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Customer Reviews: 246
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Kenneth Stuart RSS Feed (Central California Coast)
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Black Light
Black Light
Price: $12.99
51 used & new from $9.99

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 1970s re-enactment music, February 16, 2016
This review is from: Black Light (Audio CD)
By chance, I happened to listen to this album immediately following a recording of "Jeff Beck Live with the Jan Hammer Group" from 1976.. I was immediately struck by how similar the "new" McLaughlin album is to the 40 year old fusion album. If I had sufficient time and software, I could probably recreate "Black Light" by cutting and pasting various riffs and licks from the earlier album.

This tendency of 21st Century music to just repeat 20th Century music forms is very sad. What does it mean when current young musicians say "I want to start a 1980s Hair Band" rather than "I want to make new music"?

The biggest part of the appeal of "Inner Mounting Flame" is that it sounded like nothing that had ever been recorded before. "Birds of Fire" took it to a higher level. The later 70s albums were not quite as brilliant, but all of them had some new innovation or twist.

Nowadays, music is done in the same manner as a Civil War Re-enactment. I guess some people want to see people dress up and recreate 1863. Other people want to see people recreate 1976.

The worst aspect of these 20th Century music re-enactment albums is that not one is as good as the originals. There is no "re-enactment" album that I would rather have in my collection than the originals.

Thank god for EDM, otherwise music would have come to a creative halt. Yes, you are thinking " that noise ? " - which is exactly what my father said about the Beatles in 1964. There is also some innovation in world music, such as The Tel Aviv Session
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2016 2:20 PM PDT


BulkSupplements Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder (250 grams)
BulkSupplements Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder (250 grams)
Offered by BulkSupplements
Price: $12.96
2 used & new from $12.96

4.0 out of 5 stars So far seems as good as Creapure, November 12, 2015
This review is of a product provided to me free of charge in return for writing this review within 14 days of receipt.

I normally use Creapure a half hour before my workouts, so I gave this one a try. So far, my workouts are roughly the same, so the main ingredient seems to be equivalent. The consistency is different from Creapure, but seems to dissolve similarly.

Based on a relatively short-term comparison, between this and Creapure, I would use whichever product is less expensive.

I reserve one star, because the required time frame for a review does not leave enough to give a long-term appraisal. If I come to a further conclusion about this product in the future, I will modify this review accordingly.


Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air Purifier, 3 Speeds plus Optional Ionizer, HAP242-NUC
Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air Purifier, 3 Speeds plus Optional Ionizer, HAP242-NUC
Price: $29.33
85 used & new from $21.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Well designed with one caveat, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using a Hamilton Beach True Air in my bedroom for several years, but the fan motor has started to give off a slight high pitched noise on the low setting. So, I was interested in trying the Holmes.

As indicated by the above comment, I would need an extended period of time to see how reliable the Holmes Air Purifier is.

But so far:

* The low speed of the Holmes is somewhat quieter and less harsh than the Hamilton Beach (even before the recent change in the latter).

* But in order to switch the Holmes off, one has to go through the medium and then the loud high setting briefly before the control reaches off. I do not understand why someone would design a switch this way. Since this is designed for a bedroom, if you want to switch it off in the middle of the night - then you will be making a lot of noise for a few seconds, possibly waking up someone. I will probably end up using a switched power strip to get around this oversight.

* The added ionizer is a good feature. I currently live by the ocean, but for many years I lived in-land and used an ionizer in my bedroom. It does increase the effectiveness of a purifier, as indicated by the thick dust around ionizers.

* The Holmes seems very sturdy, constructed from a good quality of plastic that is neither too soft, nor too brittle.

* The permanent filter of the Hamilton Beach was a plus - I have a good powerful vacuum which was able to get it very clean.

I hope to be able to update this review as I find out about the reliability of this air purifier.


Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 Plus High-end Noise-isolating In-ear Earphones with In-line Remote and Microphone
Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 Plus High-end Noise-isolating In-ear Earphones with In-line Remote and Microphone
Price: $99.00
8 used & new from $74.03

3.0 out of 5 stars Very good choice for folk, jazz or classical from a phone, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have compared and reviewed a number of headphones, but very few In-Ear earphones. Generally, I find them uncomfortable over extended periods of time. The only ones I have extensively used and compared with headphones are the Shure SE-215 (which have a very coherent sound with very natural timbre, and are a good value).

