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Jeddie

FM Tuner - All the Same?

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I really enjoy listening to FM radio (not DAB). I bought an older NAD tuner off ebay a couple of years ago. 

 

I thought the brand of tuner would not matter much in regard to SQ, because I was pulling a signal from the air  (Each radio station determines their bitrate) and passing it thru to my amp  & speakers.

I reasoned that my amp & speakers were the main player(s) in SQ when listening to FM along with the bitrate of the station.

 

So have I got this wrong?

Can changing an FM Tuner improve audio if all else in my system remain the same? If so how?

 

Your thoughts?

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Yes there are average tuners and exceptional ones.

But your tuner is only as good as your aerial. 

 

The detail of why is explained here along with

reviews of hundreds of tuners. 

http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/

 

 

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Once you have the aerial sorted out the situation with tuners, or any component really, is similar to the difference between a clapped out (say) Suzuki Swift (no offense intended to Swift owners) and a brand new top of the range Rolls Royce. On paper they do exactly the same job, it's only the level of comfort, design and build quality that's different. The better the implementation of the basic design and the quality of the parts used will give differing levels of performance and enjoyment. Everything makes a difference ultimately. Your geographical location can make or break the situation in some circumstances, too.

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For what it's worth, Ive found that the UK audio company, Quad, make very good tuners. Many years ago, I had a Quad FM3 tuner...one of the best I've ever owned. The US company, Magnum Dynalab, also make very good (if pricey) tuners.

 

Here is the link:

 

http://www.magnumdynalab.com/

 

P.S. It appears that Quad no loner make FM tuners....at least there are none listed in their current model lineup.....so you would have to look for a used one. I'm sure there would be plenty out there.

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Personally I like old tuners, Marantz 10B, McIntosh MR-65, Harman Kardon T403 these were some top quality tuners back in the days and they still stand up and draw attention in today's market.

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4 hours ago, Jeddie said:

I really enjoy listening to FM radio (not DAB). I bought an older NAD tuner off ebay a couple of years ago. 

 

I thought the brand of tuner would not matter much in regard to SQ, because I was pulling a signal from the air  (Each radio station determines their bitrate) and passing it thru to my amp  & speakers.

I reasoned that my amp & speakers were the main player(s) in SQ when listening to FM along with the bitrate of the station.

 

So have I got this wrong?

Can changing an FM Tuner improve audio if all else in my system remain the same? If so how?

 

Your thoughts?

I have an old NAD 4020A, which I purchased around 1980, which I just used spasmodically, and recently in my kitchen system. 3 years ago I purchased a Vincent STU-400 and swapped it in. Same set-up and difference is staggering. The Vincent is a massive step up in sound quality.

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Posted (edited)

The tuner information centre runs shoot out on tuners 

do a search

the Japanese we’re obsessed by FM in the mid to late 70s 

price no object chases of sound quality every flagship brand had a grand tuner 

 

I 9nly have 3 left in my Hoard 

hitchi 5500mark ll 

amber 7 

sansui xxx have to check the model

 

Sansui TU 417

 

seperation of components to single boxes applies to tuners too.

All mine are were am/fm .

True purists use FM only and yes they sound better.

@telecine has a truly rare Leak troughline Id ask him to leave it to me in his will but the callow you he is will outlive this nonogenerian by 30 years 

@Telecine

Edited by djb

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Callow youth? Or just callow you?

 

I have a Sansui 9900 and enjoy its sound and appreciate its ability to "grip" the station as compared to the signal never... quite.. sounding tuned to the station

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53 minutes ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

Callow youth? Or just callow you?

 

I have a Sansui 9900 and enjoy its sound and appreciate its ability to "grip" the station as compared to the signal never... quite.. sounding tuned to the station

I'd up your sansui with my Yammie T2.....?

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6 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

I'd up your sansui with my Yammie T2.....?

 

Graeme sold you one, too!!  ?

 

Andy

 

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Sansui TU-X1 is cream of the FM Tuner crop.  Big and beautiful...

 

Image result for sansui tux1

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The OP is wondering what technical advantages or factors create a better listening experience from decent gear such as these.

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26 minutes ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

The OP is wondering what technical advantages or factors create a better listening experience from decent gear such as these.

