View Full Version : Astonishing Sony XDRF1HD Tuner


Pages : 1 [2] 3 4

BrocLuno
07-12-2009, 11:20 AM
Let's see - $4K vs $88 - Humm?

ron-c
07-12-2009, 03:42 PM
I only paid $49 for the Sony. the McIntosh only makes sense if you have great local stations, a top end system and you listen to radio a lot. Which I do.

Thanks,

dshoaf
07-12-2009, 04:20 PM
The roll off is dependent on signal strength. Get a big antenna then the progressive filtering will not engage.
Or just buy an MR88 and go to another level.

Thanks,
Ron-C

Hi Ron! Good to see you here. Would _love_ to have an MR-88, for sure!

Not sure the radio stations around here are as good, though. And I do understand about the filtering algorithms relationship to signal strength. The Sony does well with them.

On to some mods now.....that's part of the fun of the hobby and why I collect old Mac gear, btw.

Cheers,

David

ron-c
07-12-2009, 04:27 PM
The Sony is the low price champ for sure. Kudos to Sony engineering that one.

thanks,
Ron-C

Snade
07-17-2009, 10:48 AM
My newspaper this morning (Chicago Tribune) has an insert from Fry's Electronics store listing this Sony tuner at $99 before a $20 savings. Not sure if the "savings" is a rebate or in store. Here in the burbs you will also pay about 7.5% sales tax.

Just an FYI. Snade

dr*audio
07-17-2009, 11:11 AM
You have Fry's in Chi-town??? Wow, maybe they will come East like Trader Joes!

Punker X
07-21-2009, 04:10 PM
Haven't forgot about those looking to have the mods done. I've done all but the active filter on mine. I went to assemble one today and figured out I was missing a part, so had to go back and place yet another order. This week I've been testing the memory backup. Right now it's somewhere between 13 and 24 hours of back up with a 1.5F super cap.

Here's a picture of mine. I've wired a blue LED in with the Forced Analog switch on the back. When in HD the LED is lit from underneath. With taller feet for cooling it's a nice indication of where the switch is set. In Analog the light is off. That's is where I normally keep the switch when listening.

pbda
07-29-2009, 01:07 AM
Nice touches, Punker X. Looking forward to the "green light" for mods.

Snade
07-29-2009, 08:53 AM
Nice touches, Punker X. Looking forward to the "green light" for mods.

+1

I like the blue light from below. Nice design choice.

Snade

Punker X
07-29-2009, 09:52 AM
Working on the active filter board today. Finally got all the parts in. Got memory retention somewhere between 16 and 24 hours, slowly narrowing it down.

BrocLuno
07-29-2009, 04:43 PM
Excellent - keep us posted? There may be a few boxes coming your way once this gets sorted :)

Punker X
08-02-2009, 10:38 AM
For those that were interested in the modifications.

Link (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=2923181#post2923181)

MWalt
08-02-2009, 03:33 PM
I just checked the queue and it looks like I am up. For the Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter, does that still require the Extended Headroom Modification, or does it cover it also. Is the switch on the back for forced analog or for mono?

I will get this thing boxed up and mailed this week.

Punker X
08-03-2009, 04:21 AM
I just checked the queue and it looks like I am up. For the Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter, does that still require the Extended Headroom Modification, or does it cover it also. Is the switch on the back for forced analog or for mono?

I will get this thing boxed up and mailed this week.

Correct, no extended headroom mod needed if you go with the active filter. Switch in the pictures is for forced analog. Mono would give a separate switch. I've yet found a need using this tuner for a mono switch, just offering it.

I usually notify people to ship stuff on Mondays. You will probably be getting an email later in the day.

New2Vintage
08-03-2009, 02:24 PM
It seems like a great deal of testing has been done on this tuner by qualified technicians, and that there's much agreement on what improvements could be made. I would think that Sony might have taken notice, and done some work towards releasing an upgraded or audiophile version.

Anybody hear of any pending releases?

BrocLuno
08-03-2009, 03:09 PM
I've not heard, but with AK'ers doing most of the R&D, why wouldn't they?

Punker X
08-03-2009, 03:23 PM
Ya I can see Sony putting the same thing in a bigger chassis with a few improvements, putting an ES in the model number and charging $500 plus of it.

dr*audio
08-03-2009, 10:40 PM
Ya I can see Sony putting the same thing in a bigger chassis with a few improvements, putting an ES in the model number and charging $500 plus of it.

Naw, they wouldn't do that....:scratch2:

bastek
08-03-2009, 11:44 PM
If you need a 17" audiophile component HD tuner you can get the Onkyo T-4555 or Integra TUN 3.7 for about $400 new. They received great reviews in England. I just placed an order for both modules ( C-HDSAT and C-AMFM ) for my 3.7 Integra to see how they compare to my other non HD tuners in a separate thread.
http://www.gspr.com/integra/tun37.html

specialidiot
08-17-2009, 09:46 PM
Looks like I'm "on the bench" right now.

Has anyone received their tuners back?

Punker X
08-18-2009, 05:33 AM
There's one out there. Yours will be the second.

baneste
08-19-2009, 01:00 AM
Looks like I'm "on the bench" right now.

Has anyone received their tuners back?

Yes. The mods I got were the memory extension, forced analog, alignment and the treble correction and audiophile output with active filter. It's late and I've not had a long period of time to evaluate the Radio X implementation of these mods, so I will limit my comments to a first impression. In a word: WOW! It only took a few minutes to conclude that the stock XDRF1HD -- which I thought very, very good to begin with -- is anemic compared to the modded version. Mr. Williams knows his business and does absolutely wonderful work. You won't be disappointed. The Sony XDRF1HD with the Radio X tuner mods may well be the best bang-for-the-buck audio component I've ever owned. And maybe one of the best regardless of its (modest) cost. Thank you, Mike. I couldn't be happier.

2chanman
08-19-2009, 01:11 PM
baneste:
You are forgetting that the modifications performed on your Sony XDR-F1HD were developed by Brian Beezley, who really deserves the credit for their effectiveness.

baneste
08-19-2009, 11:23 PM
Not forgetting; just assuming that everyone here knew that the mods in question were originally suggested by Mr. Beezley. See http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm. But you are quite correct in explicitly noting that Mr. Beezley deserves credit for the initial idea. Thank you for pointing out and correcting my oversight. And thank you to Mr. Beezley, for developing these mods.

After spending the evening with the modified tuner, a stock tuner to compare it to, as well as my long-standing tuner to use as a known reference, nothing has changed my initial positive impression of the effectiveness of the mods. Everything seems sharper, cleaner, more well-defined and considerably less harsh with the modded tuner than the other two.

Punker X
08-20-2009, 04:11 AM
I give credit and a link to Brian's page from my page. If you read his write up on the modifications, he credits several other people himself. Some of the modifications say, "you could" do this. Leaving the implementation of it up the reader. I just offer a service for those that can't or don't have the time.

titanstats
08-22-2009, 04:45 AM
I just offer a service for those that can't or don't have the time.A mighty cool service too, I'll add. :thmbsp:

TommyV
08-27-2009, 03:15 AM
Yea I am gonna have to do this. I just got my first Sony. I will pick up a second and send it to Mike. That way I can to a/b of before and after Mods. I still need you to do your magic on my Sansui too! I have just been busy tuner shopping and trying to find some other cool ones to keep me entertained while I start shipping mine off to you. Stock though on analog I still give my TU-517 the win. This is my baby and I am trusting Mike BIG time to take it and improve on perfection.

I was VERY impressed by the Sony though and all the advantages are obvious. It works wonderful with the C.Crane Dipole indoor antenna.

hair-old
08-31-2009, 12:25 AM
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.de2697ff16.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?de2697ff16.jpg)

The Sony XRD-S3HD came out first as a clock radio,I would have got one of those if it had pre-outs:(,it has a tuning knob and volume control that the F1HD lacks.
I ordered a XRD-F1HD on 18 Jun 08 and have been very happy with it.It has froze up a few times but turning it off for a few minutes brings it back to life.The only mod I did was put it on stilts since it was a low ryder and ran hot.
I'm sure Sony didn't get to be the big company they are by not listening to customer feedback.You can bet an improved version is on the way.Hopefully with a tuning knob,analog/hd switch,display off,memory cap,etc.Sure would be great with a headphone jack also.

pfcs49
08-31-2009, 10:21 AM
I did the cellphone battery mod for extended memory to my 2nd Sony and unplugged it 3 weeks ago. Gave it power again and still had time and presets! (all my components are on a 20A switched outlet so I wanted longer memory than the capacitor mod; sometimes I'm away for over a week). phil

vibroverbus
09-01-2009, 10:52 AM
It has froze up a few times but turning it off for a few minutes brings it back to life.

Hmmm. Never had that problema. And I'm modded 90% to "Full Beezley" - (cooling fan installed, backlight off, supercap upgrade, audio resistors removed...) I run it for ages at a time too...

BTW, the MOSFET I used for backlight switching works perfectly, and (almost) no current draw vs. the bipolar Brian suggests - if anybody is thinking about doing that mod I recommend it.

The biggest remaining item is to do the forced analog switch. Since the local NPR station is clearly using low bit rates for HD it gets wonky and 'artifacty' sometimes...

PeterFCassidy
09-02-2009, 07:32 PM
Great addition to the tuner. Does he help turn the antenna?

PFC

http://i583.photobucket.com/albums/ss271/1936bmw/1251723025030190339474404.jpg

The Sony XRD-S3HD came out first as a clock radio,I would have got one of those if it had pre-outs:(,it has a tuning knob and volume control that the F1HD lacks.
I ordered a XRD-F1HD on 18 Jun 08 and have been very happy with it.It has froze up a few times but turning it off for a few minutes brings it back to life.The only mod I did was put it on stilts since it was a low ryder and ran hot.
I'm sure Sony didn't get to be the big company they are by not listening to customer feedback.You can bet an improved version is on the way.Hopefully with a tuning knob,analog/hd switch,display off,memory cap,etc.Sure would be great with a headphone jack also.

vibroverbus
09-02-2009, 07:49 PM
Great addition to the tuner. Does he help turn the antenna?

PFC

That's one-a them running internet joke deals known as a "meme", and I believe you'll find it's a squirrel.

Here's the original story.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6018173/Squirrel-is-surprise-star-of-holiday-photo.html

Now everybody photochops him into their pics. Funny. But getting old.

pbda
09-03-2009, 11:01 PM
Mike has informed me that my modded tuner is "in the mail".

Can't wait. :music:

specialidiot
09-03-2009, 11:02 PM
Mike has informed me that my modded tuner is "in the mail".

Can't wait. :music:

you are going to enjoy it. Took mine up about 11 levels of greatness.

baneste
09-04-2009, 01:17 AM
you are going to enjoy it. Took mine up about 11 levels of greatness.
I second that.

dsd5150
09-08-2009, 10:08 AM
Been enjoying my unit for about a month now and agree with all others that this is one of the BEST sub-$100 buys out there today even for a vintage toy lover like myself...

Had I not read the plethora of info on AK for this unit I would have never reaped the benefits of this incredible value... Thank you all!!!

Giggle factor of 10+

Sir MLS
09-08-2009, 05:19 PM
I just made this video yesterday saying the same thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28LPqQ3L8SU

Scott

I think I fix the link. Sorry this is the first video I have ever made and tried to link.

pbda
09-11-2009, 03:05 PM
I received my tuner back from Mike and had a chance to listen to it today. I had him do a mix of practical and sound mods:


Memory extension
Forced Analog
Treble correction (cheap)
Headroom extension


These modifications cost around $90, equal to what I paid for the unit.

The tuner, which I thought already sounded great, is now at another level entirely. For nearby analog stations, in particular, the forced analog mod is revelatory. This tuner sounds absolutely superb in analog mode.

I could not be happier with Mike's work, and strongly suggest that those of you who own this tuner should very seriously consider Mike's mods.

2chanman
09-12-2009, 12:24 PM
To pbda;
You would have been better off choosing the "expensive" treble correction, which would have eliminated the need for headroom extension, reduced distortion at ALL frequencies, enhanced low frequency response by eliminating two pairs of coupling capacitors, would have completely suppressed the digital garbage in the output instead of increasing it as the "cheap" treble correction does, and more perfectly correct the treble response droop. Admittedly, the "expensive" treble correction is pricey, but looking over the large investment in the rest of your system, $150 is negligible for the benefits you receive.

EasyRiderNYC
09-12-2009, 02:12 PM
This could really be the ticket I'm looking for. I just took my tuner/pre out and put a pre in but, I do really like 2-3 stations in NYC still. WNYC, WBGO and WFMU which sound much better tuned than streaming.

Anyone in the NYC area have one of these?

Just ordered mine. $85 on Amazon. They are cheaper at a couple other places, but then they hit you with $15 in shipping.

Snade
09-12-2009, 02:23 PM
I received my tuner back from Mike and had a chance to listen to it today. I had him do a mix of practical and sound mods:


Memory extension
Forced Analog
Treble correction (cheap)
Headroom extension


These modifications cost around $90, equal to what I paid for the unit.

The tuner, which I thought already sounded great, is now at another level entirely. For nearby analog stations, in particular, the forced analog mod is revelatory. This tuner sounds absolutely superb in analog mode.

I could not be happier with Mike's work, and strongly suggest that those of you who own this tuner should very seriously consider Mike's mods.

I had the same set of mods and second your review and comments on Mike's work. :thmbsp:

Snade

EasyRiderNYC
09-19-2009, 12:10 PM
Just got it and just hooked it up.

I'll say one thing it is pulling in a station (WFMU) which is very difficult to get. Does it automatically decide if it is stereo or mono?

It does not sound as analogue as my KLH 18 right now (it is not on an HD station). Maybe it needs to run in a bit?

2chanman
09-19-2009, 12:42 PM
EasyRiderNYC;
This tuner does not have a stereo indicator. You will have to determine by ear whether it is outputting stereo or mono. If you are dissatisfied with the tuner's audio, there are modifications possible, mentioned earlier in this thread. "Running in" is more a matter of your getting used to the sound of the tuner rather than any actual change in it's performance.

Punker X
09-20-2009, 06:58 AM
There really is no stereo/mono switch point on this tuner. With a signal generator it will stay stereo until just to the point where you can't even see a sine wave.

Herr Eickhorn
09-23-2009, 04:19 AM
Any comparisons to a Marantz 10B?

crooner
09-23-2009, 05:12 AM
Any comparisons to a Marantz 10B?

The Marantz 10B is the overall better tuner. It will outperform the Sony in sound quality. Selectivity on the XDR-F1HD will be better due to the DSP IF.

I have both, and prefer the 10B for listening and local/tropo stations. The Sony sees duty as a DX machine during the "E" Skip season.

2chanman
09-23-2009, 12:01 PM
Herr Eickorn:
There are modifications to the XDR-F1HD that will bring it's audio quality up to the top level. See the earlier posts on this thread.

EasyRiderNYC
09-23-2009, 12:11 PM
The Marantz 10B is the overall better tuner. It will outperform the Sony in sound quality. Selectivity on the XDR-F1HD will be better due to the DSP IF.

I have both, and prefer the 10B for listening and local/tropo stations. The Sony sees duty as a DX machine during the "E" Skip season.

Did you do the Forced Analog Modification and the Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter?

Regards.

crooner
09-23-2009, 12:13 PM
Did you do the Forced Analog Modification and the Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter?

Regards.

No I did not. I based my answer to Herr Eickhorn on the stock Sony tuner which was the original subject of this thread.

EasyRiderNYC
09-23-2009, 12:18 PM
There really is no stereo/mono switch point on this tuner. With a signal generator it will stay stereo until just to the point where you can't even see a sine wave.

Hence your Mono switch.

Herr Eickhorn
09-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Received the unit Thursday. Connected it a 10 element outside fm antenna. The adjacent channel rejection is excellent! It out performs my G9000 and Marantz 10B in terms of selectivity.

An excellent unit for the price. I'm thinking of ordering another....

Regards,

Dave

I found a 10B comparison.

I ordered 2 last night from amazon.com and will send one out to be "hot rodded."

They are $84.99 each with no tax and free shipping. Thats ridiculously cheap!

eBay just sold a 10B for 2.2 kilo bucks. You can buy 25 of these tuners for that!!!!

crooner
09-23-2009, 01:10 PM
You can't really compare a bonafide classic such as the Marantz 10B to this Sony tuner. Yes, the Sony may have the technological edge on selectivity and such, but the Marantz is a work of art, hand made with pride in the good ol' USA. One of a kind. It will always command a high price because of this.

The Sony is excellent for what it is. And a perfect complement for those of us who own classic tuners.


I found a 10B comparison.

I ordered 2 last night from amazon.com and will send one out to be "hot rodded."

They are $84.99 each with no tax and free shipping. Thats ridiculously cheap!

eBay just sold a 10B for 2.2 kilo bucks. You can buy 25 of these tuners for that!!!!

