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GE JVM3160DFBB 1.6 Cu. Ft. Black Over-the-Range Microwave
GE JVM3160DFBB 1.6 Cu. Ft. Black Over-the-Range Microwave
Offered by Home Care Company
Price: $248.98
9 used & new from $207.94

5.0 out of 5 stars The GE JVW3160: A Truly Excellent Over-the-Range Microwave Oven, December 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife and I are very pleased with this GE JVM3160DFBB 1.6 Cu. Ft. Black Over-the-Range Microwave oven. We had it professionally installed and have now used it for two days. Its performance is nothing short of excellent.

Having only owned free-standing microwaves, and never previously owning an over-the-range one, we did a fair amount of research, especially on that famous consumer web site which does not allow its name to be used (I'm sure you know the one I mean). There quite a number of such microwaves were reviewed and this one stood out: it came in second place (with a rating of 79) just behind the first-place model (with a rating of 81) and is recommended as a Best Buy. (That first-place model sells for $550.00, a good deal more than this one.)

User reviews on that site were fair overall but all of the negative ones were, frankly, silly, in our opinion, and could be ignored. (One person gave it a negative review because it is "only" 1000 watts and she wanted one with 1100 watts. How foolish! Why didn't she read the description before buying? Others complained that the charcoal filter was missing; my unit, purchased from Amazon, had it.)

The consumer site's only caveat was that this model lacks a sensor to determine when the food is done. It has been our experience that these sensors are not always accurate so the omission of that feature on this model is of no consequence to us and, in our opinion, is not significant.

The two or three hundred dollar savings IS significant though! This model appears to be one of the the least costly microwaves of its type which is made by a reputable manufacturer and that is currently available.

This unit cooks at least as well as any we have ever owned (and it makes popcorn better than ANY microwave we have used). Its controls are straightforward; neither my wife nor I have even read the manual yet (though I'll do that today) and we are easily able to use it.

I mentioned that ours came with the charcoal filter some complained was missing. We shall not be using that filter as we have tied the unit into our vent system which exhaust the air to the outside. The two small filters which are used in that type of application are easy to install, remove, and reinstall and they can be washed in the dishwasher.

This model comes with a manufacturer's Free 10yr Warranty on Major Components and GE microwaves are listed as quite reliable on that consumer web site. I trust that Electrolux, the company which is purchasing GE Appliances, will honor that warranty.

Therefore I can wholeheartedly recommend this microwave to you. I think that you'll be as pleased as we are.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Chemical Guys SPI_103_16 - Sprayable Leather Cleaner & Conditioner in One (16 oz)
Chemical Guys SPI_103_16 - Sprayable Leather Cleaner & Conditioner in One (16 oz)
Price: $15.05
3 used & new from $9.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Automobile Leather Cleaner and Conditioner, December 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I want to state, right off the bat, that I dislike leather interiors in cars.

That said, my wife and I now own two vehicles with leather interiors (I shall not elaborate here as to why) and we had been considering buying some product which would maintain the leather.

When I was offered this Chemical Guys SPI_103_16 - Sprayable Leather Cleaner & Conditioner in One (16 oz) by Amazon Vine, I jumped at the chance to get it.

I used it two days ago and I am generally pleased. Following the directions, I found that application was easy and I did not have to use a lot of the product; I believe it will be very economical in use.

It did indeed soften the leather somewhat while not being slippery or greasy in feel on the seats. I also used it on the dashboard. I am pleased with the results.

On my hands though was another story. Even after four or five hand washings, the odor of the product remained with me and my hands felt greasy..

And speaking of that odor, while not unpleasant, it is very "chemically" smelling; that is both my and my wife's opinion. (Some reviewers have commented that the odor is that of leather; if it is, then it didn't some from any animal that ever lived on this planet!)

The odor does go away after a day or so but I have to say that my leather interior does not smell any better than it did before I used the product. (We have our cars 'detailed' twice yearly; the most recent procedure was done in October 2013 and our cars are both less than one year old.)

But on the whole I think that this product will be useful to us. I plan to use it probably about once a month (except in the months that we have the cars 'detailed') and, once this sample bottle is finished, I shall buy some more.

Because of the slight problems I mentioned (greasy feeling and odor lingering on my hands, "chemical" odor of the product), I do not wish to award this product 5 stars; 4 stars means "I Like It" according to Amazon and I do like it (and, as said, I shall continue to buy it as long as we own these automobiles).

