Every time somebody sees my stereo, they always say it looks like the front of a car. It is fairly flat, and has the two main speakers integrated into the sides. These curve down and around at the front, to make it look a bit like the bonnet of a car. It has most of the buttons on the top, in front of a panel which lifts up to reveal a screen display and two tape decks. The CD tray is hidden at the front, underneath the two speakers that curve round. It is a portable, all-in-one stylee stereo, so most of all it is light and compact. It also has a carrying handle at the back, which you can use when the motorised screen is folded down to carry it around. I keep it on my shelf though, and tend to keep the screen up at all times because it has a clock. As I said, it has a CD player and two tape decks, and can also receive MW/FM radio signals. It allows you to store 10 preset staions, which can then be accessed through the remote or the main panel. It is powered through the mains, but has a memory battery facility, so that if you unplug the stereo for any length of time, it will remember all your station settings, as well as your alarm and clock settings. CD and tape playing: You can play and pause CDs as well as prgram the order in which a CD plays its tracks. The same buttons function for both tape and CD, and are labelled clearly so that there is no confusion as to what you are doing at any one time. You can record from CD to tape, as well as from tape to tape. The alarm is useful, and can be set to wake you up, record your favourite program on the radio, play a certain song from a CD at a predetermined time, and can even be mixed with a fader function, so as to wake you up gently. Hooray! The sound quality is excellent. It has a volume range of 0 to 50, where 20 is a nice listening level for being across the other side of my bedroom (about 8 feet away). So there is the capacity for a lot of noise. Should you want more, the
re is a hidden speaker at the back called the superwoofer. Switching this on enhances the bass. There is also a sound virtualiser that enhances sounds at the edge of the sound range. This has the effect of making the music sound better than stereo, and as though it is live effect. I keep this on permanently, and it fills the room. There is a third function, called the preset equaliser, which allows you to choose which part of the sound range you want to enhance for different types of music. There is also a sleep timer which allows you to fall asleep with your music playing. If you don't set this, then the stereo doesn't turn off, and the alarm will not turn on in the morning. This is one of the more annoying aspects of the stereo. Most things can be done from the remote though, so I can do this from my bed. The remote itself is hard to get to grips with at first, because it has over 40 buttons on it. Most of them are duplicates of the ones on the main stereo though, and you will soon get used to them. I can now work out what I am doing by touch. The remote has a really good range as well, and the infra-red beam is so strong that it will still work if you point the remote in another direction. The manual for the stereao is really helpful. It gives you step by step guides on setting everything up, and even goes into fucntions such as how to record your favourite radio program, all with pictures to guide you. Small miscellaneous things: It comes with a headphone socket should you want to be respecting of other's privacy. It has quite a short mains lead, of only about five feet. Awkward for positioning it. It takes 12 (twelve) D size batteries if you want it to be truly portable, but eats them at an astonishing rate. I first got this from Argos about three or four years ago when it was just under £100. I have no douby that you could find it now for around £50-60. And I have to recommend it, because it is not only
pretty stylish (in cool black and silver), but it has good sound quality that you can alter to taste, and is cheap to boot!
I don't believe I even want to waste your time in drudging through the entire way this sytem works: the title to this opinion says it all. The single most bad decision in my entire life - after getting married!!! Just kidding - was buying this stereo system. The second most bad was not taking it back to the store from where I bought it. When I listened to this stereo in the store, they were somehow able to produce a CD to play on it that made it sound like the best value for money machine they had on the shelf. The thing was, that when i returned it home, I could find no such CD. No Acoustic Guitar, No Jazz, No Rock, No Classic, No Vocal, No Metal, No Fusion-Rock-Jazz, No Country, No Easy Listening, NO RADIO... NO NOTHING!!!! The radio reception on this machine is crap, with no selection for stereo or mono, the sound virtualizer and extra bass do nothing to the speakers apart from either make them more tinny or smooth out the crackling in the radio reception, and the best way to improve the radio, CD, cassette sound quality out of this machine is by increasing the volume and pissing off your neighbours, which isnt a good idea if you live in the city, not so bad if you live in a shed on a hillside in Wales, but even as a welsh shepherd you would have the foresight to spend more and get a better quality machine!!!! My advice: DONT BUY IT
The Panasonic ED707 doesn't come cheap, but as the saying goes: You get everything that you pay for. Consider the situation I found myself in: as a student, I wanted a music machine I could keep in a small study-bedroom and could get home at the end of term. However, I wanted near-hi-fi sound, and because I record a lot of tapes, I wanted a double cassette-deck. I found the ED707. It rather resembles some sort of space ship, and the tape-decks are hidden under an LCD panel which flips up at the touch of a button. It's not light either, and will take up your whole desk - I keep it on the floor, safely out of the way. With AM/FM radio (presettable frequencies), CD, and double tape it has all the basics. But it also has 'sleep' and 'wake-up' features, with it's internal clock also giving you the ability to set up recording times, just like your VCR. The remote control works well though it doesn't allow you to use the record features. But what really sets this apart is the sound quality. Go into a shop, and ask to hear this compared to a cheaper model: you'll be very impressed, I promise you. 'Are there *any* problems,' you ask. Just a couple: if you run it on batteries it'll eat them; and for this price it would be nice if it had jacks for plugging in other hi-fi equipment. It does have a standard line input though. The 707 is better than any other portable system on the market, and competes with a mini system for half the price. If it suits your needs, this is a great buy.