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In Reply to: Can you keep the MR78 until after the experiments? posted by Bambi B on September 10, 2006 at 00:35:58:
\\\some vintage tuners are becoming stupidly expensive///
I couldn't agree more. I live in a fringe area (about 80 miles NW of Minneapolis), and by the time I invest in good analog tuner, a tower that will get high enough, and a suitable antenna and rotor, the cost has become prohibitive. I'm wondering if there's some means of getting a streaming audio feed from the Net to sound good enough to keep me happy. I've heard litle good about Sirius or similar subscription digital radio services. If a decent sound card and a suitable external USB DAC could make good sound, there would be a whole world of music available at one's fingertips, so to speak. One can dream.....
Sorry, you had to make all those spelling corrections to the quote!
The cost of vintage tuners and teh work they always seem to need has me looking for a good alterative and here's an idea.
I've been using an M-Audio "Audiophile" 2496 soundcard in my Dell 2.8GHz Windows XP machine for about two years as a recording soundcard. Using Oktava M012's > Peavey VMP-2 all tube mic pre> Cakewalk Home Studio XL> HD:
-and the results have been excellent. M-Audio makes some nice soundcards but since I don't need a lot of inputs and outputs, this $100 has all the features I need. I run the analogue soundcard output to my office system: Audio Research LS3 > ARC D130 > Infinity Primus 360 and I'm amazed at the sound quality from my HD 16/44.1 recordings.
Recently, I've been playing with streaming FM from stations Like WGBH Boston and though I think this must be compressed to a degree- I don't know what the paramters of streming FM are- the sound from Boston is better than KCRW Santa Monica- which is 2985 miles closer! Of course, the noise floor is pitch black and the sound clear without drift or interferrence. Sometimes I think I'm hearing aircraft pass between me and the transmitter!
I listen mostly to KUSC 91.5, the public radio classical station in Los Angeles, but lately I've been very angry over their current policies of discount AM news, donation promotions every five minutes, silly announcers, but especially the over-boosted anouncers' voices. As well, I live at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains and reception is tough as I don't have direct line to the transmitters over the hills.
The negatives with braodcast FM are such I'm considering now abandoning my expensive McIntosh MR67 redo- the tuner cost $400, I've spent $250 on a 300 year supply of NOS tubes,and Mark Wilson suggests another $275 for caps and aligment- so this will be an $850 tuner when I'm done- fabulous sounding, but is the "software" good enough now to justify it?
At $100, I really recommend the M-Audio card as an experimental computer tuner,a nd I'm intrigued now by a Chinese DAC that's the ccurrent buzz on "Digital", the "AH" with it's 8- Burr-Browns or whatever they are:
-this $150 DAC in combination with a cheap transport is supposed to be another "giant-killer" that sounds as good as DAc costing,.. well you know the drill here. So, I'm thinking of SP/DIF from teh 2696 to this cheap DAC, -and also running a Toslink from my Cambridge Audio 640C- and have a good tuner and good CDP sound for not much brass. In this way, I could avoid the tyranny of antennas, MPX decoders and finding the perfect 6AV6 and 6BL8s !
So, the $100 M-Audio and $150 DAC could make a great tuner that can pull FM from anywhere in the World- very tempting. At the moment I'm listening to BBC3 London and it sounds as good as KPCC Pasadena!
I"ll be certain to keep my MX110 for the main system, but the office FM tuner could well be my old Dell 750- which I'll turn into my dedicated "sound" computer for recording.
Just a thought.
Your pardon on the typo corrections, M'Lady - it's a strange compulsion I have sometimes. Was it Emerson that said something to the effect that there was no greater urge than that to rewrite another's manuscript?
