The MR-71 is clearly better than the'67--and is the tube tuner which several prominent reviewers use (in modified or rebuilt condition). However, having owned all 3, I would without question or hesitation suggest you get the MR-78. It is way better than a stock '71 in every way (I haven't heard all of the modified '71s). I use tubes for everything else, but the '78 is the best tuner I have ever heard. Good luck. Roger
My father had an MR71 that I grew up listening to. He gave it to me several years ago and it is the best tuner I have ever heard. Unfortunately where I live now we don't get very many good radio stations and it sat in the box until I sold it last winter. They are built to last and a beautiful piece. I may be biased but I would say go with the MR71, you won't regret it.
The MR71 is renowned to provide to best quality sound...read audiophile quality...than any of the rest...save for vintage units such as Scott's or Marantz 10B's. "Better" are the modern Magnum Dynalab pieces such as FT101A's and it's successors.
I have owned MR78's and while the selectivity, operation, and accuracy of this extraordinary tuner is, combined with the beautiful cosmetics, very, very good, it does not compare to the vintage Scotts in terms of sound quality.
Therefore, if one is looking for a tuner that is easy to use, pulls in a lot of stations, and gives no trouble, get an MR78 or a Magnum dynalab (or for that matter a Fanfare or a Rotel)...BUT if one is looking for the BEST SOUND get an MD108 or a vintage Scott (LT110B is cheap, 310E is the best, 4310 is the collectible) or a Marantz 10B or 20B.
For reference read Don Scott's (no relation) excellent articles in TAS Nos. 50 through 60 and his review in Stereophile of the MD108...this guy knows tuners like none of us!
P.S. My collection includes all of the tuners listed above, save for the MR71 and the 10B, which I have sorely missed.
Mac 71 is similar but tube version of the 78 both great tuners. BTW The Tandberg 3001a is my favorite next to the 10b The 10b is the most musical tuner I have ever heard .The instruments sound richer and more lifelike. The 3001a is a wounderful sounding tuner too not as warm and involving but very clean, clear with great soundstage and dynamics. Remember most of todays radio stations dont do justice to the old super tuners. The Luxman T110 is a great SS tuner for Under $ 200.00
I recently bought a MR67 on eBay for around $700 and think it sounds incredibly good; I have compared it to Meridian 208 (early 90's), Fanfare FT1A (6 mos old), MD 102 (1 yr old), Marantz 120 and 2110 (mid 70's), and Scott 350B (early 60's) and find it the best sounding of the older tuners and comparable but warmer than the MD 102, which is my next favorite after the MR67. I have never compared the MR71 to the MR67 but have read a lot about both and hear they are quite similar in sound and function. I would say either the 71 or the 67 will be an incredibly good pick, see what's available at what price on eBay. Sometimes there are multiple MR71's, sometimes 2 or 3 MR67's on auction at the same time. Your price will depend on what's being sold that week. With my MR67, one of the meters isn't working, but it still sounds great and I don't need the meter. Still, these old tuners are seldom in perfect condition, esp. on eBay.
Sc53, so you sold your Fanfare for a Mac. Congrats! Try getting a MR71, you'd be surprised.
How about some of the old Fishers? How are they compared to to the old Mac.s I'm currently looking into a tube tuner myself.
i think you will not go wrong either way. i own a 67 and it is very good. on live local classical broadcasts....scary good. deals are still to be had....i bought mine off ebay this year 350$ delivered. (after the auction ended and reserve had not been met...perfect condition). good luck
Thanks everyone- sounds like either would be good choice!
For comparison evaluation of various tube tuners check out Vaccuum Tube Valley magazine's back issues...they invite tuner afficionado's over for an evening's competition!
Remember that the antenna is 90% of a tuner's preformance. Think about wartime...a spy's weak radio on top of a mountain could "get out", but his powerful radio in a mineshaft could not. And don't forget to use a groundrod.
I agree that the best all around choice is between an MR67 or an MR 71, with the rest being attractive in various respects. In modern units you cannot beat a FT101A (forget the FT11 or the FT101 - much older) for value, ease of operation and "CD quality sound" Ha! Fishers are good too, the 100 or 200R, I believe, though I have never sampled one. (Just traded a '50's Radio Craftsman mono for a Bogen).
My rule is to always have analog tuning...some have this (MD's) with digital readout added...ok.
I agree with preferring analog (as a system) to Digitally synthesized (as a system) tuning. But it got better in the most ambitious units of the '90's, and "average" doesn't do a good job of carrying the torch for Digital Tuning technology.Tube fetishists won't sanction anything but a hierarchical litany of preferences that are as frozen in Amber as anything could be. So I won't be part of that (already well represented) demographic either.
None of the best Tuners I've owned are Tube. (Sound or RF performance). They include a Pioneer F-28, F-93, TX-9500II, 9800, and an, MR 78, Yamaha T-2 (rip) and three or four others that were supposed to be "upstart" HD references, that were (to me) the MOST disappointing of all. I get the "tube" appeal, but in my experience it's informed by the eccentricities of electric Guitarists and not particularly faithful to the tenets of High Fidelity. It's possible that my not being in the center demographic for the tube Macs shines light on my being underwhelmed by the Far Eastern HD widget on the other side of my age demographic. (I owned one new for $50.00 and gave it to a relative. She never turns it on, btw.) But I do listen critically and there's more rampant subjectivity in FM Tuners than I ever thought possible. It's even whackier than turntables. In my experience, the better either gets the more like the other it sounds. If you like what you have, hang on for dear life. A good solid state tuner will be the most neutral source for that format. The big problem now is content. YMMV.....
Great discussion all. Related question: I have a SAE VIb refreshed that's really great. Also running an Adcom GTP500-II. Because it has presets, and my family is too dang lazy to wait for the SAE to warm up and then manual tune.
But the adcom sounds really flat. What's the best option for a 2nd tuner with the requirement (handicap?) that it also has presets?