In many ways, the Model One is the culminating achievement of famed audio engineer Henry Kloss's long career. Designed from the ground up by Kloss, who passed away in 2002, the radio exudes understated class and elegant simplicity. We received the Platinum Series Model One, which features a hand-lacquered, high gloss dark walnut cabinet that is simply gorgeous. According to Tivoli, the genuine wood casing isn't just for looks as it provides "an acoustically inert housing" that maximizes the speaker's sound quality. At just over 8 inches wide, 4.5 inches high, and 5.25 inches deep, the Model One is about the size of a toaster turned on its side-- plenty small to fit on a desk, dresser, or nightstand.
The Model One's single rotary dial handles tuning for both AM and FM stations. It feels sturdy and smooth in the hand. The dial is designed to move between stations at a speed that is a bit slower than the speed at which the user turns the knob-- a 5 to 1 ratio, to be exact. This "ratio" dialing technique makes it far easier to tune stations accurately and quickly. It's a nice touch that sets the unit apart from other desktop radios.
The tuner band selection and volume dials are easy to control. Plus, they're well designed for hands of all sizes. A small LED power indicator, as well as an LED that helps determine signal strength, are positioned between the dials. We liked the light-colored face and dark lettering printed on the Platinum Series model we reviewed; it made for easy operation in dimly-lit rooms. The Model One's single, 3" driver is protected by a handsome metal speaker cover. Tivoli adds that the speaker is enhanced by a "multi-stage frequency contouring circuit that adjusts the speaker's output over half-octave increments." The result, Tivoli claims, is "musically accurate tonal balance and bass response."
The back of the unit features a coaxial antenna jack for the included FM antenna wire. While the Model One also has an internal FM antenna, Tivoli recommends using the supplied external one for tricky tuning in locales with a lot of stations crammed together. There's a handy switch for switching between the internal and external antennae. A standard 3.5mm headphone jack is also provided, as is a 3.5mm auxiliary line in port for plugging in your iPod or other music device. If you want to use the Model One as a component tuner-- not a bad idea given the overall quality and accuracy of the tuning circuitry-- Tivoli has provided a 3.5mm output port. The back panel also sports separate ports for AC and DC power, making the unit a great choice for boating or RV use.