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    Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

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    Bob Latino
    Admin

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    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:12 pm



    Yes - I know that this is not directly Dynaco tube related but I thought that forum readers looking for real good FMHD tuner for not a whole lot of money might want to know

    One of the nicest tuner value out there right now is the Sony XDR-F1HD tuner that is available online for just about $90 USD. I bought one because, although I live about 70 miles from Boston, I am down in a valley area. Even with an FM antenna in the attic I had trouble pulling in the Boston stations. This new Sony is the most sensitive FM tuner ever made - bar none. It also pulls in the new FM HD stations if there are some in your area. The "HD" afer the FM does not mean high definition, it means "hybrid digital". I have tried numerous high quality tuners here including two of the best tuners ever made - A 6 gang Kenwood KT-8300 and a Yamaha T-85. This little Sony (and I say little because the tuner only measures 7 inches wide by 6 inches deep) is way more sensitive than either of the two. The Sony uses a sophisticated noise reduction system and adaptive IF filtering that increases signal to noise ratio and keep distortion levels low. One comprehensive review of this tuner is at the link below.

    Sony XDR-F1HD review

    Bob



    Blitzen

    Posts : 47
    Join date : 2009-07-10

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by Blitzen on Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:36 pm

    Have you tried the AM section? Many AM radios shortchange the low end of the spectrum. About all I can find out about this in the reviews are usually statements that say it probably needs a better antenna for AM.

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2414
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:04 pm

    The AM section works OK but 90% of an AM radio's reception ability is the antenna used anyhow. I would not call this tuner an "AM DX" tuner and would not use it for DXing distant stations in AM. The AM section works OK but that's about it. It comes with a small 5 inch AM loop antenna that works "OK". AM reception could probably be improved with a larger AM antenna.

    As an FM DX radio though, nothing I have had here has come close to its ability to bring in distant stations clearly and with no noise in the background. I have used a number of quality tuners here on the same FM antenna and none of them could touch the Sony for sensitivity. The audio quality is very good on the Sony but maybe a hair below the audio on the Yamaha T-85 that I have here. There are a few web sites that do upgrades on the Sony to replace the audio chip for slightly improved audio quaity. I only really use this Sony for background music here in my workshop and the audio quality is certainly good enough for that.

    Bob

    Pooch

    Posts : 53
    Join date : 2009-12-01
    Age : 66
    Location : Wa

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by Pooch on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:20 pm

    I agree 100% with Bob. I ws lucky enough to get one of these for Christmas and it is far and away a better DXer than anything I've tried. I'm sure it'd pull in Mars if they ever start broadcasting:) The only drawback I hear is, for as clean as it is, it's also LEAN! Sound is a little on the thin side, so I went back to using an ADS T2 that just sounds fuller. I usually get 4 out of 5 bars on the meter and often 5, which is pretty good. But it won't pull like that Sony, though!

    Reid

    Posts : 9
    Join date : 2009-02-05

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by Reid on Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:44 am

    For me I use a Logitech Squeezebox Touch. Best little investment in music and entertainment I have found. Wireless, streaming audio from all over the world. Very easy to use and the sound is great. I use it alone and throught a DAC in my main system.

    wolverine

    Posts : 60
    Join date : 2010-02-20

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by wolverine on Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:29 am

    http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

    That link will take you to all the information you could want for the unit. For you modders there's some info on alignment, some tweaking procedures to get "better sound" of course LOL, how to disable the backlight, how to force mono for DX'ing, just about everything you could want to know.

    wolverine

    wolverine

    Posts : 60
    Join date : 2010-02-20

    Re: Great value - Sony XDR-F1HD FM/FMHD/AM tuner

    Post by wolverine on Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:38 am

    Near the end of the article is information on how hot the unit runs. If you could mod a fan into it and drop the temp by 20 C or so you could greatly increase the life expectancy of the caps in the unit. The article notes the unit runs HOT. He was getting readings of 63 C inside of his unit with the ambient temp around 25 C. So just getting some air moving in it is a good idea I think.

    wolverine

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