I've been reading through the MWR archives over the past couple of days and ran across all of those old posts regarding our Western interpretation of "Wabi-Sabi" and milwatches. I realized then that a new bit of audio equipment I recently picked up may be of interest to the Wabi enthusiast, so here's a quick look at the Henry Kloss Model One table radio from Tivoli Audio:
Do you remember when audio/visual equipment was manufactured like fine furniture? This small table radio contains all of the latest audiophile technological trickery, and even breaks some new ground in radio reception technology, while dispensing completely with the slick and alien plastic look of most small mid-fi radios/mini-systems. There no digital silliness or buttons. The knobs have a heavy and solid feel when turned, and the off/fm/am knob snaps very positively into postion -- it feels like it is connected to a extremely heavy duty switch. The analog tuning knob likewise has that heavy feel, and is geared for precise tuning. The yellow LED brightens and fades in response to signal strength which makes tuning easy.
It is only about 4x5x8 inches, and weighs about 5 pounds. The cabinet is wood, in this case solid walnut. One nice touch is that the cabinet is all from a single piece of wood, and they've matched up the grain all the way 'round. This is the "Classic" colour option, and it was hard to find pictures showing what it actually looks like -- the images on Tivoli's website gave it a silverish face and a dark red-brown look to the walnut. In reality the face is a pale beige, and the oiled walnut looks like it has faded in the Sun -- just a bit darker that the pic above. A couple of the other colours are shown below. The blue is very nice in person, but not wabi.
The sound of course is magnificient, but that is what you would expect from Henry Kloss. For classical music it is perfect -- very "airy." It also works well all the way through the music spectrum to heavy metal, except for some songs with extremely heavy bass where you don't quite get the full audio image. For that really heavy "thump" you'd need the stereo Model Two which can take an optional subwoofer. But IMO the greater complexity of multiple (3) boxes misses the whole point of this little beauty which is an hommage and advance on Kloss' hi-fi radios of the 1960s, like the KLH Model 21.
Demoing the radio in the showroom was decidedly unimpressive, but that was due to the huge size of the showroom and the noise from other sound systems, televisions, etc. In a normal sized living room or bedroom it really shines. I've yet to need to turn it up past 1/4 when really blasting it. In the end it is just a small table radio, but IMO it is pretty much a perfect one.
Posted on Nov 21, 2001, 2:17 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168