How is it ? that a tuner smokes the table ???

"(cats out of the bag)"

my friends dynalab 109 tube tuner blows away his turntable front end that costs 4X as much!!!

Can any one explain how a cd or analog turntable at a radio station gets played and sent thru the air and gets
reconstructed at the tuner is the single highest quality
source in hiend two channel reproduction !

that blows me away and I can understand it ?

IMHO tuner highest source than turntable than CD in that order.

I wish somebody told me this before I spend so much money !

what sayest thou ?
i'd say that

your friend needs to upgrade his turntable

and you

should drink a few glasses of water before bed tonight

(it will help your hangover tomorrow morning)
My Mcintosh MR71 sounds fuller and has better bass than my Spacedeck with Shelter 501.
A great tuner is an excellent source, often forgotten in these days of computer audio.
Keep in mind, that radio station may be using DACS that are much, much better than the dacs in your (or your friends CD player) and TT may not be either set up properly or up to snuff. I had a local FM station and when it was up and running, I was amazed at how incredibly good it sounded, even though FM rolls of at, say $15khz?

It was my favotite source at that time. Station sice was hit by lightning and no longer plays Jazz. (Long story-they are now
Why is it a problem that his tuner sounds so good?? It seems that we've all forgotten that in the days when vinyl was all there was, there were also a great deal more diversity in FM radio programming . . . and a high-quality FM tuner was very much considered an "audiophile" source.

Having spent some time both as a broadcast engineer and restoring/aligning vintage tuners . . . I can assure you that FM stereo, as a medium, has the potential for MUCH better performance than an LP. It's just that so few broadcasters, and tuners, take advantage of it anymore.
I'm fortunate to receive a 24 hour jazz station out of Toronto (CJRT, 91.1).

On both of my Mac tuners (71 and 77) the sonics are clearly superior to any of the digital machines here.

But not the vinyl front ends.
I have a Mac MR67 tubed tuner that when listening to classical music or jazz via the public radio station, it simply blows away my digital front end. But as nice as it is, it doesn't come close to my analog set up.
If you think 91.1 sounds good - try 96.3 (Clasical 24/7)
Same thing here with my Scott 310E...better or equal to my digital..this tuner is light years better than a Modaferri modded MR71. There are about 4 real quality stations here in NYC.
lets see I love tuners
love tuners
I always love the term, blows away or smokes in our audio hobby.
I've owned many high quality vintage tube tuners over the years, as well as some more recent solid state ones, including the legendary REL Precedent (from 1954; and that's Radio Engineering Laboratories, no relation to the modern subwoofer manufacturer); the equally legendary Marantz 10B; an MR71, several by H.H. Scott (310C, 310D, 311D) and Fisher (FM90X, FM200), several Radiocraftsmen 10 mono tuners from 1952; a 1980's Carver TX-11, and some other lesser solid state units.

Any of these tube tuners can produce truly gorgeous, beautiful sound, in situations where the station is broadcasting good quality material with good quality equipment and minimal compression, and assuming the signal conditions are within the particular tuner's capabilities in terms of sensitivity and selectivity.

I would not go as far, though, as saying that FM can be superior to a quality vinyl or digital source. Those sources are what the station is playing, after all, and the transmission and reception path in between can at best only add euphonic sweetening or other euphonic inaccuracies, or at worst introduce significant degradation.

I'll add that among all of the tuners I mentioned the REL Precedent (which is what I currently use, in conjunction with a Scott LM35 multiplex adapter) is by far the most sensitive, in stereo with the LM35 as well as in mono mode, and it is as good as or better than all of the others sonically. Although relative to the Marantz 10B, that may have simply been due to the REL being in better condition.

BTW, please no inquiries asking if the REL is for sale; it is not, and will not be!

-- Al
I own a Magnum Dynalab MD 108 tuner. I also live in an area that has not only great reception but a vast choice of stations to listen to. I really like the anolog sound of this tuner and its incredible bass from FM listening. I also own a Michell Gyro SE II. I would never say or think the tuner betters the turntable as if it did I would be correct in thinking the turntable was not set up properly and was in need of adjustment or repair. I will however go as far as saying for listening enjoyment with no fatigue what so ever it gives up not too much to my Esoteric DV50S but that definately may be in part that I just turn it on set it to the station I want and forget about it. If I did not live in an area with so much clear reception and choices to listen I probably would not feel the same. But a tuner any brand beating out a turntable properly set up especially a table 4 times the price which would be 25,000 dollars. Never, unless it had issues. Cheers.
Some random comments:

$ does not = Q. The mere cost of a turntable set up is not a guarantee of quality.

