Tag Archives: John Figliozzi

Muzen Audio handcrafted radios

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Figliozzi, who writes:

This [company] was mentioned in regard to the CES show out in Las Vegas:

http://www.airsmartaudio.com/

It’s a Chinese company with a rather novel approach to the design of modern radios — AM/FM/Internet Bluetooth, along with the use of tube amplifiers in some models. The web site is almost all in Chinese but the pictures are cool.

Air Smart Audio is the parent company; Muzen Audio the subsidiary.

John also shared the following item from Radio World:

Muzen Audio Group’s founder Dejun Zeng, referred to as the “Father of the Tube Amplifier” in China, is looking forward to the new challenge, saying in a statement: “It is my greatest desire to build a legacy with this organization that will lead customers to say, ‘I am proud to have a Muzen radio.’”

The company received a 2017 CES Innovation Award for their new AM/FM/internet radio and Bluetooth speaker lines, the fifth CES Innovation Award received by Zeng. Muzen Audio also designs a series of vintage-style tube amplifier radios and what the company calls “on-the-road” radios.

(Source: Air Smart Audio)

Thank you, John!

From what I gather, Muzen radios are very much “boutique” radios, thus come with a “boutique” price tag–some models costing as much as $500 US.

Still: it’s refreshing to see a Chinese radio manufacturer marching to their own beat, making handcrafted products in small batches.

According to Twice.com, Muzen recently introduced the  “Classic 1” AM/FM radio with Bluetooth speaker that is powered by a “fluorescent display tube amplifier.” Twice notes:

The Classic 1 is handmade and crafted with real rosewood, and every unit comes with a unique code verifying its hand craftsmanship.

Frequency response of the speaker is 75Hz to 16KHz, of the amplifier, 30Hz to 20KHz.

Pricing and availability will be announced during CES 2017.

I’m looking forward to learning more about Muzen radios! I do love the designs.

Click here to view the Air Smart Audio website (in Chinese). 

Post readers: Anyone familiar with Muzen Audio or own one of their products? Please comment!

John responds to the Wired.com review of the Como Audio Solo

como-audio-soloMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Figliozzi, author of The Worldwide Listening Guide, who comments with this critique of the Wired.com review of the Como Audio Solo:

I wonder how experienced this reviewer is with this class of audio devices.

First he states that the Solo receives AM. I doesn’t. (Unless you count receiving AM stations via their Internet streams.)

It does receive FM, although its sensitivity to fringe signals is a bit substandard comparatively, even with the built-on rod antenna. He notes a disappointing audio performance at higher volumes, but fails to distinguish between sources. Lower bit rate digital audio does reveal its insufficiencies with increased volume, but that would be true regardless of the speaker ratings.

A 30 watt RMS driver/tweeter speaker combo in a box this compact bespeaks a pretty efficient and powerful digital amplifier that would shine if fed audio of sufficient “heft”. With so much compressed digital audio out there–especially on Internet radio–it’s hard to judge what the objective limits of this unit aurally truly are.

He also doesn’t seem to be conversant with the set-up process, which is quite intuitive, or the fact that the unit comes with a remote.

At $300 MSRP, it is premium priced and will be too rich for the blood of some. Furthermore, its Internet station list as provided by Frontier Silicon seems a bit more limited than others I’ve experienced. But it is beautifully designed and presented and is quite versatile. Then again, as much as I like it, I can’t see myself populating my home with one in every room. There are other products out there that do this more efficiently and affordably.

Sticky radios? John shares yet another solution.

Eton-e1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Figliozzi, who writes:

Sean at Universal Radio in Reynoldsburg, OH put me on to another terrific product that does the job fabulously and quite easily. It’s called MaxPro Ink/Adhesive Remover and is a citrus-based cleaner/solvent that won’t harm the radio’s plastic casing. You can get it on eBay for around $11 with free shipping:

Click here to view on eBay.

