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MamaC

MamaC
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Member since: 31.08.2012

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      05.10.2012 16:39
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      Great for those long hours at the airport lounge.

      I have two boys who both get through a lot of toys. But one thing that they always love playing with are push along toys or trolleys. One of my friends had one of these Trunkis for her sons and said it was the most durable little trolley ever. I tracked one down on Ebay and it was going for a great price, and I was lucky enough to have won the auction. But the one thing I love (as well as my 2 boys was the fact that it's strong enough from them to actually sit on and ride it.

      THE SPEC:
      These items come in six brightly coloured designs and are ideal for the age of 3 upwards. It comes with a little kid sized passport which is purely there to keep the kids entertained. It has a great storage capacity too. For my 2 years old I could store enough clothes, nappies and wipes for a weekend away. And my other son who was 5 at the time could fit a weekends worth of clothes in and a couple of toys and books, plus his DS.

      Once the suitcase is packed there is a very strong cord at the back that allows the child to be pulled along on. This doubles up as a shoulder strap if it needs to be carried anywhere. It's so practical to use and everything that is packed within it is protected due to the hard case shell. Just a kind word of warning ... my eldest loves to pull his little brother on it, but alas at race speed and my son came off and trust me there were loads of tears.

      It's a must have for any parent who needs to entertain their kids whilst on holiday. It's so much fun to use. Even my son who is 8 years old now still loves it.

      Purchased on Ebay 2 years ago for £21 including postage and packaging.

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      05.10.2012 16:01
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      Well made and easy for a child to use.

      Knowing what to buy my 2 nieces is always very difficult as whatever game or toy we buy them it gets wrecked within a day or two. So for last years Christmas we decided to purchase two of these trolleys for them. They looked very bright an attractive and can be used as either a trolley bag or a backpack.

      When my nieces opened their presents they were over joyed with them and I did notice that they were wheeling them about all of Christmas day. They were stashing what they could into them, right from their little pots of make-up to quite large books. The pull handle is telescopic and my youngest niece was fascinated by this. The 2 in 1 backpack has a little mess pocket on the side and is great for carrying their drinks around in. Needless to say it has nice padded straps on the back so that it can be used as a backpack.

      The overall size of the backpack is: H30cm X W 25cm (this excludes the handle and feet).

      As far as I'm aware both trolley bags are still all in one piece and get used on a daily basis as my eldest niece takes this to school with her.

      I'd recommed this to any parent wishing to buy their child (no matter what sex they are) a lovely bright, pretty storage back that is very durable. It's ideal for taking to school, wheeling around the house, storing things in and taking on holiday. I'd say that they are suitable for ages 2 - 6.

      Purchased both back packs for £15 via Amazon.

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      05.10.2012 15:35
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      Ideal for those who travel lots and need to keep their luggage with them.

      We take the odd occasion holiday abroad everyone 2 years plus we use our caravan very frequently. We used to live out of rack-sacs but found that we needed more room to store stuff when the kids came along and as we don't travel a great deal we wanted something inexpensive but of good quality.

      We found the Aerolite suitcase on Amazon a few years back for about £30. What I found to be appealing was the fact that it came with a 5 year guarantee, so you're buying this case with complete confidence.

      THE SPEC:

      The trolley case is black and the overall size is 49.5 x 21 x 34.5cm in size. It can hold a capacity of 35 litres. It's made from a very soft and durable material which Aerolite describe as pebble suede. Comes with combination padlock. You can locate one small and one larger external pocket on front of case and there's one at the rear. There's a tag in which you can pop your address on which is clearly visable for all to see. It has 4 wheels at bottom, and the telescopic handle to pull along is a pleasure to use. There's also another handle to the left side in case you are wanting to carry it that way. No expense has been spared on the inside either as the lining is of good quality and is well stitched. There are several net compartments that can be fastened with the zip. It also has several bungy type straps to keep your personal items in tact andd not slipping all over the place.

      The second best thing about the case is the fact that you can expand it by approx. 3 inches by utilising a zip that can be found just under the main zip that fastens it.

