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I have a question that I'd like to ask of FM tuner reception experts. I live in the greater Tampa Bay Fl area and really like a community radio station here WNMF. Yesterday I brought home a Bose Wave radio, one of the smaller versions and could pick up WNMF perfectly without an antenna. What is odd about that is that I have two tuners in the house, a McIntosh MX117 and a Sansui TU 717. Both are considered very good tuners and neither one of them pick up WNMF very well and they have basic antennas attached! My car picks up the station in my garage just fine. It seems that the cheaper the tuner the better it picks up the station. What might I try to improve reception on the McIntosh and Sansui without having to resort to more money and or adding an external mount antenna? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
If you have the means and a station worth listening too then an external antenna with a rotor would be the best way to go.
If you live near military bases, trucking yards, stations illegally boosting their signals or have illegal radio stations you're screwed. The FCC no longer regulates nor cares to enforce those laws.
When I lived in NJ is was literally a free for all. You could pick up the truck yard a few blocks away, the military was talking to the space aliens or blocking something?, the religious community one town over decided to pirate the ONLY good signal coming out of NYC for their use and a country western station out of Philly would turn their signal up to "Death Ray levels" on Friday and Saturday night.
I can pick up FM with a Sansdisk Clip, but my very-expensive tuner delivered signal with lots of static. Had an outdoor whip, but an outdoor Yagi was the best solution. If you got stations worth listening to, it is a worthwhile investment.
Amen to that.
Although I'd still like to understand why your Clip works better than your "very expensive turner", and why the Bose Wave is better than the Mac or Sansui for the original poster.
I'm assuming RF technology has advanced, and that is the answer, but it's only speculation. I know that little Sony HD tuner which was all the rage a few years ago was certainly a top performer, at least from a sensitivity and selectivity standpoint. Sound quality, not so much. I have one sitting here, and it never impressed me, sound wise.
I've never tried listening to FM on my Clip, but I will now, just to see if my results are similar to yours. Thanks.
"Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be. 'Cause now I'm an amputee" J. Lennon
Car radios, and the bose wave are designed to capture the signal - not render the best SQ from the signal available - two very different aims-
Thanks to all of you for your replies.
Good FM reception with truly good sound in stereo requires
i) a signal strong enough to fully quieten the front end of the receiver, and
ii) a signal as free as possible from multipath reflections (from hills, towers and high rise). Multipath that will be audible, can't be dealt with by FM front-ends.
Even car radios will splutter when behind a hill or in a city full of office towers. But mild mpath causes the sound to deteriorate long before spluttering.
This second requirement may need a directional antenna. Directional means that it can pick out the best possible signal. It will also give you signal gain.
FM's lambda is ~ 3metres / ~11 feet. So, truly good sounding FM from a good FM tuner can't always be achieved with a small antenna. Particularly so in hilly urban areas.
My favourite station - the strongest FM signal here* - is transmitted from two hills (*Canberra, Australia.) In the car I switch from one frequency to the other when I'm blocked from one site or the other, almost every drive. And multipath is the reason.
*Click right down below for a data-reduced (compressed) internet feed.
*Today's Music listings
Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger
A couple of points-
If you go back a few years - the largest number of 'Tuners' sold is the number of car radios sold - and as a result, FM broadcasting has aimed their transmissions to those detection systems- Vertical whip antenna and the common tuner circuits employed - BOSE knows this and has tuned their tuners to have similar performance (To car radios)
Typically the front end of home / hi-end tuners - such as the Sansui and McIntosh that you have - were designed to be used with good antennas -
While an external antenna would/could solve your challenge, there are other tips that you can try -
I am presuming that you are using a 'folded dipole antenna - the ubiquitous "T" shaped constrction made from 300Ohm flat cable-
Try two different activities-
1: change the orientation of the top of the 'T' from Horizontal to vertical - see what the results are-
2: while the top of the 'T' is horizontal, change the rotational orientation of the 'T' see what happens-
Lastly, I put a link for FM Fool - where you can put in your address and height of the antenna and the site will give you the polars for all FM broadcast signals in your area - some of the supporting data provided will give you lots of help in orientating your antennas to maximize reception-
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