The criticisms aimed at this product on this thread are amazinf i have had a jb7 for over a year and a half and it does everything its says it does, so i dont understand how people will come on this thread and criticise a product you probably dont have. Its a niche product and is not for every one! i have a jb7 and i am quite satisfied with mine.
Joining this thread very late but we are considering a JB7. Having recently married, we now have a combined CD collection of about 400. Small by some standards but we would like the space saving.
We intend to keep the Linn Hi-Fi system and play the JB7 back via that. We are not interested in all the deep technical stuff that some folk like to get into, we just want a system that is simple to use, will store all our CD's and play them back giving a good sound quality. With a relatively small collection we don't envisage too much compression.
We both have iPods and sometimes play them back through the Linn, sounds OK but finding tracks can be a bit fiddly, hence the JB7 idea
Advise on our simple needs and the JB7 would be welcome
Before making a decision you really need to do more research and look at Brennan's marketing and (non) product development.
In a previous posting I commented on their continuing ads in Private Eye using review endorsements from 2008.
Take a look at their current website - on the sidebar glowing review comments from The Register, Gadgetspeak and Techradar - no links to these reviews - maybe because these reviews are also from 2008.
And then we have the new cutting edge software that Martin Brennan has written for 2012 to let you connect your iPod. Great stuff - but hey look right at the bottom of the page - no good if you have an iPod Touch an iPhone or an iPad.
Basically a very overpriced, very underspecified piece of kit with no meaningful product development using four year old review quotes.
Take a look at Cocktail/Squeezebox/Sonos.
If you have a computer and a wireless network, how about ripping the CDs on the computer and streaming them to the Linn?
Depending on the software you use for ripping, the albums and tracks would probably be much more accurately tagged, and easier to find, than they would be on a JB7.
Not only that, they would be captured at a higher bit-rate (via FLAC) and playback would not be compromised by compression via a product inferior the the rest of your equipment. Any hard drive would hold your albums but a NAS would be better (and safer). A Linn DS, with Kinsky software on your iPad gives an easy and convenient search and find facility. A DS player is the best option by far. Reliability makes second-hand buying a fairly safe option if new is not possible. I love my DS system which gives my LP12 some competition on the sound quality stakes. It's that good, in my opinion.
A postscript: like so many others, my Brennan too has now broken down, a few weeks after the end of the six-month warranty period. It's being collected for repair. I foresee this won't be the last time. A warning to anyone thinking of buying one.
If only it had broken a little sooner, I could have had my money back.
Not really surprising.
It is an overpriced, underspecified piece of kit.
Their latest ad in the Sunday Times Magazine 24/06/12 refers to glowing recommendations from Hi-Fi Choice, The Gramophone and the Sunday Times.
The first two are from 2008 and the third does not exist. I have emailed Brennan for a link to the article but needless to say no reply.
My question is - why does the editor of the Gramophone have no comment on this misleading advertising?
A vested interest perhaps.
In the interest of fairness, why does the Gramophone not carry out a new review of the JB7 given that Martin Brennan has announced these new exciting software upgrades that enable you to use your iPod (or not!).
The editor is strangely quiet in this thread!
Thanks for your informative reply.
I would agree that it is up to prospective buyers to follow up on reviews/recommendations but Brennan deliberately make this difficult by not providing any links.
I am still puzzled why the editor has not made any comment on this issue - surely the obvious answer would be to ask Brennan to carry out a review of the JB7 as it is in 2012.
Why does he not question the half-hearted 'New for 2012 iPod facility'.
One can only assume that The Gramophone Magazine has a financial interest in supporting this poor device.
We have owned the JB7 for just over a year. Am becoming increasingly frustrated with it. It had to be repaired just before the end of the warranty period when it refused to eject a CD. Have loaded 400+ albums so far, about a third of our collection of mainly classical CDs. Not Brennan's responsibility but the vaunted album database is very poor especially for classical albums. So instead we maintain a datafile of CDs in a spreadsheet and give each CD a unique id which we enter as the album name when loading to the JB7. By the way naming an album using just numeric fields doesn't work seems these must start with an alphabetic character.
Agree with those who comment that development has got stuck in time as has Martin Brennan's detailed guide for customers dated Feb 2011 and is still work in progress.
Have recently, 4th July, discovered that the Upload Album function which used to work and should be on the USB Menu isn't there. The JB7 recognises the USB pen drive, is happy to play or upload the MP3s on it, but refuses to offer me the choice of uploading the album. Have logged the problem but not even an acknowledgment so far.
Other than that the remote control is a triumph of technical design over functionality - too small.
Think we will explore alternative ways to store and play the CDs.
A new review in the Sunday Times today of 5 hard disk music players.
Guess which came last - yes the useless Brennan JB7.
Still no comment from the editor to explain why he endorses this product.
Obviously very worthwhile financially.
I recently became acquainted with a unit known as the
Brennen JP7. This is evidently a device
for the storage on a hard disk, and playback of a large number of CDs. I would very much like to obtain a unit to do
this, since I have a large CD collection (about 3,500 to 4,000) and would like
to do something before they take over my apartment like a malignant virus in a
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There seem to be a few problems wth this unit. –
It seems to store the CDs in some sort of compressed
form, thus losing some information, and I would like to store the CDs in an
exact reproduction of what is on the disc.
I would like to find out just how many CDs it, or any other unit, could
store in this manner, in other words, what is the ratio of the hard drive space
used by a compressed CD to the same CD, uncompressed?.
I live in Canada, and the Brennan JP7 is made in the UK,
and evidently sold only by the manufacturer.
They evidently have no sales or technical facilities in Canada. Thus, if I
had one and found any problems or needed service, I would be on my own.
Whatever would I do with the CDs program notes? If I saved them, they would take up almost as
much room as the original CDs.
Interesting. Here in Toronto we don't get your Sunday Times that much, so, as a prospective JB7 buyer, I'd be interested in knowing what the 5 players you mention are.
Before you buy this device, you might want to read through this thread. Bear in mind you'll need to back it up to USB drive, because the JB7 has only one hard drive and eventually it's going to fail. And the backing up to USB drive is incredibly slow. Really, I'm talking about overnight and longer.
And there seems to be a high failure rate, judging from anecdotal reports on the web.
Scan them and send them to Evernote. :-)
The review in the UK Sunday Times July 15th 2012.
1. Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 - £699. Has no internal hard disk but handles files stored in Flac or Wav on a PC and sends it on to your audio system.
Joint 2. Olive 03HD - £999 - internal 500gb drive (still inadequate) but can store in lossless format.
Denon DNP-720AE - £250 - no internal hard drive but handles lossless files.
3. Cocktail Audio X10 - £350 - internal 500gb drive - handles lossless files.
4. You've guessed it - the sad old Brennan JB7 - still stuck in a time warp from 2008. But hey, new for 2012 you can use it with your iPod - unfortunately not if you have an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad .- perhaps in 4 years time they might get around to it.
Interesting that two of the five chosen for comparison don't rip, and don't have storage.