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Can somebody recommend a good used FM tuner (UK)

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plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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George said:
chebby said:
George said:
I now have the NAD. The NAD sounds different. It is warmer, more natural sounding also has the useful blend button. The Marantz is clearer. The NAD is more pleasant to listen to. Reception is good on both. Which do I prefer? *scratch_one-s_head*
The NAD of course. (If, as you say, it's more pleasant to listen to.)

I'm glad it's all worked out for you. Keep us posted. We don't get much FM chat.
I,m now thinking the Marantz is better. The NAD sounds very nice but a bit "muddy" . The Marantz sounds very good, in fact I did not realize FM could sound so good. The bass is excellent and tight. Good mids and the highs surprisingly good for FM radio.*biggrin*
Surprising how a little extra time with components can throw up different sonic aspects.

FWIW, I've recently compared my old dinosaur of a Marantz with the Denon, and to my ears, the Denon sounds warmer, while the Marantz gives a more open and airy sound.

Based on pure sonics, the Marantz wins by a nose. Alas, with my current set-up the Denon is aesthetically better.

Enjoy whichever one you decide to go with.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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George said:
I,m now thinking the Marantz is better. The NAD sounds very nice but a bit "muddy" . The Marantz sounds very good, in fact I did not realize FM could sound so good. The bass is excellent and tight. Good mids and the highs surprisingly good for FM radio.*biggrin*
It doesn't suprise me. BBC FM in particular has always been* a [mostly] digital format from - and including - the studio all the way to the 'last hop' from your nearest transmitter (where it finally gets converted to analogue) to your tuner.

http://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/pcm-nicam/digits-fm.html

* Since November 1972 onwards depending on when your transmitter was scheduled in the 'roll-out'.

Angus MacKenzie (an extremely well-known reviewer back then) wrote ...

“[/i]A year or so ago we [Hi Fi News] published some noise measurements made of the [stereo] test tones radiated from Wrotham on Radio 3, and it may be remembered that an approximate S/N ratio of only 58dB was average on each stereo channel... The PCM system is now giving a ratio from the output of the continuity desk [at Broadcasting House] to my own receiver of 65dB unweighted. Thus showing an improvement of 7dB over average conditions of the past. The improvement is noticeable mainly at the lowest frequencies with an almost complete elimination of all forms of hum... Although the crosstalk has usually been satisfactory the capability of the new PCM link is so amazing that at 900 Hz the transmitted crosstalk was measured in the early hours of Sunday 17th September and found to be 46dB (which includes the crosstalk of my tuner)... All these improvements have been noticed quite dramatically on relays of the last three Prom concerts... Those capable of receiving the BBC PCM [fed] stereo radio are almost certainly hearing the finest sound quality available in the world.”[/i]

Nowadays, of course, digital extends throughout the studios too improving good old 'analogue' FM even more :)
 

iMark

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May 16, 2008
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Interesting read about the great qualtiy of FM broadcasts by the BBC. We have noticed the excellent sound quality of Radio 2 and Radio 3 in our car when driving in England. You wonder why people would even consider listening to Radio 3 on DAB.

FM is still going very strong here in NL and stereo FM tuners and receivers are still sold. There are about 5 million homes with a subscription to a Cable TV provider and all of them use FM to broadcast between 35 to 40 stations. This includes the modulation of foreign stations to FM, including 3 or more BBC stations. Every cable socket comes with both a TV and a radio output, making connections very easy. Obviously the redistributed sound is not as good as it would be with a good FM aerial, but the convenience and choice still make cable FM an attractive option. If the cable companies would ever think of switching of FM there will be an uproar because that will make millions of FM tuners obsolete.
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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plastic penguin said:
George said:
chebby said:
George said:
I now have the NAD. The NAD sounds different. It is warmer, more natural sounding also has the useful blend button. The Marantz is clearer. The NAD is more pleasant to listen to. Reception is good on both. Which do I prefer? *scratch_one-s_head*
The NAD of course. (If, as you say, it's more pleasant to listen to.)

I'm glad it's all worked out for you. Keep us posted. We don't get much FM chat.
I,m now thinking the Marantz is better. The NAD sounds very nice but a bit "muddy" . The Marantz sounds very good, in fact I did not realize FM could sound so good. The bass is excellent and tight. Good mids and the highs surprisingly good for FM radio.*biggrin*
Surprising how a little extra time with components can throw up different sonic aspects.

FWIW, I've recently compared my old dinosaur of a Marantz with the Denon, and to my ears, the Denon sounds warmer, while the Marantz gives a more open and airy sound.

Based on pure sonics, the Marantz wins by a nose. Alas, with my current set-up the Denon is aesthetically better.

