Mac MR78; timeless. Accuphase T100; musical. Onkyo T9090MkII; best performance/value tradeoff. Magnum MD108; best ever, price no object. For the record, I currently own the Magnum MD102, have owned other Magnums in the past, owned several Onkyos, had a terrific Kenwood late 70s tuner (forget the model # now), I'm always on the lookout for another vintage Accuphase. Macs are great but too overpriced in the current market, particularly eBay which is obscene. Just my opinion...
Yamaha T-2 Nice also. Also Onkyo 9090II mentioned. Super expensive even though fairly old is the Marantz 10B.
Let me add my 2cents for "affordable" tuners (less than $1000 retail -> less than $500 on used market. Check out Sony's latest offering STS-SA50ES (superb on classical stations!), very open and transparent. #2 JVC FX1010Tn or FX1100(Bk). Overall very good irrespective of station/music. #3 Denon TU-800. Superb selectivity but AM section not as good. #4 Nakamichi ST-7. Very musical though specs are not as good as others. However, this is one case where specs can be safely ignored. I picked up a used piece for $300 and am enjoying it a lot. Have never listened to the Onkyo so that accounts for its absence.
FOR THE MONEY YOU CANT BEAT A TANDBERG 3011A THIS IS A GREAT TUNER. IT PICKS UP STATIONS THAT I COULD NEVER RECIVE WITH OTHER TUNERS.JUST MY OPINION.
I'd like to hear about what folks think of the last higher quality tuner from Yamaha, the TX-950. Also, what about Fanfare? Thanks.
i had a tandberg 3011a - it dint hold a candle to my onix bwd-1 w/soap power supply, or my revox b-261, either in reception *or* sound-quality. it was about on par w/my adcom gft-1a (adcom's best tuner, imho). now, the tandberg 3001 - *that's* a tuner! also, the top tuners by linn & naim are excellent-sounding tuners. don't forget the day-sequerra tuner.
Hi, I was in the audio business years ago..and had the chance to own several of the oldies from Yamaha 7000, T-1, T-2 etc, and Mac's and others. A properly set up Magnum Dynalab MD-108 is not only the best sounding tuner ever made, it is also better sounding than most other source products out there. The MD-102 is very good, the Etude is dated, the Fanfare is super......and an unknown gem is the Classe T-1......there are others...and money is always a factor....but this is a great Chat topic...A great tuner is by far the best way to learn of new music....and re-issues that you may want to ad to your collection....and there is no tape machine or multi-cd changer..that can provide the endless hours.....of course you need stations, (be they classic, jazz or pop) in your area that are worth listening to.
I hate to get into this because I could write a book, I have had over 75 top tuners, most of all these talked about and MANY more. I use SE 2A3 tube amps and am a very fussy audiophile for over 25 years. No real simple answers here but here goes. 10B is the best sounding, MR 67 is also excellent sounding if it is tuned up. Next is analog, Accuphase 100 and 101 are great. Value digital are the Yamaha 1000U and T-85. Best at getting weak stations is the Pioneer F-93. All of these are my opinion based on 25 years of trial.
I'm totally thrilled with the Fanfare FT-1A! I wanted a great analog tuner with digital ease of use; this is it.
All of the above are great tuners of course.Most listed are mega buck tuners new and used. However I vote for the orginal little NAD 4020A Tuner. At $200.00 new was and still is an unbelieveable good tuner. I bought one for my son in 1985,and to this day performs flawlessly. Now hooked up to an outside antenna,the performance is even more remarkable. Just proves the point do not have to spend megabucks for superb equipment. Just my opinion. Tuner in my system is the Sumo Charlie. Cost a lot more than the NAD,but other than that the NAD and SUMO areon equal footing.
