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kireviewer RSS Feed (Sunnyvale, Ca United States)
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Metra TYTO-01 JBL Amplifier Interface Harness
Metra TYTO-01 JBL Amplifier Interface Harness
Price: $51.68
53 used & new from $44.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Design and hook up has changed and does not look like the picture anymore. Also doesn't work with all RX330s., October 20, 2014
NOTE THAT THE DESIGN HAS CHANGED and it does not hook quite as easily as it used to. It also does not work will most RX330s.

In 2013, the design of the harness and how you hook this thing up has completely changed. It does not look like the picture.

Previously, you hooked this up by plugging the RCA connectors into the preamp outputs of your radio. That has changed. There are no longer RCA plugs on the cable harness. It now comes with 8 wires. You connect these wires to the amplified speaker wire outputs of your radio. The hook up is a little more complicated and time consuming.

Metra says the design was changed to fix some problems some radios had. With the low signal of the preamp outputs, you would sometimes get buzzing noises, depending upon the radio you used and any interference your car might have. By using the amplified outputs, you have a much stronger signal that can overcome any buzzing.

I also think that Metra changed this to make the kit more universal. Now, you can hook this kit up to any radio. Before you could only use it with a radio that had preamp outputs (usually only upper end radios). Or, you would have to cut off the RCA plugs and just connect it like it does now.

The biggest problem is that it claims to keep factory fade with an RX330. The fade does not work on my car. I have done some research and found most people complain that the fade does not work on RX330s. However, there is someone here on Amazon that did say it worked with his RX330.

I contacted Metra. The response was that there must be something wrong with my car. What kind of response is that? Fade works fine on my factory radio.

Note that if you have factory navigation in your car, there are some other tricks you might have to do to keep it working if you pull out your factory radio.


Reel to Real Cacophony
Reel to Real Cacophony
Price: $13.42
40 used & new from $3.78

2.0 out of 5 stars Second album - new wave with techno and side show music thrown in, October 10, 2014
This review is from: Reel to Real Cacophony (Audio CD)
This is Simple Minds second album. The original album is about 41 minutes long. The remaster has a few bonus tracks on it. The sound quality of the remaster is very good (not all the Simple Mind remasters have good sound quality.)

The first album was mostly standard British New Wave with a little Bowie and Roxie Music thrown in.

This album adds Kraftwerk and other techno influences. Some say Devo but I don't hear it.

The first song on this album sounds like it was pulled right off of a Kraftwerk album. Then the album goes into more traditional New Wave.

The worst part, there are several songs that have a Carnival Midway or Side Show sound to them. They are not eclectic or ground breaking. They are just silly tunes.

I only like three songs on this album, Veldt, Premonition and Changeling. These songs are a preview of Simple Minds next album, Empires and Dance which is by far their best album. On that album they do the techno right. It continues with the fourth album Sons and Fascination which is also very good (but the bonus LP that comes with it is very bad).

The cover says that the bonus tracks were recorded live. They don't sound live at all and there is no audience noise on them.


Life in a Day
Life in a Day
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $20.37
23 used & new from $4.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Typical British New Wave with some Bowie and Roxy Music thrown in., October 4, 2014
This review is from: Life in a Day (Audio CD)
The is Simple Minds first album. It comes from 1979 and the original is 43 minutes long. The remastered CD has two mostly worthless bonus tracks.

This is your basic British New Wave sound from the late 1970s and early 1980s. As someone else mentioned, there is a bit of Roxie Music and David Bowie influence on it. The song No Clue sounds like it could have come from a Roxie Music album. I really like about 75% of what Roxie Music does, but I don't like the particular style that was copied here.

I think the most of the songs are just run of the mill New Wave and not all that exciting. There isn't anything horrible (like there will be on the second album). There are four tracks that I really like, where they break away from the New Wave sound and move on to more Euro disco beat, similar to their third album, Empires and Dance.

I view Simple Minds to be like Yes or Supertramp.... a group that put out a couple of albums before it founds its sound. However, in Simple Minds case, it was 4 albums. I'm not a big fan of the first two albums. I think the third, Empires and Dance is their best album. Sons and Fascination is also pretty good but came with a really bad bonus LP. The band found its sound on the fifth album, New Gold Dream.


Original Album Classics
Original Album Classics
Price: $17.08
51 used & new from $8.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Stripped down package with no credits., October 4, 2014
This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
These are three of Carlos Santana's rock/jazz fusion albums in one package. These are from Carlos Santana as opposed to the Santana band, although I think that Oneness is really a Santana band album.

The good news is you get three albums that had come in 4 LPs for a very cheap price.

