Fanfare FM FT-1A Tuners

FT-1A

8 FM presets XLR/RCA outputs

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
Reynold   Audio Enthusiast [May 01, 2006]

We purchased an FT-1A tuner and an FM-2G antenna, for use in a large high-rise apartment building in NYC. The building occupies the entire block. Our apartment is on the north side and the Empire State Building radio transmission antenna is to the south. In between are dozens of steel I-beams--multipath hell! The antenna is mounted inside the apartment, hanging down from a bookcase. The improvement in reception is astonishing. It is CD quality. Most FM stations used to be hopelessly distorted, particularly when we walked in certain locations in the apartment. This equipment has solved the problem completely.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   AudioPhile [Dec 08, 2002]
Strength:

Best sound Period.Remote will spoil you. Quality build and dependable.Pulls in maximum # of listenable stations (32+)

Weakness:

None yet

Just upgraded to Tubes: Sonic Fromtier The Fanfare's sound just moved UP another notch. WNYC live broadcasts are just incredible.You are there! Jazz (WBGO) is PALPABLE.Want more in your Fanfare ? Get a tube pre-amp to go with a good roof antenna.My Magnepans And Fanfare never sounded better

Similar Products Used: Adcom Pre/ FM tuner (no comparison-noisy)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Don Lee   AudioPhile [Oct 13, 2002]
Strength:

8 presets tuning remote.

Weakness:

Does'nt sound like high end tuner.

I am very disappointed w/ the sound of this tuner, it sounds very thin and the reception is just average.I sold it and bought Magnum Dynalab MD100 and the sound like day and night, the MD100 sounds wonderful, more open at high frequency,the midrange is rich, and i love the meters indicators and manual tuning knob for fine tuning.

Similar Products Used: Magnum Dynalab MD100
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
djd   AudioPhile [Aug 01, 2002]
Strength:

Sound Stage!!! silent background, great reception, I get every station I want!!

Weakness:

sounds a bit thin on some stations, could be the stations equipment

my system: Musical Fidelity A3cr amp and pre amp, A3 CD player, Energy Vertitas Speakers V2.3, Kimber interconnects, Analysis Plus speaker cable, two bass traps.... Anyway, I prurchased my tuner form Fanfare (no dealers close by) they were very professional and very helpful. Thanks Marv!! I am totally amazed at the quality of music that come from this tunner, I have done a few a/b comparissions with the same song playing on the tuner and cd player and the tunner sounds very close to the CD player, maybe better in the seperation dept. This is the first review I have felt the need to write. I now am able to listen to music that I may never have had the chance too, thank to Fanfare FM Tuner. This Tuner sounds wonderful and is a joy to have in my system!

Similar Products Used: Musical Fidelity, Parasound
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
james1969   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 2002]
Strength:

Quiet, bass, dynamic range (this is all contingent upon reception). RCA and XLR outputs, remote.

Weakness:

None.

I''''ve had this unit for 2 weeks now (always left turned on). My previous tuner is the Sony ICF-SW100 portable short wave radio. I''''ve used this great little radio in 2 systems via the line out interface. FM really sounds good! The Fanfare was a big step up in sound. My system is a modest "midfi" system consisting of a Roksan integrated, Philips Q50 DVD, Rotel 955 cdp, Thiel CS1.5 speakers and now the Fanfare tuner. I would have to say the Fanfare is my finest sounding source by far. WQXR is my favorite station. I listen primarily to classical, so I don''''t go searching through other stations that much, but I did set in some other pop stations in the presets (very simple user interface), but my pet peeve is commercials and DJ dribble. WQXR is great. As for the sound, the tuner is dead quiet, and the dynamic range is very impressive. It really sounds better than my current digital sources. This tuner has sent me on a mission to upgrade my digital source for CDs.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   AudioPhile [Apr 13, 2002]
Strength:

Tight deep bass, great soundstaging

Weakness:

None

If you''re considering this tuner, I would disregard the previous review by Abe Collins. Even if the product he bought was used, it takes longer than 1 hour to re-breakin a high end piece of equipment that has been disconnected from its power source for any length of time. Any experienced audiophile should know this. Read the professional reviews and go out and listen for yourself. This tuner is just as good as the Magnum MD102, I know because I own them both. Also, both of these tuners blow the doors off the midfi Adcom tuner that Abe likes.

