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Radio AM to FM: November 29, 2002

AM resonance: Interest in good radios to better hear the music on both KLAC (as of December 12th) and KSRF (now) has led to numerous letters; typical was one from reader Patrick Swift of Hollywood, who wrote:

"Could you please give us some additional information regarding the GE Superadio III with respect to cost, features, benefits, etc., since not too many people know about it? I tried looking it up in some of the stereo magazines and found nothing listed."

That's a good question. While it may sound so, the Superadio III is not a stereo. Instead it is a high performance, fairly large portable mono radio designed for long-distance, high-fidelity reception of both AM and FM stations.

Feature-wise (warning: techno-geek terms ahead), the radio has large built-in antennas as well as external antenna connections and tuned RF stages on both AM and FM for long-range reception; three IF tuned circuits on FM and four on AM for good station selectivity and separation; a 6-1/2 inch speaker with a 2 inch tweeter and separate bass and treble controls for good sound.

The GE SuperadioModel 7-2887

It's not perfect. One major flaw is that the dial seems to be off the mark on just about every model I have seen, making stations look as if they were broadcasting on completely new frequencies. It definitely takes some getting used to, especially in today's era of exact digital readouts.

The radio is the descendant of a one originally designed back in the days of vacuum tubes, when GE engineers wanted to show that a transistorized radio could perform as well as good tube radios. While selectivity of stations has long been a hallmark of the Superadio series, it is the wide frequency response of the AM band, selectable by switch, that sets the III apart from the others. It's not stereo, but it is one of the best-sounding AM radios available today. For the price, unless you find a Sony AM stereo Walkman on something like eBay, it is the best. About $50 at stores like Sears.

By the way, it's not just for music: Talk sounds better too.

Christmas in November

Hey, it worked last year ... very well: KOST has already begun playing Christmas music 24/7, a tactic it used with great success last year. It seems people really do get into the holiday spirit early.

OK, early by my standards, which is any day before December 20th or so. Early by most standards, perhaps, since Thanksgiving was just yesterday and they've been doing it for a couple weeks already. Late by retail standards, of course, with some warehouse stores already sold out of their Christmas-season products.

KOST soared in the ratings last year, and while more stations are expected to jump on the bandwagon this year, KOST will no doubt jump again.

If only they could play the music in place of Jamie and Danny on sister station, KYSR (Star 98.7) ...


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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