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The first mini-system that I have ever bought, as I usually go in for separates. BUT shock-horror! These sonys actually do a damn fine job, on a sound-for-pound basis. For the price of a half-descent separates amp, you get 2 tapes, 3 band tuner, 3cd changer and mini-disc compatability with optical ports, and unusually for all-in-one systems, the factory speakers aint that bad! In fact the reason I bought the system was simply that I was really pleasantly surprised with the sound quality, which could probably get a basic separates setup of £350 breaking into a sweat. The amp is more than capable of driving big separates speakers, (I now use the system with a set of 4ft tall beasts with 10 inch drivers!!)which is worth noting. The remotes quite sweet too! Niggles: well, it's hardly pretty and if you stare at the unit for too long, all of the flashing lights will probably induse migranes! Also, the tape decks are rather load, starting with a rather unhealthy CLUNK, and the re-winding is remarkably slow... Apparently this prolongs tape life, or so the Sony man said.. hmmm ..maybe. Maybe the tape decks are rather cheapass, but most will not be using them, so who cares! If you don't mind the looks, buy one!
It's AGES since I bought a new hi-fi. In fact, the last time I bought a hi-fi, turntables were standard and CD players were a luxury. So, I was slightly excited when my wife and I went down to our local Currys this weekend determined to come away with a hi-fi we both liked. We'd done some research and narrowed it down to a few choices and then the friendly assistant (Amanda) gave me a CD and said "Go and play. Try the CD in them all, turn 'em up as loud as you like, have fun, and then come back and tell me which one you want." So, erm, we did! And we came away with the Sony MHCBX3. Why, I hear you ask. Well I'll tell you. Within our price range, it had the best sound quality. Simple as that. We tried all the special pre-set graphic equaliser-type thingies, and liked the Sony the best. Then I got it home, and my wife said "Oh, this'll be half-an-hour of swearing and cursing and not knowing where to put the wires" (she has great faith in me, my wife). But no! Ten minutes later we were happily singing along to Robbie Williams. This machine has 80 watts per channel, a three CD changer, RDS tuner, twin cassette deck, graphic equaliser and special 'groove' button which, when pressed, cranks up the volume and the bass in one fell swoop. Nice! Oh, and it's got something else I've always wanted. A timer (like a video recorder) that you can use to record radio programmes whilst you're out, and the machine switches itself on and off again. I've only got one criticism. I couldn't get the stupid stickers off the front of the tape deck, and had to resort to soaking them off with a little detergent. Never mind - back to the fun. "I hope I'm ooooold before I dieeee........."