Yeah, it does suck. I bought mine from Amazon last year on sale for $80-something. I love it. If you check Amazon now you will have a chuckle, someone is selling a new unit for the low, low price of $599.99!
It's a great component, but it's not THAT great. Heck, I'd be willing to cut that price by 60% and sell mine (albeit used) for the bargain basement remuneration of only $240!
That would beat out the used one on sale at Amazon for only $250 - what a deal!
I hate the short cycle turnaround in electronics products these days that dictates "constant improvements" and planned obsolescence, though I suppose it is a necessary evil for the manufacturers. There is barely enough time to determine if a product is of sufficient quality to justify investment before it disappears from the shelves.
Brian, K6STI, has some nice mods on his site, ref'ed elsewhere in this thread, including a fix for (2). He's also modified that site to include some alternate procedures for flattening the treble roll-off problem by adding some feedback capacitance (vice removing some smallish surface mounts).
I've been investigating retrofitting a digital output - may have some news about this in the future. I wish Sony would put out a no-holds-barred tuner, based on this design, that incorporates digital outs and fixes all the warts, but I suspect they've (rightly?) concluded HD Radio is limited in terms of ROI.
Tuners in general are very limited in terms of ROI. Who the heck buys a separate tuner for their A/V system these days? Every receiver has acceptable AM and FM reception for the few people who listen to the radio at home.
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