My dive into the world of HD Radio.

 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1906
Registered: Oct-04
I just picked up a Sony XDR-F1HD HD Radio Tuner http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=1055 1&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665401984 for $100 with a $50 mail rebate; so for $50, I just leaped into the world of HD Radio.

I'm a pretty big fan of terrestrial radio, and in NYC the is a plethora of fine stations to choose from, but I've been curious about HD Radio for a while and is my opportunity to explore.

I'm not sure what to expect, I heard this Sony receiver in the Sony showroom in Manhattan and it seemed like a solid unit, but I'll get back with some opinions when everything is up & running.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 7570
Registered: Feb-05
Very interesting Christopher...looking forward t oreading about it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1907
Registered: Oct-04
As I've mentioned in the past, my experience with XM, both at home with my Delphi MyFi receiver, and with my stock XM car radio, hasn't been very good. Music is flat, almost distant.

I wouldn't imagine WiFi Radio is any better, in fact, I'd almost guarantee it'd be worse.

Again, the only time I've heard HD Radio was a tabletop unit in a Sony showroom at their corporate office in NYC, I played with it for a little while and it seemed pretty neat. RDS tuning is nothing special these days, but it is useful, and I know several NYC stations now broadcast a second "B" channel on their frequency, so I'll just have to see what this all surmounts to, and how well it integrates into my set-up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1908
Registered: Oct-04
I was unaware of these pretty positive reviews:

http://ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~dlp85x/review.htm
http://pages.cthome.net/fmdx/sonyxdr.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1909
Registered: Oct-04
This might be a perfect little mate for my Trends TA-10.1 "T-Amp"/Tekton (Fostex) 4.5 SDFRs set-up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1934
Registered: Oct-04
Update: I received the tuner last week, however, I didn't get around to giving it a proper shake-down until this morning. Plugged it in, bingo everything lit up, hooked up the antenna, bam, start pulling in stations, plug it in to my amp, hmmm? The right-channel sounds fine, but where the heck is the left channel? Maybe it's the cable? Nope, it's not the cable, the tuner has a bum left-channel. So after a 30-min. phone call with Sony's customer service rep in South Ossetia, it's off to Sony for an exchange. I should get a new one back in about two weeks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10737
Registered: Dec-04
Sigh...nothing is ever simple, eh?
Especially with Sony...?
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1935
Registered: Oct-04
This is my recent experience with Sony products:

A nice old tabletop AM/FM Dream Machine Alarm Radio that can't hold a candle to my Boston Acoustics Receptor.

A tinny-sounding set of MDR-EX71SL Fontopia In-Ear Headphones that my wife uses (they give me an instant headache).

And a SRF-M37W Walkman, which is by far the VERY BEST in its class.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10764
Registered: Dec-04
Chris, 1988 called, they want their walkman back.








And the hair from Flock of Seagulls.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1943
Registered: Oct-04
The SRF-M37W Walkman is an AM/FM/TV/Weather radio with an out-of-this-world tuner and amazing battery life.

Do you get much radio up there in the tundra?


...I need to hold on to every strand of hair I can.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10765
Registered: Dec-04
Dude, I missed you when I was in Queens for one day last week, must come for another visit to your hair.













Homer.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1946
Registered: Oct-04
That's a shame, first I miss Harvey's going out of business sale, and now this!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10778
Registered: Dec-04
How many HD stations will you get CM?
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1958
Registered: Oct-04
Here's a list of NYC HD Radio stations:

