Replacing FM/DAB tuner with internet radio

derekc2309

Member
Sep 18, 2023
4
0
20
I have the following system:

Arcam T32 tuner (FM and DAB)

Arcam SA30 amplifier

PMC 25 26i speakers



The DAB part of the tuner is inconsistent in that it works sometimes but at other times I get no signal. I suspect that it’s the tuner at fault since I’m in a good reception area with an external roof aerial. I’ve also tried a portable aerial with similar results.



I listen to classical music, mostly through BBC Radio 3 but also via ClassicFM.



I have noticed on the ClassicFM site that they are upgrading their DAB to DAB+ from January. The Arcam T32 seems to be consistent with DAB+ but as I have already stated the T32 isn’t consistent. FM is fine.



I’ve investigated DAB+ and have discovered that in many cases internet radio is broadcasting at a higher bit rate than DAB, including BBC radio 3 (192 kbps v 320 kbps).



I am considering purchasing an internet radio to supplement or replace the Arcam T32. I’ve looked at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-P...c1f06c86&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1



Is this a good option? It would also give me the DAB+. Sound quality is my biggest priority, not hundreds of internet stations!!



Derek
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Welcome to forum, Derek.

As you’ve not exactly skimped on your system, especially the speakers, I think you should treat yourself to a proper streamer, as they all have internet radio capability plus the (perhaps not yet obvious) advantage of working with streaming services like Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal.

DAB is fine in the car, or on a portable radio with a whip aerial, but as a lifetime (well fifty year) fan of FM radio, I’m totally sold on internet radio.

But hang on, dig out your SA30 handbook, as doesn’t that have streaming capability built in? You can use Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. And with Airplay, you can stream from BBC Sounds direct to the amp too.

Have you ever used that function in the SA30?

 

derekc2309

Member
Sep 18, 2023
4
0
20
Hi. Thanks for reply.
Yes I have streamed to the SA30. What I am after (bit old fashioned!!) is a unit that sits with the rest of the Hi-Fi that has the DAB+ and internet radio 'built in'. I assume that you are suggesting streaming (including from BBC Sounds) from a phone or tablet?

Derek
 

DCarmi

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2019
503
393
5,270
Standalone hifi tuners are a bit of a rarity today. If the one you highlight does not suit then you do have a return option.

Personally, I'd go with something like a Google Nest Mini and say "OK Google. Play BBC Radio 3 on <whatever you call your SA30>". You can pick these things up from Ebay fairly cheaply.

(Though, to be fair, I mostly just cast BBC sounds from my phone, even though I have a device with DAB capability. )
 

Rodolfo

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2023
81
23
45
I have the following system:

Arcam T32 tuner (FM and DAB)

Arcam SA30 amplifier

PMC 25 26i speakers



The DAB part of the tuner is inconsistent in that it works sometimes but at other times I get no signal. I suspect that it’s the tuner at fault since I’m in a good reception area with an external roof aerial. I’ve also tried a portable aerial with similar results.



I listen to classical music, mostly through BBC Radio 3 but also via ClassicFM.



I have noticed on the ClassicFM site that they are upgrading their DAB to DAB+ from January. The Arcam T32 seems to be consistent with DAB+ but as I have already stated the T32 isn’t consistent. FM is fine.



I’ve investigated DAB+ and have discovered that in many cases internet radio is broadcasting at a higher bit rate than DAB, including BBC radio 3 (192 kbps v 320 kbps).



I am considering purchasing an internet radio to supplement or replace the Arcam T32. I’ve looked at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-Podcasts-Bluetooth-Majority-Fitzwilliam-Black/dp/B0B3RZWH32/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1OJBKDVVNWBVL&keywords=majority+internet+radio&qid=1695027537&s=electronics&sprefix=majority,electronics,70&sr=1-1-spons&ufe=app_do:amzn1.fos.cc223b57-2b86-485c-a85e-6431c1f06c86&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1



Is this a good option? It would also give me the DAB+. Sound quality is my biggest priority, not hundreds of internet stations!!