However, I was interested in getting an earphone and microphone setup for my Samsung Galaxy Note 2, to use instead of the built-in mic/speaker for calls and in some situations. So, I was happy to review the Aurvana In-Ear3.

In this case, I did not use any reference quality audio equipment, but instead the whole review was done on the Note 2, using the Neutron Music Player, a specialty audiophile player available in all App stores. I compared the In-Ear3 to my:

* Mr Speakers Alpha Dog (closed over-ear headphones roughly 4x the cost of the In-Ear3) - which were slightly underpowered by the Note 2, but were helpful to get a quick reminder of the accurate reproduction of my test tracks.
* Sennheiser CX-300II (single drive in-ear earphones) - these cost roughly a third of the In-Ear3 and have been one of the best values in the under $100 category (but be aware of fakes being sold - see the reviews on Amazon for details)
* Koss SP330 (portable on-ear headphones) - lately my favorite portable headphones and roughly similar price point to the In-Ear3.

I used the same test tracks that I use for all reviews (original CD of DSotM, "Depth of Image" test CD, BVSC, KoB, etc.) as detailed on my earlier reviews.

My conclusions based on a few hours testing:

* Overall sound quality is excellent, in terms of detail, imaging and timbre. Soundstage is a little shallow, but not unusually so for earphones/headphones in general.
* Bass sound quality is very good
* Dynamics seems somewhat restrained
* Bass quantity is somewhat low. This probably varies due to the fit and positioning of the earphones in the canal. That said, the Senns have a very similar size and shape of plug, yet had more bass. This overall frequency response is what you often find in "studio monitor" headphones that have a flat and neutral response - this gives an accurate view of what is in the recording, but since you cannot feel the bass in earphones or headphones, one generally wants to increase bass response to give a more balanced perceived response.

Overall, the sound quality is a very reasonable value at this price point IF your taste in music runs to folk, jazz or classical. Acoustic music and vocals will sound very good on the In-Ear3 especially at this price point. If your tastes is more in the Rock or EDM genres, then these might not be the best choice.

By the way, the overall packaging, including the choice of accessories, is also very good. A nice travel case is included, along with a variety of plugs, and an airplane adapter. I tested the microphone and it was lower in volume than the phone's built-in mic (possibly there is a hidden setting I needed to adjust), but was clear.

I should mention that normally one wants to maximize digital volume controls and use analog ones (the theory can be found with a web search). However, the little volume slider on the cable is of poor sound quality and I found that I had to do the review with the volume on the cable maximized, otherwise the In-Ear3 did not sound anywheres as good. So, I would just use that cable control as a way to quickly lower the volume (to hear someone in the room) and then use the phone's volume control to adjust the level of the music.

So, my overall rating is 7/10 which is 3.5 out of 5. I will give it 3 stars until I have had a chance to use it for a longer period of time, and will adjust if the quality improves with use (happens sometimes) and from my impression of its reliability.

If you do not need a microphone or cable controls, and can use something portable but not as tiny as in-ear earphones, then I recommend the Koss SP330 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MVXUACM


basyx by HON HVL721 Mesh Task Chair with 2-Way Arms for Office or Computer Desk, Black Fabric
basyx by HON HVL721 Mesh Task Chair with 2-Way Arms for Office or Computer Desk, Black Fabric
Offered by pcrush-outlet
Price: $214.59
73 used & new from $180.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor packaging means inevitable damage; insufficient adjustments for this price point, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I use an Alera chair that I purchased here at Amazon, and so will compare this basyx chair to the similar Alera chair:

* Amazon ships items of this size and weight by UPS. My personal experience is that UPS is harder on packages than any other service. Most items that I receive from Amazon by UPS end up with some cosmetic flaw due to denting of the package and this basyx chair was no exception.

* However, the cardboard package of this particular chair was woefully inadequate. Just barely enough cardboard to hold together the items, no thought for cushioning or protection. The Alera packaging was somewhat better, and I have received items with far better packaging than either. So, one star off for that.

* The quality of materials and worksmanship of the basyx chair is a level better than the Alera chair (which is appropriate for a 30% more expensive product). Bolts and other parts are more solid. Everything works on the basyx chair, while a couple of the adjustments on the Alera chair have never worked right.

