Archive for April, 2012

Manchester United vs Manchester City

30/04/2012 1 comment

This is going to be the derby of all derbies. Manchester United vs Manchester City. I will be going down to a pub today, dressed in my Manchester United best, to watch the match and support a team I have been supporting since I was a young lad. This is the deciding match and I want my beloved Manchester United to win this, hands down. It is not gonna be easy, it is not going to be a walk in the park. It is going to be a VERY intense match. Honestly. I am on tenterhooks as I write this.


Samson Auro D412 powered speakers

29/04/2012 Leave a comment

I have said it before. There are lots of manufacturers making powered speakers these days and Samson is one of them. This is their offering to the powered-speaker range, the Auro D412. It puts out pretty good sound and comes highly recommended by those who use it. The sad thing is that in brand-conscious Singapore, many use Mackie speakers. There are lots of other manyfacturers out there that build pretty good powered speakers and Samson is one of them. Specifications-wise:

– Compact, lightweight 2-way active speaker system
– D412: 12-inch extended range low frequency driver
– 1.34-inch (34mm) compression driver with 1-inch exit
– 400 watts of output power
– XLR mic input
– 1/4-inch line input
– Volume control
– 2-band equalizer (Bass and Treble Controls)
– Line output allows daisy chaining of additional speakers
– Built-in Optimax compressor/limiter with two-stage speaker protection
– 1-3/8-inch pole mount receptacle
– Two over-sized ergonomic carry handles
– Dual-angle floor monitor positioning options
– Solid polypropylene construction

This speaker comes with a 12″ woofer and is capable of delivering 400 watts of power. That is pretty impressive for a speaker this size. It is also pretty lightweight and cane be used as a near-field monitor if need be. Like most of the other manufacturers, it is made of polypropylene and has a horn with a 1″ throat.

Looks like this speaker can deliver the goods.

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M-Audio GSR10 powered speakers

28/04/2012 Leave a comment

Almost all speaker manufacturers now are making powered speakers and M-Audio is no exception. I heard these speakers in action the other day at a road-show and I was pretty impressed with them, looks-wise and sound-wise. M-Audio is well-known for their USB sound devices, their Fast Track Pro deserves an honourable mention and I have seen some DJs actually using it. But back to the speakers. What M-Audio has done is couple a throated-horn with a 1″ compression driver with a 10″ woofer, that has a 2.5″ voice-coil. What this means is that the speaker is capable of pushing some serious sound. The cabinet in itself has some fly-points built-in so that you can mount them easily with no issues. Furthermore, they are pretty light (about 11.3 kilograms) and that should make movement around pretty easy.

These are the rear controls of the speaker. There is one knob, almost at the center of all the controls. These are specially-tuned EQ presets. Now, some people will not like those because it gives no flexibility when it comes to tuning the sound but to the newbie, it should serve them just fine. There is a hi-pass filter button that is useful should you decide to hook up a sub to these speakers. Balanced XLR and TRS connections are at the rear to ease connection settings if you so wish. But the best thing has to be the price. I do not know how much the local M-Audio dealer charges for them in Singapore but in the USA, you can get them as low as US$150 per piece! Egads! That is almost US$300 for a pair of small powered speakers that are capable of pushing 250 watts per speaker, with a built-in bi-amplifier Class D amplifier!

No too bad eh? For small conferences, where you need a speaker to handle about 50 or 60 people in a room, or even for the roadshow I saw these speakers in action, the price cannot be beat. M-Audio states on their website: “Studio heritage, serious sound.” Sounds pretty good to me!

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Denis Irwin, Manchester United legend

27/04/2012 Leave a comment

I got to meet the legend, Denis Irwin from Manchester United yesterday at a closed-door event. What an honour it was. I remember him as being one of the best left-backs that Manchester United had. I met him face to face, shook hands with him and found him to be a real nice chap. He complimented me on the jersey I was wearing and asked me: “Been a Manchester United fan long?” I answered: “30 years!” He replied: “That’s good!”

There is a video of how good he was when he was in United. A legend if there ever was one.

