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Loewe Aconda 9381

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by sparkle999, May 25, 2002.

  1. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Thanks all for this forum - I've learnt *lots* in the last few weeks...

    I'm in the market for a good quality 32" widescreen tv (picture being the priority, not sound). Was considering Sony, read the threads, now favouring the more expensive Loewe Aconda 9381 to hook up with my existing Sony DVP-S7700 DVD player.

    I do have loads of questions, here are my top 2. I would be grateful if anyone could help on any of them:

    1. Where is a good deal on the Loewe right now? Have seen prices varying from £1850 (Selfridges Manchester) down to £1600 (Empire Direct). I'd like to give the business to John Lewis, but where can I price match against? (re: debate on service versus price, it's not service at *any* price - but I will pay a "reasonable" premium over internet resellers for peace of mind).

    2. The Sony DVD player has a component out facility - 3 connectors at the back. I guess I would need a new cable for this. Is it worth it when I have a £40 existing scart that would do for RGB? If yes, what is the cable, how much and where from?! (I have read some threads on this topic but I am seriously confused) :blush:

    Thanks
    Sparkle
     
  2. groundy

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    Empire Direct are probably the cheapest online retailer of the Loewe range. I'm off the opinion you should buy locally though. If possible, try and get it from John Lewis because they provide a no-hassle aftersales service. You should be able to get them to price match Selfridges £1850. They won't price-match online dealers though. On the other hand, you could just get it from Selfridges in the first place as £1850 is as good as you can hope to find from a high street store.



    Component is generally regarded to give to slight edge over RGB but this depends upon many factors. At the end of the day, the greatest benefit is that it frees up your RGB scart sockets so that they can be used by other equipment. The Loewe Aconda is fortunate to have 2 RGB scarts (AV2 & AV3), with AV3 also being able to take a Component Input signal. I use the Component connection from my Sony and the piture is as good as I've seen. The cable I use is a QED Av2930 which retails for around £75 for a 3m length. It's very well made and is wired with 6 phono's to Scart. The 6 phonos are Y Pr Pb, CVBS, Audio L/R. In actual fact the cable can also be used to pass an RGB signal with Sync on Composite CVBS if your equipment supports it.

    You don't need to use the QED cable as you can have one made up from the likes of Keene or Lektropacks for less money but I don't rate their cables much at all.

    Hope this helps :).
     
  3. sparkle999

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    Thanks Groundy.

    I guess I need to do some work legwork regarding the price - £250 premium over an online reseller is an awful lot of after-sales service. I asked the guy at Selfridges if the TV could accept component video, he didn't have a clue. I guess JL should be better though - I've not had chance to check them out yet.

    Appreciate the info on the cables - starting to become a bit clearer now!

    If anyone else can advise re: pricing, would appreciate it.
     
  4. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    You know, I was fairly comfortable with idea of buying an Aconda, (good reputation etc) but recently saw the product in-store. My two-penneth based on a short viewing....

    1. Saw the high-gloss black Aconda, didn't like the finish really. It looked a bit, well, plasticky. Of course, no other loewe sets on display, so I have no idea what the other finishes look like! Don't want to risk 9281 models, so I am now wondering does the 9381 Stratos Metallic Light have the same type of gloss finish as the black?

    2. The picture in-store wasn't that "brilliant". Not very sharp. But I really do despair because row upon row of televisions all had wildly varying pictures, and I have no idea if this is to do with the abilities of the television or the feed it's been given. Bar spending absolutely ages trying all sorts of combinations, it's a complete gamble!

    3. Cost compared to competitors. The law of diminishing returns? Would I really notice any significant difference in picture quality between (say) a philips 9617 and an Aconda 9381? It's just too easy to use price as an indicator of quality. I could get a decent AV amp for the difference! I was attracted to the Loewe because of the component inputs, as my Sony S7700 has component outputs, but the difference will probs be marginal over RGB, so probably not worth ruling out televisions that don't have this feature?

