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Sparkler Audio Model S509 "nostalgia II" Broadcast FM/AM Tuner

172.115.118.67

Posted on June 10, 2019 at 17:14:08
Todd Krieger
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Posts: 35922
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000


I saw this $800 tuner at THE Show, but the distributor had no means of trying it from the room..... But I was kind of intrigued, maybe due to its unique appearance..... I am wondering if anyone has tried or heard this tuner, and the sonic impressions. Thank you much.

 

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RE: Sparkler Audio Model S509 "nostalgia II" Broadcast FM/AM Tuner, posted on June 11, 2019 at 12:53:53
Awe-d-o-file
Dealer

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Location: 50 miles west of DC
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For AM he should use a low power transmitter in the room. Thats a go to method at Antique radio fairs A window if there was one should allow "some" maybe not a lot of decent FM. Of course I love the look too as a radio nerds.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

could've done it with FM, too, posted on June 11, 2019 at 18:54:08
mhardy6647
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Remember those FM transmitters that let us listen to our CD players in the minivan, ca. early 1990s?
I do.
Heck, there's one around here... someplace.

Alternatively, there are - or were, at any rate! - a bevy of more or less legal FM "micro" transmitters, of varying quality, from companies like Ramsey Electronics. Ramsey is no longer in that business (see link below). :p


all the best,
mrh

 

Sparkler Audio?, posted on June 12, 2019 at 10:13:58
1973shovel
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Location: Greenville SC
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Like Awe-d-o-file below, I'm in the "radio nerd" category. But damn, who chose that as a name for an electronics company?

Thanks for the post, Todd. I'm glad to know there's companies out there who haven't given up on radio.

 

RE: Sparkler Audio Model, think 47 labs., posted on June 12, 2019 at 16:45:04
LCBIII
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Location: Pennsylvania
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think 47 labs.

 

RE: Sparkler Audio Model S509 "nostalgia II" Broadcast FM/AM Tuner, posted on June 12, 2019 at 17:24:05
Wojciech
Audiophile

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It's $1400 retail and it surely looks like 47 labs may be the same thing.
Is it possible that it's better than supertuners from the recent past? i guess it's probably based on $3 chip like all the other 47 Labs High-End audio bits for people listening to 3" full range drivers. It's a whole different universe although I did consider at one point 47 Labs Midnight Blue tuner just because of it's footprint

 

kind of evocative of the 47Labs FM tuner of some years back, posted on June 13, 2019 at 04:19:59
mhardy6647
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Whatever happened to it/them?


all the best,
mrh

 

the innards thereof (the 47Labs tuner, that is), posted on June 13, 2019 at 04:22:35
mhardy6647
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from Dudley's article, too.

Kind of... uninspiring. Well... at least, kind of unimpressive.

Wonder how they really do sound?
... and, for that matter, how the new tuner that is the actual subject of this thread :) sounds (and how it looks inside, for that matter).


all the best,
mrh

 

RE: could've done it with FM, too, posted on June 16, 2019 at 07:34:59
Awe-d-o-file
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Oh sure. Ramsey was go to in that niche.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

consider "telefunken" , posted on June 17, 2019 at 06:40:06
mhardy6647
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tele from the Greek for "far off, at a distance"
funken = "spark(s)" auf Deutsch

Radio was all about sparks, Sparky* :)
The spark-gap transmitter was the genesis of the genre.
... but I know that you know that already! :)

____
* Radio operators in the early days were quaintly nicknamed "Sparky"


all the best,
mrh

 

lots of 'small footprint' tuners 'new'(er) and old, posted on June 20, 2019 at 06:04:34
mhardy6647
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In terms of the "modern" (it's all relative!) era, Parasound's erstwhile Ztuner fairly leaps to mind.

Dimensions:
9-1/2" w x 1-3/4" h x 10 " d, 2 " h without feet

Net weight: 4 lbs.

In terms of the old school... Here's a cute little (mono) AM/FM tuner from days gone by, from Bell (not Bell Labs, of course), as an example of "the old".

DSC_5411 (2)

The Bell 2255 tuner is quite small; even the Sansui TU-4400 upon which it is perched is narrower-than-usual for many 1970s-era components. :)

(The Bell's 9-1/2 inches wide, same as the above-mentioned Parasound, vs. 15-3/4 inches width for the Sansui)

all the best,
mrh

 

sorry I missed this post originally and posted redundantly 'bout the 47Labs tuna (nt), posted on June 20, 2019 at 07:36:38
mhardy6647
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enn tee

all the best,
mrh

 

also, probably worth noting that the 47Labs tuner is FM only, posted on June 20, 2019 at 07:37:55
mhardy6647
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all the best,
mrh

 

RE: the innards thereof (the 47Labs tuner, that is), posted on June 20, 2019 at 10:22:13
Awe-d-o-file
Dealer

Posts: 21037
Location: 50 miles west of DC
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Oy, it is a turd


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Todd!? I have a request., posted on June 22, 2019 at 02:54:30
Timbo in Oz
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And, for all of you.

