After years of dealing with radios with Vernier tuning – the big knobs that rotate a capacitor and drag a little red stylus across a printed frequency display – that took forever to get from one end of the dial to the other, and volume controls that screamed as you adjusted them, stations fading in and out and the like, I decided to invest in a radio with digital tuning. The old radio wasn’t bad but it was 15 years old or more. Time for a change.
What I wanted in a new radio was digital tuning and presets. That’s about it. Simple. Not having looked for quite some time at radios I was surprised to find that most lower-priced radios were still old-style running all the way through the low side of mid-priced radios. Considering the state of computer electronics these days one would assume that evn low-cost radios would share the new technolgy, but I was mistaken.
In the end I found the TEAC SR-L35W. It was reasonably priced at about $100 (US) – you can find refurbished models for about half that price on eBay, but note that shipping costs can be very high offsetting the savings of going with a refurbished unit.
It has Phase Locked Loop tuning, digital display, remote control, 10 AM and 10 FM presets. FM Stereo and a CD player as well as an AUX input and FM antenna connector. The reviews said the speaker quality was quite good, and I agree with that assesment. It’s a bit heavy at 9 pounds but it can be wall mounted or stood on a counter.
It comes in a stylish white or black case. The speakers are attached and not removable. The display is white on blue which is quite attractive and easily readable from across the room. The remote has most of the features you’d need for everday usage and is about the size of a credit card, not a bulky remote.
The sound quality is terrific but the radio lacks bass and trebble controls. It has a bassy sound that is great for music but takes a bit of gettiing used to for talk.
The CD player has all the features you’d expect on a modern player, programabilty, random play etc. The front-loading player door which contains the display and controls must be opened with a switch. You can’t just pry it open manually or you risk stripping the mechanism that opens the door.
What suprised me most was that it was able to bring in some local stations that I could not receive before, AM stations that were on the fringe opening up some new listening possibilities for me.
Overall, I’m quite satisified. It’s a good radio for adults or an office.