Why bother when you have internet FM?

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

  1. c.coyle

    c.coyle AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I hear the same difference. "Depth" and "air" is a good description of the difference between good OTA audio and even a high quality stream. There is something almost liquid or a softness about some OTA FM audio - a very slight reverb or echo - at least the stuff that isn't compressed to hell. Streams are flat.

    Have you ever listened frequently enough to a station so that its OTA sound was burned into your brain, then walked into the station and heard it on the lobby monitors? Flat. That's the difference I hear between OTA and streams.

    Still, I am grateful for streams. I'm in Pa., and yesterday I was listening to some old stoner DJ (his description) spinning late 60s psychedelic tunes on KPOV in Bend, Oregon. Obscure stuff I'd never heard before. These are wonderful times we're living in.
     
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  2. Hofy

    Hofy Voids Warranties

    I still have a tuner and receiver but they never get used any more. FM is dead for me as there are no stations worth listening to in the vast FM wasteland where I live.
    Even though I live in the sticks I do have fast fiber optic internet so I enjoy streams from online only stations and actual FM stations that are too far away.
     
  3. rcs16

    rcs16 Super Member

    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Baldwin, Ontario, Canada
    I have no commercial free FM station where I live in Southern Ontario, Canada, CFGI that would make a great internet streaming station.
    Right now I am listening too Neil Young "walk on". Last night they were playing some tunes from an old LP Deep Purple Stormbringer.
    Streaming is only good for cheap or unlimited internet, no good for me since I can only get mobile internet, only 3G/month then heavy bills there after, it sucks.
     
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  4. dlrhawks

    dlrhawks New Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    CR and Guttenberg IA
    I own 3 decent Kenwood tuners (a couple 615's and a 7300) that have been gone completely through and aligned/lightly modded, and a couple Sony receivers with 5 gang FM tuners. So, I have the equipment, and they were inexpensive to acquire and as mentioned, I don't need an internet connection for them.

    I also happen to live in two areas (cabin and home) with a single pirate station each (bless their hearts) that have lots of music I've never heard before yet still play stuff I like. Here at home, there's a couple college stations that are commercial free and play good stuff (mostly jazz/blues), along with an FM station that has a digital FM subcarrier also broadcasting on a separate low power local frequency that is very listenable music-wise. My cabin, I don't have DSL and spotty wireless reception at best - so I have a yagi with a rotor that I can pull in FM from up to 150 miles away. The cabin is in Iowa right on the Mississippi River, yet I can pick up as far away as Wausau, Rockford/Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee.

    I also use an FM transmitter that I use with my FLAC collection using all the old school tuner/stereo gear cause I didn't want to go to say a Sonos system for each place.

    I've tried streaming, the quality is mostly "lacking".

    When you're single income and paying for two homes, you look for less expensive ways to do the simple things. I'm lucky in that I have FM that's listenable, and the gear to do it up right.
     
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  5. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

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    Great responses. Thanks all. I have what I need to make a decision.
     
  6. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Chicago
    Lol this thread took off on so many tangents you can make decisions on questions you didn't know you had.
     

     

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  7. dlrhawks

    dlrhawks New Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    CR and Guttenberg IA
    No two listeners are really alike ;)

    I've always been a radio guy. My dad owned Zenith Transoceanics back in the 70's (worked for Collins Radio...go figure). As I've gotten older, I've figured out new technology doesn't always mean better sounding technology - and have sort of rediscovered FM radio as a result.

    It certainly helps that I have at least some listenable radio nearby. But overall, I've gotten rid of all my modern equipment other than a few CD players and a single DD receiver I use as a pre-amp for all the hookups.

    But like a lot of people here, I got analog equipment all over both my cabin and home. A tuner in every room too...
     
  8. jlovda

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

    Messages:
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    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Even with an employee discount, he probably still couldn't afford one. :biggrin:

    I still own a R3000 Transoceanic I bought in high school in 1963. Paid $200. It had just been introduced and was the first one with FM. I have loved and listened to FM in Chicago and beyond with it. Unfortunately, out of 9 bands, FM and AM are the only one's with anything to listen to.
     
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  9. dlrhawks

    dlrhawks New Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    CR and Guttenberg IA
    Oh I know the 3000 well. My sister has the one my dad initially bought, I have the 7000 my dad bought later on. The 3000, the power brick died long ago and she never got a replacement, but mine works rather well still though my dad left batteries in it way too long, the battery part of the mix no longer works. Luckily, I have the AC cord still. It needs rebuilding and at some point I'll have it done.

    This morning I was perusing the web, looking at old Zeniths for sale. There are some sweet tabletop tube Zeniths out there that I would love to purchase some day. My buddy has a "toaster" model that works perfect that he was given by his parents a while back...sounds glorious, looks great.

    I just love those old Zeniths. That's what my parents always bought. TV's, radios, console stereos - the only non Zenith item they ever bought were three of those tiny cube Sony AM radios from the early 70's.
     
  10. Ziradog

    Ziradog AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Apex, North Carolina
    My streaming listening is mostly from actual OTA stations. Some I can't get OTA because of geography (WNCW in Spindale, N.C. for instance), some because I am running them through an amp with no tuner attached. When I can compare the sound from stations that I can get both ways, and that have a decent bit rate on their stream, the stream sounds at least as good as OTA, and usually have less background hiss. That said, losing internet connectivity is not the only reason I have tuners. I like the technology, and the aesthetics. But at least for me, where I live & what I listen to, OTA doesn't sound better & often worse. Interestingly, streams are often 3 seconds or so ahead of the broadcast (OK, probably only interesting to me).
     