Herr Eickhorn
09-23-2009, 01:24 PM
I fully understand. Its the same with classic cars. A 2009 Corvette may outperform a 1967 427 big block Corvette, however, I would rather have the 67 in my garage!

2chanman
09-28-2009, 02:28 PM
The Sony XDR-F1HD, with it's breakthrough performance, is already a classic, in it's own right.

pbda
09-28-2009, 04:00 PM
I fully understand. Its the same with classic cars. A 2009 Corvette may outperform a 1967 427 big block Corvette, however, I would rather have the 67 in my garage!

Well put. :thmbsp:

mshultz
09-29-2009, 07:31 PM
I just mailed the first 1 of my 3 Sony XDRF1HD tuners to Mike at Radio X Tuners for the complete mod package. The HD On/Off switch is needed at my 2 work locations. The other mods are not as important, but should be an added plus. I will be without a home Sony until these projects are done. It's more important to keep the music going at work.

Herr Eickhorn
09-30-2009, 03:31 AM
I just got my little Sony hooked up today. I usually run classical music in the house when I am home. Itís relaxing. I am stunned at how good our local PBS/NPR classical KBAQ (89.3) station sounds! I didnít think it was possible to turn this hissy weak station into CD quality. The sound quality just blew me away! Other stations are much improved too, but compressed is compressed. In any case, I ordered another one today to send to Radio X for a full audiophile modification. I am really excited to hear how good NPR will sound with the little Sony hot rodded!!!! I think I will even treat it to a nice pair of Nordost interconnects!

vibroverbus
09-30-2009, 09:42 AM
Other stations are much improved too, but compressed is compressed.

2 things about this tuner & HD...

1. naturally HD broadcast depends on the station to a great degree (as with analog of course) and how /what they implement. some are great but some seem to have not put much investment or attention into their HD quality. others sound quite excellent, regardless of being digital. IME the ones that are broadcasting several 'channel' streams definitely show the decreased bandwidth in terms of sound quality - you can tell right away they are trying to put 10lbs of manure in a 5lb sack.

2. as oft mentioned some weak signals blip in and out of HD/analog or otherwise show some weird HD artifacts (from multipath problems with digital signal I presume?) and this is problematic. this is why the forced analog switch mod is key - why I haven't gotten around to doing mine yet I can't really explain!

Hepcat
09-30-2009, 11:11 AM
I just got my little Sony hooked up today. I usually run classical music in the house when I am home. Itís relaxing. I am stunned at how good our local PBS/NPR classical KBAQ (89.3) station sounds! I didnít think it was possible to turn this hissy weak station into CD quality. The sound quality just blew me away! Other stations are much improved too, but compressed is compressed. In any case, I ordered another one today to send to Radio X for a full audiophile modification. I am really excited to hear how good NPR will sound with the little Sony hot rodded!!!! I think I will even treat it to a nice pair of Nordost interconnects!

I've had my stock Sony playing NPR in my garage 24/7 for 8 months now. Still sounds great with no problems from heat or anything else.

And I don't even listen to NPR:smoke:

chasaboo
10-01-2009, 10:25 AM
I bought one of these not too long ago and they are the best fun.

I'd love to get it modified but:

1) I could never wait that long to have it done.

2) I love playing around with an aerial I got for him as I can tweak it from receiving an HD signal to an analog signal, it's hilarious and I have a great time monkeying with it.

Sony really did come up with a great audio toy and for a part of audio that has been treated pretty much as a dead relic at best. :thmbsp:

Dyna Saur
10-07-2009, 08:03 PM
I bought one of these tunas when I lived in southern NH. With just the cheap "spaghetti" dipole laid out on the floor, it could receive about a dozen Mass (and one NH) FM HD stations quite reliably. WIth some patience, and careful orienting of the little AM loop antenna, I could get a solid lock on WBZ-HD AM, same program content as analog AM, but without all the static, noise, etc from various switching power supplies, light dimmers, etc, which normally trash up the AM band.

Now, I am living about a thousand miles south and west, in rural western North Carolina, and alas, I can no longer receive FM or AM HD, but then I am located aroujnd a hundred miles from any city of any size. I do get decent analog FM from Knoxville TN and Atlanta GA, as well as from other locations all over western NC, SC, northern GA, eastern TN and other points yet to be determined.

Even if the AM HD isn't getting a good lock, it often still displays the received station's call letters, like FM RDS does.

I performed the cellphone battery memory backup mod, and it can hold memory and corect time for at least two months, with a bit of calculating, it looks like it could last several years, if teh batery doesn't deplete from internal leakages first.

I also added inside, a small 40mm 12VDC fan, connected to 5VDC, it runs slower, and very quietly, and eliminates the hot radio situation very nicely.

Ed B now in western NC

Dyna Saur
10-07-2009, 08:07 PM
There was one Boston station (103.3 FM) which had three HD channels, HD1 carried the alanog "oldies" programming, HD2 was an alternate oldies format, and HD3 was WBZ-AM broadcast with a few second's delay from the AM station's analog and HD programming. Maybe moer have now extended neyond HD1 and HD2.

I would imagine that this technology will replace the old style SCA subcarrier "elevator music" channels on 67 and 93 KHz. Though that may still be used for some data transmissions besides RDS.

/ed B in NC

dr*audio
10-07-2009, 10:21 PM
MCM has them in stock. Use the link at the bottom of the page and AK gets a kickback from them.

Punker X
10-08-2009, 04:33 AM
MCM has them in stock. Use the link at the bottom of the page and AK gets a kickback from them.

Not to detract from a site sponsor, but their price is right at where everyone else is. Buy.com has them at $75 right now. Close to the best price I've seen. Shipping is a bit high at $11. Was going to order 5 for my stock but they wanted $56 for shipping. If your getting a single unit, not bad. Just having a hard time paying $56 to ship 20 pounds.

59volvo
10-10-2009, 12:24 PM
just got mine with the full upgrade mod - forced mono + audiophile upgrade. The sound is superb:banana:

dnewma04
10-10-2009, 06:02 PM
IMO, at least here in the detroit area, the very best thing about this tuner is the musical selection available on the HD alternates.

EasyRiderNYC
10-12-2009, 08:42 PM
just got mine with the full upgrade mod - forced mono + audiophile upgrade. The sound is superb:banana:

Did you get anything else done beside Mono and Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter?

Alignment? Forced Analogue?

Regards.

59volvo
10-13-2009, 12:09 AM
Did you get anything else done beside Mono and Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter?

Alignment? Forced Analogue?

Regards.

I figured since I have to do this by mail I might as well go whole hog and it was worth it - I am not a tuner geek by any means but I have heard a fair number of different tuners and after the mod's this is the best I have heard. Here is what I had done:

- forced analog (not forced mono as I said above)
- cooling feet
- memory extension
- alignment
- disable LCD
- treble correction/audiophile output

just sounds awesome (I leave it analog all the time). only thing I worry about is it does get warm so I have a fan on it. I'm running it with a panasonic SA XR-57 digital HTR amp with mirage OM10 speakers. If you have ever heard the pany it sounds best when connected digitaly like a DVD player via HDMI but even with the RCA cable the Sony tuner sounds like I'm playing a cd via the digital connection. I highly recommend this tuner - even with out the mods, but the Mods do take it to another level

EasyRiderNYC
10-13-2009, 10:07 AM
I figured since I have to do this by mail I might as well go whole hog and it was worth it - I am not a tuner geek by any means but I have heard a fair number of different tuners and after the mod's this is the best I have heard. Here is what I had done:

- forced analog (not forced mono as I said above)
- cooling feet
- memory extension
- alignment
- disable LCD
- treble correction/audiophile output

just sounds awesome (I leave it analog all the time). only thing I worry about is it does get warm so I have a fan on it. I'm running it with a panasonic SA XR-57 digital HTR amp with mirage OM10 speakers. If you have ever heard the pany it sounds best when connected digitaly like a DVD player via HDMI but even with the RCA cable the Sony tuner sounds like I'm playing a cd via the digital connection. I highly recommend this tuner - even with out the mods, but the Mods do take it to another level

I'm having that all done. On the fence about the Mono switch. If it can stay in Stereo all they way down...:headscrat

2chanman
10-13-2009, 04:01 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
If your preamp or receiver has a "mono" mode, it will accomplish exactly the same result as adding a "mono" switch to the tuner. Try switching to mono with your present tuner using the preamp "mono" function to confirm.(on weak signals)

audiojones
10-13-2009, 04:50 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
If your preamp or receiver has a "mono" mode, it will accomplish exactly the same result as adding a "mono" switch to the tuner. Try switching to mono with your present tuner using the preamp "mono" function to confirm.(on weak signals)

Not necessarily true. Most reciever mono controls do not put the tape outputs to mono, they just sum up the preamp outputs and leave the tape loops out of it. The only receivers that I know of which make the recording loop mono are the Harman/Kardon units. When the tape loop is left in stereo you can't eliminate hiss to your recorder (in case you want to record something from the radio) with the mono button unless the tuner itself has one.

EasyRiderNYC
10-13-2009, 06:56 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
If your preamp or receiver has a "mono" mode, it will accomplish exactly the same result as adding a "mono" switch to the tuner. Try switching to mono with your present tuner using the preamp "mono" function to confirm.(on weak signals)

My preamp does have mono mode. I use it when I am listening to mono records.

Just sent my Sony to Punker X. I do have a KLH 18 I can hook up.

Anyone on here use any of those Terk antennas?

EasyRiderNYC
10-13-2009, 06:58 PM
Not necessarily true. Most reciever mono controls do not put the tape outputs to mono, they just sum up the preamp outputs and leave the tape loops out of it. The only receivers that I know of which make the recording loop mono are the Harman/Kardon units. When the tape loop is left in stereo you can't eliminate hiss to your recorder (in case you want to record something from the radio) with the mono button unless the tuner itself has one.

I don't have my unit plugged into a tape loop. Does that matter?

audiojones
10-13-2009, 07:13 PM
I don't have my unit plugged into a tape loop or input. Does that matter?

If you don't plan on using the tape loop for recording then the mono switch on the preamp or receiver will have the same effect as a mono switch on the tuner itself. I record from the radio quite often, so putting in a mono mode switch on the tuner (upstream from the recording loop) is a mod I do on all of my receivers. It cuts the hiss from those fringe stations, and sometimes quiet takes priority over stereo.

mshultz
10-13-2009, 07:51 PM
I just got the first of my 3 Sonys back from radioxtuners.com. I had the following done:
Forced Analog
Memory Extension
Cooling Mod (0.5" feet)
Alignment
Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter

I have requested the same for Sony #2. Since 2 of 3 Sonys are at work, I can only spare 1 at a time (the one by my home computer). I guess I could connect up a modded and stock Sony side by side and compare them. I'll have to think about that. A double blind test would be best, of course.

lico
10-14-2009, 12:08 AM
I just put an order in for one of these tonight, even though I haven't been too impressed with HD compared to good old analog FM to date. I have a Sangean tuner for HD now.

What I'm really interested in is making the forced analog mod and comparing to a vintage SX-1050 receiver, my "reference" standard for FM listening.

Punker X
10-14-2009, 07:15 AM
The mono switch is just an option. In my opinion it's really not necessary with this tuner. It is so sensitive and quieting is so good that if the signal is so weak that it is noisy when DX'ing that a mono switch really doesn't make much of a difference.

If a heavy DX'er there may be certain times where it might come in handy.

Old_Tech
10-23-2009, 08:58 AM
I have just learned of this little gem and am ordering one today. I have been focused on so many other areas of my system I never got to the tuners until I setup my external antenna. When I read the reviews on the Sony I was amazed....

I have to read the entire thread through but just wanted to chime in and let everyone know I will be on board soon!

Thanks for a great informative thread here! :thmbsp:

MWalt
10-23-2009, 11:55 AM
I just got my Punker X modified Sony back. I have to agree with the others...a decent little tuner now becomes a great tuner. It kicks my Sansui TU-717's ass now. The difference is astounding.

In all fairness to my Sansui, I will have to let Mike recap and modify it and then compare the two "modified " tuners.

Old_Tech
10-24-2009, 09:52 PM
I just ordered mine it should be here Wednesday. This is going to be very interesting. I have the FM as good as it gets here or so I thougt. This little gem may turn that around!

I can't wait to hear it. Crutchfield says that everyone just loves this tuner it's phenomenal.

Thanks to me its out of stock there I managed to get the last one. :banana:

specialidiot
10-24-2009, 11:23 PM
I can't wait to hear it. Crutchfield says that everyone just loves this tuner it's phenomenal.

Out of the box its "good".

Once Punker X has his way with it, it is then PHENOMENAL.

lico
10-25-2009, 03:41 PM
I received mine last week, it is very good.

On analog FM stations, the noise reduction is better than my vintage receiver.

Since I like the sound of analog FM better than HD, I installed a forced analog switch on the back panel, now I have the best of both worlds.

I also considered removing the caps to increase the treble output, but I figure that's kind of like flipping the de-emphasis switch to 25 usec on my vintage units to get an artificial boost in the highs.

Old_Tech
10-25-2009, 08:31 PM
I am sure I could have this tuner modified for extreme sound and that's really cool. But for now I am going to run her stock with my new dipole and learn how it performs as is. Fun!

pbda
10-25-2009, 10:32 PM
Out of the box its "good".

Once Punker X has his way with it, it is then PHENOMENAL.

Yes, exactly.

Damon Hill
10-26-2009, 12:29 AM
I am sure I could have this tuner modified for extreme sound and that's really cool. But for now I am going to run her stock with my new dipole and learn how it performs as is. Fun!


Plus burn-in time to catch early failures under warranty (unlikely, but still...)

Punker X
10-26-2009, 05:42 AM
I received mine last week, it is very good.

On analog FM stations, the noise reduction is better than my vintage receiver.

Since I like the sound of analog FM better than HD, I installed a forced analog switch on the back panel, now I have the best of both worlds.

I also considered removing the caps to increase the treble output, but I figure that's kind of like flipping the de-emphasis switch to 25 usec on my vintage units to get an artificial boost in the highs.

Removing those caps actually corrects the de-emphasis, it is not artificially boosting the high frequency

Damon Hill
10-26-2009, 05:18 PM
What about the 1uF and 2.2uF coupling caps on the board? I think those are ceramic and I was going to replace them with polypropylene caps on the new filter board, when I get up the courage to tackle those evil little surface mount components...

Be nice if someone came up with a solderable board instead of perfboard to do this mod.

lico
10-26-2009, 10:13 PM
Removing those caps actually corrects the de-emphasis, it is not artificially boosting the high frequency

I see that now after reading through the mods again, sorry 'bout that.

Punker X
10-27-2009, 07:01 AM
What about the 1uF and 2.2uF coupling caps on the board? I think those are ceramic and I was going to replace them with polypropylene caps on the new filter board, when I get up the courage to tackle those evil little surface mount components...

Be nice if someone came up with a solderable board instead of perfboard to do this mod.

On my prototype unit I bypassed those caps, really no improvement, but it make strange popping sounds when I change volume settings with step attenuators. So I just leave them in.

Looking into making a board. Sort of looks like it would cost 20 to 30 dollars without components and build time. I can make 10 boards out of single proto bread board. I would have to jack the price up on the board if I went to custom circuit board. Hard to justify.

Damon Hill
10-27-2009, 03:20 PM
On my prototype unit I bypassed those caps, really no improvement, but it make strange popping sounds when I change volume settings with step attenuators. So I just leave them in.

Looking into making a board. Sort of looks like it would cost 20 to 30 dollars without components and build time. I can make 10 boards out of single proto bread board. I would have to jack the price up on the board if I went to custom circuit board. Hard to justify.

Yeah, making small runs of custom boards seems to have gotten awful expensive.

The popping's almost certainly from DC offset; the coupling caps are in there for a reason. I'd want to go with direct coupling, but capacitors are often a necessary evil in electronics so I want to use better quality when practical.