To answer Talmadge3's question about the Yamaha TX-950, i think that it is lacking in the sonics department. I am not passing judgement blindly, as i currently have one in my HT system. While it is LOADED with usefull features ( except a remote !!! ), the sound is not up to all the ravings. Treble is somewhat hard sounding with a lack of detail and smoothness. I also don't achieve the soundstage that i get out of other tuners ( Quad, Musical Fidelity, Magnum, etc.. ). I would have to say that compared to many of the other "mid-priced" tuners on the market, it is probably amongst the cream of the crop. It just doesn't stack up against some of the better, though still relatively inexpensive, tuners on the market. For those on a budget, the Quad FM4 and Musical Fidelity tuners are quite excellent as long as you can provide a decent antenna to them. While not the best on sensitivity, both provide very good sonics if the broadcast is up to the task. Sean >
Don't forget the Sansui Tu-X1,Kenwood kt-917, L-07 and the kt-8300.Luxman made some good tuners. analog tuners are the best!
Well, you all know I want to stay out of this, and never get into discussion groups. But......everything i have read here tonight by all of you holds alot of merit. In looking at the list of tuners mentioned as well as the comments......outstanding opinions guys! My vote for the single best tuner that money can buy ( I don't care for the Etude ) is the MD108. Trying different tubes will satify anyone to the point of making most tuners as exciting as "cold toast". Got to love the 10B and the Sequerra, but for todays tuners and service to go along with all the use I put mine through ( 16+ hours a day)....the MD108 is the KING. Price??? ouch!!! Don't be afraid to ck out the MD102 as an alternative. My top 10 list would have most ALL the tuners you all have mentioned. Accuphase T100, Yamaha CT-7000 get a big salute in solid state analog tuners and with that, I will shut up. Could go on way too long. Nice input you tuner freaks "the tuner guy"
I do not have much experience with tuners. I had one in my first Technics "rack" stereo years ago; actually I still have that tuner, my neighbor uses it. I decided a couple of months ago to look into a tuner again, I bought an old Sansui TU-717 to see if I would enjoy using a tuner, which I did. After researching things, I bought the Fanfare FT-1A. Again, I do ot have a lot of knowledge about tuners, but I will give a plug and say I think the Fanfare is a great tuner.
I agree with the post that the Yamaha TX-950 is not great in the sonics department. Any Onkyo Integra (ie, other than the T9090II) sounds better than the TX950.
Sean: The Yamaha TX-950 I use to own had a remote. It is an option that is extra $$$
Just an added note,...I wish there was a way to get all the remaining 2-channel fans out there to take notice..ie: If you don't have a great tuner----Get One! Nothing you can buy will bring you, and your system, as much music...and knowledge in music....as a tuner can.. Most hifi people have had an early "receiver" or cheap tuner experience that has made them leave tuners out of their systems.....a real shame for them. P.S. The new Magnum MD-208 is superb.
The Day Sequerra FM Reference--truly a work of art, sonically and visually. Another great sounding older tuner, in addition to those listed in this thread, is the old Musical (British) Fidelity T2 tuner, which was a wonderfully sweet sounding tuner.
Any one have had or know about the nice little tuner from NEC,the T6 and later the T6A. For the price, the performance is really great. With a right antenna it really has wonderful sound. I am remeber right, it used to be Stereophile class B for around $400.0. I have it now ( I bought it used for $100) and really no need for upgrade!
Is the Carver TX11A in the big leagues? It is not the best sounding tuner but it sure can pull in distant stations.