Therefore I do recommend it to you if you have a leather interior in your car(s) and wish to maintain the appearance.

Thank you for reading this.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Yamaha BD-S677BL Blu-Ray Player
Yamaha BD-S677BL Blu-Ray Player
Price: $254.99
7 used & new from $203.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Audio Review of the Yamaha BD-S677 Blu-ray Player, November 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very pleased with this Yamaha BD-S677BL Blu-Ray Player. I am NOT using it for playing Blu-ray discs or DVDs. I am using it strictly as an audio player for Super Audio CDs.

I think that some people may think that my reason for purchasing this device is silly but, if you're interested, please read on.

I have three audio systems. One is a home theater, used primarily for movies but also, on occasion, for music; another is an "all-purpose" system, used mostly for music, but also for movies; and the last (really the first) is an audio-only system.

In my two music/movie systems, I now have Oppo BDP-93s. These, of course, play Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs, AND Super Audio CDs.

I formerly had three Sony SCD-CE595 5-Disc CD/Super Audio CD Player (Discontinued by Manufacturer), ALL OF WHICH have "died" (in less than ten years!). (In recent years, I have lost a great deal of faith in Sony products.) Two of these were in the aforementioned systems and one was in my main audio system.

I have a fair collection of SACDs but, after the Sonys "died," I had no means to play them in my main audio system.

I should mention that my associated audio equipment is a Hafler DH-101 pre-amplifier, a Hafler HD-200 power amplifier, and a pair of Klipschorn loudspeakers.

Recently I began to investigate SACD players for use in that system.

This Yamaha player is the least-costly high-quality player I could find which will play SACDs.

I ordered it, it arrived, I unpacked it, and placed it in my system.

Note that there is no video monitor in this system; it is audio only.

I turned on my pre-amp, amp, and the Yamaha.

I placed an SACD in the tray and pressed "Play."

The drawer closed, and, on the display, the word "SACD" appeared.

But nothing happened. I repeatedly pressed "Play" on both the device itself as well as on the remote control.

Still nothing happened.

I turned everything off, waited ten minutes, and tried again, with similar results.

At that point, I removed the small video monitor from within my home theater (I use it to preview what is going to be displayed) and attached it via an HDMI cable to this player.

AH HA! One must "Set Up" the player - selecting the language and the display parameters of the video monitor you wish to use - prior to any use. (Please note that you must do this only once, the first time you use the player; after that, it "remembers" what you have chosen.)

I did this setup, removed the video monitor and put it back where it belonged, and inserted an SACD.

Wow!

I have to tell you that I haven't heard an SACD through my main system in over a year (which was when the Sony "died') but it is my opinion that this Yamaha "blows the Sony out of the water!"

If you haven't heard SACDs, well, you don't know what you're missing!

I am going to use this player strictly for SACD playback (which is why I entitled this review "An Audio Review ... "). I cannot comment on video performance, Blu-ray disc loading time, etc., etc., etc.

I can only comment on its audio performance, specifically with SACDs.

It is superb. That is the only word I can use to describe the sound produced.

If you have need for an SACD player, I believe you could buy nothing better than this one and I HIGHLY recommend it to you.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, I am very pleased with this product.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2014 11:30 AM PST


Stanley Piranha 8 Inch Premium Scissor, Gray (SCI8TINS)
Stanley Piranha 8 Inch Premium Scissor, Gray (SCI8TINS)
Price: $14.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stanley Piranha Scissors is an Excellent Product, November 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am pleased with these Stanley Piranha 8 Inch Premium Scissor, Gray (SCI8TINS).

In an age in which we can land a man on the moon, where we can land a space-probe on a comet, and where almost anyone can communicate around the world in an instant, we still cannot design plastic packaging for toys, etc., which are theft-resistant yet EASY TO OPEN!

These scissors come to the rescue (at least somewhat!)

Now if you're like me, you have a number of scissors about your house, some very powerful.

But I'll bet that, when you need to cut something, the one you go to first is the one you have in your kitchen.

So when you have to cut open one of those plastic packages (and doesn't everything seem to come in them?), you go right to your kitchen.

I have opened several plastic packages with them (so far) and found them easy to use and quite effective (no "language" necessary!). They are superior to all other kitchen shears I had used previously.

This particular model is a very well-made product and I believe it will give many years of use.

