Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:06 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 39 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Waverley, NS, CA
How should an FM tuner s/q compare to CD on the same system?

I know there are a lot of variables for the cd and tuner equipment, so assuming both mid-ware of
similar quality. NAD 446 tuner and Cambridge Audio 851C player.


Last edited by allgonoshow on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:15 am
Posts: 4586
Location: Newmarket, ON, CA
Pretty certain FM limits the audio signal to 15kHz so that is an obvious difference. As to the practical, i.e. perceivable, consequences of such a limit, well that's another matter which has the potential for heated/spirited debate (to put it mildly).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:22 am 
Offline
Premium User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 18449
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
From a purely technical standpoint, the sound quality difference should be enormous.

Under ideal/perfect theoretical conditions on a TOTL tuner and a top notch FM transmitter with an unobstructed line of sight reception:

FM radio has a maximum frequency bandwidth of 30Hz to 15KHz +/- 1db
FM radio has a maximum S/N ratio around 80db
FM radio has a minimum THD of 0.1%
FM radio is affected by things like multipath distortion caused by things like mountains and buildings, adjacent FM station rejection, AM station rejection, etc... reducing the effective maximum S/N to around 60db.

The typical mid-fi CD player:

Frequency bandwidth of 10Hz to 20KHz +/- 0.2db
S/N of around 100db
THD between 0.2 to 0.5%

So, theoretically, FM radio lacks the subterranean bass and shimmering highs of the CD, is between 100 and 10,000 (typically 1,000X) times noisier than CD but THD at least half of CD and is affected by all sorts of other problems that CD is not. So, in theoretically at least, FM radio SHOULD sound like absolute crap compared to CD.

But in real life, under most conditions and with top notch stations with quality programming, FM radio sound absolutely wonderful. Who could have guessed?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:34 am
Posts: 2513
Location: Medicine Hat, AB, CA
Another proof that measurements are mere design tools and don't tell you diddly squat about the perceived SQ of a component / format / medium or what have you.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:56 pm
Posts: 1216
Location: Milton, ON, CA
I agree with everything posted above however sometimes my tuner is preferable to my ayre dac. I think we mean determining factor is the Recording and of paramount importance is the fact that no compression is used by the station. There are a lot of factors that make up a good FM set up but when it's right, it's right... When it's right it just sounds so sweet, natural and immersive


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:35 am
Posts: 239
Location: Oakville, ON, CA
Don't know if this helps you, but I have a pretty good cd player (Roksan Caspian), Rega P3 with Clear Audio cartridge and a Accuphase 100 tuner. Playing CBC Radio 2, when the reception is best (at night), I think the tuner is the best sounding source. Of course, this is my subjective opinion.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:34 am
Posts: 2513
Location: Medicine Hat, AB, CA
ugly-dougly wrote:
Don't know if this helps you, but I have a pretty good cd player (Roksan Caspian), Rega P3 with Clear Audio cartridge and a Accuphase 100 tuner. Playing CBC Radio 2, when the reception is best (at night), I think the tuner is the best sounding source. Of course, this is my subjective opinion.


Yes, FM radio can sound sublime and often does, to my ears. The problem is though: the actual source of FM broadcast may be a CD player. What gives?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2305
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I sometimes wonder if FM stations still broadcast from disks. A local station has street level windows into the studio and a few weeks ago I peeked in while walking by and there was no sign of any media around, only a computer screen. Most stations also air the same over the internet so would it all be compressed format?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Waverley, NS, CA
Thanx for the replies.

I added a NAD 446 Tuner to my kit last week and the fm s/q was disappointing, especially the bass,
compared to the cd player.
I choose that tuner as it has Wi-Fi for internet radio as well.

No biggie, I'll fool around with it, I think I can run the tuner thru the cd player, it should have better dac's in it and may sound better.


Last edited by allgonoshow on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:31 pm
Posts: 312
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I found using balanced outputs on an FM tuner makes a big difference(if it is equipped with them).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:37 pm
Posts: 2735
Location: London, ON, CA
If FM broadcasts were even close to CD quality, FM would not be free...

