comments

Ugh.

If the ilounge consensus is that the iSongbook finished below the IM7 in terms of overall sonic quality, then I'm no longer feeling all that warm and fuzzy over the iSongbook, because as it stands now I actually DETEST the SQ of the iM7. I'll still have to give the iSongbook a shot anyways if only to form my own impressions when they arrive in local dealers' hands, just as I did with the SoundDock, IM7, On Stage and other powered speaker solutions.

But I admit my expectations are a bit further south than before.

Posted by flatline response on November 3, 2005 at 10:51 PM (PDT) Comment 1

Jon Schwartz from Tivoli Audio here. Thanks to Jeremy for his comprehensive review of the iSongBook! As he noted iSongBook is truly a portable music system that doubles as a fine home system offering true stereo separation and better imaging than systems limited with left and right channel speakers confined in a single chassis.

SongBook was developed to offer musical accuracy across all genres of music and performs particularly well on acoustic and classical music, yet can rock out with the best of them. While music is subjective, system size generally equals the ability to play louder with deeper base. These attributes don’t always equate to a better or more natural reproduction of the original source or program.

The most bass will be heard when the system’s speakers are left attached like all the other systems out there because of a phenomenon called “acoustic coupling?. Listeners who demand more bass reinforcement can leave them in this position. However, we feel the three dimensional quality of the sound stage is worth the trade off and suggest removing the speaker and placing it 4 to 6 feet away from the main unit.

The iSongBook’s size and design offers the ability to pack it in a briefcase powered by 6-AA batteries (alkaline, NiMH or NiCad) versus an oversized unit weighted down by 8-D size alkaline batteries. We made a decision to allow the customer to get batteries anywhere in the world they travel (even if there is no AC) as well as to include a built in battery charger for automatic recharging. Its superb tuner also steps in .1 MHz increments for FM use world-wide and includes selectable 9k or 10k steps for AM use worldwide.

We believe the best place to audition and enjoy any of these devices is to listen at your home with your music. Tivoli Audio (and most of our retail partners) has a liberal return policy if complete satisfaction isn’t delivered. Thank you for your interest in the iSongBook. Best wishes for your continued musical enjoyment!

Posted by JonSchwartz on November 7, 2005 at 5:28 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Jon


I am looking at this system as my portable ipod speaker system but have a couple of concerns. I own the IPAL which is in the top 3 of my all time favorite ipod accessories. One great thing about IPAL is that you can take it anywhere and set it down anywhere without worrying about it falling or tipping over. I am a little concerned about the depth of the isongbook. It looks like it can be easily knocked down. I spend a lot of time at parks with my kids and the IPAL and this is never an issue due to the wonderful design.

Also, my only complaint about IPAL is the spotty AM reception without an add on antennae. We listen to a lot of sports talk and Disney radio and in my town they are both on AM. Has the Isongbook AM reception been improved at all (or can it be improved?).
The IPAL is a wonderful radio/ipod speaker system. I still don't know how you can get this kind of sound quality out of one speaker.

Posted by Don Livingston on November 7, 2005 at 12:03 PM (PDT) Comment 3

Jon,

I'm more or less in love with this device, but as I live in Europe (or, more precisely, in Denmark/Germany), I haven't got even a glimpse of it yet, neither in Denmark nor in Germany. I would be thankful if you could perhaps drop some info about when we will see the iSongbook in Europe. I don't think it has shipped to Europe at all yet, as I haven't been able to find it in any European online-store.

Besides, I'd just like to remark that I'm almost blown away each time I turn on any Tivoli Audio-device. Last week-end I went to a shopping mall, where they were displaying some Tivoli-systems of those with two speakers. Every time someone would turn one of 'em on for testing, you were actually able to hear it nicely throughout most of the mall... Impressing!

One last thing: I've been wondering that you seem to have a quite narrow sortiment of products in your own online-store, especially in terms of flavours/colours. I think I've seen some more different versions the Model Two over here. Strangely, there seems to be a difference in which editions the importers in Denmark and Germany chooses for distribution. As an example, the Classic/Walnut Model Two is definetely available in stores around here, but not on your website. Is there any particular reason for this?
And is it possible somewhere to see all available colours?

Please be patient with my bad english and with the load of questions...

