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Movie of the Week

14/10/2017 11:26

This week's Movie Of The Week has to be the thrilling, agonising, and strangely romantic "The Third Man", released in 1949 by British director Carol Reed.

Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway (Trevor Howard) and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna (Alida Valli).

 THE THIRD MAN - TRAILER

Posted By Kenny Walker

Movie of the Week

07/10/2017 13:00

As it moves into October and Halloween draws near, it seems natural that the Movie of the Week be one with a slight macabre tone. This week, it is "Heavenly Creatures" by New Zealand director Peter Jackson.

Wealthy and precocious teenager Juliet (Kate Winslet) transfers from England to Christchurch, New Zealand, with her family, and forms a bond with the quiet, brooding Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) through their shared love of handsome big screen tenor Mario Lanza and games of make believe. But when their parents begin to suspect that their increasingly intense friendship is becoming unhealthy, the girls decide to run away to America, hatching a dark plan for those who threaten to keep them apart.

HEAVENLY CREATURES - TRAILER

Posted By Kenny Walker

Movie of the Week

29/09/2017 09:40

It seems only fitting to mark the passing of Harry Dean Stanton with one of his films for Movie of the Week. This week "Paris, Texas"

A dishevelled man who wanders out of the desert, Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) seems to have no idea who he is. When a stranger manages to contact his brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell), Travis is awkwardly reunited with his sibling. Travis has been missing for years, and his presence unsettles Walt and his family, which also includes Travis's own son, Hunter (Hunter Carson). Soon Travis must confront his wife, Jane (Nastassja Kinski), and try to put his life back together.

PARIS, TEXAS TRAILER

Posted By Dan Bland

ATC joins The Movie Rooms

28/09/2017 15:12

After a number of months of negotiation I can finally announce that we are now full dealers for ATC loudspeakers.

ATC, Acoustic Transducer Company, is a specialist British manufacturer of loudspeaker drive units and complete sound reproduction systems, including the relevant electronic equipment. ATC designs and manufactures loudspeaker drive units and systems to achieve levels of performance far in excess of the industry norm. This is achieved by adopting a thoroughly professional engineering approach to the issue of basic design, materials science and production technology.

We are very excited to be on board with ATC, and will have a range of products to demonstrate imminently.​

ATC WEBSITE

Posted By Dan Bland

Denon AVR-X6400H In Stock

26/09/2017 11:00

We now have the Denon AVR-X6400H in stock and ready to demonstrate. This will be the flagship unit from Denon until the AVR-X7200WA is replaced at some point next year. This unit promises a lot, and I will hopefully produce a review once I have written up the imminent Yamaha RX-A3070 review.

BUY DENON AVR-X6400H

Posted By Dan Bland

Blade Runner 4K UHD & HDR

25/09/2017 10:03

The old Blade Runner has been released on 4K UHD BD, and what a magnificent job they have done on it. I managed to watch it in full yesterday and it is positively sparkling. This is what the new format is all about for me, old classics given a new lease of life.

BUY BLADE RUNNER UHD

Posted By Dan Bland

New Marantz

23/09/2017 15:57

Marantz will launch some brand-new models in the coming months. We should see the new 9 Channel SR7012 featuring on board processing for 11.2 channels. It also includes a 192kHz/32bit digital to analogue converter block with Clock Jitter Reducer for a more precise, pure and high-quality sound. They will also launch a replacement for the AV7703, predictably named the AV7704. We should see both models within the next few weeks. Excitingly we will also see a new premium model in the for of the SR8012, Marantz’s 11 channel single box AVR which should be with us for Christmas going by reports. This looks to have had a complete re-design and promises a lot. We will have an SR8012 on demonstration and for review as soon as we can get our hands on one.

