The Brennan JB7

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RE: The Brennan JB7 RE: The Brennan JB7

Hi Centaur,

(Somehow, I've never imagined myself writing any such thing!)

Yes, the on/off switch on the jb7 is now above the mains lead connection.  Trouble is, that is a development since I bought mine in 2010! Suggests that purchasers are acting as test beds for Brennan, as I thought.  Certainly when I reported my problem to them it took some time to convince them that there was no such switch on mine!  Furthermore it took little persuasion for them to decide that free replacement of transformer and leads was appropriate, because they had heard of the problem I'd encountered, 'before'!

To finish the saga, I agree that the after sales service smacks of a one man band setup.  After promising to post the replacement transformer on the day of my complaint, it took seven days for it to arrive here. Two telephone queries elicited the response that it had been posted.  The third enquiry however, promoted further investigations and the discovery that it hadn't been. However, it then arrived the day after that discovery.  

I'm sitting listening to it now, and have just heard James Brown , Elgar, Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, Blind Willie McTell, Mendelssohn,  Bach, Puccini, Buddy Holly and Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings ................ in that order!  Where else could a programme like that happen, I ask myself.

Now waiting for an answer to my enquiry about how I switch the power on and off should I wish to, without blowing all the fuses again, but from past experience with Brennan, not holding my breath waiting for it!  Never mind,  listening to the music is what I want to do, and the jb7 certainly allows me to do just that in ways I'd never previously imagined possible, despite the obvious shortcomings and the lack of customer service.

RE: The Brennan JB7

I bought a jb7 about six months ago when I simplified the way I listen to music considerably. I used to stream from my server , to my xbox & through my amp. Then I realised if I included tv & router it took me 5 devices to play music , it just seemed to much.
With the simplicity of the system , in the time it takes the xbox to start I can turn on the jb7 , search for the album or artist I want , have it playing & be off doing something else.
It seems in making this kit they have reduced it down to the bare essentials , if you want mass produced music played thro mass produced speakers then this is ideal for you. I have a two year old daughter who loves jabbing her fingers & toys at my speakers :-)
I know the music database isn't linked to the web but I loaded 950+ albums & had only 5 that didn't recognise so I'm pretty impressed with that.
For music that isn't recognised you have two options either type artist & track in on the system itself which is slow or drop the machine assigned names out via USB stick , edit them on pc & back load them both methods do the trick.
I'm more than happy with mine although I am sure it's not all things to everybody

RE: The Brennan JB7

I bought a JB7 last July, the first unit exploded. Unfortunately I had spent hours loading in CDs. The fault was near the On/Off switch at the back and I suspect a short circuit.

Initially I had a lot of difficulty in loading MP3 files from my Mac, then I found that care needs to be taken in erasing the Memory Stick. Best to re-format it as the Mac software actually does not delete, but adds a file of it's own. I also found it best to edit the text for the File name and it's MP3 sub-files in order to have a clear reference in the db and the display.

I experience random digital blips and blobs which can be cleared via a quick stop/play from the remote. I had the same experience with the unit which exploded. Brennan Sales Support was not much help, they refused to confirm or otherwise that this was a generic fault. They sent a newer version of the software, however, this made no difference. I find that the likelyhood of experiencing this digital distortion is totally random in terms of the MP3 file, but appears about 1 in 20 of the plays. I decided that I could live with this as a quick stop/play solves the problem.

The DB access facilities are rather crude and I get the impression that the product went from Lab. bench to market far to quickly. I think they call it green bannanna marketing, where they let the product ripen in the market at the Consumers expense.

I use Bose speakers and find the fidelity acceptable, but I have to say that my ears are aged. All in all I would not be without my JB7 and use it most days. It's value for money, but needs a bit more development. Pity they don't stick a DAB Tuner in it as an option.

I am up to File No.191 in the db and do not use any compression. I have the unit with the smallest amount of memory and calculate that I should be able to load around another 800 files, which is a lot more than I actually require.

 

 

RE: The Brennan JB7

bought my jb7 yesterday, arrived today. going back tomorrow, unless it gets sorted asap. DISK ERRORs all over the place. One minute it recognised my album, next minute it didn't. I don't want to have to type in every album name with a piddly remote control. Save your money ..

I wanted simplicity as per the advert, not this. I could have done this myself.

RE: The Brennan JB7
RE: Brennan JB7

We too would not recommend buying the Brennan JB7. Our first model had the type of background hiss described in other posts. We returned it to the workshop but they just sent it back to us with no improvement. Following further complaints they then replaced the unit. About 3 months later, and after loading about 400 CDs, the unit stopped working, so we sent it back. We will not be replacing it. Communication with Brennan is very difficult - they do not follow up emails and phone calls and their technical support seems to be very poor. Final gripe - the money was taken from our credit card on ordering and they did not deliver until 6 weeks later!

Pat Smith, Doha, Qatar

RE: The Brennan JB7

I bought a 500gb JB7 a little over a week ago and it's going back as soon as I can get to a post office.  I have loaded around 60 CDs mainly of choral music and I am underwhelmed by almost every aspect of the experience.  The instructions which come with it are brief to the point of uselessness.  The database is a joke if you want consistently to search by composer.  Unless you create a playlist there seems to be no way to set the machine up to play a selection of tracks from an album which I can do on my elderly but still capable Denon CD player with the press of a couple of buttons.  Another poster rightly mentions the lack of any sort of fast forward.  The killer, however, is the intrusive and deeply irritating background rumble which affects every track and is clearly endemic in the machine.  I'm not an audiophile by any means but when I played the same recording (Durufle's Requiem by the Corydon Singers) back to back on the Brennan and the Denon I realised just how unacceptable the former's sound quality was.  It appears from other posts that this is a regular problem and Brennan aren't interested in trying to fix it so I'm not going to waste any more of my time.  Frankly I wish I'd never set eyes on the thing. I can get far better results both for sound quality and ease of management by ripping CDs into iTunes and plugging my Macbook straight into my amplifier.

