- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
To a lot of people a Hifi system is something that you buy in Curry`s for five hundred quid,probably an all in one unit complete with flashing lights and all the other gizmos,that the manufacturers put on to add to the perceived value of their products. Now these systems are fine for listening to the odd CD or radio, but if you are really into listening to music you`ll want to hear it at it`s best. This is where a good HiFi separates system comes in to it`s own. Less is definitely more. You don`t need flashing lights,graphic equalizers and dubious "surround modes" and the like. The essence of good music reproduction is to keep the signal as pure as possible with the minimum of electronics in the signal path. All in one systems are usually built to a price point,so if the manafacturer has to compete on gizmos the chances are the overall quality of the components used will suffer. HiFi separates are built to price points also, but the better companies will try and give the best sound quality for a given price as opposed to the most facilities. There literally thousands of HiFi components out there and choosing the ones best suited to you will take a little time and trouble. Don`t just buy whatever a magazine review says is best, go and have a listen yourself and compare against similar products. One of the big advantages with separates is you can upgrade it in stages and add components to it as and when you can afford to. Traditional thinking used to be,back in the days when the turntable was king, that you should spend most on the source component. These days with the advent of digital playback CD, MD etc,It is possible to get really good sound without paying the earth, although you do get what you pay for, and spending more will get you better quality sound, I think the "rule of thirds" ie spend similar amounts on a single source,amplification and loudspeakers makes more sense. In this way a fa
r superior sound to that of an all in one midi or mini system can be achieved at the same or even lower cost. When purchasing separates bear in mind what sort of music you like as some components,especially at the higher end(read expensive!) are better suited to particular types of music. With loudspeakers if you like lots of heavy bass consider large standmounted or floorstanding models rather than smaller bookshelf types, but also consider the size of your room. The connecting cables are also important and really make a difference,and although you can spend silly money on these, the general rule of thumb is to spend about ten percent of the total system cost. If like me you really love your music, it`s well worth the effort to put together a decent system that will increase your enjoyment of it.
The version of"relics" I own is actually the original vinyl circa 1971,with the pythonesque cover art rather than the repackaged CD version. They feature the same tracks in the same order so I think it is probably safe to assume that they are identical. "relics" harks back to the early days of Floyd (1967) when Syd Barrett was the driving force behind the band and before Dave Gilmour joined as it`s fifth member in 1968, and post Barrett (1968-1971. This is essentially a selection of singles from their psychedelic era with a couple of tracks from previously released albums. eleven tracks in all and all of them good,although if you have only heard "dark side of the moon" and later albums you will find this album rather different. Difficult to choose favourites but "see emily play" " "remember a day" and "interstellar overdrive" deserve a special mention. evocative of the psychedelic sixties, this is a must have for Pink Floyd fans.
The first post Roger Waters album and not really a great favourite of mine. Dave Gilmour takes over the vocals and much of the songwriting,employs a fair bit of outside assistance, and produces a competent but not a classic album with a couple of really good tracks,"learning to fly" and "one slip". The remaining eight tracks are, with the exception of the rather grim "dogs of war" listenable but not particularly memorable. there is an air of melancholy to the whole album with Gilmour`s lyrics being a bit depressive. This really comes over as more of a Dave Gilmour project than a Pink Floyd one, and is a little disappointing as a result.
