Κυριακή 28 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Crypto Colorline 15

Crypto/ Colorline 15

It was my first thought after understanding that my favorite mp3 player Muvi ‘died’ for 3 days , 2 weeks ago to replace it wit a new one. And to revive as much as possible the play list included in Muvi. Fortunately I did a small backup in several Cds , including a directory listing that helped me much for re-making it with some success

 This is a old mp3 player. Though I am not very sure when I bought I think 2-3 years ago that I had in my shelves for a later use . I don’t remember its price but it was of the 30-40 Euros range

This is a small gadget with 3x 7 cm wth a screen of just 1 sq inch with a 4 GB of memory . Having nt used for abt 2 years I could expect the battery to be fully exhausted . But I was wrong! Its battery still was ca 10-15%!! of its maximum

One important to notice Both (Muvi and Colorline ) are  from same OEM importer  Crypto , but I think are different manufacturers as the menurs and the operations are very different

The accessories included are : USB cable , mains adaptor with USB socket earphones and a mini CD (8 inch )with the accompanied software .packing is nearly the same for both Muvi and Colorline but the software seems quite different > I have kept just the players in one pack (there are also some other there not noticed till this time in the blog )

Appearance ; As you may look frmm the pics below , it is a quite nice design with nearly everything enclosd

Buttons : these buttons have different philosophy than Muvi. Most operations are made with the M button that acts as menu if is pressed continuously or as [enter] for file operations . The stop play button is used as power on off .Volume can be changed by pressing the bottom button with vol blinking in the screen and using prev next buttons

Remain layout : ON the top is the USB the power switch  that goes to the last operation (audio , radio at least )and the  ear socket

On the reaer is the micrphone (qith quite good sound ) and a small speaker that requires quite high volume to be used in order to hbe heard outside . It is activated  by pushing the arrow right for several seconds . BY pushing the arrow left , the speaker disactivates.

Mp3 playback : Colorline 1.5 plays all bit rates mp3 and WMA , tested from 8-192 kbps , using the program Xrecode II for compressing . Tested with ogg and m4a formats but not supported IN contrast Muvi can play all mp3 bitrates but WMA bitrates above 44kB
When a music file is played also ID tags are shown

Mp3 options: (by pressing menu )

Once a song is stopped (ab ove ): This is the directory options : folder , delete , delete all

Once a song is played (above ): these are the song options : play , play all , play once , play dir , random
Random playback : in contrast to MUvi that can random the half of the file list , colorline can support all file listing

Greek ID tag and filenames are not supported in Colorline . Latin based letters are shown in ID tags and spaces in filenames . IN contrast , Muvi does not support ID tags as nly the filename si shown but Greeks are shown OK

Media explorer: Its explorer shows only 4 files per page. If you are to search directories with many pages you have to wait abt 1 sec before the next page is shown ! Notice that this explorer is activated from the options menu for each mode separately as file browser

Starting up the player , the song is resumed from the pint is has been stopped (considering you pressed shutdown and not switched the button )

Microphone : there are 4 recording options: fine (32 wav )/long (8 wav ), VOR fine and long (32 and 8 respectively VoR mode) and the ability to save to any directory

Voice menu can play the recorded files from microphone again via the folder menu option. IN Muvi there are only fine and long options tha ca be saved only in the predefined directory

Radio : the radio operation has a different philosophy than Muvi. The buttons previous-next are used for changing the frequency while start stop act as memories . The menu option does all the remain options for radio : save delete memory , record etc

Audio quality : as tested with two Carrefour ear buds ,Colorline has little less bass and little more treble

Audio output : HiFi using Greek music and Sony MDR . Trebly using Asian music . Making A./B or parallel listening with Muvi (using two Carrefour ear buds )
I found that FM is a bit more trebly than Muvi and less bassy. Thinking that a stereo sound goes into one line , you can imagine that the basses are diffused towards the left ear (listening to Muvi)and the trebles towards the right ear! (listening to colorline )
Into MP3 testing , it is quite difficult to test but with some delay between the one and the other I found to be nearly same !

Earphones : awful with bad and low audio .It is better is you use earphones from a more respected company . All my measurements here are with Sony MDR or even with the Carrefour IPod compatible earphones . The AKG 315 offer very bassy audio but is quite good for MUvi but not Colorline

Volume : volume operation is also different from MUvi as it requires the bottom button to active volume from previous /next . IN contrast to it MUvi has two dedicated button on the top of the keyboard

Battery : 8-10 hours . can be charged by the provided mains supply and the provided USB cable interface , or via computer. It is quite nice(or sad by some way ) that needs no software disconnect to charge. I have not found the required time. The sad with it is that I did not know it before , as the battery was in its first 2-3 cycles in order to be thoroughly drained Muvi can be charged in about 30 minutes from a power supply or by a loose cable connection., If is connected properly in computer it can’t be charged!