The bad new is that this a very stripped down package with no credits or album information. The CDs come in cardboard sleeves that are shrunk versions of the original LP covers. The problem is that the track listings and credits were not on the outside of the album covers. They were included in the LP sleeves for two of the albums and in the center of the gatefold for Swing of Delight. So, unless you have the original LPs or go online, you don't know who played on these albums.

The sound quality is very good to excellent on all three discs.

The first disc is Illuminations, which is supposed to be a duet with harpist/organist Alice Coltrane. There really isn't that much Coltrane on the album. I found half the album to be to ethereal ambient type music that relied too much on a string section. It does have about 15 minutes of great music for jazz greats Jack DeJonnette and David Holland. I give this album 3 stars.

Oneness could be considered a Santana band album because it contains members of the Santana band at the time it was recorded in 1979. However, it sounds a lot like the Santana album from 1974, Borboletta. This is a very good jazz/rock/latin fusion album with some great parts and some good songs. I give it 4 to 5 stars.

Swing of Delight was originally issued as a double LP. But, it is only 56 minutes long and could have been released as a single LP. I never like playing it because I would have to get up every 13 minutes to flip the album. It is great that it is a single album. This is more of a jazz/rock fusion album with very little Latin influence. For the first half of the album, it is difficult to tell that Carlos Santana was involved. Even his guitar playing is significantly different. I really enjoy the change. Later on, he does revert back to some of the Latin influences and his famous guitar style. I give this one a solid 5 stars.

All in all, this a great boxset to get if you don't mind not seeing any credits.


Oneness: Silver Dreams Golden Reality
Oneness: Silver Dreams Golden Reality
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $9.46
42 used & new from $3.36

4.0 out of 5 stars It's a lot like Borboletta; mediocre final track knocks it down a star, October 4, 2014
NOTE THAT YOU CAN BUY THIS WITH TWO OTHER ALBUMS, SWING OF DELIGHT AND ILLUMINATIONS FOR ALMOST THE SAME PRICE.

Released in 1979, this is labelled as Carlos Santana's first solo album. It really isn't. The album contains most of the members of the Santana band from that time frame. I am guessing this was released as a solo album because the sound is different from the stripped down sound that the Santana band was playing at that time with albums like the horrible Marathon that was also released in 1979. But, this album sounds a lot like earlier Santana band albums, especially Borboletta from 1974.

This album is 45 minutes and the sound quality is very good to excellent.

Again, I think the best way to describe this album is that it harkens back to the mid 1970s Santana sound when the band mixed jazz rock fusion with a latin sound. It is mostly instrumentals with a few songs thrown in. It sounds like it could have been recorded during the same session as Borboletta. It isn't as revolutionary or eclectic as Welcome.

This mostly very good to great throughout and the songs are really good. It only peters out on the last track, an uninteresting instrumental. I give it four stars because...well, everything can't be rate 5 stars and there are better Santana albums and the last track does bring down the quality a little.


Illuminations
Illuminations
Price: $12.40
21 used & new from $4.58

3.0 out of 5 stars The real stars are Holland and DeJonnette and there isn't enough of them, October 4, 2014
This review is from: Illuminations (Audio CD)
NOTE THAT YOU CAN GET THIS ALBUM ALONG WITH ONENESS AND SWING OF DELIGHT FOR ALMOST THE SAME PRICE (with the only downside is that there are no credits)

I like Alice Coltrane and have a number of her albums. I like Santana and have almost everything he has done, including his worst album, Marathon.

This album was released in 1974 and is the third Carlos Santana album, as opposed to be released under the Santana band name. The only other member from the Santana band on this album is Tom Coster and he is co-author on 4 of the 5 tracks.

This album is only 35 minutes long and about half of it is ethereal, ambient type music, leaving only about 20 minutes of real good music. There is also too much contribution from a string section and not enough from the band. There is nothing wrong with playing with an orchestra (other groups have done it effectively), but here I just find it boring.

Although this is titled Santana and Coltrane, there isn't that much Coltrane on it. And when she is, it isn't her best stuff. She does play the harp, but it doesn't have the energetic sound like on her solo albums. And her organ playing is mostly in the background. And, she probably isn't even playing on half the album.

There are some really good moments on this album. Santana, has some really good guitar parts.

But, the real stars of this album are the drummer Jack DeJonnette and bassist David Holland. There is also some good discordant likes from saxophonist Jules Broussard (who did appear on the Santana album Borboletta). Too bad there just isn't enough of them. If you edit what I consider the boring parts, but end up with about 20 minutes of great music.

I hadn't listened to this in a while. When I played it, it reminded me of how good a drummer DeJonnette is and I will now be hunting down more of his music. I do have a number of albums with him on it from various other jazz musicians.