* The basyx chair is missing an adjustable back angle (not the same as adjustable back tilt tension), found on the Alera chair and most other adjustable chairs at this price point.

* Both chairs are missing a way to slightly tilt back the seat itself. This would work to cradle my rear and thus support me without constantly making my legs work to support me. (This may be due to my long legs, which thus have more weight farther forward than most people.)

* Both chairs have backs that curve forward on the left and right. This is a great boon for the massage industry, as it forces shoulders forward of their natural position, causing inevitable shoulder pain.

* The adjustable lumbar support of this chair's back is a plus, and makes it somewhat more supportive than the Alera (the latter's back is famous for not staying up where it is set).

* This basyx chair has a narrower seat than the Alera, and the seat is less well padded. As such the seat is less comfortable, and the narrow width might cause problems for people with wide rears.

Ultimately, I cannot recommend either chair - both are overpriced .
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2015 7:32 AM PDT


UE ROLL Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof and Shockproof) - Volcano
UE ROLL Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof and Shockproof) - Volcano
Offered by Happy_Sale
Price: $73.75
55 used & new from $49.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good sound quality, tough and easy to use, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
FIRST - Download & Install the free IOS (Apple) or Android (Samsung,etc) App. The App - which is nicely designed - includes complete instructions and descriptions not found anywhere in the package. The App also includes extra control features, such as EQ and an Alarm.

Second - I have not compared this Bluetooth speaker with any other Bluetooth speakers, so I do not know whether this one is competitive to others in price, sound or features.

Having said that, I quite like this bluetooth speaker for a number of reasons:

* It is very compact, and the flat disk shape makes it easy to fit into packs, purses, or even large coat pockets.
* It produces the most sound - in terms of quality, volume and bass - that you can get from such a small speaker.
* It's a significant increase in quality, volume and bass from any phone speaker, and from almost all laptop speakers (although the latter are stereo and this is mono).
* It seems very rugged, and is supposedly waterproof (I did not test this aspect :) ).
* The built-in heavy duty bungee cord is a clever way to allow the speaker to be mounted on other things (especially since the disk shape might tend to roll off, if put on edge with the speaker facing you).
* The very visible and easily accessed volume buttons are helpful.
* The bluetooth range seems very good (although again, I am not comparing it to any other bluetooth speakers) - as I type this, the speaker is two rooms away from the phone.

I am somewhat of an audiophile, and I'm very pleased with the overall sound quality. When listening to the UE Roll, I do not notice the speaker and can focus entirely on the music. In other words, all of the differences between this speaker and a state-of-the-art system are "subtractive", meaning that certain subtle details are missing. The UE Roll seems relatively "fast", meaning it responds quickly to input and sounds "crisp and clear". Timbre is very good, meaning that different instruments retain their unique character.

A brightly colored flat cable for charging from USB is included The usual AC-to-USB charging part is not included, perhaps due to the price.

(All sound quality assessments were made from Tunein Radio App playing WWOZ's 128k MP3 feed - rather than a lossless feed which would be untypical fof use of this speaker at this price point.)

So, if a small, flat, disk shaped Bluetooth speaker with very good sound quality, meets your need at this price point, I can recommend the UE Roll - again, with the caveat, that I do not know whether this is a better or worse value than other bluetooth speakers.


Proactiv+ Emergency Blemish Relief, 2 tubes (0.33 ounce each)
Proactiv+ Emergency Blemish Relief, 2 tubes (0.33 ounce each)
Price: $45.95

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, very nice!, June 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A family member tried this and stated: "“I get pimples very easily. Everything from my oily hair to stress to sugar makes me break out. Thus, I have tried all sorts of acne solutions, with varying degrees of success. The problem with all of them, however, is that they are all irritable in some way, and at times they can cause new breakouts just from that irritation. Proactive+ does not have that defect. I have applied it once every day for two weeks now and have barely had to think about it. Though my pimples have not completely vanished, they are extremely well contained and hardly noticeable, and my skin is not irritated by the substance at all. Just put a little bit on, rub it on your washed face, and your good to go. I suspect that with consistent use for more than just two weeks, I will continue to acquire more positive results. So far, very nice!”