FM potential still exists but the number of stations with quality broadcasting seems to be declining.

I believe the value of FM is highly dependent on where you live. In So. Cal. the quality of both programming and broadcast has declined over the past 10 years. While I can receive at least 25 stations (no recent count) not more than 3-4 are worth listening to. When visiting friends in RI a few years ago, we listened to two live concert broadcasts from Boston one evening on a 40+ year old Fisher tuner, they were both outstanding.

On the best of days, I've not heard an FM broadcast that can compare with the frequency extension, soundstage presentation, or dynamics of a good vinyl system.

As suggested by others, I agree there must be a problem with component matching or set up (or both) in Jimpcn's friend's table system.
It depends.

I like FM but Fm has limited high frequency extension I think?

That might result in lower fatigue and more relaxation listening to good quality stations at least compared to other sources that extend to higher frequencies depending, at least in some cases.

I think it would be hard to make a general case that FM is better than good vinyl or digital though.
haha, your funny

How many below have heard the Dynalab MD109 ???
$9000.00 tuner

I would say I have heard most tuners listed below and
would say all though they sound good/great, they are not in the league of
the 109 tuner !

One comment/writer below has accurately described the sound between the tuner and table. Table sounds less coloured for sure but dosen't have more detail and less dynamic. May have a bit more depth though.

The tuner sounds similiar but has more dynamics and colorations, but is intimate, and just sounds damn good.

Most listeners that hear the two riggs, agree tuner wins.

Some dealers at the last California Audio show used the 109 as the source for their demos, its that good !
Well, surely no tuner can sound better than the table or CD used at the station to playback whatever is being broadcast, can it?
It's important to remember that radio stations use serious processing in their transmission chains. First off, they brick wall filter at 50 Hz and 15Khz. Second, they compand the signal which is basically compressing then expanding the information in order to simplify the transmission of that signal through their STL path between the radio station and their transmit facility tower. Then it is Frequency Modulated (FM) or Amplitude Modulated (AM) for broadcast, and run through 20 to 100 thousand watt transmitters. Both of which are lossy mediums. Let's just say, those signals are dynamically compressed and band pass filtered to a very large degree.

This massive processing may or may not be pleasing in a system. How many times have you listened to a song on the radio, thought it would sound excellent in your system, bought it and then discovered that the vinyl or CD was poor at best by comparison? That would be because of the processing and the transmission characteristics. Processing is used on a very large scale during studio and mastering, but that processing usually pales in comparison to that used in a transmission chain.

Wonderful tuners such as those smooth sounding Magnum Dynalabs are indeed nice, but be careful to not confuse "nice" with "accurate".
I can't imagine paying $9000 to listen to commercial FM radio.
I guess that explains it ?

Thanks for the insight !

I can't explain or understand how it's possible, that tuner could sound that good !

but it does.

That's why I bought this up.
Jimpcn...I have heard the MD 109 . No argument over how good it sounds or that it betters the 108 I ended up buying or most if not all tuners for that matter. It should for almost double the price. RF_gumby's response very insightfully and informingly puts it in perspective. Some of my friends think I was nuts to have a 5000 dollar tuner till they hear it that is. I look at it this way, I never have to feed it vynil or CD's so other than a good set of nos tubes I get a lot of milage out of it for that investment.If I had the money I would not hesitate to trade up to the 109. As stated though, really nice , but certainly not as accurate, as vynil when set up properly.
FM, IMHO, is a means for background music. Therefore, my $20 NAD fleabay find suites me just fine. Good ol' fashioned dial, no presets, etc.
Many of these comments seem to be based on the assumption that "there's no way that a radio station's gear is better than mine" . . . pure audiophile snobbery. I agree that the vast, vast majority of FM stations sound like pure dog-crap. But it's because of choice, they don't need to . . .

