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Sony XDR-F1HD Technical Review - Page 6

post #151 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

>>the AM sensitivity is so bad HD won't come in at night.<<

HD isn't reliable at night on AM anyway. I see that KFYI drops to 1000w at night. You'd have to be pretty close to the transmitter to pull a HD lock off of that.

Who cares? Analog AM at night is one hell of a pain to try to listen to unless you live in a metro area in tune to one of the locals.
post #152 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post

Who cares? Analog AM at night is one hell of a pain to try to listen to unless you live in a metro area in tune to one of the locals.

I live in a *very* metro area, central Orange County, CA. All of our AM HD stations come in loud and clear at night - in analog. Only one, KNX, delivers a reliable nighttime HD lock.

If KFI turns their HD back on when they fire up their new tower, it'll be two.
post #153 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by narkspud View Post

I live in a *very* metro area, central Orange County, CA. All of our AM HD stations come in loud and clear at night - in analog. Only one, KNX, delivers a reliable nighttime HD lock.

If KFI turns their HD back on when they fire up their new tower, it'll be two.

Who still has it on at night besides KNX and KFWB?
post #154 of 359
>Who cares? Analog AM at night is one hell of a pain to try to listen to unless you live in a metro area in tune to one of the locals.

I live in the Phoenix area and want to listen to AM but still can't get HD to stay locked in on KFYI at night even with a big outside antenna. The problem is that HD won't kick in unless the signal is so strong that it pegs the signal strength meter. Even when it has all three bars it still won't come in sometimes. I think some enterprising law firm would have a good case for a class action suit against all the crooked companies in the HD group who are selling us this kind of crap claiming it's HD when HD won't even work reliably. There's such a thing as a guarantee of merchantability which means that something is supposed to be suited for the purpose it's being sold for and the Sony HD certainly doesn't meet that requirement.
Another problem is with all the hack reviewers that are lying to us when they write good reviews for this unit. Every review I could find said it has a very sensitive tuner when that's just not the case. It doesn't work as well as the average car radio. If the reviewers are comparing it to the typical AM/FM tuner that has just average reception on FM and poor on AM because they think nobody listens to AM then I can see how they made that kind of mistake but I don't think they are that stupid so they must be lying just to mislead the consumers.
post #155 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

I think some enterprising law firm would have a good case for a class action suit against all the crooked companies in the HD group who are selling us this kind of crap claiming it's HD when HD won't even work reliably. There's such a thing as a guarantee of merchantability which means that something is supposed to be suited for the purpose it's being sold for and the Sony HD certainly doesn't meet that requirement.

You wouldn't believe the crap that crooked companies are pulling. For example I can't receive acceptable FM stereo in the building I work at. The multipath is so bad that all I get is painfully distorted sound.

I wonder if I should file a lawsuit about this. I'm in the middle of a downtown area and clearly FM stereo should work here if anywhere. They've been working on this for over fifty years and they still can't get this rotten system to work.
post #156 of 359
Go for it! I remember when I worked in Phoenix it was hard to get reception inside the office. Some people resorted to putting XM radio sets in their cubes. They couldn't get the satellite of course but the local repeater came in just fine. Out where I live I'm several miles out of town and there's nothing in the way and I can see the transmitting towers from my roof so I don't have a problem with multipath distortion or anything like that, I only need good selectivity and sensitivity. The Sony works about as well as other AM/FM receivers on FM, that is it will only get the strong stations well but not the weaker low power stations. The Honda radio in the car gets lower power stations just fine with the little whip antenna that are not listenable on the Sony with a big roof top antenna. On AM the loop antenna is worthless and won't pick up anything inside but hum and noise. Even with an outside antenna the only stations that come in reliably in HD on AM are KFYI and KMIK, the Disney channel and the Disney channel is the only one that comes it reliably in HD at night. That's a major failure for HD in my opinion.
post #157 of 359
After listening to you guys go on incessantly about how swell this radio is, I ordered the fool thing, and it just arrived.

I'm in my office in Santa Ana, CA, surrounded by computers and concrete walls that block every signal in the world, including cell phones, and I'm listening to KPCC-FM Pasadena. 37 miles away, 600 watts. It's in full stereo, and the signal is perfectly clean.

File me under "impressed."
post #158 of 359
That's nothing, a 600 watt station should be a piece of cake. I can get KNRJ 92.7 FM from a 10-watt translator broadcasting from South Mountain in Phoenix.
The problem is it comes in worse on the Sony than any other radio I have in the house and they are all 12-15 years old.
post #159 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

That's nothing, a 600 watt station should be a piece of cake.

Did you not read the part about "concrete walls that block every signal in the world"?
post #160 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Did you not read the part about "concrete walls that block every signal in the world"?