Derek
I like your option, and I'd especially like it if I still subscribed to spotify premium. This is one of my two; picked up a great deal on ebay a few years ago:


It's quite basic, but works fine, and has been pretty well known for years. It doesn't talk or listen (which I prefer), but it is connected to the tuner input on my integrated, has a good remote, and brings in all the stations I like. There are a few youtubes illustrating its features well. It has DAB+. The other one I have is a desktop unit.

Enjoy your shopping and eventual selection.
 
Last edited:

nopiano

Well-known member
Hi. Thanks for reply.
Yes I have streamed to the SA30. What I am after (bit old fashioned!!) is a unit that sits with the rest of the Hi-Fi that has the DAB+ and internet radio 'built in'. I assume that you are suggesting streaming (including from BBC Sounds) from a phone or tablet?

Derek
Well, according to the review above your SA30 has TuneIn, a popular internet radio ‘collator’ or ‘integrator’ - not sure what the term is! A bit like google for radio stations. That carries most every station, but the BBC are trying to track our listening, hence the massive push towards Sounds - which is traceable to each user. And hence the Beeb are disabling the collation by TuneIn, and some devices already cannot work properly now .

BBC Sounds isn’t integrated into any streaming device I know of, but as you say it is available as an app on phones and tablets. That’s the second best way to hear BBC radio via the web, by streaming to the SA30. However, the best is from the TuneIn or an alternative service native to your streamer. You’ll get 320kbps on the main channels. If you like Radio Paradise that’s at CD quality, or 1.4Mbps!

On my Linn DS, the newer alternative to TuneIn is Airable Radio. Maybe your Arcam dealer or their helpline can advise you how best to get the BBC on your device today? Frankly, DAB is very poor in comparison, and you’ve obviously got limited reception so why bother?
 

Jasonovich

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2022
1,009
600
2,070
I have the following system:

Arcam T32 tuner (FM and DAB)

Arcam SA30 amplifier

PMC 25 26i speakers



The DAB part of the tuner is inconsistent in that it works sometimes but at other times I get no signal. I suspect that it’s the tuner at fault since I’m in a good reception area with an external roof aerial. I’ve also tried a portable aerial with similar results.



I listen to classical music, mostly through BBC Radio 3 but also via ClassicFM.



I have noticed on the ClassicFM site that they are upgrading their DAB to DAB+ from January. The Arcam T32 seems to be consistent with DAB+ but as I have already stated the T32 isn’t consistent. FM is fine.



I’ve investigated DAB+ and have discovered that in many cases internet radio is broadcasting at a higher bit rate than DAB, including BBC radio 3 (192 kbps v 320 kbps).



I am considering purchasing an internet radio to supplement or replace the Arcam T32. I’ve looked at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-Podcasts-Bluetooth-Majority-Fitzwilliam-Black/dp/B0B3RZWH32/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1OJBKDVVNWBVL&keywords=majority+internet+radio&qid=1695027537&s=electronics&sprefix=majority,electronics,70&sr=1-1-spons&ufe=app_do:amzn1.fos.cc223b57-2b86-485c-a85e-6431c1f06c86&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1



Is this a good option? It would also give me the DAB+. Sound quality is my biggest priority, not hundreds of internet stations!!



Derek
The Majority unit is an inexpensive / low risk way of adding Internet radio to HiFI. I actually did consider purchasing and I decided I rather stream my music, Spotify has podcasts that are worth listening. I believe you have Spotify on this unit, so that's a plus.

Judging by other people's comments, from Amazon particularly, it appears to be of good quality and performs well. However, I did note some gripes which might be worth factoring in before you decide to purchase.

