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Which is best - FM, DAB or satellite

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Kevin Stephens

New member
Apr 16, 2009
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I bought an optical lead yesterday and listened to Radio 3's World Music alternating between my old Musical Fidelity Electra analogue tuner )good external roof ariel) and cable box routed through my Dacmagic 2 (1995)

The results are fascinating. The quality if the digital source is outstanding, as is that from the analogue tuner. The difference reflects the different characters of the Dacmagic (detailed, precise but a tad bright/harsh) and the tuner (nice and rounded but a little too laid back and lacking in clarity.

From this I'll make sure that my forthcomming CD replacement (probably a Quad 99 CDP-2) will have an optical input for radio from the cable box, the tuner will be disposed of.

My only DAB source is my alarm clock radio, which plays Planet Rock just long enough for me to hit the snooze button
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
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19,195
Kevin Stephens: The results are fascinating. The quality if the digital source is outstanding, as is that from the analogue tuner. The difference reflects the different characters of the Dacmagic (detailed, precise but a tad bright/harsh) and the tuner (nice and rounded but a little too laid back and lacking in clarity.

Indeed. Also digital sources (optical to your DAC from cable or Freeview) give a far wider choice than FM and saves you having to buy an expensive tuner (or frees up your old one for sale).

Plus you have internet radio for BBC iPlayer to listen to stuff you missed (in AAC at decent bitrates) and quite a few thousand other internet stations, many of which have excellent quality too.

I regret to say it (because I have been heavily into good quality stereo radio for well over 30 years and I get a bit nostalgic about it) but FM is dead. DAB has no future (for people who appreciate quality) unless they change it from MP2 and give us decent bitrates. (Even then you still need a DAB roof aerial and DAB tuner to make the best of a bad job.)

Freeview/Cable/Satellite radio is available to everyone with no extra expenditure on aerials or boxes (just use what you have already for TV). Good quality is there even without the DAC because every telly or DVD recorder or cable satellite box has the means to connect with RCA phono connections as well as optical digital.
 

Kevin Stephens

New member
Apr 16, 2009
33
0
0
Kevin Stephens:

The results are fascinating. The quality if the digital source is outstanding, as is that from the analogue tuner. The difference reflects the different characters of the Dacmagic (detailed, precise but a tad bright/harsh) and the tuner (nice and rounded but a little too laid back and lacking in clarity.

Actually now that I've replaced my amp and speakers the digital source sounds the same, but the analogue tuner has come alive, far better than before and far better than the digital source
 

HDNumpty

New member
Jan 17, 2008
86
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0
My 2-penneth...I've tried FM from my CA540r receiver into my CA840a amp - sounds fantastic but only for really 'strong' signals...and I don't listen to radio 1!! when I tried to tune in to Classic FM the signal is hissy and wanders all over the place, XFM is non-existant via my TV aerial and I'm only 15m from Manchester!

6music via my Humax PVR is a much better bet and sounds enjoyable but no Classic or XFM! think I will have to invest in a Freesat box...I've tried DAB from a Pure Evoke 1 through stereo amp but just sounds a bit like AM used to, not great.
 

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