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Customer Reviews: 699
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Kevin Nicholls "jaded, aging hipster" RSS Feed (Milford, MI)
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TASCAM DR-60DmkII DSLR Audio Recorder
TASCAM DR-60DmkII DSLR Audio Recorder
Price: $199.99
16 used & new from $185.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable price for semi-pros, January 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's a lot to love about this, but the first thing you have to do is consider the price.

Mixing four tracks on-site is very nice, and having analog controls to change on the fly is a joy to use. Being able to use "real" microphones is wonderful. The ability to manipulate and control sources is almost unheard of at this price. And, adding features like the ability to mark record points (and have Premiere understand them) is jaw-dropping.

On the other hand, this isn't really built.as a take-along accessory. It's not built to last long if it gets moved often, and it's too heavy to carry along independently. The learning curve is also probably pretty steep for people who aren't familiar with mixing or audio engineering. Chances are, you're not going to want this to capture your kid's third birthday.Of course, if you want to learn, this could be an incredible tool.


Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit and USB, Designed for Device-Heavy Homes, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA9200-4A)
Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router with Gigabit and USB, Designed for Device-Heavy Homes, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA9200-4A)
Price: $299.99
3 used & new from $292.84

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enthusiast's specs. Enthusiast's price. Grandma's interface., January 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's difficult to determine who this router is really for. On one hand, you have more than enough processing power and bandwidth to get some really interesting things going. On the other hand, the overly-simple interface really prevents you from doing all but the most basic of configurations.

Setup out of the box was nothing unusual, and there's enough hand-holding that you don't need to know very much about networking to set up a wireless network, add tons of devices, and get some semblance of QoS going. And if that's your goal, this router will serve you well -- though I don't understand why you'd pay enthusiast-level pricing for such simple functionality.

If you do happen to know a thing or two about networking, the firmware is a giant ball of frustration. That basic QoS? It's not QoS at all. It's just hedging bandwidth, rather than prioritizing it. Smart Connect is supposed to balance connections across 5GHz networks, but in execution, seems no different than a cheap AC router that isn't doing balancing.

As much as I want to start digging in to this because it's a Belkin-era Linksys router, the hardware itself is solid. But if ever there was a router that screamed for DD-WRT, it's this one. At this price point, it begs questions like "Why wouldn't I get the Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 router that does more and costs less?"

Unless you have a strange love for Belkin products ('cause this seems more like a Belkin design than Cisco-era Linksys), or just want something you can set and forget because you have 50 devices that are crushing your current router, I'd pass on this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2015 12:26 PM PST


C&E 100 Feet 14AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable
C&E 100 Feet 14AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable
Offered by eDragon, Inc.
Price: $26.99
4 used & new from $26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So good, it's like you're stealing it!, January 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently splurged on a nice turntable, and decided it was high time I dumped the assortment of wires I had cobbled together over the years, bite the bullet, and re-wire everything.

I picked up some Nakamichi banana plugs, and got to work. First, I switched over my Polk RTi8's to bi-amp, followed by fresh wire to the CSi5 center, and long runs to the RTi6 rear channel speakers, all going to an Onkyo TX-NR838 receiver.

As I was sticking banana plugs on to the ends, I couldn't help but be impressed by the quality of the cable and sheathing. Easy to strip, and the wire quality was so good, I felt like I bought something mis-marked.

The difference in sound quality was easy to detect, and as audio upgrades go, this one was dirt cheap. Next time I need speaker wire, this is definitely what I'll be buying.


Empyrean Isles (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Empyrean Isles (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Note does it again, with a wonderful re-release., January 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been picking up Blue Note's re-releases of Herbie Hancock's work, and each one has been wonderfully mastered, with gorgeous cover art. While not the gatefold of Speak Like a Child, Empyrean Isles does not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination.

