tuner better than turntable ? thread.

Hi,I started that thread a few months ago, and had said the top turners sound better than top turntables.

Well, I have to clarify, tuners like the Dynalab 108 and 109
in their stock form are very good but not as good as the best tables, but

a modified tuner with teflon coupling caps will actually
exceed the table, In my opinion.

I did not know that the my friends tuner had been modified.

I didn't realize till another friend bought a 108 and it didn't sound any where near as good as my friends 109 so
I asked him why, and my (jerk)friend just told me about the
teflon caps he had installed. Dooooooow

The modified tuner is about 30-40% better! than the stock
It was more extended and way more transparent!

By the way, teflon caps are expensive $40 to $200 ea., depending on values but if you have a vacuum tube preamp or tube power amp, you can upgrade your
audio equipment to a new level without selling your pieces.

It will transform your unit with extension especially top end, and with transparency that will amaze.

Just make sure you substitute the coupling cap with same value (uf) and voltage rating.

It's interesting to hear talk about top end extension on FM since by FCC regulation the top end of all commercial transmissions is limited to 15khz.
No, not even close. Most FM transmissions are compressed leaving very little in the way of dynamics and there is no information above 15,000 hz. Vinyl playback can be quite dynamic and extended.

Yes, I recall that thread.

Did you compare the two tuners in the same system and room? Otherwise, how do you know that the caps were responsible for the differences you heard?

And was the 108 the original older version, or the updated 108T version? And whichever 108 it was, how can you conclude that the upgraded caps in the 109 were the reason it sounded better than the 108, considering that they are different models?

-- Al
Record are capable of over 30 khz.What source is the radio station broadcasting?Live music all day?Or records and cd's as the source that sounds so good.You don't have to worry about poor coupling caps in a turntable,but what about all the coupling caps at the radio station?And I enjoyed FM until the stations changed formats in my area.Coupling caps can change the sound of a piece of gear so much,you might think its a totally different piece of audio gear.Just my 2ยข♫
I'll give you a "C" for consistency.

You were wrong a few months ago.

And you're still wrong.

Coupling caps?

Perhaps the better sound you hear just might be poor high frequency noise do to a bad source,electronics,or something else being filtered out by the fm tuner.If the source your listening to has very poor info at above 15 khz,blocking it out may make it appear to sound better.A lot of things may be going on that you may not be aware of.
There are rare cases where I would agree with you but they are in the distant past for the most part. WFMT in Chicago use to get master tapes from RAI , Radio Niederland, BBC and others. They also had live broadcasts. I can still remember hearing Doc Watson on Studs Turkle's interview program. Sounded better than he did in person when I heard him as that was over a theater sound system and this was over Quad 57s. But in the ordinary run of things there is no way the simple act of broadcasting material can make it better than the original source, the cases I mentioned were where no recording was involved or the one that was was better than any available to the ordinary person.
I'm actually tempted to agree. Under the best circumstances (live broadcast, no compression), a tuner is the closest thing I've heard to the real event. I'm not even trying to explain it. As pointed out above, the frequency range is limited to 15khz.

Maybe the pros (no heavy processing, mastering, etc...) outweigh the cons (limitation to 15khz), esp. since after a certain age, it's hard to hear above 16khz.

My experience is based on evening BBC broadcasts, I don't know what it's like in other countries.

It's also worth remembering that FM is dying pretty much everywhere and that quality programs are very rare. Investing in an expensive FM tuner doesn't make any sense unfortunately.

Is this a joke?
maybe just wishful thinking,
or maybe a full blown delusion.
I answered that other thread about a week ago. I currently don't have a turntable in my system but a near SOTA digital set up that I enjoy. My MD106T on certain broadcasts out performs my near SOTA digital system. I have owned turntables in the past because I am 57 years old and I plan on buying a modest turntable sometime within the next year. I will then report what I hear with a modest TT.
I don't understand the foundation for the OP.

I've got a fairly decent tuner (by any standard) without mods. Are you suggesting that I can mod this tuner as you did and actually 'improve' (not just change) its performance? Are you sure? Or have you just brought up the level of the reproduction capability of YOUR tuner? Have you actually compared your stock/improved tuner with any other high end tuners? Are you sure its improved, or is it just compensating for other components/speakers your are using, i.e. synergy?

And, while you are at it, assuming you respond, what TT's/Arms/cartridges were you using for comparison. And what recordings were you using.

