FM TUNERS: Still make a difference?

A member writes ...

I have always shyed away from getting a matching tuner for my ES Jap-Crap system due to most stations now compressing the life out of their music - no dynamics to speak of and I've sometimes been sure I can hear MP3-like compression when listening - especially if using a digibox as a tuner.

I dabbled with a Denon TU-215RD which I got for a tenner from a second hand store which needed some reflowing of solder joints, but I liked it once working. Nothing to write home about, but it does get a good reception and the display is easy to read.

I found the Sony ST-S530ES tuner which I estimate dates to the same era as my CDP-337ESD (if not slightly earlier.) It was going for 24 quid on eBay, so I decided to get it. It arrived very, very dirty with all the buttons stuck down, so I completely dismantled it, cleaned it and reflowed any suspicious solder joints. On putting it into the system, I was in for a real treat...

This tuner which although is an ES offering, is a low end model of the range. It is my most listened to source now. I love it. Radio 3 concerts are a pleasure, the high blend function really helps with assisting the stations which are a bit noisy or difficult to get a stereo grab of. Very pleased with my bargain (IMO!) I use the same antenna which resides in my loft that feeds the 2 YouView tuners.

Using the tuner in my AVR today as I am about to pull out my pre amplifier to finally reinstall the motor drive for the volume pot - it sounds very, very dry and uninvolving in comparison.