Is there anything more
fun than listening to E Skip? Or staying up all night logging long haul
tropo, or going to bed at 4am and getting up for work at 8?
Sony XDR-F1HD AM/FM Tuner
This unit is a new tuner that just recently has become noticed by FM Dxers. I bought one of these when I learned that the tuner has over 80db of adjacent channel selectivity, very high sensitivity figures and great resistance to overload for the low, low price of about $100 US Dollars. Since I've already used a Sangean HDT-1, I wanted to know if this tuner could beat the Sangean in these categories.
I first read a positive review of this tuner by Brian Beezley of San Diego. Read the review yourself at http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm. A short time ago another review surfaced from Nick Langan, a WTFDA member. Nick's review was also positive. Then I found another review at http://home.comcast.net/~dlp85x/review.htm. Please read this review also because it contains much more information than I've included here.
Finally I went out and bought one on the internet. My total cost came to just over $100 for the unit.
The tuner is small (7" by 6" by 2" tall). An on/off switch and a display are located on the front. On the back you'll find the power cord and two RCA jacks for cables to an amplifier. There is no phone jack. The tuner is well designed and looks professional.
Mr. Beezley's measurement of 82db adjacent channel selectivity seems to be right on the mark and the unit is extremely sensitive and resistant to overload. I can aim my antenna right at local WMAS 94.7 in Springfield and hear WHOM in Mt. Washington without any splatter. When I point directly into WAQY 102.1 I can hear very weak splatter on 101.9 and 102.3, but I can also hear WJIV 101.9 Cherry Valley NY well over 100 miles to my west. Something else occasionally fades above the noise level on 102.3. With the antenna aimed at local WMAS-94.7 I can hear WKLL in Utica NY on 94.9 with almost no splatter. 94.5 is clear.
This tuner sounds good and does not have the raspy sound of the Sangean tuner. I actually enjoy listening to it.
I thought I'd miss not having a keypad for direct entry of frequencies, but I don't. I have my 18 presets entered and I use the remote to scan up/down the presets to get to the section of the band I want to work and use the regular up/down buttons to get to the frequency I want. The RDS display area on the LCD display is a little small, but the tuner will display the PS codes (not PI codes) and radiotext, if used by the station. The signal meter looks like a meter on a cellphone (3 bars), but it works.
In addition to RDS, this radio also decodes HD stations and does it well.
The bottom line of this review is that I really like this tuner and I've put my Carver TX-11 tuner away for retirement. The tuner is small so it takes up little space. The selectivity and sensitivity are HOT. The remote control is a real remote, not anything like the credit-card sized thing that serves as the Sangean HDT-1 remote. The Sony remote is a pleasure to use. The Sony just sounds good and is easy on the ears. The look of the Sony is easy on the eyes.
You cannot go wrong , especially for the low price. I like this tuner so much I'm buying one more for use elsewhere in the house.
This tuner is perfect for FM DXing purposes. Use it at home or take it on trips with you. It's small enough. It's a top-of-the-line professional DX tuner and a price you can't ignore. Save your pennies and pick up one of these. You will not regret it.
(PS...it's even a bit better on AM for HD decoding than the Sangean, but not much. HD radio is almost completely useless at night and it's hit or miss in the daytime anyway. Nothing can save HD radio on the AM band).
©2008 M. Bugaj
No reprints without permission.