MARANTZ SR7012 - Pre Order

MARANTZ SR8012 - Pre Order

MARANTZ AV7704 - Pre Order

Posted By Dan Bland

Movie of the Week

22/09/2017 13:09


Our movie of the week has been somewhat neglected of late. This week "Arrival". I re-watched this on Wednesday and I have to say I love it. Not your usual sci-fi fare, and I do believe that Denis Villeneuve is the best director working today.

Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Arrival Trailer

Posted By Dan Bland

Onkyo TX-RZ820 Review

11/09/2017 16:49

Onkyo TX-RZ820 Review by Dan Bland

It has been some time since I’ve even entertained an Onkyo in the shop, over the past few years they seemed to have lost their way a little and until recently I had removed all semblance of products from our website. The recent partnership and takeover of Pioneer AV seems to have them back on track with decent UK support using the Pioneer infrastructure in the UK which was already very solid, so given their track record in the past of producing fantastic ground breaking AVR’s it seemed only sensible to re-visit the brand again after a couple of years to see what had changed, if anything.

Onkyo sent us an TX-RZ820 for demo with no commitment from us, if it didn’t measure up it would go back. The TX-NR820 is currently the flagship unit of the new models with the higher end unit’s due for replacement at some point next year, so this will eventually sit somewhere in the middle of their range I believe when it all comes out in the wash. It is a 7.2 amplifier featuring Dolby Vision, HLG & HDR10, BT2020 & full 4K passthrough. The unit has no video processor on board to manipulate or alter the incoming/outgoing image. It is also THX Select 2 certified amplifier and has a plethora of streaming options built in (more than you could wish for).

For its part, the Onkyo is a very simple unit to get up and running, it shares the same on-screen menu system as the new Pioneer amplifiers which is a huge improvement over the old dot matrix style they used to use. I made a similar comment about the Pioneer SC-LX901 amplifier I reviewed some months ago and it truly does bring them into the 4K age looks wise, well overdue. It makes set-up of the amplifier very simple. Internally set-up options are kept to a minimum, and the concise layout make it clear what you are changing and what effect it will have. The omission of a video scaler makes set-up even easier, it being straight pass through with no changes.

One of the major omissions this time round is the lack of the Audyssey XT32 EQ system which was so prevalent on Onkyo amplifiers of the past, instead it features Onkyo’s own AccuEQ automated set-up system. I remember a lot being written at the time that this would be a very bad move for Onkyo and that their auto setup system couldn’t be a match for the Audyssey. While Audyssey is good if you know how to get the best from it, it does have a lot or quirks which can, if set-up wrongly, give a poor sound. So at the time I took this omission and these comments with a large pinch of salt. So, In reality, this was my first experience with AccuEQ and overall I have to say it was a very positive one. Very simple to use and to be honest a pretty accurate result after the automatic stage, distances were slightly off as were channel levels but after checking with a laser measure and an SPL meter, the sound was bang on. I have experienced this with every other Japanese AVR with exception of the Pioneer which adjusted everything pretty much perfectly. Once manually adjusted for a “hot seat” after the auto set-up, the sound was excellent, very good integration of the surround speakers, excellent bass management and integration of the subwoofer and the overall timing of the system was superb, very entertaining. The most positive thing I found was that it didn’t really sound like anything else I have heard for a while. The best way I can describe it is that it had a somewhat dry midrange to it, but not in a negative way at all. I actually kept the Onkyo at home for some time and I think if they had a model with the same specification that could do four height speakers I might seriously consider one for the house on sound quality alone.

While very good the Onkyo isn’t perfect. I could find no way to change the amplifiers display to tell me what surround mode I was listening to, all it would display was the input. I had to keep checking the onscreen menu for confirmation in the initial set-up stages. I found that the display on the front was almost the same as the one they were using 10 years ago, a strange kind of green colour which personally I feel needs updating, although I’m sure there are fans of it out there. The remote is extraordinarily basic and cheap feeling, which is not the best in the world. Finally, there was no in-depth manual in the box, all you are given is a basic set-up manual which seems to be becoming a trend with manufacturers these days. To give the Onkyo TX-RZ820 it its due though, these issues take nothing away from the sound of the unit, and some may call these issues minor.