However, I think that there are some (minor) things you should know prior to purchase.

First, they are not actually made by Stanley Tools. They are made under license by a company called Amax Incorporated.

Second, they are not made in USA; they are made in China (isn't everything?) though to an apparently high standard of quality.

Third, the ruler, one of the highly-touted features, is, in my opinion, of limited use. If you are right-handed, as I am, the scale is upside-down. And if you're left-handed, as is my wife, the ruler is on the "wrong" side.

Fourth, maybe I'm a little thick but the package states that you must go to a specific website to see the warranty. I did that but I'm darned if I could find any information at all! (No length of warranty - or even if it's "full" or "limited" - is listed on the package.) This is disappointing.

Okay, so much for all that. Now how is the performance? As I wrote above, for kitchen shears, its performance is excellent. Its comfort is outstanding. I believe it will cut through almost anything for which you could reasonably wish and will do it easily. It is very comfortable in use and has a unique "finger rest" which will make long cutting chores much easier. All scissors have a place you can rest your fingers while cutting but the one on this pair makes your fingers fall naturally onto it and this "finger rest," like the scissors itself, is extremely comfortable. I have never seen anything quite like this feature. This is superb design.

When the blades are closed, its tip is smooth, almost like a child's pair of "safety" scissors. Only when the blades are open are the tips pointed. That's not to say that when closed it could not cause damage or hurt someone, but it is less likely to do so than other scissors, the tips of which are pointed and very sharp whether the blades are open or closed. This also is superb design.

So, overall, I like these scissors a lot and so does my wife.

As for value, I feel that the Stanley scissors are a very good value and for performance and, especially, design, they are in a class by themselves. They cost more than any other scissors I have ever purchased (though you should note that, this being a Vine review, I did not pay for them). I suppose that, if you want top quality, you have to pay a little more. But really - the price for these Stanley scissors won't exactly "break the bank."

Therefore I can highly recommend them to you.

I thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Harman Kardon HK 3700 2-Channel Stereo Receiver with Network Connectivity
Harman Kardon HK 3700 2-Channel Stereo Receiver with Network Connectivity
Price: $349.95
4 used & new from $205.67

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Receiver Which May Appeal to Some People, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Before reading this, please take note: I must write reviews based solely on my own personal likes and dislikes which may be very different than yours.

That said, I have to state that I am very disappointed with this Harman Kardon HK 3700 2-Channel Stereo Receiver with Network Connectivity.

I am an 'audiophile' from way back and I listen extensively to classical music. Therefore I look for good quality - sound, construction, and operating parameters - in the equipment I purchase.

This receiver arrived today and I have been listening to various CDs for the past three hours and a half. I have installed it into my main system which includes a pair of Klipschorns* as the speakers. Obviously no subwoofer is necessary. I can say that the sound that this device produces is okay. The music sounds just a little different that it does via other amplification equipment (some good, some not so good) that I have tried with these speakers in the past though bass is definitely lacking (bass drum thwacks, especially, are noticeably much less palpable than that which I am used to hearing through the Klipschorns).

So the sound quality produced by this receiver is acceptable (but just acceptable, certainly not great or even very good). But it is the operating parameters and possibly the construction design of this receiver which mainly cause my doubt and disappointment.

First, the remote control MUST be used to gain access to most of the features included in this receiver, the buttons on the front panel being used for only the most rudimentary control. Some people like this sort of arrangement; I do not.

Second, in the full Owner's Manual (which you MUST download from Harman/Kardon's site - why don't they supply a printed one?), there is the statement: "Provide proper space above, below, behind and to the sides of the stereo receiver for ventilation. Maintain a clearance of at least 12" (30 cm) on each side, above and behind the unit." This is also printed on the cover of the Quick Start Guide but it is in light print and it is not as obvious nor as emphasized as in the downloaded manual. This statement must be taken seriously.

Frankly, this is ridiculous in an 85w/channel stereo amplifier. I can verify that the unit gets very noticeably warm. The volume range is -80 dB to +10 dB and I have been playing music at -47 to -40 dB (depending on the CD) which is plenty loud as the Klipschorns are very efficient. (Much to my wife's displeasure I like to listen to music at 'life-like' levels.) If this unit gets as warm as it's getting when playing at that relatively low volume setting, how hot will it get if it's playing through less efficient speakers at a higher setting? (Please read more about this, including the reason for its hot-running circuitry, later in this review.)