In terms of the quality of the album as a vinyl re-release, you absolutely won't be disappointed at this price. Admittedly, I wouldn't have minded the inclusion of both alternate A-side takes that CD owners receive as bonus tracks -- but then again, the purist in me is happy to get to buy this album "new" and not "improved".

As for the content, I've considered Empyrean Isles to be one of the gateways from a fan of jazz standards to be able to discover and enjoy jazz fusion. Moreover, I think anyone familiar with early jazz fusion (particularly some of Weather Report's more popular work) will find undeniable influences in The Egg, which is propelled by the preceding Cantaloupe Island.

Taking that from a completely different perspective, if you're introducing someone to more "traditional" jazz standards (or if you're discovering them yourself), the road goes both ways. If you're not approaching the album with a hard set list of what jazz "should" be, I think this is an incredibly accessible album for modern listeners.


Citizen Men's CA4087-53H "Amazon Exclusive" "Primo Stingray 620" Gray Stainless Steel Watch
Citizen Men's CA4087-53H "Amazon Exclusive" "Primo Stingray 620" Gray Stainless Steel Watch
Price: $356.25
2 used & new from $338.44

4.0 out of 5 stars Looks way more expensive than it is., January 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Right off the bat: this is one of the few watches I've purchased where I needed to remove a link to get it to fit properly. I really, really appreciate that Citizen doesn't cheap out on giving people all the links they need for a nice fit. Bravo.

The picture really doesn't do this watch justice. It looks and feels a bit more expensive in person, and has a certain flash to it that causes the band to almost sparkle in certain lighting conditions. It's on the sporty side of casual, so it's going to look awkward with a suit, but otherwise, it goes well with just about anything else. Watch aficionados will be surprised to discover that it's an Eco-Drive, given its flashier appearance.

The build quality is excellent, save for the clasp. Once it snaps, it's reasonably secure, but it doesn't have a quality feel, and the deploy buttons aren't fully black, which makes it look like the color has scratched off. Honestly, that's the biggest reason this isn't a five-star timepiece.


Essick Air 1970 Humidifier Bacteriostatic Treatment, 1-Quart
Essick Air 1970 Humidifier Bacteriostatic Treatment, 1-Quart
Price: $5.97
19 used & new from $4.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Not as dangerous as you may have read., January 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
At first, I was kind of alarmed by the number of customers who were concerned about the warnings and chemical content listed on the label. So, I did a little research, and found that the active ingredients were nearly identical to bacteriostat by Holmes, and BestAir, which are the two most prevalent brands in local stores. I had used both brands before, and managed not to poison my family and / or lose fingers from chemical burns.

I use this in my Vornado Evap3 humidifiers and it does a decent job of keeping the filters clean, without turning them in to magnets for dust and dog hair -- a problem I experienced with BestAir's Golden Solution II. There's not much of a smell, which everyone in the house appreciates.

The only downside is that it's nearly impossible to get the little splash of liquid you need without spilling or having some run down the side. (Yes, even with the foil punched for restricted flow. Yes, even with a second punch for air.)


Delkin DDSS-SCOPE3 SensorScope System (Black)
Delkin DDSS-SCOPE3 SensorScope System (Black)
Offered by Cardinal Camera and Video
Price: $69.00
12 used & new from $59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of low-end accessories in a nice case., January 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's nice to have all of the accessories in one case, but each one seemed to have something in common.

Sure enough, I was able to find just about everything on DealExtreme and Alibaba (among other Chinese / Hong Kong electronics resellers) for way less. Not "similar" but "identical":
Vacuum: $3.72
USB / AA battery pack for vacuum: $4.34
Four off-brand AA batteries: $1.18
"Sensor safe swabs": $0.06 - 0.09/apiece
Lens pen: $2.17
Lens fluid: $0.70
Microfiber lens cloth: $0.26

At this point, we're up to just over $14, before the magnifier and case. Both of which get a bit tricky, but if you're counting, probably aren't worth the price difference. Keep in mind, too, that these prices aren't in massive quantities. You should be able to find them without much trouble.

