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FINE TUNING. BY CROWN.
At the outset, we have to confess that building the Crown FM1 stereo tuner was quite a challenge to us.
Crown audio products have earned a reputation for reliability and sonic excellence under the most demanding conditions. A tuner would have to be very good indeed to be identified as a Crown product.
Crown's first tuner.
There was also the fact that this was our first tuner. We do know a great deal about how to create good sound reproduction in the audio band, but that didn't automatically translate into solving RF problems. We were realistic about that. And we were fortunate. For we got to know as friends and co-workers some very talented designers of RF equipment who served as consultants on Crown's "Project Tuner." A few people even suggested we should buy a Japanese chassis and put a Crown front panel on it. These people told us it would sell, just because it had the Crown name on it.
"Well," we said to ourselves, "maybe so, but would those buyers ever trust another Crown product?" So we scrapped that idea before it even got off the ground.
Made in America.
We did ask some other manufacturers if they could build a tuner to our specifications. (We had a good grasp of the features we wanted in our first tuner and also a fair idea of the price at which it should sell.) They not only told us they couldn't do it-they told us it couldn't be done.
Well, we'd heard that story before.
We were told in 1947 you couldn't build a rugged, reliable tape recorder that would work anywhere in the world. We were told in 1965 that high-power all-transistor amplifiers would be available when men walked on Mars. And having conquered both of those impossibilities-the first with Crown 1/4" tape recorders, the second with the original Crown DC-300we decided that a made-in-America tuner, worthy of the Crown name, was possible.
We are all very proud of the result, the FM1 stereo, programmable, digitally-controlled FM tuner.
The most noticeable feature of the FM1 is the absence of a tuning wheel and dial. The FM1 is a true digitally synthesized tuner, and provides accurate, no-drift tuning.
A quartz crystal provides the basic reference frequency which controls the FM1 tuning section. This is the same system used by broadcasters to control their transmitter frequencies. When a particular frequency has been selected, (visible on a four digit LED display), the FM1 locks itself to that frequency by comparing the desired frequency to the quartz crystal thousands of times per second. Drift simply cannot happen; tuning is automatic, precise and immediate. The only tuning variable you need to control is antenna position, and an LED multipath meter is included to assist you in determining the optimum position. Another LED meter provides useful information about the relative strength of station signals.
An unforgettable tuner.
Your FM1 tuner can memorize infallibly your five favorite stations for instant and fumble-free recall. A special EAROM integrated circuit is dedicated to remembering your instructions. Tune to the desired frequency with the touch/tap controls, tap Program and the channel (1 to 5) where the frequency is to be stored. Even if you now unplug the FM1 and move it to another location, it will remember your station, (without batteries!) and get it for you instantly.
An analog LED dial displays the approximate dial location of your selected frequency. This simulated dial may help make the transition to the world of digital audio a little easier for you.
The FM1 includes several tuning modes which have been automated, thanks to a special control chip with an unusual ability to manage a wide range of functions. Because of it you'll enjoy the use of the Search, Stereo Search and Scan functions.
The two search controls will tune to the next station whose signal is above the mute threshold of a signal.
The Scan function is most unusual, and only possible with a digital tuner such as the FM1. When you tap Scan, the FM1 seeks the next higher station frequency of acceptable strength, pauses for seven seconds, moves to the next station, pauses again and so on, forever unless you tell it to stop. Great for finding a broadcaster whose mood at the moment exactly matches yours, or for finding out just what listening mood you're in.
It is, perhaps, not coincidental that almost all of our engineering staff are long-time audio enthusiasts.
They know good sound-and they also know what it takes to build good audio components. FM1 prototypes were thus subjected to severe listening tests by these listening experts.
(And if you don't believe that our company experts are allowed to express their opinions and that those opinions have an impact, you ought to discuss Crown with someone who's been there.) These listeners insist the FM1 is better. They were very much impressed with the quality of broadcast sound coming out of the FM1. True, the FM1 will not allow you to evade any problems that the broadcaster might create for you, but a good broadcast signal at your antenna will be a good audio signal out of the FM1.
As you would expect, all of the details of importance for retaining the fidelity of the sound were carefully evaluated in the design of the FM1 circuitry. The latest in PLL (phase locked loop) stereo demodulators with pilot cancelling is used to decode the stereo signal. To increase the stereo separation to a maximum, additional cross-blending amplifiers were added to allow the R into L channel crosstalk to be minimized without interaction with the L into R channel adjustments. This results in better stereo separation than can be provided by the PLL demodulator alone.
Is this the tuner for everyone? Frankly, no. In the first place, we aren't planning to build that many FM1 tuners. Crown continues to be one of the deliberately small companies in the audio field. We're not sure we could produce Crown-quality components on a mass production basis. Your satisfaction with our product is much too important for us to radically expand a production line that's geared to careful craftsmanship and high technology.
Secondly, the FM1 tuner is a high-quality single-purpose audio component which may not match your current needs.
But for those whose lifestyle demands the very finest in sound reproduction, even if that means passing up some other of the fine things in life, we believe the FM1 tuner will be one of the more satisfying purchases in your life.
If you would like more information about the FM1 before making up your mind to purchase it, please send five dollars with the coupon below to obtain an advance copy of the Crown FM1 manual. Your five dollars will be refunded by Crown upon return of this manual, whether you purchase the FM1 or not. Find out all you can about the FM1. Listen. To friends. To dealers. And to your own ears. Then tune in. The FM1 can be a richly rewarding sonic experience for you.
To: Crown International 1718 W. Mishawaka Road Elkhart, IN 46514 Here's my five dollars. Please rush my FM1 Tuner manual.
1718 W. Mishawaka Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514, USA.
Innovation. High technology. American. That's Crown.
(Source: Audio magazine, Aug. 1979 )
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