Is anyone still buying / using standalone FM Tuners (or integrated)?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheVinylAddict, May 13, 2019.

  1. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    I was thinking about adding a nice standalone FM tuner to my home audio setup - but wondered with today's Internet Radio, etc is anyone still using standalone / integrated FM tuners?

    Is it worth it, or will using the Internet / HD radio features suffice?
     
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  2. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I happily own two stand alone tuners, and two receivers. And, having two good public radio stations playing jazz, my units see regular use.

    If you want a great sounding FM tuner, my suggestion would be Magnum Dynalab FT 101A. You can get a used one in good working order for about $250

    Of the new ones, there aren't that many to begin with. New Magnums start at about $1,800. On the more affordable side, NAD C367, iirc, is about $400, Yamaha offers one for about $250, not sure how good it is, and, finally there is Pro Ject Tuner Box S for about $200' and it is a gimmick, having a $10 radio chip inside a box selling for $200.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  3. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Thanks.

    As far as suggestions on looking what to buy - not looking for that - I have my eye on a nice Accuphase tuner, just slow to pull the trigger and wondered what others are doing these days with the plethora of choices on how to get radio...........
     
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  4. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I bought an inexpensive Sangean tuner w HD recently. It replaced an old and ailing Onkyo tuner. It plays nice and sounds decent. To be honest, I bought it only because of an antiquated belief that a “proper” system should have a radio even though I get below average reception in my location. It has a cool display though and HD radio does have a few interesting offerings. I hate to say it, but I think FM radio just might be on its last legs.
     
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  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Don't shy away from that point :) --- that is why I posted --- to get different perspectives. I truly don't have a good handle on the situation in this case........

    Some of it can depend on where one lives too from what I gather...... and the availability of good FM stations still.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  6. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Am giving consideration to buying one of the 70's 80's style tuners to listen and also to look at.:)
     
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  7. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I live in semi rural area in central Florida. If I was close to a college or Tampa I’m sure I’d receive better stations. Also, I guess a roof top antenna would be a big help. But w summer lightning, I think I’ll pass on that. As it is, I get a couple of rock stations and an NPR.
     
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  8. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I have no use for a tuner - there is just nothing being broadcast that interests me. I'd rather use that money for a better amp.
     
  9. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    As a matter of fact, if I am able to upgrade in the next couple of years, I'm not even going integrated - just a $1000 DAC with its own volume control for analog output right into a power amp.
     
  10. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    It's this dang thrift store near where I work. I see nice tuners sometimes for $5-$10, so I've picked up several over the years, and use them occasionally. A fair amount of good stations in the LA/southern CA area still.
     
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  11. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    I have the older version of this Sangean. https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-HDT-20-Radio-FM-Stereo-Component/dp/B01BY02C5K
    Doesn't break the bank and works well. Only issue is mine has extremely high analog output from it's RCA's. I put a couple of 12db attenuators on it. Almost all FM stations broadcast an HD signal (which brings you a lot of extra sub stations) now and even some AM stations. The AM stations sound much better in HD/Dig.
     
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  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Thanks, as mentioned earlier that is exactly what I am thinking of doing and the reason for the post :).......

    Well, the one I have my eye on maybe like 70's and 80's in style but a Tuner that is a little later in build, closer to the year 2000............ but it's an Accuphase, and their gear from 2019 still looks a lot like Accuphase from 1980! (like the C-2410 preamp I own). They've stayed true to a classic look IMO.

    There is a vintage from the 80's and one from 2005 I am looking at, they don't look too different!
     
  13. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    It all depends on the quality of the FM stations in your local area. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with quality programming and good sound, then a separate FM tuner makes great sense. That's the case for me. Although I live in a rural area we have two university FM stations, one with all-classical and one with all-jazz programming, and they both have strong signals with very good sound. As a result I listen to FM a lot. I have a Fisher FM-100B and Sansui TU-717.
     
  14. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    By the way, just for fun I am currently listening to my Denon x7200Wa's Tuner for HD Radio - and listening to Phoenix's KJZZ HD2 station (KJZZ HD1 is news during the day, HD2 is apparently music) - sounds fair to midland playing two-channel through my A21 / NS-2000's. (it bypasses my Accuphase C-2410 preamp as it has an HT bypass feature).......