Here are what i rate as the best tuners. First, the best Analog tuners. Hands down, the best tuner ever, was the Yamaha CT7000 tuner. This Tuner has a sweetness that has to be heard. Plus the tuning knob is very light and flys across the dial. Also, the Yamaha T2 was a nice tuner, but not as good as the CT 7000 tuner. Other great Analog Tuners were, the Pioneer TX 9800, Accuphase T100, Kenwood, KT 917, KT 8300, Luxman T 110, Luxman 5T 10, Luxman 5T 50, Mcintosh MR 78, Tandberg 3001 tuner, Technics, 9030, Sansui Also made great tuners in the late 70s, the TU 717, TU 919, TU 9900 and the TUX1 The only thing i didn't like about the Sansui TU 9900 tuner. The tuning knob was heavy and it had these grooves i didn't like. But the Sansui Tuners did sound great. The best digital tuners are, the Revox B261 and Revox 760 tuner, Onyko 9090 tuner, Accuphase T109 tuner, Carver TX 11A tuner, Sony 707es, Sony STS 50es and Sony STJ 88B tuner, Denon TU 800, Nakamichi ST 7, Mcintosh MR 80 tuner
Mac MR-80 Mac MR-78 Magnum FT-11, FT-101A, MD-102, & MD-108. Sequerra Studio Sequerra Reference Toshiba ST-901 (you had to see & hear it to believe it). Yamaha CT-7000 & 7000B Yamaha T-2 Onkyo T-9090 & TG-10 (same thing). Kenwood 1000 (don't remember exact model, but Stereophile reviewed it around 1997). BTW, I have owned every single one of these, therefore this list is based on actual hands on experience.
These two tuners have the beautiful tube sound...hunt far and you will be rewarded at a fair price
Accuphase T101 and Yamaha CT7000B. Bot excellent and very musical with a good 3-d effect
MY NEEDS FOR A GREAT TUNER ARE DISTANT STATION CAPABILITIES AND GREAT SOUND. I USED THE YAMAHA T-2 FOR MANY YEARS. BEAUTIFULLY BUILT AND GREAT SOUND. AFTER TALKING TO SOME OF THE ABOVE REVIEWERS I FOUND THE YAMAHA T-1000U. UNBELIEVABLE DISTANT STATION CAPABILITIES AND GOOD SOUND. I HAVE JUST TAKEN THE ULTIMATE LEAP OF FAITH AND HAVE ON ORDER A MAGNUM DYNALAB MD 102.GREAT DISTANT STATION PERFORMANCE. STEREO 50DB QUIETING AMAZING. BUT THE SOUND QUALITY IS THE BEST I HAVE EVER AUDITIONED. THESE THREE HAVE BEEN MENTIONED IN MANY OF THE ABOVE REVIEWS.
i actually think my little Magnum FT-11 sounds better (paid $300 for a used one) than my $3000 dollar Naim CD Player. to the point i listen to it more than digital.
Magnum Dynalab "The Etude". For the money I don't believe there is better. The quality is more noticeable on the serious radio stations that don't compress their signals. Usually these are the classical and jazz stations. The Etude picks them up cleanly and sets up a beautiful soundstage, due to its great seperation. I think it is first rate.
alittle bit off the subject, but i am looking at buying a used Quad 4 Tuner. does anybody have any thoughts they would care to share with me about this tuner? i recently sold my MD FT11 and was looking at this tuner. i do use a tuner quite a bit so i want to find a good one. thanks
nikko gamma 1, built like a tank, fm only with many features
I have had over 70 top tuners and tried most quality tuners mentioned. This is no easy answer due to the many factors however here goes.
Best tube tuners, (of course tuned up) Marantz 10B, hands down, Mac MR67, Scott 310E, Scott 310D-mono.
Analog, Accuphase 100 and 101, MR78 is nice buy waaay overpriced, Sansui Tu-X1.
SS for Sen and sel, Pioneer Elite F-93, Onkyo 9090II.
SS overall for performance, value and sound, the Onkyo 4711.
Best performing tuner under $250 may be the Yamaha T-85, super performance, 4 bandwidths.
I could mention things I did not like about many of the tuners on the other list but will not.
Tuners must have good DXing to be on my lists, for if you cannot get the stations in very well all is lost.
I hate Fishers, sorry, never were right, tried many.
I use Cary Mono Single ended triode 2A3 amps with VV2a3 tubes, just so you get an idea.