Posted by MartinHavn on November 7, 2005 at 1:31 PM (PDT) Comment 4

Jon,

I appreciate your response to ilounge's review and my post above. I've been looking for an all-n-one iPod-friendly solution with radio for stationary use for some time for my workshop, and your iSongbook solution seems to offer the most complete solution to date. While in the past I've often been at odds with ilounge's conclusions when it comes to good-sounding speakers and cans, I've generally found their opinions concerning what sounds...er..."less-than-optimal"...is reasonably trustworthy, at least in a general sense.

Imaging and soundstage tend to be quite important sonic characteristics to me, but tonal neutrality and 'naturalness' is just as keen an issue if not more so. As for long-wave: at this point in my life, bass thumpin' is not high on my 'must have' short list, but I also don't desire a pronounced roll-off of the low-end, either. A symphony still has to sound convincingly like a symphony, even through the littliest of speakers. I realize when dealing with a small form factor there are going to be trade-offs and asking for a small speaker (or pair of speakers) sometimes is asking too much, but I hear all sorts of little miracles in the mobile audio (car stereo) market and I wonder why the same is so hard to come by in the iPod accessory marketplace.

I sometimes use my iPods docked with a set of Paradigm Mini Monitors (on stands) hooked to an old NAD pre-amp/amp setup elsewhere in the house, which originally I had intended on using in the shop. Sonically, that setup is great to listen to but it's not the most appropriate for a dusty workshop setting. While I don't doubt any electronics will suffer some in a dirty environment, correctly or not I keep looking at all these psuedo-portable/all-encompassing iPod solutions as being perhaps more durable for such a setting.

As I mentioned above, I'll more that likely pick up an iSongbook when Magnolia Audio Video gets their shipments in to form my own conclusions. Who knows, maybe yet again I'll agree to disagree with ilounge's own conclusions...it's certainly happened enough times before. Thanks again for your comments.

Posted by flatline response on November 7, 2005 at 4:13 PM (PDT) Comment 5

yes.... i am a classical music buff and i resist buying any iPod speakers so far is due to my demand for a full range frequency responses and integration. IM7 is actually pretty good and i think i like it better for pop and rock music... BUT for my operas and classical music... iSongBook really gives good imaging and integration... It has a very 'natural sound to it and has no distortion in any volume.
I am very happy with it... and i think my collection of music deserves it smile

Posted by floridante2k on November 8, 2005 at 5:35 AM (PDT) Comment 6

Jerry,

Again, the photographic representation of the other well-known products for scale is wonderful and appreciated. The SongBook has what the Sound Dock and iM7 do not: "true" portability. I have but one issue and that is I wish the knobs, and buttons on the front fascia were either recessed through an extruded front bezel of sorts so that it can be laid flat on its front without damage to the control buttons and knobs. Other than that I will give a listen, push and pull on it, take it apart, and most likely purchase it.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on November 8, 2005 at 2:35 PM (PDT) Comment 7

I just received my isongbook and while I am pleased with it, I feel like I am missing something. All the reviews rave about the remote but unless I am missing something (likely) I am way underwhelmed. I am not a playlist person. What I do is scroll through the artists or albums and go with whatever hits me. With this remote I can't do that. I am using a 60 GB 4g Photo and it seems like I can't really navigate with the remote. Seems like a nitpicky thing but if I feel like listening to Cake I still have to manually scroll the Ipod to the right spot and go. Maybe I am missing something. I hope I am missing something.

Posted by poppaearl on November 8, 2005 at 8:19 PM (PDT) Comment 8

It's hard to believe that Tivoli would ship a product with two obvious flaws: (1) a Soviet-style sleep timer (any length of time you want as long as it's 20 minutes), and (2) a Soviet-style alarm (plays for as long as you want as long as it's only one hour. To add Sisyphean insult to injury, you must reset the alarm every day (though it seems like one button push does the trick).

I think the engineers at Tivoli need to step out of their ivory tower and spend some time in the real world. For example, most people wake up at the same time every weekday. Thus, it would be nice to be able to set an alarm once and not have to reset it every day (perhaps disabling it or changing the time on weekends). My 1990 Panasonic box, which I'd love to replace (iJam perhaps or will that be a letdown also?), has an adjustable-length sleep timer, and an adjustable-length alarm that you can keep permanenly set. Come on Tivoli. It's 2005.

Rant over. Now, a question: Instead of using Tivoli's alarm, can you instead use the iPod's internal alarm with the iSongBook?

Posted by Rockr on November 9, 2005 at 10:41 PM (PDT) Comment 9

I live on a sailboat. Maybe I missed it but can this unit be wall mounted?

