Total posts : 45366
I got an SSTRAN AMT3000 a few days ago, and have compared it side by side with my Talking House.
The TH puts out a MUCH stronger signal with just the wire antenna. On the same frequency, the TH completely wipes out the SSTRAN. With the SSTRAN transmitting a program, plugging in the TH the SSTRAN signal is gone – completely wiped out. The TH signal can be heard CLEARLY all over my house (upstairs and downstairs) night or day. The SSTRAN has static downstairs during the day, and can barely be heard downstairs at night. Yes, I peaked the C5 trimmer for best signal, and set all the switches correctly.
Winner for signal off the wire antenna: TH.
The SSTRAN sounds better, but not that much better. As I said before, my particular TH sounds great. It’s a 4.6 model. I have a model 4 that sounds not nearly as good, mainly because the AGC is too aggressive. The SSTRAN is capable of good sound, but it requires fiddling with the knobs, and the “optional” treble boost jumper S6 is absolutely required for good sound.
Winner for sound quality: SSTRAN.
The TH is a breeze to setup and use, and the frequency can be changed while you are blindfolded. The frequency is clearly displayed on the front panel, and it self-adjusts the output/antenna for the best signal. The SSTRAN requires manual DIP switch settings for frequency, then manually tweaking a small adjustment screw on the board, while you watch the reading on your own meter that you plug into 2 clearly marked points on the board. Quaint, but it works.
Winner for ease of use: TH by a mile.
The TH comes in a metal cabinet with slots top and bottom for ventilation, and so runs very cool. The SSTRAN comes in a small plastic case with no slots at all, and so runs quite warm because the 15V regulator gets very hot. I’ve been running mine with the case top off to keep it cool.
If you just want to transmit to your own radios in your house/yard, IMO the SSTRAN is a poor choice due to the bad signal off the wire, the relative difficulty of setting/changing frequency, and the high price when buying it assembled. The kit is much cheaper, of course, but I had no interest in building it myself. Also, once you find a good frequency you never have to mess with it again, but the initial setup is more complicated with the SSTRAN than with the TH.
The TH is a good choice PROVIDED you get a good one. These things have widely varying sound quality, and you will be quickly disappointed if you get a bad one. They are currently going for around $50 – $80 plus shipping on eBay, so for the price of one assembled SSTRAN you could get 2 or 3 TH transmitters with careful shopping.
I have no experience/interest in using either with a separate, outdoor antenna. My application is strictly broadcasting music/internet radio/OTR MP3s to my own radios. If all you transmit is OTR, then the better sound of the SSTRAN will not be noticed. It sounds better when broadcasting modern talk/music, however.
I also have a “Whole House FM Transmitter”, which works surprisingly well given its tiny size – about 1/3 the size of the SSTRAN. It is stereo, can be powered with 3 AA batteries/computer USB cable/AC adapter, sounds great and also covers my entire house with a good signal. About $70 on eBay. If I didn’t have a bunch of old tube AM only radios, this would be all I would need.
Well, maybe 2 or 3 of them. I currently have all 3 transmitters going, broadcasting music, internet radio and OTR all over the house. 1120 AM, 1560 AM and 107.9 FM.