Advice on FM Tuner

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  • 01-19-2008, 08:49 PM
    russm535il
    Advice on FM Tuner
    I have just replaced my music system with a Cambridge 640 v2 integrated amp and a NAD C525 BEE cd player. I now want to add a FM tuner - does anyone have a reccomendation for a moderately priced unit under $400 with sound quality as the #1 focus - not features. I was considering the NAD 425 -

    Also I saw a outside FM antenna advertised in a recent Audio Advisor catalog any thoughts on this also ?

    THANKS !

    Russ DeJulio
    Pittsburgh,PA

    russm535il@aol.com
  • 01-20-2008, 04:47 AM
    Feanor
    Tuner priorities
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by russm535il
    I have just replaced my music system with a Cambridge 640 v2 integrated amp and a NAD C525 BEE cd player. I now want to add a FM tuner - does anyone have a reccomendation for a moderately priced unit under $400 with sound quality as the #1 focus - not features. I was considering the NAD 425 -

    Also I saw a outside FM antenna advertised in a recent Audio Advisor catalog any thoughts on this also ?

    THANKS !

    Russ DeJulio
    Pittsburgh,PA

    russm535il@aol.com

    Hi, Russ. What are your tuner priorities? Everyone wants good sound good and reception for the stations they listen to of course. But is reception difficult where you are? In which case an external antenna will be a big help.) Do you have several stations you listen to? In that case, presets and remote control will be appreciated.

    In terms of sound quality and reception, FM tuners have improved perhaps the least of all audio components in the last 30 years. Also, FM tuners are among the most reliable components. What I'm leading up to is the you might consider used or vintage tuner. The analog tuners of the '70s haven't really been bettered in basic respects by the current tuners although they lack presets and remotes. Of course, from the mid '80s onward once digital tuning became prevalent, presets and, increasingly, remote controls became the norm, and there are plenty of good tuners from that era.

    An excellent resource for used and vintage tuners is the Tuner Information Center: check it out. Then head to eBay or Audiogon to see what's up for grabs.

    Recently I sold a gorgeous Denon TU-500 from the mid '70s; see the pic below. I kind of regret it, but it was on the large size and I was able sell if for more than four times what I paid for its replacement, a mid '80s Denon TU-767 which works well. It has with presets but no remote -- not a problem: I usually listen to only one station.
    ...
    http://ca.geocities.com/w_d_bailey/DenonTU500-front.jpg

    Here's my current TU-767. The toy frog ins aftermarket: really improves reception, (just kidding):

    http://ca.geocities.com/w_d_bailey/Denon-TU767-900.jpg
  • 01-20-2008, 05:35 AM
    thekid
    This thread caught my eye.

    Would you all recommend using a separate FM tuner even for an intergrated reciever/tuner?
    I have seen several Fisher,Technics and Kenwood tuners at the thrifts and never gave them a second thought to using them with my integrated units. Is there that much of a difference using a separate tuner?
  • 01-20-2008, 05:10 PM
    russm535il
    Bill

    Thanks for the great information !

    I will check out the vintage web site tonight. Without your suggestion I never would of thought of it.

    Regards

    Russ DeJulio
  • 01-20-2008, 05:55 PM
    markw
    If, as you say, features take second place to performance, analog tuners from the ear;y/mid seventies can't be beat. check out units from Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, Onkyo or any other big names of that era.

    The antenna is more important then the tuner itself. A medicore tuner with a good antenna will perform much bettert han a great tuner witha poor antenna. Your location in relation to your local stations, your distance from them, and the rerrain between you and them are the critical factors in your antenna needs.

    As for antennas, the old fashioned ones work the best. Here's a few.

    http://www.antennacraft.net/FM.htm

    One is directional, for when all the stations are in one direction and the other is for when the stations come from all points on the map. I use the second one and my tuner's dance card is full.

