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  #11  
Old 01-02-2017, 12:46 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeylee View Post
Do you all think these Metz and Magnum antennas in the attic are going to be any better than an attic mounted Radio Shack antennae ...
I am going to differ with others posting here and say emphatically: Maybe. Or, maybe not.

There are just so many variables involved when you try to assess the best antenna for any task. Is your Radio Shack antenna a dedicated FM antenna, or is it also a TV antenna? If it's designed for TV, you'll want to make sure that it is also designed for the FM band, which is VHF and fits between channels 6 and 7. To prevent interference, some TV antennas deliberately filter out the FM band. Others provide an option to do that with a removable tab or trap on the antenna. You're already using the antenna for FM, so it's likely it was designed to be used for FM.

Then there's the question of your location. The closer you live to the transmitters, the greater the chance that something like the MD antenna will work for you. But there's no way an omni antenna such as the MD can have the gain that a dedicated, directional FM antenna can. So if you live out on the fringes of a station's reception area, it's very likely only a directional antenna will work best.

In addition to the gain of the antenna, another variable is the install itself. Generally, there is no substitute for height. FM reception is theoretically limited to line-of-sight between transmitter antenna and receiving antenna so the higher each of these is, the better your reception will be.

Then there's multipath. Whether it's caused by natural conditions such as hills and trees, or man-made conditions such as buildings and water towers, if this is a problem in your location, a directional antenna will outperform an omni every time. Note that multipath isn't always audibly obvious as such, but can sometimes be heard as just slight increased distortion.

I recall a friend who used to live just outside of NYC and who got horrible FM reception even after trying several different omni antennas. The problem was multipath. We replaced the omni with a high-gain, directional antenna. That fixed the multipath, but the increased gain overloaded his tuner input. But once we put an attenuator on the antanna feed - wow! He got super hi-fi reception.

As for directional antennas, a dedicated FM antenna will outperform a combo TV/FM antenna, all other things being equal. Unfortunately, dedicated directional FM antennas are increasingly rare; many major manufacturers such as Winegard and Channel Master no longer make them. But they are still available and needed by broadcasters for relays and translators, although those designed for commercial use (such as Kathrein/Scala) can get pricey.

Also important in any antenna install is the routing of the downlead and the choice of wire itself.

Again, there are so many variables with FM reception that it's really difficult to determine for sure what will work best in a given installation. Some trial-and-error is often needed for best results.
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2017, 12:58 PM
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Curtis.......

I would add that if one uses a directional FM antenna you will also need to use a remote controlled rotor on the antenna mast so that you can point your antenna in the direction of the broadcast tower for highest gain or adjust the direction to help overcome multipath reflections. With a directional antenna there is no 'set and forget' unless the towers you wish to receive from are all located in one general area.

These two links should offers those interested in FM antennas (88 - 108MHz) plenty of reference reading:

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/antenna.html

http://ham-radio.com/k6sti/
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Last edited by jdandy; 01-02-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:16 PM
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Mikeylee Mikeylee is offline
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cleeds and jdandy,
Thanks for the great info! I believe I put a directional FM antenna up there, and, other than the roof, I have pretty good line of sight and no reflection points...we are pretty flat here. Most stations' signals come from antennas on a central high point here...South Mountain. I will experiment and see what I get. Thanks again for the info.
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:42 PM
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Will have to see what works the best.I believe that the omni antenna that I ordered should work well for me. There are three major cities near me...west/north/east all of which broadcast FM.
Ed
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2017, 02:03 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Curtis.......

I would add that if one uses a directional FM antenna you will also need to use a remote controlled rotor on the antenna mast so that you can point your antenna in the direction of the broadcast tower for highest gain or adjust the direction to help overcome multipath reflections. With a directional antenna there is no 'set and forget' unless the towers you wish to receive from are all located in one general area ...
Thanks, Dan! This is so true that it was an error of omission for me to have not mentioned it. Directional antennas often don't lend themselves to a casual scan up or down the dial for that reason.

As a workaround, I use a fixed directional antenna and an omni. They each have separate downleads to my tuner, which can switch between the two antenna inputs. Most of the stations I listen to are on one of two master antennas, each located on a Very Big Building in a fairly distant (60 miles) Very Big City, and each essentially in the exact same direction. It's in that direction that the directional antenna is oriented. The omni antenna picks up the few local suburban stations that I listen to and - because they are more local stations - the omni suffices. The omni also does a surprisingly good job with the distant stations. But, when I switch to the directional antenna, there is no comparison between the two.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2017, 02:11 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeylee View Post
... I have pretty good line of sight and no reflection points...we are pretty flat here. Most stations' signals come from antennas on a central high point here...
Oh I am so, so jealous of your reception conditions!
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2017, 11:09 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Congratz on the McIntosh MR85. I picked one up from Ivan just a little bit ago. I enjoy the tuner and love the look in my rack.

I also was in antenna confusion. I seriously considered the st-2 that many have recommended. I end up with a Terk FM50; their top of the line FM only antenna. So far it appears to work fine for me laying on the window frame behind the shade. The problem is placement and especially in a brand new house we are having built. The antenna is more of a dilemma than the tuner.

So I decided to try one more... the Godar FM1A, that many on here have had and rated well. The idea here is that it can just sit on the tuner or rack, no muss no fuss, versus mounting and placement... if it works well then great... if not then the ST-2 will be the next try. I just don't want to have to mount something if I can get away with it... the antenna has been more difficult than picking out the McIntosh tuner ...

Last edited by Randy Myers; 01-02-2017 at 11:47 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2017, 01:18 AM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Well the Godar FM1A works badly for me. Also, the ST-2 are sold out pretty much everywhere ... but... with the help of a friend I have located a Metz and ordered it. Metz actually manufactures the ST-2 for Magnum Dynalab. Their model 288 should be exactly the same as the ST-2!
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2017, 01:28 AM
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Randy.......I think once you get the Metz 288 connected to the McIntosh MR85 you will finally be satisfied. That 1/2 wave omnidirectional antenna provides 2.5 dB gain. You should be picking up stations all over the place. Hide it behind a curtain and you'll never know it's there.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2017, 01:39 AM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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That is what I am thinking also. I would have bought the MD, but no one has one. But one nice benefit, shipping and tax the Metz is still $45 less ...

The MR85 sounds fantastic... just got to get the antenna to match it ...

Last edited by Randy Myers; 01-08-2017 at 01:41 AM.
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