Obviously they don't.
post #161 of 359
My Honda car radio would probably pick up a 300 watt station in there behind "concrete walls that block every signal in the world", maybe even a 200 watter. LOL
post #162 of 359
I have the radio at home now, and I suppose I could gush about how well it's doing picking up stereo signals that weren't even listenable in mono on my Onkyo (KOLA, woot!), but the troll's panties would get in a bunch.

If it makes him feel any better, I think the analog AM sounds horrible (every bit as bad as, but completely different than the Sangean), and I can't get an HD lock on any AM stations. That's par for the course in this apartment, though, and the FM alone makes the radio worth WAY more than the measley $50 I'm going to end up paying for it. I shall try the AM HD again in the AM.

Just curious ... has anybody managed to get it to lock onto 87.75 (channel 6 audio)? We have a low-power channel 6 here operating as an FM (with full modulation and FM stereo pilot, and yes it's LOUD on a TV), but the F1HD can't pick up a usable signal on it, either on 87.7 or 87.8. I promise not to start a rant about it if it's not possible, nor will it put a crimp in my radio listening habits. I'm just curious if it can be done.
post #163 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

Obviously they don't.

That was a "hyperbole" and it doesn't change the validity of what he said. It's better information that what stations you think you might be able to hear on your car radio.
post #164 of 359
When I worked in a box store FM came in as good as AM would sound. AM you really couldn't hear at all. Oddly enough I could get CRI on shortwave but couldn't get a local AM station! Sometimes the antennas would be odd...mlb playoffs someone brought in a cheap tv and tried to rig up the metal drop down metal bay door as an antenna...worked a bit.
post #165 of 359
A few months ago I acquired the new Sony STR DG820 AVR, primarily to decode the BR and HDDVD advanced audio formats.
The AVR feeds 7.1 speakers and does an admirable job. But if there is ever a poll of the worst tuners on the market the 820 would surely make the top 10.

Located at 540 feet ASL in La Jolla at most 20 percent of the available FM stations are properly received. AM is equally bad. In comparison, my 25 year old Heathkit AJ15 tuner puts the 820 to shame.
My location is so good that all 11 DTV broadcasts in San Diego county and 4 in baja California are 100% on the Vizio 52 inch LCD TV, the Sony HD250 HDTV recorder using a small roof top RS UHF ant. Moreover the Kworld TVPlus USB tuner feeding the computer receives all SD county DTV stations using a UHF indoor loop hanging on the wall.

So Sunday 7 Sept I bought the Sony HD tuner at Fry's. With the supplied FM dipole and AM loop ant the Sony is far superior to the 820 (which does not do HD).
KOGO is the only HD AM in San Diego and shows a solid HD lock day and night. KNX HD in LA shows a solid HD lock by day and a 3 bar flashing HD lock at night.

I have not yet tried tuning all the HD FM stations in SD county but the seven I have preset are all solid.

For FM the 820 foot Mt Soledad located 2 miles directly north shields me from receiving the LA area FM stations. Still a low power non HD FM at 90.7 broadcasting classical music from the Escondido area comes in well (the 820 cannot get that at all) and KPBS HD Classical (89.5) is solid as a rock.

The Sony HD feeds a 15 year old pair of Yamaha powered speakers (has a tone control) and sounds good. Tested feeding Sony HD to the 820 AVR feeding a pair of KEF studio monitor L /R speakers, Celestion 3 center speaker and a Velodyne subwoofer. With the latter setup it is easy to hear audio anomalies if present, but the audio sounds clean.

BTW K6STI's post and links to his elaborate analysis of this HD tuner are greatly appreciated by this (retired) EE.

Color me satisfied
post #166 of 359
Has anyone tried this Ramsey amplified antenna with the Sony or other HD radio on AM? It seems like that would be just the thing to help make up for the poor AM performance of the Sony and make it possible to listen to HD stations at night on AM if the antenna really works as claimed. I can't find any reviews of it or anything that says if it can get HD stations or not though.
http://www.amazon.com/Ramsey-SM100-S...22912&sr=1-148
post #167 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

Has anyone tried this Ramsey amplified antenna with the Sony or other HD radio on AM? It seems like that would be just the thing to help make up for the poor AM performance of the Sony and make it possible to listen to HD stations at night on AM if the antenna really works as claimed. I can't find any reviews of it or anything that says if it can get HD stations or not though.
http://www.amazon.com/Ramsey-SM100-S...22912&sr=1-148

I smell snake oil, but would like a more informed opinion as well.
post #168 of 359
The manual for the SM100 antenna has a parts list that says it uses a 7.5" ferrite core. That's no bigger than one in a portable transistor radio from Radio Shack so I doubt that it performs any better than a portable radio.
post #169 of 359
I live in Massachusetts. Anyone know of any brick and mortar retail stores that sell the XDR-F1HD outside of NYC? Sony stores don't carry it and their site's "dealer locater" doesn't work.