Just discovered this website-FM tuners have been a passion with me since I am always searching for classical music stations.I own currently own an MR 78,MR 80, Onkyo 9090II,Kenwood KT 8300, Carver TX 11A,MR65B,Mr71,Scott310B,Scott4310,Fisher 200B, early Sherwoods, etc. The tube units have excellent sound, but the analog solid state tuners from early 70`s to late 80`s are the best for sensitivity and especially selectivity. I find adjacent channel selectivity increasingly important in this time of proliferating FM stations. The best tuner in my experience is the Mac MR 78-unbeatable adjacent channel selectivity,excellent sound and ease of use.RF performance of the Onkyo almost comparable.The Carver is a solid all round performer with a high fidelity AM section as well.
i owned both the mac mr67 and the kenwood kt-8300. stock vs stock, the 8300 had better selectivity, better detail, but was analytical to a fault, whereas the 67 was warm but soft throughout...sold the 67, modded the 8300 and its about as good as my digital gear.
I believe that the Audiolab 8000T tuner should be on the list. Great tuner, excellent FM and AM. The only real negative is that the bulbs in the front display need to be replaced from time to time. Also the the Kenwood 600T tuner is excellent, very well built. Cheers.
Nakamichi 630 Tuner-Pre amp. I am still using it after 25 yrs and I haven`t heard anything better.
Strange how no-one posted the cream of the crops from Kenwood, Oh I see a few KT models were posted, but why not the Trio-Kenwood L-01T L-02T L-03T. My guess is that they were just to rare and expensive for their day. I own the L-01T and it is one hell of tuner, I had the Magnum Etude's and the Accuphase T100 & T101 as well as a few others listed here. I have yet to own one of the Mac's, but thats my next step after the L-01T sales
I HAVE A MARANTZ ST 7 OSCILLOSCOPE TUNER (VERY RARE)AND A TANDBERG 3011A THE MARANTZ IS VERY SELECTIVE IN NARROW POSITION BUT 3011A IS SUPERIOR IN DYNAMIQUE AT LOW FREQUENCY
I'm using an Accuphase T-101 with great results. Replaced an MR-78 which was nice but did not convey the musicality or bandwidth of the T-101.
Has anybody out there ever tried a Eumig T-1000? It was an early digital from Austria. Years ago I owned a Draco CPU 100 tuner which was an all-time champ not mentioned here yet. It was the Sherwood digital tuner revived by Draco after Sherwood abandoned the project. Anyone know of it?
I am in the market for a new tuner and have really enjoyed reading this forum on the Top 10 Tuners. A lot of these posts are over 2 years old and I was wondering how the new Accuphase T-109V stacks up today (it has been recommended as the best by the dealer here in Denver who also carries McIntosh and Magnum Dynalab)? The Accuphase T-109V is mentioned in this forum a couple of times but I believe it was really too new to have been thoroughly understood and evaluated during a majority of this forum. Am I correct and what are everybody's thoughts on this tuner?
A couple of people here have mentioned the one on my shelf; DENON TU-800. No one has mentioned the Luxman T-117. I heard them side by side, I prefered the Luxman. My friend had both, unfortunatley the Luxman died. Luxman no longer services the US market and parts are no longer available.
As an update to my posts above... Wanted to add another vote for the Classe Tuner-1 and any tuner modified by Don Scott.
the best tuners of all are this one , who where build to serve other tuners , in German " Ballempfänger " . I have two Rohde und Schwarz EU 6201 and two Telefunken EBU with nuvistors and professional decoders like R+S MSDC . They are build in professional way and never sold to the public .At their time , in the 70s , a EU 6201 costed 5000 § . All what you hear here in Germany , passed a "Ballempfänger" in the transmitter towers and then comes to your antenna . There is no other way to hear good music from FM , you must use the same receivers the professionals use .
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Linn Kremlin. Expensive, yes. But VERY nice. I managed to get my hands on a latest spec 25th anniversary model and wouldn't give it up for the world.