      I've use this for over 2 years now and it still looks as good as new, even though it has taken quite a bit of punishment from my family. I don't tend to use the combi loack as there are some airports that don't like you to lock your cases, so I don't use this purely for this reason as it could lead to a lot of hold ups. When the case has been expanded it still complies with all the size restriction rules which is highly important when travelling.

      So far nothing has broken or has given me any problems when using this case. I'm very pleased that I purchased it.

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      05.10.2012 12:36
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      Excellent value for money, does exactly what it says on the box with no frills.

      I'm always one for good value for money and found a need for a cheap and cheerful hand helf blender for when we go on holiday in our caravan. I always prepare my own fresh soups and I use a blender about 4 times a week. I was a little reluctent in taking my expensive blender away with us on holiday as it just gets chucked away in the caravan cupboards. It was a friend that suggested this little one from the Argos value range. I was a little skeptical at first but was soon reassurred when my friend told me that she'd owned on of these for nearly 3 years. My first thoughts were' that you can't go wrong for £4.13 even it it only lasts a years or so.'

      THE SPEC:
      It's white in colur and has a stainless steel blade. The motor is a powerful 220 watts. There is only 1 speed, it's easy to grip and the detachable leg is fully dishwasher safe.

      THE PRODUCT IN USE:
      When out of the box it's easy to put together. You position the leg onto the handheld part and give it a quick firm twist and it slots together well. It feels comfortable to hold and is of solid construction. When switched on it's pretty powerful and can blend or puree food within a short amount of time. It's a little noisy, but aren't they all? To remove the leg after you've completed the blending operation you simply twist to release and it's job done. I have noticed that it does get a little hot after 10 mins of use, but this I believe is fairly normal for these products.

      Make sure that you turn the machine off before you pull the blender out of your mixture or it will splatter everywhere. The entire product is very easy to clean and requires very little effort.

      I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to use a handheld blender for occasional use. The leg attachment of mine has discolours slightly, mainly due to all the curry power that I add to my soip mixtures. It is a no frills blender but what more could you ask for from a product that is under a fiver?

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      05.10.2012 12:09
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      Well built, a great little mixer for doing light baking.

      The only reason I purchased this item was for when we go away in our caravan so I wanted something cheap and cheerfula s I knew that it wasn't going to get used that often. The price of this appliance was truly amazing at £5.97 I have no idea how they can sell it for such a cheap amount. Anyway it was purchased and never used whilst in the caravan. So it now lives inside the house and has been taken over by my 8 year old who loves baking cakes. He calls it his special little mixer - I'm not daft enough to let him loose with my expensive one.

      It punches out 150 watts and has 5 speeds. It comes complete with the usual instructions and has one pair of beaters which are dishwasher safe. The first thing that I thought was that it doesn't look cheap, I'm still puzzelled as to why it is the price that it is!

      It is all very simple to use. You insert the beathers on the base part of the mixer and to release them you press the release button at the top by the handle. To change speed you simply flick the switch at the top and off you go.

      Don't do what my son does - ensure that you turn the mixer off before you pull it out of the mixture otherwise you'll find yourself doing the redecorating sooner than you think!

      No complaints here. A fantastic little product for very little money. I would recommend to everyone wanting to use it as an occasional mixer. Needless to say that it hasn't quite got enough guts to cope with heavier mixtures such as fruit cakes. But ideal for wiping up egg whites, mousses and light cake mixtures.

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      • Hotpoint TCM580P / Tumble Dryer / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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        05.10.2012 11:58
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        Very good value for money, very reliable and does a super job of drying clothes

        We already have a Hotpoint washer dryer, but the one problem that we have with it is that the barrel is on the small side. We didn't take this into consideration when we first bought it some 13 years ago as we didn't have two kids then Our thoughts were that we should either replace the entire washing machine (although there's little point in that seeing that it's still running well) or get an independent dryer. Needless to say we went for the later.

        We purchased the dryer from Comet for around £250 2 years ago. It's living quarters are the garage. It usually gets used the most in autum/winter or if bad weather sets in.