    What are my options? Budget £2K max, including stand.

    A. Stick with Aconda + stand.
    B. Should I consider the Articos. Can't see it in the shops anywhere. Hard even to find it on the web! Great write-ups on this forum... but where can I find one in the north-west? And why does the black one cost more than the silver?
    C.Go for more cost-effective set such as philips 9617 or wait for 9527 with philips tube.

    I was simply going to buy a Sony before I found this site! :confused:
     
  5. gringottsdirect

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    sparkle999,
    My Loewe Aconda 9381ZW (old Q2400), is still delighting me. The Q2500 chassis is even better.
    The geometry is as it should be, the RGB picture is superb and I have no problems with the styling, it looks good in Stratos Metallic Light, even better in Stratos Metallic Blue.
    For a good alternative have a look at the Sony KV-32LS60S and the Philips 32PW9617c Pixel Plus.
    When I had my Aconda I think it was best at the time, but if I were buying now I would probably try the Philips 36PW9607c , the Panasonic CRT may not be as advanced as a Cybertube, but even so it is a generation on from the technology in the Loewe, (largely Philips internals as we know).
    Still for a 32" the Aconda is still my choice, for now.
     
  6. Bernard Barnett

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    Sparkle, whatever you choose please buy from John Lewis rather than Selfridges. I have extensive experience of both - am a card-holder of both - and if they have the same stock will always buy from JL as they are vastly more knowledgeable and helpful. I have a suspicion that the audio and TV depts of Selfridges are franchise operations (with all that that implies) rather than store-owned.
     
  7. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Thanks all. Right then, my shortlist will be the Loewe, Philips (it has to be 32" though), and Sony. I'm ruling out any others just to keep me sane.

    I'm venturing into Manchester today - I'll let you know how I get on!

    Thanks for the info about JL - I wasn't impressed with the sales guy at Selfridges. My plan is to lock down on the model, get a quote from somewhere like S&V, and pray that JL will price match it.

    Cheers
    Sparkle
     
  8. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Just a note to let you know how I got on...

    Debenhams: waste of time. None of the required models on display, sales person looked up prices for me but couldn't tell me anything about them.

    Kendals: mon dieu! someone who cared about what they were selling!!! Questions like "if you wait until August or so, the new Sony models will be out" - ie: no hard sell.

    Sony. Maybe I was looking for problems, but the pictures from the RF feed had 'halos' around them - which put me off.

    Loewe. More Loewe's on show than I could shake a stick at. They even had the Articos which, in the flesh, looks nothing like the pictures on the web. Really well built, very stylish - really liked the silver styling. Still, at £2300, out of my league!

    The aconda 9381 was on display in various guises. Saw the Stratos Metallic Light and really liked it. Even with an RF feed, the picture was ok. The sales guy then hooked up a DVD player to the set - the picture was great. At this point I decided this was the set for me. Couldn't believe the offer: I require the stand which sells seperately for around £350. The offer was both for £1900, which is cheaper than empire direct. This includes 5 yr guarantee so I am one happy bunny! :p

    Blimey Groundy - I might have change to by the component cable! :D

    Thanks to all. If anyone is interested, I'll post up some feedback once I've got the set installed.

    Cheers
    Sparkle
     
  9. groundy

    groundy
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    You made a wise choice my friend and that was a great deal you got. There's no TV quite like a Loewe. I have the Stratos Metallic myself. If you need any setup tips, just give me a shout. If you're after the QED AV2930 Component Cable, let me know.:)
     
  10. Badger

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  11. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Thanks for the offer Badger, but I've got a stand bundled in the deal... :p

    Groundy - there's nothing better than being told you made the right choice. Your comment gives me enough evidence to justify the investment to my wife. :D

    Regarding the cable - yes I do intend to get one - I'll go for your recommendation - so, if you could let me know if they are generally available / where sells them, it would help. Search engine returned a blank.

