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why a dedicated radio ..?

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tarzan

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Hi all..
why should some one buy a dedicated radio (including the ones which are internet based and satellite based) when our mobile devices and many audio systems do the job ..?

any specific reason ..? and these do cost a good money ..eg scansonic (~30,000/-)

with best wishes
 
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Shivam

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I have been wondering the same thing especially for dedicated tuners for AM/FM when the transmission quality in India is poor, content that is played is below average in sound quality and excessive advertisements and babbling by the hosts. To top it the number of radio stations is very limited on both AM and FM.

How good can a tuner sound when the content played on vividh bharti is by using highly compressed mp3 or old tapes (no, they don't use LPs any more) ? I tried listening to some channels using a couple of well regarded tuners with good antennas and after proper calibration and yet I could not enjoy the sound quality.
 

rohitmusic

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I use a dedicated one as it helps match the rest of the quality of the setup.

A dedicated tuner can feed better quality signal as compared to a regular jukebox maybe due to better sensitivity. Some also have internal filtering and most of the good practices of hifi audio like dedicated stages etc.

Having said this content available is not that great. Half time there are advertisements.
I prefer vividh Bharati due to lesser shouting and screaming and nostalgia factor.

Cheers!
 

Shivam

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I use a dedicated one as it helps match the rest of the quality of the setup.

A dedicated tuner can feed better quality signal as compared to a regular jukebox maybe due to better sensitivity. Some also have internal filtering and most of the good practices of hifi audio like dedicated stages etc.

Having said this content available is not that great. Half time there are advertisements.
I prefer vividh Bharati due to lesser shouting and screaming and nostalgia factor.

Cheers!
Do you feed the same compressed mp3 files using your other components too and get high quality results? How does your tuner match the rest of your system in sound quality?

I am unable to understand how good internal components used in a good tuner can improve on the waste that is being transmitted from the radio stations. Can the tuner actually claim to improve the sound quality beyond what is being used at the source (radio station) ?
 

noknor

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Recently I realised that the quality of audio transmissions of the FM stations are not very good quality.
I have a couple of songs on Audio CD format that I listen regularly and one day as I was listening to FM the same song was playing and that was when I could hear the difference. I can understand that the songs would be in compressed format but even then if it was of a higher bit rate the quality would be audible but it was no so.
 

alpha1

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How good can a tuner sound when the content played on vividh bharti is by using highly compressed mp3 or old tapes (no, they don't use LPs any more) ? I tried listening to some channels using a couple of well regarded tuners with good antennas and after proper calibration and yet I could not enjoy the sound quality.
The greater issue is not the inherent data compression of mp3 - the issue is the signal dynamic range compression that is done prior to the broadcast.
 

greenhorn

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i tried the FM radio on my phone, and it was pathetic compared to my Sony reciever.

However, the same station was available on internet radio, and through my DAC, sounded much better.

So choose your poison :D
 

omishra

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Guys, I understand your concerns about FM reception. If you are using small digital tuning tuner (or big box small circuit tuners) which are using 2-3 steps to get audio out of RF then you will be never happy. My journey went through half a dozen tuners before settling final 2/3.
Transmission can not be bad and to maintain low noise, stations transmit with good listenable quality. It may not be as low as 128Kbps MP3. But it stops at 16KHz for audio. So expect that sharpness missing which comes from CD quality.
Some tuners have same circuit like small tabletop radio has in place. So how it could sound good by only placing in bigger metal box?
Invest in quality analog tuner, you will never miss anything. :)
 
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I agree with OMishra ji....Sound quality is not as bad as discussed in this thread if we are using a good analog dedicated tuner. Yes...commercials are definatly very annoying. Since my last 25 years journey into FM listening I have tried so many Tuners including Digitals tuners, component systems, Car stereos and Vintage Analog Tuners. And I found the quality of vintage Analog Tuners is best amongst all.
 

reubensm

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Honestly speaking, my tuner was in use rarely as the content of local FM channels was not to my liking. Wify used it more when she is on her exercise-bike. I have maintained my NAD 402 as it has always been part of my NAD system and is the most famous tuner model from NAD. Also its reception is exemplary.
 
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rohitmusic

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Do you feed the same compressed mp3 files using your other components too and get high quality results? How does your tuner match the rest of your system in sound quality?

I am unable to understand how good internal components used in a good tuner can improve on the waste that is being transmitted from the radio stations. Can the tuner actually claim to improve the sound quality beyond what is being used at the source (radio station) ?
I missed this post actually.

Dear Shivam,
Sorry for not being clear earlier.

My comparisson is between a cheap tuner and a dedicated HiFi component.
Other FMs have put it nicely like Omji mentioned. I can honestly vouch that the tuner that I have heard at Omjis place if we had a blind test then person will not be able to tell whether the sound is coming from the tuner.

This level of sound comes not only from the tuner itself but also from the signal reception quality using an antenna. Like the Yagi.

To add further I had taken my modest tuner to Omjis place and tried connecting it to a simple cable and then to the Yagi there was hardly any audible difference.

But on connecting his tuner the improvement was clearly audible. This means my tuner had some inherent limitations in its internal circuitry.

When I baught a tuner I had very realistic expectations from it and hence am happy. I never expected it to sound similar or better than CD quality.
I knew I will have a downgrade in sound. In that context there can be difference in tuner quality depending on its implementation.

I would say it is like cables! The best are ones that do not degrade the sound. Similarly I would say a good tuner is one that does not degrade the sound. It can never make it sound better by laws of physics anyways :)

Then question is why buys a tuner?
I am sorry to say there are very few reasons to buy one.
Most of them as not related to audiophile sound at all.

