Can a block of wood sound this good?
Review The sleepy Scottish market town of Lanark is best known for being the place where
Mel Gibson William Wallace began his rising against the English is 1297 and as the home town of 1995 World Rally champion Colin McCrae. Well, Reg Hardware can now add to that list because it's also the home of Revo Technologies, a company that make some very interesting audio kit such as the Blok iPod dock currently sat on our desk.
Revo's Blok: wood you believe it?
Pull the Blok from its box and you'd have to be blind not spot the fact that Revo has eschewed the industry standard black plastics, cloth speaker covers and faux chrome in favour of good old fashioned wood. American walnut veneer to be precise, though if you really must have one in black you can – in black oak mind, not black plastic.
The parts of the Blok not made from a tree, such as the switches, inlays and bezels, are all made from aluminium, further underlining the attention to detail that Revo has lavished on the design and build of the unit.
While we don't want to come over all Fred Dibnah, it has to be said that you don't often come across craftsmanship of this quality on electronics products of this type.
As well as not looking like other high-end iPod docks, the Blok is also smaller than the norm. In fact, at just under 2kg in weight and 316 x 148 x 153mm in size, it's a lot smaller.
External controls on the Blok itself have been kept to a minimum and comprise just a power switch and a large rotary volume control directly in front of the iPod slot. Tucked away beneath the unit, out of sight and mind, are the power socket and a 3.5mm stereo jack.
With no flashing lights or displays, the only tell-tale that the Blok is actually alive is a tiny white LED next to the power button.
all the volume I'd need...?
Not that I'd second-guess a knowledgeable tech reviewer, but I can't help wondering... _all_ the volume I'd need? I mean, did you test it with "Slade Alive"?
OK, OK, I'll get my boots on...
Sounds like a Linn wannabee
It's a basic two-channel amp with tiny 4.5-inch speakers a few inches apart, no way is this worth two hundred quid. I suspect the iPod dock on the top more than doubled the price.
To give you an idea, these: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/shop/view_product.php?product=behms16 are roughly the same spec., you can move them apart to get a stereo image and they cost £40.
A pair of Wharfedale Active Diamonds (http://www.htfr.com/more-info/MR266129) will wipe the floor with this, and you'd still have plenty left over for an iPod dock.
Design considerations of the remote aside, they've rotated the "click wheel" controller 90 degrees from what's on the iPod. Rather silly of them.
iPod cock more like.