Aiwa CA-DW235 3pc. Stereo, 2.5 watt, CD, Dual Cassette Boomboxes

CA-DW235 3pc. Stereo, 2.5 watt, CD, Dual Cassette

User Reviews (1)

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Eric   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 28, 1999]

Very cheap (in price, not performance), Great Sound without supplied speakers, Wire-clip speaker output terminals allow connection to other 7-8 ohm speakers, It has a surprisingly good dual cassette deck, Its CD player has a good DAC, and its 2.5 watts per channel goes surprisingly far.


The tape head alignment between the two cassette decks is slightly different from each other, 2.5 watts are not enough for bass-heavy music, its speakers are very cheap-looking and sounding, Its Q-Sound enhancement is effective only with speakers that are better than the ones that came with the unit, The CD player can't play heavily scratched discs, and the cassette deck records better than it plays.

First of all, I would like to say that even though Aiwa's minisystems tend to be pieces of junk, their boomboxes and other portable equipment tend to be fairly reliable, especially coming from me because I am usually a defect-magnet. Even my beloved Aiwa XP-V50 personal CD player is messed-up. But, Aiwa is very generous and flexible with its warranties, but only if you call their customer service line at (800) 424-2492, not the (800) BUY-AIWA line where not-so-friendly representatives are on the line. Now, for my review. At first, I was disappointed with the crappy speakers that come with the unit. They will suffice, but if you have some spare 8-ohm speakers lying around for home use, use them. Even though the manual says not to connect other speakers, (for good reason considering that some people will try to connect 4-ohm speakers to the unit, which will fry the amplifier), true 8-ohm speakers will not hurt the unit. Once I connected some real speakers to the Aiwa, I noticed that the noise floor of either the amplifier or the CD player's DAC's was a little higher than I would prefer, but that is very minor considering that it is an $80 boombox, not a $4000 Meridian CD player. Also, one complaint I have about this Aiwa is that it cannot play badly scratched discs, unlike my older and smaller CSD-ES360 that plays that particular disc perfectly. Now about the tuner. It is analog. Even so, it is better than most tuners on boomboxes in that it can pull in weak stations pretty well. Now to the oddest part of the boombox: the cassette deck. Even though the dual cassette deck looks very cheap and it only records on Type I cassette tapes, its dubs and recordings sound as if they came from a $150 cassette deck. True, it is not perfect, especially the tape dubs because there is a slight misalignment on the playback-only deck, but that is very minor considering that it is on an $80 boombox and most tape decks have alignment problems, no matter what their price is. But, one caveat: the sound quality on playback of the recorded tapes and original tapes is muffled when played back on the boombox. But, throw the tapes, even the cassette dubs, into another tape deck, and you will be amazed at the quality of the recordings. I am guessing the degraded sound quality to be a design quirk on the part of Aiwa. Despite all of its flaws, It is worth more than its price in connectivity, especially when it has a microphone input, and also in performance, which is better than most boomboxes at any price.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa CSD-ES360, Sony CFD-8, Panasonic RX-DS28
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