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Customer Review

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight, 18 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Ruark Audio R1 WALNUT DAB Digital Radio 10 Station Preset Walnut (Electronics)
Update Feb 2015...
5 years on, I was pleased to see this radio in the Bristol Hi-Fi show. The original model (which I own) was branded Vita rather than Ruark, but it is basically the same radio. There have been a few minor improvements but Ruark assured me that nothing drastic had changed. They've added Bluetooth support, which is a really nice idea.

Original review follows...

I purchased one of these with some trepidation because it was to replace a much-loved Tivoli Model 3. I needn't have worried - the Vita R1's sound quality is definitely in the same league. It sounds great on DAB, but it's good enough to reveal that extra sparkle which FM gives you.

Build quality seems pretty good. The whole thing is basically a sturdy and compact loudspeaker enclosure. You can turn the volume full up without any of the horrible grating noises you would get from something cheaper.

So, more that happy with the quality, but how about ease of use? Here it really blows the old Tivoli away. Everything seems well thought out, from the layout of the controls to the menu system. There are some nice little touches, for example you can set the alarm to run for over an hour, which solves the problem of sleeping through the 7am news bulletin then being switched off just when the 8am starts! Best of all, there's an ambient light sensor which dims the display so you don't feel it's glaring at you after lights out. Seems they really made the effort to design something easy to live with.

FM and DAB are treated equally. You can set the alarm to wake you up to either, and there is much the same information presented because the radio understands RDS. Vita have not skimped on the FM: the auto scan works well, there is a mono mode for less interference, and with a good signal it sounds to me more detailed and natural than DAB. This is of course a limitation of DAB and not the radio's fault.

My only disappointment was the telescopic aerial which can flop around, poke you in the eye, and generally get in the way. The manual says to fully extend it, but at 65cm long, it's plain ugly and not what I want right next to my bed. I imagine they chose a telescopic because the radio can be upgraded to portable with an external battery pack. For me however, that is too much of a compromise, and anyway, I don't know anyone who carries their alarm clock/radio around with them during the day!

I would have deducted a star but for that fact that the aerial is detachable with a standard fitting. I replaced it with a wire antenna which dangles down the back of my bedside cabinet, gets just as good a signal, and is not going to injure me when I fumble around in the dark. Problem solved.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Mar 2014 11:36:40 GMT
nevalti says:
I am considering buying an R1 and BELIEVE that you can remove the telescopic aerial completely and plug in an external one instead - i.e. the one on my roof!

I would be grateful for confirmation of this from anyone owning one.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2014 13:28:55 GMT
suilven says:
Mine is a few years old now, when it was called a Vita not a Ruark, but it looks the same. On mine there is a standard aerial socket, the same as you'd find on a hi-fi separate. But to be sure about the current model it might be best to find their online manual or take a sneaky look in JL's audio dept.
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