So are you telling me that there are no Tube Tuners being used by members of this forum?
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The best place for tuner information is to join the yahoo FMtuners group. I have a Mcintosh MR67 tube tuner and really like it. I was looking for either a MR67 or MR71, but got the MR67 because I found one in mint condition. The McIntosh tuners sound great, hold their value, and you can have them serviced by either Terry Dewick or Audio Classics.
A good place to buy tube tuners is actually ebay. Search for the model(s) you are interested in for about a month to get a feel for price and the range of conditions. Best to wait and bid on one that is in really good shape. Mine still looks brand new and it is 40 years old!
As with yourself, I love tubes - not necessarily just vintage stuff though and I almost went the tube tuner route ala McIntosh some years ago.
Before I did the deed, I had an opportunity to listen to a Accuphase 101 in my system (all tubes) and I must tell you how impressed I was. Not only with all the tuner performance criteria (the spec's re reception) but the analogue output. When tuned to a good classical station the output was crystal clear, not warm, not cold, not grainy, not anything but crystal clear! Love it still. Its now about 30 years old and everything works just like new.
Don't write off some of these old SS tuners. You may not need tubes. BTW I owned Sansui TU717, Magnum, and Perreaux tuners before this purchase. Not even close in build or sonics with any of these. FWIW.
Sirspeedy I have heard some negative things about the Mapleshades, I have two Scott tuners (LT 110-B) and (310E)my ide and joy. I am very lucky to have a Scott guru that lives here in my city, and does all my work on them. Once he does his thing with them they no longer need anything else done to them.
I've owned over 30 tuners and currently have Mac MR-71, MR-77, and MR-78.
The tubed MR-71 is unquestionably the best sounding of the three but least sensitive and selective.
Look for a used MR-77. The used price represents a great value. Its' sonics will embarrass the Magnum Dynalabs and Fanfares available today.
I have to agree with Audiofeil that a good classic tube tuner will sound better than the modern offerings. I remember calling up Magnum Dynalab years ago, when their then top of their line Etude was new, to ask them how they thought their tuners compared with a Dyna FM3. They basically intimated that there was no comparison. IME though, my tube tuners have trouble pulling in distant stations cleanly in comparison to my Magnums. Living where I do this is a significant issue in that most of the stations that I listen to are a few hours drive.
Just got a Scott 310E, freshly aligned and put in tip top shape by my tech. I just am extremely impressed.
I've also a McIntosh MR71, Sherwood S3000V, Fisher KM60, Sony ST-5000FW, Sony ST-730ES, and a couple of the new Sony HD tuners. A number of other SS tuners have come and gone. Still have a new-to-me Marantz 125 coming from the shop some day that I haven't heard yet.
My love of tuners, and especially TUBE tuners, stems from my local all analog, non-commercial FM station, KKUP. They have an all analog signal path and often do live studio music.
The live stuff is the absolute highest quality sound I can hear in my home, short of my 13 y/o daughter practicing her oboe/flute/violin. Of course, as a papa, I might be prejudiced on the latter source.
I picked up a Fisher KM60 off E-Bay locally about 6 months ago that was basically never used. Apparently the original owner who assembled it did not solder one wire, and gave up on it not working. Original tubes and looks brand new, it replaced a Fanfare FT1-A. Makes the Fanfare sound digital in comparison.
I use the McIntosh MR67 tubed tuner and it is incredible sounding. Listening to classical and jazz music over National Public Radio is often times more enjoyable to me than listening to my cd player. Way better than any solid state tuner that I've heard including ones costing into the thousands of dollars.