Why bother when you have internet FM?

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by Superampman, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

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    Honest question guys n' gals. I'm seriously considering a vintage tuner but wondering if it's just redundant. How does internet radio compare? Reception is obviously not an issue but what about overall sq?
     
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  2. BOUXY

    BOUXY Super Member

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    Redundant or not it will look good won't it?
     
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  3. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

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    Only if it's totl :)
     
  4. lokerola

    lokerola AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    860034DF-E578-4029-9F68-4E606DFE8D33.jpeg Lol, yea I do love the look of my big silver face SCOTT tuner with its meters. It looks good and I like to listen to old fashion radio. The DC classical and jazz stations are my favorites.

    Edit - pic for viewing pleasure.
     
  5. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I just got this TM 1000 because I like the option of over the air AM/FM. I had the Realistic SA 2001 Integrated for my second bedroom system and it bugged me that even though I have a TT and SACD player hooked up to it, I had no tuner. After looking for the matching TM for it (expensive and scarce) I decided to get a little older model. I like the look if a tuner, probably because I like the look of vintage items. The Realistic I really like because of the real wood veneer case. So for me, it is the combination of looks and still liking radio.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Perhaps it's fun to do things the old school way? Quite often I'll wonder to why I bother with fm given the lack of quality music and the same new car commercials repeated dozens of times daily.
     
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  7. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    I can't tolerate commercial radio much but in the evenings and overnights our NPR stations play classical and jazz and can be quite listenable except for the hourly interval of indoctrination. For which there is a handy mute button. Definitely agree that there is something very appealing about the retro tuner aesthetic.
     
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  8. Multimode

    Multimode Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Good question, Superampman. I've just prepared my 1970s Armstrong 624 tuner for disposal as it had been in storage since I moved to digital broadcast reception several years ago. I tested it a couple of days back and was impressed with the sound quality, which isn't that far behind my high-end digital player (Cambridge CXN).

    The Armstrong is an attractive machine, wood-cased with a black fascia, with very tactile keys for operation (including six impressively accurate mechanical/electrical tuning presets). This thread has got me wondering if I should retain it for 'everyday' listening, such as to our UK stations BBC Radio 2 and 4, to release some of the 20 presets on the CXN that are getting used up. I may well keep it now I've been nudged in that direction! :)

    P1020188.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  9. 432HzBob

    432HzBob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I may be "old" but an FM tuner certainly is NOT archaic in my book..
    The frequency response or "bitrate" as we now call it in the digital age, is still superior on a tuner than any netcast I've heard.
    Being "old", and with many good memories of the Golden Era of FM, mid 70's-mid 80's, with college stations and <500W non FCC regulaed local stations playing great B sides and talk shows, I still require a tuner, or the tuner on a receiver, to hear classical music (excellent fidelity usually), whatever sappy pop music is in the Top 40 and check on what the Commies over at NPR are saying every now and then.
    It's not redundant at all. Tuners are usually cheap, unless you are after a really top-shelf 5 gang kick-arse rare model, they take little power,
    and will lock in ALOT of stations in most places still. I metro areas there are usually a few really excellent FM stations to this day.
    I got this bottom of the line Rotel tuner a few years ago at a thrift for $10 and it's a mainstay in my 2nd system now.. I use it every day for awhile.
    I also stream alot too, and record live and listen to vinyl, cd's and Apple Airport Express sling music, so I try not to be a luddite,
    but a good FM sound is definitely worth having around in the 21st century and worth 2-3 inches of vertical space in the system stack.
    rotel tuner.jpg
     
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  10. 432HzBob

    432HzBob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This says it all..... Jazz and classical on a proper FM station with a non-junk tuner is still worthy.
    Love the Silver Scott btw. Sold off my Scott tube FM receiver a few years back but kept the "only 12wpc" ECL-86 1966 tube amp.
    Old Scotts certainly do rock!! Shhhh. Keep it under the radar brotha!
     
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  11. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    I'm having the exact same thought as the OP. I think a lot depends on what's available where you are. When II lived in the NYC metro area, I had virtually unlimited choices from OTA stations. Now, having moved to an area where the bulk is either Country, (which I like but there's more to life), religious and Latino. There's virtually no classical or jazz. Ergo, thanks to a new receiver with internet radio I discovered I can get my beloved WQXR and WBGO from New York.

