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Jeddie

FM Tuner - All the Same?

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12 hours ago, Notoriousnick said:

Well, it never rains - it pours! My FM antenna arrived yesterday and the TX-930 today.

 

I obtained cable, connectors and so forth and put the new antenna up on the rotating mast, the mast that was previously inhabited by the other FM antenna now at the side of the house.

 

Next step, hook up the TX-930. It worked perfectly! 😁

 

The interesting thing is that the TX-930 had no problem with antenna location - or even orientation - when tuned to 5MBS (the station I was originally having a little trouble with). For example, I did not get mild distortion when using the rotating beam antenna. I'd say the much improved selectivity must have something to do with that.

 

Furthermore, when using the WFT-3D or the JVC, if I had pointed the antenna toward Mt Lofty (where all the main transmission towers are, about 6 km away from me), then 5MBS would have been wiped out. The TX-930 didn't even break a sweat!

 

So now I have two FM antennas, but am back to only needing one. Nothing like having a back-up 🤣.

 

Since I have the rotating FM antenna back, I tried a few distant stations, such as ones in Maitland, Kangaroo Island and Arthurton (all in SA of course). These are at least 120 km away, but come through with good clarity. Flow FM in Maitland is a commercial station, so more powerful than the other two  low powered community stations. I received Flow FM wideband, in stereo, with almost full quieting.

 

Last - but not least - I should mention I'm very happy with the sound quality: stereo imaging is very precise and the fidelity seems very good. Even at high volumes, listening to the community station 5MBS with its lower power, I don't hear any hiss at all during quiet bits.

 

I will keep playing with the TX-930 😁.

Great to hear. These are the benefits of a tuner with a great pedigree!

The TX-930/TX-950 are the last of the truly great Yamaha FM performers.

The high-end models from the mid 90s onwards are still excellent tuners as long as you don't have any challenging signal issues, such as you and I have.  However, they have never reached the FM performance heights of their predecessors.

 

A slight drop in the quality of FM reception coincided with the introduction of RDS.  Possibly because of internal interference caused by the additional digital processing required, or maybe just the economics of adding that feature while maintaining competitive pricing.  I don't know.

 

A further drop in FM specs occurred in models that incorporate DAB/DAB+.  At one point I considered getting the T-D500, but the drop in FM performance compared to my other Yammy tuners made the Sangean WFT-3D with its additional features a much better buy. 

DAB/FM component tuners that offer genuine high-end FM performance are extremely scarce and don't provide internet radio or network streaming.  The Denon TU-1800DAB is about the only one I've come across.

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I picked this up locally earlier this year for about $150 I think it was. The FM X was the last tuner made by Cyrus before pulling the pin on FM only.

 

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It's connected to external with some quality custom length RG6 and splitter (I also run the tv from the same aerial socket). Some Nordost Blue Heaven gets the audio to my Cyrus preamp. I'm also running a PSX-R external power supply into it as well and the performance on classical is quite stunning, especially in the evenings.

 

It's truly lovely to listen to and it's a real shame we only have one station in Brisbane with decent music and viable range worth listening to. You guys down in Vic are spoilt for choice. I lived in NZ for a while a few years ago and their programme selection was also very good. We even had a station dedicated to jazz over there.

 

In the past when I was in the trade, we had the likes of the top end Yamahas and Denons but if I was going Japanese, it would have to have been the Sansui TU-X701 from the very late 80's. My favourite though from back then was the Audiolab 8000T. 

 

 

Edited by Winno

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47 minutes ago, Winno said:

I picked this up locally earlier this year for about $150 I think it was. The FM X was the last tuner made by Cyrus before pulling the pin on FM only.

 

It's connected to external with some quality custom length RG6 and splitter (I also run the tv from the same aerial socket). Some Nordost Blue Heaven gets the audio to my Cyrus preamp. I'm also running a PSX-R external power supply into it as well and the performance on classical is quite stunning, especially in the evenings.

 

It's truly lovely to listen to and it's a real shame we only have one station in Brisbane with decent music and viable range worth listening to. You guys down in Vic are spoilt for choice. I lived in NZ for a while a few years ago and their programme selection was also very good. We even had a station dedicated to jazz over there.

 

In the past when I was in the trade, we had the likes of the top end Yamahas and Denons but if I was going Japanese, it would have to have been the Sansui TU-X701 from the very late 80's. My favourite though from back then was the Audiolab 8000T. 

 

 

Nice find.  The Cyrus is a lovely tuner, specially when it complements the rest of your system.

Unfortunately, like a number of other UK brands, for folks like me it just lacks the extra sensitivity needed for a fringe reception area.

The Audiolab 8000T is an exception, which is why one of them found its way into my living room!

That Sansui TU-X701 is another one I would love to try if I could find one.  An X501 was on ebay recently for a reasonable price, but given the other tuners that I already have, I'd rather wait and see if a 701 comes up.

