No such thing as a receiver that is high end. They are all pure crap. But you don't need a receiver. All you need is a tuner. FM tuners, no problem. Lots to choose from. But they will be nice sounding analog, not digital. Unless of course the station broadcasting is digital. Which a lot are. Like a sickness on the land. Anyway: FM tuner.
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If you have a gear that has Bluetooth aptx,
set your cellular phone on ´´ data ´´ not ´´wifi ´´ and find a station on
internet . Stream that station to your gear via aptx.
It is economical. The sound may be very good.
I am deceived by the audio quality of my FM tuner.
But I do not have a very good anthena.
I’d look for a Vintage tuner that’s been refreshed i.e. new caps, proper alignment. there is no one really make really good tuners anymore for reasonable prices and if its only for the occasional use vintage is the way to go. you can find yourself a really nice sounding tuner for a couple hundred or supper sounding one for $500-800 after refresh. Need a good antenna with any tuner though.
for new the best are probably these guys, they also make some excellent antenna:
for vintage a good site for learning is:
personally a Sansui TU series is hard to beat when refreshed.
lastly the only reason to digitize your FM signal if your system is all digital (in which case it would most likely digitize the analogue signal coming into it), your using room correction (same as above most likely) or you don't have an analogue input.
An analogue to digital converter is common in the recording industry so if you need to go that way try a local music store they would have a cheaper and good sounding unit, i.e. Tascam etc.
If you don't need FM, it appears the Yamaha has just introduced a pretty good sounding integrated amp. It's not inexpensive but the model number is A-S3200. The November issue of Stereophile has a write-up on it. You could always mate it with an older Sansui tuner...I believe it is the TU-717 tuner. One of the best tuners ever made for the money. Had one many years ago paired to an Audio Research D-51 amp and Quad pre-amp.
+1 on XDRguy His modified Sony Tuner is very good. For the price it is incredible. https://www.xdrguy.com/
I listen to the same station, which has 2 broadcasts channels. One on FM and the second on HD radio. I listen to the FM on my Magnum Dynalab MD102 and the HD on the Sony XDR-F1HD. I am shocked at how passable the crappy HD signal sounds on the Sony. The reception on it is amazing for both HD and FM.
I listen almost everyday for about 3 to 4 hours on these 2 tuners.
The MD 102 is both XLR and SE output while the Sony is only SE.
Pick up a cambridge audio t500 used for cheap on ebay, an excellent tuner with a knob for tuning. It is a joy to use and sounds terrific. Alternatively, find a used creek t43, essentially the same as the above t500, but with slightly better performance. I own both, as well as a Marantz st6000, they are all very very good tuners. Connect any of them to an open line input on your integrated.
Well I would certainly consider a Mcintosh MAC7200 as a high end receiver. I thought there were some other pretty decent integrated amps that had FM card options too.
I listen to internet radio a lot and have thought about getting a tuner for potential extended internet outages and to explore local stations. Using the phone on cell service is a great idea too, but that may become compromised as well in an emergency and watch your data usage.
I'd love to get my hands on a Magnum tuner to play around with.
Many companies still make AM/FM dedicated tuners. Yamaha for one, see the link below. $250 new. You seem to already have plenty of amp and other devices, just need the tuner. I think that you can find tuners like this without needing to go some over-the-top complicated setup.
I remember seeing an ad for a used FM tuner that could also receive satellite radio (Sirius/XM); but, I can’t remember which brand(s) it was. But, if your goal is to have as many listening options as possible, that could be a potentially good candidate.Several tuners have offered this option, including McIntosh, but it’s a poor choice. SiriusXM’s online stream is much higher audio quality than its satellite signal.
If you want good sound quality, provided you have good FM stations in your area, a dedicated high quality FM tuner (and a good antenna) can be an excellent source.
Here's a great place to get info - https://www.fmtunerinfo.com/
I'm almost 50 miles away from the main broadcast towers and the sound quality from my Magnum Dynalabs Etude rivals CD playback. I also have an Onkyo T-9090 II which is another excellent tuner.
Most of the radio broadcast over the internet is compressed. Radio Paradise is an exception. Great sound quality and well curated tunes.
I've only experienced Sirius / XM as far as satellite radio goes. It sounds awful compared to over the air FM broadcast.