Tubes ;) 

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24 minutes ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

The OP is wondering what technical advantages or factors create a better listening experience from decent gear such as these.

I have no doubt that they all sound different....

 

Different circuitry colours the sound.  Even the entire range of Yammies all sound different.

 

Put them all side by side in the same set up and you won’t need a DBT. tell the difference.  Some will sound laid back, others will be detailed and some with dynamic, it’s all in the circuitry and then it’s what floats your boat.  

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You want a really nice tuner at a bargain basement price?

 

Find a Denon TU1500AE. They're plentiful and cheap. Easily better than $1,000.00+ tuners from the 1970s. 

 

I use one. And, FWIW, I also have a Yamaha T2 and T7. The Denon is clearly better sounding.

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In the 1980's I had a cheap FM tuner.  The sound was very "thin".  The unit I upgraded to produced a fuller sound, and was much more pleasant to listen to. 

 

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2 hours ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

The OP is wondering what technical advantages or factors create a better listening experience from decent gear such as these.

Hi Murray, I've beentrying to PM you but the system says I can't.

 

Sorry everybody, time to return to the topic in question........

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6 minutes ago, djb said:

Nah we’ve finished here let’s all pick on @ThirdDrawerDown

ps thanks@Zaphod Beeblebrox is the Denon FM only?

Nope. AM/FM. The reason why they are plentiful, is because the Philistines are selling them, because they don't do DAB+. 

 

LOL. Fools. The thing has a brilliant FM section.

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...or look for the 1510AE which has remote as well.

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A remote radio P L E E Z

EVEN I NEED SOME EXERCISE

 

@Zaphod Beeblebrox sorry I don’t do DAB either seriously old school here

off to listen to live classical music this arvo

a sad case I know?

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21 hours ago, Jeddie said:

I really enjoy listening to FM radio (not DAB). I bought an older NAD tuner off ebay a couple of years ago. 

 

I thought the brand of tuner would not matter much in regard to SQ, because I was pulling a signal from the air  (Each radio station determines their bitrate) and passing it thru to my amp  & speakers.

I reasoned that my amp & speakers were the main player(s) in SQ when listening to FM along with the bitrate of the station.

 

So have I got this wrong?

Can changing an FM Tuner improve audio if all else in my system remain the same? If so how?

 

Your thoughts?

I've always listened to a lot of FM, and am currently in a fringe reception area for some of the stations I listen to, so here's my 2c worth.

 

If you're in a good reception area, then you'll probably be happy with any good quality tuner that is known for it's good sound.  As has already been mentioned, there are a lot of very nice 70's, 80's & 90's Japanese made tuners up for grabs on the 2nd hand market.  Which NAD model do you have?

 

If you're in an area that has lots of stations close together (in frequency), and you experience interference from the adjacent or alternate station/s, then a tuner that includes a wide/narrow IF switch, the ability to fine-tune in smaller steps and a multi-path meter is handy.

 

If, like me, you're in a fringe reception area, and/or like to try and pull in distant stations, then you will need a tuner that has better sensitivity and a 'blend' or FM noise reduction switch.  Preferably in addition to the extra features mentioned above.

 

Taking a split off your TV antenna (unless it is UHF only) will usually give better reception than an indoor aerial.

If you can have a dedicated outdoor FM antenna, then that is best.  Old VHF antennas that include those longer elements for Channels 0 to 5 are a cheap and very effective option.  DIY designs for FM antennas are plentiful on the web.

 

Yes, radio stations do influence the quality of the material they broadcast. Many use compression to make their content achieve a fairly constant volume, but this ruins dynamic range and there's nothing can be done to fix it at our end. 

'Bitrate' is not a term associated with FM broadcasting as it is an analogue system. When looking at tuner specs, you want to look at the Sensitivity (lower number in uV is better), Signal/Noise ratio (higher is better), the Capture ratio (lower is better) and AM rejection (higher is better).

 

Happy listening.

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3 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Nope. AM/FM. The reason why they are plentiful, is because the Philistines are selling them, because they don't do DAB+. 

 

LOL. Fools. The thing has a brilliant FM section.

SSSHHHH.  Don't let the cat out of the bag!!  I haven't got hold of one of them yet.

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