        SPEC:
        It's freestanding as opposed to integrated and has a drying capacity of 8 kg. Energy rating is marled down as C which I think is OK but not the best. There are 2 drying temperatures and the timer can be set to a maximum of 160 minutes which will certainly cook your clothes at the high temperature! The display is digital and it has a dial in order for you to select the programme that you require. It's size is pretty standard that being or: H850cm X W595cm X D584cm. It is a stackable product i.e. if you need to pop another dryer or washer directly on top of this then it is possible.

        It has a reverse-action drying system that actually works really effectively. This action stops your clothes from becoming tangled. Whatever setting you choose is dependent on whether you're loading up cotton, wool fabrics and it always runs a cool cycle. A cool cycle will reduce the creases in your garments and makes it therefore easier for you to iron.

        When the dryer is running it is pretty noisy, although this doesn't bother me as it's in the garage and I can't hear it. So this is a warning to anyone who installs it in their kitchen. It doesn't have a drying sensor to calculating the time required to dry your clothes is impossible. I usually pop it on for 1 hour 30 minutes if I have a full load and then see how it's doing as I don't want to over cook them as this will waste electricity. It's a case of suck it and see, you'll soon get to learn how long it takes to run a cycle for nicely cooked clothes!

        I recommend this dryer to anyone who has a medium to large size family. There is really nothing complicated about the dryer.

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      • Breville VHB061 / Hand Blender / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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        05.10.2012 11:36
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        Doesn't really get the job done and didn't last that long.

        HAve two kids I am always mixing or whisking up something and needed something small and convinient to just get out of the cupboard at a moments notice instead of setting up my big mixer. I found this 3 in 1 blender in Argos and thought that it looked like a good buy, although on the pricey side at £63.99.

        The product came well packaged and consisited of the handheld mixer along with various attachments which included a large 800ml beaker, 500ml chopper and a balloon whisk. I thought that they powerful 800 watt motor (which has two speeds regular and turbo) would be powerful enough to cope with most things. It sadly seemed that I was wrong. It was a fairly weighty item and gave off the impression that it was of a good quality. Its easy to grip and felt very comfortable to use and it's not too loud when the motor is running.

        I attempted to whisk some cake mixture and failed dismally. The whisk failed to barely move and ended up burring the inside of the mechanisum and was rendered pretty useless after several attempts. The main blender has a detachable head and coped very well with blending soups,making sauces, milkshakes etc.This particular attachment is said to be resistent to rust moreso than other products in a similar vein. The chopper has a safety locking lid and the bowl has handy little rubber feet to preventing it from slipping is good and I always used it for making homous and curry pastes although the chopper now fails to work.

        Every attachment is quick and easy to pop on and off and all detachable parts are dishwasher safe. The blender may seem convinient and handy, which is why I purchased it in the first place. But it's not lasted me even a year, so I am pretty disappointed in the overall quality of this item. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone who needed to use a blender on a regular basis.

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      • Russell Hobbs 14856 Travel Iron / Iron / 4 Readings / 2 Ratings
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        05.10.2012 11:16
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        Excellent value for money, does exactly what it says on the box with added extras.

        We are proud owners of a caravan and are always off on our hols at least 5 times per year. I've always taken our house iron with us but over the years as the kids are getting older they tend to pack more stuff, so I'm trying to scale everything down now. One thing that was on the scale down list was the iron. We only wanted a cheap one as it doesn't get used a great deal whilsat we're away.

        I am guessing that all travel irons are a bit of a muchness to be honest and I found the Russell Hobbs 14856 Travel Iron on Amazon for £14.99 including delivery, last year. The soleplate is stainless steel and the water tank can hold upto 80ml. One thing that I found to be very useful and which I didn't realsie this iron had until I began to use it, was the water spray feature. The cord is quite a respectable length too at 180cm and I believe it weighs only 907 grams. The dimensions are: 15.2 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm

        As the iron is about half the size of a conventional one, it will fit nicely into our travel bag. As with our main iron it has a variable steam feature that copes very well in getting those nasty creases out.