Similar Products Used: Adcom preamp/tuner, Sony tuner, Magnum MD102
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Abe Collins   AudioPhile [Mar 19, 2002]
Strength:

Smooth midrange. Memory presets and remote. Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs.

Weakness:

Rolled off high frequency response and compressed dynamics even compared to some modestly priced "mid-fi" tuners.

I bought this tuner because I wanted to replace my Magnum FT-101A with a high-end tuner that had memory presets and a remote control. I read the Stereophile review in the October 2001 issue and decided to buy one. I also own two Adcom GFT-555II tuners and had already sold off my Magnum FT-101A a week prior to receiving the Fanfare FT-1A. The Magnum FT-101A tuner was most definitely an improvement over the Adcom tuners and I fully expected the Fanfare to be as good or better than the Magnum. I live in a suburb of Denver Colorado and I''m actually within line-of-sight of the mountain top with all the radio station towers. My outdoor antenna is the Fanfare FM-2G vertical whip mounted outside on my deck in clear view of the mountain and all of my testing was performed listening to strong stations that were "full-quieting" with minimal or no background noise. I installed the tuner in my equipment rack where my Magnum once sat. I wired it up using the balanced XLR interconnects to my Audio Research LS16 tube preamp. I powered it up and programmed up a handful of my favorite stations. My initial reaction was that the Fanfare FT-1A had a pleasantly warm and smooth midrange. I didn''t pay much attention at first as I figured I would give the tuner an hour or so to warm up while I took care of some chores around the house. After an hour of warm-up I listened again and that midrange smoothness was still there. Unfortunately, this midrange emphasis was there due to a somewhat rolled off treble. The high frequencies seemed to be weak. I confirmed this by immediately switching the preamp to my Adcom tuner. The Adcom had better frequency extension and I''m not talking about "brightness". The Fanfare attenuated the higher frequencies even compared to my "mid-fi" Adcom! How could that be? I listened some more and tried different stations with the same result. The Fanfare not only rolled off the high frequencies, it seemed somewhat compressed and lacking dynamics. How can my cheap Adcom sound better than this Stereophile class-A rated tuner? My Magnum FT-101A sounded *better* than my Adcom... why was this Fanfare not as good? I thought I had done something wrong. I checked the owner''s manual and everything seemed to be set up correctly. I removed the balanced XLR interconnects and decided to try the RCA outputs from the Fanfare. Sam

Similar Products Used: Magnum FT-101A FM Tuner Adcom GFT-555II AM/FM Tuner
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Michael   Audiophile [Mar 07, 2001]
Strength:

Bargain,Sensitive,Sounds Great

Weakness:

none yet

Just hooked it up and already the same stations are are showing 20% plus increase in reception. 200% better in
sound. Will let it settle in over the weekend and start
a full review

Similar Products Used: Adcom Tuner
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roger   Audiophile [May 11, 2001]

The Fanfare FT-1A FM tuner

Although this is a review of the Fanfare FT-1A some history may be interesting. My move into a higher resolution audio system left me deficient in one area, namely an audiophile tuner. At the time I was using the tuner section of an NAD receiver with my other equipment which was all Linn (Kairn Preamp, Klout Amp & Karik/Numerik CD player. As the Linn Kremlin was just too expensive to even consider I managed to pick up Magnum Dynalab FT-101A second hand. I had the factory bring the unit up to specifications and certainly found a great improvement over the NAD receiver tuner section. I lived with the MD FT-101A for some time but yearned for remote control of the tuner. When Linn introduced their Kudos remote controlled tuner I immediately auditioned the unit at home over a weekend and found to my surprise and joy that the Kudos tuner performed as well as the FT-101A in all areas and was even superior in bringing in distant stations.

