000.   Comprising of 6 models in the line up there are 2 CD players, 2 all analogue stereo amplifiers and 2 stereo receivers featuring bluetooth and even digital inputs on the AXR100. Available in store now. 4th October 2019: Martin Logan’s new Motion Series Arrives We've just received delivery of the new and exciting Martin Logan Motion series. The new improved models have a revised driver design and a much needed refresh of the speaker covers. Moving away from the metal covers to a nice new two piece material grille helps them look less industrial and more well suited to a home environment. The cabinet finishes have been rethought with a new red-walnut timber veneer finish replacing the older gloss cherry option and a new satin white to replace the gloss white. For the first time the white speaker gets a visually softer appearance wth a silvery grey front cover. The range is now available in store and ready for auditioning! 27th September 2019: Epson Projectors Now Available: We've just taken on Epson projectors after a flurry of awards and positive reviews. After a 10 minute demo of the new EH- TW9400 we were hooked. The picture is incredibly bright and sharp with huge amounts of detail and its 4K enhanced technology looks like it is equal to if not better than some of the cheaper Native 4K offering on the market. Add in the ability to do Anamorphic widescreen and a huge amount of lens adjustment and zoom and it becomes one of the most versatile performers on the market. HDR looks superb and the frame interpolation gives a very smooth cinematic/filmic movement. With models starting from as little as $1149 through to the top of the line EH-TW9400W wireless projector at $4999 they have an impressive offering for most people. With the EH-9400 now available in store, feel free to pop in for a demo. I'm sure you'll be just as impressed as we are. 14th August 2019: Martin Logan Motion Series Clearance: With the discontinuation of the current Motion series being announced we’ve got some great pricing on the last of the remaining stock. With very few bits and pieces remaining this is an incredible opportunity to snap up some of the staff’s all time favourite speakers. All supplied as new with a full 5 year warranty except where stated. Click on the image below for the clearance pricing. 29th July 2019: The UltraCube 12 Returns: We just said goodbye to one of our favourite subwoofers of all time and what do you know, the importer has found some more stock. I’m not sure how you “find” 20 large subwoofers but this is very much to our excitement as the 650w sealed 12” subwoofer is an animal for movies and when coupled with the optional PBK becomes an incredibly capable musical performer too. Using a downward firing 12” driver and two 10” bass radiators this compact subwoofer can hit below 20Hz which is incredible for its size. The best part of this is that we took them all in order to offer a great price so whilst we have stock available this $2000 subwoofer will set you back only $999! The music lovers out their can add on the optional PBK equaliser kit for only an extra $99 that will take it to another level again. Stock is limited so don’t take too long to snap one up or you’ll miss out. 20th July 2019: Q Acoustics Concept 300s Arrive: After many months of anticipation the latest flagship speaker offering from Q Acoustics have arrived. The new Concept 300 is a reference grade bookshelf speaker that looks and sounds like nothing else we’ve experienced before. Available in 3 beautiful two tone finishes and supplied with a pair of stands that look like they belong in an art gallery, they truly are a statement items that will complete any high end compact setup. Available to audition in store now. 2nd April 2019: KEF Q Series Free Upsize Promo: KEF have followed in the footsteps of Definitive Technology and are offering a very similar promotion which offers a free up- size in speaker when purchasing a qualifying product from their Q series. Simply purchase your new set of speakers before the end of trade on 31st May and receive the following upgrade at no charge! Bookshelf Speakers Purchase a pair of Q350s for the price of the Q150 Floorstanding Speakers Purchase a pair of Q750s for the price of the Q550 Purchase a pair of Q950s for the price of the Q750 7th March 2019: QED Cables Now Available: QED cables are considered one of the industries premier cable manufacturers offering anything from speaker cable and  interconnects through to data cable and HDMI. We’re currently stocking their range of speaker cable and audio cables to suit both stereo and home theatre systems of any calibre. With a new range of high-spec HDMI cables due for release shortly that will offer support for native 4K  resolutions and beyond, there’ll be something suitable for even the most demanding hardware or application. Give us a call and we’ll recommend a suitable cable solution to really bring out the best in your system. You’ll be surprised how much of an improvement can be made from such an affordable upgrade! 24th January 2019: New Monitor Audio SoundFrame Display: A personal favourite of mine, the fully customisable Soundframe series of descrete speakers offer an incredible performance and sound quality for what simply looks like a piece of art. Whether you stick with the standard black or white finish or you opt for a custom image of maybe a holiday snap or wedding picture these models mount either in or on the wall and look like a traditional canvas print. The sound performance from these things is superb and a great way to integrate audio into a living space where a more traditional speaker may not suit. Available in 3 different sizes and either framed or frameless, we have the SoundFrame 1 available in a new perminent display to audition in store. Please come in for a look and listen to see what all the hype is about. 3rd January 2019: New Monitor Audio Gold Series Announced: Monitor Audio has really taken off in the last few months and this has certainly been aided by them gaining some big industry awards and fantastic reviews. The Bronze series has quickly become my speaker range of choice under $2k so I would heavily recommend a listen. The latest range to get a make over is the Gold series with the new arrivals announced today. The new models will start to arrive in February and pricing should hopefully be confirmed shortly, The new design and finishes look simply beautiful and for the first time the premium Gloss Ebony finish will be the same price as the rest of the colour choices. Have a look at the new range here: https://www.monitoraudio.com/en/product-ranges/gold-5g/ 1st January 2019: Happy new year!: The new year has just ticked over and I’ve just finished watching the fireworks, time for a refill. The team here at Eastwood Hi-Fi wishes you all the best for 2019 and hope you have a great year. 20th December 2018: Paradigm Premier Series Awarded: The new Paradigm premier series has only just hit the shelves and already the positive reviews are starting to flow. Online reviewing powerhouse Audioholics have just reviewed and awarded the new Premier 800F floorstanders and 500C centre speakers as their Product of the year. For those of you wanting to read the review then click the link below. For anyone wanting to hear the speakers please feel free to pop in for an audition. https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/paradigm-800f  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. 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!
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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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