My next annoyance is the tuner. AM and FM yes - but where is HD radio? Yes I realize that HD radio is not all that it's cracked up to be but, come on - this is 2014 not 1994 and for many people (including myself) HD radio is a real asset.

Also this receiver offers network capability - but where is the WiFi? Again, this is 2014 not 1994 and for this facility to be absent is just plain silly. As, due to placement, it is impossible for me to connect via Ethernet cable, this facility is lost to me.

Ditto for Bluetooth (or its lack on this model). A nice Bluetooth adapter can be had for less than $10.00 (including shipping) [this is an excellent one: VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter with 3.5 mm Stereo Output Black - and please note that its price includes the shipping, at least with Amazon Prime, AND the seller is making a profit at that price!] so how much would it have cost Harman/Kardon to include it on this model? (For "only" $70.00 more for the HK 3770 you can have Bluetooth.)

And finally - a 24-bit 192 kHz DAC is included BUT it only plays MP3 and WMA. It will not play WMA lossless, much less FLAC and/or ALAC.

What a waste!

Who would want to listen to MP3s at home? Not me! They are fine for use in a car or on a portable music player but in a home system? Maybe some people don't mind the sound degradation of "lossy" music files but I do!

The USB port can ONLY be used for connecting a USB device formatted as FAT or FAT32. NTFS (not even to mention HFS+ or EXT4) is OUT!

Ridiculous!

And finally the d--- thing turns off automatically after eight hours if you do not do anything such as change the source, adjust the volume, or anything else. No matter that you might want to play music for long periods - this unit shuts off by itself.

Here is the relevant quote from the downloaded Owner's Manual:

"The receiver goes to standby mode automatically through the following:

* For digital sources (Optical/Coaxial), after remaining idle for 15 minutes

* For analog sources (USB/FM/AM/Aux/Phono/DLNA/iPod/Bluetooth), after 8 hours with no user input (for example, adjusting volume, navigating through menu options and so on)"

This "feature" cannot be defeated. (Note that this Manual is for both the HK 3700 and the HK 3770; there is no Optical/Coaxial connection or Bluetooth on the HK 3700.)

And there is also no balance control.

Now almost all of those deficiencies I mention can be rectified by use of external devices but those devices will also work with ANY stereo receiver/amplifier and they should not be required with this unit which advertises its advanced capabilities. (There does not appear to be any way to add WiFi nor, of course, a balance control.)

All in all, for the reasons I mention above, I personally am disappointed with this receiver. It may advertise advanced capabilities, but it does not truly deliver them. And, at least for me personally, the sound quality it produces is not what I should want.

You, however, may feel differently; the deficiencies I have mentioned may not be important to you. As I stated, the sound quality produced would be acceptable to some people, and this may be all you require. But I do have concern about the heat produced; this indicates poor-quality heat sinking and can lead to shortened life. Heat is the enemy of all electronic equipment. There are ventilation slots on the top PLUS on both sides - the need for these slots (and for the warning I quote above) is not good. The unit is very light in weight - too light, in my opinion and again this is not good in amplification equipment (unless it is a Class-T amp); good heat sinks MUST be heavy (this has Class-AB amplification). That is the reason for the hot running. I think that this is something to which you may want to give careful consideration before purchase.

It is very beautiful in style, with lovely blue lights, a fancy knob, etc. If this is important to you, its looks will certainly impress the neighbors. But, of course, these kinds of styling attributes do not contribute in any way to sound quality.

Obviously H/K spent their money on the looks, not the 'guts' of the unit.

I obtained my unit courtesy of Amazon Vine so I did not pay for it. Had I actually bought and paid for it, I would have returned it. It is my opinion that, at $350.00, it does not represent good value for money. (Even at $150.00 its value would be questionable; again, that's my opinion.)

As it is, this receiver is going back into its box and will be put away in a closet to be used strictly as a (very temporary) backup should one of my other amps fail.

I am giving it three stars; three stars, according to Amazon, means "It's Okay." And, in my opinion, that's all it is - no more.

I am very sorry to have to write such a review as this but I cannot personally, in good conscience, recommend this receiver to anyone. If you want something really good at a similar price I can highly recommend the Yamaha A-S300 Integrated Stereo Amplifier; it has no fancy digital connectivity, no fancy lights, not even a radio tuner, but it's an honest little integrated amplifier which produces SUPERB sound quality and is constructed to a very high standard. You don't even need to use its supplied remote control as you must with this H/K; you can operate everything from the Yamaha's front panel as it has real knobs and buttons!

