Customer Review

423 of 452 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where oh where has the tone knob gone, January 30, 2009
This review is from: SANGEAN WR-11 AM/FM Table Top Radio (Electronics)
I bought this radio for my 84 year old understandably technophobic Mother. Simplicity was the order of the day. Old fashioned knobs and station indicator fit the bill perfectly. The receiver section is pretty good. My Mother lives in a rural area where most major markets are 60+ miles away. FM stations from as far away as 35-45 miles pulled in with simple wire antenna that is include and all of the AM stations that were tradionally available in her area were received with good quality.

Speaking for myself, the audio has too much bass. Combine that with the absence of a simple tone knob to allow the user to change the bass/treble balance leaves me scratching my head and wondering what the people of Sangean were thinking when they decided a tone knob wasn't necessary. I might be tempted to plug the bass port on the back of the radio with something to see if that cuts down the amount of bass output if I had bought it for myself. It's not for critical music listening but isn't bad for background music and listening to the news.

But it made my Mom happy to have a radio that she knows how to use. And the audio quality deficiency doesn't bother her. When she was a kid audio quality from electronics was crappy. For this purchase, the 3 star rating reflects my Mother's positive comments minus my critical remarks about audio quality.

Surely they can find a spot for a tone knob.
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Comments

Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 19, 2009 4:28:26 PM PST
E. Willi says:
The Sangean WR-11, like the almost identical WR-1, is a high-fidelity table radio with an amazing sound for a device of its size and price. Be glad it doesn't have a tone knob, which would detract from its complete technological minimalism, purity, and power.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2009 6:49:37 PM PDT
Technological minimalism? Purity? Good lord....

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 9:48:20 PM PDT
PC says:
A wad of tissue paper in the bass port effectively cuts down the base.

Posted on Dec 8, 2010 3:59:10 PM PST
Linda Bruno says:
My situation exactly! (except we're out on the west coast.....) Mom is 89, extremely hard of hearing, so don't know how well this will work unless she manages to remember the hearing aids or radio has booming volume....... Still chuckling over the previous comments.......

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2011 12:34:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2011 12:44:53 PM PST
Neil says:
If you use an X-acto knife to free the outer circumference of the speaker-cone from the edge of the speaker housing, that will raise the natural resonant frequency of the speaker, significantly reducing the bass response.

But the wad of tissue paper might be less bloody.

Theoretically, the right sized capacitor in series with the loudspeaker would also roll off the basses. Drill a switch into the back of the radio, and you could insert the capacitor into the circuit when necessary...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2011 6:16:24 AM PST
J. Janssen says:
actually, I think the whole problem has to do with the "veneer" tuning (see tech description)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2011 10:15:13 AM PST
Neil says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 1:15:46 AM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
I wish Heath would bring back the build-it-yourself-kit vacuum tube table radio with the fluorescent green tuning eye. That thing was great fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 1:04:23 PM PDT
BostonDonald says:
Ah yes. The old "Magic eye" tuning indicator tube. Analog rules!

Unfortunately, Heath stopped production of Heathkits about 20 years ago...the complete finished product manufactured in China became far less costly than a collection of parts and a construction manual could be assembled and shipped from Benton Harbor.

Sad.

Posted on Jul 18, 2011 9:52:01 AM PDT
All tone knobs or "equalizers" do is distort sound, especially on inexpensive units. Usually, manufacturers are careful about selecting appropriate tone when they design a radio, and I think Sangean did this with the WR-II. I think they were trying to strike a balance between classical music (which sounds best with a completely balanced tone) and AM talk radio, which usually sounds tinny (so being a little bass heavy is good). I do find the radio has a bit too much bass for rock and roll/pop music since that sort of music ordinarily has a too much bass tone. It is also a very small radio; expectations need to take this into account. Given it's size I find its audio quality and volume (I've never put it past 2/3rds) greatly exceeds my expectations. These things are subjective of course.
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