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You'd be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic fan of Eric Clapton and the musicians that join him at the crossroads guitar festival than myself. I own all the previous crossroads festivals on blu ray and DVD as well as all of the other Eric Clapton concert videos that have been made commercially available. I was also at one of Eric's shows from his tour earlier this year, so I have a good idea of how things should sound.
My home theater consists of a 2012 model 55" Panasonic plasma TV, a PS3, Denon receiver, and Rotel amplification for a pair of bowers and wilkins 685 speakers. My TV is professionally calibrated, and my speakers are tuned to my listening room using audyssey calibration. My remarks on the audio and video quality of this blu ray are as follows-
Video- Very sharp and clean image. Contrast is fantastic, and the clarity of the image can't be faulted. This concert was shown in movie theaters, and the image quality would be right at home at an IMAX theater. This is a presentation only possible due to the high resolution available on the blu ray format. No doubt compression artifacts and noise will be seen in the DVD version due to the limitations of the format. There is an incredible lack of grain and noise despite the dark conditions around the performers and stage. The editing and camera angles are difficult to fault, with plenty of close ups of the feet work of the individual guitar players. You get a wonderful impression and understanding of how the musicians are communicating on stage. Video quality is 10/10.
Audio- What a challenge for the producers to mix the sound! Often a half dozen guitar players are performing simultaneously, along with many other instruments and yet the mix was not crowded or busy. When I was at one of the shows on Clapton's tour this past year I was stunned at the unreal clarity of his vocals in a live setting. Honestly the best I've ever heard a lead vocal sound at an indoor concert. That same impression comes through on the blu ray. Turn up the volume and hear the crystal clear sound of Eric's voice on tears in heaven to hear an example. The uncompressed DTS-MA audios a revelation of beauty. Bass notes are full and clear, vocals soar with punch and dynamics, and every instrument is mixed to perfection. I'd imagine with a proper amplification system this concert could be re-played and with your eyes closed you would believe you were actually at the concert and not at home. I own perhaps 100 concert blu rays and DVDs and have heard plenty of poorly mixed junk. This concert tops mayer's where the light is, Clapton's previous crossroads 2010 festival, the clapton and winwood concert, and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at radio city in terms of audio quality. It's spectacular, and sets a new standard for concert blu rays.
What about the concert itself? In my opinion, this is the best overall package of performances from any crossroads festival. The musicians are all extremely comfortable and their playing is especially inspired. I was introduced to some new songs and artists and reminded of why I have such a deep love for blues and rock music. These players all have music deep down in their soul and their playing and singing comes from deep within themselves. It's a refreshing reminder of where great music comes from and the uniquely human expression that flows from live musicians unaided by technology. It's all about the music, and you can sense from every performer that they are kindred spirits with one another. Highlights include Robert Cray. The Allman Brothers, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr... Actually the whole concert is one enormous highlight reel... nothing should be skipped... it should all be savored.
Best $20 I've spent all year. I'll be watching and listening to this for the rest of my lifetime
I confidently pre-ordered this because i know it's going to be a 'wow!' And guess what...? I was RIGHT!
Windows 8 brings a totally different experience and i'm glad i've upgraded. But what i noticed is that Microsoft is silently moving towards tablets and touch screens with this new experience.
My daughter is just 2 1/2 and is just getting the hang of touch screens and the like. this has been a perfect fit for her developing mind and for her little hands. Only one con is that there are so few games for kids of her young age that she is forced to try skills that she's not quite ready for but that just makes it fun for both of us.
I recommend purchasing the gel skin because it keeps kids from accessing the battery compartments and gives those little fingers a better grip. Also, this things eats batteries like there is no tomorrow so I purchased the car and AC adapters as well.
With everything that has been said and written about the 2012 Presidential primaries and the general election, one would think there was not much more to be said. But Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have a lot more to offer. They were able to get most of the major people involved, apparently including the candidates, to open up and share their thoughts and feelings about things that took place during the campaign. It is well worth reading although, as Michael Kinsey has pointed out, you may need a dictionary for some of the unusual (and unnecessary) words they use. Among the things that stand out:
• Presidential politics is even more rough and tough than most people would imagine. The candidates are out to destroy each other and many times are successful, particularly if they have mega funds at their disposal. The Romney camp’s destruction of Gingrich is an example.
• With few exceptions, the candidates in the primary and the general election really did not like each other.
• Romney was not well liked by leading Republicans, apparently including Ryan before he became Romney’s running mate.
• Romney, his wife and most of Romney’s close advisors actually thought he would win. But given everything that took place, including the positions he took during the primary and his not infrequent missteps, it is surprising he didn’t lose by more.
• Governor Christy has a huge ego and apparently more than a few skeletons in his closet.
This little speaker is one powerful badass. The sound is crisp and clean and I often feel like I'm hearing it in other parts of the room. It really sounds great.
As for the AirPlay issues. On an iPhone 4S, originally this guy had issues keeping a connection. This wasn't the speakers fault, though people often blamed it. It was the same problem with any AirPlay speaker when the iPhone 4S came out... until yesterday when Apple released iOS 5.1. It seems (even though it's undocumented) that the issue has been resolved as I've been playing music straight for about 45 minutes and I've had no drop out. As many other people have mentioned, it used to drop out every few minutes or so. My personal experience with it was that it would play just fine for a considerable amount of time (anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes), then drop out. It would reconnect after the drop out, then drop out again much quicker. It would again reconnect, and then drop out even faster. At some point it would get unbearable. (I found that when I restarted my music app it fixed it for a little bit, but not long.)
Yesterday I updated my iOS and today I can report that I haven't had a drop out (I've only had a chance to use it twice since the update). First time I used it last night as I went to sleep, and it didn't drop out before I fell asleep. Second time is now, and it's been playing via AirPlay from my iPhone 4S since I got home from work, which was now about 45 minutes ago. (I did THINK it dropped out at one point, but I realized the album I was listening to had ended. I began playing another with no issues or need to "reconnect" like I had before.)
UPDATE: I've now been using it for a few days with NO drop outs. I'm 100% certain the updated fixed the issues.
Though I wish I'd gotten the ring. I could really use some portability.