It is hard for me to imagine a comparison between tuners and TT's (etc) based on what we are hearing today, if for no other reason than that stations are now broadcasting digital recordings. Vinyl hasn't been used in years. So what you are saying is that your tuner playing a digital recording sounds better than a vinyl recording over your vinyl system in your room and that it is a duplicate of the recording. Hummmmmmmm.
Their seems to no concept of band width in the starting OP. FM only has so much room to put the audio signal through. Its been a while but I remember that it is done mainly in two ways. First is the frequency cut off of 15K HZ which depending on how that filtering is done might not be that bad by it self. But we know that vinyl can go way beyond 15K.

The second way to "fit" the audio signal is to limit the amplitude of the signal, i.e. limit the dynamics. Now vinyl does that too but FM does it much more - it must to fit into the FM standard.

FM is a more "processed" format no matter how good the audio starts out.

That's not to say that way too much vinyl isn't overly processed some where in the chain, it is, but the format at its best allows for more than FM. I think a lot of material has ben produced "radio ready" (and now CD ready) and that's what you get on the vinyl product, not good.

FM is designed to be at a disadvantage to vinyl in two important ways.

Ghostrider45 I believe your correct!

I've been an audiophile for about 30yrs and when the wind is blowing in the right direction, I can hear up to 17Khz.
I was tested many years ago, even now I'm not sure???
and it's my opinion you can get most of the music within the 15khz.
Remember, I would prefer to listen to a resisticed hi-end system that expands to only 10 or 12k, than listen to 20khz
of lowfi distortion and junk.

I believe you understand what what I'm trying to say....
Hi Wendell;

I agree, Vynal playback can be very dynamic, especially with a dynamic system like my friends and I have, tri-biamplified with hi-effecincy drivers, and good vynal records!!!

But brother, do not assume for even a second that the tuner is not dynamic, it is the tuners greatest strength over vynal,
the dynamics is awsome, the output level and signal voltages
seems to be very large compared to vynal.

if this is not true in your system, well is not the tuners fault. Look at other areas.
I'm talking about top hiend tuners like the dynalab 108T and 109T.
but with teflon coupling cap modifications.

I would also say again, the stock tuners are not as good as our
vynal rigs.
Hi Hifitime;

The teflon coupling caps seem to allow more high frequencies with more volume so, I'm confused about what your saying about blocking out high frequencies?

I'm blessed to live in the greater toronto area where there are many great high quality radio signals/stations.

But your right about me not knowing what is going on and not being aware of it!!

I only know what I hear, and my friends confirm it also.

Thanks for the report card :>(

You have expericed the opposite of what I'm saying???

Tell us what you have or have heard and what your experience
is ???
Hi Stanwal;

I understand what your saying, and have always believed as you until, recently when my friends purchased this expensive equipment.

what can I say?, the bottom line ; hearing is believing.
Hi Jbcortes;

Congradulations and thank you for the explanation,
you obviously have a top notch system that can reveal.

I also can't explain it, but witness it time after time.

Like I said before we here in the Toronto, Ontario Canada
are blessed to have many hi-quality radio stations.

Unlike my friends who are tuner crazy they believe its a great investment for the stations here, I'm really a vynal guy, and would prefer to listen to the music I have when I want to listen, then be at the mercies of the radio stations programmers.

This is a personel preference thing.
Hi Doak;
Your a poet and don't even know it. :>)

This is not wishful thinking, it is unexpected and far from my thinking, as truly I'm a vynal guy.

but thanks for the smiles.
Hi Bobheinatz;

that's the spirit, experiement than report to us.

Also, if you change the coupling capicitors with teflon
in your 106T, you will be shocked.
It's about a 30 percent upgrade!
you can also change the wire from the connectors to circuit board with some hiend stuff to further the improvement.
Hi Newbee;

you asked; "Are you suggesting that I can mod this tuner as you did and actually 'improve' (not just change) its performance? Are you sure? Or have you just brought up the level of the reproduction capability of YOUR tuner? "

are they not the same? not sure which is which,
bottomline is the "see thru transpacency, dynamics,
and improved intimacy " is night and day.

it takes the tuner to the level that's even better than vynal.

I would also say that your 106T or even the 108T in it's stock version for is NOT as good as my vynal rig.

