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Car options from 100 to 140k

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I have grouped my suggestions into four price ranges. These are just some ideas, covering sedans, MPVs, SUVs and hatchbacks that you want.


100k
The new Kia K3 will come in under 100k and has a solid conti feel. The Mazda 3 is a fine car, although the outgoing Corolla is the epitome of reliability. However you may feel that after the Volvo it will be very hard to return to a Jap or Thai made car. The interior feel, the level of safety etc is quite different.
110-120k The Honda HRV from Kah Motors is a very dependable, spacious car, and being made in Japan, it offers a lot for not too much money. 5 star safety rating too. However it's still a Jap car and once more the feel is different. You can also wait for the 2017 Corolla. Only the Mazda brand offers a conti feel, and likewise, Kia actually feels very solid too. 
120-130k
Now at this budget, there are much more choices of cars with a nicer feel. The outgoing Camry is spacious and dependable. The Mazda 6 will carry your family an…

Read The Manual Of Your New Ride

In days gone by, one could truly hope into a new car, gun the motor, and make tire tracks into the sunset.  However in the modern day and age, even the most basic cars come with some electronics, some form of gadgets and even the most haughty salesman from Toyota will need to spend a few minutes tell you about the basic functions. ( I recall going to the yard to pick up my Corolla myself, the man tossed me my keys, and that was it - good luck and good bye) 
However that would be missing out on a significant part of the car driving experience. Yes, you can put the car into auto, press on the pedal and go, but these days there are so many more functions, and you will get a lot more out of the car if you spend a little time to learn some of these functions. 
Of course, you could pick up the phone call or text your rep, or ask in a forum and get some replies, but IMO, part of the joy of owning a car is to explore the functions and pick up one nice surprise after another. Perhaps it's…

It's all about speaker positioning in getting the best sound for your home theatre system

A little reminder on the balance we have to face in our domestic settings.
The best surround effects we can achieve is dependant on the balance between WAF at one end of the spectrum, and the best position / speakers that money can buy.
So once we have decided on what our wallets can afford, followed by what our wives can tolerate, (especially those using living rooms as a HT setup), then we work within those parameters. We will then need to understand that the sound will be compromised, and that we can live with that, and no Audyssey or other auto-eq magic can fix that.
So for example, if a sofa MUST be located dead centre or right against the wall, we need to understand what we can achieve.
Or if the rear surround speaker Must be in the ceiling, then again, the sound will travel from the top to the sides to the fronts in an uneven fashion.

In planning for a new system, either spend money hiring a pro, or save and plan on some elbow grease.
Which means that you need to do the calibra…

Iron Fist Netflix Season One Review

The Marvel universe has been expanding, and you see a lot more characters being added. 

The Iron Fist is about a person Danny Rand who learns the Iron Fist from Kun Lun, and the first season is an origins one, with the thread of how he gets his power and how he came to be intertwined with a love interest in the form of the lovely Jessica Henwick, and a plot about how the evil Hand empire tries to take over his dad's company.

With Marvel fans keen to see superheroes who are less than perfect, who do not have the same superdoper powers at the highest level ala DC's Superman or even Spiderman, this man with a troubled past should perform well. And indeed there are quite a few fans of this serious made up of 13 episodes.

However, their choice of lead actor and actresses leaves a lot to be desired. A movie with a kungfu background should at least try to get some real action in, and unfortunately the fight scenes are underwhelming, as neither of them know kungfu. Anyone with a tiny bit…

Rotel RAP-1580 Amplified Processor Review

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Rotel is a brand associated with good solid engineering, and is often seen in the company of good stereo equipment, and in some countries, is often marketed with B&W speakers.

Despite moving their manufacturing base to China a few years back, the quality has not suffered.

I have used many of their power amps, and these amplifiers give true power that matches their ratings and more, with plenty of drive and quality.

I have often wonder how it would sound if we could strap one of these power amplifiers onto a Rotel processor, and see how all that power can be directed by a decent 'brain'...

The last processor from Rotel was the well regarded RSP 1098, and many are still in service. So getting my hands on this model was a very inviting prospect. 