It comes to us all.You look at that beige box sitting on your desk or wherever, and you know it`s just not cutting the mustard anymore.It may well have been the top of the range model and cost you a packet,but now it struggles to run the latest software if indeed it will run it at all. The one thing you can be certain of is, no matter what spec PC you buy now, next month there will be a better one and probably cheaper too. As the technology marches on relentlessly your PC quickly becomes a dinosaur, but if it still does all the tasks you want it to do, why should you worry? But maybe like me, you like to run the latest software and play the latest games, and for most of us it`s not really practical to buy a new PC every year or two, even if they are much cheaper than they used to be. One solution is to extend the useful life of your PC by upgrading it in key areas. If your PC is less than a couple of years old you may find replacing the processor and adding more memory may give the boost you require for a relatively modest outlay and prolong the system`s life for another year or so. This quite easy to do but you do need to check first what your motherboard can support,this information should be in the manual that came with your PC. Another good area to upgrade is the graphics. Newer PC`s should have an AGP slot, older ones PCI, or the graphics may even be integrated with the motherboard so check before purchase. The graphics card market is always advancing and there is a wide choice and prices to match, so read the reviews and see what is suitable for you. So far the upgrades I have suggested are fairly easy to perform, but the time may come when you reach the limit of what your motherboard can support and you will need to change it. A bit trickier this since it will necessitate disconnecting all the cables and removing all the cards,but will allow you then to take advantage of the latest processor and memory technology, a
nd keep you near the cutting edge. Most new motherboards are now in ATX format so if you have an AT one at present, you will have to change the case/PSU as well, which will mean removing all your drives and then refitting them into the new case. Even this is not too difficult if you are careful and methodical. The next area to upgrade could be your hard drive. although prices have not dropped dramatically, you do get a lot more storage for your money these days, roughly £6.00 per gigabyte! other upgrade possibilities are changing the CD-ROM drive for a CD rewriter or a DVD drive, upgrading the sound card and the modem as better technology becomes available. I must point out though there is a certain synergy to components, so mixing the brand new with the very old is not always successful. As with all things electrical be careful and make sure your PC is disconnected from the mains power before attempting to do any work on it.
This is the last album Roger Waters was to make with Pink Floyd, due to internal wrangles within the band. Full of references to the falklands war and world war two, this is not the cheeriest of albums.In fact you could say it was depressing. Bringing a mixed reaction from fans,this album is considered to be more of a Roger Waters solo album than Pink Floyd music by many. Waters dedicated the album to his father who was killed in WW11. Similar in some ways to the album that preceded it,The Wall,a strong theme runs throughout, in this case War. Some very good lyrics but the music is not of the same quality with a few exceptions,"The hero`s Return", "Two suns in the sunset" and paranoid eyes. All the tracks are fairly downbeat with the exception of "not now john" which I have never liked. A requiem for a post war dream then, as the subtitle says and good in parts, but not one of the better albums which is a shame as it was to be the last the band as they were would make.
This is the album that the followed the mega seller "dark side of the moon", and contains one of the best tracks pink floyd ever recorded, namely "shine on you crazy diamond" in two parts that begin and end the album. This is the sort of track with the kind of ambience where you can close your eyes and just let it wash over you, I find a couple of beers often helps! Special mention to Dave Gilmour`s guitar playing and Dick parry`s saxophone-absolute bliss. The song has excellent lyrics too, an ode to Syd Barrett, one of the former members of the band. The other three tracks are also of high quality, "wish you were here" with its wistful lyrics being another of my favourite tracks. All in all a well rounded album that doesn`t sound dated and in my opinion definitely a classic Floyd album, Highly recommended
This is one of the best selling albums of all time and not without reason. without doubt the best album Pink Floyd had made to date, this plays almost like one long track with hardly any breaks.From "speak to me" to "eclipse" the songs flow one to the other almost seamlessly. Roger water`s lyrics are excellent and all the band play faultlessly. Standout tracks are "breathe", "us and them" and "time". Evocative of it`s time it still sounds good today, has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, and is still selling well all these years on. A landmark album and a must-have.
This is my all time favourite album so I may be a little biased. The wall is without doubt the most accessible pink floyd album. At the time of it`s release it was incredibly popular, second only to "dark side of the moon" in terms of sales. conceived and written by Roger Waters this album has the ability to reach the emotions like no other. Although made at a time when the band where going through difficulties this a real masterpiece and somewhat different from the preceding albums. most will have heard "another brick in the wall"(part two) a single release that charted at No1. this only a taster of what this album has to offer, well crafted music and lyrics with a special mention to Dave Gilmour`s guitar playing. All the tracks are excellent but for me "hey you" "comfortably numb" and "mother" are the standout tracks A film based on the album was released shortly after the album and goes some way to explain the concept behind it.