First, a good FM station has an engineer that oversees the maintaince of all the equipment, and performs regular performance tests of the entire chain. Many of these people are extraordinarily talented and knowledegable from a technical standpoint, and take enormous pride in their work. Most of them I've known do it because they're passionate about radio, NOT because there's good money in it. Which there isn't.

Second, the processing devices that most FM stations use as part of their "air chain" are amazingly powerful and precise instruments -- and usually set up in such a way as to completely destroy the sound quality. But occasionally, they're set up and adjusted by an engineer that really cares about sound quality, and they can REALLY sound very nice. These are frequently stations at the bottom of the dial, many times with engineers that are donating much of their time to support their local college or community station.

Third, I've experienced a LOT of broadcast gear that simply sounds GREAT. Fond memories are of an old Ampro console chocked-full of precision transformers and rotary stepped attenuators, heavy Broadcast Electronics turntables with SME III tonearms and Ortofon integrated armwand/cartridges, the Gates TE-3 stereo exciter, and the fabulous Orban Optimod 8100A compressor/processor. All of this gear is designed to last for many decades, under harsh conditions (environmental AND electrical), and have virtually zero downtime. To meet these goals, most of this equipment uses conservatively-rated, high-quality parts that are extremely rare in high-end audio.

And finally, there exists quite a bit of potential accuracy of the FM signal chain itself. I remember making a typical 2AM audio performance check through the entire chain (console, studio-to-transmitter links with dbx noise reduction, Optimod, composite generator, exciter, transmitter, and broadcast monitor) and routinely getting frequency response of +/- 0.5dB from 30 to 15,000, with S/N ratio of about -55dB relative to 100% modulation, and 40dB-ish channel separation. WAY better than ANY phono cartridge. And the nice thing about FM is that once a signal is strong enough to be "full-quieting", the only thing that degrades this performance is multipath, and the quality of the tuner.

Thanks for that!

I think you hit it. Talented engineers on the back end that care make all the difference in radio.

But, if one's radio sound BETTER than ones's phono or digital, then that is probably a good indicator that a few tweaks to the system might be made to better the sound from your local sources in your system.
Please tell us more about the components in the vinyl chain. That would help me understand what you are comparing the tuner with, and I do know how good an FM tuner can sound.

"The tuner sounds similiar but has more dynamics and colorations, but is intimate, and just sounds damn good."

This describes 90% of the audio equipment out there, but doesn't tell me a damn thing.
"The tuner sounds similiar but has more dynamics and colorations, but is intimate, and just sounds damn good."

Sounds like your radio station is using a Lenco!

I own a MD108 and it amazes me since the day I got it. Don't ask me why, but it sounds better than most analog and digital combos I listened to.
Some time ago I listened to a Streisand Concert (no limiters) and I was VERY impressed. Even when a Radio Station works from Harddisk with limiters I can hear how good the CD from the artist is (or not). This Tuner (and the Basis Turntable ) survived every change in my system for years now.
Ok, Syntax, Thomas, whatever you go by these days. Can I assume your Basis is better than this tuner or not? What other components, digital or analog did you compare this tuner with?
Basis and Micro 5000 are better (with a good Phono stage/Arm, Cart., Cable), but this Tuner is a single box unit, 1 way to connect and that's it. Better than all Wadias until the latest units, better than dcs, Levinson and some others. I lost interest in digital after this experience. I avoid discussions like that, because I know, no one will believe it, but - for me - it is the way it is.
Thanks, Syntax. That does help give me an idea of what this unit is realistically capable of.

I can understand what you say about digital, especially CDPs. I'm using a little transport ripped out of a cheap boombox. It is based on a project on DIYaudio. So far this project transport has cost me about $400 but it is as good as any CD transport I've ever heard. This project has also taught me that there will not be any spinning digital media in my system once this little cdp is gone. Well, except for maybe a spinning harddrive. :-)
It could be the tubes in the MD. They can give music a more lifelike quality when added to a system.
"It could be the tubes in the MD."

That could do it if the other sources are tube deprived.

Radios were raised on tubes. Tubes were on the decline as vinyl became more popular. They were largely forgotten by the time CDs came around.

Now they are on the upswing again it seems at least with the audio obsessed crowd.
Great reply Kirkus. I was trying to be general enough to not step on toes, but help explain the transmit chains and possible sources of degredation. A set of good ears make much of the processing minimalistic loss-wise. Often times the processing can improve attributes of the sound. While in no way can it be considered a simple signal chain, it's not necessarily negative in results (not necessarily positive either though I must add).