The unit isn't hardwired with an RJ45 network socket; You only have the option of Bluetooth or wireless. It doesn't have a main switch at the back that you can totally turn off from the mains.
The remote isn't as responsive as it should be, it seems you need to point it directly at the unit.
Not like my TV remote, if the cat sits on it, it will scan a thousand channels within a minute!
some didn't like the fixed mains wire coming straight out of the back of the unit.

It has a nice interface, looks pretty intuitive and won't look out of place, next to more costly HiFI
And, USB for your music collection....Seems OK for the price :)

1695391051059.png
 

Edbostan

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2021
312
156
2,070
I have the following system:

Arcam T32 tuner (FM and DAB)

Arcam SA30 amplifier

PMC 25 26i speakers



The DAB part of the tuner is inconsistent in that it works sometimes but at other times I get no signal. I suspect that it’s the tuner at fault since I’m in a good reception area with an external roof aerial. I’ve also tried a portable aerial with similar results.



I listen to classical music, mostly through BBC Radio 3 but also via ClassicFM.



I have noticed on the ClassicFM site that they are upgrading their DAB to DAB+ from January. The Arcam T32 seems to be consistent with DAB+ but as I have already stated the T32 isn’t consistent. FM is fine.



I’ve investigated DAB+ and have discovered that in many cases internet radio is broadcasting at a higher bit rate than DAB, including BBC radio 3 (192 kbps v 320 kbps).



I am considering purchasing an internet radio to supplement or replace the Arcam T32. I’ve looked at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-P...c1f06c86&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1



Is this a good option? It would also give me the DAB+. Sound quality is my biggest priority, not hundreds of internet stations!!



Derek
Beware of Internet radio. I bought an Onkyo Network Player which used VTuner to process Internet radio. Eventually the BBC pulled its radio stations off VTuner and a few commercial radio stations likewise
 
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DiggyGun

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2021
137
85
1,670
I previously used a Majority Internet Radio Adapter, which was very good, for a couple of years.

Found it was a good way of exploring new radio stations as we like traditional Jazz.

I then moved onto a Linn Digital Streamer, but it was a good way of testing the water before I did so.

Good luck with your search.

DG…
 
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Haroldon

Active member
Jan 25, 2024
2
1
25
Considering your love for classical music and the upcoming transition to DAB+ by ClassicFM, an internet radio could be a great option.
 
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DiggyGun

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2021
137
85
1,670
Errrm they are going to ditch FM? Poor move by they it is crap by comparison..
Previously, the Digital Radio Action Plan proposed that the earliest date that the government could consider setting a switch-off timetable for FM and AM networks was when digital accounted for at least 50 percent of all UK radio listening.

However, switching off FM has been given a stay of execution until 2030, according to a Digital Radio and Audio Review by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Who knows after that.

DG…
 
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Haroldon

Active member
Jan 25, 2024
2
1
25
Considering your love for classical music and the upcoming transition to DAB+ by ClassicFM, an internet radio could be a great option.


Plus, the higher bit rates on internet radio can offer superb sound quality.The one you've been eyeing on Amazon seems like a decent choice, especially if it covers your priorities. Sound quality should always come first, and having the bonus of DAB+ is a nice touch.

(Link deleted as not relevant to poster's question.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Plus, the higher bit rates on internet radio can offer superb sound quality.The one you've been eyeing on Amazon seems like a decent choice, especially if it covers your priorities. Sound quality should always come first, and having the bonus of DAB+ is a nice touch.

(Link deleted as not relevant to poster's question.)
Please refer to forum rules about trying to drive traffic to other sites.
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
1,497
920
3,070
I wouldn't call Classic FMs move to DAB+ an 'upgrade'....despite the '+' it is more compressed than before! Internet radio is preferable in my opinion to FM but most internet radios pick up Classic FMs 128 kbps mp3 stream. The best quality is via the HD option in the Classic FM app which I understand is 192 kbps AAC...so quite an improvement. I use Airplay from an iPad and can clearly hear the improvement 👍
 

good_enough

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
43
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