The large majority of you reading this will already be using some form of microsoft windows. For most the operating system they use will have come preinstalled on their systems and they may never have tried an alternative. Windows 98 SE then,an improvement over previous microsoft operating systems? It`s certainly not perfect,prone to being unstable and it doesn`t take much to upset it to the point that it refuses to load. Part of the problem is that win98 pretty as it is,has it origins in the ancient MSDOS operating system and so is not true 32bit, you need windows NT for that. But in it`s defence it does have support for all sorts of hardware that NT doesn`t, and usually manages to configure it all somehow and when it works it works well. not a great improvement over the original 98 but a lot better than 95 in it`s implementation of plug and play and general user friendliness with a much improved help system and tools for diagnosing and sorting any problems. It`s a bit of a resource hog though and plenty of memory is required for it to run really smoothly. we have come a long way from the old command line driven operating systems of the past and for all it`s faults I would say that win98 is the best choice currently if you are a home user who requires all the multimedia bells and whistles, and worth upgrading to from win95 if your PC can run it.
this is the album that features the classic "stairway to heaven" but there is far more to this album. Consisting of eight tracks this is a real treat of an album,I still play it regularly,another of those rare breed where every track is excellent. This must surely be the best ever Led Zep album the song lyrics of "stairway" and"the battle of evermore" simply brilliant. An album of contrasting styles from the heavy to the melodic, Roberts plant`s voice and Jimmy page`s guitar work are absolutely captivating. a definite must have album
This is a live album recorded you won`t be surprised to learn in Japan,over three nights in august 1972. There is a good selection of popular tracks all performed well by the mark II line up of Blackmore, Gillan, Glover,Lord and Paice. you realise listening to this album what a good live band they were the music performed with real enthusiasm. seventy six minutes (CD version) seven tracks of brilliant music with an almost twenty minute version of "space trucking"!! This demands to played loud and an air guitar is very much recommended
This could well be the definitive album of all the great early tracks. from "black night" through to "smoke on the water" this compilation CD runs for over an hour and contains nearly all of the best tracks from the early albums. All the greats are here still sounding as good now as they did back in the mists of time otherwise known as the early seventies when I was just a lad. If you need an introduction to this great british band look no further than this excellent showcase album or "burn" to experience them at their best. A must for headbangers and air guitarists alike
This album features the Mark II line up and seven tracks the title track being the best known. a couple of strange tracks on this one, "fools" complete with a pink floyd style intro and rather lacklustre altogether,and "anyones daughter" with what sounds like honky tonk piano and slide guitars and is just awful. The remaining tracks are all well up to standard with "fireball", "demons eye" and "the mule" the most listenable. Not a classic purple album then, but certainly worth having,although the standout tracks here feature on later live and compilation albums.
Recorded just a few months after the classic "Burn" album and featuring the same line up "stormbringer" is a collection of largely forgettable tracks the title track being the best of a rather poor bunch. What a difference a few months can make, although the recording engineer, Martin Birch, who also produced on this, is the same as on the preceding album, this one feels flat and bland by comparison and gets very few plays by me. I have to say, even as a fan of the band, that with the exception of the title track this is a grim offering for completists only
I am currently using Quicken Deluxe 1998. I started out with a free magazine mount giveaway Quicken 5 and registered it and the nice people at Intuit software sent me a free upgrade (Quicken Deluxe 98)to take care of potential Y2k problems. So it`s not cost me a penny, and I use it on a daily basis to keep track of all my accounts. This is a very user friendly product and it makes keeping track of your finances a cinch. all direct debits are automatically entered for you and a reminder window pops up when a bill is due. You can also produce graphs of income/expenditure do financial forecasts, calculate interest and lots more. This is one of the most useful pieces of software I have.