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NAD C 446 Digital Media Tuner: NAD Goes Media Mad!

NAD C446 Digital Media Tuner“Digital audio in its many variations seems to yield new categories of product constantly, this new product from NAD a case in point. It will snoop for music files in your computer via its wired or wireless networks, receive AM and FM broadcasts, and search the internet for transmissions of all sorts, from faraway radio stations to specific podcasts, and send all of these directly to your high end audio system via 24-bit/192-kHz DACs (caveat coming) via RCA jacks, or by direct digital feed (Toslink). It also has a Data Port for your MP3 player when you add the appropriate dock and cable.”

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

“The latest Model 10 also comes with a credit-card remote control that allows selection of the 5 presets, level and input control, and station scrolling. There are also Power, Mute, and Mono buttons. The preset buttons are duplicated on the left speaker rear panel, in case you lose the remote, and there is also a volume control on the top of the speaker/amp unit. The FM antenna connection is a 75-ohm screw terminal, and an adjustable stainless steel telescoping antenna is provided to attach to it. The FM presets are set by holding down the desired preset button for 2 seconds with the intended station tuned. The system also operates as clock and clock radio, showing too the date and day (just like your Rolex)…”

NAD Masters Series Components - Very Classy!

NAD Master's series Detail“NAD has traditionally produced relatively inexpensive audio products, so the Masters Series is more than a step upmarket. Clad in grey and silver cabinets, these components are very elegant. The M3 integrated amplifier is included here, but was reviewed previously by AIG, so I will quote from that review. The tuner and disc player are more recent, and proved to be elegant in operation as well as looks. Let’s start with the M4 tuner…”

Sony XDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD Radio Digital Tuner

Sony XDR-F1HD DIgital/FM TunerWho could have imagined that the best new FM tuner (and possibly the best ever designed) would be priced at under $100, and be a miniature design, but with full remote control. It makes me wonder why I embarked on the Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project, when the ultimate conclusion is so small and affordable. I guess that’s a good thing…”

Tivoli Audio Networks Radio with FM - Internet Radio in Style & Stereo

Tivoli Networks Internet Radio“We’ve reviewed several Tivoli products in the past, and always been impressed at their style and substance in terms of performance. Well, there’s no letdown here in this attractive, well engineered package. The Networks Radio is more than just that, a small audio system that offers a built-in Wi-Fi capability that allows you to tap into your computer’s music and podcast files. It also has wired ethernet, USB computer access, and AUX analog audio inputs, plus another “Mix In” that allows combining your computer audio output with any other input…”

The Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project - Conclusions & Tuner Rankings

Accuphase T-1000 FM Tuner“I must say that I’ve put aside the concluding chapter of this project for many months, though I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was the inertia caused by this last horrible Winter, or maybe I just got sick of all these tuners once I’d found the two that did what I needed an FM reception device to do. I’ll say more about these two below, but I don’t mean to tease: there are a bunch of really excellent tuners that stood out from the rest of the 50 or so that I bought and evaluated, some of which have not been formally reviewed, so they’ll get a once-over here…”

Tangent Quattro Mk II Internet/FM Radio

Tangent Quattro Internet Radio“In Canada these days, we see jurisdictional battles between on-air broadcasters and specialty-channel carriers like cable and satellite, with the traditional former crowd now screaming for carriage fees when their signals are re-broadcast on such services as Rogers cable or XpressVu and Star Choice satellite distribution systems. Of course, the cable and satellite folks claim they are doing the broadcasters a favour, and don’t want to ante up any dough at this time just because conventional broadcasting is suffering advertising losses because of the recession. Whatever happened to the truism that a TV (or radio) channel was a license to print money?”

Sanyo R227 Internet/FM Radio Plus

Sanyo Internet Radio“I used to listen to shortwave radio at the cottage on a nice little Panasonic portable, the supplied antenna strung around the cottage’s Douglas Fir beams. It was fun more than a few years back to tune into other cultures and their music and news. But along the way to this century something changed, even evolved, and the shortwave cultures became a babble of propaganda, Jesus, and jabberwocky…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5950SD, A Rare Successor to the ST-5130

Sony ST-59595D“Though it has only one IF path, like the remarkable 5130, the ST-5950SD also has auto variable IF, so can actually be more selective than many tuners with dual path switches. And there’s no AFC or Quartz Lock to pull it away from weaker signals to adjacent strong ones, so it’s an excellent DXer, holding distant signals well. Though the Hi-Blend is not up to that of the ST-5130 in reducing noise, the Dolby feature can be used for this in extreme situations while maintaining stereo reception…”

Meridian F80 Portable A/V System - Hy Sarick Looks at what Happens when High End Audio Meets High End Auto

Meridian F80

“A combined CD and DVD player, AM/FM receiver and sound system in a single convenient unit.” So says the introduction to this remarkable little AV system. Remember the aptly named “Boombox”, which was to be seen perching on the shoulders of urban youth? These moulded plastic monstrosities were often played at levels which caused grief to nearby unwilling listeners, as well as causing permanent hearing damage to the carrier…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-900 - A New Style for the 80s

Kenwood KT-900“In our tests on a rather poor reception Winter day, the KT-900 managed 36 FM stations on our tower 75-0hm yagi, but improved to 55 from the 300-ohm double-dipole bowtie omni, as marked a preference as we have experienced so far. Perhaps it was an abrupt change in reception conditions, something that can happen this time of year. But stereo performance was better with the omni antenna, too, as was selectivity…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sony ST-5000FW - A True Classic!

