Originally Posted by wickerman67
I may return it to swap out another 820hd to see if my unit was defective. The analog sensitivity with the whip and dipole is horrible. Obviously that would affect the overall range of the HD signal. In my JVC the HD range is 35-40 miles. On the Cambridge I cannot receive an analog signal from that distance even if I move the Dipole near a window. When I receive the replacement unit I might just kept anyway since it does work good with my rooftop. It is very selective and might make a good DXer. I just won't keep it permanently hooked up in my system since my DX champ is an Onkyo T9090II hooked up to the rooftop and I aslo listen to HD in my system by way of a Yamaha RX V4600. As I said in a previous post sensitivity with the yamaha is not a problem even in analog mode since it uses the same tuner as the rest of their AV receivers. I guess they know how to shield the digital sections. If any local retailers carry the Sangean in the near future I will give it a try. The Polk is just too expensive.
I hope your 2nd unit is better, but realistically I think it would probably b the same. I am keeping my unit as I bought it at a discount from a seller on Amazon.com and it is not under the Cambridge Soundworks guarantee. I don't want to hassle with a return with the seller since I think they are going to charge me 15% restocking fee if I want to return it. I have not asked for a return directly from them InfinitySales.com but in all correspondence with them so far, they were giving me that impression saying only that they will exchange the unit if it was defective. No matter, I like the radio overall and wll be keeping it. It is feature packed compared to all other HD table radios available at this time. The sound is as good as HD can deliver so no problem there.
I just today connected the digital optical output of the 820HD to my Pioneer VSX-49Txi high end receiver. I am surprised as you have already mentioned that they did did not implement this optical out as a true fixed line out, instead they have it tied to the speakers signal output where you have to plug in an earphone plug to disable the speakers. The volume control (as you have mentioned) controls the optical line output and also all the tone controls effect the optical line out signal! This I guess can be a plus as well as a minus depending on what you desire. But I find it a bit awkward that you have to disable the internal speakers sound by plugging in a mini plug into the earphones jack. What were they thinking!?! Shows that they were rushing to get this model out to market or just not experienced well thinking engineers.
Okay, with that said and out of the way, I found out that I had a Ham Radio interference filter in-line with my outdoor rooftop antenna cable which adds further attenuation to weaken the signal to my FM receivers. I removed that filter and now my 820HD receives that 88.3 WBGO Jazz station out of NJ without a problem. It locks on all the signals that my Sangean HDT-1 tuner locks onto now and in doing listening tests comparing the two, they both sound very good. The Sangean HDT-1 however is using its analog line outputs to my receiver while the 820HD optical output is using the built in higher quality DACs of my Pioneer receiver. The 820HD optical feed sounds fantastic and has a little bit more prominent highs (brighter) compared to the Sangean HDT-1 analog feed. It may be the differences between the Pioneers DAC processing versus the Sangean tuner's own built in DAC or it may just be the 820HD tuner's sound is a wee bit brighter due to its own amplification circuitry characteristics (after all we now know that its audio path is going through the 820HD's preamp and tone control circuit processor before leaving the optical line output). Really though, there is hardly any difference in sound from both devices. The bass rise I earlier reported and was hearing in the Sangean HDT-1 tuner audio outs has all but subsided (I don't hear the heavy bass boost anymore!) I think the cheap electrolytic capacitor's used in the unit had to reform and break-in after sitting on the shelf for who knows how long. Electrolytic capacitors can behave like this. I have no other explanation as nothing else in my system has changed.
Both tuners sound great. The Cambridge Soundworks 820HD used with my outdoor antenna is serving me just as good or better than my Sangean HDT-1 tuner now, so I am happy with it.
The AM section on the 820HD is just as good if not better than the one in the Sangean HDT-1 tuner. The 820D seems to have wider audio passband (bandwidth) and you can easily hear much more highs than compared to Sangean HDT-1 which has an seems to have a sharp high freq cut and roll-off. Sangean sounds better to me on just talk shows (which is most of the AM stations by me) because you don't hear all the splattery sounding sibilances. The 820HD will be better for AM music stations when there is any. The 820Hd is the more accurate and better of the two when it comes to AM reception and quality.
So I am getting to like my 820HD radio more now, since I can use it as a component tuner in my hi-fi system when I want too. It's main purpose will be in the bedroom serving alarm clock duty. I love the fact that they allow you to set the two alarms independently and for weekdays only, weekends only, daily, once modes. Very nice there. But wish they would have implemented a sound level ramp up like the JBL Ontime IPOD speaker clock radio has. The 820HD alarm radio will just blast out at whatever level you set it to come on at and can shock you awake! That I don't like, but it is a minor gripe.
I also noticed that the LCD brightness automatically adjusts its brightness to the ambient room light levels. It works well but I wish they would have allowed manual brightness adjustment also.
Good luck on your 2nd 820HD should you decide to go that route!