Once again....Bravo on all of your opinions and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Well, I guess the proof ( for me ) is what tuner stays and what tuners do not. Also , and very important, is what tuners are in my home/store system and do not move for a long, long time. Well you all mention tons of good ones and I have over 100 in my collection. I try to use them all and do enjoy each one for what it is. At this time, I no longer own the MD 108, Marantz 10B, or the Sequerra. These are kind of concidered the "big three", but that does not mean you have to own one. A 10B holds a spot in my heart no other tuner could, but the tuners that have been most listened to and NEVER moved from my system are the Kenwood 917, Mac 67 ( well tuned ), and for dx-ing.........the Pioneer F91. The F91 is not as "trick" as the F93, but much more musical, in my very humble opinion. These 3 tuners account for 95% of my music listening/recording and looking back a year ago, the same 3 tuners were "on line" ( at home ) along with a reVox 260S. There are also some killer "budget" tuners out there and my Van Alstine Mod Dyna FM-5 and FM-3 kick butt as does a well tweaked tube Sherwood. You do NOT have to spend a ton of loot on a good tuner. If they are in good health, some of the classic "budget" tuners can simply satisfy your every FM need.
Bottom line.....If you are happy with your FM..........no need to search for another. If you listen to it for hours on end and never touch it ( don't touch that dial ).......leave it alone. If you fuss with it all the time...........it ain't workin :) But then, that kind of sums up all audio equipment for me. Good Listening Gang "the tuner guy"
My favorite tuners currently in my system are the Harman Kardon Citation 18 and Philips AH 673. Both are very satisfying musically and for DX'ing in stock form. Who knows what kind of magic they could put out with a few modded tweaks.As always, a great tuner is only as good as the antenna that's hooked up to it in conjunction with a good clean,uncompressed signal. Check out www.fmtunerinfo.com if you love tuners.
Without a doubt, hands down the vintage Scott 370 FM Tuner. Read the 89 TAS review.Must be tuned and aligned properly. This is a sleeper, Marantz 10B crusher. Live radio performances sound like your in the hall. Good luck finding one!
Luxman T-14. Audio quality is limited only by the quality of the broadcast signal. I think this is true of a number of tuners, but the slim (2") Luxman gets extra points for sheer beauty and layout of controls.
McIntosh MR-71 with Richard Modefferi upgrade. The original MR-71 is very nice sounding. The reception, sound stage and frequency response go one step further after the mod. It sounds better than my $1000 CD player.
However, the broadcast station is also important too.
I've compared to MR-80 ( to warm and dark in my setup) Onkyo 9090 MK II, and Dynalab Etude and they don't even come close. It also looks very classy. Definitely work the collection and enjoyment. I would love to try the MD108 but I can't see myself spending $5000 for a tuner.
How many of you folks have ever compared identical models i.e. one Pioneer TX-9500 vs another Pioneer TX-9500 etc... against each other ? I've done this on many occasions with as many as a half dozen identical models at one time. My findings ? Every tuner is different due to mass production parts tolerance and alignment variations. As such, it is possible to get a "Super Duper FM 1000" that kicks ass while the next one off the production line was a complete lemon. As such, if you were the one that got the "lemon" and / or the one that "kicks ass", your results might be very different from
I currently have about 20 tuners ( several of them listed above ) with at least four of them that i've not had a chance to listen to / use as of yet. I've probably had close to 100 different tunes over the years, but that is nothing compared to folks like Franz and other "radio-heads" : )
One of them that i never had but always wanted to check out was the Sherwood / Draco Micro CPU 100 that Macrojack mentioned. These are supposedly hard to maintain nowadays and it has made me leary enough NOT to buy one. Anybody else ever have one / still use one of these "babies" ??? Sean
I've been able to compare just a couple of similar tuners, side by side. Denon TU-800's and Luxman T-117's. In these comparisons the differenmces, while there, were very subtle, and I could have lived with any of the units compared. Of course these are very small sampling rates and don't account for much. I think the point is well taken.
sean...Your comment about unit-to-unit differences was very true in the days of analog tuners, where exact alignment of multiple stages of tuning circuits was as much art as science. With today's digital tuners and phase lock loop chips I had the impression that unit-to-unit differences were small, although I must admit that I never had a bunch of the same models on hand to compare. I did have a tuner where the biFet front end RF amplifier transistor was blown, (so the RF gain was 1) and the tuner still worked fairly well. I suppose that RF gain variations could occur and produce the effect you remark upon.