Lawrence H. Bulk

*I should mention that in my opinion, the Klipschorns are positively the finest speakers I have ever heard in my life - and I've heard plenty! First hearing them when I was 14 years old, I never forgot them and was able to obtain a pair in 1992. Please note that they are corner speakers; as they MUST be placed in identical corners in a room, they are not suitable for use in many homes.

P.S. I played this receiver for about six hours today and then I removed it from my system, reattaching all of my playback devices to my Hafler DH-101 pre-amplifier/DH-200 power amplifier (both from 1980!). (As I have written elsewhere, an electronic device such as this should be 'broken-in' over a longer period of time than just five or six hours. But, due to the construction and operating flaws I have mentioned, frankly I am not going to waste my time doing so.) I then proceeded to play the last CD I had played through this Harman/Kardon receiver (Holst: Suites 1 & 2 / Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks / Sousa: Stars and Stripes) through my usual Hafler system. What a difference! Now I'm not saying that the H/K produced 'bad' sound - just that the sound produced through my 34-year-old electronics is aurally far, far better. It is my opinion, based on long experience, that no amount of 'breaking-in' will improve the sound quality produced by this unit in any meaningful way.

Now I have heard worse sound than this H/K produces many times - mostly at a few other peoples' houses and/or (especially) at 'big-box' dealers - and I do believe that this H/K receiver would be acceptable to some, perhaps many, people, especially if they're not too particular. Just don't expect superlative sound quality (regardless of the ancillary equipment used with it, including even truly fine loudspeakers). And I strongly recommend caution regarding its lightweight construction and its operating parameters.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2014 11:07 AM PST


10k Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Pearl with Diamond Accent Linear Drop Earrings
10k Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Pearl with Diamond Accent Linear Drop Earrings
Price: $118.85

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Nice Pair of Earrings, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife is very pleased with these earrings. They are very lightweight (which she prefers) and are not too long (though she does wish they were a bit longer).

She says that, unlike some others she owns, they are very easy to put on and are not obtrusive.

They are very beautiful to see and are much nicer in real-life than in the picture.

They appear to be of high quality and are packaged very well indeed; they came in a plastic bag which was inside a cloth bag which in turn was inside a cotton-lined gift box. The diamonds are not of the finest quality (obviously, at this price) yet they do sparkle. The pearls are very nice looking and are the highlight of these earrings. The 10k yellow gold used here is very attractive.

All in all she likes these earrings very much. As a matter of fact she has some appointments and errands to run today and she has chosen to wear them. They look very nice with the outfit she is wearing and go well with the other jewelry she is wearing. She says they will go well with most anything.

Though we obtained them courtesy of Amazon Vine (and therefore did not pay for them), after close examination, we both feel that they are well worth the low price Amazon charges and it is our opinion that they represent an excellent value for money. They are much. much nicer than the inexpensive "costume jewelry" earrings one sees everywhere yet they will not "break the bank" if you want something quite a bit nicer.

If you are a man reading this, they would make a nice gift or, if you are a woman reading this, we think you would like them very much for yourself.

We both give them a strong recommendation.


VicTsing® Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter with 3.5 mm Stereo Output Black
VicTsing® Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter with 3.5 mm Stereo Output Black
Offered by VicDirect
Price: $12.39

5.0 out of 5 stars The VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter is a GENUINE BARGAIN!, July 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 1:09 Mins

This VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter with 3.5 mm Stereo Output Black is nothing short of amazing. I am VERY pleased with it.

It is designed, of course, to transform an older stereo system into one which can receive wireless Bluetooth signals.

There are absolutely no controls whatsoever on the unit. You merely plug the device into an AC socket using the included USB adapter and attach the included 3.5mm adapter cord to the item (stereo system, amplified speakers, whatever) you wish to have Bluetooth capability. (You could also attach this Bluetooth adapter to your computer's USB port and you can, obviously, use any 3.5mm to 3.mm stereo cord you wish.)

There are 276 reviews prior to mine here on Amazon and while most are accurate, some contain erroneous information. This device does not have an internal battery. It MUST be powered by external power (AC or USB port) at all times. While it probably could be used in a car in conjunction with a 12V DC to AC adapter, I think that this would not be ideal. (Of course I have not tried this so I would defer to anyone who has done so.)

