Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares the following article from The Sydney Morning Herald (my comments follow):
Australians like AM radio, but it’s just about impossible to find a good quality digital radio with AM. Lots of digitals get FM, so why no AM?
It’s because Australia is an unusual market for radios. We’re not like Asia, Europe, Japan and America where practically all radios are designed and manufactured. These places have large populations in high densities, and one population hub is seldom far from the next. The range limitations of both digital and FM are seldom an issue.
But in Australia we have digital broadcasting only in the capital cities, meaning Brisbane’s digital radio stations are 900 kilometres from the next nearest in Sydney, leaving about 800 kilometres of dead air between. Digital can’t even hold between Sydney and Canberra. FM lasts a bit longer, not much. But with good old AM you can listen to Darwin from the Nullarbor Plain when the conditions are right. Through vast tracts of Australia if you don’t have AM you don’t have radio.
So Gary Tye’s challenge when he took on distribution of the Tivoli brand was to convince people in Boston that Australians will actively seek out and buy a digital radio with AM. They took a lot of convincing.
And so the $449 Tivoli Model One Digital is now available with AM, as well as FM and digital. But only in Australia. Caravanners around this wide brown land will rejoice; there’s at last a good sounding digital radio that will work anywhere.
[…]The sound quality is, as a very honest department store salesman observed, good but not great. I remember the original as being better. The bass can become ragged down low and the definition gets a bit fuzzy at high volumes, but for filling a study, a kitchen or indeed a caravan with good music the Tivoli does an entirely respectable job. It’s not on a par with a Wave Radio but it costs half as much and sounds better than the vast bulk of radios, be they digital or analogue. And it has AM.
It also has Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Wi-Fi to get internet radio. There’s Bluetooth and you can hook in your phone or music player with a cable to the 3.5 mm auxiliary input.
Thanks for the tip, Dennis!
I owned the original Tivoli Model One and loved it. I recently gave it away while thinning the herd here at SWLing Post HQ. Though it was an elegant, simple radio with excellent audio characteristics, so is my Como Audio Solo which essentially replaced the Model One.
While the Model One Digital is appealing in many respects, reviews are lukewarm at best. Customers complain about the proprietary app, the audio being too heavy on processed bass and the overall performance not matching that of its predecessor.
While the Model One Digital is a “WiFi” radio, it doesn’t seem to connect to any of the streaming radio station aggregators we radio enthusiasts rely on to tune to our favorite obscure local stations on the other side of the planet. It appears to only connect to paid music streaming services and one’s own local digital library (though please correct me if I’m wrong about this!).
Post readers: Any Tivoli Model One Digital owners out there? I’d love to read your reviews!