Profile for IronMan Mike Curtis > Reviews


IronMan Mike Cur...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 5
Top Reviewer Ranking: 22,281,671
Helpful Votes: 79

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Reviews Written by
IronMan Mike Curtis "-Mike" RSS Feed (North Hollywood, CA United States)

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HP Color LaserJet 3500N Printer
HP Color LaserJet 3500N Printer

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT home/small business printer, May 17, 2010
I've owned the 3500n for several years. The print quality is excellent. The speed? The pages come flying out like Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. It starts printing quickly. If you're used to ink jet printers, you will be impressed! It's solidly built.

I bought mine when they first hit the market. I had difficulty getting it running on my network. As always, HP's tech support was amazing. I ended up downloading a beta version, and changing the preprogrammed tcp/ip address to something a bit more realistic.

I do have two complaints. First, this thing is MASSIVE, and at a very awkward 80 lbs, revered by your chiropractor. Get someone to help and thank me for saving your back later. If you're at all strapped for space, this is one big boy. I like big stuff. It usually lasts a lot longer, and goes better with my size 14-EEE's.

Second gripe: The genuine HP print cartridges are priced like military hammers (if you have to ask price, you can't afford it). Fortunately, they can be refilled (apparently) several times quite easily, for a much more reasonable ~$40. The refill kit will have toner (duh), a replacement chip (when the old cartridge is empty, the printer blows out the old chip), and a soldering iron with a copper pipe cap for melting a CLEAN refill hole without getting shavings inside the old cartridge. Throw out all of the old toner.

HP includes tons of software to calibrate the printer colors. I'm a demanding perfectionist, and I constantly tweak all of my other stuff. I'd tweak this machine, too, if there were any reason to do so. There's not. I just look at the printing and give my best "Fonzie" shrug.

For the price (which is better now than when I bought mine), this is one amazing printer. Would I buy it again? Even after these many years, yes!

-Mike Curtis

Hohner CX-12 Black, Key of C
Hohner CX-12 Black, Key of C
Price: $189.62
12 used & new from $159.99

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 20, 2007
I've played harmonica for 55 years, most of these professionally. I'm fussy, and tight with compliments. They're earned, not given. I'm quite particular about my harmonicas, expect a lot, demand a lot. I've owned some that were junk, or required much work to get up to my standards.

The CX-12 isn't one of these.

I bought mine when they first came out several years back. Out of the box with no tweaks, it played beautifully. Unlike most chromatics, the CX-12 is wonderfully air-tight, with windsavers on the lower two octaves. I can get double, maybe even triple the time per lungful compared to other chroms I've played. The slide is smooth, precise, flawless. The one piece cover gives the CX-12 a HUGE sound. The reed action is firm, exactly as it should be. A tab holds the slide, and a slideable metal retainer holds in the comb assembly. Snap, slip, and the comb comes right out for cleaning and maintenance. Yes, THAT quick!

And the look is cool ("Darth Vader"esque), although I'd play it regardless of looks. The embouchure is nicely rounded, with no sharp lip-slicing edges, and is by far the most comfortable chromatic I have ever played.


Sony MZ-R37 Portable Minidisc Player/Recorder
Sony MZ-R37 Portable Minidisc Player/Recorder
7 used & new from $75.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highest recommendation, July 12, 2006
I've had my MZ-R37 for several years. I'm a professional musician, working solo (vocals, electric harmonica, guitar, organ bass pedals) or with other musicians. I use the MD to record my/our live performances. I originally had rather low expectations. I just wanted to review the music. Generally I used the output of the sound reinforcement system (tho I made a lot of very good recordings with the included stereo mic). The quality is excellent. I've been able to use many tunes recorded on the MD for CD's. Yes it's THAT good.

I'm not claiming this will replace a full blown Pro Tools studio with Neumann U87's and a staff of Hollywood recording engineers, producers, and such. One can truly do magic with top line gear and a highly skilled production staff in much less time. But many of the MZ-R37's recordings were good enough to be on a CD with these and not embarrass me in comparison. And that's saying a LOT for a dirt cheap pocket size recorder with 1/8th inch input/output jacks.

Mike Curtis

Griffin Technology iMic USB External Sound Card
Griffin Technology iMic USB External Sound Card
3 used & new from $40.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!, October 14, 2005
I'm an electrical engineer, pro musician, producer, and columnist, own several laptop (3 XP, 1 Mac Powerbook G4 with OSX 10.4), and desktop computers, and a lot of pro grade (expensive, heavy, and complicated) portable multitrack recording gear. But sometimes it's sure nice to grab my laptop, iMic, a mic or two, and headphones, and head off to an interview or to record an act.

The iMic does this elegantly and inexpensvely. It's a simple plug and play/minor tweak on my Mac, and all of my XP machines.

I couldn't be happier with the iMic. For the price and convenience, iMic does an incredible job. It's not a DA-88 or ADAT (but I wasn't expecting that). All laptops I've examined have only mono mic/line analog input. I usually need at least stereo capabilities, and bought the iMic for this purpose. Sound quality is surprisingly good, especially when you use decent quality (i.e. condenser) microphones and speakers.

The short USB cable poses no problem for me. It gets the job done, and doesn't get in my way like larger, longer, heavier cables. If I need it to be longer, I can add a USB extension. But I've never needed longer. Once I've pluggd in and set the mic/line switch, I don't need (or want) the iMic out front, so I tuck it away.

My only ersatz criticism of the iMic would be the use of 1/8th inch mini jacks for mic and speaker jacks. They're a little wimpy for pro use. But mini jacks have become pretty much standard computer audio fare. We don't get XLR's and Neutrik's on $39 boxes. So take it with the large grain of salt with which it is proffered. The jacks have been quiet and reliable, and get the job done.

I gave the iMic 5 stars because, considering its very reasonable price, it greatly exceeded my expectations. If you need stereo mic/line recording and playback, and/or better sound quality than most laptops (and a lot of desktops), this is the most cost effective. A mono or stereo mic and set of cans gets you up and running. Add a small mixer, a couple of good microphones, a set of good powered monitor speakers, and a decent audio record/edit program, and you have an uncomplicated, capable, convenient, and cheap portable stereo recording studio.

-IronMan Mike Curtis

3Com 00371800 HomeConnect PC Digital Camera
3Com 00371800 HomeConnect PC Digital Camera
Offered by OPIE ETC
Price: $17.89
5 used & new from $8.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT webcam!, November 20, 2003
WOW! I'm impressed! And I live in Hollywood CA, the land of people who are no longer impressed by much of anything ;-) I have several other cameras of various sorts. They're mottled, grainy, washed out, and in general just nasty. Heck, I'd even be embarrassed to put YOUR picture on it :-) But the 3Com picture is different. This thing has a professional quality picture, and the utilities have more adjustments than an Enron finaincial statement.
Even though 3com discontinued it, the camera,lens kit (wide, closeup, telephoto), and software that actually <gasp!> works are available from [...]
My one gripe right now is that I can't get the frame speed high enough in low light, but I'm sure it can be done with the right tweaks (so anyone - HELP!)

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