Great dialog!
your missing the point big time !
haha you guys are hilarious, but I am dead serious.
thank you for your comments but with all respect to the 108 owners out there, the 109 really is better, it should be for the extra dough ray me !
Isn't the real test of the tuner how a live broadcast sounds, or the sound of the DJ's voice? Ie, without a turntable or cd player in the path? I agree, it can sound amazing.
haha, your funny

your missing the point big time !

haha you guys are hilarious, but I am dead serious.

Jim -- Just a friendly suggestion: It's impossible to tell who or what you are responding to. Consider using the markup tags that are explained in the link that appears below the "post your response" box.

-- Al should also actually read the other posts. I did clearly state the 109 was better than the 108...
When someone is really interested in a good sounding Tuner, no doubt, the latest Dynalab 109 is the way to go.
When I bought the 108, it was their Top unit and really expensive compared to others. But at that time I had 3 or 4 Tuners (Dynalab Etude, Naim 01, Onkyo ...I was fascinated from the free music I got) and the 108 was so MUCH better sounding from the first second, it was worth it.
I sold all other tuners a few days later. Never looked back.
>>03-04-09: Syntax
When someone is really interested in a good sounding Tuner, no doubt, the latest Dynalab 109 is the way to go.<<

Maybe for sensitivity and selectivity but not sonics.

I sell Magnum Dynalab but clearly prefer my Mac 71 and 77.

No contest

And the price difference between a 71 or 77 in good condition and the MD 109 is staggering.

I'm sure this is a great FM radio, but it would never work for me. I can't stand commercials and that is about all you get. I switched to sat radio a few years ago to get away from the commercials, but now that those two sat companies have combined, the talking has gotten worse.

No, don't think I'll ever be in the market for a $9K radio no matter how it sounds.
Yes, sorry I thought my responses would be inserted where
I responded.

the jokes or laughs were about the comment about the lenco table.
Had those mac tuners too, not bad just dont like the fat flabby bass.
mids and top end ok.

but in my opinion still not in the 109's league.

the comment about never spend $9000 Canadian or $7000 US
on a tuner is missing the point!

the question is how can a tuner out perform a turntable ?

my friends and I have more than 10,000 in table, and am shocked it dosn't seem to sounds good as his tuner109?

I know when I had the tubed Scott 4310 tuner I was stunned how it bettered my digital and vinyl sources. Currently my MDyna 101 serves the purpose- but it's no Scott. I'm not surprised to 109 is a great tuner, it ought to be for the price.
Yes, your right! it ought to be for the price! but the sad thing is most of my hiend friends have more money invested in their vynal riggs :>(

I am shocked by this finding, and wanted to spread the word/ because I wish I would have known this before investing so much in vynal !!!

True, what is said about the disadvantages of listening to
radio stations; that you have to listen to commercials
and you cant choose what song you want to hear when you want it, but from a hiend audiophile perspective,

its a shocking revelation to me that the tuner is the highest quality source in two channel.!
this coming from a tuner/radio hater!
the only saving grace is that living in Toronto, we have many high quality radio stations, and can flip from station to station using the remote.

there I said it,

it really bruses my ego thou
I suppose it is a shock for anyone who thinks vinyl is the top of the food chain. Gawd man! Don't ever listen to a good R2R! ;-)
Maybe those good FM stations tossed out their CD and record players and are using all reel to reel as their source or perhaps even miking their own all live performances? How do they fit the symphony orchestra into that studio though?

Another possibility is that maybe the table setup isn't that good or set up properly or that the recordings being played aren't recorded very well either?
possibility is that maybe the table setup isn't that good or set up properly or that the recordings being played aren't recorded very well either

well, lots of analog enthusiasts think, that analog reproduction is automatically better than everything else. That's a mistake, I listened to countless analog set ups which were simply nothing special (no depth, no body, no holographic picture, colored in nearly all frequencies etc....) and even expensive Systems can be really boring.
But to go back to Tuners, most are a pain to listen to but when we remember, a Marantz 10B was very expensive at its time, same for Sequerra.
Exceptional brain can create timeless fascination.