    I have a roof mounted antenna, and going coaxial into the AVR so the signal is as good as it gets.......
     
  15. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    That is exactly what I need to rediscover for the Phoenix AZ area --- like I just posted above I immediately found KJZZ, a station I listened to for years and sometimes tune in the car --- but its been a few years since I listened to FM radio in Phx in detail. My wife still listens to radio in the car --- I listen mostly to CD / MP3, etc.

    It has also been years since I listened to FM on my home audio system --- ever since I got rid of my dedicated FM tuner / 2 channel based systems at the turn of the century and went HT / AVR! For the last few years I am re-building the 2 channel, but the FM tuner is still a hold out.

    I am enjoying KJZZ HD right now...... but over the AVR. (btw its a jazz station for those that don't know)
     
  16. Sane Man

    Sane Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bethlehem, PA
    There are two college radio stations that broadcast near me that I very much enjoy along with NPR. That was worth me working a tuner (in my case, a tuner/preamp) into my setup.
     
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  17. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I have an FM tuner, but only use it for NPR. With the quality of broadcast signal and programming in my area, terrestrial radio for music is dead to me.
     
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  18. Dane Argentini

    Dane Argentini Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    It all comes down to whether or not you have any quality FM broadcast stations in your area that you like. I have a local classical station with a relatively clean, quiet, strong and uncompressed signal. Likewise, local college stations and NPR can be found transmitting good signals playing jazz, blues, and indie music. Get a quality tuner and a proper antenna and you're good to go. I'm fortunate to be using a restored and upgraded vintage analog Kenwood KT-8300 with wideband filters and extra meters to check signal deviation and multi-path to monitor the broadcast quality and antenna orientation. Works wonderfully and I purchased it used for a few hundred dollars. There are many other quality vintage tuners out there by Yamaha, Pioneer, Sansui, etc. that are fine performers also when restored. Just check out www.fmtunerinfo.com for info and ratings before you buy.
     
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  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    I wish someone could give me the skinny / pulse for the Phoenix area and the overall state of FM and if it's worth it from that perspective.......... like Sane Man just said though - for me theKJZZ (the jazz station) might already be enough to justify!! :)

    KJZZ is still here (listening to it now) but just checked and it looks like FM 89.5 (the classical station I listened to years ago) might be gone.......

    I have to do a little digging on the Phoenix area.... or maybe someone could save me the shovel work! I have been here for near 40 years now, grew up in my teens on classic rock 97.9, 100.7, etc and more....... but it's been years and out of touch with the state of FM in Phoendog.
     
  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___ Thread Starter

    Wait - I take that back - it appears KBACH 89.5 classical is still here - I must have reception issues here in Tempe (it broadcasts a ways away in Sun City) --- it is notoriously a tough one to tune in and can have issues --- I may have to play with my antenna a bit and try to direct tune...

    ...yup, just tried - nothing on direct tune - must be bad reception.
     
  21. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    It is worth it if you have a local FM station that you want to listen to. Unfortunately where I live, cannot receive any stations that are worth listening to.
     
  22. Dane Argentini

    Dane Argentini Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    You may need to get a more sensitive and selective tuner to pull in some stations along with a directional antenna. That's where the better vintage analog tuners show their strengths over more modern offerings. Sony also made an out of production full digital high performace tuner that was very sensitive but I don't remember the model number.
     
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  23. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    With streaming and internet radio available, I have almost no reason to need FM radio in my home. The one thing I would want it for? Baseball. MLB has a solid lock-down on in-market streaming of radio broadcasts, such that the only way I have found to listen to baseball broadcasts locally is on an actual radio. I would be interested in a stand-alone FM tuner for that purpose alone, but I will also add I have had little success tuning the right station in from inside the house (the car is great... I guess I haven’t had a good enough tuner and/or antenna in the house).

    For music? No, all the stations I would listen to have live streams.
     
  24. ti-triodes

    ti-triodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC

    That’s the advice I would give. I stop by a thrift shop near work once a week and always see tuners for dirt cheap.
     
  25. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I use my MR-77 almost every day.
     
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