RE: The Brennan JB7

I bought a 500gb JB7 a little over a week ago and it's going back as soon as I can get to a post office.  I have loaded around 60 CDs mainly of choral music and I am underwhelmed by almost every aspect of the experience.  The instructions which come with it are brief to the point of uselessness.  The database is a joke if you want consistently to search by composer.  Unless you create a playlist there seems to be no way to set the machine up to play a selection of tracks from an album which I can do on my elderly but still capable Denon CD player with the press of a couple of buttons.  Another poster rightly mentions the lack of any sort of fast forward.  The killer, however, is the intrusive and deeply irritating background rumble which affects every track and is clearly endemic in the machine.  I'm not an audiophile by any means but when I played the same recording (Durufle's Requiem by the Corydon Singers) back to back on the Brennan and the Denon I realised just how unacceptable the former's sound quality was.  It appears from other posts that this is a regular problem and Brennan aren't interested in trying to fix it so I'm not going to waste any more of my time.  Frankly I wish I'd never set eyes on the thing.  I can get far better results both for sound quality and ease of management by ripping CDs into iTunes and plugging my Macbook straight into my amplifier.

RE: The Brennan JB7

Apologies for accidentally posting my previous message twice (the forum doesn't seem to have a delete facility) but for the sake of completeness here is the text of the letter I sent to Martin Brennan when I returned the machine.  While my money was refunded reasonably promptly, it won't come as a surprise when I say I haven't had a reply to my letter.

 

Dear Mr
Brennan

Brennan
JB7 500GB

As
discussed by telephone with a member of your staff I am returning the
above item and I would ask that the cost is refunded to my Paypal
account (using the above e-mail) as soon as possible.

I really
wanted to like the JB7 but I'm afraid it has fallen a long way short
of my expectations.

Firstly
the database is completely inadequate for me as a serious collector
of classical music who tends to search by composer rather than
artist. I have around 1500 classical CDs and by the time I had
loaded about 40 of them I had renamed so many that the magnitude of
the task was beginning to concern me. (While I appreciate that it is
internet based, iTunes rarely seems to have difficulty identifying
even fairly obscure recordings and presents the tracks in a uniform
format which is easy and intuitive to search and manage). On several
occasions I had problems with boxed sets where loading the second
disc seemed to cause the JB7 to overwrite the first one. Even if the
database had correctly identified the recording I ended up having to
rename both discs to prevent this happening, a complete waste of time
and something which just should not happen.

The
biggest problem, however, is the sound quality. All the music I have
loaded is affected by an intrusive and deeply irritating low
frequency rumble. I'm not a hifi fanatic by any means but it is
totally unacceptable, particularly for things like unaccompanied
choral music. I have left the music I uploaded on the machine and if
you want a particularly awful example of what I'm talking about I
suggest you listen to Album 33 track 10. If that is your idea of
good sound quality it certainly isn't mine. It is also grossly
inferior to what I can achieve by ripping the same CD into iTunes and
simply plugging my Macbook into my amplifier.

The
concept of the JB7 is brilliant. As far as I can see there is
nothing else on the market like it. As somebody whose CD
collection long ago outgrew its accommodation I thought it would be
the answer to a whole raft of problems and, as I said earlier, I
really wanted to like it. Unfortunately the reality is deeply
disappointing and I have a strong impression that the product is
actually underdeveloped, particularly for the classical market. I
once heard a management consultant use the phrase “green banana
marketing” (meaning using the customer as a guinea pig for a
product still being developed) and I can't help wondering if that is
what has happened here. Whatever the reason I'm afraid you have lost
a potentially enthusiastic and supportive customer.

Yours
sincerely

 

(Dr) David B Griffiths

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE: The Brennan JB7

I haven't read this topic for a while so was interested in all the comments made about the Brennan. I have had mine for nearly a year now and it displays all the faults mentioned by various people. The worst one is distortion - you load a CD on to it and when it has compressed it it sounds absolutely terrible (pops, clicks, squeaks and the 'underwater' sound that someone has mentioned). This happens quite frequently now. I was sent a fix which did nothing. I now cannot use the standard compression rate. Compressing at a higher rate is better but it is very 'hit and miss'. Also I have had a problem with loaded albums just disappearing! The numbering system is terrible - all you have to do is start deleting a few albums and the whole thing goes to pot. You also have to get used to a background sound all the time - especially irksome in quiet music e.g. solo piano.

The Brennan as an idea is brilliant. However, it is just not reliable enough. DO NOT GET RID OF YOUR CDs WHEN YOU HAVE LOADED THEM! You will need them again when the thing eventually breaks down. Given that most electrical equipment these days has an average life of 4-5 years (and prices are generally cheap enough for us to not worry too much about it) I cannot see my Brennan lasting for ever!

I wouldn't say don't buy one - but just be aware that it's not all that it is cracked up to be.

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