I have a Kyocera Event Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile), a mediocre (at best) "Smart Phone" but, as I use it almost exclusively for playing Internet Radio via the TuneIn application and it does this quite well, it is satisfactory (I only rarely use it for telephone calls). It took less than ten seconds to "pair" this phone with this VicTsing device. (Look for PH-810, the Bluetooth name of the device.) I did not need to enter a code and I played music for several hours this afternnon.

I have found that this adapter does NOT re-connect automatically; you must manually connect your phone/tablet/player/whatever to it each time. But I feel that this is a minor 'nit' as it takes only a couple of seconds.

The range is perhaps about fifteen or so feet if nothing (including you!) gets in the way; the only "hiccups" I heard occurred when I myself got between the phone and the device. Of course, that was with using my phone.

Using my Dell Streak 7 4G Android Tablet (T-Mobile), which I tried later and am using as I am writing this, I am able to reach over thirty feet - from an upstairs room, past a hallway, and into my bedroom (on the same floor). So I guess the range of this device depends on the transmitting unit you're using. (The Streak "paired" even quicker than my phone did.)

I have an old, discontinued Altec Lansing Expressionist-PLUS FX3021 2.1 Speaker System which I like very much. We keep it in our master bedroom. I have a Stanton S.300 Tabletop CD Player with MP3 Compatibility (also discontinued) connected to it. But, as this is a single-disc player, individual discs must be changed manually. (Of course MP3 discs can play for many hours at a time.)

If I wished to play computer audio through these speakers and control the music from my bed, I needed to run wires across the room, not ideal for us.

By attaching this VicTsing device to the speakers, I can play any Internet Radio station from across the room with no wires at all connecting the devices - and it works perfectly!

I have included a short video in this review which shows the unit in action and then the video switches to my phone which is across the room. I do apologize for the relatively poor quality of the video but I think it will get my message across. You will see a blue LED light blinking which shows the Bluetooth adapter is in operation. If this were to annoy you, it would be easy to turn the device around so you would not see the light.

Even though there are many others reviews of this product and some of them are quite negative, I hope you will take my word for it: this VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter with 3.5 mm Stereo Output Black is an excellent product. It is easy and quick to install, it does what it says it will do, and at its current price (less than $10.00!), it represents, in my opinion, a genuine bargain.

I recommend it highly.

I hope that you have found this report to be useful and I thank you for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Kapaxen Two Samsung IA-BP210R Replacement Battery Packs + Charger Kit + Bonus Mini Tripod for Select Samsung Camcorders
Kapaxen Two Samsung IA-BP210R Replacement Battery Packs + Charger Kit + Bonus Mini Tripod for Select Samsung Camcorders
Offered by eaststar
Price: $39.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Kapaxen Charger and its Two Batteries is a Bargain., June 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very, very pleased with this Kapaxen Two Samsung IA-BP210R Replacement Battery Packs + Charger Kit + Bonus Mini Tripod for Select Samsung Camcorders.

Forget about the mini tripod (which can be bought at dollar stores) but the rest represents a genuine bargain.

The batteries, BP210R, have twice the capacity of the BP105R battery supplied with the camcorder. The charger has the capability of being used in a car as well as via a wall socket as opposed to the charger supplied with the camcorder which only functions via AC power.

I used one of these BP210R batteries to take videos during our last vacation. My camcorder is the Samsung F90 Black Camcorder with 2.7" LCD Screen and HD Video Recording. One of my individual shots was 20 minutes in duration. I took a total of about 45 minutes - and I did not need to recharge the battery! (I hope, but do not know for sure, that my camcorders charge gauge is accurate.)

After we got home, I did recharge the battery so I cannot say how long it would have actually lasted.

You can also buy just the charger separately [Kapaxen Rapid Battery Charger Kit for IA-BP105R / IA-BP210R / IA-BP210E / IA-BP420E Battery for Samsung Select Camcorders] - and I did, just to have a 'spare' charger - but, for some strange reason, the Kapaxen BP210R batteries are not available separately. (I hope that this situation is soon corrected.)

The charger and these batteries are so superior to the ones supplied by the manufacturer that I do not use the supplied one, much preferring to use these.

The price is 'right' too ...