Interface and speed : the speed is terribly slow. Just 450-600 kb . I wonder if it USB 1 or 1.1 Muvi had the same transfer speeds but lately , (little time before it collapsed )its speeds risen to 1.7 MB!!


Colorline found to behave very peculiarly after a surely typical charging procedure by first connecting the plug into C's socket and then putting adaptor in mains power.
Afer this happening , the colorline requires ONLY connection to computer! (switched off or operating ) Otherwise it will not charge…

Whne charging with the mains or with the provided mains power to USb adaptor I found that if that time you charged it you were listening to the music , if the player was fully charged it stopped playing

Serial playback does not always correspond to unsorted directory listing . What I mean : if your files have been transferred with sorted listing , the Colorline will possibly jump from 32th to 39th file ie doing a semi random playback . at least for big file list (mine Is 550 files )

In general : A small  quite nice with very low transfer rates and quite good FM
Possibly i will  post several updates here

It is a very nice looking player Zach and your review reads well. I am not surprised by the slow transfer rates, most of these little cheaper MP3/MP4 players have slow transfer rates, do ipods?
Thanks for the indepth look at this interesting device and best regards!

Σάββατο 27 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Sennheiser HD417 headphones

Sennheiser  HD417 headphones

the Sennheiser  headphones  with a  background drawing by my daughter !

This is one of my oldest headphones together  with the Koss UR 20   bought on early 2000s

IN contrast  to the  Koss  and the AKG  headphones  described in the previous article  this model consists  of smaller headphones  with insulation /sleeve  that perfectly  fits  on the top of the ears. But the most important problem with them is that the grip/skeleton  is quite tough that presses my eas and head . Thus  this goes quite annoying  after some time

As wit the remain  headphones  its cable  is ca 2.5 m meters long. In contrast tot the others that use a thick coaxial cable , it uses a double coaxial (?) cable that easily bemuses by itself . I tis  the cable used also with the m@h40 earphones.

As about the audio quality is  very good. The produced sound is quite bass-y , normally bass-ier than any  standard earphone  but also trebly  especially  in the higher treble tones (above 2khz ?). IN terms of sound ou can use it for long time without problem

Rate 4/5

PS: In the picture you see also a nice drawing from my daughter ! it is one of the designs she does  in her school !

Σάββατο 20 Οκτωβρίου 2012



And this report concludes m headphones collection, this is the headphone model  that's part of my computer system.And i thought that such article has been already posted  in Multiply (but after a search there i fond that never been posted !)

This  headphone  has been  found / bought in mid 2k's from an audio  equipment  store , of a friend's  for a cost of ca E30

The design is similar to other AKG's design with adjustable headphones and a belt to keep the  head. The cable length  is very similar to other's length ca 2.5 m and 1.9mm thickness stereo plug . each headphone covers your ear with a slightly  rubber sense.

Using it on computer  the sound is excellent -Cd quality -  especially with Soundblaster. Until last year 2011 when i replaced the old computer  with a new, when  i used its built in audio  card . this  new configuration lacks some clarity , tough still  the sound is quite good.

Now the test: - comparison with other headphones-  :

Comparison with  Sennheiser :  the Sennheiser is quite bassy., This AKG  sound bassier
With AKG 512 : 512  is slightly bassier than 66  with same clarity  with 66
Koss UR20 : lacks all basses !
Carrfour mini ears : same with Koss !!

Σάββατο 13 Οκτωβρίου 2012

AIWA JX704 cassete recorder player!

AIWA JX704 cassette recorder player!

One of the oldest here gadgets!!We have bought this very nice designed model 12 years ago , whern tripping in Singapore. The main reason was to use two cassette players in order to record as much as possible from the  Singaporean radio waves.It was similar  to what i did on 89 when i recorded with another i think bought again there cassette recorder

And this is possibly the only gadget protected in its cover box :

as noticed in the picture  this radio includes: (with short comments  inside )
  • AM (ie MW ) and FM tuner  with PLL synthesis. [the tuning is made with two very small buttons on the left of the player just left of the mini display ]
  • reverse recording. [indeed  it does it ! ]
  • remote control .[it uses a  provided cable with a handy remote control system tere will be a photo of it ]
  • 30 stations preset [via  3 banks . the system car audio uses ]
  • super bass . [from the LCd display controls ]
  • auto reverse playback [yes , that was something used in most models of the time ]
  • 25 hours of operation ,using alkaline batteries  !!

