This is the best place a I've seen lately on tuners. Most new tuners are not very good or are too expensive and still need mods. http://www.geocities.com/tunerinfo/index.html
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I would listen to Don. I think "the best" depends on what your requirements are and what your reception system is. Are you interested in DXing or audio performance? Do you need to separate stations that are close together in frequency and are in the same direction? FMtuner info seems to measure and come down on the side of the DXers as their first cut, and then use audio performance to judge. Or am I misreading?
I like to talk to Don Scott, because his experience leaves
me with a broader sense of selectivity, when I ask him a question to do with tuner comparisons. In other words, I agree with you, in that comparisons rely on too many things
and are too subjective, to try to label. Also they depend on each individual tuner, and how well they are aligned. In fact, that is what he told me, when I asked about the differences between an Accuphase T 100, and a Marantz 2130. He just recently recommended a Luxman T 14 to me, and I followed thru, and bought one. It really does sound nice. Is it the best? I don't know, and I really don't care. Is it a great tuner? I would probably think so, but some may not. I really like it. I had an Accuphase T 100, but it just wasn't my kind of tuner, because it was a lil too laid back, for me. Thanks for all your input, it was nice to hear from all of you.
I remember years ago a tuner from Day Sequerra that could probably beat it. It was well reviewed in Stereophile and was considered a reference at the time. I think it even included a spectrum analyzer for the tuner. Either the company went out of business or the stopped making this product because it is no longer available new. It is possible you may be able to find one of these used. The cost was very high when new, but you never know what deals you may find for a discontinued product.
If FM stations were better, then I would worry more, but I like what I already have. I will send it away to be modded, and be done. I cant believe how nice my tuner sounds. I know there is better, but the trick I have learned is to learn to like what I already have. I know a person must first get something that is good, and also like it, but then they need to try and not get tired of it, that is my worst problem, and not so much the components that I own.
Greggie- I agre with yor opinions about finding a tuner you like and then having it improved. I take it you are going with the T-14 - how would you compare the sound to the T-100? I'm especailly interested if there are other tuners Don or yourself beleive have the same "sonic signature" as the T-14 versus the T-100....I have a DAS moded T-100 with a full APS antenna setup and love it, BTW.
The Accuphase T 100, to me , was a little too laid back for me (to the rear of my speakers). It would come into the center of the room with a very refined sound, that would probably appeal to many. The Luxman's sound is more mechanical, yet it seems to also sound rich, and it seems to
sound more forward, which to me isn't all that bad of a thing. It is very spacious (Luxman), yet the differences were not annoying, in fact the Luxman sounds faster, and more quickly resolved. The bass in the T 100 would be hard to beat, (in my humble opinion), but the Luxman's is OK, just not quite as rich as the T 100's. I feel foolish when comparing components, there seems to be things that are not so easily defined. I notice that the T 14 is very spacious,
and not intrusive, causing a nice effortless, resolving sound. On the other hand, the T 100, being a totally dicrete component, and made with some of highest quality parts, that are impossible to replace (certain ones), and have it sound as good, would be the winner, just is too laid back for me. I think it deserved a better home than mine. The company (Kenwood) must have some very gifted engineers. I would email Don Scott, and talk to him, he is someone who seems to, after many , many years of being famailiar with tuners, knows what he is talking about. Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am glad that I did. I hope this helps, but it probably is a little too long.
Thanks Ivan. I read at Yahoo FM Tuners, and have learned what I suspected, that there are too many variables, to do with personal values, as in tuners. Not that there are things that are said, that can't be validated, but these percieved differences seem to more/less arguable, and better left alone.
I'd like to do a listening comparison between the McIntosh MR78 with Modaferri modification and the Dynalab MD108. It seems that these two tuners are on the top best list. But the MAC is old technology (1970s) and might not dial in a station as well (that was the only criticism I saw of it in user reviews). The issue of sound, color, stage, warm or cool, etc. is probably subjective and only a listening test can determine what you like. Specs will tell you nothing (I know this from experience).
Overall, my preference is for tube technology because of the more natural sound that I believe I hear.