OCDAudio
10-27-2009, 06:56 PM
...who lives 50 + miles from nearest Transmitter ?? No talk of best Antenna
match-up...research so far, where I enter Long./Lat. of my "Home 20" says
"Ship-Out-Of-Luck"...Digital Signal only good for 40 miles, depending on Atmospherics, Sun-Spots,Moon Phase,Flocks of Migrating Birds...Digital Sucks... No 'Fudging' of Frequency as in Analog.Found this out when I was forced to get the 'Digital-to-Analog' Converter Box for TV. The Best Reciever is only as good as proximity to Source or Antenna.(obviously) For my TV I had to spend $40. for the Converter, then went through several Antennas
to replace the one that delivered fine signal capture in Analog for 15 years in the same location on top of a 60' Rohn Tower...'High on the Ridge' here in Cent. Fl. Now have the same problem with Sony tuner. Realize now I have to spend more money for a 'Rotator'. Without a good antenna the Sony is no better,maybe worse,than my Marantz that has been faithful for 35 years,
sometimes after a Hurricane depending on a 'Bow-Tie' I fashioned from a
coat-hanger. Digital Transition has been the "Bane-of-My-Existence". I am a disabled 'Nam Vet, O5-B20 Radio Operator, Strung Wire between Palm Trees out in the Bush for my ANGRC-5, 17, and PRC-25. Know a little about Radio.
Ham,CB,Walkies...Been-There... Would like more assistance concerning how
to get the Best out of Tuner...And it's definetly getting 'Modded' by Punker...
This SOB gets hot enough to make toast...(a tuner gets hot?) Since when??
Heat equals Resistance...Right?? Waste?? Consumption?? MONEY For The Power Company Moguls. I'm on a VERY limited 'Fixed Income'. Have to unplug everything that draws watts even milli-watts,like 'Wall-Warts'. Sony has to be re-programmed daily. I need Mr.X, this Tuner is a pain-in-the-ass...
Accolades Abound...but IMHO it was hastily concieved and inferior 'as-is
out of the box'. for those few of us that prefer the 'Woods' away from so- called "Civilisation". Any Volunteers to climb my Tower...Again? And loan me a few bucks for the "Mods" that are impossible to go with-out? Pardon My Rant. Thanks, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC
Just Remembered, the numbers on remote wont even access 'Pre-Sets' on their own with out additional input,nor will it automatically 'find' Station Signals like so many Car Radios Do !!

Old_Tech
10-27-2009, 08:41 PM
:lurk: mine comes tomorrow...:para:

vibroverbus
10-27-2009, 08:45 PM
...who lives 50 + miles from nearest Transmitter ?? No talk of best Antenna

Haha - I see why they call you "OCD"audio...

well... it is a SONY TUNER thread, not an antenna thread which doesn't have much to do with this Sony in particular... but FWIW I run mine on a home-made "TTFD" up on the ruff. (hmmm before winter comes I better strap that thing down, it's just leaning between a couple dormers now).

works amazingly but I don't live in the bush like you. the common answer to your situation is 1. high gain directional antenna design (Yagi etc.) 2. elevation (you say you have a tower?) 3. also as you say, some rotator mechanism if you need to change stations frequently.

but I bet you know all that already.

Realize now I have to spend more money for a 'Rotator'. Without a good antenna the Sony is no better,maybe worse,than my Marantz that has been faithful for 35 years,

you don't say what Marantz but that could be. the thing impressing people on the Sony is 1. the price, and 2. sound quality. it's good on DX but not necessarily a monster "DX machine" which is clearly your priority. your situation might be different than others like myself - tuna-wise, some people prioritize sensitivity (if you live in boondocks), some people selectivity (if you live in cities with crowded bands), some in audio (if neither of the others is an issue). myself I like the selectivity and audio quality of the Sony which at the price is just amazing. sensitivity pretty impressive for me but again, don't live in the bush and could imagine it's not as good as a custom tuned monster DX machine.

This SOB gets hot enough to make toast...(a tuner gets hot?)

yeppers, that's why it needs some mods. hey it was under $100, what can you say...

loan me a few bucks for the "Mods" that are impossible to go with-out?

well you can do the mods yourself - all due respect to the Punk-man, they aren't his origin, he's open about the fact that they are well documented on the web from others. I did mine myself. they will address many but not all of your complaints... battery/memory and heat are easiest fixes of all and go a long way - having to reprogram the darn thing 5 times almost had me toss it out the window a few times. now it stays configured. nice to have the backlight go out too when you turn it off. etc. etc.

Just Remembered, the numbers on remote wont even access 'Pre-Sets' on their own with out additional input,nor will it automatically 'find' Station Signals like so many Car Radios Do !!

sure it automatically finds stations... Scan and HD Scan... but perhaps because your signals are so low it doesn't work for you... i use 'em all the time, but also use all the presets and step up and down through the presets as the most common way to navigate.

on the other hand - the number keys being basically useless is an excellent point though. WHY can't you type in the frequency you want to tune to!?? having fixed most of the other irritations with the Sony this is my biggest gripe. I want to type in 90.9 or whatever and have it go there, period. why did they bother putting number keys on the remote!?!! yep that ticks me off.

Hepcat
10-28-2009, 09:36 AM
...who lives 50 + miles from nearest Transmitter ?? No talk of best Antenna
match-up...research so far, where I enter Long./Lat. of my "Home 20" says
"Ship-Out-Of-Luck"...Digital Signal only good for 40 miles, depending on Atmospherics, Sun-Spots,Moon Phase,Flocks of Migrating Birds...Digital Sucks... No 'Fudging' of Frequency as in Analog.Found this out when I was forced to get the 'Digital-to-Analog' Converter Box for TV. The Best Reciever is only as good as proximity to Source or Antenna.(obviously) For my TV I had to spend $40. for the Converter, then went through several Antennas
to replace the one that delivered fine signal capture in Analog for 15 years in the same location on top of a 60' Rohn Tower...'High on the Ridge' here in Cent. Fl. Now have the same problem with Sony tuner. Realize now I have to spend more money for a 'Rotator'. Without a good antenna the Sony is no better,maybe worse,than my Marantz that has been faithful for 35 years,
sometimes after a Hurricane depending on a 'Bow-Tie' I fashioned from a
coat-hanger. Digital Transition has been the "Bane-of-My-Existence". I am a disabled 'Nam Vet, O5-B20 Radio Operator, Strung Wire between Palm Trees out in the Bush for my ANGRC-5, 17, and PRC-25. Know a little about Radio.
Ham,CB,Walkies...Been-There... Would like more assistance concerning how
to get the Best out of Tuner...And it's definetly getting 'Modded' by Punker...
This SOB gets hot enough to make toast...(a tuner gets hot?) Since when??
Heat equals Resistance...Right?? Waste?? Consumption?? MONEY For The Power Company Moguls. I'm on a VERY limited 'Fixed Income'. Have to unplug everything that draws watts even milli-watts,like 'Wall-Warts'. Sony has to be re-programmed daily. I need Mr.X, this Tuner is a pain-in-the-ass...
Accolades Abound...but IMHO it was hastily concieved and inferior 'as-is
out of the box'. for those few of us that prefer the 'Woods' away from so- called "Civilisation". Any Volunteers to climb my Tower...Again? And loan me a few bucks for the "Mods" that are impossible to go with-out? Pardon My Rant. Thanks, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC
Just Remembered, the numbers on remote wont even access 'Pre-Sets' on their own with out additional input,nor will it automatically 'find' Station Signals like so many Car Radios Do !!

50 miles? That's nothing. I get all the stations I need from 50 miles away.
Try a hundred miles. And the Sony works justs fine.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=258714

BTW, I said all along that the digital TV siginals wouldn't get much farther out than 35 miles.

Old_Tech
10-29-2009, 08:10 AM
Mine came yesterday and I had it up an running in an hour or so. I split the antenna between it and my TU-717. I really did not detect much loss there so I will leave it until I can find a good antenna switch (have not looked yet).

First impressions were the sound was as good or better that the 717 by a small margin. The HD does expand the dynamic range and I found it pleasing. In switching between the two recievers it was hard at times to tell the difference in sound but it is there. The Sony is a bit clearer and as I said has the dynamic range it really does sound beautiful.

Stations? Almost everyone around here is broadcasting in HD except Canada. Some of the local stations (PBS) still exhibit the slightly lower levels and drop HD ocassionally but not often enough to be a problem at all.

Noise. Not much there and when there is it's only again on the weakest stations some 70 miles away and even they come in very clear. Stronger local statons 20-30 miles away sound like a CD is playing pretty much but I am sure the CD sounds even better.

Does it "Blow Away" my Sansui TU-717? Not by much but it is better in some ways with HD. Although the Sansui could take its place and I would not miss the Sony.

Too warm? Not for a box this size in my opinion. I have to consider its power supply is contained and it will be warm there is alot of circuitry in there. If it had an AC adaptor I think it would be much cooler but it is fine. I placed it upon some small 10mm thick optical filters I have and it sits up high enough to draw in more air from below. Still, I don't think its too warm. Now in hotter climates....?

Operation. Simple to be sure but I wish the preset access were more convenient. Keep getting it backwards selecting and programming. I wish it would just go to preset 1 when I press the commander 1 button. No big deal.

The display is very nice I like it.

Overall I am very pleased with the unit and its reception, sound, ergonomics etc. Especially at that price. And it does love a good antenna. I am really pleased to have found this thread and learned of this little gem. Thanks fellas.

MWalt
10-29-2009, 09:51 AM
Mine came yesterday and I had it up an running in an hour or so. I split the antenna between it and my TU-717. I really did not detect much loss there so I will leave it until I can find a good antenna switch (have not looked yet).

First impressions were the sound was as good or better that the 717 by a small margin. The HD does expand the dynamic range and I found it pleasing. In switching between the two recievers it was hard at times to tell the difference in sound but it is there. The Sony is a bit clearer and as I said has the dynamic range it really does sound beautiful.

Stations? Almost everyone around here is broadcasting in HD except Canada. Some of the local stations (PBS) still exhibit the slightly lower levels and drop HD ocassionally but not often enough to be a problem at all.

Noise. Not much there and when there is it's only again on the weakest stations some 70 miles away and even they come in very clear. Stronger local statons 20-30 miles away sound like a CD is playing pretty much but I am sure the CD sounds even better.

Does it "Blow Away" my Sansui TU-717? Not by much but it is better in some ways with HD. Although the Sansui could take its place and I would not miss the Sony.

Too warm? Not for a box this size in my opinion. I have to consider its power supply is contained and it will be warm there is alot of circuitry in there. If it had an AC adaptor I think it would be much cooler but it is fine. I placed it upon some small 10mm thick optical filters I have and it sits up high enough to draw in more air from below. Still, I don't think its too warm. Now in hotter climates....?

Operation. Simple to be sure but I wish the preset access were more convenient. Keep getting it backwards selecting and programming. I wish it would just go to preset 1 when I press the commander 1 button. No big deal.

The display is very nice I like it.

Overall I am very pleased with the unit and its reception, sound, ergonomics etc. Especially at that price. And it does love a good antenna. I am really pleased to have found this thread and learned of this little gem. Thanks fellas.

If you like it now, do yourself a favor and send it to PunkerX for mods...you'll be glad you did!

pbda
10-29-2009, 11:00 AM
Good to hear that you're happy with the unit, Old_Tech. One of the key mods that PunkerX did on mine was the "forced analog" switch. With stations broadcasting in HD, it allows you to listen in analog and compare to HD. More often than not, I prefer the analog sound. To my ears it's more transparent, though that may be highly dependent on the bandwidth of the HD broadcast.

As good as the tuner is "out of the box", I strongly concur with Mark Walters on the desirability of the PunkerX mods.

jan_stevns
10-29-2009, 12:15 PM
Good to hear that you're happy with the unit, Old_Tech. One of the key mods that PunkerX did on mine was the "forced analog" switch. With stations broadcasting in HD, it allows you to listen in analog and compare to HD. More often than not, I prefer the analog sound. To my ears it's more transparent, though that may be highly dependent on the bandwidth of the HD broadcast.

As good as the tuner is "out of the box", I strongly concur with Mark Walters on the desirability of the PunkerX mods.

Sorry for bumping into this thread ... when talking about "broadcasting in HD" - what do you mean ? kind of digital broadcast or ?

Old_Tech
10-29-2009, 12:59 PM
Sorry for bumping into this thread ... when talking about "broadcasting in HD" - what do you mean ? kind of digital broadcast or ?

Yes thats pretty much it. Data is also encoded showing station ID and current song etc. It's the CD version of the analog broadcast cleaned up a bit and with greater dynamic range and hopefully less noise. The effects of multipath interference are greatly diminished.

jan_stevns
10-29-2009, 01:20 PM
Yes thats pretty much it. Data is also encoded showing station ID and current song etc. It's the CD version of the analog broadcast cleaned up a bit and with greater dynamic range and hopefully less noise. The effects of multipath interference are greatly diminished.

Ahh - did a search on google on HD radio - Wikipeida was pretty informative, sound like a much better system than our DAB system (which is like returning to defective 8track ....)

specialidiot
11-01-2009, 10:50 PM
I thought I had that Daylight Savings Time mod.... oh well

speaker dave
11-02-2009, 09:14 AM
I just received my Sony and have been playing with it.

My primary incentive was to pick up WNED Buffalo from my Toronto location. They are the only Public Radio station I can get over the air (AM970) and an alternative way of catching them is a good thing.

They are about 60 air miles away and broadcast their NPR stream as HD2 on their 94.5 classical stream.

I can just catch them (after a slow lockup) with the supplied wire antenna. Next I'll experiment with a home made directional antenna.

David

Herr Eickhorn
11-20-2009, 01:47 AM
Anyone else get a modified tuner back yet?

How does it sound?

MWalt
11-20-2009, 06:59 AM
Anyone else get a modified tuner back yet?

How does it sound?

I got mine back...it sounds great.:music:

pich
12-03-2009, 07:25 PM
Amazon has the tuner on sale for $81 shipped. Ordered today and can't wait to give it a try.

BrokenHill
12-03-2009, 07:43 PM
I saw that on Amazon's web site last week,
that is a fantastic deal.:banana:

glum
12-03-2009, 11:49 PM
I just ordered one.Supose to arive Wednesday.Whats punkers turn around time?

w1jim
12-04-2009, 12:35 AM
Amazon has the tuner on sale for $81 shipped.
Use a Discover card and you get another $10 off.
Plus $5 in MP3 downloads.
Plus a free 1 year subscription to Wired Magazine.
I ordered my second one. I'll run it side by side with my modded one before I mod the new one too.
JimB

TommyV
12-04-2009, 02:12 AM
I would like to hear from anyone who has done a side by side comparison with a stock unit and and upgraded unit specifically on the audio mods. There is the:

Extended Headroom Modification - $15

In HD and Highly modulated signals this tuner has been shown to clip the audio. This prevents that. Not needed if you opt for the Active filter modification

Treble Correction (cheap) - $15

Removes some surface mounted caps for very high frequency filtering with affect the de-emphasis and high frequency response. Put the tuner from a nice cheap tuner that should sound better to a tuner that I put in with many second tier audiophile tuners. Also not needed if if you get the Active filter modification.

Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter -$120

Bypasses output amp and filter with a better circuit. Custom made with high quality components. Puts the tuner right up with the best out there in terms of audio quality.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had either the headroom/treble or even the active filter done and compared to the stock unit. What was your inpression on the difference in sound?

Punker X
12-04-2009, 06:52 AM
I just ordered one.Supose to arive Wednesday.Whats punkers turn around time?

Couple of months...

Punker X
12-04-2009, 06:56 AM
I would like to hear from anyone who has done a side by side comparison with a stock unit and and upgraded unit specifically on the audio mods. There is the:

Extended Headroom Modification - $15

In HD and Highly modulated signals this tuner has been shown to clip the audio. This prevents that. Not needed if you opt for the Active filter modification

Treble Correction (cheap) - $15

Removes some surface mounted caps for very high frequency filtering with affect the de-emphasis and high frequency response. Put the tuner from a nice cheap tuner that should sound better to a tuner that I put in with many second tier audiophile tuners. Also not needed if if you get the Active filter modification.

Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter -$120

Bypasses output amp and filter with a better circuit. Custom made with high quality components. Puts the tuner right up with the best out there in terms of audio quality.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had either the headroom/treble or even the active filter done and compared to the stock unit. What was your inpression on the difference in sound?

Ray may is the only one besides myself that has done this. The cheap mods are an improvement, but the active filter mod is a pretty drastic improvement. I know Ray ended up selling the one he bought without the active filter.

glum
12-04-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks for the answer.Looks like I need to order another for the mods.My t-70 sucks.I just cant listen to it any more.Is there any one that can improve the sound quality of my yamaha?

Raynald
12-04-2009, 02:19 PM
Mike is right, I have done some comparisons, but not to the stock unit. I compared the simple correction to the active filter and to good vintage tuners. I intend to get a stock unit at some point to satisfy my curiosity about it.

Here is what I can say: given what I have read about the stock unit from people I trust, the basic correction seems to improve things as it is definitely listenable. The guy I sold it to has a high end system, Mirage M-1 with Musical Fidlity amps, and he is quite pleased with the sound. That being said, the active mod is a lot better. The basic mod one was not bad, but it was not very engaging either. The active mod one sounds very good. The sound had more body and better depth. I really did not compare for too long as the difference was pretty clear pretty quickly. Compared to a very good vintage tuner in good working order with a good signal, the highs are not as detailed and extended, the mids seem more forward and have less low level resolution but the bass is much tighter, incredibly extended when the signal allows and the dynamics are better. Add to that the complete absence of obvious noise or distortion.