I can only say that, if you have a camcorder that takes a BP210R battery (or one that this battery can replace), buy this kit. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for reading this.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case Camcorder and Digital Camera Case - Carry Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap - Black / Grey - Replacement by Synergy
Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case Camcorder and Digital Camera Case - Carry Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap - Black / Grey - Replacement by Synergy
Offered by East Coast Photo
Price: $14.95
2 used & new from $14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case: Perfect for the Samsung F90 and Other Products, June 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case Camcorder and Digital Camera Case - Carry Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap - Black / Grey - Replacement by Synergy is an excellent product. It is very well-constructed, convenient to use, and easy to carry.

I am using it with my Samsung F90 Black Camcorder with 2.7" LCD Screen and HD Video Recording but any camcorder or camera (or anything else for that matter) of similar size will fit into this case just perfectly.

It has a zippered main pocket with an adjustable (via Velcro) divider. In it I keep the camcorder and a battery charger. The case also has a front pocket which has a cover held in place via Velcro and opening this cover reveals a zippered front pocket in which, in my situation, I have stored my two spare batteries and the supplied cables as well as a couple of SD cards in the two included pockets designed for them.

There are also two side pockets (fishnet-type) which could hold small papers, business cards, etc.

The whole thing is so light in weight that a small child could carry it easily. It has a handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap. Convenience (retrieving the camcorder for example) could not be improved in my opinion.

From its appearance and feel, I believe that this carrying case will last for many years.

I am very glad I bought it and I think that, if you buy one, you will be glad too. I highly recommend it to you.

I thank you for reading this.

Lawrence H. Bulk


Samsung F90 Black Camcorder with 2.7" LCD Screen and HD Video Recording
Samsung F90 Black Camcorder with 2.7" LCD Screen and HD Video Recording
Offered by MallStop
Price: Click here to see our price
47 used & new from $97.49

193 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Samsung F90: A Fine General-Purpose Home Video Camcorder, June 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very pleased with my new Samsung F90 Black Camcorder with 2.7" LCD Screen and HD Video Recording.

I did not want a camcorder capable of producing the next STAR WARS movie. I just wanted an ordinary easy-to-use camcorder strictly for home video.

After a great deal of investigation, I chose this one - and I'm glad I did. It's inexpensive, very easy to use, and does exactly what I want from a camcorder.

I have filmed scenes from our latest vacation including scenes of the convention we attended as well as some museums we visited and I have taken videos of our granddaughter (who never seems to sit still!).

All of my videos so far have come out perfectly, even those taken under low-light. In fact, I took some video in a restaurant (which featured some entertainment) and, even though the lighting was mixed - relatively low artificial light supplemented by early evening daylight coming through windows in certain places - the video turned out fine.

So did the sound quality. I have found that even though this camcorder has no facility for attaching an external microphone (an added complication that I, and, I think, most ordinary people like myself do not need), the sound its built-in microphone produces is very good.

I have had only rare minimal problems with focus and those under relatively difficult situations. The focus has always corrected itself in a second or two without any effort on my part; I'm sure that most people won't even notice those occasional lapses. Colors are balanced and excellent. Sharpness is also excellent. Ease of use of the camcorder is exemplary. I generally leave the 'Smart Auto' function turned on (the only time I turn it off is when I want to make some adjustments in the Menu; you must disengage 'Smart Auto' to access the Menu) and I have had, thus far, no video that I needed to delete due to camcorder problems (my own "videographer" deficiencies being something else!).

It is very lightweight and, after you read the instruction manual (you can download one from Samsung's site if you want to read it before purchase), you will find the controls to be straightforward. The light weight has an advantage, at least for me, of allowing me to hold the camcorder very steadily during an extended shooting period. I have not had to activate the image stabilization circuit thus far and one of my individual videos was 20 minutes in length! There is only minimal, hardly noticeable, unsteadiness. My wife has been pleased with our videos so far and, take my word for it, she is a severe critic!

We watch our video on a 108" diagonal (16:9) screen using a video projector and, let me tell you, considering that these are "home movies," I couldn't ask for anything more.

Some may wish for 'full HD' - 1920x1080 video - but, at least in my opinion, this is unnecessary for ordinary home movies and the files produced by 1080i or 1080P video are much, much larger than the 720P MP4 files produced by this camcorder (I convert the MP4s to MKVs via computer software because I prefer that format). Unless you were doing a side-by-side critical comparison, I doubt that most people could tell the difference.

