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Radio-Now at Bristol Sound and Vision 2003 : Pure DRX702ES tuner review

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                                                           Pure Digital DRX-702ES DAB digital/FM/AM hi-fi radio tuner

After walking off with virtually every hi-fi award with the word "tuner" in its title (mainly for the DRX-701ES), Pure Digital are back with a brand new separates tuner, the DRX-702ES, which combines an analogue and DAB digital radio tuner in one box.

The tuner delivers with its PAC-II technology, designed to give DAB broadcasts a more natural sound. In fact, just as much effort has gone in to the FM/AM section of the tuner as with the DAB side of the DRX-702ES.
Pure Digital DRX-702ES in silver

The DRX-702 has a number of features that make station-finding easier, with a "most-played" ordering system alongside alphabetical and multiplex ordering on DAB. The tuner will also arrange FM stations by name, using the RDS info transmitted by these stations. Indeed, the 702 also displays RDS RadioTEXT.

The 702 offers a staggering 297 presets, divided equally between DAB, FM and AM. With 99 presets on DAB, the 702 is ideal for up to 5 multiplexes plus a few more besides! Meanwhile, Dynamic Range Control takes care of any compression on DAB broadcasts.

The DRX-702ES really looks the part, with its twinkling blue lights and cool blue scrolling display. Pure Digital were showing off the tuner in a black finish at the Bristol Show, but a silver version (shown above) will also be available.

Tune in to Virgin Radio, BBC Radio 3 or Classic FM and the tuner really makes the most of the high-bitrate that these stations broadcast on DAB. Hiss is nonexistent, clarity is exceptional and there's no sign of any artefacts to spoil the sound. Switch over to FM and the results are just as pleasing - Pure Digital have apparently put a lot of effort into the analogue stage - and it shows.

If you really want AM (and why would you with many AM stations switching to DAB?), the 702ES duly obliges and you can also punch-in your characters for station naming, shown on the blue display.

As it's dual-band, the 702ES is future-proofed to receive both existing Band III and any future Band L DAB broadcasts.

Around the back, there's a USB connection for tuner software upgrades, RDI (Radio Data Interface, the standard interface found on many separates DAB tuners) plus optional balanced outputs with gold-plated output pins for connection into high-end hi-fi systems. Co-axial and optical digital outputs are there, too, alongside standard analogue phono connectors.

For: Covers Band III and Band L DAB wavebands. FM and AM tuner integrated. Lots of presets. Clarity of display.
Against: Pricey, but worth it if you need a combined DAB/FM tuner.

The DRX-702ES is available now at the price of GBP329.99 for the standard edition and GBP399.99 for a tuner with balanced outputs.

The DRX702ES tuner is now available to buy online, via this website.

Related links:
Buy the DRX702ES tuner online, via this website.
Pure Digital Evoke-2 review, on this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a guide to DAB digital radio products, on this website. promo banner

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