Overall it was a pleasure to have it in the house for the two or three weeks it was there and I think I would have no problem recommending it to a customer who required a 5.2.2 or a 7.2 set-up in their home. The Onkyo TX-NR820 is now available for home demonstration or in our cinema in central Edinburgh.

Posted By Dan Bland

Goldenear Supersub Review

28/08/2017 11:30

It has taken me a bit longer than expected to get around to review this, but that delay has given me time to set up a couple at customers houses in different sized rooms, test one on the hi-fi in the office as well as set up dual units in our demonstration cinema.

The first thing that strikes you about the unit is the size of the box, roughly 13” in each direction give or take a little. Physics somewhat dictate that it is usually very difficult to get any kind of impact from a subwoofer this small, this unit seems to be the exception to the rule though. Packing a monstrous 1400-watt digital amplifier inside, two 8˝ long-throw high-output bass and drivers, two 10.5˝ x 9.5˝ quadratic planar infrasonic radiators, leave little space for the actual cabinet. This structure features very little in the actual makeup of the woofer itself in terms of its actual surface area, but what is does have is a lovely angled glossy modern design, rather unlike anything else on the market today. It is most definitely not just another black box.

Instinct would say that what cabinet structure this unit has, the speakers would probably be fighting their way to jump out of it given the amount of technology and power packed in there, surprisingly the unit is almost totally inert. This stems from its design, something which has clearly had a lot of thought. The concept of this arrangement of drivers and radiators is not something new to Goldenear, a similar array adorns the Forcefield subwoofers which have been around for some time now, and somewhat slipped under the radar in recent years. Being brutal, while these Forcefield subwoofers sound fantastic, they do somewhat scream “subwoofer” at you and are to be polite somewhat aesthetically challenged. The Supersub does not suffer from this, and would feel at home in the most modern of surroundings.

The culmination of this design gives you phenomenal power from a very discreet box, the closest comparison sound and size wise would be the Paradigm Seismic 110, which itself is somewhat aesthetically challenged looking more like a cannon rather than a subwoofer. The Supersub’s performance from a box this size is nothing short of astonishing, put on the opening scene form Quantum of Solace and you can feel the tight bass in the seat of your pants, even in larger rooms. Given its power it is also happy running all the way up to 120-150hz in a controlled punchy manner.

One thing which is slightly unique is that the unit doesn’t have a phase control, all you have is volume and crossover, the latter can be bypassed with an LFE switch on the back. It also has stereo inputs for use with stereo setups, something I’ve not seen on a subwoofer for some time. I did ask why there was an absence of the phase control and the answer was somewhat surprising, as the subwoofer should be somewhat phase inert given its driver and radiator configuration. Something somewhat borne out by my tests. The unit is extremely flexible with its positioning when using a single unit, bass was reasonably consistent at the seating position in most of the rooms I tested, something of a godsend for most people who can get inconsistent bass from forced positioning. Using two in a small room, I did encounter some issues and the lack of control of phase did cause me some positioning issues but nothing that couldn’t be overcome by rotating the subwoofer itself on its original position. In larger rooms, phasing issues seemed less apparent although you might be able to argue that given its design you could move to the larger model the Supersub XL rather than duals if the response form the original position is good. There isn’t one single answer in truth, the room dictates the bass response as well as the subwoofers position in it, but I did find this sub to fill the room with bass from a single point better than any other I had tested considering its size.

Given its design if there is a negative, possibly the music performance lacked a little “edge” but I would have to be fussy to criticise it in that department given its performance in other areas. This is no Velodyne DD18+, but I think if you are looking for a small, good looking, powerful subwoofer which is flexible with its position, this one is tough to beat.

GOLDENEAR SUBWOOFERS

Posted By Dan Bland
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