    Then again, I'm in an FM rich area and your needs may differ. Here's a little tool to give you some idea as to what to expect whre you are.

    http://www.radio-locator.com/

    Try the advanced zip code search.
  • 01-21-2008, 12:55 AM
    pixelthis
    WHY anyone would want a tuner what with the state of FM today is beyond me.
    Used to be a big deal, now not so much.
    Those pics of denon tuners are cool, had a top of the line denon receiver from the mid eighties(bought it new) and it had a very fancy tuner.
    These days I never listen to FM, it has mostly degenerated into talk and top 40 and rap
    Seems like cambridge has a tuner, or you could use an old (or new) receivers pre outs
    (do you have an old receiver?)
    the cable has 40 channels of ad free music at a pretty high bitrate, sounds at least as good as FM, and theres sirius and XM.
    FM has kinda passed by the boards:1:
  • 01-21-2008, 06:59 AM
    Feanor
    Sady you're right
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    WHY anyone would want a tuner what with the state of FM today is beyond me.
    Used to be a big deal, now not so much.
    ....
    These days I never listen to FM, it has mostly degenerated into talk and top 40 and rap
    ...
    the cable has 40 channels of ad free music at a pretty high bitrate, sounds at least as good as FM, and theres sirius and XM.
    FM has kinda passed by the boards:1:

    My taste runs to classical, so I wept when CBC Radio 2 decided "widen is appeal" but moving its emphasis from classical with some jazz to a eclectic hodge-podge that probably satisfies nobody.

    The only FM music I listen to is Radio 2. More often nowadays I listen more to 128kps streamed music over the internet.
  • 01-23-2008, 02:09 PM
    russm535il
    Thanks For all the helpful input !

    Regards from Pittsburgh !!

    Russ DeJulio
  • 01-23-2008, 05:00 PM
    blackraven
    Why not just go with a cambridge audio tuner or the Sangean HD tuner for HD radio
    Sangean HDT-1x at J&R music Its the upgraded version with digital outs
  • 01-26-2008, 02:32 PM
    russm535il
    I hate to ask this question and look dense but what is the difference between FM and HD radio ?
    Isnt FM broadcast in HD?
    Blackraven - would I need a seperate tuner to pick up HD radio broadcasts ?
    Verizon is coming tomorrow to hook up wireless for our laptops and to add our telephone/tv to their programming. Could I get a cable box from them for my integrated amp to pick up HD music - We get music channels on our tv now through cable- but the tv is in the basement and the audio system in upstairs in the family room.
    Thanks for your input !!
    Russ DeJulio
  • 01-26-2008, 05:05 PM
    blackraven
    HD radio is just a digital signal and FM sound is supposed to approach CD sound and AM is supposed to sound like FM. The emphasis is on supposed to. The Sangean receives both digital and standard radio signals. They were selling like hot cakes. I've been thinking about getting one, especially since they came out with the new model with digital out and tweaks to some minor complaints about the 1st model. I've been wondering how it would sound running it through the DAC of my new Cambridge 840c CDP.

    By the way, HD radio is free and many stations that broadcast HD radio also have sub channels that they broadcast different radio programming.
  • 01-27-2008, 06:24 AM
    russm535il
    Blackraven

    Thanks I was confused I thought that HD was a pay service like Sirus. So one of the new NAD tuners like the 425 that I have been looking at costing aprox $250-$300 would only receive regular FM. I would assume most stations are converting to HD and eventually non HD tuners will quickly become obsolete. Am I on the right track ?

    Thanks !

    Russ
  • 01-27-2008, 12:18 PM
    blackraven
    Full conversion to HD radio is years away due to the fact that there is no government mandate. Right now its totally voluntary. Your right, your NAD will only pick up STD radio. Rotel makes or is coming out with a high end tuner that will pick up HD Radio, but I believe it will cost 1K.
  • 01-27-2008, 12:35 PM
    russm535il
    Blackraven

    Thanks for clearing this up !
    I have one other questionon this topic which I would like to ask- do you know how to find out how many HD channels are available in an area and what the content is - (Pittsburgh.)

    After your post I am thinking about just going to a HD tuner and waiting for the bulk of channels to convert over time-

    Thanks!

    Russ DeJulio

    Russ
  • 01-27-2008, 12:52 PM
    blackraven
    There must be a local radio guide in some local magazine or news paper. You can try calling one of your local radio stations and ask them where you can find listings. Also, check your favorite radio stations web sites for HD programing.

    Have you checked out user reviews of the Sangean? Look for reviews of the new model with the digital outputs.
  • 01-27-2008, 01:00 PM
    blackraven
    Check out this site for local HD radio stations in your area

    www.hdradio.com

    Hope this helps some!
    Larry
  • 01-28-2008, 12:32 PM
    russm535il
    Blackraven

    Thanks I really appreciate the help !
    Regards,
    Russ DeJulio