Interesting Question...unresolved yet...FM tuner vs CDP

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jay_WJ, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Jay_WJ

    Jay_WJ Auditioning

    Nov 28, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Why FM radio sounds better than CDP to my ear?

    This question has not been answered satisfactorily. I have an Onkyo Integra tuner which is more than 25 years old, and usually listen to classical music broadcast by my local (Columbus, Ohio) FM station. It sounds so good--of course, I know about the physical limitations of FM in SN ratio, channel separation, dynamic range, etc.---that my CD always sounds harsh and dry...something missing, artificial in there, compared to it. That's why I've replaced several CDPs---variety of new and used CDPs and DACs within my budget---, which ended up with the current Nad C541i which has balanced, warm, neutral sound to my ear, compared to other things I tried. BUT it still doesn't match my tuner. The problem is strings and bass sound from my Redbook CD collection. HDCD is much better and I really enjoy some of them on my C541i.

    Why is this? Doesn't my FM station use redbook CDs to play music? Is their CDP much better than consumer CDPs? Spending thousands of dollars on a CDP can resolve this? Or something magical occurs in FM signal transformation? Or whatever...?

    Anyone can answer?
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    May 10, 1999
    Likes Received:
    The FM transmission chain probably does add some... "blurring" to the signal that would probably effectively filter out (particularly) high-frequency garbage.

    If I were to make a shot-in-the-dark guess, I wouldn't be surprised if your local broadcaster was using a Tascam CD player; they're one of the sort of "standards" of industry, with probably Denon, Marantz, Sony, and maybe Panasonic industrial players trailing in the distance.

    I've occassionally wondered; if you recall there used to be a lot of "1-bit vs. 16-24bit" D-A marketing going on, the oversampling, the digital vs. analog filtering, et cetera..

    They don't talk about that much any more.

    Now, in my case, when my antique Sony CDP-190 dies, I'll probably go to something with a digital out to the amplifier.


Share This Page