In my continued quest for audio excellence I auditioned a Fanfare FT-1. Using single ended interconnects, I found that whilst the FT-1 had slightly deeper bass, somewhat better soundstage and good ergonomics, the performance improvement did not justify the cost to move to the Fanfare tuner. Later on a review of the new Magnum Dynolab MD 102 tuner appeared which tempted me to audition this tuner and then make the purchase. I had hoped to be able to use the MD remote unit with the MD 102 but this was not possible as my review of the MD 102 explains in my review of the MD 102 in Audio Review.

My next move was to evaluate the new Fanfare FT-1A tuner, as I had liked the ergonomics of the previous model, the FT-1. This time I evaluated the Fanfare tuner using good quality balanced interconnects (Straight Wire Virtuoso) and found the Fanfare tuner to be more than just comparable to the MD 102. Actually I found the new FT-1A superior pulling in distant stations. Also, there was a definite elimination of background grunge that I would hear on the MD 102 when listening with my Stax Lambda Pro earspeakers or even more particularly with my Etymotic ear canal earphones (very highly recommended by the way). In no way was this elimination of grunge offset by any lack of high frequency detail. I also felt the FT-1A superior to the MD 102 in both soundstaging and bass response after a couple of weeks of use.

I cannot speak too highly of the Fanfare FT-1A tuner. It looks good, has all the remote control features repeated on the tuner itself and is incredible value, when compared with the MD-102. The reasonably large, clear display gives all the information anyone could require. The most important aspect is its great sound. Given a good station such as Canadian Broadcasting Corporation I have sometimes forgotten that I was actually listening to the FT-1A, rather than a familiar CD, until someone coughed in the audience! I have had the FT-1A for over a year now and appreciate it even more now as I have improved the resolution of my system with new loudspeaker cables (Analysis Plus Silver Oval Bi-Wire) and the new Krell KCT preamplifier.

A useful feature on the MD 102 that is not presently available on the FT-1A is an antenna switch for changing between two antennas. This is really not much of a negative (the only one I found), as I would have to go physically to the MD-102 to switch antennas anyway. Fortunately there are remote controlled, outboard antenna switches available at a very reasonable cost.
The following equipment was in use when I purchased the FT-1A:
Krell KRC-3 Preamp, Krell FPB-200 Amplifier, ProAc 3.8 Loudspeakers, Linn Karik / Numerik CD Player, Magnum Dynalab MD 102 Tuner, Stax Lambda Pro Headphones, Etymotic ER-4S Ear Canal Earphones, Furman IT-1220 Balanced Power Conditioner, Straight Wire Black Silc Loudspeaker Cables and Virtuoso Interconnects.

Equipment now in use is as follows:
Krell KCT Preamp, Krell FPB-200 Amplifier, B & W 803 Nautilus Loudspeakers, Meridian 508.24 CD Player, Fanfare FT-1A Tuner, Stax Lambda Pro Headphones, Etymotic ER-4S Ear Canal Earphones, Furman IT-1220 Balanced Power Conditioner, Analysis Plus Silver Oval Bi-Wire Loudspeaker Cables and Analysis Plus Silver Oval-In Balanced Interconnects.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   Audiophile [Oct 14, 2001]
Strength:

All

Weakness:

None

Check out the Oct.2001 of 'Sterephile' REVIEW of this tuner.
Larry Greenhill (p.203)rates it: "an outstanding value in audiophile grade FM Stereo tuners", "its RF sensitivity,remote tuning capabilties and excellent price make it a serious contender in the High end FM tuner market place"
Conclusion: "The FT-1A is a winner."

He was comparing the FT-1A against his reference tuner at 4x times the cost! And they no longer make that tuner !
On p.231 you can read Marv Southcott's response to the review.

Still the Champ !!!

Similar Products Used: Adcom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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