Sound advice: Cambridge tabletop radio has Bose beat

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2012 - 2:41 PM

Also: Best to be on the receiver end

Q You've written about a tabletop radio that sounds as good or better than the $500 Bose radio but is much less expensive. I find myself in need of such a radio now and can't find your article. Is it still available, and what is the cost?

A The radios you are referring to are the Cambridge SoundWorks i755 Table Top Radio and the Cambridge SoundWorks i765 Music System. Both sound the same and include an integrated iPod dock. The i765 differs with its slot-loading CD/DVD player with a video output for use with a television.

Even though they are much less expensive than the Bose offerings, even taking the price out of the equation, I definitely prefer the i755 and i765. The sound is warm and clear, and bass is strong and dynamic by virtue of the built-in powered subwoofer. Better sound for less money is always a big winner.

Both radios are sold factory-direct by Cambridge (www.cambridgesoundworks.com). The i755 has a regular price of $289, and the i765 is $379. Those are great values, but they are a particularly good buy now because Cambridge is running a 20 percent off sale. Just enter the code fbgrad20 to get the deal.

Awesome sound frpm receiver

Q I purchased the Marantz NR 1402 receiver you recommended and couldn't be happier. I used the built-in automatic setup program and supplied microphone to set up my listening room with my Klipsch speakers. I and many of my friends and relatives say they have never heard a better sounding "truly surround" system. You recently discussed setting the sound up manually. By doing that, can I improve upon the "automatically set" fantastic sound I already have?

A I'm pleased that you're so satisfied with the results you are getting and that you're happy with your purchase.

Although I've obtained better results setting up the Marantz NR1402 manually than automatically, it could be that in your room with your speakers the auto setup really nailed it and that you are graced with a wonderful sounding system.

You can try setting it up manually according to the directions in my previous column and comparing, but given your level of satisfaction you might want to consider the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Just enjoy the wonderful sound.

Audiophiles can tell you stories about the "upgrade that wasn't an upgrade" when an expensive, highly anticipated purchase didn't pan out quite the way they thought it would. It won't cost you anything to compare the two, but you could be opening yourself up to a lot of time and frustration.

Send questions to donlindich@gmail.com. Get more recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

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