Please find a way to report about radio reception systems, with antennas, from here on in.

TIA


Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

I was not aware of that, posted on June 23, 2019 at 05:25:04
1973shovel
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...any of it. Thanks.

Still, I'll stand by my assertion that however historically accurate they're trying to be with that name, it still conjures up a fireworks show image for me.

Sorta like Syphilitic Dating Service, Inc. would, even after they inform me that "Syphilitic" is simply their family's last name.

 

well -- perhaps best not to jump to conclusions..., posted on June 26, 2019 at 07:58:10
mhardy6647
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but I do stand by my assessment of its being uninspiring in side.


all the best,
mrh

 

RE: Todd!? I have a request., posted on July 25, 2019 at 20:33:25
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 35922
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
"Please find a way to report about radio reception systems, with antennas, from here on in."

I'm not sure what you're actually requesting......

Did my post violate a rule or something?

 

RE: Sparkler Audio Model S509 "nostalgia II" Broadcast FM/AM Tuner, posted on July 25, 2019 at 20:40:48
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 35922
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
"It's $1400 retail and it surely looks like 47 labs may be the same thing."

I was quoted "$800" by the rep at the show...... And it was the normal price, not a "show price". (Unless the unit had large price increase since the June show.)

The Sparkler unit appears to be wider and only 1/3 as deep as the 47 Lab unit..... The units may be similar, but then again may be totally different.

 

It was a request. , posted on July 25, 2019 at 21:19:58
Timbo in Oz
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Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
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Based on the primacy of antennas in all radio reception.

How good any tuner sounds can depend on the station's quality.

But beyond that, it depends on -

i) Being driven into 'full limiting'.

ii) By a signal that, as received at the tuner / front end, has low multipath on it.

(Noting that it is difficult to overload an FM stage. I was surprised by that.)

Neither of these two requirements can be reliably achieved by small indoor antennas. Nor by an amplified small indoor antenna.

To whit, tuners will sound different off varying antennas, and the problems of a given station & transmitter, for where the tuner is. So, the 'sound' of a tuner isn't a given.

So, why are so many folks focussed on tuners almost solely?

Driven as above I've never heard a bad sounding tuner, one that was in good nick.

Few of the tuners I've heard in most folks homes sounded all that good. ? A T ribbon hidden away and not pointed. Or worse, a piece of wire.

This is an Audiophile site, with a global presence.

I believe that we should be telling the full story about FM, and AM, too!










Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

RE: It was a request. , posted on July 25, 2019 at 23:26:35
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 35922
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
Granted your comments about antennas.......

But.....

This is a tuners forum...... I thought I could discuss tuners at face value here...... Am I missing something?

 

RE: the innards thereof (the 47Labs tuner, that is), posted on July 25, 2019 at 23:50:52
Todd Krieger
Audiophile

Posts: 35922
Location: SW United States
Joined: November 2, 2000
Based on some of the comments here, I should avoid this product..... .... ...........

 

yes you are, posted on July 25, 2019 at 23:57:39
Timbo in Oz
Audiophile

Posts: 23221
Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
Joined: January 30, 2002
A tuner without a good antenna is just a box.


Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

RE: Sparkler Audio Model S509 "nostalgia II" Broadcast FM/AM Tuner, posted on December 12, 2021 at 12:36:07
Posts: 2
Location: AK
Joined: December 12, 2021
Sparkler Audio's website confirms that the designer and builder Kazutoshi Tsukahara broke off from 47 Labs so the resemblance is no coincidence. I can attest that the AM and FM sound quality is excellent, rivaling the best tuners at any price. I am able to get over 20 listenable FM stations with just an indoor folded dipole here in Anchorage. A long wire wrapped around the supplied ferrite antenna enables adequate AM reception. Tsukahara-san has chosen about a 50 dB S/N threshold to enable FM stereo reception so you will hear weak stations in mono.
1mctous

 

RE: most of the antenna issues don't apply, posted on December 23, 2021 at 08:04:47
LtMandella
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Location: CA
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to HD radio, correct?
Don't wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
Mark Twain

 

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