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Stereophonic reproduction involves the separation of the left and right audio channels. So why then do most "stereo" radios closely-space two speakers in a single cabinet? The two-piece Model Two does stereo right–and left. Placing the matching cherry wood stereo speaker, with its 15' of cord, several feet from the main unit provides the detailed imaging and accurate soundstage that is so essential for true stereo reproduction. We consider the Model Two to be one of the finest stereo radios available, but don't take our word for it. Stereophile said, "...the Model Two is a fun piece of gear, and the left and right speakers in separate cabinets provide much more convincing stereo than two channels stuffed in one box." The Model Two uses a Henry Kloss designed tuner with cell phone technology for better FM reception and increased clarity on closely spaced stations and its 5:1 ratio analog tuning dial provides easy and accurate tuning. Other features include; Built in AM and FM antennas, 75-ohm external FM antenna input, switched auxiliary input for use with the Tivoli Audio Model CD, iPods, MP3 players, or portable CD players. A stereo headphone output is provided for private listening. A mixing input permits audio from your computer to be mixed in with the radio. There is also a dedicated subwoofer output (for the optional matching Model Subwoofer) and a balance control. The bass ports are located in the rear to accommodate vertical positioning where space is tight. The Tivoli Henry Kloss Model Two Radio with companion speaker, the Tivoli Model Subwoofer and the Tivoli Model CD are designed to be used together as part of a complete compact stereo system but are sold separately from each other.
All the elements of the component system have classic styling that makes Tivoli products so distinctive. Simplicity and elegance are engineered into all three components and, for the most part, we came away impressed with what this little system could do in terms of sound quality, as well as its ease of use. It's worth noting here that all three components sport separate ports for AC and DC power, making them a great choice for boating or RV use.
Henry Kloss Model Two
The Model Two serves as the base unit for the Tivoli component system. It is very similar to the Model Three clock radio, without the alarm clock section. Like other Tivoli radios, the Model Two is just over 8 inches wide, 4.5 inches high, and 5.25 inches deep--about the size of a toaster turned on its side. The unit also ships with a companion speaker which, unlike the monaural Henry Kloss Model One, gives the system full stereo separation.
The Model Two's 3-inch driver is housed next to the tuning dial and is protected by a handsome metal speaker cover. The companion speaker contains the same driver in a form factor that is the same size and construction as the Model Two's main unit. A 15-foot RCA speaker cord attached to the companion speaker allows you to set the speakers well apart in a room--great for getting optimal stereo separation. There's a small balance dial on the rear of the main unit as well as a mono-stereo switch.
A coaxial antenna jack for the included FM antenna wire is provided, although the Model Two also has an internal FM antenna. Tivoli recommends using the supplied external antenna for tricky tuning in locales with a lot of closely spaced stations. There's a handy switch for alternating between the internal and external antennae, as well. A standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack is also provided, as is a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary line-in port for plugging in the Model CD. For the really techno-savvy, there's also a 3.5-millimeter mixing input that permits audio from your computer to be mixed in with the radio. A preamp-out jack is provided for the Model Subwoofer, and if you want to use the Model Two as a component tuner--not a bad idea given the overall quality and accuracy of the tuning circuitry--Tivoli has provided a 3.5-millimeter output port.
At 6.5 inches high, 9.5 inches wide, and 6.1 inches deep, the Model Subwoofer is a bit larger than the other components in the Tivoli component system. While a 5.25-inch bass driver dominates the front of the unit, there's also a deep front port for added bass response. A bass-level dial lets you decide how much of the low end you want to hear. The on-off switch has a sensor that automatically activates the subwoofer when a signal is detected. With 20 watts of power, the Model Subwoofer is an impressive little box with the capability of dramatically extending the fullness and richness of the Model Two sound.
With its cherry wood casing, Tivoli's component CD player matches the Model Two perfectly while offering equally simple operation. We really liked the elegant slot-loading mechanism; it felt solid and reliable. Basic functions like play, stop, and track selection can be controlled on the unit. There's also a tiny little remote that adds shuffle, direct track selection, repeat, and intro-scanning functions. True to form, the remote is simple and easy to use. The Model CD's display is bright and crisp with the look of a high-end audiophile-class component. We played a number of CDs, including CD-R discs with nary a hitch. Tivoli says that the Model CD will not play CD-RW discs, however.
All Together Now
Setting up the component system was fairly straightforward. All of the inputs and outputs are clearly marked, and each component ships with everything you need to make the right connections. Although it might be too much to ask for, it would be great if the Model Two main unit had an AC power input for plugging in at least one of the components. This is admittedly a minor quibble, and it might not be feasible in such a small device.
Just like our experiences with other Tivoli products, sound was impressive--full of clear highs and mids and rich, room-filling lows. The Model Two tuning feature felt less accurate than the Model One, but we still were able to dial in stations quickly and easily. Overall, we recommend the Model Two as a high-quality mini-component system, because systems this size rarely sound this good. Even without the subwoofer engaged, the sound was rich and resonant. As soon as we plugged in the subwoofer, though, we were transported to near sonic bliss. It's a must-have accessory for the Model Two.--Joshua Gunn
- Simple, stylish construction on all the component parts
- Great sound from such a compact system; good tuning accuracy
- Subwoofer option adds exceptional dynamic range
- Tuner is slightly less accurate than the Model One