For the almost budget price of 30quid I was pretty surprised with the overall deal with this little machine. Unlike many of the more expensive players it actually still has a built in AM/FM radio. Pretty nifty as it can store 10 station presets on each band. Unfortunately though, the reception is pretty poor as it mainly relies on the headphone lead as an aerial. Walking around holding a lead in the air tends to make you look silly! The tape player itself is another kettle of fish. Although it's not quite as loud as many other portable systems, notably walkmans, it still manages to maintain a certain strength in the bass thanks to a fantastic XBS circuit which keeps things full on. I never thought I would need to turn the XBS off, but to be honest, having regularly listened to some tapes on full volume, the bass can create a headache. Another point this reminds me of is that a lot of loud listening abuses the otherwise perfect-sounding headphones supplied. Mine now rattle with deep bass, and it is possible to hear the cones snap into strange contourtions now, so beware! A shrewd investment in the headphone department may be needed. Battery life is supposedly 24 hours of play. This is obviously increased with better batteries. For some reason, the ones from Sainsbury's last ages! A major gripe I have is build quality. Right from the start I have had problems with the buttons not working properly. When tuning the radio now, both the + and - buttons seem to both go up the scale most of the time, with the - one sometimes actually going down like a good boy. Also the station button to switch stations often advances more than one station. Finally... it is easy to make tapes sound wonky if you have it in your jeans pocket... tip - put a tissue in between the unit and your thigh - it reduces the impact when walking! However, apart from that last moan (you really do get what you pay for), this thing actually is worth the 30 pounds asking price, especi
ally seeing as it even has a "high position" switch for the low noise tapes... and that wonderfully clear bass.