You're definitely intrigued my interest here. You have a tuner of the sort I dream about, yet you're considering abandoning the technology. Perhaps with good reason, too - 'twill do you no good to have a marvelous piece of equipment that's designed to receive a signal that is no longer produced with any degree of faithfulness. Even the public radio station in Collegeville, MN has gone digital, much to my chagrin. The one in Couderay (on the Ojibwe reservation) may still be analog, but perhaps not, since they do offer streaming audio. They have a wonderful program on Friday nights called Eclectamania (that lady DJ is nuts!), and it's partially that kind of thing that had me contemplating a tower/antenna setup. WOJB is about 130 miles east or so...just about at the limit of a good tower/antenna's reception capability. If I can have it all from the Net, however, a whole new world becomes available. Tell me - how does the sound compare to the Mac with most radio stations? I know that with the right signal the Mac will blow nearly everything else out of the water, so to speak, but as you've pointed out, the "software" may not even exist anymore.
Is this the kind of USB DAC you're referring to?
I expect to finally graduate in December (overage college student here - the old guy with a beard that isn't teaching the class), so hopefully I'll have a little disposable income to put into audio after a long drought. Epistemology is a trip...kind of like mentally chasing one's tail.
Thanks for the information. If I have further questions, do you mind if I drop you an e-mail?
As you may have noticed, in my Asylum posts, I go for quantity rather than quality-and my left-handed, dyslexic spelling is an adjunct to writing in a second language.
It's a dilemna with me whether to pursue the MR67 to conclusion. On one hand, I see it as the last chance to enjoy analogue FM at a high level. This is akin to buying a 5 litre, 400HP car and enjoying squandering the last few gallons of petrol before it's impossibly dear. Actually I drive a 6.3 litre, 300HP car that gets only 12-14 mpg- irresponsible, but I'll be able to tell other people's grandchildren what it was like to waste resources and pollute the planet before the era of being subject to arrest and bankruptcy! On the other, I feel that any day now, it will transpire that all broadcasts will be digital and I'll have to have a digital detector/decoder in front of the tuners that anyway are 90% of the tuner- the tuner would become only an expensive pre-pre amplifier,and the sound will lose any residual magic.
The DAC I referred to is the Chinese one in the link in my earlier post, the "AH"- also available apparently as a kit for $135. I should emphasise that I've never heard this DAC, I'm only responding to the raves over on "Digital".
I've done comparisons between streaming from the M-Audio soundcard into the solid state Audio Research system and the B160, MR77, and MR77 and certainly on a good day, the sound from the analogue tuners is preferable to the streaming sound- the MR67 is nearly miraculous when the signal is strong, but in my situation in the hills, with an indoor antenna- when the signal is weak and there's a tremndous interferrence and bandwidth constriction here- crowded air plus- the sound streaming is better- if I can't receive and select the signal the audio quality is competely moot. My current idea is to set up a linked array of two half wave antennas in the future- something I need to study- but of course I could never get Boston or London except with my own satellite.
Epistomology- that's a favourite subject of mine and I've been working -quite awhile- on a book on the subject of the depiction of space in 2-dimensional art, that necessarily looks into sensory perception, religion, art, and science as belief systems.
You're welcome to eamil anytime.
But I already have a DAC - it's admittedly an old Museatex Bitstream, but I'm fairly happy with it. Would it then follow that all I need is a sound card with a Toslink output? I'm using an old Denon DCD 1560 for a CD transport, feeding into the coax input on the Museatex. The Museatex also has a Toslink input, though, so if I could use that for the input from a computer, it seems like I'm already very nearly there. The only question then is what the requirements are for the sound card and the computer itself. I already have high-speed access.
I was faced with a similar issue to the one you're facing with your Mac tuner years ago when I sold my 10" open reel tape deck. It was a (truly) mint Pioneer RT 909, and I sold it fairly cheaply, because I was sure at the time that open reel was going the way of the dinosaurs. For what it's worth, I've always regretted that decision (kind of like that Marantz tuner with the oscilloscope - we won't go there), but there's a significant difference between my case and yours. I could have kept the tapes, and I could still buy more of them, so the machine could still be used. It's a tough call.
By the way - does "working -quite awhile- on a book" mean wading through as in reading, or as in writing? Either way, you're speaking my language. The study of human consciousness has been a pet subject of mine for something over 25 years. The side benefit and downside are one and the same: I'm pretty much unable to see anything as an absolute anymore.
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