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  11. jlovda

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

    Messages:
    3,425
    Location:
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    A tiny piece of trivia from someone who grew up in Chicago in "Zenith country." Every Zenith FM radio from the 60's and (I think) the 70's had a tiny dot on the dial at 99.5. This was the location of WEFM, the station owned by Zenith in Chicago since the dawn of FM.

    Also, my R3000 was the very first version and did NOT have AC capabilities. I just had to keep buying 8 D cells (the old silver Eveready zinc-carbon versions). A few years ago I refurbished a really nice R2000 I got off ebay as a 50th anniv. gift for an older cousin and cousin-in-law who bought one new in the late 50's. (not the original radio, that one rusted away). I was about 12 at the time they got it in the late 50's and I was mesmerized looking at it, like a Ferrari. The unit I worked on turned out absolutely beautiful and their son now uses it. Unfortunately, like the R3000, it does not have an AC plug. 8 D cells for that one as well. My cousin told me that at the time they bought it the FM dial in Chicago was really empty with many "part time" stations, but WFMT was there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  12. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    "A tiny piece of trivia from someone who grew up in Chicago in "Zenith country." Every Zenith FM radio from the 60's and (I think) the 70's had a tiny dot on the dial at 99.5. This was the location of WEFM, the station owned by Zenith in Chicago since the dawn of FM."

    I'm from Chicago and I love trivia and audio. Thanks. I did not know that.

    I picked up this Lafayette tabletop from the late 40's because it was just too cool to pass up. Foreign broadcast? Was 20171103_200503.jpg the signal bouncing off the ionosphere?
     
  13. dlrhawks

    dlrhawks New Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    CR and Guttenberg IA
    The dot is indeed there with my Zenith TO 7000...

    That's a cool piece of info, thx!
     
  14. CT_Ohio

    CT_Ohio Active Member

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm a computer guy by trade (or was), and my interest in online music peaked around 2001, when a bunch of free 'NetRadio' stations could be found online with a world of variety; somehow the goth ones seemed most suited to my job at the time, and in IT we had the bandwidth to stream all that stuff. But they went away, and I went back to real radio. Now my PCs do the work I need them to while I get a bunch of new music from the local educational FM station.

    Which is why the earlier 'wasteland' reply puzzles me; in NE Ohio, doesn't U of Akron or Kent State have a radio station? Youth is where the fun stuff is.
     
  15. gregswaim

    gregswaim Neutral Organic Sound

    I love radio too and spend a fair amount of time listening to radio. Internet radio does not have quality sound to satisfy my needs. I've 4 tuners in my inventory- I'm listening to radio right now... :D

    IMG_20180118_203528182_LL.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  16. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,804
    Location:
    MI, US
    I miss listening to a tuner! But for me, radio died when WJZZ went off the air (well actually, a little prior to that, when they started playing that $mooth Jazz nonsense and Luther and Mariah were played more than jazz :rolleyes: ). That station was a big part of my life back then. It cost me a lot of money at the wrecka stow. :D There were a couple of others from that era of about 1977-1985 I'd listen to for hours. Today, Detroit radio...let's just put it very politely and say it is lacking. Thanks to the TuneIn Radio app, I can get a few good FM stations across the country if I'm ever in the mood. But yeah, no, it's not the same. Our high school had a radio station, still broadcasting today, and one of my classmates has been a longtime DJ on local FM station WRIF. (Won't mention any names, but the word "scream" might play into the name a little... ;) )

    Had this tuner, purchased for $59 during one of their monthly "Where Is, As Is" sales. The matching integrated amp (SA-1000A) was a wretched sounding thing, but the tuner was nice. I still like the looks of it! Digital tuners just don't have the same feel as a good ol' fashioned dial. And that Auto-Magic tuning would lock onto that signal quite firmly. Never drifted on me! I've been meaning to dust it off and fire it up just to see if it still works.

    upload_2018-1-20_20-24-34.png
     
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  17. gregswaim

    gregswaim Neutral Organic Sound

    Nice tuner :)
     
  18. TudorTurtle

    TudorTurtle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    638
    Location:
    Upstate and Downstate NY
    Iffen I could get interweb radio upstate I would, but there's still lots of rural America that doesn't have high speed internet, so I love my Kenwood tuner.
    I do have a satellite link for email and what-not, but it can't swing streaming media.
     
  19. Olddavid

    Olddavid AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    20
    For me the Kenwoods of the early 70's were the best I ever listened to and I include the Model 18 I owned for a time. I don't know what it was about them but when listening they rarely caused fatigue. The repeal of the fairness doctrine and limits on ownership doomed the unique local broadcasters and brought about the behemoths like (I can't bring myself to say it) - clearchannel and their ilk.
     
  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,804
    Location:
    MI, US
    I realized after I posted the picture that I've come full circle. I've never liked silver-faced components. Black front panels got tiresome. This tuner has a somewhat "champagne gold" type of finish to it, and it was among the first components I bought (the matching integrated amp and pathetic matching equalizer were its mates). My most recent upgrades included Conrad-Johnson components, which are in what looks to be nearly the same tint of champagne gold as the old tuner.
     

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