    Add to that Pandora, Slacker and literally thousands of radio stations from allover the world at my fingertips. ...and never a problem with multipath.

    As for SQ, maybe I'm getting old but it doesn't sound bad to me. A lot depends on what bit rate the stations choose to use,
     
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  12. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    So - for the Internet radio services - what is the bandwidth of their streams? I think that has a LOT to do with the SQ. And even then, its still not quite the same as an analog stream from good media over FM.

    The real Questions is - what are your local FM broadcast resources like?
    I was at a listening demo north of Baltimore Saturday, and Walt switched inputs to an old MacIntosh tuner for his local classical music station - WBJC - 91.5 FM (I think). Stream at - http://wbjc.radio.net/
    He was happily talking about their broadcast quality and longevity - I have to admit, it really did sound good on his Altecs..

    Here in DC, we don't have such a premier station - our old Classics station, WGMS - gave their library and format to a local PBS station (WETA-FM) a few years back,
    and they are now the local classics station - but they don't quite have the legacy and sound of those older stations.
    Mac-Tuner_crop.jpg

    In my personal system, with the Jolida amp, I have a Carver TX-10 tuner -
    its not gorgeous like that Mac, but its still a nice sensitive tuner with a good sound.

    Jolida-Stack_5779.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  13. lokerola

    lokerola AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's good looking piece of gear. I say keep it!
     
  14. lokerola

    lokerola AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yea, I agree. The stations is DC seem more focused on talk radio and sports than great music.

    I listen to 90.9 quite a bit when I'm teleworking, and 89.3 when they're playing music (but not when the SJW's are rambling on about social injustice; I can't stand to listen to political talk). 100.3 is good if you need an infusion of top 100 cassette era rock hits, and 102.3 will play oldies (1960's to 1970's) soul and funk on certain evenings, which a fun change of pace.
     
  15. lokerola

    lokerola AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Totally agree! Love my Scott, although it needs a cleaning and tune-up by a pro. I could also use a real, powered, directional antenna. Always projects to do!

    Even though my Scott is solid state and needs a tune up, it's still a very nice sounding tuner. I had a modern digital tuner before the Scott and hated it. The Scott was cheap off of flea-bay and is one of my better purchases. OK, I'll keep quiet about it now, lol.
     
  16. DOBIEGUY

    DOBIEGUY AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Forget bitrate,unlimited stations,no commercials,no static,no mindless banter and a hundred presets for the moment.
    There is something magical about listening to music on a correctly working FM tuner. In an age where most content arrives on a cable, looking at a dipole or a set of rabbit ears pulling music out of thin air does it for me all day long!
    Happy(FM)listening
    Jimmy
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  17. vwestlife

    vwestlife Well-Known Member

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    I'm lucky to be within range of the aforementioned WQXR, WBGO, WNYC, and several other non-commercial stations with high-quality programming. And there's a pretty good AM Oldies station in my area (WMTR), as well as AM 740 Zoomer Radio from Toronto at night.

    I've heard band scans of local radio from other parts of the country and a lot of it is pretty dreadful. But on the upside, their Goodwill stores are much bigger and better than the ones around here...
     
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  18. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    I am an extremely disappointed FM listener and was a tuner junkie. Look at my signature list. I grew up in Chicago and lived about 15 miles from the Hancock/Sears towers in the 60's-80's era. Went to college in Champaign in the late 60's and lived on the 8th floor of a high rise dorm. I could easily pick up stations 50 miles away with my KLH 18 and a dipole. I now live in a poor reception area of a vast FM wasteland in the Akron-Canton, OH area.
     
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  19. Teddy White

    Teddy White Member

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    Exactly right. And I live in a relatively dead zone, AM & FM wise, with only one non-commercial station coming in at full reception strength (luckily it is 24-hour classical). Still, I wouldn't trade that magic for anything.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  20. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Feel for you bro. Be glad you have the internet then! Makes it much easier to live in out-of-the-way places nowadays. Even though I have tons of FM choices, I use internet anyway! But I grant that it's nice to know we have a good one or two should the trad-tuner desire strike. And sometimes it's fun just for the heck of it, sort of as DobieGuy says above.

    I remember when I was in my 20s living in NYC I was fortunate enough to live on the east-facing side of a high-rise so I could easily pull in WLIR/WDRE-FM from Long Island, which was the source for 'new music' at the time. I was the envy of all my friends who lived in townhouses and converted tenements!
     
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