An arguably bigger insult is that the box claims the product is made in the USA. It may be packaged in the US, but most of these components seem to quite obviously be from Asia.

"But does it work?"

Yes, the kit does work, which is why I've given it a neutral rating. I was able to find and clean some dust off of my T5i sensor, which I had thought was going to be in pristine condition. The included accessories really are invaluable when taken as a whole.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself "I know I CAN assemble a nearly identical kit for a fraction of the price. But WILL I do that?"


Prestige Import Group Typhoon Triple Flame Cigar Lighter with Cigar Punch Cutter
Prestige Import Group Typhoon Triple Flame Cigar Lighter with Cigar Punch Cutter
Offered by Premier Cigar Humidors
Price: $9.35

5.0 out of 5 stars A value at twice the price., January 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Back when I was a cigarette smoker, I swore by Zippo lighters, and never thought very much of butane lighters.

Now that I enjoy the occasional cigar, I wanted something nicer than a Bic, cleaner than matches, and without infusing my cigar with the flavor of Zippo fluid. I thought I'd give this a shot, especially with the built-in punch (which I really prefer to a cutter). I wasn't expecting much for the price, but I was pretty happy with what arrived.

The construction is really solid. There's a mirror chip on the lid, which fell out immediately. I reset it, and it fell out again. After a couple of tries, I ended up putting a small bead of cyanoacrylate hobby glue on the back, and didn't need to give it a second thought. The flip-up punch on the bottom didn't seem too impressive at first, but when I tried it, it made a beautiful hole. Perfect width and depth, and the plug popped right out when I flipped the punch down.

I added on a can of Zippo butane, filled the tank, purged it to get the air out, filled it again, and everything's been working beautifully.

Combined with the unbelievably cheap humidor, nobody believes me when I tell them how inexpensive my setup was.

Don't hesitate to pick this up.


Rug Doctor Pet 2X Carpet Cleaner, 40-Ounce
Rug Doctor Pet 2X Carpet Cleaner, 40-Ounce
Price: $19.85
2 used & new from $15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps your carpet pee free!, January 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Although it isn't labeled for use in the Rug Doctor portable spot cleaner, the bottle is the same size, so I gave it a shot.

I've got an old dog, and sometimes, dog diapers can leak. (Gross!)

In the spot cleaner at the normal concentration, it works really well. The spot cleaner itself does a pretty good job with the normal cleaning solution, but I like that this has enzymes to really break up and remove pet stains. And, the "blue wave" scent is nice, without making the room stink of carpet cleaner.

It's a little pricey, I guess, but it works really well.


Hamilton Beach 33365 Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Black/Silver
Hamilton Beach 33365 Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Black/Silver
Price: $54.00
4 used & new from $54.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a crock pot better than Crock Pot., January 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always maintained that slow cookers not made by Crock Pot were inferior "me too" kind of products, based on several bad experiences. In fact, I was pretty sure that when my current programmable Crock Pot finally died, I'd just replace it with another.

Hamilton Beach has totally changed my mind. This slow cooker is simply brilliant.

Intelligence aside for a moment, the design is outstanding! I couldn't believe what a difference it made in storage and counter real estate. And it looks so nice, I'd almost want to keep it on my counter when it isn't in use.

The timing on it... I just... wow, does it work well. I make stew very often, but sometimes I don't quite have everything prepared in time for a low 8-hour cook, but a high 4-hour cook doesn't work. (Yeah, I know... how awful my life must be, right?) With this, I can set it to 7 hours, and the results are dead on. And roasts that I often have to chip off of the stoneware, come out perfectly.

Admittedly, this costs a little more than other programmable slow cookers -- even my beloved Crock Pot -- but this thing is actually smart. You're not just getting a few extra settings for the money. If you're looking for something better than "OFF - LOW - HIGH", you need this on your list.


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