FM Tuner with Digital Out

Looking for a recommendation. I listen to FM on my NDX-FM 90% of the time. I have a NAT05XS, but do not use it because I cannot use the Naim app to switch between it and the NDX for whole-house, as Record source cannot be remotely changed.

Therefore, I cannot consider trading up to NDX2 until I find a great tuner that will play through the NDX2. I think McIntosh do it. Any other ideas?

Internet radio just is not as good as FM, where both are available.

Thank you.

Nick

At the risk of making a truly unhelpful comment, is this question not an example of greatly overengineering a simple problem?

You can at least use the Naim app to switch inputs on the preamp via system automation. The only time you need to get out of your chair then is to change stations. Is that really worth ditching a perfectly decent tuner for? Or holding back on an upgrade you’d like to make?

Rewind 20 years and you’d have remote control over your CD player and volume but still have to get up to change stations on the tuner.

I suppose you could just keep the NDX (resulting in an NDX and NDX2) and use it as a tuner since it can be controlled via the app but the NAT will be better.

I take your point, FZ; but I think you are missing mine. Most of the time, I listen to my main system elsewhere than where it resides, in the living room. Listening there is a sublime luxury.

If I listen to the NAT05XS from e.g. my basement office, I cannot switch the whole-house source via any remote means — I have to go to the living room and press a bottom-row button on the NAC if I want an NDX source. All sources played through the NDX, including the on-board FM can be switched remotely, because the bottom-row selection never needs to change. The convenience of the NDX-FM cannot be equalled, as far as I can tell, for whole-house setups.

A NAC 202 and SN2 do not have the same issue as 282, 252, 552, and SN1 do, as they have only the one row of buttons. But at what cost to sound quality?

Not wingeing here; just looking for solutions to a puzzle. Love the hobby.

The McIntosh MR87/88 is bound to be pretty good, at $4500 new. I would have to jump out to that app to change stations; but that is more than I can do with the NAT05XS.

Nick

Hmmm, so seriously then, is keeping the NDX just for FM an option?

Alternatively… Buy a ADC. I think TEAC make some very affordable ones. Just sit it directly between the NAT and the NDX2.

I think the Naim Unitiqute and also some of the Arcam DAB/FM tuners can output FM digitally.

EDIT: It appears that quite a few FM/DAB tuners have digital outputs. The Denon TU-1800DAB for example. Only thing I cannot see is whether they output FM digitally or just DAB…

Isn’t Internet radio good enough for this use, listening somewhere else in the house?

Richard Dan posted
EDIT: It appears that quite a few FM/DAB tuners have digital outputs. The Denon TU-1800DAB for example. Only thing I cannot see is whether they output FM digitally or just DAB…

The Denon digital output is for DAB only.

Both are decent suggestions. I had ruled out #1, but like it better and better: I could swap in the NDX2 or ND555 where the Naim DAC sits. Hanging onto the NDX-FM would be better integrated, and cheaper than replacing it with the McIntosh tuner, though, I confess, I have always wanted one. :grin:

Thank you.

Nick

Hi, ricsimas. Thanks for the response. Given the choice, which I currently have, I would have to say, “No, it isn’t.” 1. I can hear the difference in all of my zones. 2. If I turn on a Tivoli FM radio in an adjacent room it plays in sync with FM from the NDX-FM (despite the A to D and D to A translation, which I find amazing.). Internet radio is delayed, causing echo effect.

If we Naim listeners weren’t particular, we would not be spending 10-20x more on Hi-Fi than our friends do. Eh? :grin:

Nick

Well, many of us seem to be able to listen to Tivolis, so it’s not like we need utmost precision at all times in every room. :wink:

That said, slight lag between them would drive me nuts, so I can understand. As someone that doesn’t do multi-room, I guess I just am not exposed to that sort of situation.

I’m getting more used to vTuner radio sound now, so whilst I started off in agreement with Nick about the relative quality of FM vs Internet radio, my bigger concern these days is that, even on a fully wired LAN, Internet radio simply cuts out from time to time. Usually a second or two, but sometimes much longer. Very frustrating.

Hi, mikeyjfs. I do not have too many issues with iRadio dropouts these days, when I use it. I think local network robustness issues are the usual culprit, though drops in services outside of our control do take place.

I admit to enjoying uninterrupted whole-house FM during router reboots. :smile:

Nick

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