My own conclusion is that the active mod Sony is like a good CD player and a top vintage tuner (especially analog) is like a good TT. If one is to be objective, both can play great music but they have a different mix of strengths and they sound different. If you want one to sound like the other, you may be disappointed. If you sit back and enjoy what each has to offer, both are great.

BTW, for reception the Sony with a dipole on the ground floor still beats an aligned "TIC top ten" tuner with a Winegard HD-6000 yagi on the second floor. Nothing in my experience comes close. Putting the Yagi on the Sony does not really obviously improve reception or quieting, which were basically perfect on all my stations with the dipole, but it did improve the sound quality.

Mike, does any of this match your experience? We probably have very different systems, backgrounds and experience, so it would be interesting to hear your take and if you think I am way off track you might as well chime in so I don't lead folks astray without a counter opinion.

59volvo
12-04-2009, 02:35 PM
I have an unmoded stock F1HD and a moded from Mike with forced analog and the $120 active filter mod. The active filter mod makes it sound much richer, warmer more detailed. I really like it and feel it was worth it, especially with the ability to pull in weak stations

Herr Eickhorn
12-06-2009, 12:42 AM
I got two fully modified (active filter) tuners back and they sound great. Iím still doing tests but they are vastly improved from when they were stock units. It was well worth the money. I use one tuner in the house and one in the garage. In the garage I have my small system that I tinker with and listen to when I work on my cars. Itís basically an old Yamaha CA-1000 amp with an XM MyFi satellite radio going into it. My Sony also goes into it.

I had a very pleasant surprise tonight while messing around with my garage system. On a lark, I decided to use the built in FM transmitter in the XM satellite tuner to transmit the satellite signal to the Sony which then fed it into my CA-1000. What I heard stopped me dead in my tracks. The sound from XM was much richer, detailed and greatly improved. It was such an improvement I did not believe it at first. Further testing confirmed that the XM signal is somehow vastly improved by passing through the modified Sony. The direct connection from the XM radio to the amp doesnít sound nearly as good. I never would have thought this possible. Iíve been thinking about this all night but am at a loss to explain it. Perhaps Mike can explain it.

vibroverbus
12-06-2009, 03:40 AM
Itís basically an old Yamaha CA-1000 amp with an XM MyFi satellite radio going into it. My Sony also goes into it.


Sounds sweet for a garage system.

XM signal is somehow vastly improved by passing through the modified Sony.

Simple explanation. Essentially the D/A converter and/or audio path that follows it in the XM is cheap junk. It doesn't get great reviews for audio quality so that's no surprise to discover.

In the extra steps of FM modulate/transmit/receive/demod process you must lose a little bit but 1. the Sony's digital RF front end is so good it minimizes the losses, and then 2. vs. the the XM unit direct any losses are more than overcompensated by the Sony's superior D/A and/or audio path.

Likely the XM audio side could be upgraded like the Sony - easiest route would be to dig into it and extract a digital out, then go into an outboard DAC. But probably not worth it on such a cheap little item and it'd be ugly to do with it's tight MP3 player format, you'd end up drilling a hole in the case or having some ugly mod rattail coming out probably, and even then no room inside to work with mods and such.

MWalt
12-06-2009, 09:10 AM
I have the modified by Mike/PunkerX Sony with all of the good mods and a mint stock Sansui TU-717. The Sony is better in every way. To be fair, at some point I will send Mike the Sansui for a mod workout and then I can make a more fair A/B comparison. I really believe an apples to apples comparison is the only right way to make a fair comparison.

One thing I notice a lot of forums is the comparison of stock original 30 or 40 year old vintage equipment vs. new stuff. The old stuff usually gets berated because the new stuff sounds better. I only know that after I had a Marantz 2245 receiver completely rebuilt that it was NIGHT AND DAY in difference. I am soon going to have my Pioneer SA-8800 Integrated rebuilt for this very reason.

I am about to sell at least one of my modern amps because of it.

Herr Eickhorn
12-07-2009, 01:46 AM
Sounds sweet for a garage system.

Here is a pic of my little garage set up. The XM MyFi satellite radio has a built in FM transmitter in it. It transmits the satellite signal to the modified Sony which then sends it to the amp via the analog outputs. The Sony turns the grapes into wine and the class A Yamaha puts the finish on it. The end result is a very nice!

I got the little XM radio a couple of weeks ago at Goodwill for 25 dollars. XM activated it & gave me a free 3 month trial period which includes their entire program line up. I can pull this radio from the garage cradle and plug it into the car cradle and listen to it on the road too. Itís pretty nice!

vibroverbus
12-07-2009, 03:00 AM
class A Yamaha puts the finish on it. The end result is a very nice!

So you run that boy in Class A then? There are mixed reports on those Yammers, seems like a lot of folks say they can't discern much diff between A & AB.

Someday (amongst other things) I need to have a set of CA & CT in 1010 or 1020 flavor but 25 billion too many other projects for now...

johnda
12-07-2009, 05:55 AM
"I know how you feel. Part of the fun of vintage the is heft of the ripcord in the moring and the pageantry of flying sparks and diesel smoke when you start them. ":lmao::lmao:

Raynald
12-07-2009, 09:27 AM
So you run that boy in Class A then? There are mixed reports on those Yammers, seems like a lot of folks say they can't discern much diff between A & AB.

Someday (amongst other things) I need to have a set of CA & CT in 1010 or 1020 flavor but 25 billion too many other projects for now...

Right now I am listening to my Sony on a set up not too different from that nice garage system. I moved it the computer room where it is hooked up to my CA-1010. When you drop by we can see if YOU hear the difference, which is all that really matters.

vibroverbus
12-07-2009, 06:53 PM
Right now I am listening to my Sony on a set up not too different from that nice garage system. I moved it the computer room where it is hooked up to my CA-1010. When you drop by we can see if YOU hear the difference, which is all that really matters.
:D
By the way Ray, with my wife's enthusiasm over a road trip, those tuners are going to end up costing me about $500 each I think... She's now got a rezzo for a night up in Q-city as well... There goes next years budget for new vintage audio toys... :tears:

baneste
12-07-2009, 09:35 PM
I would like to hear from anyone who has done a side by side comparison with a stock unit and and upgraded unit specifically on the audio mods .... I would like to hear from anyone who has had either the headroom/treble or even the active filter done and compared to the stock unit. What was your inpression on the difference in sound?


I have two XDRF1HD; one Radio X modded, one stock. The mods I got were the memory extension, forced analog, alignment and the treble correction and audiophile output with active filter. I'm not especially a golden ear, and I think the stock unit is perfectly pleasant and listenable, but I have to say that the comparison between the modded and the stock units isn't really close.

Even when both are in digital mode, the modded unit sounds more open, more detailed, more realistic, more three-dimensional and less harsh than the stock unit. When you put it in forced analog mode, the difference is even greater, though my ears tell me that the difference between the analog and digital modes of the modded unit are much smaller than the difference between the mod v. stock with both in digital mode.

I can't comment about the less expensive treble correction modification, because I've not heard it. I can say that before getting the modded unit back, and being so happy with the stock unit, I had a bout of buyer's remorse over getting the audiophile treble correction. That disappeared about a minute after listening to the modded unit. As good the stock unit is, I would not hesitate to recommend the Radio X mods. It's not really close at all. As a matter of fact, the modded unit sonically is certainly in the ball park with or better than my recollection of the sound of any tuner I've ever had, and that includes a McIntosh MR-80, Yamaha T-2, and Yamaha CT-7000. My current tuner is a Magnum Dynalab Etude FT101A, and it's not seen much use since getting the Radio X modified XDRF1HD.

Hope that helps.

Herr Eickhorn
12-08-2009, 01:50 AM
So you run that boy in Class A then?

I run it in class A all the time. I don't think that hurts anything does it? But I haven't done any listening tests yet to see if there is a big difference.

I think I recall reading somewhere on AK that someone is transmitting a satellite signal into a 10B and really liked the result.

vibroverbus
12-08-2009, 02:23 AM
I run it in class A all the time. I don't think that hurts anything doe

Nope. It'll run a bit hot all the time but that's about it and perfectly normal for Class A.

pich
12-19-2009, 11:00 AM
Got my tuner a few weeks ago and just got around to hooking it up. Glad I came across this thread. Even stock the tuner sounds good to me and I like the small footprint. Fits on the same shelf as my high end cd player.

Robie
12-19-2009, 08:54 PM
Snade got one about a year ago and lent it to me for a month or so. I played with it a bit and thought it did some things very well but I really couldn't stand the lack of HD override.

Since then, I've installed a new external omnidirectional, half-wave antenna from one of AK's sponsors (FMDXAntennas) and I've wondered whether with this antenna the Sony would ba able to pull in those hard to get stations I want to hear but can't seem to get, here close to Chicago but in a problem FM area.

I took some combined Birthday/Xmas $$$ and ordered one today from Amazon. As soon as I get it, I want to do a shoot out between my modest tuners here at Chez Robie: Sony ST-J60, NAD 4020 and Yamaha T-300. More later.

My ultimate goal is to have it modded but I'm not sure how far to go with tight $$$$.

TommyV
12-19-2009, 09:31 PM
I have the modified by Mike/PunkerX Sony with all of the good mods and a mint stock Sansui TU-717. The Sony is better in every way. To be fair, at some point I will send Mike the Sansui for a mod workout and then I can make a more fair A/B comparison. I really believe an apples to apples comparison is the only right way to make a fair comparison.

One thing I notice a lot of forums is the comparison of stock original 30 or 40 year old vintage equipment vs. new stuff. The old stuff usually gets berated because the new stuff sounds better. I only know that after I had a Marantz 2245 receiver completely rebuilt that it was NIGHT AND DAY in difference. I am soon going to have my Pioneer SA-8800 Integrated rebuilt for this very reason.

I am about to sell at least one of my modern amps because of it.

I am glad to hear all the feedback for the audio mods. I am wanting to compare to my TU-517. It is a totally stock unit I just picked up off eBay. It is by far the best unit I have and I have a stock Sony hooked to the same system. There is no denying the fact of more stations and remote control but I just love the way my Sansui sounds so much I am actually afraid to ship it away to be worked on because I don't see how it could sound better.

My Kenwood KT-7500 on the other hand kinda sucks. It must be way out of alignment or something. I have not been buying vintage tuners for as long as many members here but the 7500 was the biggest let down so far.

Anyone else notice the IR receiver on the Sony is kinda crappy? JMO.

Old_Tech
12-19-2009, 11:12 PM
Snade got one about a year ago and lent it to me for a month or so. I played with it a bit and thought it did some things very well but I really couldn't stand the lack of HD override.

Since then, I've installed a new external omnidirectional, half-wave antenna from one of AK's sponsors (FMDXAntennas) and I've wondered whether with this antenna the Sony would ba able to pull in those hard to get stations I want to hear but can't seem to get, here close to Chicago but in a problem FM area.

I took some combined Birthday/Xmas $$$ and ordered one today from Amazon. As soon as I get it, I want to do a shoot out between my modest tuners here at Chez Robie: Sony ST-J60, NAD 4020 and Yamaha T-300. More later.

My ultimate goal is to have it modded but I'm not sure how far to go with tight $$$$.

I installed that very antenna here on my chimney and am running it with the Sony and various others through some switches. It really does very well you will like it.

See my thread http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=256844&highlight=1%2F2+Wave+Dipole

Old_Tech
12-19-2009, 11:22 PM
I am glad to hear all the feedback for the audio mods. I am wanting to compare to my TU-517. It is a totally stock unit I just picked up off eBay. It is by far the best unit I have and I have a stock Sony hooked to the same system. There is no denying the fact of more stations and remote control but I just love the way my Sansui sounds so much I am actually afraid to ship it away to be worked on because I don't see how it could sound better.

My Kenwood KT-7500 on the other hand kinda sucks. It must be way out of alignment or something. I have not been buying vintage tuners for as long as many members here but the 7500 was the biggest let down so far.

Anyone else notice the IR receiver on the Sony is kinda crappy? JMO.

I have kind of the same setup here with the Sony and a TU-717. But I have to say with my external dipole I have about forty stations on the Sansui. Never counted the Sony yet. I have some time now I am off this week and next. Its just I never know where they are coming from as they only give their ID once in awhile. I cruise over the station without knowing who it is really. And I am too lazy to look it up on the computer while I am relaxing listening.

Mike is going to mod up my Sansui after the holidays and I have been a bit anxious letting it go. I was due for the queue right now but its Christmas. Mike forgive me I will send it soon.

Yes the Sony IR really is lame. It works from right in front ten feet away but move to the side fifteen to twenty feet and its worthless.

MWalt
12-20-2009, 07:52 AM
I have kind of the same setup here with the Sony and a TU-717. But I have to say with my external dipole I have about forty stations on the Sansui. Never counted the Sony yet. I have some time now I am off this week and next. Its just I never know where they are coming from as they only give their ID once in awhile. I cruise over the station without knowing who it is really. And I am too lazy to look it up on the computer while I am relaxing listening.

Mike is going to mod up my Sansui after the holidays and I have been a bit anxious letting it go. I was due for the queue right now but its Christmas. Mike forgive me I will send it soon.

Yes the Sony IR really is lame. It works from right in front ten feet away but move to the side fifteen to twenty feet and its worthless.

I feel the same way about my TU-717. Mine is minty and I am always worried when shipping. The Sony was no big deal, it gets destroyed in shipment and I just get a new one. My TU-717 is a beautiful piece in my eyes and is a lifelong "keeper". I will get the courage to send it to Mike someday:sigh:

John James
12-20-2009, 10:29 AM
Its just I never know where they are coming from as they only give their ID once in awhile. I cruise over the station without knowing who it is really. And I am too lazy to look it up on the computer while I am relaxing listening.


http://www.radio-locator.com

Try the link.

Robie
12-20-2009, 10:52 AM
I installed that very antenna here on my chimney and am running it with the Sony and various others through some switches. It really does very well you will like it.

See my thread http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=256844&highlight=1%2F2+Wave+Dipole

I think it was that thread that prompted me to go with the 1/2 wave dipole. Thanks, Old_Tech!

BTW, I am running it with what I believe to be a high quality cable TV splitter (a Regal DS3DGH10 3-way splitter) left for me by a cable TV installer. http://prowirecommunications.com/store/product7.html However, one lead is -3.5dB while the other 2 are -7dB. I know that reduces signal strength and want to try a switch that doesn't reduce gain. Can you recommend one?

TommyV
12-20-2009, 11:10 AM
Yes the Sony IR really is lame. It works from right in front ten feet away but move to the side fifteen to twenty feet and its worthless.

You are exactly correct. I have my tuners to the side. I also use a Harmony remote which blasts stronger IR in multiple directions. I can point my remote at the ceiling and control and of my other gear. The Sony I have to get out of bed and be pointed like 5 ft away right in front of it. Sometimes it still takes a couple button pushes.

Robie
12-20-2009, 12:41 PM
....I know that reduces signal strength and want to try a switch that doesn't reduce gain. Can you recommend one?

Never mind. I noticed the other current thread on switches and just remembered I have 2 Radio Shack coax A-B switches.

Since I need to connect three tuners, I had to use them both.

One A-B switch is connected to the main antenna cable feed and functions as a primary switch. It feeds either my main tuner or the second A-B switch. The second A-B switch is fed via the primary switch and is connected to 2 additional tuners.

Got my label maker out to minimize future confusion, velcroed the two switches together and I'm good to go. Better reception on the one tuner I've tried thus far.

185540

Old_Tech
12-20-2009, 05:31 PM
I think it was that thread that prompted me to go with the 1/2 wave dipole. Thanks, Old_Tech!

BTW, I am running it with what I believe to be a high quality cable TV splitter (a Regal DS3DGH10 3-way splitter) left for me by a cable TV installer. http://prowirecommunications.com/store/product7.html However, one lead is -3.5dB while the other 2 are -7dB. I know that reduces signal strength and want to try a switch that doesn't reduce gain. Can you recommend one?

Yes go to Radio Shack they have a nice A/B switch for $16.49 that is well made. I am running two here and selecting three tunas. Very happy with it.

Your welcome on the antenna. I was very excited when we put mine up and it has performed really well. Tons of fun! I had the Sony on all day through my Carver and Crown. Man did it sound nice - still stock! The Crown was warm!

TommyV
12-20-2009, 07:36 PM
I feel the same way about my TU-717. Mine is minty and I am always worried when shipping. The Sony was no big deal, it gets destroyed in shipment and I just get a new one. My TU-717 is a beautiful piece in my eyes and is a lifelong "keeper". I will get the courage to send it to Mike someday:sigh:


Yea Mark this is my dilemma. I have a 517 that puts out sweet music. All new lamps and everything works. Shipping make me skiddish even though I would prefer to upgrade my best. With the Sony, it is just a cheap digital plastic tuner, although great performer, vintage gear has a more fragile and rare element to it.

