FM Radio without an aerial…

Possibly academic interest only, but…

Has anyone tried feeding (say) a BBC Radio 3 internet radio stream via an fm modulator into a Naim tuner?

The interweb throws up a number of (cheap) modulators intended for car audio use (which I guess should work… ), but nothing obvious of a ‘quality’ nature other than professional fm transmitters. I suspect they do exist, but I’m not searching with the right keywords.

Calling @Simon-in-Suffolk , calling @Mike-B !

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No, not even thought about it.

How much use does your NAT05 get?

Hi AndyR, daily with morning local & national news and background music. Then some serious listened depending on whatever is programmed.

How does it compare to an internet feed of the same programme via the NDX?

I’ve always felt I should have bought a NAT05 twenty years ago, but never did, so it’s not a comparison I can easily make. I know I could still find one, but getting an aerial on the roof is more of a palaver!

In some respects the iRadio on NDX is a touch more dyninamic, brighter, detailed. .
I suspect the FM pilot tone filter that cuts reception above 15kHz plays a part in that.
It depends on the music, live R3 broadcasts are better on FM, but with all music the difference is marginal.

I live aprx 3 miles from the main 46kW transmitter at Beckley, my RS Galaxy-14 is mounted in the attic, it looks staight down the roof line & is only a few degres off beam.
But in reality with a 46kW signal over 3 miles, a bit of damp string would work.

I had the NAT05 XS for a number of years. However, with threat of turning FM off and the growth in internet radio, part exchanged for some other Naim / Linn gear during one of the upgrades.

Now I use the radio section on my Linn Klimax DS3.


Some listeners are vocal about preferring fm reception. I’m left wondering where the differences are introduced. The 320kbps internet stream is (as far as I understand it) likely to be technically the highest quality as it’s completely uncompressed; the fm feed goes through multi band dynamic compression and is digitally distributed before being modulated, broadcast, received, demodulated, listened to…

I guess the live feeds might be treated differently.

A NAT 05 is much better than iRadio on NDX and NDS,when I have compared.
The analogue tuner sound is so real and fluid.Direct live FM broadcast is better than any format.


So - if you were to feed the output of your NDX/NDS into your NAT05 via a (quality) fm modulator… would you prefer it to a direct feed?

I haven’t tried that, what would the benefit be ?.I use a Magnum Dynalab ST2 antenna,

look like this and are about 140 cm long.

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Sorry. I see my post was ambiguous. I was wondering if you felt your digital sources would sound better if they were routed through your analogue tuner.

Edit - I guess there are some caveats around which stations you are listening to, and what ‘Direct live FM broadcast’ means.

I see,I try to avoid digital as much as possible.
Direct Live FM broadcast is when a band plays and the sound is directly broadcasted,not stored on any media first.

The radio broadcast distribution path is entirely digital up to the terrestrial (airwaves) stage.

Indeed. Do you know what codec the BBC uses for distribution? If I ever knew, I’ve forgotten…

Which Linn App are you using?

I’m a bit out of touch these days, but as I understand it they use NICAM at 14 bit sample rate.


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Yes. Distribution using NICAM3 still in 2020 as far as I can deduce, so probably still is. 14 bits dynamically companded to 10 and a 32kHz-odd sampling rate. Hi res it ain’t!

Some interesting stuff on the interweb about the history…

This one from the Apple App Store.