Tivoli Model One MK1: adding Bluetooth

The Tivoli Audio Model One AM/FM table radio has been described as “the best sounding table radio ever made,” offering “the kind of room-filling sound that many other radios claim to deliver but often don’t.”

A heavy magnet, long throw driver is mated to a frequency contouring circuit that automatically adjust output over half-octave increments, resulting in musically accurate tonal balance and bass response. “When your stereophile loved ones turn the knob on this rock solid Henry Kloss Model One Table Radio, they’ll cry with hi-fi joy”

Tivoli Audio Model One MK1

The first series of Model One had a source selector at the front for only FM and AM radio. The radio however had an AUX input (mini jack) at the back. By connecting the AUX cable it would override the FM/AM signal to the amplifier. The only way to select radio as a source was by unplugging the mini jack from the back. Later versions added a AUX selection at the front. Now you could leave your AUX mini jack plugged in and select the source at the front.

Owning a first series Model One MK1, that still works excellent, I wanted to modify the radio adding a bluetooth module. This module would be the switching unit: bluetooth selected on a streaming device to stream music to the Tivoli radio. Switching off Bluetooth on the streaming device would give FM / AM. No more jack plugs to unplug.

The board that is needed can be sourced from various sellers. This actual board is Bluetooth 5 version. Cost for these boards is around $15. The board is actually nicely made and comes with all necessary wires.

First thing is to dis-assemble the radio. Remove the 6 screws at the back. Front and back panel is connected with wire ribbons. After removing the screws slowly pull the front out. The front needs to be pulled out & rotate anti-clockwise. At same time you need to rotate so the front faces up. When correctly done you now can slide the front panel through the housing while taking the back out.

The main PCBA layout of your Model One should look like this. Picture is showing the PCBA with modification.

Next step is to locate the AUX connector on the PCBA board. This AUX connector is of a switching type as explained earlier.

The radio signal is flowing through to amplifier via pin 2 and 4 when no jack is plugged in to pin 3 and 5. If jack is plugged in two contacts 2 and 4 inside the AUX connector are disconnected, cutting the radio signal out. The mini jack signal has now priority, signal flows via pin 3 and 5 to the amplifier.

Connect line-out of the Bluetooth module to the AUX connector as per picture

Left channel (white= pin 5) and right channel (red= pin 3) Ground (black= pin 1 or other GND point). In this picture it is not pin 1 but point below which also leads to pin 1.

The radio signal needs to be connected to the line-in of the bluetooth PCBA connector. It is necessary to cut the radio signal track on PCBA leading into the AUX. Not doing so will destroy you Bluetooth module. Below pictures shows the red wire and you see just above this wire the copper track is cut.

Top right corner detail. Red and White from Line-In are connected to one point and second copper track from top is cut.
GND from Line-in is connected to any GND point. Just follow pin 1 on the AUX connector which is GND. In this case I picked the point shown at 12 o clock.

Once the Line-In and Line-Out wires are correctly attached, next step is to find the necessary power to feed the Bluetooth module. 12V DC can be picked from the main condensator on the DC side. Of course you can also decide to use a separate 12V DC power supply.

12V DC + = Large RED wire. Black is Gnd. One black wire is already attached at same point. This wire is coming from the transformer.

A small metal bracket to mount the Bluetooth module and the main PCBA together. The Radio can now be assembled again. Be careful mounting the rear module. The Bluetooth module just fits in the wooden housing. You do not need an additional bluetooth antenna.

Warning: As for all modifications: Assume you are familiar with PCBA, soldering and general safety aspects when working on electrical appliances. Disconnect always from mains before you start.

The AUX mini jack at the back can’t be used anymore after this modification.

13 thoughts on “Tivoli Model One MK1: adding Bluetooth

  1. Thanks for this post Marcel. I have an original Model One and haven’t been using it much lately, and this would be a good upgrade for me. Could you indicate the maker/part number of the Bluetooth board you used? Thanks

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    1. Hi, thanks for reaching out. The board you can buy on Ebay for around gbp 15.00. Search for:
      JC-303 Bluetooth DAC Board BT5.0 Audio Receiver Board White w/o Antenna Kit tps
      It works very well and gives this superb sounding radio a nice new purpose.
      Good luck.
      Marcel

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  2. mark fitzgerald 12th Jul 2020 — 11:51 pm

    This is great. I was going to put my Model One on eBay, but then thought, “I wonder if I could bluetooth this thing?” and I found you. I do have a question though: How do you pair it? Isn’t there some button you’d need to push?

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    1. Hi Mark, you can pair on your I pad/Iphone or tablet. Go in to bluetooth setting and the name of the board will appear. Once selected you can stream your music from iPhone/Ipad to the Tivoli. If you switch off your bluetooth it goes back to radio. Let me know if you have any problem. Good luck!

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      1. mark fitzgerald 21st Jul 2020 — 11:56 am

        Oh OK. I assumed that like other BT products, you’d have to tell it to go into pairing mode so it appears on your phone as an option, like many BT speakers require you to do. So that’s not the case with this board then? I ordered the same board from ebay, and it looks like it’s going to be a while since it’s coming from hong kong.

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      2. Hi Mark,
        When the board is activated a name will appear under the bluetooth setting on your Iphone or tablet.
        Once selected, the board will switch the normal input (radio) to Bluetooth signal from your phone.
        If you switch it off on your phone under bluetooth setting, the radio signal gets priority again. So you will hear the radio. Very simple and most effective.
        The board will indeed take a while but still reasonably fast. Let me know if things need clarification. Good luck!

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  3. I just finished up this mod, and it’s working great except for one thing, which may or may not indicate an issue. When I first pair it, there’s a bit of “static” where it cuts out for a second. Is that normal? I noticed the blue light on the board flickers off for a second. Other than that, all good! Incidentally will it harm anything if someone did inadvertently plug something into the aux?

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    1. PS – where did you hang the bracket inside? Thanks!

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    2. Hi Mark, well done. Nothing to worry about. There is a relay on the board that is activated. The Line-In is cut out and priority is then given to the bluetooth. Connecting the PCBA with a dedicated power supply might help, but I wanted to avoid that.
      Connecting AUX: In this case DO NOT connect something to the AUX. It will damage the bluetooth module.
      Last picture shows a small L bracket with 90 bend and 2 holes. It is screwed together with main board. On the flat top surface a small hole where I screw the BT board onto. It still goes all inside the housing. Bit of creativity and you will find a place to mount. Just make sure it doesn’t touch other components.

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      1. Thanks. I plugged the aux port with a bit of epoxy putty. I ended up using a bit of double sided padded adhesive tape to mount it vertically to the back wall on the right. Crazy how much wire is wrapped around the plastic supports inside. Works great! Thanks again for putting this out there!

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      2. The wires are AM/FM antenna’s 🙂 hence they will pick up some interference when you switch. Using FM antenna connected on the outside and set the antenna switch correctly might reduce the switching interference also.

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  4. I assumed that’s what they were — but usually they’re a little more…precise?..than that. At least in other antique tube radios I’ve repaired. Usually spaced exactly and glued to some sort of backing material. Hey, if it works, I’m not complaining. 🙂 Thanks again!

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  5. Got mine installed yesterday, works great! Hardest part is getting front and back panels in the cabinet. I had to trim back the insulation on one of the cables in order to reach the nearest ground, but all and all, it went, well.
    Thanks for documenting this.

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