It took me a total of less than 3 hours to clean both my E1s. I used a lot of paper towels, working a section of the radio at a time, spraying the solvent onto the towels and then rubbing the surface free of the degraded and sticky rubberized coating. After removing the coating, I simply wiped down the radio with a wet paper towel to remove any residual solvent. They are now clean and smooth and look like new with all the white print intact. And my hands didn’t suffer any from contact with the solvent.

A reminder if you do this: It’s important to seek out citrus-based solvents and avoid petroleum based solvents. It was so easy with this product that I wished I had done this a long time ago and wasn’t so nervous about taking it on.

John Figliozzi
Halfmoon, NY

Thank you, John! I just noticed that a few of my rubber-coated receivers are starting to get tacky. I like the idea that this adhesive remover is gentle on the chassis. Click here to search eBay for MaxPro Ink/Adhesive Remover.

We’ve posted a number of solutions for sticky radios. Click here to view past posts.

The Worldwide Listening Guide: the content DXer’s handbook

WWLG-7th-EditionI’m very pleased to have just received the 7th edition of John Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG), the latest, most updated version of the excellent guide I’ve often reviewed.

As I’ve said, you may want a copy of the WWLG in your shack, especially alongside your computer or Wi-Fi radio.

SWLing Post readers know that I’m a huge fan of the Word Radio TV Handbook (WRTH); it’s my go-to guide for radio frequencies and schedules. Well, Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide is my go-to for programming and content, not only helpful on the shortwaves, but also handy when tracking online content.

WWLG: The Content DXers Guide

Like many SWLs, I’m something of a “Content DXer:” I love chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, and variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.  For this, I often turn to Wi-Fi radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

But the fact is, there’s so much content out there, it’s hard to know where to start. This is where the WWLG comes in: Figliozzi exhaustively curates more than 4,000 programs (!), indexing their airing times, stations, days of broadcast, program types, frequencies, and web addresses. Additionally, he sorts the programs by genre:  arts, culture, history, music, sports, and more. And Figliozzi also includes a well-thought-out directory of at least forty genres.   In short, this directory has helped me not just locate, but identify, programming I would never have known about otherwise.

Frankly, I’m not sure how Figliozzi manages to curate such a vast assortment of programming.  But I’m happy that he does, and especially, that he offers it for the SWL’s benefit––!

Thus the WWLG  has become a permanent reference book in my shack, alongside my trusty WRTH. There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound book…enough to keep even a seasoned DXer contented for years.

The 7th edition of Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

With a retail price under $25, I feel like the WWLG is an excellent bargain.

The Worldwide Listening Guide 7th Edition: now released

WWLG-7th-Edition

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Thomas Ally, who notified me that he has just purchased a copy of the WWLG 7th edition through Amazon.

Here’s the description of the new edition:

New, fully-updated 7th edition provides a complete guide to listening to radio in all of today’s formats: “live,” on-demand, WiFi, podcast, terrestrial, satellite, internet, digital, and of course analog AM, FM, and Shortwave.

The introductory section explains all of the newest delivery methods for radio, and the devices used to access broadcasts from around the World at any time of day or night. Listening to programs from distant lands is no longer a late-night activity dependent upon shortwave propagation conditions. There are thousands of radio stations worldwide that use the Internet to stream their broadcasts. Traditional radio is being augmented by computers, tablets, smartphones, satellites, WiFi receivers, and multiplexed digital transmission methods, greatly enhancing the listening experience.

The Worldwide Listening Guide shows you how to access all of this audio content using these different delivery platforms. The Guide is focused on English language broadcasts that can be heard in North America. There is a comprehensive listing of more than 3500 programs. These are then placed in separate categories by program type, such as news, music, talk, current affairs.

The WWLG 7th edition is also available from Universal Radio, the W5YI Group and Ham Radio Outlet.

Whereas the WRTH–also just released–is a guide to stations and broadcasts, the WWLG is a guide to content and programming. I always have copies of both in my shack.

Thanks, Tom Ally, for the tip!