Sony ST-5000 FM Tuner

“I’ve looked for one of these for over a year in this tuner quest, and until recently, couldn’t persuade one of my oldest friends to part with, or even get aligned, his ST-5000FW. Well, I recently succeeded on both counts, and the one up for sale here also has the gorgeous custom Sony Oiled Walnut sleeve to cradle its sonic and signal-pulling excellence. These tuners are rare enough, and even moreso in Walnut. This is a true Classic, cradled in its best wood formal wear. My friend now has his again, newly restored, as is this one…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8300/KT-9900: 70s Statements!

Kenwood Tuner

“This is a classic tuner that outperforms just about anything made since 1980, and sounds better than most of them. In our station-pulling tests it brought in 56 stations on our outdoor tower yagi, and the same number with lower multipath and better stereo with our double dipole omni, on 2 different occasions, indicating not only superior sensitivity and selectivity, but a better capture ratio when they’re coming at you from all directions. That’s just about the toughest test of a tuner’s station-receiving ability…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-7500 X 3

Kenwood KT-7500“This is the first of 3 KT-7500 tuners, all different in features and cosmetics, this being the beauty of the bunch in its oiled Walnut case that is almost flawless. Another to come will have professional Filter mods for DX reception capability…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Pioneer TX-7800

Pioneer TX-7800

“This TX-7800 is the last of the Pioneers, so to speak, unless I’m tempted into another one, say, an F-26 or 28. But they’re expensive, and not seen very often, held tight to the breast by captivated owners! The TX-7800 is, admittedly, somewhat less rare, but but definitely has its fans. Looking at the front panel’s left side, we see the Power toggle, and toward center the replaced Output Level control, which I chose from my knob box to as closely as possible match the tuner’s style…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sansui’s Budget T-60 in Black & Silver

Sansui T-60 FM Tuner

“In our Audio Ideas Guide tests, the T-60 brought in 54 stations in somewhat indifferent reception conditions, with excellent selectivity for a budget model. There wasn’t quite the separation of more expensive models, nor the stereo quieting, but still, a lot of listenable signals to be had. I found the overall sound quality to be excellent, if not quite high end audiophile quality. But the money put into this tuner has been primarily spent on performance, not cosmetics, unlike some Marantz models and other brands we’ve encountered…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sansui TU-999 - Another 70s Classic!

Sansui TU-999 Tuner“Here we have a top-of-the-line Sansui from the great analog days, the model above the TU-888, which we recently reviewed. The TU-999 is a little more sensitive, and has a few more features as well. This unit comes with a complete combined owner’s and service manual, so further tweaking will be easy for advanced audiophile or technicians with the right tools. It is in excellent physical and operating condition, with a metal case, and a very high quality of construction and interior compartmentalized shielding…”

Sangean WR3 Tabletop Radio, Tivoli Audio Model Two AM/FM Stereo Radio and CD Player

Tivoli Radio (small)

Sangean is a Japanese company that’s well known to ham and shortwave enthusiasts, but is not so much in the awareness of radio and tuner fans. Recently the company has brought to North America some very interesting and innovative products, including an HD Radio equipped FM tuner, and a range of high performance radios, of which the WR3 is one of the most interesting…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Sansui TU-888

Sansui T888“The Sansui TU-888 comes from an era when tuners from this maker were built very solidly, and had an elegant look of their own that distinguished them from other manufacturers. I think this is one of the prettiest models in the whole project, with its sleek oiled walnut cabinet, and lovely backlit dial on a black front panel. Pictures just don’t do it justice! The beautifully finished light oiled walnut cabinet is very nice, a little lifted veneer below a screw that nobody will probably see on the back left side. Scratches are few, and the finish looks quietly lustrous…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Pioneer TX-9500

Pioneer TX-9500 Tuner

“The elegant TX-9500 led to the TX-9500 II and TX-9800 and was bettered by them in sensitivity and selectivity, as well in as a few other features. Some say the 9500 sounds better than its immediate successor, and I used this one for months to listen to and record off air from frequently. My listening notes say, “rich mids, good deep bass, and clear treble”, and “a very pretty tuner with its amber Power and Stereo lights”. I hope my attempt at showing these latter is visible in the 2nd picture.…”


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