I bought two accessories for my unit: a Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case Camcorder and Digital Camera Case - Carry Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap - Black / Grey - Replacement by Synergy which holds the camcorder and my other accessory perfectly, and a Kapaxen Two Samsung IA-BP210R Replacement Battery Packs + Charger Kit + Bonus Mini Tripod for Select Samsung Camcorders which gives me two spare (larger capacity) batteries and a charger which can function in a car as well as from an AC outlet. Both of these accessories, which I highly recommend to you, are quite inexpensive.

And unless you have some lying about (I did) you'll need to buy at least one SD memory card; it need not be an elaborate one but it should be a Class 10 type. Actually I recommend that you carry (buy if necessary) two of these cards just in case one were to become corrupted during a vacation or another such situation. I use ordinary 32 GB Class 10 cards.

If Samsung's Intelli Studio program is incompatible with your computer's operating system, you merely remove the SD card from the camcorder, plug it into your computer, and copy & paste the videos. This is simple. I have read some comments stating that the included program does not work with Mac; I do not know from personal experience about the veracity of these comments (though I'm sure they're correct) but I can tell you that it definitely does NOT work with Xubuntu, a GNU/Linux OS, which is the operating system I use. Nonetheless, copying & pasting the videos from the SD card is very easy. Anyone could do this, if desired, with whichever OS one is using, even Windows. Copying & pasting may even be faster than using Samsung's transfer program.

Battery life with the replacement BP210R batteries is excellent (I have not used the standard BP105 battery); I took well over 45 minutes of video via that BP210R without needing to recharge. After that session, I did recharge the battery (I always do) so I have no idea as to how long it would have actually lasted. As the camcorder was still showing 'full charge,' I'm sure it would have been plenty of time. (Of course you have to ask is the camcorder's power gauge accurate? I don't know.)

All in all, within its category (and if you do not have grandiose dreams of being the next George Lucas or Steven Spielberg), I can wholeheartedly recommend this excellent camcorder to anyone who wishes to create nice home movies.

Thank you for reading this.

Lawrence H. Bulk

===== Update: December 7, 2014

I have read quite a few reviews which complain about "poor video quality," especially under difficult low-light conditions. It is my opinion (my opinion only) that at least some of these people may not be using common sense when taking video under such conditions.

Since I have owned this camcorder, I have taken various kinds of very difficult low-light video many times (it's generally easy to determine these conditions by eye) and, first of all, when I am attempting to take video under such conditions, I now ALWAYS set the focus to manual. (The 'Smart Auto' function must be disabled to do this from within the menu.) I have learned from experience. It is much more difficult for any auto-focus system (even on expensive DSLRs) to operate in very low light situations. There will almost always be 'pumping' in and out of focus (or the shot will be completely out of focus) which is annoying to viewers. When you focus manually, the focus stays exactly where you have set it. (You must remember that manual focus is just that: it will not 'follow' a subject. You must constantly reset it manually to the appropriate distance setting. Therefore it is most suitable for static scenes, such as people sitting at a table.)

This Samsung camcorder has a fast f/1.8 maximum lens aperture which is plenty wide - if you know what you're doing. You must remember that a camera cannot 'see' (nor adjust to) exactly what the human eye does - so, if you are taking pictures or video under certain very low light conditions, it is advisable to take a practice shot first and, if it is not satisfactory, adjust the lighting or add supplemental lighting. Is this a 'pain?' Of course it can be - but have you ever seen a professional photographer taking pictures or video under low light who was NOT using supplemental lighting? I myself have taken low-light videos and I have changed my standing or sitting position (and turned on extra lamps when necessary) to maximize the use of the light available.

Most of the time indoors or outdoors at night, I have found, these adjustments (manual focus, extra lighting) are not necessary; the 'Smart Auto' takes care of everything. But sometimes, it just will not. (I repeat: a quick test shot will tell you.)

It is important to keep in mind that videos taken under extremely low-light WILL turn out somewhat 'noisy' (grainy). This is a fact of life. You and you alone must determine (assuming that there is no way of adding additional lighting) whether it is better to have a 'noisy' video rather than none at all .

Again in my opinion, if you use a little bit of common sense in conjunction with this camcorder, your videos will almost certainly turn out just as fine and as satisfying as mine have.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2014 8:54 AM PDT


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