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Any HD Radio ready receivers that you recommend?

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by Ishq, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Ishq

    Ishq New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    For what ever reason, it's not easy to get a straight answer in a Google search on receivers that are HD Radio (tuning) ready. Out here in L.A., the better music channels are the .2, .3, etc off off the base .1 station. All the spec pages from the OEMs are terrible at clearly listing if it's supported.

    I am open to any brand. Used / older very ok. Not looking to break the bank. If it has a phono input as well as Bluetooth & Wifi above 5.1, all good.

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Main reason you can't find anything on HD Radio receivers is the extremely limited supply. Few manufacturers even made them for home use.

    Never fear ... there's a lot of options available for automotive use, and ain't nuttin' says you can't use one in the house. I got a nice little Sony head for cheap and hooked it up here. It's powered up by a generic 12v monitor brick - you can get those for a few bucks at most any big box electronics store.

    [​IMG]

    And ya ... most car heads nowadays will have a standard 3.5mm jack and USB, and a lot will also have bluetooth connectivity.

    Hard part really was hooking it up to a home antenna. I ended up chopping the motorola type connector off an old car antenna and soldering that to the other end of a standard "F" type antenna cable. Works great!

    One benefit ... the car heads are usually a lot more sensitive than most home receivers. Here's my favorite little low watt college station from 20 miles away ...

    [​IMG]

    PS ... not the prettiest thing in the world, but it'd be easy enough to add a case if you so desired. I just use the RCA line outs to a tape loop on my "classic" receiver. Also ran a ground wire from the radio chassis to the ground stud on that.
     
  3. Max77

    Max77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    859
    Marantz made a couple AV receivers w/HD built-in, not sure what your price range is though. For standalone tuners Sangean has the HDT-20, I think NAD made one as well but I'm not sure.
     
  4. Ishq

    Ishq New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Skizo - Interesting. Wild that all car radios are HD ready but home receivers are not.

    Max77 - I found a list @ https://hdradio.com/get-a-radio/home-radio but even used, most are more than I wanted to spend. I think your standalone HD tuner may be the way to go. eBay and Amazon have a dozen brands, all well under $150 shipped.
     
  5. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Careful when shopping ... "HD ready" radios may need an outboard box to make it happen. Nice thing about the Sony heads is, it's built right in.

    Things have apparently changed some from when I went shopping. Couple years back, only choices for home units were Sony and Sangean ... IF you could find one. Maybe the tech has turned the corner for the home market.

    PS ... if you go with a car head, mine tended to scoot around some on the shelf when working the buttons. Nothing that some stick on rubber feet from the local hardware couldn't cure.

    Oh. Speaking of outboard boxes. Here's a Directed Car Connect HD tuner. Analog out, with an antenna in jack, so that might be an option for home use, as long as you provide a 12v power supply. Same brick I used with my radio head would do the trick nicely.
    [​IMG]
    That's what I went with on my Oldsmobile Aurora. I kinda like the stock radio and didn't want to do any major surgery on the car. That had a CD changer in the trunk that I never used, and I was able to hook this into that harness. I don't smoke, so some velcro for the control panel on the front of the ashtray cover, and I'm good to roll.

    [​IMG]

    I think I paid $30 for that off da bay, eh.

    ** Surprising number of HD Radio stations here as well. I did the auto program thing, and came up with almost 30 carriers to play with. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
    loudnoises likes this.
  6. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Pondside, NH
    I have the visteon hdz300, it's the same as the above directed model.

    The story goes like this. Best buy contracted to sell these, made a HUGE order, then backed out as they realized they made more money selling satellite radio subscriptions. They cancelled, and the discount market was flooded with the tuners. They're $200msrp units designed to open a market, they're not profitable to make, it crippled the manufacturers losing their contract.

    It's an excellent tuner. Pulls in distant stations, cd or better quality sound. Incidentally, these are also some of the only tuners ever made that can receive AM stereo.

    hd radio in the US was crippled by conglomerates because it was too good. Look at DAB in Europe. Just like diesel, it's too good for Americans lol.

    I digress. But hooked up to the same antenna, it beats my at-v04. The only thing i dont like is it has an echo delay that happens when it switches from or to HD off the regular signal.

    Oh and as far as car units, Pioneer had evenly priced the BT heads that were HD ready, and HD heads that were BT ready... BT add-ons cost twice as much as HD add-ons. I use the GEX-P20hd for my car now, it's integration with the headunit is seamless.

    But the visteon unit beats the pioneer's station grabbing ability hands down. Ugly yes, awkward yes, but amazingly good tuner.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  7. Hak Foo

    Hak Foo Active Member

    Messages:
    185
    I think the problem with HD Radio was more that it wasn't subsidized.

    With satellite radio, there was a company at the end of the line who would be willing to say to manufacturers "we'll subsidize the cost of including a tuner for our service, because we know the take rate on subscriptions will justify it in the end." With HD Radio, there was nobody to hit up for that.
     
