Jun 25

I got this optical splitter to take the single digital optical audio out from my TV and split it two ways, one for the 5.1 home theatre amplifier and one for the headphones. I also got a D/A converter and a headphone amplifier.


Jun 25

Because my TV only has optical out and I didn’t want to plug/unplug the headphones from the front of my Yamaha 5.1 receiver all the time. So I got an optical splitter, a D/A converter and this.


Package from Singapore.



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UK plug for the 24V PSU.


S.M.S.L sAp II Headphone amplifier. (SMSL sApII)

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Swiss Army Knife for comparison. The volume knob has some tasteful blue LED lighting behind it. Wired up and working. The sound seems good – a nice tight bass.

Jun 05

The DVD player in my old HTIB packed in again and since spares are no longer available it was time to upgrade. New 5.1 speakers with an active subwoofer, an amplifier with four hdmi in and one hdmi out and two optical digital in (my SKY box doesn’t do Dolby over HDMI so I need an optical link for that. And my TV doesn’t do ARC over HDMI so I need an optical link for that too.) And a blu-ray player. And 50 metres of speaker cable, fourteen banana plugs and a subwoofer cable. It all finally arrived by yesterday and I spent some hours unpacking and assembling it.


Three boxes of speakers making HTS201 system.


Some stands for the rear speakers.

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100W active subwoofer. 8” down firing ported variety.

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Two front towers with spike feet.

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Center and two rear speakers.

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Rears on stands. The connectors take banana plugs.

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Front speaker with cover off and on.


Sub with dog hairs. That’s a Tannoy HTS201 speaker system.

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Sub cable and some banana plugs. Both by Fisual.

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Amplifier. Yamaha RX-V375.


Blu-ray player. LG BP325.


Set up. I actually tidied up all the wiring before I began but I ended up with another mess. The TV, the SKY box and the blu-ray have wired internet connections so it was handy the switch I bought ages ago had enough ports. The blu-ray promptly downloaded a software update as soon as it was wired up.

The system self-calibrated with the included microphone with the sub at -10dB which might be a little low for my liking. I’ll see about tweaking it all after it’s run in a little.

Sep 17

My Sennheiser wireless headphones had taken to cutting out (no lights on the base-station) after several hours of use. Unplug it and leave it and they’d be working next day. Since the cheapest part I can replace is the PSU, that’s what I got for £13.75 with next day First Class post delivery. The new wall wart is a switching unit whereas the old one was a heavy copper transformer. It’ll be a while before I know if I’ve cured it as it was an intermittent problem anyway.

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Dec 26

Last year it was this. This year I liked

Straight Line Stitch - Fight Of Our Lives

best. And I saw them play live and they rocked.

Nov 09

Saw Lacuna Coil and Straight Line Stitch at the Lemon Tree. Doors 7:30, I got a front centre standing position at the barrier. 8:30 Straight Line Stitch came on and played an energetic half-hour set. It was being filmed. Alexis Brown was in good form, singing well and bouncing around the cramped stage area like a spring. Near enough to touch (as some people on either side of me did). 9:00 and Lacuna Coil came on and played for an hour before taking the encore break. Then back on until 10:30. Or thereabouts. They had more stage room and slightly better sound than SLS (as usual for the headliner). Cristina Scabbia is very tiny.

Nov 09

Saw Motörhead at the AECC last night. They played from about 9:30 PM until 11 PM. I didn’t recognise any of the material in the main part of the show apart from Eat The Rich, but they played Ace of Spades and Overkill for the encore. H&S must have taken a toll in the thirty-odd years since I last saw them as I was able to hear normally after the show. I went home and watched Dexter and didn’t even have to turn the volume up.

Aug 30


My favourite album of the year so far. The iTunes version has two extra demo tracks.

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