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JBLs mighty little tower speaker is a keeper

first_img 2 Comments Share your voice JBL’s Stage A 170 tower speakers JBL In late 2018 I spent some quality time with a couple of high-end JBL horn speakers, the 4429 and S3900. Nice, but the 4429 sells for $5,000 a pair and the S3900 for $10,000 a pair! High-end to be sure, so I also wanted to spend some ears-on time with JBL’s considerably more affordable speakers and see how much of the magic trickled down. A few emails were exchanged and the company sent the Stage A170 tower speakers to my home. They sell for just $200 each on Amazon, how would they fare?The A170s cost as much as a decent set of stand mount speakers, but they take up the same amount of space and you don’t need to buy stands.It’s a “two and a half way” design with a pair of 5.25-inch polycellulose woofers, and a 1-inch aluminum tweeter set into a waveguide that focuses the A170’s high-frequency dispersion. The two and a half part means the two woofers are assigned slightly different tasks. The lower woofer works only as a woofer; the upper woofer goes just as low, but also reaches higher to blend with the tweeter. The A170’s impedance is rated at 6 ohms.The black vinyl wrap finish isn’t fancy, but the overall build quality is good. Black cloth grilles are included, and the rear baffle hosts two bass ports and sturdy bi-wire speaker cable connectors. The A170 is 37 inches tall, but just 7.5 inches wide and therefore might be accidentally tipped over, so JBL includes outrigger feet that can be fitted with either carpet piercing spikes or rubber feet to enhance stability.The Stage lineup features two more larger towers, the A180 ($280 each) and A190 ($360 each), and two bookshelves, the A120 ($160 a pair) and A130 ($250 a pair). If you’re interested in a home theater multichannel setup add one of the Stage center channel speakers, the A135C ($250 each) or A125C ($200 each), and a powered sub, either the A120P ($450) or A100P ($350). Coming up in a few weeks I’ll review the A130 bookshelf speaker.jbl-stage-series-productsThe complete JBL Stage lineup JBL The sound of JBLI auditioned the A170 with a NAD C 316BEE integrated amp and an Oppo UDP-203 Blu-ray player for most of my listening tests. Late in the review I moved up to a Schiit Aegir power amp running directly off the ‘203’s analog outputs, and my respect for the skinny A170s sound only grew stronger. The A170 made very ample bass, and it wasn’t just the quantity of the bass, but also the quality of it. The sound took me back to the heady days of the 1970s when JBL was nearly every rock music fan’s dream speaker. Those roots run deep.The heritage shone through: This speaker made a joyful sound; even when played pretty loud it didn’t overtly strain or turn harsh. Bass definition was good, but it’s the midbass texture/definition that grabbed and held my attention. When the need arose the A170 could deliver the warm growl of a baritone sax or the woody resonance of an acoustic bass. The midrange was nicely handled as well, there was a good sense of body and warmth on vocals. The tweeter could sound a tiny bit aggressive when the speakers were angled in, firing directly at the listening position. The fix was easy enough: Just reduce the toe-in; the treble smoothed out, and the sound was sweeter that way. The A170 wasn’t as vivid as the Klipsch RP 600M bookshelf speaker ($550 a pair), and that one’s dynamics kicked harder overall. Then again, the ‘600M didn’t have close to the bass oomph of the A170. Both were terrific, but most A170 owners wouldn’t need to add a subwoofer for music, the ‘600M would benefit with some low bass assistance. Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s 2010 album Mojo had plenty of get up and go. I like that the sound of this album is straight ahead, without flashy studio tricks, just a well honed band laying down terrific tracks. Especially Steve Ferrone’s drumming, he’s driving the tunes, and the A170s really delivered the goods. German prog-rock pioneers Can’s Future Days album positively lit up the A170s! The fierce polyrhythms were played with gusto, and the sheer beauty of the melodic lines of this 1972 album could still floor me. Future Days’ stereo mix is expansive, and the A170s did a good job presenting the soundstage depth that makes this music so special.The JBL Stage A170 is a slam-dunk winner, and positive proof that “large” speakers have it all over similarly priced bookshelf, aka stand mount, speakers! If you’re just now starting to get serious about the sound of your music, the A170 deserves your full attention. Tags The Audiophiliac Speakers Home Entertainmentlast_img read more