I feel bad as I have bugged mike like 4 times with ques about my 517 but I chicken out each time. The old saying (if it aint broke don't fix it) creeps in. Maybe I should send him my Kenwood KT-7500 and see if he can get it sounding good. Out of all the tuners I have bought (most off eBay) it was the biggest disappointment. I even think my KT-6500 sounds better. I can find nothing wrong with it. I need a pro to look at it (Mike).

I would love to upgrade the Sony though. Especially now I got the attic antenna run in the main setup on the second floor. My Pio TX-7500 is singing sweet sound through my Rotel/B&W setup.

EasyRiderNYC
12-21-2009, 12:27 PM
What do you guys recommend for a coax cable for an antenna with this tuner? I have a Fanfare FM2G-C mounted in my apartment by a window (four stories up in a 6 story building, yes not a great situation). What should I pick up a Radio Shack and does length matter?

Regards.

TommyV
12-21-2009, 12:54 PM
What do you guys recommend for a coax cable for an antenna with this tuner? I have a Fanfare FM2G-C mounted in my apartment by a window (four stories up in a 6 story building, yes not a great situation). What should I pick up a Radio Shack and does length matter?

Regards.

Length matters cause it has to reach your tuner. Short length should not matter but most of those pre-made cables they sell at like radio shack are kinds cheapy. Copper clad steel. Of course on a short run it really shouldn't matter but I always make my own and use the best. Belden RG6 or RG59 with Paladin seal-tite connectors.

EasyRiderNYC
12-21-2009, 12:56 PM
Length matters cause it has to reach your tuner. Short length should not matter but most of those pre-made cables they sell at like radio shack are kinds cheapy. Copper clad steel. Of course on a short run it really shouldn't matter but I always make my own and use the best. Belden RG6 or RG59 with Paladin seal-tite connectors.

Is there a place to by them? What's the difference between the RG6 and the 59?

Regards.

TommyV
12-21-2009, 01:35 PM
You could try these guys. http://bluejeanscable.com/store/rf/index.htm

They use the good stuff.

glum
12-22-2009, 11:44 PM
Well Iv had mine (stock) for a week I dont know where to start.I realy hope my yamaha t70 needs freshing up!Or that are over hyped junk.The sony rules!I live practly under the shadow of 4 tv and accompnying radio stations mutly path Hell.Up till now I had 4 presets.I filled the sony this thing is amazeing!I will be sending it off for the mods but I am happy now.One mod I figured out that I will not get.The fan.I live in nIndiana cold winters.Tonight I turned every thing on and got side tracked next thing I know I pick up my headphones off the top of my tuner and am delighted with some nice warm ears ha bouns.

Raynald
12-22-2009, 11:58 PM
No need for the fans as far as I am concerned. The taller feet do the trick nicely. Of course it is -12 C outside on Montreal right now....

lico
12-23-2009, 01:23 AM
Ordered another one of these as a gift - $80 at buy.com including shipping plus if you have an Amazon PayPhrase account you get 10% back (still waiting to see how that works though :))

2chanman
12-23-2009, 12:02 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
RG-6 is a higher quality lower loss 75 ohm coaxial cable, superior to RG59.

EasyRiderNYC
12-23-2009, 12:34 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
RG-6 is a higher quality lower loss 75 ohm coaxial cable, superior to RG59.

Thank you.

Old_Tech
12-23-2009, 07:29 PM
EasyRiderNYC:
RG-6 is a higher quality lower loss 75 ohm coaxial cable, superior to RG59.

This can be bought at the Home Store now as well as great new compression style "F" connectors. The prices are nice. The tool fo rthe connectors is only twelve dollars and a box of ten connectors is like six bucks. Just thought I would help this along...
Happy Holidays!

glum
12-24-2009, 08:51 AM
This tuner is incredable.Right now8:45am Im listing to 94.1 the edge,out of holt, MI 150mi from south bend.With a 3ft long dipole.

whoaru99
12-24-2009, 09:43 AM
EasyRiderNYC:
RG-6 is a higher quality lower loss 75 ohm coaxial cable, superior to RG59.

Thank you.

For a distance of 6ft this will not matter, nor will the Belden vs Radio Shack coax and believe me, I'm a BIG fan of Belden cable/wire. It's just the short distance makes it a non-issue.

Most RG-6 is copper clad steel, even most Belden RG-6 is copper clad steel. You have to buy something more along the lines of a cable intended for video or some types of digital connections to get solid copper RG-6 (such as Belden 1694A) or solid copper RG-59 (such as Belden 1505A).

MWalt
12-24-2009, 10:31 AM
I would love to upgrade the Sony though. Especially now I got the attic antenna run in the main setup on the second floor. My Pio TX-7500 is singing sweet sound through my Rotel/B&W setup.

Tommy, send your Sony to Mike and then down the road send your TU-517. I love my modded Sony but I love my TU-717 more. I will send it soon enough, but for the time being, I have other audio projects higher on my "to do" list.

I really need to mount a good antenna. Right now, I only have a Crane Dipole and I know that this little guy just needs a great antenna to truly show its wares.

DaWoofer
12-24-2009, 04:02 PM
Glum- I was shocked to hear that so I turned on my SX-1980 and am also pulling it in at 3.5 out of 5, very clear and noise free. But then I do have a roof mounted yagi with a rotator. I was gonna be pissed if that sony pulled that in and my Pioneer didn't. But that is amazing for a 3 ft. dipole. My roof mount omni barely receives it and is unlistenable till I switch to the yagi and then it is like next door. By the way, it's nice to hear you back on AK. Stay in touch.

jhoyt
12-24-2009, 10:02 PM
Maybe I should send him my Kenwood KT-7500 and see if he can get it sounding good. Out of all the tuners I have bought (most off eBay) it was the biggest disappointment. I even think my KT-6500 sounds better. I can find nothing wrong with it. I need a pro to look at it (Mike).

A modded Kenwood KT-7500 is light years ahead of a stock one. They're cheap and plentiful, so send it off to get hot-rodded. It's not the quietest tuner out there, but the sound becomes rich and lush. :thmbsp:

Old_Tech
12-24-2009, 11:52 PM
Mine has been playing HD Christmas nusic and man does it sound so gorgeous. Honest I cannot imagine how it could sound better. I have it completely stock right now. What will Mikes high end mods do to the sound really, I can't imagiine it. My TU-717 sounds better to my ears but I just love the vintage sound too.

Merry Christmas fellas...

goldear
12-25-2009, 08:18 PM
I finally got one of these units. Man what an unbelievable dissapointment after reading all of the hype surrounding this for so many months. I sure hope that this thing sounds better when it is forced to run in analog mode (so far as i can tell,all of the FM stations in Seattle Broadast in HD, so I have no idea how analog sounds on this).

While the signal is very clean, the stereo separation and ambience is downright poor compared to my reference tuner. Going from my Luxman T-117 (the best sounding SS tuner I've had in my system) to this unit is almost like going from stereo to mono.

All I can say is that I sure hope that this thing sounds a whole lot better when it is modified.

Clmrt
12-25-2009, 08:35 PM
Awwww man! I didn't need to hear that. I just bought one after Santa let me down.

ron-c
12-25-2009, 08:38 PM
The Sony sounds fine if you have a decent station and you have a good antenna. Let it run some and use very low capacitance RCA cables like you would use for a turntable.

Thanks,
Ron-C

goldear
12-25-2009, 08:57 PM
Awwww man! I didn't need to hear that. I just bought one after Santa let me down.
Please bear in mind that I am using as my reference one of the best sounding solid state Tunas ever made. The only tuner I've ever heard in my system that sounds better is my MR-67. So YMMV.

I have my antena already setup to receive a very clean and strong signal in Analog. I've read claimes that this unit really sings on analog. But on digital, I have to give it a thumbs down so far. Although it is really cool to see the names of the songs scrolling by when it is running.

goldear
12-25-2009, 09:12 PM
The Sony sounds fine if you have a decent station and you have a good antenna. Let it run some and use very low capacitance RCA cables like you would use for a turntable.

Thanks,
Ron-C
I'm running some fairly low capacitance cables (I just measured them at 105pf ), and I have a great signal coming in from my antenna. But the HD sound lacks the excellent stereo soundfield of my Luxman, and ambience has been sucked right out of the music. Perhaps if one is used to listening in Mono or to a mediocre tuner, or to a really noisy signal, then I can understand how the very clean sound might appeal. But other than sounding pretty clean, I truly don't get what the hype is about yet. My soundfield has colapsed by about 50% when compared to my T-117.

Anyways, I can see that I will have to put this unit under the knife immediately because I am not impressed at all so far.

Raynald
12-25-2009, 11:58 PM
I am surprised at your surprise. Comments I have read about the stock unit in analog mode, let alone HD, range from headache inducing to unlisteneable. I am not talking comments from the general public wanting to listen to the ball game, rather comments from people like you who have good set ups and know how good FM can sound.

I tried the basic audio mode and found it clearly inferior to most of the vintage tuners I have tried. Send yours to Mike at Radio X for the Active Filter mod. Though it has a different mix of strengths and weaknesses, the fully modded unit locked in analog mode is a superb sounding tuner, holding its own overall with some fine aligned vintage tuners and beating them cleanly in some areas. The other suggestion is to run the stock unit through a tube buffer if you have one. If not, spring for the mod and make it sound better rather than just masking the flaws.

Old_Tech
12-26-2009, 12:05 AM
I finally got one of these units. Man what an unbelievable dissapointment after reading all of the hype surrounding this for so many months. I sure hope that this thing sounds better when it is forced to run in analog mode (so far as i can tell,all of the FM stations in Seattle Broadast in HD, so I have no idea how analog sounds on this).

While the signal is very clean, the stereo separation and ambience is downright poor compared to my reference tuner. Going from my Luxman T-117 (the best sounding SS tuner I've had in my system) to this unit is almost like going from stereo to mono.

All I can say is that I sure hope that this thing sounds a whole lot better when it is modified.

Sorry to hear this. I have had just the opposite with some very amazing sound from this little tuner. It can very well be what you are listening to. I don't doubt your words but I have found some programming is say ok and well satisfying then some other can floor me in terms of depth and soundstage. All from the same station and with the same antenna. Take some time with the tuner you might find the same.

Robie
12-26-2009, 01:00 AM
My wife ordered one for me from Amazon a week ago. I was excited to hear it hooked to my new 1/2 wave antenna. I plugged it in and smelled a fairly strong electrical smell. Not a good sign.

While it worked, it wouldn't tune any signals below 88.3 Mhz even though my 35 year old Sherwood S-7200 was pulling them in on the same antenna. The instructions say it'll tune stations to 87.5 so I was pretty sure that something was amiss.

I should have a replacement on Monday.

goldear
12-26-2009, 01:25 AM
I am surprised at your surprise. Comments I have read about the stock unit in analog mode, let alone HD, range from headache inducing to unlisteneable. I am not talking comments from the general public wanting to listen to the ball game, rather comments from people like you who have good set ups and know how good FM can sound.

I tried the basic audio mode and found it clearly inferior to most of the vintage tuners I have tried. Send yours to Mike at Radio X for the Active Filter mod. Though it has a different mix of strengths and weaknesses, the fully modded unit locked in analog mode is a superb sounding tuner, holding its own overall with some fine aligned vintage tuners and beating them cleanly in some areas. The other suggestion is to run the stock unit through a tube buffer if you have one. If not, spring for the mod and make it sound better rather than just masking the flaws.
Interesting. To be honest, I have not follwed this thread very closely at all. I just remember reading it very early on and being surprised by the reactions to this little tuna (especially by people who owned some really good tunas), and decided to put it onto my christmas list (since people can never seem to figure-out what to get for me). So I have not read all the negative comments that you are reffering to. Although after a very short period of time I do find the description of "heache inducing" to be pretty accurate for me.

I'm a reasonably accomplished tech, and I have no fear at butchering this unit to make it sound good, if that is what it takes.

Other than the HD bypass, what sorts of other mods have people been doing to these units?

Old_Tech
12-26-2009, 02:01 AM
Other than the HD bypass, what sorts of other mods have people been doing to these units?

I believe I read the active filter mod that Mike Williams is installing has been sensational. Almost everything he has to offer on this tuner has received accolades from people here.

See, I am not used to the finest sound as some of us here so maybe I have yet to learn what I have been missing. Also, when the system sounds nice to me I have nothing to compare it to so lately I have gathered more tuners in various configurations only to find the best I have is the TU-717 and my little Sony.

The Citation 23 is sounding beautiful and the PSB-11 is always a favorite. I think you may have a very revealing system there that is bringing every nuance right up front.

I would love a Luxman in my system but so far have not found one reasonable. I wish someone would help me learn of an affordable model I could look for. I know they are nice.

Maybe the HD sound is reminding you too much of the CD sonics. I don't know.

Punker X
12-26-2009, 05:45 AM
I finally got one of these units. Man what an unbelievable dissapointment after reading all of the hype surrounding this for so many months. I sure hope that this thing sounds better when it is forced to run in analog mode (so far as i can tell,all of the FM stations in Seattle Broadast in HD, so I have no idea how analog sounds on this).

While the signal is very clean, the stereo separation and ambience is downright poor compared to my reference tuner. Going from my Luxman T-117 (the best sounding SS tuner I've had in my system) to this unit is almost like going from stereo to mono.

All I can say is that I sure hope that this thing sounds a whole lot better when it is modified.

I couldn't listen to mine when I first got it and it sat for a year collecting dust. The active filter modification is really worth it. I don't know that it would ever surpass the T-117, but it will be much closer. After modifications, I rank the Sony with upper tier two, lower tier one tuners.

To be honest, I rarely listen to my own tuners. 90% of the time I'm listening to someone else's tuner that is in for work. I use the Sony to listen to alternate HD programing and for DX'ing 60 mile plus stations.

w1jim
12-26-2009, 09:05 AM
Is the active filter mod detailed somewhere for us DIY'ers or is it a PunkerX proprietary design?

Robie
12-26-2009, 09:20 AM
My wife ordered one for me from Amazon a week ago. I was excited to hear it hooked to my new 1/2 wave antenna. I plugged it in and smelled a fairly strong electrical smell. Not a good sign.

While it worked, it wouldn't tune any signals below 88.3 Mhz even though my 35 year old Sherwood S-7200 was pulling them in on the same antenna. The instructions say it'll tune stations to 87.5 so I was pretty sure that something was amiss.

I should have a replacement on Monday.

Anyone else have a strong electrical burning smell when it was first hooked up?

Also, does yours tune stations lower than 88.3 Mhz?

DavidGoncalv
12-26-2009, 09:21 AM
All of the mods are documented here:

http://ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

PunkerX stated this earlier in the thread.

Punker X
12-26-2009, 10:01 AM
Anyone else have a strong electrical burning smell when it was first hooked up?

Also, does yours tune stations lower than 88.3 Mhz?

Nope, you have a problem, I have opened fired up at least 20 brand new from the box, non had burning smells and all were able to receive at 87.5. Should be under warrenty.

Old_Tech
12-26-2009, 10:24 AM
All of the mods are documented here:

http://ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

PunkerX stated this earlier in the thread.

Thanks Dave - I missed that link somehow.

Robie
12-26-2009, 10:33 AM
Nope, you have a problem, I have opened fired up at least 20 brand new from the box, non had burning smells and all were able to receive at 87.5. Should be under warrenty.

Thanks, Mike. After I receive the replacement, I'll be in touch on the mods. I'm thinking the forced analog and active filter mods will provide the biggest bang for the $$$$.

BrokenHill
12-26-2009, 02:59 PM
I live in the Los Angeles area and some of these stations here do not sound
that good in HD and some are outstanding, it depends on what equipment
that they use to process their HD signal.
I have heard that if a station is just broadcasting in HD-1 only the sound
quality is the best, HD-2 will degrade the sound of HD-1 and some stations
even have a HD-3 sub channel and that even degrades the sound of HD-1
even worse.
There are a lot of variables and that is why you will hear all kinds of different
opinions from AK members, some will just have better HD stations in their
area that transmit a superior HD signal.
I listen to California State University KKJZ 88.1 Jazz and Blues station on
the weekends because that's when they play their blues programming, they do
have a excellent sounding HD signal, and yes the Sony pulls it in just fine.
Sometimes I listen to KLOS 95.5 classic rock station and I think their HD
sound sucks, I have heard analog tuners that IMO the KLOS station sounds
better on, maybe it's because they transmit HD-1, HD-2 and in HD-3.
My HD tuners are the Sony XDRF1HD and the Sangean HDT-1
I like them both.
If the stations in your area do not have outstanding HD transmissions I think
the modifications to the Sony XDRF1HD would be worth the money spent,
then you could force the unit into analog and bypass the crappy HD signals that
some stations broadcast with, these Sony units do a very good job in pulling in
distant FM signals and maybe in the future the stations in your area will improve
their HD quality, remember it's a fairly new technology to the Radio Stations too
and I'm sure most of them will improve themselves.