Enjoy whichever one you decide to go with.
I've changed my mind again. I like the NAD better for some reason the Marantz is lacking on the upper mids although the bass sounds a bit messy on the NAD I think on the whole the NAD is more balanced and better sounding, I have sold the Marantz (got my money back on it) so I cannot change my mind again.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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George said:
I've changed my mind again. I like the NAD better for some reason the Marantz is lacking on the upper mids although the bass sounds a bit messy on the NAD I think on the whole the NAD is more balanced and better sounding, I have sold the Marantz (got my money back on it) so I cannot change my mind again.
I've not heard either tuner but Hi-Fi World said this about the NAD 412 in 1996 ..

"A remarkably musical and natural sounding tuner. Unbeatable at the price, or even twice the price for that matter."

It seems you have been having fun comparing tuners. It's nice that (most) vintage tuners are still pretty cheap to swap around and sell on (unlike the vintage turntable market where retro collectors and 'hipsters' have forced prices up in recent years).
 

MrReaper182

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Apr 6, 2014
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iMark said:
Interesting read about the great qualtiy of FM broadcasts by the BBC. We have noticed the excellent sound quality of Radio 2 and Radio 3 in our car when driving in England. You wonder why people would even consider listening to Radio 3 on DAB. 

FM is still going very strong here in NL and stereo FM tuners and receivers are still sold. There are about 5 million homes with a subscription to a Cable TV provider and all of them use FM to broadcast between 35 to 40 stations. This includes the modulation of foreign stations to FM, including 3 or more BBC stations. Every cable socket comes with both a TV and a radio output, making connections very easy. Obviously the redistributed sound is not as good as it would be with a good FM aerial, but the convenience and choice still make cable FM an attractive option. If the cable companies would ever think of switching of FM there will be an uproar because that will make millions of FM tuners obsolete. 
I'm sorry I have to say this but I think the sooner they switch off the FM signal the better. It's 2017 and there are still households in England which can not get a good DAB reception. Switching off the FM tuners might make the gov do something about that. Also more stations on DAB radio and better sound quality, I mean when was the last time someone got good sound quality from Classic FM using an FM tuner? You can pick up an good DAB radio for £50, That's less than most family's weekly shop.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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MrReaper182 said:
iMark said:
Interesting read about the great qualtiy of FM broadcasts by the BBC. We have noticed the excellent sound quality of Radio 2 and Radio 3 in our car when driving in England. You wonder why people would even consider listening to Radio 3 on DAB.

FM is still going very strong here in NL and stereo FM tuners and receivers are still sold. There are about 5 million homes with a subscription to a Cable TV provider and all of them use FM to broadcast between 35 to 40 stations. This includes the modulation of foreign stations to FM, including 3 or more BBC stations. Every cable socket comes with both a TV and a radio output, making connections very easy. Obviously the redistributed sound is not as good as it would be with a good FM aerial, but the convenience and choice still make cable FM an attractive option. If the cable companies would ever think of switching of FM there will be an uproar because that will make millions of FM tuners obsolete.
I'm sorry I have to say this but I think the sooner they switch off the FM signal the better. It's 2017 and there are still households in England which can not get a good DAB reception. Switching off the FM tuners might make the gov do something about that.
Hopefully you'll be willing to hand over your equally ancient technology (your turntable and LPs) to the Government as something in return for all the FM listeners you'd be so happy to deprive of their enjoyment :)

I use BBC iPlayer Radio via AirPlay and their 320k HLS streams via my Mac Mini and optical to the DAC in my Quad Vena. However, I also have an FM tuner (see my sig.) that I enjoy too.

The BBC invested in upgrading the digital delivery of FM as recently as November 2015 ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2016-01-35-million-people-didnt-notice-a-thing-dot-dot-dot

... and I am all for their efforts to keep it all bang up-to-date (all but the 'last hop' has been digital with FM delivery since the 1970s onwards as I linked to in an earlier post) no matter what the consumer is using, even if - as in my case - it's everything but DAB! (And it's appalling quality in comparison to good internet delivery and/or good FM via a decent aerial).
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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I doubt DAB would work where I live due to poor signal because of the hill and large trees in the way. At least with FM I can still listen to it even if the signal is not the best. There must be loads of people in this situation. I use a small portable Roberts FM radio to listen to Radio 2 when I,m doing decorating jobs often in areas with poor signal, I doubt any DAB radio would cope with such conditions. I guess the situation with car radio is similar, FM is more reliable than DAB?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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But MrReaper182 thinks you (we) should all be forcibly deprived of FM in order to throw DAB problems into sharp relief and force the Government to react...

MrReaper182 said:
I'm sorry I have to say this but I think the sooner they switch off the FM signal the better. It's 2017 and there are still households in England which can not get a good DAB reception. Switching off the FM tuners might make the gov do something about that.
Anyone see a problem?
 

George

New member
Nov 20, 2014
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George said:
I must stop looking at tuners......
Update, I've just got a Rotel RT-950BX, it sounds clearer than the warmer sounding NAD. I think the Rotel suits my taste and hearing (or my lack of hearing) better than the NAD does. With some creative positioning of the ribbon aerial I somehow managed to get 3 bars (out of 5) on the signal meter. And it sounds very good and hiss free even in stereo. Anyway I think the Rotel is a keeper.
 
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