a better place to be

My back porch with a portable radio, in this case a Tivoli Pal.

Tivolis have a faint whiff of ‘Bose’ around them, which is to say they’re regarded in some quarters as a lifestyle product rather than a machine for serious listening.

Maybe, but tuning in to a show called ‘Classic Sinatra’ on a Sunday afternoon from the classical music station 60 miles away (a good choice for me because I’m a big Sinatra fan and know the various eras – the Columbia recordings, the Capitol years, the Reprise albums – well) the Pal sounded good.

It gets the mid-range right, which is where most of my music lives. Sinatra’s vocals were a little forward, (again – a single speaker radio) but not so’s it bothered me. For a peaceful 30 minutes, I was hearing straight through to the music.

I can’t speak to how good the tuner is – we get a lot of f.m. in this area, on the border with Canada. I can say that the signal in question isn’t great – it’s a repeater – and it drifted a bit.

Also, my local a.m. stations sound better than usual on this radio. I again think that’s the mid-range quality coming through.

I wanted a portable radio for my porch, and this fills the bill, excepting that it doesn’t get internet or satellite radio – for that, I need the battery pack for the Squeezebox radio, currently unavailable.

As for the Sinatra show, it’s really fine. The d.j. has good taste and does some clever things like the three ‘saloon songs’ set he has in each show. Today he hit “Just Friends,” and I mentally added Charlie Parker’s lines over Sinatra’s vocal. Now that would have been a pair!


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