Let us unite to oust BJP from Centre

first_imgKolkata: All India Trinamool Youth Congress president and party’s MP Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday said the Trinamool Congress is ready to go for elections any time and is confident of winning comprehensively.Addressing a public rally at Rash Math in Baruipur as a preparatory meeting for the mega Brigade rally of the party scheduled on January 19, Banerjee said: “You have to ensure that the communal forces cannot rear its ugly head at any booth in South 24-Parganas district. Let us unite to drive them out. We are ready for the elections, be it today, tomorrow or day after tomorrow and we will be giving a befitting reply to them (BJP ) in a manner that they cannot be traced even with a microscope.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee reiterated that the Brigade rally will deliver the clarion call to oust the BJP from the Centre in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Drawing similarities between Netaji and Mamata Banerjee, he said the latter’s battle cry “Delhi Chalo” is a reminder of Subhas Bose’s slogan. Abhishek maintained that several national leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav, Stalin, Shatrughan Sinha, Farooq Abdullah and others will attend the rally to strengthen Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s political fight to show the exit door to the BJP and establish a secular government at the Centre. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call of Achhe Din has proved to be a far cry. The good days will come only when the government at the Centre is toppled. The price of LPG will come down to Rs 500 and the diesel price will be at Rs 50 a litre,” Banerjee said. He also took a dig at the BJP which had planned to bring in leaders from other states in Bengal for political meetings. “They are bringing leaders from Delhi, party workers from ‘agencies’ and decorators from Ranchi and are claiming to win seats in Bengal. Isn’t it ludicrous as their leaders are completely ignorant of the rich culture of the state,” Banerjee said. Abhishek was also critical of the Prime Minister’s huge spending on publicity campaigns. “He had spent more than Rs 10000 crore for publicity but has deprived the country. All the promises made by him have been exercises in futility,” he maintained. Abhishek also took the opportunity to slam the BJP’s plan of Rath Yatra programme in Bengal. “In the name of Rath Yatra, they have brought a 7-star AC luxury bus from Delhi. We have heard of Rath Yatra of Shri Jagannath and Shri Krishna. But in the name of Rath, they will be riding a luxury bus. “They cannot compete with us in terms of development. We have fulfilled the promises that we made before coming to power,” he said.last_img read more


Weighty reading Books which provide physical exercise too

first_imgSomeone once quipped that the “universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle” and devoted book readers know it too well. Any of the (sadly-diminishing) tribe would be familiar with responses of wonder over the fact that they manage to read even a modestly-long work in a day or two. Wonder what these amazed people would make of a book termed a “doorstopper”? “Doorstoppers” are books so thick and heavy that they can be used to keep doors open – or even be a literary weapon, literally. The irrepressible TVTropes.org, which also suggests they can be a substitute for barbells or an opportunity for orthopaedists, says “Proper Doorstoppers” (also known as “Tree Killers”) should be over 500 pages at least, with a normal typeface – at least 10 point. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA distinction needs to be drawn with “Omnibus” editions, which usually bring a trilogy, or complete works of an author into one. While technically a “doorstopper”, they are not, for this term is for one particular work, which per TVTropes, “can and will cause massive muscle fatigue when reading while holding the book in your hands”.While religious scriptures – or their exegeses – dictionaries, encyclopaedias, most textbooks, especially computer programming, accountancy, biology, et al, are doorstoppers, let’s see some notable examples from both classical and popular literature. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThough English has some of the most well-known examples – Charles Dickens, Margaret “Gone With the Wind” Mitchell, J.R.R. Tolkien (save “The Hobbit” and “The Silmarillion”), J.K. Rowling (“The Order of the Phoenix” onwards), the phenomenon is present in literary traditions across the world – Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, among many others and much old.Marcel Proust’s “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (“Remembrance of Things Past” or “In Search of Lost Time” now, 1913-27 in French) about his childhood and adulthood experiences in late 19th century/early 20th century France, holds the Guinness records title of longest novel with its one and a half million words. The author was still adding to it and revising the last three volumes at the time of his death, leading to the possibility it could have well emerged longer. However, Mark Leach’s “Marienbad My Love” (2013), about a tortured (mentally) author on a desert island reaching out to a married ex-lover to help him produce a science fiction film, claims to be the world’s longest novel, with over 17 million words, over 10,000 pages across 17 volumes. The novel’s title is itself 6,700 words long, it contains a 4.4-million-letter noun as well as a three million-word-long sentence.Persian poet Ferdowsi’s “The Shahnameh”, about Iranian history from the world’s creation to the Islamic age, in an abridged English prose translation runs close to 1,000 pages and, according to the introduction, a current full English verse translation is nine volumes long. Japanese epic “The Tale of Genji”, varies by language and translator, but one copy is 1,090 pages long. And many classic Chinese novels are in the 2,000-page range – Luo Guanzhong’s 14th century epic “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, about war, turmoil, and bloodshed in the eponymous period (188-280 AD) runs to over 2,300 pages.So does the 16th century “Journey to the West” about Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India to study Buddhism and obtain accurate copies of religious texts and the exploits of his three supernatural co-travellers and protectors, especially “The Monkey King”, while Cao Xueqin’s 18th century “Dream of the Red Chamber”, about the decline of a noble family is shorter – at only 1,800-odd pages.Russians were quite famous for this At 1,200 pages, Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, about Russian nobility before and during Napoleon’s invasion, is a prime example, while Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” is well over 500 pages and “The Brothers Karamazov” anything between 720 to 1,013 pages, depending on the translation. It must, however, be noted that the authors were paid by the page.French authors too remain masters – Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, is affectionately called “The Brick” by its admirers, and has a detailed description of a crack in the wall, through which a character looks, spanning a page and a half – in the condensed version.Indians too figure, with Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” being over 1,500 pages and Vikram Chandra’s “Sacred Games” at around 1,100.Though, technology has now enabled even a huge doorstopper to easily fit on a light, handy, smartphone or e-reader, determined bookworms from the dawn of publishing to well into the 20th century – and even now – never hesitated to carry around weighty tomes on journeys, to work and otherwise, giving the phrase “active readers” a whole new meaning. Whoever says book reading is a lazy activity, should try to read these.last_img read more