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4 hours ago, surprisetech said:

Nice find.  The Cyrus is a lovely tuner, specially when it complements the rest of your system.

Unfortunately, like a number of other UK brands, for folks like me it just lacks the extra sensitivity needed for a fringe reception area.

The Audiolab 8000T is an exception, which is why one of them found its way into my living room!

That Sansui TU-X701 is another one I would love to try if I could find one.  An X501 was on ebay recently for a reasonable price, but given the other tuners that I already have, I'd rather wait and see if a 701 comes up.

I was 17 when selling Sansui and didn't take to it back then because of its funny sounding name. Little did I know how good it was. The shop I worked at had all the top end stuff - cd players, integrateds, tuners, a tape deck and even their NZ$4000 stand mount speakers.

 

I liked the Audiolab because of its understated looks. Truth be told, the X701 was probably as good or even better than the Audiolab if you didn't mind orange lights and finger-print prone gloss back paint.

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On 15/10/2019 at 4:03 PM, surprisetech said:

You're welcome Nicholas.  I'm also a big fan of community & public radio.

 

The JVC looks a decent unit.  Not too many tuners have a Hi-Blend option.

The ability to manually tune slightly off-frequency is probably one of the few advantages that an analogue tuner has over digital unless the digital has much finer tuning steps.

 

Another thing you could consider is to check where the transmitters are for the 2 stations.  If they're not at the same location, then rotate your antenna so that it points directly at the 5MBS transmitter.  (compass bearings are handy)

 

If you do upgrade your tuner at some point, the features you need are an IF bandwidth switch that offers a 'Narrow' &/or 'Super Narrow' setting and good 50dB quieting sensitivity.

In terms of community radio, don’t forget that they are all making pretty nice web streaming setups.  I listen to 106.7 PBS the most (and in Melb also spoilt by 102.7 RRR and 103.5 MBS) and it has a great free website enabling choosing past programs.  They provide lists, genre etc.  just fantastic.  I just setup an old iPhone on the wifi to a USB-spdif converter to a Dac.  Much better quality than my descent Sony tuner.  This sort of path probably a better option these days than trying to get reception in a tricky area.  

Edited by Mat-with-one-t

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Interesting topic which caught my eye as I have recently changed the shed system which included the tuner, I've moved from a big Onkyo receiver to a component setup.

The only tuner I had spare is an old Yamaha TX-492, and the sound, well.... It's just flat and boring, in fact I often just turn the radio off and throw in a CD whereas before I always had the radio going.

Reading through the posts reminded me that I have an old Quad FM tuner (FM1?) with the separate multiplexer hidden away somewhere so I'll have to dig it out and have a listen.

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On 30/11/2019 at 11:16 PM, Mat-with-one-t said:

In terms of community radio, don’t forget that they are all making pretty nice web streaming setups.  I listen to 106.7 PBS the most (and in Melb also spoilt by 102.7 RRR and 103.5 MBS) and it has a great free website enabling choosing past programs.  They provide lists, genre etc.  just fantastic.  I just setup an old iPhone on the wifi to a USB-spdif converter to a Dac.  Much better quality than my descent Sony tuner.  This sort of path probably a better option these days than trying to get reception in a tricky area.  

Yes, the streaming and archives are handy.

We played live to air on "Southern Style" a couple of years ago and I was able to send a link to some family and friends who missed hearing it in real time.

I like your clever little streaming solution. 

When the PBS signal is below par at home I do listen to the stream.  Depending on where I am, I can use the HEOS app on a Marantz AVR, the TuneIn app on the Telstra TV or the Internet Radio mode on a Sangean WFT-3D.

Bitrates aren't great, but fine for background listening.  Being public stations, they don't have the cash to splash around on high-rez streams, so if I've got good signal, I still use FM.

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2 hours ago, surprisetech said:

Yes, the streaming and archives are handy.

We played live to air on "Southern Style" a couple of years ago and I was able to send a link to some family and friends who missed hearing it in real time.

I like your clever little streaming solution. 

When the PBS signal is below par at home I do listen to the stream.  Depending on where I am, I can use the HEOS app on a Marantz AVR, the TuneIn app on the Telstra TV or the Internet Radio mode on a Sangean WFT-3D.

Bitrates aren't great, but fine for background listening.  Being public stations, they don't have the cash to splash around on high-rez streams, so if I've got good signal, I still use FM.

Yeah fair enough.  I’ve heard that some (such as pbs and rrr) are entertaining the idea of providing hi-res streaming to subscribers.  That’d be fantastic.....

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10th anniversary of RRR's The Good, the Dub and the Global yesterday, they went live to air with two bands Ajak Kwai and Bashka. Listen back:

https://www.rrr.org.au/explore/programs/the-good-the-dub-the-global/episodes/9928-the-good-the-dub-the-global-3-december-2019

I was lucky enough to be in the audience at RRR's performance space.

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