I have an older version of the Da Vinci wooden arm and magnetic bearing turntable, with an inexpensive Bluenote
Boboli signature cartridge.
I love the bluenote cartridges, and their voicing.
Also using the humble microbenz Luc. phonostage.
Hi Tdaudio;

I agree, "FM is designed to be at a disadvantage to vinyl in two important ways."

That's the reason why I started this thread!

I'm just amazed what the FM can accomplish.
shocking really. I can't explain it, just so much I don't know.

most don't agree with me, which is not surprising, but what is surprising to me is how good FM really is?
Jimpcn, if you're happy that's great. I have no doubt you have a wonderful tuner. No matter how good it is, you have no control over the technical limitations of the FM band and the horrible things that most stations do to the signal to make it even more limited. Happy listening.

Hi Al;

you aked;
"Did you compare the two tuners in the same system and room?"
no I did not, but am familiar with both systems and have alot of experinece in audio systems, that said your right,
there is a small element of uncertanty,

Otherwise, how do you know that the caps were responsible for the differences you heard?
because from what I understand is that the 108T and 109T
are basically the same unit using the same circiut boards
but the expensive display,metters and thick aluminum faceplates are different.

"And was the 108 the original older version, or the updated 108T version?"
it is the latest 108T, just one month old.

" And whichever 108 it was, how can you conclude that the upgraded caps in the 109 were the reason it sounded better than the 108, considering that they are different models?"

like I said, I understand the difference are only cosmetic.
and the same circiut boards are being used, hope I don't get into trouble with Dynalab. :>(
Hi Wendel;

I don't own these tuners, nor have I ever said I own these turners, they are my friends, and although it may be great, I still prefer to use vynal because I can play what I want when I want.

I have an inexpense unit that does the job of back ground music when I'm multi-tasking or when there is a live concert being broadcasted. I simply can't afford to keep up with the "jones".

but this thread is about the ultimate source quality and I shamedly admit, it might be the FM tuner.
Hi Jimpcn,
The fm stereo broadcast system is limited to 15khz the engineers chose when they designed it. The frequency's above 15khz aren't there to listen to.There may be noise above the 15khz in a lot of records that you hear on vinyl that wouldn't be there on the fm broadcasts you listen to.There are a lot of bad pressings.In the 60's to 80's I've exchanged many records do to bad pressings. I think a lot of times they ran batches of records off bad worn out dies,whether they knew it or not who knows.They had distortion and noise,even after breaking them in.Being records are capable of over 30khz,who knows whats there.A record has to be made as good as possible.So I'm guessing that blocked out high frequency noise above the 15khz may be why the tuner sounds better over vinyl to a lot of people.I don't have any stations in my area that plays the same music that I have to be able to compare.But once in a while,our college station plays some music I enjoy.I tried that digital tuner that Sam Tellig liked a lot(on about 20 different stations)and it was no match for my cd's,fm analog,or vinyl.If they play vinyl over the air and it sounds better,that's my only guess is noise or something else bad going on over 15 khz.
These negative comment's here you people have no clue how good FM broadcast can be.
A good FM station is vastly differant then your in home Lp and cd playback.

Likely you have never heard a good live broadcast through a great tuner connected to a proper antenna.

Regarding MD,and sorry to say none of the MD line is such a stand out example of what a great tuner is, I borrowed a few brands to check out over the years including the MD 108.

Two examples of what a great tuner is, my long standing Accuphase T-100 aligned and modded and a recent purchase of a Sansui TU-X1.

Like the best turntables of the past both of these tuners were designed back in the Golden Days of truly outstanding analogue playback components.
About 4 months ago I purchased a Kenwood KT-8300 tuner. I listen to KUNV in Las Vegas for the most part. I'm not saying the KT-8300 is the be all end all of tuners out there, but I'm very satisfied with what I'm hearing and as a result my CD play time has dwindled to the point that I'm considering selling my digital front end.
Here are interesting tuner info links.>>[http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/standings.html#41][http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/]
Another shootout link>>[http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/standings.html#41]
FM tuner info yes interesting though use as a guide NOT as the Bible.
There are other very sophisticated tuners it looks like they are not even aware of like from Germany.

Also stock unit to unit variations including be aware having alignment & modifications done.There are many self proclaimed techs that DO NOT know what they are doing.