Sapphire Residential Classique Style Polished Brass Passage Lever
Sapphire Residential Classique Style Polished Brass Passage Lever
Offered by Quality FMRO Parts
Price: $29.99
3 used & new from $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, bullet proof exterior, unreliable interior, September 27, 2014
Sapphire Classique was originally sold as Pegasus Classique by Home Depot and its defunct home design store Expo. Pegasus is a Home Depot brand name. In the early 2000s, Home Depot launched an upper end home design store called Expo. They sold upper end stuff for home renovation, such as sinks, faucets, cabinets, etc. I loved the store because they had a wide range of interesting stuff at great prices. But, when Bush killed the economy in 2007, Home Depot closed the Expo stores (actually, Expo was doing poorly before the economy took a dive, and many Expo stores were closed earlier). Anyway, the Expo stores had lots of hardware branded Pegasus. This was a great line of upper end products at very low prices. The products eventually made their way to the Home Depot stores (especially after Expo closed). Most of the Pegasus stuff is gone, but I think Home Depot still sells faucets under the name.

Home Depot stopped selling the Pegasus door knobs, but they are now available under the Sapphire brand name. I don't know if they are still being made or if old inventory is being sold off.

First the good:
The exteriors are beautiful and bullet proof. I have had both interior and exterior Pegasus door hardware for 8 years. The knobs still look brand new. I compare that to any other brass fixture I have and I find it amazing. Most brass hardware looks like crap after a couple of years.

Now the bad:
I have had problems with the knob mechanisms. I have 10 of these passage knobs and 2 of them have broken. One the locking mechanism broke. On the other, the internal spindle broke, so when you close the door, the handle comes off in your hand. (The handle came off, my wife put the door knob in the bedroom and then went outside and closed the door and couldn't get back in the room. We eventually got it open with a screwdriver. I was able to get a replacement for one of the knobs at Home Depot. For this most recent incident, Home Depot no longer carries Pegasus. After lots of conversations with Home Depot, I was finally pointed to Sapphire brand sold on Amazon.

The keyed ones are the worst. I had three of those and two broke within a couple of years. Because of the problems of finding replacements at Home Depot, I just ended up getting a different brand for the keyed knobs. They don't match the rest of the knobs but they do work.

When Home Depot/Expo sold these, they had a lifetime warranty. It is really a pain to get to someone at Home Depot who knows anything about these knobs and the warranty. The Sapphire brand does not have that warranty.


Sapphire LC-1453-1-PVD Classique Entry Lever, Lifetime Brass
Sapphire LC-1453-1-PVD Classique Entry Lever, Lifetime Brass
Price: $54.65

2.0 out of 5 stars Great exterior, unreliable interior, September 27, 2014
Sapphire Classique was originally sold as Pegasus Classique by Home Depot and its defunct home design store Expo. Pegasus is a Home Depot brand name. In the early 2000s, Home Depot launched an upper end home design store called Expo. They sold upper end stuff for home renovation, such as sinks, faucets, cabinets, etc. I loved the store because they had a wide range of interesting stuff at great prices. But, when Bush killed the economy in 2007, Home Depot closed the Expo stores (actually, Expo was doing poorly before the economy took a dive, and many Expo stores were closed earlier). Anyway, the Expo stores had lots of hardware branded Pegasus. This was a great line of upper end products at very low prices. The products eventually made their way to the Home Depot stores (especially after Expo closed). Most of the Pegasus stuff is gone, but I think Home Depot still sells faucets under the name.

Home Depot stopped selling the Pegasus door knobs, but they are now available under the Sapphire brand name. I don't know if they are still being made or if old inventory is being sold off.

First the good:
The exteriors are beautiful and bullet proof. I have had both interior and exterior Pegasus door hardware for 8 years. The knobs still look brand new. I compare that to any other brass fixture I have and I find it amazing. Most brass hardware looks like crap after a couple of years.

Now the bad:
I have had problems with the knob mechanisms. I have 10 of these passage knobs and 2 of them have broken. One the locking mechanism broke. On the other, the internal spindle broke, so when you close the door, the handle comes off in your hand. (The handle came off, my wife put the door knob in the bedroom and then went outside and closed the door and couldn't get back in the room. We eventually got it open with a screwdriver. I was able to get a replacement for one of the knobs at Home Depot. For this most recent incident, Home Depot no longer carries Pegasus. After lots of conversations with Home Depot, I was finally pointed to Sapphire brand sold on Amazon.

The keyed ones are the worst. I had three of those and two broke within a couple of years. Because of the problems of finding replacements at Home Depot, I just ended up getting a different brand for the keyed knobs. They don't match the rest of the knobs but they do work.

