I have both a Sony Xplod and a JVC Arsenal in each of my cars and as far as tuners go, the JVC blows the Sony away. The Sony has a tuner rated at 9dBf sensitivity and the JVC has 11.3dBf sensitivty rating but the JVC is leaps and bounds better at grabbing stations and holding on to them. The antennas connected to them are the same. What gives with this? What are some of the other posters to this forum think is the best car tuner. Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood??? etc.
The Pioneer Supertuner 3D (not the less expensive Supertuner 3) uses a remarkable adaptive IF bandwidth technology. Originally designed for HD radio, Pioneer uses the capability without having HD (saves on license fees!). The adaptive IF technology analyzes the incoming signal for spectral components and strength, widens things up for strong local stations and narrows it down for weak signals. The result is amazing selectivity and sensitivity. The gain / bandwidth product is one of the few "win-win" situations in electronics - if the stereo signal is going to be noisy anyway, and blend to mono - why even bother? Just narrow down the IF bandwidth and concentrate on just the mono portion of the signal. It works so well I can pick out distant stations from over a hundred miles away right next to strong local signals. So well, in fact, that a couple are on my presets.
In terms of raw sensitivity - I have used Pioneer to listen to stations up to 200 miles away reliably. Spotty reception up to 300 miles on some stations. I just don't think anybody else can touch them on performance, although a lot of people are upset by their stereo blend function, and others think the noise floor is too high.