Posted by slogan on November 11, 2005 at 4:39 PM (PDT) Comment 10

They use as a selling point that it's a global product, yet it requires a different cable to be used overseas. Wouldn't it be easier to provide a single cord worldwide that is multivoltage? If Jon Schwartz from Tivoli is listening, I'd like to hear from him on this as it is the only thing keeping me from buying immediately (I live overseas and travel back home to the US often).

Posted by Rodney Farva on November 15, 2005 at 6:28 AM (PDT) Comment 11

I've gotta get my 2 cents worth in. I object to the classification of the PAL and the Songbook as "speaker systems for the iPod" or "iPod accessories". I bought my first PAL in 2002 - as the best portable radio value available. The fact that it accepted a line level input from my portable MP-3 disc player was icing on the cake. I travel 200+ days a year and the PAL allowed me to leave home the Bose WaveRadio I had been toting around in a backpack and not sacrifice anything but stereo sound reproduction (very little separation with the WaveRadio anyway). I bought my first iPod in early 2003 to replace the MP-3 disc player. Again - the PAL accepted an input and produced excellent sound. Two iPods later I bought a Songbook, principally because its size and shape fit into my briefcase, allowing me to jettison the backpack. Again, the Songbook accepted a line level input from the iPod so I could enjoy music at the motel at night. I'm now toting a 60G iPod photo (my 4th iPod), an iSongbook and a pair of Etymotic ER4 earspeakers. Because of the iSongbook dock, I have been able to shed the iPod wall wart, several cables and a mini-dock (to pull out a line level signal instead of an amplified headphone signal). See, I view the iPod as an accessory to the iSongbook. The value of the iSongbook is in its overall portability, utility and quality. While the iSongbook does not provide the same sound quality as my Yamaha RX-Z9, neither does the iPod match the reproduction quality of my Denon DVD-5900. Taken together, however, they do allow me to take a close semblance of that sonic quality on the road with me.

Walt Nixon
Allentown, PA

Posted by walt_nixon on November 19, 2005 at 11:28 AM (PDT) Comment 12

Picked up the isongbook a few days ago being a big Tivoli fan and have not been disappointed. I used to own the JBL On Tour speakers for Ipod listening and this a juge upgrade all the way around. Sound Quality is outstanding for a portable syste (and way better than the Ihome clock radio), radio tuner is a step up over the PAL (especially with AM), detachable right speaker gives you some separation, and the flip down universal dock is genius. The real genius of this device though is its portability. It easily fits into my briefcase for my long commute and the batteries are charged internally. My first use with the batteries netted me about 14 hours of use. Hard to believe a portable system this small has such great sound quality but it does. My only gripe is that at $330.00 Tivoli should really include a rechargeable battery pack. fortunately I had enough AA's sitting around the house that I didn't have to buy any.

Posted by Don Livingston on November 20, 2005 at 9:06 AM (PDT) Comment 13

Does it have holes on the back allowing it to be wall-mounted?

Posted by slogan on November 23, 2005 at 8:24 PM (PDT) Comment 14

Slogan, I just got mine today. There are no holes in the back for wall mounting. Probably because the AC power and AUX plug-ins are located on the back. Incidently, this thing sounds so awesome it's worth the effort to build a wall cabinet for it (IMHO). I'll have a more detailed review after I play with it some.

Scott

Posted by Scotman on November 24, 2005 at 9:06 AM (PDT) Comment 15

Thanks. That was plan B, build a cabinet.

Posted by slogan on November 25, 2005 at 5:08 PM (PDT) Comment 16

How long is the cable connecting the detachable speaker?

Is it long enough to put on the other side of a Queen-sized bed on the other night stand?

Posted by wco81 on December 1, 2005 at 10:10 AM (PDT) Comment 17

The cable is 6 feet long.

Posted by Don Livingston on December 1, 2005 at 8:57 PM (PDT) Comment 18

For what B+?? I've bought this I-Songbook after your recommending. I'm very disappointed about this commendation! I think the tester was sitting on his ears! From my side: A big warning for purchasing this rubbish. I can't believe that this ghetto-blaster get a B+. For what?? The sound is dull and without brilliance. Inside of this plastic box are working 2 cheap standard speaker with 8cm diameter and a micro magnet! All is assembled in CHINA. Why TIVOLI asked for this money? The price / performance ratio is very, very bad! Only design and quality of material and assembling have to get a + the rest is more than bad!

Posted by tonruf on April 16, 2007 at 6:20 AM (PDT) Comment 19
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