Here is a picture of the left part of this player . You see how small are the tuning controls . At trhe left 'bottom' there is a mains plug with 3 V. This plug is too thin. Is compatible with Nokia plugs though it requires  3 V to operate .Just look that this player in not so thick as other older models and it ca 4 cm.

Here is the opposite  side. Volume control, an operation   LED  (able to show battery level a bit ) , an oscillator (for trashing out the whistles  carriers  while recording )a microphone  input and earphones

and here is a belt base , though of plastic  design.  fore this reason I do not trust it.

and here is a photo of the remote control . Just look at the  format of the plug: all controls are amde with the third pin :

and hre is a picture of the remote control :
  • On the base of the triangle there are two grey buttons :the FF (fast forward) and the REW (rewind ie fast backwards ) that act also as preset memory changers> The middle button (with the blue colour) is used to reverse the  cassete direction and stop the radio
  • the small button near the edge is to start  radio  or change the radio band
  • quite  sophisticated system, huh?

adn here is the side view of the control :

This is the attenuator (ie volume control that attenuates from the maximum levels ) and a  switch tht locks  the player

and this is the stereo microphone that connects  to thee player via the mic plug . it is a  dynamic lapel microphone

Here is a description of the front view

Left  button starts  radio and changes  the bands: two  for FM and one for AM(each band with 10 memories )
reset deletes every thing
MENU  :menu operations followed by  mode/set
The adjustments are :
SEL (normal - hi for bias ie standard or metal tape)
BASS : standard bass or super bass
DIR :  paly once the tape play continuously
FM stereo or mono

Hold: cancels all button operations
Middle button : changes  cassette directionality
FF REW  for fast forwarding /fast back-warding . Don't think is quite fast . It is below  2.5X  the normal cassette  speed
REC : for recording . Though you can expect  a high  fidelity recording , most trebles   are lost

And some comments on radio playback using the Carefour earphones  :

FM  : listening FM  is quite  treble-y , having more treble than Bolong radio . Seems  not very sensitive  as most stations have some hiss
AM: quite good sensitivity  with nice and clear audio. Filter is quite wide  so that inter mod whistles are  heard . this is the reason of using the OSC  while recording

I found that the AN 200 antenna  can be quite helpful for enhancing MW reception. The best point to locate the player is this :

And for cassette audio playback :
Using again the same (Carrefour) earphones (and tested also with Sennheiser's heads)  by using original cassettes (with Dolby ) audio sounds great!

Τρίτη 9 Οκτωβρίου 2012



This is a special headphone case of the failure product listing. It has been bought at least 6 years ago with the  scope to be used with our television that is 3-4 meters far as its cable is really log , very  logs about 5 meters!

The design is similar to the AKG deign  with a belt below the main skeleton. Nice design and not tough to the ears as the the previous  posting of the Sennheiser model . the only difference  is the very thin plastic deign that seems  to be easily breakable . The phone sleeves  have a different feeling than the others with also a strong sense  of plastic that seems a  bit annoying

Once again   the first plus is the cable length . It is ca 5 m . The cable used is double possibly coaxial as with the Sennheiser head-models

Another very interesting with it , is the built in-line  attenuator that quite close to the  headphones

A third  also more interesting is the provided plug adapter from 3.9 to 1.9 mm as below

But here the interesting pros stop

The sound is very bad. tested  with the Carrefour  earbuds/EAR 23  (here is as a reference ). the sound level  is same as with these earphones . But they sounded quite bad : they lack  soem bass (as shifted  upwards )  little treble and sound as plastic.

I think that  the oly of value for these  earphones is .... the adapter !!!! You normally  cannot find easily this type of adapters.  The main base /socket is too short from the similar adapters  and very good for using it to my R75 ICOM receiver !!

Therefore : 4/5  for the whole set 2/5 for audio

AKG 518 headphones

AKG 518 headphones

A  set bought 6 years ago  from a  audio hardware  store with the  aim to replace the Koss UR 20 headphones ( though still working )  with  a AKG model lighter with better audio as the AKG K66 used firmly  for my l computer (this model has  great audio as  you can look at this page) : http://www.zzounds.com/item--AKGK66

This set is supposed toe a  professional model . As in the picture  the set has a sturdy  design with big sleeves  that cove  the whole  ears and are close to UR 20  design except the  added belt below the skeleton. This  can ofer  quite much  isolation to external noises The cable has length of ca 2.6 m  which is  typical for these models

Unfortunately its sound does not sound  too good for me . It is very bassy , bassier than any other headphone set  and lacks  some treble

Still using  very treble-y audio gadgets  as the Bolong radio and  the  JX 704  Aiwa  cassette player any other headphone has much pleasant audio 

Worth of a failure though it has a very nice design  !! !  2/5