Damon Hill
12-27-2009, 02:30 AM
Listening to KING in Seattle, classical music multiprogramming; the HD-2 channel dropped programming during the evening and I was able to turn up the volume--way up. No hiss or warbles. Dead silent. I actually had to double-check that the tuner was still turned on. There have been times when KING's HD-2 channel had very audible distortion--sounded like multipath--even though the HD-1 channel sounded perfect. Lately it has sounded much better, so they must have fixed something.

The HD-1 channel sounds just as good as analog on my other tuner, so I don't think the reduction of bandwidth really hurts that much and it comes in with a terrible signal on a wall dipole because of the aluminum siding on my house. I have to use an outdoor directional antenna on the analog tuner to get listenable quality.

I haven't yet worked up the courage to do the mods to the Sony to get the best quality signal out of it; can't afford to send it off to PunkerX and I justified getting it last year because of the $50 rebate. And I really enjoy getting the extra programming that the HD technology makes possible.

Wish I could compare a HD signal at maximum possible bitrate; a couple of local stations only broadcast in HD-1 but I just don't like that kind of music. The Sangean and a few other HD tuners do display bitrate data and other info, so I could be better certain of what's actually being broadcast--I hope Sony comes out with an 'audiophile' HD tuner model that includes those bells and whistles without a stratospheric price tag... Alas, for the moment I can't afford anything else.

goldear
12-28-2009, 04:14 AM
Listening to KING in Seattle, classical music multiprogramming; the HD-2 channel dropped programming during the evening and I was able to turn up the volume--way up. No hiss or warbles. Dead silent. I actually had to double-check that the tuner was still turned on. There have been times when KING's HD-2 channel had very audible distortion--sounded like multipath--even though the HD-1 channel sounded perfect. Lately it has sounded much better, so they must have fixed something.

The HD-1 channel sounds just as good as analog on my other tuner, so I don't think the reduction of bandwidth really hurts that much and it comes in with a terrible signal on a wall dipole because of the aluminum siding on my house. I have to use an outdoor directional antenna on the analog tuner to get listenable quality.

King FM is one of three channels that I've done much of my comparison on as well. The stock Sony simply gets smoked by my 20+ year old luxman T-117 when I listen to them side by side. It isn't even close. The collapse of the stereo image, and the loss of ambient information from the Sony (relative to the Luxman) is extremely apparent.

I'm sorry to say this, but I suspect that much of the enthusiasm for this unit in its stock form probably comes from people who might have never actually heard excellent sounding FM for themselves, and who are hearing clean FM for the first time with the Sony.

I'm not sure if I'll have time, but I might try some of the mods to the Sony this week if I have some extra time on my hands. Reading up on this has me convinced that this tuner has some genuine potential when modified. But in its stock form, it may be great for DXing, but it is certainly not for serious listening.

vibroverbus
12-28-2009, 08:24 AM
I live in the Los Angeles area and some of these stations here do not sound
that good in HD and some are outstanding, it depends on what equipment
that they use to process their HD signal....
<snip>
opinions from AK members, some will just have better HD stations in their
area that transmit a superior HD signal.
<snip>
If the stations in your area do not have outstanding HD transmissions I think
the modifications to the Sony XDRF1HD would be worth the money spent,
then you could force the unit into analog and bypass the crappy HD signals that some stations broadcast with

+1 to all above from BrokenHill

and in general response to the "the Sony sucks" comments. if it does you either had crazy unrealistic expectations, or, something is wrong with yours, or, most likely, your selected HD broadcasts are not so good. another thing I'd say is the Sony is good as in no-coloration-clean-reproduction good. if you are accustomed to a 'warmed up' or 'enhanced' sound from a high-quality but 'coloring' tuner then it might not be to your taste.

and just remember... nobody said this was THE world's best tuner, but it does clean house for the $100 pricetag.

Robie
12-28-2009, 09:03 AM
After dealing with customer service at Amazon, I was finally able to get my replacement Sony shipped to my home instead of delivered to the inlaw's home where the original was shipped. Word to the wise: Amazon's policy is for replacement merchandise to be sent to the original mailing address whether or not you are there when requesting the replacement. Amazon's website return process doesn't even provide the option to change addresses.

The replacement should arrive today and I look forward to one that doesn't emit a "burning electrical smell" and has the ability to tune below 88.3Mhz.

Have any of you noticed a pronounced burn-in period for the Sony? If so, how long does it take for a stock unit to sound its best?

DavidGoncalv
12-28-2009, 09:57 AM
What, exactly, would be 'burning in'? IF signal processing and demodulation is all digital, audio output is through a simple low-gain (and roughly supply invariant) two-transistor circuit.

reneborg
12-28-2009, 10:24 AM
.... The stock Sony simply gets smoked by my 20+ year old luxman T-117 when I listen to them side by side. It isn't even close. ...

I'm sorry to say this, but I suspect that much of the enthusiasm for this unit in its stock form probably comes from people who might have never actually heard excellent sounding FM for themselves, and who are hearing clean FM for the first time with the Sony.
...


I'm in agreement with this too. At least in my area, where there's not a multitude of stations -- HD or not -- I have been pretty underwhelmed by the Sony when compared to some excellent performing and sounding 'traditional' tuners. In my case, the quality of the sound from a Yammie T-80 & 85 and Denon TU-800 blow the Sony away.

I am still doing some listening tests to get a better sense of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these tuners, and I believe there may be some types of reception or areas where the Sony might outperform these traditional tuners, but as far as quality of sound, I haven't heard the Sony do that yet.

reneborg
12-28-2009, 10:27 AM
Oh, and yes, the Sony did have a very noticeable smell at first. One noticed it when walking into the room. I left mine on for a few days in the basement to hasten the process and eventually it did stop smelling so much.

Robie
12-28-2009, 10:53 AM
What, exactly, would be 'burning in'? IF signal processing and demodulation is all digital, audio output is through a simple low-gain (and roughly supply invariant) two-transistor circuit.

Most new components I've had have sounded better once they have been operated for 25 to 50 hours. Some manufacturers even note this in their manuals and recommend a 50-100 hour burn in period. Even the lowly Radio Shack Accurian amps and T-Amps noticeably smoothed out a bit after they "burned in" for 25 to 50 hours. Burning in is different than actually burning though (see below).

Oh, and yes, the Sony did have a very noticeable smell at first. One noticed it when walking into the room. I left mine on for a few days in the basement to hasten the process and eventually it did stop smelling so much.

Mine developed a fairly strong burning electrical smell when first plugged in but also won't tune any station under 88.3 Mhz. In contrast, my 35 year old Sherwood S-7200 analog tuner will pick up a station on 87.7Mhz when connected to the same antenna. The smell from my Sony is still strong even though it is no longer plugged in and awaiting shipment back to Amazon.

Hepcat
12-28-2009, 11:01 AM
I think I know a good tuner when I hear it. I have a McIntosh MR85, MR78 with the Modofferi mods, Carver TX-11B, NEC-T6, JVC etc.. and all kinds of receivers. And a big antenna with rotator.

The little Sony nearly smokes them all. I'm sorry guys, but that's how it is.

ron-c
12-28-2009, 11:16 AM
Hepcat,

Time to move some of the old tuners and step up to MR88. Since I got moine the little Sony sits over in the tuner collection pile..

Thanks,
Ron-C

MOPAR3
12-28-2009, 12:19 PM
The Sony pulls in more stations than my T80 but the sound quality is poor. I'm gonna send it out for some upgrades and then we'll see.

reneborg
12-28-2009, 12:36 PM
The Sony pulls in more stations than my T80 but the sound quality is poor. I'm gonna send it out for some upgrades and then we'll see.

That's part of the point I was agreeing with ... Sony does have good reception, but the sound quality is rather poor. At least in my area, it doesn't seem to pull in anything that I can't get otherwise on normal tuners (except of course, HD stations).

Given the cost of the mods to one of these Sonys to get a better sound quality, I believe that for some users it's a wash -- for the same amount of money one spends on purchasing a Sony + mods one may be able to get a very, very good tuner.

I'm SURE there are cases where the Sony is best and other cases where a traditional tuner may do better -- I think it's specific to one's listening area, the stations that are broadcasting and the equipment and quality of the broadcast signal itself. I, myself, however, have a hard time believing ANY piece of equipment is always the best ... to me, this defies logic as there are too many variables.

Raynald
12-28-2009, 01:33 PM
My units had a fairly strong smell at first, I would not say burning electronics but noticeable and this was with Radio X modded units so they were probably run at least a bit before I got them. It does go away after a while. These units do run hot and there is a fair amount of stuff crammed into a little plastic box so there is a warm plastic smell if you get right up close even once they have settled down.

I think the last few posts have pretty much nailed the character of the little Sony. In all forms the reception is astounding. Stock and lightly modded, most people with very good vintage tuners will not be impressed with the sound. I am just talking about analog reception as I have no HD stations here, the format was not adopted in Canada.

The fully modded unit is a great sounding tuner, period. Vibroverbus makes a very good point that should be kept in mind. With the active filter mod the Sony is competitive with the best tuners I have heard, but it sounds quite different from many. No added warmth is absolutely right. The closest thing I had was an Akai AT-93. It sounded amazing but a bit more "electronic" than my best analog tuners. However, I would not be prepared to say that the Akai was wrong and the analogs right. It is very likely the Akai was simply playing exactly what was being sent out, a signal that was indeed passed through a lot of electronics in the playback and broadcast chain. I preferred the analogs, but they might have been "improving" the signal.

The fully modded Sony sounds terrific, but is quite matter of fact about the presentation. Those like Goldear who like the sound of top digitals like his T-117 (or the AT-93, T-85, Gamma V, etc.) should really like the Radio X Audiophile modded unit. If you love your Fisher FM-200B, TU-717, KT-8005/8007 you can probably still appreciate what the Sony does well but it may not suit your tastes as well. In those cases if you have an antenna that gives perfect reception with your favorite tuner, the Sony may not be bringing much to the table that you want. If on the other hand you have some problematic stations, the Sony is a great complement to your other tuner, one which will allow you to enjoy more music by pulling in more stations well. Just guessing....

goldear
12-28-2009, 01:43 PM
I think I know a good tuner when I hear it. I have a McIntosh MR85, MR78 with the Modofferi mods, Carver TX-11B, NEC-T6, JVC etc.. and all kinds of receivers. And a big antenna with rotator.

The little Sony nearly smokes them all. I'm sorry guys, but that's how it is.
Those are some nice tunas you have there!

Could you please be more specific? In what regard does the Sony smoke these classics? DXing, or in terms of basic sound quality? And if the S.Q. is better for you, in what ways, and in which mode?

I have very strong signals where I live, so DXing is not an issue for me. All of the FM stations around here seem to come in as HD. So I still have no idea how the analog sounds out of the Sony.

Do you care about stereo imaging, or are you one of those people who is content to listen in mono, or off-axis? Personally I dislike mono, and I find the absolutely collapsed stereo soundfield out of this unit compared to my T-117 to be extremey dissapointing. Stereo out of the Sony sounds half-way between Mono and Stereo on my T-117. Perhaps a new power supply, a new clock, filter mods, and HD bypass will help with this, but so far, I'm just not impressed with the sound of the Sony.

MOPAR3
12-28-2009, 06:11 PM
The Sony in stock form lacks a lot of high frequency info as can be seen from the links on Punker X's site. It seems to drop evan more highs when it locks in HD. It maybe as quiet as a CD but the actual sound needs help. I'm hesitant to throw 150.00 or more to mod this thing as it's money you'll never get back. It would be nice to put together my own output filter but it's just beyond what I feel comfortable with.

MWalt
12-28-2009, 06:49 PM
I honestly believe that there is a slight degree of stereotypical response to some of the positive comments made on this cheap little tuner. A little audiophile snobbery, if you will. How can this little plastic piece of Sony junk possibly compare to my gazillion dollar audiophile tuner?!!!! I am not trying to start a pissing contest with anyone, but do yourself a favor and listen to one (modded) before you pass judgement. Try to be objective and unbiased. I am listening to mine right now on a local classic rock station (analog mode) with a little Marantz 1060 integrated and some Dynaco A-25's (My computer system) and it sounds fantastic!

I have a PunkerX modified Sony and it bests my mint Sansui TU-717 which is a damn good piece. And it does EVERYTHING better, to include sound quality.

MOPAR3
12-28-2009, 06:58 PM
I have the Sony and Yamaha T80 both hooked up and have been switching back and forth. My wife picked the Yamaha without knowing which is what. There's no audio snobbery here. Nothing would make me happier than to say that the 100.00 Sony is a world beater but stock it's not.

Old_Tech
12-28-2009, 07:14 PM
I just don't get it. This little tuner sounds beautiful to me and I have a TU-717 and a 1/2 wave dipole 40 ft up outside. Both tuners sound great. I paid 100 bucks for the Sony. I can spend the cash on the mods too, but not right now it sounds fine to me out of the box. Now what will it cost with a custom redesign performed? (quite a bit more) :yes:

To me its no plastic piece of junk thats for sure but then I like it. AND, I can hear just fine the differences between all my tuners. Not saying its perfect but certainly not junk.

goldear
12-28-2009, 07:35 PM
Ok, I finally have something much more positive to say about this little Sony.

I just went searching for some truly awful sounding signals on the dial. A couple of channels that are so weak and full of multipath that they are completely unlistenable on the T-117 (or any other tuner I own), even in narrow-band mode, sound very clean, and are completely listenable on this little Sony. That is a truly amazing ability to reject noise!

So I must say that this IS a truly amazing tuna for DXers. Perhpas with enough work this little unit might be endowed with audio performance that begins to approach its DXing performance (at least in Analog mode, I'm not conviced that HD sources can be made to sound good yet).

pfcs49
12-28-2009, 07:46 PM
"The Sony in stock form lacks a lot of high frequency info as can be seen from the links on Punker X's site. It seems to drop evan more highs when it locks in HD. It maybe as quiet as a CD but the actual sound needs help. I'm hesitant to throw 150.00 or more to mod this thing as it's money you'll never get back. It would be nice to put together my own output filter but it's just beyond what I feel comfortable with."

$150?? Why not DIY-the forced analog mod requires soldering 2 legs of a switch and the cheap/simple cap mod only requires castration! As long as the unit goes into digital mode, you will probably be disappointed. And if you do it yourself, you'll feel so much more satisfied.

MWalt
12-28-2009, 07:49 PM
My TU-717 sounded better to my ears than the unmodded Sony. But when Mike did the mods for me that pushed the little Sony ahead.

To be fair, in the near future I am sending Mike my TU-717 for mods. Then we will see :scratch2:

Hepcat
12-28-2009, 07:53 PM
Mine has been playing the garage 24/7 since July and never missed a beat. I even think it feels a little cooler now too.

As cheap as they are every audio guy should get one just to mess around with.

lico
12-29-2009, 10:57 AM
Guess I don't have a lot of "high end" tuners to compare with but do own a fair share of vintage receivers and tuners mainly mid fi stuff. The little Sony with a $3 switch mod and recent removal of caps beats anything I own for FM listening. One of these days I'll try installing the filter upgrade.

I tend to agree about HD quality - in general it lacks the "air" and separation compared to analog FM, due to doubling up the channels and lower bit rates.

The thing I like best about the Sony is it can pull in distant stations with very weak signals and you hear very little noise. All in all it's a bargain, not sure why it gets bashed considering what it costs. I'm a fan of vintage equipment, but some things are better new IMO.

goldear
12-29-2009, 03:48 PM
Guess I don't have a lot of "high end" tuners to compare with but do own a fair share of vintage receivers and tuners mainly mid fi stuff. The little Sony with a $3 switch mod and recent removal of caps beats anything I own for FM listening. One of these days I'll try installing the filter upgrade.

I tend to agree about HD quality - in general it lacks the "air" and separation compared to analog FM, due to doubling up the channels and lower bit rates.

The thing I like best about the Sony is it can pull in distant stations with very weak signals and you hear very little noise. All in all it's a bargain, not sure why it gets bashed considering what it costs. I'm a fan of vintage equipment, but some things are better new IMO.

I would agree with most of what you have said. My initial evaluation was based purely on hearing on HD stations, and I must give HD FM a very definite thumbs-down at this point in time.

But now that I have found a number of analog stations to compare, I'm much more impressed with this little Sony. Sonicly, on a strong signal, the T-117 still trouces it, although not as badly as it does with the HD signal.

But, I've found at least a half dozen stations that are so weak, and noisy as to be unlistenable on the luxman, even in mono. These same stations came-in so cleanly on this little Sony that I now understand the hype. If you are a DXer, or you have a poor signal, I've simply never heard anything that could clean-up a weak and/or horribly mutipathed signal like this unit can.