    Re: setup - cheers - Probs be a week or so before I receive the goods. No doubts I'll find a way of screwing things up - so thanks for the offer I'll probably take you up on that one.

    Sparkle
     
  12. eddietosh

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    Sparkle,

    I'm also a new 9381 owner. Have had one for a couple of months now and don't regret the extra cost one bit.

    I'm using a QED 2930 which I got from hificables.co.uk - £75 for 3m version (not sure how much the 1m is) - excellent service and I'd definately use them again.

    Eddie
     
  13. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Just to advise all, took receipt of the Aconda 9381 recently - good service from Kendals. Delighted with the set. Opted to use the QED cable to hook into the component outputs from my dvd player. Very happy with the quality of the picture.

    So, a few days in, just getting to grips with the basic operation of the TV, I wondered if anyone could advise regarding what is termed "EPG" - electronic program guide. The concept being that the TV can hook into a service provider that provides TV listings...

    Activitating the facility to search for providers returns a blank. I presume that the standard tv channels (bbc1, itv etc) do not act as providers. However I was hoping that our cable provider, NTL, would. Can anyone advise if they have this facility working on their Loewe set, and if so, which provider they are using?

    Cheers
    Sparkle
     
  14. groundy

    groundy
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    The EPG feature on the Loewe is not supported by anyone in the UK that I know off so best forget about it :).
     
  15. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Having had a few months for my tv set to bed in, glad to say still very happy. I do have a couple of questions/observations - if anyone could comment I would appreciate it.

    1. Sound - for some reason, the sound seems to reset itself to treble = 2 and bass=6. So then I set it back to zero for both, works okay for a while, then next day... back to default settings... Now either it's my kids (wouldn't put it past them!), it's "user error" (most likely), or there is some way to configure defaults?

    2. Would really appreciate guidance regarding "digital tv". The problem: I have a (cable) NTL set-top box hooked upto my Aconda. Fine. When I switch to AV2, I get all the channels. However, these are usually not displayed in widescreen, so I end up having to change the picture format to 'cine' to fill the screen. Similarly, if I tune into (say) BBC1 using the analogue tuner, ditto regarding widescreen. BUT, I have a friend who has a Sony 'digital' tv, which provides the standard digital channels as standard. Unless he's blagging me, he gets widescreen format, and I don't.

    My thinking on this was that this is where the 'digital tuner' card comes into play on the Aconda?

    The remaining complication is that I use the NTL set-top box to provide broad-band internet services for my PC. I hate it when a supplier locks you in!

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  16. magnatom

    magnatom
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    Just a thought sparkle, have told your NTL box that you have a widescreen TV? There is a setting (can't remember how to get to the set up menu but you would just need to fool around to find it) in a on screen menu that you set to widescreen.

    My Vitros (which is basically the same TV) auto switches to widescreen material.

    Cheers
     
  17. groundy

    groundy
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    You need to SAVE your personal settings when you make changes to the Sound and Picture Menu's. To do this, just call up the menu and I think it's the first option. Look for the options to Call Up Personal Settings, Call Up Factory Settings and Store As Personal Settings.



    I don't have NTL Digital but on Sky Digital, you need to make sure the "Scart Control" option is On for auto-widescreen switching to take place. Look for a similar option in your NTL box setup menu. As for analogue, this will never switch to Widescreen mode because it's not broadcast that way. Instead, some transmissions such as those on Ch4 etc., should switch to Cine or PalPlus but only if you have AMD set to on in the Loewe Picture Menu.
     
  18. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Thanks folks, kind of embarrassing when the answer is pointed out to you! :blush:

    You are correct, on the ntl box there is a setup facility which I had never noticed before, and yes, you can tell it that you have a widescreen tv. That's a shocking mistake, even by my standards!

    Thanks also for the advice regarding sound settings. That worked a treat...

