Introduction ========== I have had my Sony CMT-CP100 for 2 years now and I purchased mine from Argos for £199.99. This particularly hi-fi has now been discontinued by many stores but you can purchase it from www.24-7electrical.com for £189.99 including delivery. Installation and set-up ================ This hi-fi is extremely easy to set up, as you only have to attach the speakers and a couple of aerials to enable you to tune the radio. The sockets are clearly marked on the back of the unit so there is no confusion with where to put the various wires. I had my hi-fi up and running in a little under 5 minutes. The Main Unit ============ The Sony CMT-CP100 is mini hi-fi system, however measuring 7 1/2" x 10" x 13 1/2" it is at the bigger end of the mini hi-fi market. The picture above fails to show just how long the unit is which is something that surprised me when I opened the box. If you plan on putting the hi-fi on a shelf it would be a good idea to measure before you buy because this hi-fi is over a foot long and you will need a fairly wide shelf to accommodate it. The CP-100 is an attractive looking hi-fi and its sleek design and soft silver colouring make it ideal for the more looks conscious buyer. I wanted something to fit in with the look of my living room and the Sony CMT CP-100 fitted the bill perfectly. The main unit, as is to be expected with most modern hi-fis has a CD player, tape deck and a radio as well as a socket to connect headphones should you wish to do so. The CD player loads from the front and has a cool feature which allows you to see what disc is playing by reflecting the CD label into view using a prism, not exactly a useful feature but cool nonetheless. When the CD is playing the track number and the time that the current song has been playing are shown on an LCD display, which is located on the front of the tape deck. The LCD display is also capable of display
ing CD text which a few CDs have and more often than not displays the name of the track that is playing. As far as skipping is concerned the CD player is very good, it takes a pretty hefty whack to make the CD skip and it is unlikely that it will ever do so. The tape deck has a CD sync function which is used when recording songs from CD to tape and basically if this function is on then the tape deck will start recording as soon as the CD starts playing. It?s quite a useful feature to have for those of us who still use tapes but I haven?t actually used it myself because I use my mini-disc player for portable music. The tape is also capable of playing a tape both ways so you don?t have to switch sides when one side finishes the tape deck just changes direction and plays the opposite side. The radio on the main unit is fairly standard having both the FM and AM bands. Reception is fairly good for most of the stations, especially Radio 1 but it does have some trouble picking up Classical FM which is somewhat of an annoyance. The AM band performs just as well and it picks up Radio 5 (essential for the football commentaries) and Virgin perfectly with very little hiss. There are 30 presets available for you to program in your favourite stations, which is more than enough for most users. I have only used up about five or six of the presets and I doubt whether many people would use the full thirty slots. The Speakers ============ The speakers are made of beech effect wood and are covered at the front with silver/grey cloth, which ties them in nicely with the main unit. Each speaker has a 35-watt output and while this doesn?t sound like a lot, at top volume they really do make a noise. The sound from the speakers is crisp and clear and even at very high volumes (which I use regularly) they still perform very well. Overall the sound is excellent and not too heavy in the bass area which is something I like about them. The Remote C
ontrol ================= The remote control is a light grey colour and has slightly darker grey buttons, it is fairly small and has a nice rounded design that fits well in the hand. The buttons are very responsive and via the remote control a number of additional features can be accessed. The remote control allows you to set a timer that can turn the unit on or off at a specific time which can be utilised as an alarm clock if you set it to wake you in the mornings. The remote is powered with two AA batteries, which last a very long time; I have just changed the batteries for the first time this week so you can expect about two years worth of life before they need to be changed. Additional Features ================ The main unit also has a socket at the back that allows you to connect your mini-disc player and record tracks from CD to your mini-disc, which I found particularly useful until I discovered I could do it from my PC, which is much simpler. As with most hi-fis it also has the bass and treble controls that allow you to fine tune the sound but I don?t change these as I have always found that the defaults produce the best sound anyway. There is also a bass boost button which provides the sound with very heavy bass. But as I don?t like my music to have too much bass and this button has the effect of shaking things off of your shelves I tend not to use it. Overall ======= While this hi-fi is quite pricey compared to similar hi-fis from other manufacturers there really is no substitute for quality. Sony has always produced top quality audio systems and the CMT-CP100 is no exception. Everything about the unit smacks of quality and you really couldn?t ask for more from a mini hi-fi. if you are willing to spend around £200 on a mini hi-fi then look no further because the CMT-CP100 really delivers.