Some of them are:
1. Convenience - instead of me changing tracks I just press button and music starts playing
2. Musical exposure - You get to listen to songs which you dont own! That too for free! It is good learning too.
3. Nostalgia & Mood setting - When I listen to the words "Mere pyare fauji bhaiyon" it send me to a different world. I know that there are places beyond the city I live in and we are part of a much bigger listeners audience.
4. "Kida"(worm)/"Passion" - If you have a HiFi system why not get one more component and add it to the system. What is problem in trying it? There is a element of pride in saying I have such and such a tuner. I think that is the passion audiophiles share and there is no specific reason why we do it. My wife is yet to figure it out. In fact I myself am not able to figure out why we buy the stuff we buy related to HiFi.

Does this mean I am recommending others to buy tuners?
NO! If you dont want a tuner please dont buy it and increase tuner prices in the market! :D

(pun intended)

I have realized each medium give a different experience.
So there is no need to compare different mediums as the outcome is completely different.

I would never compare playing a track on CD with a song on Tuner Vs spinning my favorite records.

The output is "sound waves" but the difference is "emotions" we feel...

So enjoy whatever you like in what ever medium you like without getting into too much technicalities.
If you feel a tuner will help you know the answer already :)

Sorry for long post but its a topic of interest so think of it like an on coffee chat.. :)

Kind Regards!
Happy listening..
 
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@ Rohit.. You expressed the same feelings as mine. When I heard my favourite song on a good dedicated tuner it gives me more pleasure and satisfaction than a CD player...dont know why ?
 

rohitmusic

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@ Rohit.. You expressed the same feelings as mine. When I heard my favourite song on a good dedicated tuner it gives me more pleasure and satisfaction than a CD player...dont know why ?
Because there is "element of surprise". All of sudden your favorite track plays then you get pleasantly surprised.

On CD you already know which album you are listening to so it is very predictable.

2nd reason is you may listen to a song after very long time. So it is refreshing.

It also taught me to just listen the songs for listening sake without much focus on resolution etc.

I have notices myself to humm along with a nice song on tuner be it at home or car..
I almost never do that while playing digital source or vinyl. Then its more critical listening.

Just yesterday there was an old program of Jaspal Bhatti on cricket jokes. It was fun to listen to.
Its not that I listen to it always but once in a while its a nice change in today's hectic life. These programs are another advantage which other medium lack.

Radio programs extend beyond music. There are few programs like " aaj ke kalakkar", "aap ki farmaish", in some they read out names of folks who requested to play a song. That way I find vivudh bharati to be very rich in content. Thete are also some local programs that teach speaking english! How cool is that!!! Some programs maybe retelecasts like interviews with Gulzar, famous song writers, singers, etc but I have never heard them before so for me its nice content.

Like I said its a different format all together much beyond music and audio.

And then there are some folks like me who always wished they should have been born a couple decades ago! For us its a real time capsule which only can be felt at a deeper level! :)

Happy listening!
 
Last edited:

vnmathur57

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Excellent! Music should not be `reduced' to `quality' all the time. It should nurture your mood also. A favorite song coming from the radio unexpectedly, gives me much more pleasure than listening the same on the CD etc. Many a times I plan to have a music session, brows through my CD, vinyl or PC files and then leave it at that, because I already know the contents. The radio gives an entirely new dimension to music listening - the expectation/ surprise of the next song. Some times even wavy sound of short wave transmission ( an audiophile nightmare) gives much more pleasure than a CD, if some old favorite song is playing. I feel, I can never discard the radio. It is so enjoyable after all, without much effort.
 

jsbhavsar

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A dedicated radio should be used and tuned for radio tuning and it should not be mixed with some Bose Music or Tata Sky tuners etc. That is my preference.

The radio quality kept dropping in India as soon as tape recorders were introduced. Thereafter the quality further dropped when Two-in-one were introduced and manufacturers seldom played attention to radio quality on such two-in-ones.

I remember one very flat Philips transistor radio in 1981-82 that had come with a digital clock on the left hand side. Because of its steep cost, poor marketing and only two bands(MW and SW) it did not get sold well. However the radio sounded quite well on MW and SW; sensitivity was good but not good selectivity. Lot of mixing of nearby stations.
 

Harmonix

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Mar 24, 2012
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A separate tuner is the best option but Ill like to share my experience after I relocate to Bombay in 12 I sold off my two tuners (Aiwa & Sherwood) The FM broadcasting quality is below average in audio quality in compare to the FM stations in the Middle-East. The audio quality lacks in imaging / sound stage. One can easily spot the speaker location.
I seldom tune ON my FM receiver and my table top Valve FM/AM Radio I prefer listening to the iPod via its 3.5mm line-in than FM. I miss my Radio:sad:
 

reubensm

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Its always not about the quality of sound but the quality of the content. FM radio DJs keep barking all the time and commercials keep ringing all the time. I get annoyed listening to them but I also know that the channel exists in the first place because of them. There is a lot of western content on our local FM channels in Trivandrum on Saturday evenings which makes some good listening. When I was around, I used to have it playing in the background. A dedicated tuner brings high quality reception and sound quality to the table. I always second a dedicated tuner. You may not use it all the time but it makes your rig complete.
 

jsbhavsar

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Currently radio lovers in North India are buying the Dinkar radio and are quite impressed about the radio for the SW reception. Price ranges from Rs 460 to Rs 700 and the radio is available in Indore, Saharanpur etc. I read a note on social media that those who bought the radio liked it especially the reception quality.
 
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