Already checked: circuit city, best buy, target, walmart, sonystyle store.

Yes I know where to order it on line, but I'm never home to sign for the UPS guy so it is much easier for me to buy at a physical store.

Thanks.
post #170 of 359
Order it from Amazon. I don't usually have to sign for UPS unless it's insured so they generally just toss it in my yard and leave. If FedEx or DHL brings it they don't even stop, just toss it out as they drive by!
post #171 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

I live in Massachusetts. Anyone know of any brick and mortar retail stores that sell the XDR-F1HD outside of NYC? Sony stores don't carry it and their site's "dealer locater" doesn't work.

Already checked: circuit city, best buy, target, walmart, sonystyle store.

Yes I know where to order it on line, but I'm never home to sign for the UPS guy so it is much easier for me to buy at a physical store.

Thanks.

Only store I ever saw it at here was Fry's.
post #172 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

Order it from Amazon. I don't usually have to sign for UPS unless it's insured so they generally just toss it in my yard and leave. If FedEx or DHL brings it they don't even stop, just toss it out as they drive by!



+1. I actually received mine the day after I ordered it! It was left under my mailbox. My deliverymen actually stop before they toss it in the yard!
post #173 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by ti-triodes View Post

+1. I actually received mine the day after I ordered it! It was left under my mailbox. My deliverymen actually stop before they toss it in the yard!

Same here. I have ordered tons of stuff from Amazon (including both Sony HD Radios) and they just drop the shipment and leave.
post #174 of 359
I was tuning in the Sony XDR-F1HD that I just bought and I am quite impressed by how sensitive the tuner is on this radio. Right now I am using this into the auxiliary input jack on my Cambridge SoundWorks Radio 730. I am considering getting a pair of speakers to use with this and I am wondering what others here have used. I also have noticed that the receiver appears to be similar to some Sony bookshelf systems,
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665099039
but it looks like they do have different dimensions. Anyway, does anybody know what Sony speakers would work well with this?

These are some low priced Sony speakers and I am wondering if this is what comes with their systems.
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665191299

Also, I did check for reviews and although CNET has them listed, they haven't actually reviewed them yet.
http://reviews.cnet.com/separate-spe...-32459627.html
post #175 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec50 View Post

Order it from Amazon. I don't usually have to sign for UPS unless it's insured so they generally just toss it in my yard and leave. If FedEx or DHL brings it they don't even stop, just toss it out as they drive by!

I should hope they don't try to get by doing that when it's raining. Or would they first just wrap in plastic and then throw it?
post #176 of 359
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post

I should hope they don't try to get by doing that when it's raining. Or would they first just wrap in plastic and then throw it?


My UPS guy puts leaves deliveries in a big clear bag when it's raining.

YMMV
post #177 of 359
Last night I was able to pick up KCBS/San Francisco in HD at about 10 PM in Southern Los Angeles County (Rancho Palos Verdes). Locked on for about 10 seconds at a time. This was using the Sony.
post #178 of 359
http://reviews.cnet.com/radio-tuners...CarouselArea.4

We have already discussed that here, of course, but is interesting to read another take on this.
post #179 of 359
It amazes me that Sony fanboys like Jim1348 are always talking about how sensitive the tuner in the Sony is when it doesn't work as well as the average car radio. I guess a lot of you have never seen a decent radio before in order to have something to compare the Sony to. Wait, you have! Just go out and sit in your car for a few minutes, tune across the AM and FM band and compare the reception to the Sony and you will see how bad it is, especially on AM.
Anyway, I gave up on the Sony and bought a Sangean HDT-1X and it's much better than the Sony in every respect. It looks like Sangean actually put some thought into their product and it doesn't look like the project of electronics lab 101 that was instructed to try and see if they could make an HD radio out of off the shelf parts for a class project. Reception on FM is identical to the Sony but AM is slightly better since the Sangean has an RF amp. at the input. It also has the other annoyances fixed and keeps the favorite settings when power is lost and lets you tune by inputting the frequency on the remote and it doesn't overheat. The time is lost when power goes off but that's all. It did cost twice as much but I like it a lot better over all.
post #180 of 359
Yeah, the Onkyo T-4555 is better than both the Sony and Sangean at $349, but with it's lack of features and quirks, i had to go back to my Yamaha TX-1000. I think serious mid-range tuners are a thing of the past.
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