contact Don Scott at email@example.com. Don is a former Stereophile writer who specializes in vintage tuners.
8 responses Add your response
I think you are asking a lot from an FM 5. It was among the 1st transistor tuners ever, and few of them are noted for their sound. Also sounds as if you had a DXing mod done, a reason for the great reception. And this is no offense to Don Scott, who has done me a great favor and who I consider a great source for tuner info and repair, but if
Modafferi(sp) modded this unit, Don is not going to do much better(depending how long ago the mod was done). As I would recommend to a lot of people looking at tuners, go to the firstname.lastname@example.org website and read up on all the great tuners of the past Don and Richard both contribute to the site, and I think most would find the info useful and honest.
I installed the "VSM" mod kit by Richard S. Mogovaro in a later vintage FM-5 that my kid now uses. Difference in FM-5 was notable! Better channel separation and "highs" (switchable demphasis 25/75uS, no 19KHz filters, upgraded components on add-in board, etc. Without the mod the tuner is a much lesser species. Richard Modaferri is (I believe) still active in Califirnia - reputedly an ace of tuners. Maybe ou can find him in an internet search. I have three FM 5 tuners (one with the PPM -5 RIAA equalization board for phono input in place of the line input). I agree with the comment that this early solid state tuner was not the most musical. However, for the money, used, it is quite a buy. The AR tuner, almost the same vintage, was a more musically satisfying tuner (orig. board was made ijn W. Germany, as I recall). Years after production the Boston Audio Society still raved about it. I have one (dual voltage) that is great and have a second with problems and sold my 1971 AR tuner to a friend who still uses the pretty unit. The Dyna FM-5 lacks the same sleek look.
The key to any receiver begins with the quality of the antenna System you use. To a degree, the higher the antenna and the more elements the antenna has the better the chances of dragging in that weak station. You can add an antenna amplifier to the circuit which boost the signal.However, at the same time its accompromise because you also increase the noise level. Another key is good lead in wire. You probably won't find it locally. Most people don't think. They just run to their nearest do I Yourself shop( and they don't have the good stuff). Order on line from Wireman or another reputable place. If you loose all the signal in the wire you haven't gained anything. Its hard to find a manufacture of antennas that will give you any real gain figures on their antennas. Channel Master and Winegard are amoung the few that will and they make antennas that last.
Probably the very best of FM receivers out there would be a debate, but the one I prefer is the McIntosh MR-78. It has the extra stages necessary to do the job, but not for the money you want to spend.
What you want todo. Evaluate how much you can spend. Get the facts:
First - By the best antenna you can afford.
Second- Good Lead in wire
Third - Try a antenna line amp
Fourth- If the FM 5 doesn't cut it, check to see if it was and still is tuned up properly. Perhaps a new receiver
Many years ago I installed a Dynaco FM-5 Modification Kit from Universal Audio P.O. Box 712 Providence RI 02901. The kit was made to correct the thin bass. It used better coupling caps and tighter tolerance components to lower hum and distortion and flatten frequency response.
I doubt if they are still there,but it does not hurt to try.
I still have the installation instructions if you would like a copy.