Advantages CRACKING SOUND QUALITY, LOADS OF FEATURES
Disadvantages SOME COMPONENTS FEEL A BIT CHEAP, SPEAKER CABLES A BIT SHORT
|Ease of Use|
|Ease of Installation|
|Range of Features|
My old Aiwa HiFi was a great little unit. However, after many years of sterling service (and thumping bass) it stopped spinning up CDs. Silence came.The silence has just been violently shattered with the purchase of the Technics SCDV 290 sound system. This separates system is comprised of four parts - the RDS/PTY tuner, the twin full logic cassette decks, the Dolby 5.1 amplifier and the 5xDVD unit. The system is very easy to install with the separate units linking via ribbon cables. The only frustrating thing is that Technics has been less than generous with the wire on the centre speaker - as a result, I had to rearrange the room to bring the HiFi closer to the TV. The sound is belted out by five speakers - two, large three-way items at the front backed up by three smaller satellite units, providing sound at the rear and at the centre. This fills the room with sound and the virtual surround feature means that even standard music CDs play through all the speakers. Total output is 360W RMS - my ears are bleeding...
However, the surround sound system comes into its own when watching DVDs. The system quickly links to all modern TVs via an AV cable. The first DVD I watched was "Black Hawk Down" and though the film was a bit gruesome for me, I was blown away by the soundtrack. As helicopters dropped from the sky on the TV, shrapnel was raining down all around me. At one point (I am embarrassed to admit) I even looked over my shoulder, such is the quality of the sound - the effect is very convincing. This quality is bolstered by a number of features. The in-built subwoofer cranks up the bass and adds a gutsy rumble. The amplifier allows you to tune the sound or select from a number of preset effects (e.g. heavy, soft, hall, clean etc) and also lets you specify your seat position - tell it where you are sitting in relation to the system and the speaker output will be altered to compensate. Buttons on the system allow you to alter the picture quality (allowing the image to be either mellowed or sharpened) and remaster the sound. The on screen DVD menus allow you to alter all elements of the playback - the screen aspect ratio, picture quality, sound quality, the speed of playback, subtitles - all can be changed. The (very good) instruction manual explains all the features in detail - definitely a system for control freaks who like to tailor the viewing experience to the nth degree. I suspect that many of the features will go unused, but at the same time it's nice to know they are there.The twin cassette deck is full logic, which means it can be controlled from the remote. Dolby noise reduction is (of course) provided, as is Tape Program Sensor (TPS) which allows you to rewind/fast forward between tracks. The amplifier can be used to synthesise a surround sound effect during playback.
The radio offers 39 presets and features Radio Data System (RDS) display that shows the name of the radio station that is being broadcast. Alternatively, Programme Type (PTY) display can be selected - this tells you the type of broadcast (e.g. POP M, ROCK M, NEWS etc)This system really does offer everything needed in a home hifi system. Furthermore, the RRP can be bettered - my system was purchased brand new from eBay at a cost of £255 to my door. I definitely recommend delivery - the system is packed in two large boxes weighing a combined total of 40kgs - not an item that will fit easily into your standard family saloon!
Essentially, if you are looking for a DVD HiFi that offers big sound and plenty of features for small wedge, you won't go wrong with this heavyweight system! This is a high quality system at a low budget price - get it bought!
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