    All the best
    sparkle
     
  19. chrismoore

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    I have an Empire store in my area. When I asked if they would price match their on-line store they said no problem. So you can buy locally and still get internet prices
     
  20. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    All,

    A quick update - my aconda has recently developed a problem (typical, over the Xmas period when in demand!). Having had 18 months of happy viewing, the set now decides to switch itself off, i.e. from being switched off (red standby light ON), switching it on via remote results in red + green lights ON, a short delay, then back to red, then a short delay, back to red + green, short delay - back to red again, etc.

    Seems to be trying to switch itself on and failing.

    Contacted House of Fraser, local company used is MWES (?) who will be sending someone out early January - and have been told they will not attempt to look at the set in situ, but will take it away to look at. Not sure if my expecations were too high, but I was expecting an engineer to look at it on-site, but not the case apparently.

    Am told this would be the case regardless of whether the set was within the manufacturers 2 year warranty (which it is) or within the 5 year warranty supplied by HoF.

    I've adjusted my views marginally on the "quality" aspect of this set...!

    Will advise (if anyone is interested) on how this progresses.

    Cheers
    Sparkle
     
  21. ddlooping

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    Hi all. :)

    sparkle999, I'm not a Loewe owner myself, but the fault you describe sounds a lot like a dry-joint (probably in the power supply).
    As I'm thinking of buying a Loewe (Aventos 32") I made a search in the forums and discovered a few members were having the same problem.
    It does seem fairly common, as even my old Hitachi 32" 50hz had to recently get repaired for the same reason (apparently Hitachis are quite famous for having this fault too).
    It cost me £76, though, which is far less than I expected. ;)
     
  22. sparkle999

    sparkle999
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    Thanks for your note - can you believe this.... I still don't have my TV back.... that's 1 month later... :mad: (with no replacement provided)

    Anyone considering the pro's and con's about online retailers versus high street should bear this in mind. I bought my TV from a reputable high street shop and here I am, extremely annoyed with the astoundingly poor levels of service I have received.

    For what it's worth, the saga is about to come to an end (I think), as the fault has been identified and yes, I am told that it was the power supply! The TV is due to be delivered back tomorrow. I can only hope that the problem has actually been cured.

    When a happy customer goes and buys the TV from a retailer, do they realise if something goes wrong it gets subcontracted out to another company, whose attitude towards customer service may not meet the same standards? (I was going to say something about people having the social skills of anthrax, however I wouldn't want to be accused of libel so I withdraw that statement).

    Large companies think that they can save money by subcontracting "non core" parts of their business out, and that's where it all starts to go wrong, because you lose control of what the customer experiences - something you can't measure with 'service level agreements'.

    In future, I will follow a different route. Either, I'll pay for bargain basement prices and accept that service (I mean proper service) isn't available, OR I will try to find smaller shop that can provide excellent customer service. Or maybe I'll invent a display device of my own and be free from the lot of them! :smashin:

    Apologies for the ranting, I'll be following this up with a formal complaint to the retailer and to the manufacturer. For the price paid for the tv, I expect good service.
     
  23. gringottsdirect

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    In reality, except for independent TV retailers with their own " in-store " service engineers, there is little benefit NOT buying mail order.
    Comet, Currys, Dixons, NZ Powerhouse, House of Fraser and John Lewis all use third party service solutions, as do most mail order suppliers. So you may as well just buy at cheapest price off the net, or have say, John Lewis price match the best mail order price to benefit from their " free " 5 year guarantee.
    Excepting for having to hump 100 kilos of TV around yourself, and have to re-pack in box to return to base when you need service maybe, this is an issue for some.
    In a perfect world, buying from smaller stores, enjoying professional installation backed with speedy after-sales AND paying cheapest mail order price would be the ultimate, but that's asking for the moon on a stick.
    You seem to have suffered bad service and paid top money, no wonder you are dis-illusioned. :cool:

    Loewe are supposed to cherry pick their suppliers. :suicide:
     

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