Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Auburn, WA (somewhere between Seattle and Tacoma)
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Here in the Seattle area (I'm way down in Auburn) I mostly listen to KING-FM (classical) and KPLU-FM (jazz), sometimes to KWJZ-FM (cool/jazz). KING and KPLU offer programming on all three channels, the second being essentially no commercials and few interruptions--if you don't mind the somewhat Muzak quality of the signal. There are plenty of HD stations and still a few analog stations, I just haven't listened to them very much to get an idea of programming and quality.
AM in the Seattle area has almost nothing to interest me; I think I can pull in two HD stations, one of them Disney, but very little music to be had. Possibly a much better antenna will be required. Everything else ranges from obnoxious talk to sports to whatever survives on AM these days. So I can't make a good judgement on HD AM and that's disappointing.
My Sony HD tuner plows through multipath, virtually eliminating distortion with just the supplied dipole randomly mounted. For a while I could pull in a Canadian station on 98.5 with a listenable signal--not bad! I hope to put up a directional outdoor antenna with rotator and get back into DXing.
Sound quality varies with station; at least KING and KPLU have decent quality and I believe the Sony HD tuner compares well with most any analog tuner--especially when reception is problematic. I wish Sony would build a more "audiophile" version based on this chipset with more attention to audio quality and digital outputs. However, it seems that the XDR-F1HD is in short supply and possibly no longer in production; I don't know if that's a result of the economy or a possible new model in the works to replace it.