One big red flag is talk of all this "audiophile approved"
Black gate,Cardas ect....Run

If you have a tuner that you want work done, a good place to start would be the Ham Radio community, note you will NOT get "Audiophile Approved" anything, they also know antennas better then anyother group.
FM Tuner info is a good info for deaf radio guys who like to look at the moving meters. In general, you will find a lot of horrible sounding Tuners, FM Tunerinfo is a good source for that and I agree, FM can be VERy interesting when the Station does not use limiters and other devices, which degrade the quality of the sound.
Once I did listen to a Live Concert from B. Streisand 1:1 via Broadcast, very impressive.
Most analog set ups can sound awful, too.
Syntax, LOL, you are right on! Careful reading of the FM site, as well as a few others, substantiate what you have pointed out. Finding a reviewer who is is actually an 'audiophile' with the attendant sensitivities to the QUALITY and TONE of the sound heard over a high quality system, as opposed to the 'quality' of the signal reception as heard or measured on a test bench is a rare event, but it does occur. The guy who loves Kenwood may, as I recall, be an exception.

What is really funny, to me at least, is that some folks want us to believe that if one's vinyl system was identical to that used by the broadcaster, and even assuming that the signal was not manipulated as it always seems to be, or was when vinyl was actually used, that it would 'sound better' over their audio system when heard thru a very good tuner than if one played back the same recording on vinyl thru their vinyl system. Go figure! :-)

What I read into the OP is that the poster likes an FM tuner better when playing broadcast digital music in general than the music he is able to obtain from either CD or Vinyl from his CD or Vinyl systems, presumably because all of the broadcast signal manipulation results in a pleasant sound absent all of the unpleasant artifacts inherent in these formats that are more difficult for many to deal with in their home systems. I doubt that the OP'er has ever heard a high quality, well set up, home audio system using all of the accoutrements.

BTW, FWIW, much as mod's are hawked, I've stuck to the sound produced by the Accuphase engineers. Some how I think they just might know a bit more about the subject than most modders. I expect SOTA tuner engineers know, or knew, what they were doing. But for those who might think otherwise, for the record I have never A/B'd two identical SOTA tuners, one modded/one not, so I could be FOS and not know what I'm missing.

I do agree with Stilskin about the benefits of a proper alignment and applaud his choice of the Accuphase T100. :-)
Hey Newbee;

Ever talk to people on the street that are audiophiles with
their Cerwin Vega speakers and Pioneer receivers?

Although the Accuphase T100 is a decent tuner, it simply is not in the league of the dynalab 108T or 109 tuners.
Not because if the specs or ability to pull in stations, but
mostly because of the audio section is inferior.
Also my conclusions have nothing to do with music material as you thought before.

Bottom line;
Here is the list of highest quality sources for home audio reproduction in order and in my opinion.

#1 Modified hi-end tuners, with teflon coupling caps in audio board.
#2 turntable
#3A stock hi-end tuners
#3B Digital CD,DVD,etc...

"thems the facts" according to three of our friends,
who's systems are well above average. :>)
I believe this, its just my worthless opinion.

I think this is a dead subject, I've made it clear what I
believe and will probably need not comment further.

Started this post, because it was a shocking revelation to
me, being in audio for so long, (can see many are shocked to); wanted to hear others opinions.

Have a happy new year and may He richly Bless you with
audio bliss and happy listening.

Peace, out.
Definitely listening to FM broadcast over the air we are a distinct minority with very, very few quality FM transmissions in existences today.

Syntax's comment here and else where does shed light on the mind set of many in this hobby be it the audio media, manufactures and the sheep they cater to.

Newbee I do like the sound out of Accuphase very much and with brief comparisons its close to the Sansui.
Little was done to modify it and it did retain it's sound., just cleaned up the stereo separation and sensitivity along with it's second alignment over many years.
Further listening now that the holidays are wrapping up and our company have all gone will tell me more.

Good listening and the best for 2010.
I fully expect the Sansui TU-X1 to leave my Accuphase behind performance and sound wise.

Cosmetically the TU-X1 was well looked after and was purchased from the original owner though it needs to be checked out thoroughly and tested.
I picked it up for almost pocket change through a local buy and sell paper.

Anyway so much can go sour over time that would directly effect the sound of something of this age.
I think this could very well be the case with Jims comment about the comparison of the Accuphase 100 and the MD tuners.
It wasn't my findings with the 108.
If we concede that band limited FM (15 khz) is musical, then we can't turn around and say that red book digital is flawed because its bandwidth is limited to 22.05 khz, or that vinyl, SACD, and other hi res digital are superior because they can reproduce frequencies greater than this.

It's an interesting philosophical question.