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Sharp XL-HP 700H

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      06.12.2003 20:36
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      Having seen a rave review of this system in What HiFi magazine (they gave it 5 stars) I decided that I needed a nice little hifi for my smoking den (kitchen). I spent a couple of hours looking for it online, and found that hienergyshop.co.uk (a part of Hydro Electric) had it in stock for 151 quid. Since they were based in Perth, Scotland not all that far from Aberdeen I thought I'd order from them, assuming I would get it in a day or two. Boy, was I wrong on that front. It took them about a month to get the bloody thing to me. I can safely say it'll be a while before I order anything from them again. Anyhoo, was it worth the wait, I'm sure you're all wondering. A great, big, fat, resounding YES! I was a little wary when I ordered it, as I remember Sharp stuff a few years ago used to be a bit cheap, maybe not nasty. They always seemed to make stuff with lots of decent features for the price but the build quality seemed to be a bit suspect. I am pleased to say that is certainly not the case with this little beauty. Actually, it's not all that little for a micro system, and it's quite heavy. As for features, it has a three disc CD player, an RDS radio and a cassette player. They reckon it has 100 watts rms per speaker, which seems a bit ambitious, but it is certainly loud enough for my needs. The sound quality is the main selling point here. For 150 pounds this is an amazing hifi. It puts many much more expensive systems to shame. The sound is very full and rich, with bass, mid-range and treble all extremely well defined. There really isn't that much more I can say about this thing other than I really like it. Fantastic value for money. Now that I have lived with this hi-fi for a few months I'd like to add a few more comments. I am still very pleased with the sound quality and the radio is quite good, as I don't have Sky tv I have to rely on the radio for my live
      football fix and this system is fine for that. One thing I will say about the radio is that I'm not all that sure how good it is at picking up certain stations. For example, I can't get the local FM station and Radio 1 is patchy at times (although that may be a blessing), I realise it may have more to do with where I live than the actual radio. The CD player sounds great, but there is a small but, it's a bit noisy loading the CD and when you have three discs in it and want to play them on the random setteing it can get a bit annoying when it changes discs. As I don't really do that it doesn't bother me, but some people might be put off by it. On the whole I still recommend this hifi for the value for money aspect alone.

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