Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Great sound, lousy user interface and ergonomics
on May 26, 2005
I am of two minds with this component system, which I purchased about 2 months ago. I have tried it under a variety of conditions (tapes, CD's, tuner, hooked up to my DVD entertainment system).
First, the positive: The sound is fantastic. One reviewer complained of distortion above the 50% max volume. I have not heard any distortion at these levels, nor at higher levels. However, I do have the equaliser settings quite low (see why later), so perhaps that helps. CD's play crisp and clean, as do DVD's coming through my home entertainment system.
But there are a lot of negatives to go with it. Of the most critical importance is the totally illogical design of the user interface. For example, the eject button for the tray is below the level of the tray, so you have to contort your arm around the tray (and/or duck to look under the tray to find the button) to try to reclose it. Some functions are only available on the remote, and others are only on the console (e.g. when making your own song-order program, clearing a choice must be done with the remote, and the set clock feature is also only on the remote). There is no way to cancel a program except by ejecting the discs, or stepping back and cancelling the songs one by one. When playing on shuffle, the shuffle program forgets everything if you hit stop (even if you keep the same discs in and the power on). You cannot rewind a tape at the same time as listening to a CD or the radio. The tape rewind is unbelieveably slow. There is no subwoofer volume control (except through the equaliser). Any one or two of these problems would not be worth mentioning, but they keep adding up with this machine until it's so frustrating to operate it that you put it in a corner and glare at it from time to time.
And, like another customer, the system broke down after (literally) having played only 2 CD's. Because this was the same day I picked up the system, they didn't hassle me about an exchange, and the one I have now works fine. Somehow I got the lemon, I guess.
So, what is the overall impression? Well, if 2.5 of the five stars is for the sound, this gets 2.5/2.5. Unfortunately, the system gets 0 out of 2.5 for the user interface, for the reasons enumerated above. So, this system should get 2.5/5, but I deducted another 1/2 mark for the fact that the first one broke down less than an hour after getting it.