        It's a joy to use and heats up extremely quickly. But whatever you do you must ensure that it cools down before you put it away. My husband made this mistake and after he ironed a pair of his trousers he put it into the travel bag and singed the side of it, not to mention a shirt that was in there too. The only thing that I'm missing is a mini ironing board. I have to make do with putting a few towels down on the caravan table and do the ironing that way.

        One little thing that does nag me about most irons (and with this one) is that there is no storage place for the chord. I always have to wait until the iron cools down before I can wrap the cable around it. I would have also have liked to have seen this travel iron come with a carry pouch, afterall most of my travel items come in their own hand little bags.

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      • Alessi Citrus Squeezer / Juicer / 10 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        05.10.2012 10:59
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        Great way to extract juice from your fruit.

        I had previously used a glass squeezer for extracting the juice out of my lemons and organges until it broke a few weeks ago. I found this one on Amazon and it appealed to me as it was made from mirror-polished aluminium casting and usually what comes out of being made in Italy is always very good. It's traditional in its looks yet the design is contempory. The size of it is 16.5 by 13cm x 10cm with a diameter of 12.5cm. It's dishwasher safe and always comes out sparkling when it comes out. Although it's a bit pricy with the designer price tag of £44 I still went for the purchase.

        Although it's made rfom one piece it comes in 2 sections, the top half which you use to extract the juice and the bottom is like a little tray in which to capture the contents of your fruit. It has grab handles and a spout so that you can easily pour your juice into a glass, cup or storage container of your choice.

        In order to use this product ensure that whatever fruit your are taking your juice extract from is washed thoroughly and then cut in half. Place half of the fruit down onto the top of the squeezer, push down and keep twistin until you are confident that you cannot extract any more juice. There is a little handy grill that prevents any unwanted pips from entering the juice tray. I have no idea why or how, but this juicer is far better than my old glass one which I had for 15 years.

        I'd recomend this juice squeezer to anyone who needs to save space in their kitchen. It'll get used more than you think.

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        • Tefal 1690 Steam Iron / Iron / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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          05.10.2012 10:39
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          Powerful steam iron that can cope with clothes, curtains anything that gets in its way!

          I had my eye on this jet steam iron for a year or two when I found it in Dixons, but it was way out of my price range for just a simple iron. I finally found it on Amazon half the price I'd seen it originally, so thought I'd take the plunge and splash out.

          The iron comes with it's own instruction booklet, and a antiscale cartridge which is already fitted inside the front silver part of the water tank, also comes with 4 cartridge spares.

          THE SPEC:
          It draws a huge 2200 watts. It has 3 steam settings, a premium diamond shaped soleplate, water tanks can hold upto one massive liter of water and antiscale cartridges are supplied with this iron.
          Portable radio

          THE IRON IN USE:
          Ensure that you fill the water tank with at least 1 litre of water. The iron heats up in just over a minute. The controls are dead easy to use as it consists of a power & standby button and lights that indicate all the different options that are available to you. It also lets you know when the tank is empty or if the cartridges need to be replaced. This is an easy task and should be done as it will enable you to maintain the life of the steam generator. If found that it's great for use on curtains as it can easily cope with vertical steaming and pumps out an impressive 100g of steam (although this is impossible to calculate). When Ironing my husbands shirts it glides across them with the greatest of ease, it's effortless to use, and I put this down to the diamond soleplate of the jet stream. It can cope with ironing far better than my old iron could and thankfully the onerous task gets down in about two thirds of the time that I used to take, so saves on electric too!

          One feature that my previous iron didn't have was the automatic off setting. If you havn't used the iron for 10 minutes it will simply switch itself off.

          Overall a great multifunctional iron that I'd say was well worth the money that I paid for it. I'd highly recommend this to any person wanting to cut their ironing time in half.

          Purchased from Amazon for £99 including delivery.

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        • Pioneer TS-A6910 / Car Speaker / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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          20.09.2012 15:43
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          Very good for the price but don't expect fantastic sound quality.

          If you're after a pair of speakers that can pack a good punch or two and you are on a budget then these are the little beauties to go for. My husband purchased these for me about 5 years ago now and they're still pumping out some very good tones. They look very pleasing to the eye too.