When Home Depot/Expo sold these, they had a lifetime warranty. It is really a pain to get to someone at Home Depot who knows anything about these knobs and the warranty. The Sapphire brand does not have that warranty.


Sapphire Residential Classique Style Polished Brass Privacy Lever
Sapphire Residential Classique Style Polished Brass Privacy Lever
Offered by Quality FMRO Parts
Price: $29.99
3 used & new from $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Great exterior, unreliable interior, September 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Note that the description of the locking mechanism is incorrect. The lock is little rod that comes out from the base plate that you push in to lock. To unlock from the outside of the door, you push a pin into a little hole on the base plate.

Sapphire Classique was originally sold as Pegasus Classique by Home Depot and its defunct home design store Expo. Pegasus is a Home Depot brand name. In the early 2000s, Home Depot launched an upper end home design store called Expo. They sold upper end stuff for home renovation, such as sinks, faucets, cabinets, etc. I loved the store because they had a wide range of interesting stuff at great prices. But, when Bush killed the economy in 2007, Home Depot closed the Expo stores (actually, Expo was doing poorly before the economy took a dive, and many Expo stores were closed earlier). Anyway, the Expo stores had lots of hardware branded Pegasus. This was a great line of upper end products at very low prices. The products eventually made their way to the Home Depot stores (especially after Expo closed). Most of the Pegasus stuff is gone, but I think Home Depot still sells faucets under the name.

Home Depot stopped selling the Pegasus door knobs, but they are now available under the Sapphire brand name. I don't know if they are still being made or if old inventory is being sold off.

First the good:
The exteriors are beautiful and bullet proof. I have had both interior and exterior Pegasus door hardware for 8 years. The knobs still look brand new. I compare that to any other brass fixture I have and I find it amazing. Most brass hardware looks like crap after a couple of years.

Now the bad:
I have had problems with the knob mechanisms. I have 10 of these passage knobs and 2 of them have broken. One the locking mechanism broke. On the other, the internal spindle broke, so when you close the door, the handle comes off in your hand. (The handle came off, my wife put the door knob in the bedroom and then went outside and closed the door and couldn't get back in the room. We eventually got it open with a screwdriver. I was able to get a replacement for one of the knobs at Home Depot. For this most recent incident, Home Depot no longer carries Pegasus. After lots of conversations with Home Depot, I was finally pointed to Sapphire brand sold on Amazon.

The keyed ones are the worst. I had three of those and two broke within a couple of years. Because of the problems of finding replacements at Home Depot, I just ended up getting a different brand for the keyed knobs. They don't match the rest of the knobs but they do work.

When Home Depot/Expo sold these, they had a lifetime warranty. It is really a pain to get to someone at Home Depot who knows anything about these knobs and the warranty. The Sapphire brand does not have that warranty.


The Swing of Delight (30th Anniversary Edition / Remastered)
The Swing of Delight (30th Anniversary Edition / Remastered)
Price: $15.11
26 used & new from $9.27

5.0 out of 5 stars More jazz fusion and very little latin sound, September 21, 2014
You might consider this Carlos Santana's second solo album. It is the second under Carlos Santana's name instead of just Santana. Also, prior to this, Carlos Santana also did some duet albums with John McLaughlin, Buddy Miles and Alice Coltrane.

I did not like the LP version of it. It was originally released as a double LP, but the total time is only 56 minutes. Some sides are only 13 minutes long. I hated putting it on the turntable and then having to get up in only 13 minutes to flip it. There are EPs longer than this. Heck, there were even some 45s almost as long as this. It could have all been fit on a single LP. Miles Davis put out a lot of albums that were 30 minutes a side.

This is a jazz fusion album, similar to the great stuff in the 1970s. It sound like a lot of artists of that time, like Stanley Clark, and Passport. It is not as eclectic or revolutionary as Welcome, but it is still excellent.

At the beginning of the album there is very little of the Santana sound and it would be difficult to tell this was Santana if you didn't already know. Even his guitar playing sounds different. Later in the album, the signature Santana guitar sounds do appear and there is one composition with a latin beat.

I bought the CD as part of a 3 album box set with Illuminations and Oneness. It is one of those cheapie BMG releases where you just get the cardboard sleeves. But, it isn't a gatefold and you don't get any of the album information. However, I can imagine, when you buy this on its own and does include the credits, it is probably just like the other Santana albums where the whole cover is just shrunk. It is hard enough to read the writing on the album and impossible when it shrunk to CD size. And, I am near sighted, so can read fine print.

The sound quality of the copy I have is very good to excellent.


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