I live in Charleston, SC. They call it "The Low Country" for a reason ~ we are at sea level. When I moved here, I hooked up my stereo system with my Magnum Dynalabs Etude. I could pull in some stations, but none that really interested me, so I got Sirius XM that I run through my audio system just like a tuner. This works really well for me and the signal is really good, even those driving rain storms we get here. I mainly listen to jazz and have three great choices. Before you invest in an FM tuner, make sure there are stations in your area that are of interest to you.
I have owned several Magnum Dynalab tuners over the years starting with Magnum Dynalabs Etude then moving up the line to their internet tuners, MD807T on one system and a MD809T on main system. Gives the ability to listen to 40k+ internet station as well as FM. I use a FM antenna on both and reception is every bit as good as my analog FT101A Etude.
There are a lot of excellent FM tuners. See fmtunerinfo.com Shootouts page. As a project, I bought a few to see if I agreed, or maybe wanted to upgrade to. Despite really trying to contradict the findings, just for fun I tell you, I found that every comparison was spot on, even my beloved Kenwood KT-917 was just a tiny bit less dynamic/softer in the bass than the somewhat higher rated B&K, seriously hard-to-operate TS108 (The only one I kept). The Sansui 707/717 was pretty much their equal, and my KT-815 needs some bass, just as stated in the shootout, but sounds good on classical music. I tried others, and never once found any tuner out of the order it was placed in the shootout.
Although the sound is most certainly inferior to my best FM tuners, I still love the jazz station on my Polk Sirius/XM satellite tuner (or my pal's Marantz). Quality programming can supercede a loss in accuracy, and this station does just that, to the point it does not matter. The music is too good to pass up, and begins to sound really good, as your ears adapt to the supposed burn in that audiophiles think exists.. Selection is much better than the algorithms used for streaming mass appeal top forty of each channel genre, not to mention continually going back to songs already played. The knowledge of a long time fan/DJ works much better than having a computer tell you what to hear.
So you want to go analog FM.
first consideration , actually shared by 2 main issues. You are going to be dependent obviously on what stations you have available within 100 mi radius (best case scenario with rooftop antenna) and of course your taste in music and if there are even stations that provide an eclectic choice of music (if thats what you want) or how bad you want to listen to truly non commercial independent stations such as college stations/community stations or other semi non commercial stations such as NPR type. Well, NPR are generally always available although depending on their music formats can well be someones cup of tea.
The other important factor and focusing strictly on analog FM this can not be stressed enough ---Its not how good the tuner is (although of course one wants a decent performing tuner) Its how good your antenna is. . and by good is meant that the only ,, the ONLY type of antenna that is going to enable the best possible sound from ANY given tuner is a rooftop rotatable yagi style FM only antenna. Which have pretty much been discontinued by major brands like Winegard. There are substitutes available that combine uhf ,,etc. (not going into that for purposes of this post) Possibly still available from an obscure vendor or 2 online last I heard.
Antennas for tuners were never stressed back in the heyday for purposes of selling the highest priced tuners. Why would a salesperson sell you a 120 dollar entry level Sansui or Onkyo or Pioneer if they can instead sell you a 600 dollar Mac back in the day telling you that it is built in the best possible way with the best parts.. yada yada.. (Ive had 3 Mac tuners and they are good and they perform most noticeably best using a rooftop antenna as ALL the tuners I have had do.
The point is this. a $150 tuner is going to sound better than a $800 tuner when the lower priced 3 or 4 gang tuner is using a rooftop antenna compared to the 5 or even 7 gang tuner that is just using a dipole or Any other indoor antenna set up.. Its just the way it is. The tuner has to get the best possible signal to be able to perform its best. An obviously being up there on the roof pointed in the direction of the tower is going to get it on. To be clear,, I’m talking about using indoor antenna vs using rooftop antenna . So of course the $800 tuner is most always going to sound better using a rooftop than the $150 using the same rooftop set up.
I had used a simple dipole antenna since the 60’s listening to local FM . It was not until the early 2000’s that I installed my first yagi style fm only antenna --a Winegard. The difference in sound quality (not to mention reception ability) was literally mind boggling and mind blowing and became a source for major music listening for me. But of course, I had lived in an area of the country that has long been just blessed with many good FM stations including multiple independent college stations which are often low power but living within 30 miles and using rooftop antenna would provide very good analog sound. rivaling at times vinyl sound or whatever you want to call good analog sound.