Live News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire on

first_imgStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:00/1:20Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:20 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.  Click for Sound Video will play in  StokeonTrentLive – we’re #localandproud Click to playTap to play Watch Next Share this videocenter_img The video will start in 1Cancel Play now Video Loading Video Unavailable We pay for stories! Send your videos to video@trinitymirror.comHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Wednesday, December 12. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 21:10Prime Minister Theresa May survives vote of confidenceMore here.21:01200 had confidence, 117 did not200 said they had confidence. 117 did not18:46Gritters out and ’emergency protocols’ activated as cold snap expected Road surface temperatures are set to fall below zero across the region. More here18:11Accident near Staffordshire Moorlands/South Cheshire borderMow Lane in both directions partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident from Puddle Bank Lane (Newbold Astbury) to Congleton Road (Gillow Heath). (Image: Inrix)18:02Council activates ‘Severe Weather Emergency Protocol’A Cheshire East Council spokesman said:Our gritters will be out this evening and our SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) has also been activated and is likely to be in place until Sunday. This means that emergency accommodation is available to support people who are sleeping rough . Support can be accessed by visiting Macclesfield Town Hall or Delamere House, Crewe between 9am & 5pm or calling 0300 123 5017, or 0300 123 5025 out of hours. When the night-time temperature is predicted to be below freezing for three nights in a row, local authorities must provide accommodation to anyone sleeping rough. But in Cheshire East, we’ve opted to use the ‘real feel’ temperature. This means we can provide accommodation to individuals for greater periods of time and work with them to prevent them having to go back out on the streets.”17:43Stone MP left meetingTheresa May has arrived to address Tory MPs ahead of tonight’s confidence vote.A banging of desks could be heard from outside committee room 14 in the Palace of Westminster.The corridor outside was swarming with reporters and police as she made her entrance.The “civil war” in the UK is the worst political crisis since 1918, according to historian and political biographer Sir Anthony Seldon.Speaking outside Parliament, Sir Anthony said: “This is the most serious political crisis, arguably since 1918 and the coming of modern democracy.”He predicted that Theresa May would survive tonight’s vote of no confidence with “not a convincing majority”.He said Conservative MPs who have said they will support her won’t all stay true to their word.He added: “This will carry on being bitter and deep for many, many years. If she doesn’t win tonight it will put us into a constitutional crisis.”Several outbursts of banging could be heard coming from inside the committee room as Mrs May addressed MPs.Brexiteers David Davis and Bill Cash left the meeting shortly before 5.20pm.Tory Party deputy chairman James Cleverly said Mrs May was “focused” and “business-like” as she addressed MPs.He told reporters outside the meeting of the 1922 Committee: “The tone she was taking was very much about getting Brexit delivered, making sure that happens – that’s our primary duty so that we can get on with other stuff.”17:35Slow traffic in Sneyd Green Slow traffic on A5272 Hanley Road at the Sneyd Arms. In the roadworks area. Temporary traffic lights causing delays. (Image: Inrix)17:33Two vehicle accident on A500A500 D Road Southbound partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident, two vehicles involved at M6 J15 (Stoke-On-Trent).The incident is between M6 J15 going towards the Hanchurch Interchange on the A500 D Road. 17:25Broken down vehicle reported at Sideway roundaboutA50 partially blocked, slow traffic due to broken down vehicle at A500 Queensway (Sideway Roundabout). On the roundabout.17:22One lane blocked by broken down vehicle on M6 SouthboundA Highways England