          They are 15.24 x 22.86 cm in size, black in colour with a little chrome around the edges, are non powered, dome shaped and can handle 80 watts RMS input power with no problem at all. My speakers do not go through am amp in the car and they sounds pretty good, although I can't help feeling that if I did push them through a seperate amp then tit might do justice to these speakers more.

          They are three way so you have the best of everything in terms of bass, mid-range and treble. The overall sound is pretty good and they are loud but I find that when they get to a certain loudness the mid-range tends to sound a bit muddy and it kind of gets lost a bit. The mid range is always a tricky area and unless you want to spend £100's then you're going to have to put up with a half decent sound. Not ideal, but then if you're on a low budget then you'll have to put up with the lack of detail that these speakers produce.

          I'd certainly recommend these speakers to anyone on a small budget who wants a known brand that will supply a decent quality pair of speakers. They are dead easy to install, even I managed to connect up a few wires and mounted the speakers on my rear parcel shelf of my Mondeo.

          Purchased from Ebay for £45 including delivery.

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          • Tesco Value JK2 / Kettle / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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            20.09.2012 15:25
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            Excellent value for money, does exactly what it says on the box with no frills.

            Last year the kettle in our caravan blew up and we had to get another one in a bit of a rush whilst we were away on our holidays. We went to the nearest supermarket and literally picked up the cheapest kettle we could find baring in mind that we would only use this kettle whilst on holiday.

            So this kettle was in it's usual blue and white striped Tesco Value box with no frills. It looked simple and basic, ideal for what we needed it for. It clearly states that it is a cordless kettle and has a total capacity of 1.7 litres. It came very well packaged and was white in colour. It didn't take is long to set the kettle up and we were very surprised to feel how sturdy it was considering it was the cheapest of the cheap. It also has a handy limescale filter which is very easy to remove and clean when the need arises.

            You know exactly how much water you're pouring into the kettle as this can be viewed very easily to the left of the jug where you'll observe a filing gauge. I usually put enough water in to make 3 large mugs of tea or coffee and this process takes about 2 minutes to boil the water. There are no LED lights on it to indicate whether the water has boiled or not, but it will switch off automatically when the water has boiled. This kettle is very easier to clean, more so than our brushed steel one in our home kitchen.

            As with most kettle bases it comes with little rubber feet that are very effective.

            We must have used this little kettle approximately 50 times now and it's still going strong. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs it for camping and for those on a low budget such as a student.

            Purchased from Tesco for £6 last year in 2011

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            • Hotpoint RZA34P / Freezer / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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              20.09.2012 15:10
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              It's ok and works well, but I'm glad it's out in the garage!

              We built a new kitchen just over 3 years ago now and of course we installed a very large fridge/freezer. After a while we decided that we needed more freezer space as we do have our share of party's throughout the years and needed some extra freezer space. We didn't want anything too big, just something that we could pop into the garage and use occasionally. We saw the Hotpoint small freezer and thought that it would suffice

              When it was delivered, we removed the packaging and put it into place and then turned it on. The first thing I thought to myself was that it was very loud, infact I've never heard anything as loud as this freezer. I was grateful that we hadn't installed it in our kitchen as the noise would have driven me around the bend very quickly. But as it's situated under a worktop in our garage the noise doesn't bother me at all.

              As far as build quality goes, it is ok but seems a bit cheap. It's very basic and has three main drawers, which are deep, the middle one is the deepest and will easily cope with storing a medium sized turkey. I can store a capacity of 120 litres. It's energy rating is an impressive A and has a fast freeze facility. Over dimensions are: (w) 59.8cm (h) 85cm (d) 62cm

              I've already broken two of the drawers as the front panels have split which I'm not impressed with. There is a dial temperature control and all the other function buttons can be located on the front of the freezer

              Overall it suits are needs and it's only used on the odd occasion. Not sure how long this will last as manufacturers don't seem to build things that last in this day and age.

              Purchased from Currys for £199 plus £20 delivery.

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            • Shure SE215 / Headphones / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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              20.09.2012 14:45
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              Worth every penny I spent on them.

