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  • Reliability
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    1 Review
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      22.03.2008 20:27
      Very helpful


      • Reliability


      The £30-odd quid you pay will be an investment

      Roberts 9278 radio

      Roberts is a huge 'little' name in radio. They are the traditionalest of the traditional. Hey I just invented the word 'traditionalest'. How cool is that!
      They have been going since 1932, when radios were the size of camper vans and if you had one, there weren't any radio stations to listen to so everyone just looked at you soft.
      Despite being a household name in radio, they never turned into Sony, enen though, as they are 'by appointment to the Queen', the Royal Household must listen to radio 4 on one whilst whipping the corgis.

      They are very much a traditional look for a traditional product kind of company. There stuff always looks dated, even when it wasn't. Their reputation is built on brand loyalty and reliability. Reliability is the watch word here.

      It is at this point that I must admit to a terrible lie. I actually own the 927 version whilst this is supposedly for the 928 model. The difference is that mine has no presets, whereas the 928 has. I feel cleansed by my confession and inspired almost to admit to my penchant for walking naked around the allotments whilst playing a bassoon.

      My Roberts radio is 6 years old but looks about 56 years. It is not made of wood. But it is as if it were but replaced by plastic. The flat front hides the speaker, the sound emerging from holes in the plastic. The top slopes steeply with the old fashioned radio stations marked on 3 linear scales for FM, MW and LW. The tuning and volume knobs, along with a treble and bass control sit to either side. Perched on the horizontal top is to be found the on/off button whilst sticking from the back is a telescopic radio aerial which can move around on a little ball joint.

      In a word. Basic. In 2 words. Really ugly.

      The radio is supplied with a mains power cable but also takes 4 'c' batteries. The batteries will last for ages and ages and ages. I've used it camping for 2 weeks and it has easily still been playing long after my thankful return home. I think this is a product of its simplicity!

      The minute you look at this thing, you do not imagine advanced electronics. You will not communicate with aliens with it. The sound is fair to middling. The treble and bass controls are fairly immaterial with this mono output. At full volume is is listenable but the rumbling of cheap components and fitting starts to come through. It ain't built for loud.

      Well, this isn't build for listening quality. The reception is fair enough and the moveable, extendable aerial picks up most things with a bit of wiggling. It often needs a bit of readjusting when you think you have it.
      The quality comes from the build. It has been bashed and battered, dropped, hurled in cars and rained on but turns on every time the same as it did the day it was born. Totally and utterly reliable. Nothing has snapped off or dropped off and looks as if that will remain the case for a long time to come. For this reason I love it.

      It has a little handle that goes right across the top and swings down when not in use. If that ain't portability, then what is?

      Strangely, when I checked the website, the details were identical to those I'd already written below.

      * LW/MW/FM Wavebands
      * Soft Feel' volume and tuning controls
      * Angled tuning dial
      * Top mounted controls for ease of use
      * Separate bass and treble controls
      * Headphone Socket
      * Batteries 4 x LR14 ('C' size)
      * Size (mm) 280(w) x 175(h) x 95(d)
      * Weight 1.11kg

      If you don't believe me, check http://www.robertsradio.co.uk/pages/r9927.html.
      This radio cost about £35 6 years ago, which is quite a lot considering you can get a cruddy CD player with a radio for a tenner! If you want one, go to just about any independent High Street Electronics shop with an annual turnover of about t£87.

      If you want a radio on which to listen to radio and that is where your ambition stops then you really couldn't do better than a Roberts radio. It has no connections at the back and can't do anything at all that makes you go WOW. It has a headphone socket. That's it. Because of this though, it has been almost indestructible.

      Thanks for reading.

      May also be somewhere else. Not here.


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