spokesman said:J15 Hanchurch to J14Creswell we have a van broken down in lane 1 of 3 “17:17Queuing traffic on the A500Queueing traffic on A500 D Road Southbound around A527 Porthill Road (Porthill Bank). Travel time is eight minutes. (Image: Inrix)17:12Accident reported near railway stationStation Road partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at College Road. (Image: Inrix)17:01Accident on the A500 at HanchurchA500 D Road Southbound partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at M6 J15 (Stoke-On-Trent). (Image: Inrix)16:58Delays on A53Slow traffic on A53 Leek New Road at Shaldon Avenue. In the roadworks area.Temporary traffic lights have been put in place due to a collapsed man hole and have reduced the road to one lane, adding to the existing roadworks near Newford Crescent.The location of the roadworks (Image: Inrix)16:56Delays expected as A53 reduced to one lane due to collapsed manholeThere are already a number of sets of roadworks on surrounding routes. More here.16:42Slow traffic on A520 Slow traffic and no problems reported on A520 Weston Road in both directions at A5272 Park Hall Road. Near Weston Coyney Post Office. (Image: Inrix)16:41Man attacked during late night street robberyHe managed to fight off the two attackers – who fled empty handed. More here.15:56Two men charged after police search for poachersA police helicopter was used as police searched a farm on Monday night. More here.15:19Gritters out in Stoke-on-Trent tonightA Stoke-on-Trent Council spokesman said:Mainly dry this afternoon with a good deal of cloud. Skies are expected to clear this evening allowing Road Surface Temperatures to fall below zero. Dry with sunny spells tomorrow morning.So we will be gritting the roads described in the city council’s winter gritting policy at 6pm.”Stoke on Trent City Council gritting ( gritters ) lorries leave their Cromer Road base and grit local roads as temperatures plunge below freezing in the region .15:08Town centre road closed due to water leak repairsThe council say the road will be shut ‘until further notice’. More here.Lawton Street in Congleton (Image: Google)14:07How is your Conservative MP voting in the no-confidence motion in Theresa May’s leadership tonight?Conservative MPs in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire are divided on Theresa May’s future as Prime Minister. More here.13:58Lanes reopen after traffic held on M6Queueing traffic due to earlier debris on M6 Northbound from J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) to J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.Lane one (of three) was blocked until around 13:55 when traffic was briefly held while the debris was removed. 12:54Temporary traffic lights and roadworks on A52 Werrington Road at Corneville Road.Until 13th December. 12:48Queuing traffic on A5272 Hanley Road at the Sneyd Arms. In the roadworks area.Temporary traffic lights causing delays. 11:43Queuing traffic on A5272 Hanley Road at the Sneyd Arms. In the roadworks area.Temporary traffic lights causing delays. 11:25Advance Warning – Severely reduced service across the network on Northern due to strike action on Saturday, December 15. Tickets being accepted on other services.Northern have a revised timetable in operation on strike days in December, however this means there will be very few trains operating after 5pm, trains that do run are expected to be extremely busy. Replacement buses are in place on some routes.11:24Very slow traffic due to earlier broken down lorry on M6 Southbound from J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) to J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.Lane one (of three) was blocked until around 11.05am. 09:26Heavy traffic on A5272 Chell Street at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square). Travel time is five minutes. 09:03Advance Warning – Replacement bus service running on Virgin Trains West Coast between Wolverhampton and Crewe due to engineering works.Until 12pm on January 1, 2019.08:27 Alsager Road partially blocked, queueing traffic due to accident, two cars involved at A500 (Audley Turn Off).On the bridge above A500 between Audley and Alsager. Watch againlast_img read more