McIntosh MR78 upgrades?

I have an MR78 that's working well. 

I can bring it to Audio Classics, and for about a grand, get the power supply and audio section upgraded, and the tuner will be aligned. 

There's another shop, maybe 2 hrs from Audio Classics that does a power supply upgrade for $250, plus an alignment would be billed based on actual time on the bench. So let's say $350-$400. 

Is the audio section upgrade worth $600? Would be most interested to hear from people with Mac tuners that have had them modernized. 
768e3cdc b761 4131 ab7d b47af0995626zavato
I have only heard my MR 78 with the mod as I purchased it with it.  I would not even have considered one without.  My tuner sounds amazing.    As good as vinyl or tape.
This is an easy question. Send it to Audio Classic for the Richard Modafferi modification. Well worth the money, plus unlike other modifications, this will add value to your MR78
I picked up my MR71 for peanuts in the early nineties and cosmetically it happened to be excellent. The electronics were not good. I had the Modaferri mod done with the alignment, and it sounded great after that. Later, I sent it to Sam Kim in Montreal, and he worked his magic on it. After that, I no longer craved for the coveted Marantz 10b.

A few more thoughts about this. Does the tuner equal my vinyl front end? No way. And, I do have concerns that FM may be on its way out. Plus, I moved into a new home, and now need to do the roof antenna reinstallation. Right now, my tuner sits on my rack looking pretty, while I'm trying to figure out how to fund other needed system improvements.

Still, I'm driven to get this all done, because that's what it's about for me. So, yes, the expense was worth the results.
I disfavor mods in general, but the Modafferi MR78 one is different. Richard was heavily involved in the design of the RF sections of the tuner, and his mod of the 78 is more like an update, he putting everything he has learned about tuners in the intervening years into your 78. He also installs new, better RCA jacks, adjusts and aligns everything, and includes performance test results of your particular tuner.
Kenny - FM definitely on the way out  I have a roof antenna and a signal sleuth and I only get 2 stations (I am 60 miles east of NYC so college stations for me). But, they do sound marvelous.  
Cerrot - I read a rumor, and I think it was here on Audiogon, that one of the Scandinavian countries has eliminated FM altogether?

I do get the public radio stations, which is what I listen to. So, jazz, classical, and alternative. I really don't care for the rest. Even, my daughters stopped listening to "their" music stations, as the music has become shallow in mind and body in their opinions. I'm digressing.

Many of the antenna manufacturers are no more, or they just manufacture what's popular today. I own an SE Engineering antenna (no more), but I'm in the hunt for an old classic Channel Master or equivalent.

l wonder, if by the time I get my act together with roof/rotor/antenna, will there be a signal!!!? - LOL

zavato - I uploaded Richard's test results sheet after his modification of my MR71 if you're interested. It's temporarily added to my system's pictures. I'm sure their are many guys here, and probably yourself as well, who can analyze those results. I thought this might be helpful for you to determine what to expect from the mod.


Cerrot - I read a rumor, and I think it was here on Audiogon, that one of the Scandinavian countries has eliminated FM altogether? ... l wonder, if by the time I get my act together with roof/rotor/antenna, will there be a signal!!!
It's not just a rumor - Norway has shut down almost all analog FM. But that's easier to do in a tiny country such as Norway than in a large one such as the U.S. FM radio remains a huge industry in the U.S. and it's not likely to go away anytime soon.
Kenny- thanks! Interesting. Wonder how it tested before the mod!

I used to have a magnum dynalab tuner that that went through a factory upgrade at about $800 and I doubt I could hear a difference.

I did discover that one of my panel lights- a "festoon bulb", whatever that is, is out. 
I found the MR71 on a heap of discarded gear at a used audio joint. I'm not sure if it even tested before the mod.
The MR71 looks great in that maple case. Is that a custom?

My later model is looking tired and shedding.
I like the look of the base instead of footers also.

Your RM modded 71 must sound amazing. My stock box plays great. It has been refreshed/NOS tubed. I have the RM mod on the wish list. 


The cabinet was made by High Quality Reproduction Cabinets who specialize in the classics. They offer almost any veneer, and I wanted the Birdseye Maple. Extremely happy with their work, and I still have an original Walnut cabinet that I picked up, but it's also a little tired looking.

When I get it hooked up, I will seek some advice about tubes for rolling, because I can't even tell you what's in it now.

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I believe you just want to fuss with the 2 audio output tubes-6BL8.

The others are what was used to ad/align to spec?

Once changed, adjustments are off?
Right, good point. It would be nice to find a local guy to do realignment, so when a tube needs to be replaced, I'm not shipping the tuner off somewhere.

I'm wondering how these comments are adding up for zavato? It seems that no matter what we have, we keep messing with it ($cha-ching-$cha-ching). - LOL

zevato - IMHO, no matter how much you put into a tuner, it's still a tuner. It will never sound as good as a fine turntable or digital source.
Kenny, you're right, and part of my issue is that in my area I really have only 2 stations that sound good. So I truly question whether the full blown mod is worth the money vs just recapping the damned thing. 
Richards MR78 mod includes increasing the tuner's alternate and adjacent channel selectivity, which improves it's ability to pull in closely-spaced channels cleanly.
Decided not to go the Audio Classics route. Selectivity is not an issue where I live and and I only have a handful of stations worth grabbing. Given that, I'm doing the recap and alignment and easily saving $600 in the process. That's solid $ to spend on music. 
So I heard from the folks that I brought my MR78 to for recapping. They advise that some of the caps inside are just a few years old, and some are original. Apparently someone tinkered around inside several years back. I'm told the work was neat and high quality caps were used. Curious that whoever did the work a few years ago only replaced a few caps. 
I had some good tuners in my audiophile life (Naim NAT01, Sequerra Ref) and still have a Tandberg 3001A for sale and a recently acquired Leak Troughline 2 (shipped to London Sound for check restoration and alignment) with De Paravicini stereo decoder, but never a Mac yet.
Sure one day I will have one but hesitate between MR78 and 77. I heard the "77" would be more musical sounding than the "78" model (without mods).  Did someone on the forum comared them ?