My initial dissapointment was that this thing had been praised so very highly for its sonics, with people saying that it trounced some of the best tuna's ever made. If you are DXing or if you have horrible multipath, I can now see how this little tuna could be seen as the best thing ever. It does some truly amazing things to make unlistenable signals completely listenable.

But when I compare apples to apples (clean analog stations on each), the T-117 still sounds significant better. But I finally see what all of the fuss was all about because when it comes to cleaning-up dirty signals, this unit may have no equals. So if you have poor reception, don't walk; run to get one of these puppies!

Robie
12-29-2009, 09:22 PM
My replacement unit arrived today. I agree that the the HD reception sometimes sounds compressed and all the good analog air seems to be missing from the stations I can get great analog reception from.

As for the problems with my original unit (burning smell and inability to tune stations near the low end of the dial), the good news: No burning electrical smell.

The not so good news: While my previous Sony couldn't tune a fairly strong station at 87.7Mhz (even with a new chimney mounted 1/2 wave omnidirectional antenna), with the replacement Sony I can now tell there's a station at 87.7Mhz. Unfortunately, it sounds like I need to turn the tuning knob to tune in. My old Sherwood S-7200 pulls in that station strongly with the same antenna.

Any ideas what gives? Perhaps this is the need for alignment?

Snade
12-29-2009, 09:36 PM
My replacement unit arrived today. I agree that the the HD reception sometimes sounds compressed and all the good analog air seems to be missing from the stations I can get great analog reception from.

As for the problems with my original unit (burning smell and inability to tune stations near the low end of the dial), the good news: No burning electrical smell.

The not so good news: While my previous Sony couldn't tune a fairly strong station at 87.7Mhz (even with a new chimney mounted 1/2 wave omnidirectional antenna), with the replacement Sony I can now tell there's a station at 87.7Mhz. Unfortunately, it sounds like I need to turn the tuning knob to tune in. My old Sherwood S-7200 pulls in that station strongly with the same antenna.

Any ideas what gives? Perhaps this is the need for alignment?

I could bring mine over to your place and we can try to duplicate the problem.

Of course, nothing will compare to that Sherwood 7200, that line of Sherwood is in an entirely different league. ;)

Snade

Robie
12-29-2009, 09:46 PM
Any time, Snade. And you're right, the pinnacle of audio is Sherwood! ;)

Edit: Since sarcasm doesn't work well on the interweb, I don't actually believe that Sherwood is the pinnacle. But I do believe that every time I listen to my Sherwood with DIY Indignias in a near field configuration, I just listen to the music and forget about the equipment. So far, I'm not doing that with the Sony via a McIntosh MA230 (SS pre/tube power) and A25s. The Sony does have a total lack of background noise that is amazing though.

Old_Tech
12-30-2009, 12:50 AM
Any time, Snade. And you're right, the pinnacle of audio is Sherwood! ;)

Help me learn please. Which tuners are you referring to in their lineup? I am always watching for the next nice tuner for my collection.

Listening to HD on the Sony tonight. Sounds right so far...

Robie
12-30-2009, 09:05 PM
Ron,

My limited experience with Sherwoods is with MOTL SS receivers (S-7100A, S-7200 and S-8900A) all of which sound remarkably good to my old ears. They all have very respectable tuner sections, IMO. Others know the Sherwood dedicated tuners much better than me and I hope they weigh in, or it would be a great thread unto itself.

Rome's Sherwood pages may provide some additional information. http://www.romeroy4u.com/Sherwood.html Check the product list link at the top of the page.

I do know that Sherwood rebadged a SS statement tuner built by a manufacturer in Milwaukee that is held in high regard by many. Many also hold the Sherwood tube tuners in high regard.

Old_Tech
12-30-2009, 09:59 PM
Ron,

My limited experience with Sherwoods is with MOTL SS receivers (S-7100A, S-7200 and S-8900A) all of which sound remarkably good to my old ears. They all have very respectable tuner sections, IMO. Others know the Sherwood dedicated tuners much better than me and I hope they weigh in, or it would be a great thread unto itself.

Rome's Sherwood pages may provide some additional information. http://www.romeroy4u.com/Sherwood.html Check the product list link at the top of the page.

I do know that Sherwood rebadged a SS statement tuner built by a manufacturer in Milwaukee that is held in high regard by many. Many also hold the Sherwood tube tuners in high regard.

Nice link I will check this out. I keep hearing about the Sherwood 3000 model tuner if I am not mistaken. But anyways I don't want to mess up this thread so once again Robie - Thank You!

EasyRiderNYC
12-31-2009, 09:30 AM
The Sony sounds fine if you have a decent station and you have a good antenna. Let it run some and use very low capacitance RCA cables like you would use for a turntable.

Thanks,
Ron-C

Any affordable low capacitance RCA cables come to mind?

Old_Tech
12-31-2009, 10:40 AM
Any affordable low capacitance RCA cables come to mind?

You could find some low cost component video cables and use the red and green ones for your connection.

ron-c
12-31-2009, 11:09 AM
Canare mic cable L-2TLS, with Carnare true 75 ohm RCA jacks. If you are setting it on your preamp just make these as long as you need. See Markertek.com to order the parts and make your own or order a set from them.
They come in 10 colors too.

Thanks,
Ron-C

Robie
01-01-2010, 11:59 AM
Yesterday, I tried to contact Sony regarding my problems with this tuner (XDR-F1HD), specifically to determine whether there were known problems tuning stations at the low end of the dial. The first tuner I received smelled like burning electrical the first time it was plugged in and wouldn't tune a station under 88.1 MHz. It was returned to Amazon and I ordered a replacement. However, the replacement will not tune a commercial station in Chicago about 15 miles away at 87.7 MHz despite the fact that my Sherwood S-7200 and Sony ST-J60 digital tuner, connected to the same antenna, bring that station in nicely. While the station kind of comes in on the Sony, it sounds like an improperly tuned station on an analog tuner that requires fine tuning with the tuning knob. However, being a digital tuner (no tuning knob), you get what you get when the Sony is set to any particular frequency.

After waiting on hold for over 20 minutes, trying to speak with someone, I ended up trying online chat customer service with Sony. After 45 minutes of being told to "move the "radio" to a different location" "take the batteries out of my radio," "press the reset button" and "unplug the unit for a minute," I suggested that even though I appreciated this help thus far, "perhaps we needed to speak with a tech." The guy helping me via chat then abruptly "left the chat room" and never came back, even after 1.5 hours.

While waiting for him to return to the online chat, after a half hour of no response I called the non-toll free number (Sony Preferred Service) and eventually spoke to a supervisor who, after about 40 minutes, advised me that my unit is eligible for an exchange but that it sounded like a reception issue (despite the fact that I kept repeating that my old Sherwood and Sony tuners will tune 87.7 MHz nicely connected to the same chimney mounted 1/2 wave omnidirectional antenna).

He reluctantly agreed to have Sony look at it and repair it or replace it if there was some issue but I must return it to Sony at my expense and I may be charged for the service. If something is amiss, I will be sent a replacement "or equivalent." Turn around time is 8-10 business days from when they receive it which is 2-3 weeks without a tuner for me.

Not the type of customer service I expected from a company that was confident of its products.

My next step will be asking Snade to bring his Sony here to see if it'll tune 87.7 on my new 1/2 wave antenna any better than the two XDR-F1HD Sonys I've had that won't. After that, I'll consider whether requesting yet another replacement from Amazon or sending the tuner to Sony is in order.

UPDATE: I just finished hooking the Sony up to the RG-59 antenna feed directly (avoiding an antenna switch that allows multiple tuners to be hooked to the antenna with minimal gain loss) and through a splitter (to reduce antenna gain in the event my antenna was overloading the tuner). Either connection makes no difference. 87.7 MHz won't tune. Via the splitter both -3.5 dB and -7dB gain makes no difference.

Using the supplied dipole also makes no difference with regard to tuning 87.7 MHz, but reception is actually worse with the dipole. I also moved the Sony to a different system in a different location elsewhere in the house. Using rabbit ears, I also couldn't tune 87.7 MHz directly while my 29 year old NAD 4020 tuner tunes this station properly with the same rabbit ears.

I believe these tests rule out a reception issue and point to a defective unit.

Punker X
01-02-2010, 07:27 AM
I just opened one, fresh out the box to test this out. Looking at FM fool I don't have any stations around here lower than 88.1 and my transmitter does not go below 88. On the bench everything looks normal with a signal generator at 87.5, 87.7, 87.9 and 88.1. Not sure what's going on with your situation, something environmental and/or something off with the station itself that the Sony can't deal with.

Robie
01-02-2010, 08:41 AM
Thanks for that bit of information, Mike. I guess the signal generator results means that the Sony is capable of tuning that low.

I was wondering if there was something weird going on around here reception wise as no one else on AK has reported problems tuning stations that low. However, other tuners/receivers here, both analog and digital (Sony ST-J60 - Digital, NAD 4020, Sherwood S-7200 and even my two Tivolis (Model 1 and 2)) do pick up the station here. Even my car radios will pick it up.

I'll check with Snade to see if his tunes the same station from a different location around Chicago.

vibroverbus
01-02-2010, 09:48 AM
Yesterday, I tried to contact Sony regarding my problems with this tuner (XDR-F1HD), specifically to determine whether there were known problems tuning stations

Yeah, bash away. I love the Sony tuner and some of their other products but I've been buying Sony computers for my company for years and frankly their support is useless. I haven't tried to call them in years because it's just a COMPLETE waste of time.

Sony computer support has ONE answer for EVERYTHING. "Load the Restore CD and restore your computer to its original configuration! Be sure you backup your data because that will delete everything on your harddrive!" No amount of begging, cajoling, reasoning or arguing will get you anything else, no matter what your problem is - it could be that you were trying to plug a new printer or mouse in, the answer is always "Reformat and restore!".

Yesterday I had to go to a "Sony Style" store to get a docking station for various reasons, and the in-person service was just as horrible. I stood at the counter for 5 minutes without even as much as a "hi, can you hang on a few minutes?" while 3 people chattered amongst themselves about setting a new sale discount up on the store POS system and when I finally yelled over to them "Umm, hey, do you think somebody could help me?" I got a grudging look and a "yeah ok hang on.. HEY MIKE!! MIKE?? where's Mike? yeah well OK I guess I can help you..." Then as that guy was helping me another guy kept coming over and interrupting him without acknowledging my existence as if it was clear that their internal tasks were far more important than any stupid customer. Freakin a-holes.

Back on topic - Likewise I got nuthin below 88.1 to tune but never had any troubles like that... wonder if they had a bad batch at the factory and you've gotten a couple clunkers in a row. One thing I've found is sometimes when you send back for exchange they'll try to get away with sending you an 'open box' item from their returns pile in which case you might find out why the last guy sent it back... But sounds like you ordered the second one fresh rather than waiting for the exchange?

Robie
01-02-2010, 10:26 AM
Vibroverbus, my second one was a fresh one from Amazon.

UPDATE/PROBLEM SOLUTION?: I called WLFM's engineering department (87.7 MHz) to see if they had any insight but I just got voicemail. Then, after a bit of internet research I believe I've figured out the problem.

A popular smooth jazz station here in Chicago (WNUA - 95.5 MHz) changed formats about the middle of last year and went to Hispanic programming. Some of the people affiliated with the station moved the same programming to a different station (WLFM which allegedly broadcasts at 87.7 MHz). But instead of broadcasting on 87.7 MHz, it turns out that the station really is broadcasting on a former TV channel's frequency (Channel 6 at 87.75 MHz) as a Low Power TV station, broadcasting analog music.

It's caused a bit of a controversy here and the local NPR powerhouse (WBEZ 91.5 MHz) has petitioned to see if commercial radio can broadcast in that portion of the dial formerly reserved for noncommercial radio.

Furthermore, while the signal is broadcast from the very tall, Hancock Building in downtown Chicago, they broadcast at about 5 KW (low power) in a Southeast or Southwest direction to avoid interfering with a former analog Channel 6 TV signal from Milwaukee, WITI (at least 70 or 80 miles to the north). I'm about 15 -20 miles northwest of Chicago, and located outside of the broadcast coverage lobes but can still pick up the station.

So I concede it is a reception problem after all. :o The Sony is a digital tuner and 87.7 on the Sony is evidently precisely 87.7 MHz and not 87.75 MHz. That's why it sounds like you want to grab the phantom analog tuning dial and fine tune the station via the Sony.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come in better on 97.8 MHz. Lastly, I do remember picking up TV sound in the past at the low end of the FM dial before and now I understand why.

wajobu
01-02-2010, 10:34 AM
FWIW Robie, one of our local NPR FM affiliates at 89.9 MHz occasionally has interference at their relay transmitter from a NYC based AM station that from time to time shifts a microwave signal to about 89.95 MHz and this wreaks havoc with almost all of the tuners and radios in my house when suddenly AM radio is leaking into my FM signal. I have contacted the engineering folks at the FM station and they have filed numerous complaints with the FCC and directly with the AM station about this (it's the NYC flagship CBS network station WCBS 880 AM), yet they still have problems from time to time.

I feel your pain, but I'm glad that you solved the problem!

One curious item of note with the Sony tuner (since I have a stock version from Amazon)...since I have both analog and digital tuners here, I have noted that the HD signal for a given station is delayed ever so slightly (about a 1/2 a second) compared to the matching analog broadcast from the same station. The resulting sonic effect is...shall we say...curious.

For the record, I still prefer the sound of my Yamaha CT-7000 tuner (...from my cold dead hands...)

John James
01-02-2010, 10:38 AM
And now...... back to our regularly scheduled programming! :D :banana:

Robie
01-02-2010, 12:02 PM
And now...... back to our regularly scheduled programming! :D :banana:

Yeah, sorry for the temporary thread hijack. The Sony is a very impressive little unit with dead quiet background on all the stations I can tune. Even when it's only stock.

John James
01-02-2010, 01:19 PM
Yeah, sorry for the temporary thread hijack. The Sony is a very impressive little unit with dead quiet background on all the stations I can tune. Even when it's only stock.


I probably could have explained a little better. I meant that I was glad that you found the problem was not the tuner but a problem with the transmitting station. :music:

2chanman
01-02-2010, 03:13 PM
Robie:
Good work on finding the cause of poor reception at 87.7mhz. I have noticed exactly the same problem here. The Sony tuner is so selective that it won't tolerate frequency errors in station transmitter frequency. Almost any other conventional analog tuner is broad banded by comparison and can be tuned manually to compensate for station frequency errors. I tried listening at 87.7 mhz with a Fisher digital tuner (in narrow i.f. mode) and found that it sounded mistuned too, though to a lesser extent than the Sony. As you found out, it is not a fault in the Sony, but is a result of it's exceptionally narrow selectivity, which is highly beneficial when the received station is where it belongs.

Robie
01-02-2010, 05:43 PM
I feel your pain, but I'm glad that you solve the problem!

Thanks, for the kind words, Walker. Hope you get your AM overload problem resolved soon. I have a lowly garage sale Yamaha T-300 tuner that does remarkably well for what it is. Even after I unintentionally had to reverse engineer the tuning mechanism after trying to clean it up. But that is another story.... I can only imagine what the CT-7000 sounds like.

I probably could have explained a little better. I meant that I was glad that you found the problem was not the tuner but a problem with the transmitting station. :music:

Thanks, John. I knew you meant the best. :thmbsp: Like all things I experience I tend to go off tangent a bit. Perhaps why I seldom get things done. It is comforting to know why things are the way they are though.

Robie:
Good work on finding the cause of poor reception at 87.7mhz. I have noticed exactly the same problem here....

Thanks, 2chanman. Wish I was smart enough to have researched the station earlier though. It is nice to have a logical explanation for a vexing problem though. The little Sony really is a nice tuner.

Damon Hill
01-02-2010, 06:38 PM
Got my XDR-F1HD service manual today and annotating same (evil mad engineer laughter). Helps to have the full schematic in front of me; some things make better sense. Others don't. :(

Considering how I might do a "better than" audio filter mod; better coupling capacitors, better opamp, wishing I could do a proper SMT design. I'll probably end up doing the standard mods.

dan31
01-13-2010, 02:29 PM
If I wanted to force analog on my unit is it as easy as unplugging the unit, accessing the underside of the mother board and cutting the trace with an exacto knife and reassembling?

DavidGoncalv
01-13-2010, 03:27 PM
http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm

"This photo from Peter KŲrner shows the underside of the motherboard. The tiny yellow mark indicates where to cut a trace. The control signal originates at pin 18 of the HD module at the top and passes through ferrite bead FB6 to pin 23 of the tuner module on the left. When high, the signal tells the tuner module to switch to the HD Radio bitstream. Cut the trace, wire an SPST switch across the cut, and mount the switch anywhere convenient. No pulldown resistor is necessary."

dan31
01-13-2010, 04:08 PM
Thank you for the instructions. I will not be installing a switch. I would like to know if I cut the trace with an exacto knife and reassemble am I good to go, our should I do anything else from a safety perspective?

