FM radio as a source for headphone listening?
Oct 4, 2001 at 8:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

mcbiff

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I'm kinda wondering if a mid-fi tuner (I'm looking at the Marantz ST6000) would be good enough as a source for my headphone system. Mostly with regards to background noise and such, but also with regards as to what kind of sound quality one might expect during optimum conditions. Is it comparable to a cassette tape or worse/better? My system is pretty revealing (Headmaster, CD3000s), so I fear that FM radio just won't cut it. Anyone care to prove me wrong?
 
Oct 4, 2001 at 10:00 PM Post #2 of 5

Number9

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I'm an avid FM listener via headphones. But I do not listen as critically on FM as with CD. Its a totally different experience - commercials, quality of stations, etc... I usually listen late at night at very low levels to relax and wind down with some smooth jazz.

The quality of FM can be very good (and bad). I am not familiar with your particular tuner, but if you start investigating you will find that FM has the potential to sound "almost" as good as CD on the right stations and ... right equipment.

Maybe borrow a very good FM tuner from your audioshop and try it out to draw your own cnclusions. Highly rated is Magnum-Dynalab, Fanfare, Naim, Arcam & Linn tuners.

You can then maybe try "vintage" gear. Some people think that the golden age of tuners was in the '70s - so from that era: Marantz (such as the 10b), McIntosh (MR78/MR80), the Sumo Charlie, Accuphase (100 & 101), Tandberg TD 3001/a, and Sequerra are highly rated. Some of these are very expensive in the retail market.

But be wary. Even from a company such as Marantz, the quality of tuners have varied tremendously over time, and model to model. Some specific tuners are better than others.

On a very good tuner, and a "good" station (little compression, strong signal) - the comment most people make is that they cannot believe it can sound so good.
 
Oct 5, 2001 at 12:07 AM Post #3 of 5

Budgie

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I agree with Number9. FM can sound very good, depending on the stations attention to sound quality issues. I have even heard a few songs sound better on FM then straight from CD. But I have heard some very bad FM too. Number 9 is quite acurate about the tuners he listed, But you may be satisfied with the Marantz you are looking at. I would consider the ability too return the Marantz if you aren't satisfied with it to be the big issue here. Ask them what the return policy is, and make your decision accordingly.
 
Oct 5, 2001 at 1:49 AM Post #4 of 5

Tim D

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I have a Marantz Tuner component and really enjoy it myself. In fact I listen to it at least HALF as much as my CD's.

Also IMHO...I sometimes find that there is a lot of music on the radio that really doesn't sound better on CD...this is typically radioplay music. I still enjoy radio (i.e. mainstream) music...but at least half the time when buying a CD...I find out that it sometimes offers nothing more except a better glimpse at how bad the recording is.
 

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