Some links :

From the Manufacturer Website:
http://www.rotel.com/product/rap-1580




And the technical blurb:

RAP-1580 is the ideal home theater solution for those who don’t have space for separate components, yet still desire uncompromising per…

Euro 5 Diesel Fuel station locations in Malaysia

Caltex https://www.caltex.c...tex_website.pdf
Shell http://www.shell.com...l-euro-5.html#e
BHP http://www.bhpetrol....esel-euro5.html
PETRONAS The list of Petronas stations currently offering Petronas Dynamic Diesel Euro 5 are as follows: Johor
Lebuhraya Pasir Gudang
Malaysia-Singapore Second Link southbound
Jalan Mawai, Kota Tinggi Federal Territory
Mutiara Damansara
Lebuhraya Sprint
Taman Melati
Lingkaran Tengah 2
MRR2 Kepoung-bound Selangor
NKVE Damansara
Technology Park Malaysia 1
KM 0.7 Besraya northbound
KM 305 PLUS southbound
KM 12.3 Lebuhraya Persekutuan Klang-bound
NKVE Klang-bound
USJ 20
Lebuhraya SILK
FAS Federal Highway
Temasya Federal Highway Pahang
R&R Bentong Negeri Sembilan
Mambau

Mercedes W246 - using the turbo

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Following on to my initial review: (http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2017/02/mercedes-w246-b180-facelift-review.html)

It's taken me about 2 months to reach the 1000 miles mark, and I finally got to really drive it in anger over the weekend..
122 horses doesn't seem like much when you mention it like that. Even some Korean and Jap cars have more horsepower, but behind that is a small light pressure turbo and that makes all the difference...
This turbo kicks in early at about 1250 turns, so it does not take a big squeeze of the pedal to invite the whoosh to come on. Then it becomes a lot more frenetic.
The lag time is not too bad, although it's not instantaneous. If you are already moving on the highway at a decent clip, you will find overtaking an effortless affair. You will drop a few gears, down to D4 or D5 and the revs go up, and viola, the car is ahead.
If you are using the Eco mode, it is more reluctant to rev up, but if you step firmly, it will get the job done nicely too.
It&#…

Logan Movie Review

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Logan is a nice homage to fans of the Jackman Wolverine, a franchise which has been with us for more than a decade. It is also different enough from the regular X Men movies that one should approach it with an open mind.
It's a dystopian world that Logan now lives in, no shiny suits, his body is finally wearing down from age, and shows the signs of aging, wounds heal much slower and he just feels like an old man. Something that perhaps some of us and also fans who began following his movies can relate to.
He protects Prof X, and in the midst of his rather pathetic and miserable existence, a new mutant pops up, and it's not just any mutant, but one with the same powers he has, and is, (spoiler alert) - his daughter.
So they take a road trip together and look for a place called Eden, and through the trip, they need to be one step ahead of some bad people who want them dead, her captured and they also have to bond, with Prof X as the grandfather figure.
It's a lot darker, gr…

Four days in Taipei

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After you minus of arrival and departure days, you are essentially left with 2plus days.
I recently brought some friends over for the first time: - day one shopping for the ladies and eating - TPE is a place to experience street life, shop for cute stuff, rather than serious retail therapy. They have a lot of small shops for you to check out, see and try cute things. Tea is also nice, look for Taiwanese Longjin Tea. Good on the gut too. For men, the hifi scene is nice if you like Taiwan stuff, like Usher. Otherwise foreign imports are cheaper back home. Plus electronics are 110V. Likewise for Blu Rays, the Jia Jia shop has a wide selection, but amazon prices are better.


- day two Hire a taxi driver, and get him to bring you out. A day out to Jiu Fen and Shi Fen (九份 & 十份)- a must for first timer
- day three Explore town - the 故宫博物院 museum and the Taipei 101 are worth visiting. See the change of change at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
- Day Four Yamgmingshan 阳明山 is nice if you have tim…

Using Power amplifiers To Improve The Sound Of Your Home Theatre System

Power amplifiers have come to the forefront again as one means in which HT enthusiasts try to obtain better sound from their HT system.
Well the same points still apply:
- most speakers in a small domestic setting which is less than 5x8 sq. metres will work fine, especially if there is a subwoofer or two to take care of the more demanding bass frequencies  - if you do have more demanding speakers - < 86db, 4 ohm designs, full range speakers etc - if you have a much larger space Then a power amp might help.

Now a power amp is first and foremost, muscle, so it helps to improve the dynamics of your system.  So make sure it has at least 1.5 times the rated specs of your AVR, otherwise it's not going to be much help in improving dynamics If you want sound quality as well as dynamics, then be prepared to spend more.  There are many power amps which give better dynamics, but less will provide better sound. The processor section of your AVR will also determine the amount of improvement…