Dynaco FM-5 Tuner. Is it still worth the money to service and possibly upgrade??


I recently purchased a used Dynaco FM-5 tuner that was made as a kit. It looked clean and the dials spin with ease and no glitches. Waiting to get a Terk antenna to see if the unit needs realignment.

 I tried without any antenna and it was able to pick up a few stations( but with static and not clearly)  I am in the Los Angeles downtown section, but away from most tall building.  Don't want to drop a lot of money into a  vintage piece that may have seen its glory days. Thank you!!.  

sunnyjim
Wasn't anything great in the first place .

To Schubert:    I had one before and reluctantly agree with you.  I received the Terk Antenna last night, so I will try it. I only want to hear the Grateful Dead Hour, and some local classical music broadcasts from the Disney Music Center which should be called the Frank Gehry MC.  He is the architect;  and the building has become the most photographed structure in the Los Angeles downtown He designed an art museum in Bilbao Spain similar to the L.A. structure which awesome  

I will let you know. SJ

Better to acquire a Sony HD tuner.  Out out performs everything out there, past and present.

Coolhunter, Is this the tuner that was reviewed in Stereophile about 5 years ago by Sam Tellig?? What is the model number?? 

Who sells it at a discount??  Zounds?? BH Camera in Chicago??

Sony HD hmmm - not really. The best tuners (see website FMtunerinfo.com) with most natural sound are vintage ones and come from the 70’s & 80s. Top of the line models from Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz are highly sought after for a reason. Look at the prices! However, you can go down their lines and buy great ones for a only a song.

The FM-5 was an ok sounding one out of the box (the tube FM-3 was better), but Frank Van Alstine had a wonderful mod for it many years ago that included replacing a lot of the disc caps with silver micas among other things. After he finished with mine, it sounded terrific. I still have it. It was way better than my Magnum Dynalab Etude that cost $975...25 years ago - I sold that.  See if he would do a mod and how much it costs and compare to the ones on the site above.

To get decent sound on FM you need a decent antenna and an alignment on your tuner. The Terk will help, but get the antenna up as high as you possibly can if you want decent signal strength. Before you spend any money, make sure there are quality stations within a 40 mile range that you actually want to listen to. Your problem in LA will be multipath. Good stations can be few and far between but classical ones are generally better ( FMfool.com might help). Good luck.

Barrysandy, Thank you for the reply. The information is helpful. However I doubt Van Alstine  would do an the upgrade on an FM-5   for less than $300.00 plus round trip shipping.  I assume if he still does upgrades, he would also check the alignment

I  will only use the tuner to listen to some classical music, and possibly local rock stations.  However, the good rock stations are typical, that is, mulitples of commercials that are louder than broadcast volume and also irritating.   I also wanted to see if I could receive Grateful Dead Hours, but many stations have lost interest and have cancelled  their programing.  The college stations are OK, but few and far between. There is a  station in Chino,  California which is about 400 miles from L.A., but that is not going to be received unless I launch my own satellite.