Almost every FM station I know of is online these days, if you have a streamer, you are all set.
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I do the same thing as you in my bedroom system. I used to have a Bryston BHA-1 headphone amp with a SACD player and the Sony XDR-F1HD. I just recenlty sold the BHA-1. I get a great station on the FM dial, which sometimes plays vinyl too. The same station on the internet sounds like crap. I actually bought the Sony HD player solely to listen to the second HD broadcast from this station.
I bought a modified Sony tuner from this guy. I think I paid around $400.
HD radio is crap but the player also gets regular FM and the tuning is amazing. I also have a Magnum Dynalab MD 102 that cost close to $3K. The Sony is not as good but it is rather close to the same quality. For $400 it is a steal.
This unit does not have a headphone amp but what I will do, to replace the BHA-1, is get either the Headamp GS-X mini for $1799 or a second Benchmark HPA4 for $3K. So at the low end for around $2100 you could have a killer FM headphone system.
Not what you asked but likely better sound quality than what you are thinking.
Listening to my Meze Empy + MD 102 + Benchmark HPA4 as I write this. Awesome sound.
A good FM tuner (and antenna) can provide excellent sound quality, often much better than a streaming version of the same broadcast. I'm not aware of any good tuners with a good headphone amp however. You could look on the fmtunerinfo site or its discussion list. Or get a headphone amp or a preamp with a decent headphone amp to go along with your tuner.
Thanks for the input. A question for a novice like me, is streaming high fidelity sound quality or is it compressed and a sample of the music but not the actual music. Sound quality is very much what AudiogoN and other audiophile sites are/were about. Any advice or experience you can share on streaming and sonic quality would be helpful.
Hope all are doing well with our globes current condition.
... is streaming high fidelity sound quality or is it compressed ...It depends on the stream. Some stations such as Radio Paradise offer streaming in FLAC and sound great. But many terrestrial stations stream in mp3 quality that can be inferior to their OTA signal, especially if you have a good tuner and antenna.
I guess crap is in the ear of the beholder.
I listened to FM "crap" for too many years on tube and scope tuners and I appreciate ditching the unreliable motorized antennas. But if that's what you want you'lll a $55 tube headphone amp. Audiophile Jazz and Linn Jazz are
320 kbps and sound better to me than
pushing music through a transmitter.
The trouble with AM and FM is that the program signal becomes part of the wave that carries it. So, if something happens to the wave en-route, part of the signal is likely to get lost. And if it gets lost, there's no way to get it back again. Imagine I'm sending my distress signal from the boat to the shore and a speedboat races in between. The waves it creates will quickly overwhelm the ones I've made and obliterate the message I'm trying to send. That's why analog radios can sound crackly.
A little update. I now have both my tuners hooked up in my office with indoor antenna's on each and a Magnam Dynalab Signal Sleuth on the MD 102 tuner.
The XDR on FM and even HD is great at picking up stations. At the moment the MD 102 is having problems clamping onto 1 station. I switched to the XDR and perfect reception on this station. This is an amazing tuner, especially with the mods I listed above.
A bit of posts on this tuner going back over the years.