•WBGO: FM 88.3 Jazz=HD1; Newark, NJ
•WFUV: FM 90.7 Public=HD1 HD2=City Folk; Fordham University
•WFNY: FM 92.3 Talk=HD1 HD2=New Rock
•WZAA: FM 92.7 Spanish=HD1; Garden City
•WNYC: FM 93.9 Public=HD1 HD2=Classical
•WPLJ: FM 95.5 Hits=HD1 HD2=70's Hits
•WQHT: FM 97.1 Hip Hop=HD1 HD2=Hot97 Throwback HD3=Gold
•WRKS: FM 98.7 Urban Contemporary=HD1 HD2=Gospel
•WHTZ: FM 100.3 Top 40=HD1 HD2=New Top 40; Newark, NJ
•WCBS: FM 101.1 Variety=HD1 HD2=Oldies
•WWFS: FM 102.7 Adult Contemporary=HD1 HD2=Rock
•WKTU: FM 103.5 Dance Hits=HD1 HD2=Country; Lake Success, NY
•WFAS: FM 103.9 Variety=HD1; White Plains
•WAXQ: FM 104.3 Classic Rock=HD1 HD2=Deep Cuts HD3=Classic Rock
•WWPR: FM 105.1 Hip Hop R&B=HD1 HD2=Power Español
•WCAA: FM 105.9 Latino Mix=HD1; Newark, NJ
•WLTW: FM 106.7 Adult contemporary=HD1 HD2=Lite Classics
•WFAN: AM 660 Sports=HD1
•WOR: AM 710 News Talk=HD1
•WABC: AM 770 News Talk=HD1
•WNYC: AM 820 Public=HD1
•WADO: AM 1280 Spanish News Sports=HD1
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10779
Registered: Dec-04
I am unhappy with the reception that I have now, hard to get real quality for Spanish news...maybe this is the answer?

I hope that was a cut and paste, bud!
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 1960
Registered: Oct-04
The Brady Bunch theme I have committed to memory, NYC HD Radio stations...ehh, not so much.

If people in the know say it's better than a Marantz 10B, who am I to argue?
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 2024
Registered: Oct-04
I got the unit back today, and all is well.

I need to play around with antenna placement, I'm having some trouble locking in to the HD Stations.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10895
Registered: Dec-04
Post the final antennae placement, CM.
Unless you are holding the thing up, LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 2027
Registered: Oct-04
I'm having a hard time getting ANY good reception with this thing, given, my apartment is an RF nightmare, I don't find this turner (so far) to be any more sensitive than the arsenal of other tuners I own.

It's marginally better with AM than my Marantz & HK, but fades in & out of AM-HD tuning making the whole thing rather unlistenable. It fares better with FM, but sounds overly compressed and as if there's something like Dolby Noise Reduction circa 1985 at work. There are a few new FM-HD channels that are OK, but they too suffer from the same lack of high-fidelity as the standard FM reception.

The RDS is nice, as is the remote, but all & all, this tuner can't get my recommendation other than if you are really curious about HD Radio and want to test the waters. I'm just not getting the AM/FM reception touted by expert reviewers, but for $50, I'm losing any sleep.

My new Tivoli Songbook is a better listen, and can keep me company in the bathroom while shaving, and my Boston Acoustics Receptor easily best the Sony, and EVERY other tuner I have heard or owned, in terms of reception & shear enjoyability.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 2049
Registered: Oct-04
Update: OK, I've played around quite a bit with antenna swapping & placement, and the Sony if quite a bit better than I initially thought it was once everything is fine tuned.

I switched out the stock dipole FM antenna for a Terk FM+ "Gamma-Loop" antenna I was using on my Marantz SR5400, and instantly I was getting a more solid lock on FM. HD Radio FM is extremely different than "classic" FM, initially I felt something was missing, something distinctly "FM" like, but what I'm hearing now is growing on me, it's a quite a bit flatter than I'm use to, and background noise is quite a bit quieter than either my Marantz or my HK upon further scrutiny.

AM reception is still a bit more problematic, but has improved quite a bit with antenna placement & tinkering. It seems that not all NYC AM HD Radio stations are broadcasting in higher-fidelity. 2-3 are, and sound not quite as good as traditional FM, but quite a bit better than traditional AM. The higher-fidelity AM stations take about 5-sec. to "lock-in" and get up to speed, but it sound pretty good once it does; other stations simply have a some basic RDS info, and others nada.

Like I previously said, the unit is growing on me, and I'm quite certain that with continued tinkering and a better AM antenna (I'm looking at the C.Crane Twin Coil Ferrite AM Antenna) things will continue to get better.

If RF interference isn't a problem in your home, I imagine your set-up and results, will be both easier, and perhaps, better than mine.
 

Gold Member
Username: Exerciseguy

Brooklyn, NY United States

Post Number: 2509
Registered: Oct-04
Anybody see the Stereophile review of this unit?

Given the overall deadness of this thread, I doubt anyone cares.

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