DII Bulk Pack Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 12 by 12-Inch, Teal Dots, Set of 12
DII Bulk Pack Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 12 by 12-Inch, Teal Dots, Set of 12

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent choice for many cleaning tasks, especially drying and window cleaning, June 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are excellent microfiber cleaning cloths. They are a little larger than most microfiber cleaning cloths, which can be helpful because you are less likely to run out of clean areas, or moisture absorbing capability during your task.

I find microfiber cloths to be particularly well suited for cleaning windows. Despite the marketing claims, I do use mild biodegradable cleaning solutions rather than just water. But then the microfiber cleaning cloths are particularly good at absorbing the dirt and fluid, and thus not leaving streaks. These DII cloths work particularly well in window cleaning.

These cloths are also very well suited for any drying tasks, such as after washing a car, or drying dishes, due to their excellent absorbency.

The prickly texture of microfiber makes them less suited for drying your hands (although that aspect may not bother you).

I have not compared the pricing of this product to comparable competition, but I do find that the quality of these cloths are at least as good, if not better than any other microfiber cloths I have used.


Brother MFC-J6925DW Spend Less for More Pages with INKvestment Cartridges, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled
Brother MFC-J6925DW Spend Less for More Pages with INKvestment Cartridges, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled
Price: $289.99
51 used & new from $289.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well designed and implemented multifunction office product, May 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've used many different printers over the years, but none from Brother. Having said that, I am impressed so far with the quality and attention to detail in software.

First, when buying a printer, you need to be clear about your needs. This unit is a small business product, in between their consumer products and their large business products. You would buy this product if you need:

* 17 inch long printing, scanning, copying and/or faxing
* Fully duplex printing (very convenient)
* Automatic feeder for scanner/copier/fax
* Two paper trays (can be selected from any device that is submitting a print, so that you can use two different types or sizes of paper, such as letter and the aforementioned 11x17 inch)

These and the page-per-minute speed are the aspects which cost extra. Particularly if you do not need 17 inch support, and can use a slightly slower speed, then you should be looking at their less expensive models, which have many of the other good features of this printer. The very popular consumer version for about 100 dollars even has automatic two-sided printing and can be found here at Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/Brother-MFC-J870DW-Wireless-Scanner-Printer/dp/B00DHJ8QLQ/

I read some of the other reviews, and noticed one about a printer that arrived with defects. I expect that is from shipping. Some carriers are notorious for ill treatment of packages. And due to the size and weight required by 17 inch support and dual trays, this is somewhat big and heavy product that is easily dropped by careless workers.

I was fortunate and my unit arrived in perfect condition, so I would expect that the condition of your Brother product would entirely depend on the care of your local shipping crew (rather than any problem at the factory).

The printer comes with compete instructions (including a CD-ROM with drivers and advanced instructions). The setup instructions were clear - somewhat lengthy but this is a professional product and it is assumed that you have time at work to do everything correctly and carefully.

My router has WPS and using that feature, I was able to link the Brother with my network in about a minute, without entering any codes or passwords.

I am already familiar with Windows Fax and Scan, so I just installed the drivers from the CD-ROM. The printer preferences available from each device are very comprehensive. Note that there are advanced settings for high color print quality (presumably at the expense of greater ink use), so those who found the photo print quality less than other brands, might have needed to make these adjustments.

All of my tests of a variety of jobs went very smoothly. I cannot judge the special low ink use aspect until I have used the product for months. And I similarly cannot judge the reliability for a number of months. But I always do update my reviews whenever I have further experience (as you would be able to tell from looking at older ones).


Minor's Sauce, Thai-style Red Curry, 72 oz
Minor's Sauce, Thai-style Red Curry, 72 oz
Price: $22.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend this product, May 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are many good Thai food style prepared sauces out there, so I thought no problem in terms of trying this out. I prepped my chicken and vegetables as usual (browned pieces as appropriate in a neutral oil) and then added this sauce at a simmer (since it was "already prepared" I assumed it just needed a half hour or so to thicken the sauce and infuse the chicken with the flavors). After half an hour it had not changed in appearance, so I went ahead and served.

This is what you would get if you went to a national chain restaurant (to be unnamed, but something that would serve food from under a hot lamp after microwaving) and asked for "Thai Curry". Totally non specific somewhat spicy, very salty and a virulent shade of orange. No flavor that even approached anything authentically Thai that I have ever tasted. I would definitely not recommend this product for anyone who enjoys actual cooking - there was a weird ersatz flavor that was not at all enjoyable.


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