A great value is indeed some of the better Sansui FM tuners. If you are on a budget I agree to seek out one of those. Note: I sold many of them in my early retail days. Really nice sounding, never a problem, should be a solid vintage tuner for todays purchase. Someone above recommended an Accuphase T-101. I wholeheartedly agree with that. Years ago I had an entire stack of Accuphase which included the T-101 tuner. It was stellar! I am still kicking myself for selling that stack to my nephew. If you can find one grab it. Built like a million bucks, beautiful looking, sonically satisfying (given a good antenna connection, of course). It has that quality sound of analogue, almost like that of vinyl. Good luck in your quest for a quality FM tuner.
Millercarbon's ridiculous assertion regarding receiver quality aside, if you are looking just for FM there's no reason to pick a receiver over a tuner, even though TOTL receivers often have excellent tuner sections. Tuners are designed to do one thing so why not put all your $ into the function that you care about?
The type of tuner to look for depends in part on your physical environment. In a dense urban setting with lots of buildings and stations, you'll be better off with a tuner that has good selectivity (the ability to parse signals that are right next to either other) as well as multipath ability - handling multiple reflections of the same signal (from buildings, etc.). If you're in the boondocks, then sensitivity (the ability to capture weaker signals) is more important.
Then there is sound quality. For example, the aforementioned Sony XDR-f1HD has amazing sensitivity. I had one that was modded by XDR guy - I recommend the mods - but I sold it because the sound quality was just not there. But there are many, many others tuners with great sound quality. If you get something vintage consider that you may have to sink in money to get it recapped and aligned. I have found that to be a good investment.
As someone else mentioned, a good antenna is a key component of the FM stream. It makes no sense to spend a bundle on a great tuner and then attach it to a crappy antenna. A great antenna and decent tuner will often give better results.
I have never seen a tuner with XLR but that's not to say they don't exist. Most use RCA.
Here's a list of tuners I own or have owned and found to have great sound quality:
Tuners that were ok: Marantz 2130 (but amazing eye candy!!), Sony ST-555ES, Sony TA-A6B.
Tuners I did not like, even though they are highly rated: Kenwood KT-8300 and 600T.
You can find any Mac tuner at Audio classics. The mr78 is legendary. The downer is fm signals are not from analog sources any more. And converting to digital?..ugh. If you want digital, a magnum dynalab Sirius XM is a very good choice. There is a plan to purchase both a terrestrial feed and a car feed in one plan. I always enjoyed listening to cousin Bruce Morrow and the 60s music. I’ve owned a tandberg 3011, and that was very enjoyable too.
Hello cdc77. Not all receivers are "crap." They sell pretty well. Any upper end Integra (Onkyo's premium brand) receiver will do well and have that "hi-def" or whatever FM capability. We have one station in the LA area that has remarkable - CD quality - sound. It is really astonishing. You may be able to find a used Carver tuner (too old for the fancy FM feature, but good) or the cute little Sony tuner (now discontinued, selling used for more than new, quite good). But the convenience and flexibility of the receivers are hard to beat and available at very low cost as new models are constantly replacing "last year's" versions. Be sure to get the remotes, DSP microphones, and AM antennas with the used units. Used Integra receivers sell here for a few hundred dollars and are great values. I have seven, nine, and eleven channeI versions in various systems and but them, when available, to give to "newbies" to get them started in the hobby. I use some as receivers and some as "front ends" for good power amps and electronic crossovers. They have many surround sound options for 5.1 and up systems. Stereo sources can be synthesized into multi channel sound (the one I use the most gives me 16(!) options for multi channel sound from stereo sources plus mono, all channel mono, and direct - no processing at all). Many of are extremely pleasant. Also great for immersive sound on sporting events. An eleven channel unit offering 100ish watts per channel is not going to be stressed running a 5.1 or 7.1 system. The extra channels can be used for running other program sources in to the bedroom, garage, or patio speakers. Bach and Brubeck in the main room, ball games in the garage, Sesame Street music for the kiddies outdoors or in the playroom or basement? Radio news for the seniors in the granny flat? Enhanced lifestyles available cheap on the used gear market! Think about it! Happy listening.