Dell XPS Ultrabook 13″

26/04/2012 Leave a comment

A friend of mine bought this Dell XPS 13″ Ultrabook and asked me to help him set it up. OK. I thought to myself. What have we here? Did I not just see an Asus laptop fairly recently, looking exactly like an Apple MacBook Air? And now Dell is jumping on the copy bandwagon? What gives?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Dell. I have been using Dell computers for years. I had a Dell Vostro that lasted me four-and-a-half years before it conked out fairly recently. My current Dell laptop is an Inspiron 15. It chugs along well but sometimes, I wish that I had my Vostro. When I saw this, I kind of liked and disliked it almost immediately. One, it is very thin. I have always been an advocate of tough laptops and that is why till today, if money were no object,  would plonk down a king’s ransom for the Panasonic Toughbook. This Ultrabook just looks…fragile. Two, the price. For that price, I would get the afore-mentioned Panasonic toughbook because at least I know that it would be able to take a beating and come back for more. It is not to say that I am a complete klutz with laptops but I always believe in prevention being much better than cure. Specifications-wise, this is what this Dell Ultrabook has to offer:

  • 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2467M processor (1.60 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.30 GHz,TPM)
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Professional SP1 64bit (English)
  • 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  • Intel® HD 3000 graphics
  • High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio® 4 (Soundcard and speakers)
  • Up to 256GB Solid State hard drive
  • 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
  • Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6230 802.11 a/g/n with Intel® Smart Connect Technology + Bluetooth 3.0

All this is squeezed in a notebook that is pretty small in size. I think my wife would be better off with this notebook, given its small size. For me? Yep…you know what I would prefer!

Peavey SP5 louspeakers

25/04/2012 Leave a comment

I was at an online, Internet radio station today and I happened to see a couple of these tucked away in a corner. I suppose that the station uses this for live broadcasts in malls and the like. I admit i was surprised when I saw it. They are a lot bigger than what I thought they would be. According to the Peavey website, these are the specifications:

  • – Two-way, full-range sound reinforcement system
  • – 15 inch Scorpion® woofer with field-replaceable basket
  • – RX™ 22 compression driver with ferrofluid cooling
  • – Frequency Response: 69 Hz to 17 kHz,+/-3dB
  • – -10 dB point: 50 Hz
  • – Sensitivity: 98 dB (1W/1m) anechoic
  • – 800 watts program, 1600 watts peak
  • – Patented Asymmetrical Quadratic Throat Waveguide™ technology
  • – Patented Radialinear Planar Phase Correction System
  • – Sound Guard™ III tweeter protection
  • – Full-range inputs include a Neutrik® Speakon® 4 pin jack and two 1/4 inch phone jacks
  • – Trapezoidal enclosure
  • – Hammertex durable covering material
  • – Stand-mount adapter
  • – Weight Packed: 77.20 lb(35.017 kg)
  • – Width Packed: 19.75″(50.165 cm)
  • – Height Packed: 30.75″(78.105 cm)
  • – Depth Packed: 23″(58.42 cm)

Looks like the Scorpion woofers can take a lot of beating but the Scorpions of old did not seem that they could handle large amounts of power. I have always preferred Peavey’s Black Widow drivers over their Scorpion ones. The reason I say this is because I had a pair of Peavey 112H speakers that turned literally to dust after some heavy amplifier worked its “magic” on them. They were only capable of about 200 watts tops. I am not too sure what the crossover frequency is but I bet it would probably hover around 1KHz as the compression driver would not be ble to handle anything lower than this. But they do look pretty impressive. For small road-shows, I think this Peavey SP5 has got it covered.

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Philips mini-component system

24/04/2012 Leave a comment

For the longest time, I was using a pair of Altec-Lansing powered speakers as my computer multimedia speakers. They would be used for anything sound-wise I did on my computer: mixdowns, monitoring and even listening to music when I was doing work. After a whle, I decided to get myself a small mini-component system and I fell in love with this Philips one. It was small, cute and fit right into the cavity emptied by the previous speakers. It comes with a CD player, AM/FM radio…the usual stuff. There is even an AUX in so I just hooked that up to the headphone out of my computer’s soundcard and I was ready to rock and roll. Do not be fooled by the size of these babies though. These babies can really crank it and I am talking about it getting seriously loud. I have even used them as monitors for my DJ mixing sessions. They are able to handle it very well and the sound is superb. They only cost me about $99 and even at that price, they were a steal!

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