Fanfare for around $90 is most likely the answer. A whip I believe is 56" which is not only very good with sensitivity, but more importantly selectivity. Omnidirectional unless placed horizontal, then becomes unidirectional.
Magnum Dynalab has the same type of antenna which retails for 85 dollars and works very well.
I'm doing some testing on a couple of different FM antennas and should have the results this weekend. The Magnum is included in this bunch.
I would imagine that a BIC Beam Box would work well for you. These are no longer in production but can be found both here on Audiogon and on Ebay. It is a slim line component sized box that houses an electronically steerable antenna. You can switch directionality to minimize multipath, which should work well in your situation. It is not the most sensitive or highest gain, but given your location right in the city, that may actually help you out with front end overload. No promises or guarantees, but something that might be worth checking into for just a few bucks. Sean
I second the Magnum whip- its great!
I have the Fanfare antenna mentioned above, I haven't compared it with anything else but I feel I have very good reception. No complaints with it's performance.
I moved it to the peak of my roof about two months ago, this improved the performance even greater. I purchased a longer, quad-shielded, cable from Radio Shack, thanks to the wonderful help and guidance from here.
One of my concerns about installing it on the peak I chose was that we get a lot of snow build up at times and wondered what would happen if it was buried. When this last storm blew through, not only was it being buried, but bent. By the time we were able to clear snow from it, the antenna was bent so it was facing straight down! The whole time performance never diminished. When the snow was cleared it popped right back up.
You guys are the greatest. Thanks for the tips. I just remembered that I have one of those little "pyramid" antennae's in my closet, so I'll dig it out and try that until Sean tries the Magnum this weekend. Sean, is it the same one that Audio Advisor carries for $90? Please keep me posted on how it goes. Anyone ever tried one from Antennae Performance?
BTW, you can read user reviews of both the Fanfare and Magnum Dynalab antennas, they are basically the same, the MD is a copy of the Fanfare, at www.audioreview.com, look under tuners.
Fanfare FM-2G: http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/Tuner/product_9060.shtml
Magnum Dynalab ST-2: http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/Tuner/product_5494.shtml
In response to Sean's suggestion about the BIC Beam-Box: no offense to Sean, but I bought a BIC Beam-Box many years ago, and they aren't much of an improvement over a wire dipole antenna. In the late 1980's, one of the audio mags did a fairly thorough test of FM antennas, both indoor and outdoor, and the results for the BIC were pretty poor. Having said that, if anyone wants my BIC Beam-Box (which has been sitting in a box for 12 years), drop me a note and and I'll send it to you for just the cost of shipping.
Martin- I don't know much about the technical aspects of multipath but it seems to be that you are going to need some kind of "tuneable" rig because the multipath problem is going to vary from station to station. And it may be that a tuner which has adjustable bandwith, fine tuning ability (if its digital) and good multipath rejection is going to be just as important as the right antenna. Maybe check with Sedond, he seems to be one of our resident tuner (tuna) experts. Take this with a grain of salt if you know otherwise; I'm really just speculating.
Hi Brian, thanks for the links, but for some reason I hit a dead end when I click on them. Thanks Swampwalker.
No offense taken Sd. Testimonials from first hand users should always be welcome, regardless of whether or not they are all in agreement. After all, that is how we learn here i.e. comparing notes, experience and drawing conclusions from such. I am basing my statements about the viability of this product based on its' design and the situation at hand, not on previous use or ownership. As such, you would know better than i if it is a plausible solution. Your offer to donate this piece to someone in need is MORE than generous.
With the previous "disclaimer" above, I will agree that the Beam Box is LESS sensitive than a wire dipole. Guaranteed. Then again, if you are VERY close to several transmitters, front end overload is a real problem to deal with. The lack of sensitivity / output level from the BIC can somewhat help this out. In fact, if i recall correctly, i think that the Beam Box was appr 12 db's down from an optimally oriented dipole. That is a LOT of signal loss, something that most people could not afford to give up and still retain usable signal levels.
Chances are that if you are experiencing big-time front end overload, you are in a major city with a LOT of tall buildings, reflections, etc... Given the Beam Box's four switchable orientations, you can somewhat fine tune it for optimum orientation for each station. At the same time, you may be "de-tuning" the stronger nearby signals that were causing the front end overload to begin with. This occurs due to the differences in polarization.
Besides that, the convenience of flipping a switch to change orientations / directivity of the antenna is hard to beat, especially in comparison to manually re-orienting a wire dipole each time you change stations. That is, so long as there is enough signal there to begin with. The Beam Box would also get rid of the wire dipole in that situation, which most folks consider to be pretty unsightly.
BMP seems to be in this situation, which is what the Beam Box "should" work best in. I do not know for sure though, as i have never lived in a situation like that nor used a Beam Box. I simply threw it into the "center ring" for discussion as i thought it MIGHT do what he was looking for. Like anything else, there are trade-offs involved. Whether or not those specific to the Beam Box are acceptable to BMPNYC, only he can say if and when he uses one. Sean
This thread is a bit stale but I thought I would toss in my two cents worth. Since multipath seems to be your main problem I don't think a vertical whip style antenna will do much to fix that problem. I could be wrong but it seems to me that you want a very directional antenna, i.e. a yagi or "beam" style antenna which you can "point" at one signal source while attenuating signals coming from other directions. A beam style antenna is most sensitive from the front, the least sensitive from the sides, and fairly insensitive from the rear. The "front-to-back" ratio is usually expressed in dB. The higher the better. I have a Fanfare vertical whip antenna which is almost identical to the Magnum whip antenna and it does a fine job but its in the open with no buildings nearby except for my house. I don't have much of a multipath issue to worry me here. Hopefully you've found a solution by now. Multipath is a tough thing to deal with.
Thanks for the advice Abe, I am still considering the options, as there have been other priorities in the way of my getting a new antennae.
I have a Magnum Dynalab Etude and live in NYC on the 6th floor. The Magnum dynalb people told me to just stick a wire in the back. It works pretty well. That was two years ago. Recently I called again as I wanted to see if I could make it better and they told me to try their silver ribbon. I did and I had trouble getting any reception so I went back to my wire.