DavidGoncalv
01-13-2010, 05:32 PM
No.

dan31
01-13-2010, 06:59 PM
Was that a "no" regarding safety issues with just cutting the trace? Just want to make sure I don't burn down the house.

Thank you for your help!:thmbsp:

specialidiot
01-13-2010, 07:18 PM
Was that a "no" regarding safety issues with just cutting the trace? Just want to make sure I don't burn down the house.

Thank you for your help!:thmbsp:

Just cut it, no safety issues!

vibroverbus
01-13-2010, 07:23 PM
Only safety issues with the XDR is if you operate it with the cover off during mod / repair - solder connections for the AC lines are very exposed and stick out on an edge of the transformer. Makes it easy to get a little jolt of wall current - ask me how I know. Mine is now electrical-taped all across that edge (and to be clear operating with cover off is NOT advised but hey when you're modding and tinkering these things can be necessary).

w1jim
01-13-2010, 10:09 PM
I just modded my second XDRFHD1. Did the treble extension (removed the 4 caps), the display light off mod and the forced analog switch.
The tuner sounds much better in analog versus HD. I compared it to my SX-1250 (fully recapped) and they sound quite similar.
The strength of HD is all of the extra channels, most of which are sans commercials.
I put a toggle switch on the rear for the forced analog but on my other one I'm considering putting a extremely small push button or toggle switch on the front and have a bright red LED shine through the IR sensor hole to indicate analog mode.
JimB

lico
01-13-2010, 10:27 PM
If you are going to open up the unit and cut the trace to get forced analog, I'd go ahead and try to add a switch while your are in there (assuming you have a solder iron handy). I find myself listening to extra content on HD-2 stations, I like the option of both modes.

Nick_G
01-24-2010, 09:40 AM
Hi all. A new member here.

I got one of these Sony XDR-F1HDs in May last year as I'm an FM DXer, and I have to say it's the best FM DXer I've ever used! Here in the UK I can easily get weak DX 100kHz away from strong locals in most cases.

My other DX tuner, an Onkyo T-4970 with DYNAS can do this -100kHz from a strong signal but not +100kHz away. It seems that the DYNAS filter response is asymmetrical, which is apparently fairly typical. The XDR solves that problem.

I had some mods done on mine before it reached me too: a battery for memory retention, an internal fan fitted to keep the temperature down, and a de-emphasis correction circuit added for the European market. The de-emphasis correction circuit is apparently somewhere between the designs shown here:

http://ukradio.info/XDR-F1HD/75-to-50us_PK.html

So it's better than the basic one shown at the bottom of the page but not the full-on high-quality one at the top. The audio through my system (not high-end, a Rotel RA-04 amp, B&W 601 S2 speakers, Vivanco speaker cable) sounds very good, with nice extended highs and superb channel separation. The bass is perhaps slightly lacking, and it sounds perhaps more digital than the traditional analog FM sound, like the sound from my Onkyo tuner. It is great to have noise-free stereo though!

I have a couple of questions about Punker X's audiophile mods. The "Treble Correction and Audiophile output with active filter" - is this the same as Peter KŲrner's high quality de-emphasis correction circuit (shown in the link above) or is this different?

I'd be interested to see how much difference it would make on my system, but it'd be probably prohibitively expensive to send the tuner back to the US to have this done! Also, how much more sensitive is the XDR after alignment? It's already amazingly sensitive as it is.

I've always dreamed of owning a tuner that is top-class for both audio and DX ability, and it looks like these mods would be the best way to do it.

Hope this isn't too many questions!

winters860
01-24-2010, 12:14 PM
My letter to Sony in November of last year:

Hello!

I've been hearing quite a few good things lately about the XDR-F1HD tuner. It's sort of the bargain du jour on the online audio forums right now. I know that it is a budget component, meant to get HD radio into as many hands as possible with an attractive price point. HD has had a slow adoption rate and I hope that the hype in the audio community has helped you meet or exceed your sales expectations for the model.

A cottage industry has sprung up modifying these tuners to correct perceived problems - increasing sound quality, adding a forced analog reception option, adding a mono option, improving cooling, adding battery-powered station retention, dimming the backlight in standby, etc.

While I'm sure the XDR-F1HD is a capable product on its own merits, the modifications appeal to me. However, I'd hate to buy one, ship it to a third-party modifier and void my warranty if Sony had a revised HD tuner in the pipeline that incorporated some or all of the improvements (and I imagine costing a good bit less than a new XDR-F1HD and custom mods).

Can you comment on any second generation Sony HD tuners that might be coming down the pike?


I got a pretty standard response from Sony basically saying they couldn't comment on any future products. I post my original letter here in the hopes that somebody in Sony's product development might actually see it or that somebody in the know might have something to say.

Damon Hill
01-24-2010, 03:56 PM
About the only thing I saw coming out of CES 2010 was an announcement for a component HD tuner in Radio Shack's Auvio line, list price $99. I suspect it'll be about equivalent to the Insignia HD tuner and likely inferior to the existing Sony.

The Sony doesn't miss by much; a serious 'audiophile' tuner similar to the Sangean with the digital output shouldn't cost a whole lot more. The few high end HD tuners out there have hardly been commented on, so I don't know how their presumably superior audio output sections are performing compared to the Sony. It would have been nice to have a digital output on it, yes?

I'm not sure where the HD market is really going, but writing to the manufacturers at least tells them some of us do want better products.

Hepcat
02-05-2010, 07:03 PM
The cost is so cheap, buy one and compare to your other killer tuners.

Mine beats my McIntosh MR78, Carver TX-11B, NEC T-6, etc. Sad to say but it does.

Damon Hill
02-05-2010, 07:23 PM
Punker X has a Version 2 of the active filter mod for the XDR-F1HD that looks like a definite improvement over the original design. Details here:

http://www.radioxtuners.com/

Wonder if he offers discounts for an upgrade of his original upgrade? :) New opamp, better quality parts, direct connection to the RCA jacks.

59volvo
02-13-2010, 01:50 AM
can anyone recommend a very quiet fan that I can put on top of the sony that just plugs directly into the AC wall outlet? If that does not exist, then a link to a dc one that can easily be converted to AC?

2chanman
02-13-2010, 02:28 PM
You can run a 12volt DC fan such as is found in home computers off the 5 volt supply in the tuner. The fan will be much quieter running at 5 volts and will still move enough air to cool the tuner. Most 12 volt fans will start easily at 5 volts. If you don't want to get into the tuner's guts, you can run the 12 volt fan off a 5volt charger derived from a defunct cell phone, which almost any cell phone user has by now. That's what I did.

Raynald
02-13-2010, 03:47 PM
Punker X has a Version 2 of the active filter mod for the XDR-F1HD that looks like a definite improvement over the original design. Details here:

http://www.radioxtuners.com/

Wonder if he offers discounts for an upgrade of his original upgrade? :) New opamp, better quality parts, direct connection to the RCA jacks.


Great question. What do you think Mike, how much to go from the original Active Filter mod to the version 2 and the Xtreme? Probably not cost effective for owners of the original, but there are always some folks willing to pay whatever to keep up to date.

Punker X
02-14-2010, 05:19 AM
Going from original to version 2 would be relatively inexpensive. Going to the extreme version would require a board change. It wold be cheaper than list. Contact me if you want pricing.

I might have you take the cover off. Ray I'm sure yours are the original version. Ones I done in the past few months are already version two. Unfortunately I didn't document where I made the change. I believe it was somewhere just before US Thanksgiving.

gklainer
02-18-2010, 04:19 PM
I know how you feel. Part of the fun of vintage the is heft of the ripcord in the moring and the pageantry of flying sparks and diesel smoke when you start them. I will probably never run vintage speaks but my source tastes all run to ancient technologies. What does the unit sound like? I loved the tuner on my Sansui G8000 but it was less detailed than my Nikko Gamma V tuner which has, for a digital tuner, a very nice analog sound signature. What's the Sony sound like? Does it remind you, in analog FM mode, of other gear from the ancient past?

Peter

I've had many outstanding tuners over the years and the Gamma V is still one of my all time favorites. Just a great tuner.

Gary

Urizen
02-20-2010, 04:57 PM
Pulled the trigger on one of these from Amazon today. Hopefully, It'll be here Tuesday.

TommyV
02-21-2010, 01:36 PM
Mike I am curious if one of you "upgrades" could be to somehow improve IR reception. Mine is so bad that if you do not have the remote pointed DIRECTLY at it from the front and not further than 4 ft it will not work. Right now I moved it up into my main system and I have an RF to IR blaster setup. That has been my way to work it out which is fine but if I wanted to use this tuner anywhere else with the original remote it would be a major pain.

I mean is the IR eye just crap, is it set too far back, or if the view obstructed by the plastic front? ? I have never opened mine and looked too close so I dunno but this probably ranks #1 worst IR in a component beating out my old Samsung DVD player.

2chanman
02-21-2010, 02:57 PM
TommyV:
Make sure your remote batteries are fresh and making good electrical contact inside the remote. Be sure the IR window on the tuner is clean; same goes for the output eye of the remote. If this doesn't help, either the remote or the remote receiver in the tuner is defective.

TommyV
02-21-2010, 03:04 PM
It is not the remote. I have tried multiple universals and the original remote. Others have complained about this so it seems I am not the only one.

Are you saying that yours has great IR reception? I am curious if this is not a universal issue.

Vinyl Rules!
02-21-2010, 05:56 PM
can anyone recommend a very quiet fan that I can put on top of the sony that just plugs directly into the AC wall outlet? If that does not exist, then a link to a dc one that can easily be converted to AC?
I have found mine runs much cooler if I set the LCD display to its lowest setting. Have you tried this?

Any fan will fail over time. :cool:

Punker X
02-22-2010, 07:01 AM
Mike I am curious if one of you "upgrades" could be to somehow improve IR reception. Mine is so bad that if you do not have the remote pointed DIRECTLY at it from the front and not further than 4 ft it will not work. Right now I moved it up into my main system and I have an RF to IR blaster setup. That has been my way to work it out which is fine but if I wanted to use this tuner anywhere else with the original remote it would be a major pain.

I mean is the IR eye just crap, is it set too far back, or if the view obstructed by the plastic front? ? I have never opened mine and looked too close so I dunno but this probably ranks #1 worst IR in a component beating out my old Samsung DVD player.

I haven't looked into it. But would interested in hearing suggestions. Next time I get an opening on the bench I'll looking to what I might be able to do. Just afraid it might not be very pretty looking.

Punker X
02-22-2010, 07:05 AM
I have found mine runs much cooler if I set the LCD display to its lowest setting. Have you tried this?

Any fan will fail over time. :cool:

That's why I usually try to talk people out of a fan. I really don't want people coming back a year from now with a failed or noisy fan. Feel the same way about batteries. I haven't had a cell phone battery last longer than a year before it starts crapping out.

Lowering the display level and taller feet, I feel keep it cool enough except if you were using it in extreme conditions.

vibroverbus
02-22-2010, 09:50 AM
I haven't looked into it. But would interested in hearing suggestions. Next time I get an opening on the bench I'll looking to what I might be able to do. Just afraid it might not be very pretty looking.

Mike -

The IR eye is on the front board down on the left next to the display... as noted this is a 'known complaint'. I've bounced this around for a while, my thoughts around this have been that as a first hack attempt, one could drill a hole straight out the panel, maybe even counter-sink it to improve the off-axis angle. As you say, this could be ugly. Might not be huge benefit either.

The high-spec way to do it would be to drill a very clean hole but then re-mount the IR cell (or a new one) actually out on the front panel so it is flush or at least 'clean' protrusion from the front panel.

All would be a lot of work for a minor problem though...

http://ukradio.info/XDR-F1HD/fan&psu.jpg

vibroverbus
02-22-2010, 09:59 AM
I haven't had a cell phone battery last longer than a year before it starts crapping out.

Yeah, cell battery isn't really made for that kind of application. Basically never significantly drawn down, and no 'intelligent' charging... not what it was engineered for.

That's why I think a supercap is THE solution for this unless for some reason one needs to unplug the tuner for weeks at a time. And by the way this is also why so many consumer electronics gave up internal batteries for supercaps. Battery sits there not getting used or charge-cycled just deteriorates until it's completely useless. (Hmmm... that reminds me I should probably retrofit a supercap solution into the Yamaha tuner I have with an ancient dead battery.)

2chanman
02-22-2010, 01:50 PM
TommyV:
My remote seems to work well enough. Of course I tend to use it aimed right at the tuner on a straight line from the face of the tuner. It isn't the most robust remote I've seen but it is at least adequate.

Punker X
02-23-2010, 07:15 AM
Mike -

The IR eye is on the front board down on the left next to the display... as noted this is a 'known complaint'. I've bounced this around for a while, my thoughts around this have been that as a first hack attempt, one could drill a hole straight out the panel, maybe even counter-sink it to improve the off-axis angle. As you say, this could be ugly. Might not be huge benefit either.

The high-spec way to do it would be to drill a very clean hole but then re-mount the IR cell (or a new one) actually out on the front panel so it is flush or at least 'clean' protrusion from the front panel.

All would be a lot of work for a minor problem though...



Yes I thought of that, but I don't like wiring things to the cover. Makes it difficult for future service.

vibroverbus
02-23-2010, 09:20 AM
Yes I thought of that, but I don't like wiring things to the cover. Makes it difficult for future service.

completely agree but still... no problem - use a little snap connector on the leads for quick disconnect when you pull the cover.
http://www.molex.com/pdm_docs/thumb/55482xx39thumb.GIF
http://www.molex.com/mx_upload/superfamily/wire_to_wire_connectors/wire_to_wire_connectors_bil.gif
(again knowing this is getting to be an aerospace overkill solution to a minor problem)

MarkMeyer
02-23-2010, 10:26 AM
Yeah, cell battery isn't really made for that kind of application. Basically never significantly drawn down, and no 'intelligent' charging... not what it was engineered for.

That's why I think a supercap is THE solution for this unless for some reason one needs to unplug the tuner for weeks at a time. And by the way this is also why so many consumer electronics gave up internal batteries for supercaps. Battery sits there not getting used or charge-cycled just deteriorates until it's completely useless. (Hmmm... that reminds me I should probably retrofit a supercap solution into the Yamaha tuner I have with an ancient dead battery.)

I don't disagree with the cell battery comment. But while I don't need battery backup that would last 5.3 years, I would like a backup plan that would allow maybe a month or so of memory backup.

So I'm thinking of using the stacked button cell NimH that Julian Hardstone shows. He doesn't mention the capacity of the battery, but I'd like to think it would be good for months instead of just days.
And since it's a tabbed battery, when it does fail, replacing it would be nothing more than a minor nuisance.

On the other hand, I'm wondering how much time you could buy with a super capacitor.
I'm using my XDR-F1HD as the tuner for my garage system now, so not only might it sit for weeks at a time between uses, it also has to put up with the heat of a Houston summer.
I also don't want to use a fan unless absolutely necessary, so I've put 5/8" feet on it, and am thinking of opening up the top of the case and putting in a screen as well. But no fan unless push comes to shove.

To add a general comment, I'm also with those who am very impressed with the out-of-the-box performance of this little guy. I was genuinely surprised at how much fuller it sounded compared to my other vintage tuners.
I also don't hear the treble muting that some do. Maybe it's my old ears, but I dont' even feel it's necessary to remove the four caps as earlier noted to improve treble response.
The only things I intend to address are the memory backup issue, and the cooling issue. Other than that, this "cheap" little tuna is a refreshing surprise in this modern age when you typically have to pay more to get less.

Urizen
02-23-2010, 04:09 PM
Installed mine today after putting some 5/8" rubber feet on the bottom. It runs slightly warm, but not hot. It's got great selectivity and sounds fine to my ears. I couldn't be happier for $79 shipped.

2chanman
02-24-2010, 05:25 PM
MarkMayer:
I use a pair of super caps in parallel in my XDR-F1HD for memory extension. It seems to be good for about two days. Since I use the tuner daily, that is sufficient. I have had to redo the resets only twice in about a year and a half of use.
A 12 volt DC fan run at 5 volts DC is quiet and reliable for cooling. Mine is mounted on the louvers on the top of the case. I draw air through the entire tuner ( I blocked off every air entry point except the bottom louver) and the tuner runs cool. It has proved to be a trouble free method of cooling the tuner. Running the fan at 5 volts will extend the fan's life considerablyly, as well as the life of the tuner. I consider merely adding higher feet to the tuner to be totally inadequate for cooling purposes.