Hitachi FT5500 MkII AM/FM Radio Tuner

Some may think FM radio is dead, but the truth of the matter is it’ll be here for a while yet. DAB has been a flop in the UK, based on outdated MP2 audio compression, hampered by poor coverage and terrible bitrates; it has been a real step backwards from FM.
Digital radio wise, there are far better audio quality alternatives; DVB (FreeView), Internet stream or if you’re on the Continent you may get DAB+ (based on far better AAC compression). However FM analogue can still match many of these for audio quality, particularly on stations with little or no dynamic compression like Radio 3 and 4.
A FM analogue switch off date was pencilled in for 2015, but required 50% DAB usage, which the UK is currently no where near. Few cars have DAB, few car or aftermarket head unit manufactures even sell DAB enabled gear (quite understandable since only the UK use DAB).
Due to the haze of misinformation and confusion, some top quality FM tuners are now available for next to nothing. One example is this Hitachi FT5500 Mk2 tuner, high end Japanese design from teh early ’80s. With its clever “FCCS” (Field Condition Computer System), that will scan 2.5MHz above and below the station and adjust itself for optimal tuning. It received lots of great reviews in its day and many favour this model as a base for modding to eek further improvements.

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Ended: November 20, 2011, 1:06 pm

Location: Ivybridge, Devon


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