              Earphones are just earphones to me once upon a time until about 2 years ago when I purchased these ones. For years I'd spent the odd tenner here and there on earphones mainly because my children always nick them and the cables end up getting broken. A colleague of my told me to try out the Sure SE215s but warned me they were much more of a heavy price tag then I'd been used to before.

              I've always trusted the Shure brand so I was very keen to give this par a road test. All of the cables leading to the earphones were clearly reinforced enough to withstand abuse for any child. The first thing that blew me away was how comfortable and soft they felt whilst in my ears. When putting them on ensure that you have the thicker bit of the cable pointing upwards and then bend it over your ear like an ear hook I guess, and it tends to mould itself you your ear better. They come with a variety of six interchangeable sleeves which you can experiment with to ensure that you choose the most comfortable one for matching with your ears - afterall, no two ears are the same. It comes with a cleaning device which will clean out the phone tunnel which is a welcomed touch, I've never considered using one of these before. Usually I can't bare earphones in for more than an hour or so as they become very painful for me. The quality of the bass was superb, along with the warm, rich tones that shouted out 'detail' in all of the tracks I tested them with.

              Shure realise the fact that people go through earphones all the time and that's why I think they designed the removable cable system on these, which is brilliant. The plug has a thick coating of rubber to protect it so it will take rather a large amount of abuse before it breaks - mind hasn't broken as yet.

              For the audio buffs out there the earphones frequency response is 22 Hz - 17.5 kHz, and the microdriver is the brains behind producing the great sound quality of the bass. As far as sound isolation goes the design and build of the earphones means that 90% of any ambient noise is filtered out. Although this is very difficult for most of us to measure, I'd have to agree that they do in fact filter out a massive amount of noise in comparison to ear phones that I've used in the past.

              I'd certainly recommend these entry level ear phones to anyone wishing to use them to listen to their MP3s, CDs, radio etc. These ones are built to last a very long time indeed.

              Purchased from Amazon for £86 including delivery 2 years ago.

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            • Technics SL-1200MK2 / Turntable / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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              20.09.2012 14:07
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              Great deck for semi-pro DJs

              I've seen these decks in the clubs quite a lot and they looked like the biz and pretty simple to use. Most DJs use a laptop and 100s of MP3s which personally I think is cheating and takes the art away from DJing. Being a producer I do like my musical gadgets so I popped this one on my Christmas list a few years back and was glad to see that it was in my Christmas stocking one morning ☺ I love my hip hop and this seemed to be the right way to go for me

              The overall size of the deck is 45.3 cm x 36 cm x 16.2 cm and weighs just 11 kg. I now have this hooked up in my studio to my Denon amp and I love it to bits. The first thing that I noticed was that the motor was full-bodied, I guess it has to be for when the pro DJs are abusing it all the time. It reaches it's sfull speed of a track with in point seven seconds with is unbelieveable. The sound quality is impeccable and the design is ok but not too pretty, and quality is extremely robust and could no doubt cope with its fair share of knocks, although I don't take this out clubbing as I'm not a pro DJ. The upper part of the deck has a metal body which is nice and robust whilst the base is made of a superior rubber and 4 rubber feet which will take the knocks that a deck would be used to in the pro world of DJing.

              Beat matching i.e. running two tracks simultaneously is a dream can be done very accurately with the +/-8 fader. Other controls include analogue pitch reset, tone arm assembly, anti skating, motor, brake, and height adjust. Needless to say it comes with all the instructions that you need to get going. plus audio and power cables. All contacts are gold plated There's a greats feature that tells you how the motor is running which is on the on switch panel, when te=he white led spots are at zero it means that the pitch of the track you're playing is at zero, as the pitch increases then you'll see a number of red dots

              The arm height for me needed to be reduced in order to bring it inline with the surface of the record itself. And the rubber matt isn't ideal for me as it's too thick. I did manage to break the pitch slider but managed to replace it very cheaply for £15 myself. I believe that Techics don't make these decks anymore, so it's a case of hunting around for a good secondhand one.

              Purchased from Ebay for £199 plus delivery 5 years ago.

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