  8. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Don't Onkyo receivers come with it standard?
    My flamed out 906 does HD radio beautifully, tho the pre-emphasis/bass eq the country stations put on it is unreal.
    Really nice for classical.
    Thought it would have been standard on all receivers by now....
     
  9. eizner23

    eizner23 Active Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I use an Insignia NS-HDTUNE HD tuner. Although discontinued, can be had on ebay for around $80-$100.
     
  10. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Seems to me HD Radio makes their money selling user licenses to both broadcasters and manufacturers, and maybe they're just all waiting for the market to develop.

    Then again, the market won't develop if nobody's offering it, right?

    [​IMG]

    Marketeers ... ya gotta love em! <G>

    My favorite audio related licensing was probably Sansui's QS for quadraphonic receivers. Broadcasters and producers got a real deal on the equipment to make it happen, no licensing or fees required to use it, but you had to pay through the nose to tell anyone your stuff was QS encoded.

    Enter Enoch Light. He encoded a good bit of his stuff in QS format, but never paid the fees. Way he got around it, he labeled the releases as "Command Quadraphonic" ... with a picture of the Sansui QS encoding equipment prominently displayed on the jacket ... <G>

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  11. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,022
    Location:
    VA near DC
    I have an Integra DTC-9.8 Home theater preamp/Processor that has FM/HD Radio built in.
    Works like a champ, tho I don't use it very often.
    It stands for Hybrid Digital (Not High Definition!) - basically allows the stations to plug extra "side channels" into their signal -
    tho my local PBS station seems noisier with the HD radio side channel in place.
     
  12. vwestlife

    vwestlife Active Member

    Messages:
    246
    One problem is that HD Radio never lived up to its claims. They said "It makes FM sound like CD quality!" -- no, it's internet audio stream quality. So why not just listen to the station's internet stream instead? And they also said "It makes AM sound like FM!" -- no, it's even-lower-bitrate internet stream quality, and requires an extremely strong, interference-free signal to work. They did tests on a 50,000 watt station (1500 WTOP) and discovered that at night, the digital signal only covered an 18-mile radius!
     
  13. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Ignoring the numbers ... I can attest to the fact that my standard FM signal loses in a head to head with the HD Radio signal. Yes, that WILL drop out quicker than the standard analog broadcast, which is why I can say that ... my receiver automatically switches over when I hit the end of range or if the atmo drops a big deuce.

    Does a standard FM broadcast have more frequency range? Certainly ... but not so's you'd notice ... even a VBR MP3 can sound better than an OTA signal more times than not.

    At home, given a strong signal, I much prefer the HD Radio when available. No picket fencing, interference, multiplexing, air noise, or fades ... :thumbsup:

    PS ... I MAY have a slight advantage over most typical home setups ... ;-}

    [​IMG]
     
  14. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Pondside, NH
    Digital's range isn't great, but the quality is very very good. Don't forget there's now another DAC in the loop, and the equalization is different vs analog as well. Streaming sounds like crap through poopy DACs, HD radio does as well.
     
  15. vwestlife

    vwestlife Active Member

    Messages:
    246
    HD Radio is supposed to allow FM radio stations to have a brighter, less constrained high end than analog, since they're no longer restricted by the 75 μS pre-emphasis curve. But many HD stations equalize their digital audio to be the same as their analog audio, to make the transition between analog and digital less jarring to the listener.
     
  16. Punker X

    Punker X AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,863
    Location:
    Panic in Detroit
    True, it does have greater "Dynamic Range on both the high and low end, but is still a compress low rez stream. The only advantage I've ever seen is the alternate channel programming can be outstanding and commercial free.

    Another annoying thing most stations have some type of timing difference between the analog and HD broadcast so when you are on the fringe and switching between Analog and HD you get a underwater echo effect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  17. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Pondside, NH
    about that echo...

    HDZ300 has it, and it's annoying, BUT it doesn't happen if you're not moving, so it's not an issue for home use.

    The pioneer add-on however, does not have a time delay. smoothly switches between the HD and normal FM. The difference in the highs and lows is quite massive, but there's no echo-y delay.

    the pioneer is more polished for sure, but i still feel the SQ from the HDZ300 is slightly better.
     
  18. BrokenHill

    BrokenHill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Newhall Pass CA.
    I still Have my Sangean HDT-1 and the Sony XDR-F1 and use them both in different rooms all the time,
    both units connected to the same outside antenna with a cable splitter, at times the Sangean will drop in and
    out of HD2 and at times completely switch back to HD1, the Sony always stays locked on the HD2 channels
    and can pull in long distance stations far better then the Sangean.

    I live close to Los Angeles and I really like the alternate channel programming with no commercials, one of
    my favorites is KCRW HD2.

    As Punker X stated it is a little to much compressed sounding and a good MP3 from my computer sounds
    much better.
     
  19. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Keep in mind, a lot of the limitations on HD Radio quality isn't in the tech itself, but in band allocation and FCC restrictions. Them fed spoilsports get all sorts of upset if you over-saturate your signal and start to bleed over the neighboring broadcasts. Gets even more critical in the major urban areas where HD Radio tends to be more available as the stations can get packed in pretty tight on the band.
     

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