Written by Michael Cascanet, CPT, USAR (Ret.)
Recently bought a used Model II system including the CD player and subwoofer to replace an aging boom-box in a large farmhouse kitchen where I spend most of my waking hours listening to FM and CDs. The system is small enough to fit on a window sill but the audio quality is surprisingly good. My main stereo system (located in a room far from the kitchen) includes Klipsch speakers and vacuum tube electronics. You could say that I have high sonic standards.
Strengths: Good looking, very compact, sound is balanced, believable, and able to project into a relatively large room. Hookup is foolproof. CD unit has an informative display and includes a full-function remote control. FM includes both an internal and external antenna which you should experiment with for reception in your particular area. Beats the pants off (sonically speaking) any boom-box or table radio of similar size I've ever heard.
Weaknesses: In my rural, low-signal FM area the stations tend to drift resulting in changing noise levels. I minimize this with careful tuning and repositioning the supplied external antenna.
Due hearing losses relating to my age and the design decision not to incorporate a high frequency transducer (tweeter) into the speaker cabinets, I find that the high frequency response is lacking. I can live with that since the overall audio reproduction of this unit is very good.
I have read reviews that say the subwoofer makes little or no difference to the low end. If you listen mainly to the radio, you may not want or need the subwoofer. If you listen to CDs - especially organ music or anything with bass guitar or kick drums, I would recommend buying the subwoofer. The difference is subtle but well worth the money.
Tips: Due to the small gauge of the unshielded signal wires used to connect the radio and CD player to the speakers you should route the connecting cables away from the power supply cords. If you don't do this you may hear 60 cycle hum and buzz through your speakers. If your FM drifts experiment with the internal/external antenna including moving your external antenna to a different position.
Bottom Line: I am very pleased with my Tivoli system overall and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good system at a reasonable price.