Spacemaker CD Stereo
Music Near the Range
by Jim Bray
There's nothing like
a few nice tunes if you're slaving over a hot oven, getting dinner ready
for the wife and kids.
radios meant for kitchen use are tinny at best and don't offer you the
extra flexibility of having a CD player built in - unless you're going
to spend hundreds of dollars.
Hence GE's 7-4290
"Spacemaker" Stereo CD Player, a cute little unit that you mount so it
hangs below your kitchen (or whatever room you want, actually) cupboards.
I've had a Spacemaker
radio in my kitchen for years and love the convenience - even though we
never got around to hanging it from a cupboard after we moved into our
current domicile some seven years ago. Instead, we've perched it on a
wall unit shelf, where it sits quite happily.
As if it would know
The 7-4290 is proof,
however, that technology marches onward and that our little spacemaker
is ready for the scrap heap - if only because it doesn't have a CD player
and now that I'm used to having one in the kitchen I don't want to go
without one again.
The Spacemaker is
easy to install if you're at all handy, though you'll have to drill a
couple of holes in your cupboard if you decide to hang it. GE includes
a little cardboard template that shows you where to drill, so the operation
is relatively painless. You also get adjustable spacers so the Spacemaker
can fit under various configurations of cabinets.
Besides the CD player,
the spacemaker includes a digital alarm clock with an easy to read red
LED display and easily accessible buttons for setting it. You can use
the clock as another timer, complete with alarm, for those times when
you're trying to keep track of more than one dish at a time.
Another kitchen convenience
is the little light on the unit's bottom, which is a nice touch. If your
kitchen's like ours, you can never have too much illumination for your
cooking and/or preparation surfaces.
The power cord also
wraps nicely in the unit to keep excess length from dangling where you're
trying to work.
The radio is of the
AM/FM persuasion, which is no big deal, and it performs okay for the job
it's designed to do. It has two built in antennae and a "slide rule" dial
scale - which means it's a manual analog tuner as opposed to the much
more convenient and efficient digital type. There are no memory presets
The sound comes from
two 2.5 inch speakers and considering their size the audio quality isn't
bad. There's also a little subwoofer to give you the low frequencies.
I found the bass a touch boomy in our test installation, but not unpleasantly
The Spacemaker hardly
qualifies as a Hi-Fi component, but it isn't meant to. It's meant to be
a convenient and thoughtful little kitchen player, and as such it does
a good job.
All for about $130US,
which makes it a pretty good deal in the grand scheme of things.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.
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