Regards
Ohms

_________________
When you feel the need to upgrade, buy what you like, not what we want...
I stand for the National Anthem.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Waverley, NS, CA
AudiOhm wrote:
If FM broadcasts were even close to CD quality, FM would not be free...

Regards
Ohms


that's kind of true, it's free to the user but sponsored by ads


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:29 am
Posts: 300
Location: Simcoe, ON, CA
I listen to fm a lot in my shop, I'm in a bit of a fringe area but with an st-2 Antenna and booster it's not half bad , love the old analog tuners .


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:37 pm
Posts: 3402
Location: Rural, MB, CA
No clue what it is about FM... must be the beautiful sound of distortion


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Tuner vs cd s/q
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 52
Location: Laval, QC, CA
Like all music lovers, you've probably realized that the sound quality of FM stations is far from being considered high fidelity. The technology used for FM stereo broadcasts, though dating back nearly fifty years, has a relatively high potential to offer a very high fidelity sound. Unfortunately, in their race for advertisements and radio ratings, broadcasters completely ignore the sound quality of their programs and follow a principle which is based on the illusion that an average level of modulation constantly capped at 100%, can attract more listeners. As a result, the music broadcasted is compressed and processed by specialized devices that have the function to strip the music of all its dynamic range so as to offer a limited and screaming sound quality even at low volume. This is one of the main reasons why many listeners, audiophiles and music lovers have abandoned listening to FM broadcasts as a source of high quality music.
This is all the more serious that even with the advent of new technologies, such as digital broadcasting, the sound quality of broadcasts may not improve. The CRTC and Industry Canada having no mandate to monitor the quality of the transmitted sound, the door remains open to all sorts of aberrations at this level.

In order to give a voice to all those who are dissatisfied with the quality of the broadcasts on the FM band, educate broadcasters to this serious problem, demonstrate the true potential of FM stereo broadcasts and prove our dedication to high fidelity, we have set-up and conducted a unique Canadian demonstration of the full potential of high-fidelity stereo broadcasts on the FM band during the 2004 “Son et Image” annual Montreal audio show in collaboration with the Harris company based in the US, one of the best manufacturers of FM transmitter gear in the world.
Consequently we put our expertise and know-how in sound engineering in the field of broadcasting for the benefit of audiophiles, broadcasters and high-fidelity while raising awareness of the potential of existing technologies.
The design of the transmitting station was exclusive to us and used the top of the line Harris DigitCD FM exciter as the transmitter connected to an external antenna and having as a source the top of the line Accuphase CD player.
A reception post was set-up with the top of the line Magnum Dynalab tuner connected to the top of the line Stax electrostatic headphones system through a two way switcher which allowed the listener to switch randomly between the tuner output and the output of the CD player.
The equipment used have been carefully calibrated and controlled by strict standards to ensure the accuracy of the demonstration and the high quality of the broadcast worthy of the “high fidelity” appellation. Representatives from FM stations and the press were invited to attend the demonstration.

No one of the attendees of the show has been able to identify correctly the source of the sound, through the tuner or directly from the CD player. To everyone, they both sounded practically the same.
Tests have been also conducted in one of the rooms at the show through a full size high quality stereo system.
At the end, the demonstration proved that stereo broadcasts on the FM band have the potential to offer a very high fidelity sound approaching the quality of the source if the broadcaster has the necessary technical knowledge, equipment, willingness and conscience aimed towards high fidelity.

In terms of transmitter technical specs, they were very challenging:

Stereo Separation: 65dB or greater, 10Hz to 15kHz.
Frequency Response: 10Hz to 15kHz ±0.2dB
FM Signal To Noise Ratio: 83dB
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.005% or less for any modulating frequency from 10Hz to 15kHz
Intermodulation Distortion: 0.005%
Transient Intermodulation Distortion: 0.008%

The best tuners have technical specs close, equal or better in some aspects with respect to the transmitter specs herein-above.
Audiophiles interested in picking up high quality FM stations, supposing that there are some in their geographical area, should invest in a high quality tuner and a Yagi style, multi-element directional antenna with shielded high quality coaxial cable in order to have a clean, multipath free and strong antenna input signal for the tuner to process.

_________________
Audiodoctor007 - http://www.audiodoctor007.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 39 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group