You may want to see about posting your question to oneof the contributors on the fmtunerinfo.com website - a must visit for anyone interested in tuners.
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Older McIntosh was considered the creme de la creme in it's last tube configuration befopre the tuners became solid state.Do a search for official Mac site and think there is a link to a site maintained by one of the previous employees with all the vintage stuff but their was one model that collectors coveted most that could be got for $1500-$2K.Other than a broadcast standard $5500 Magnum Dynalab some think it's the best ever made.Sorry I can't remember the model number but ask arround and Mac fans will know.Also have seen big market in old Fishers being re-built lately.Know that the cable company Mappleshade is selling them but you could get beter deal I am sure rolling your own.
I had been in the 'vintage'' tuners for the past 10 years. Owned many ''classics'' (the usual prospects from Kenwood, Sansui and the like, from $ 75.00 to over $ 600.00 ).
Lately, I came across this little unassuming tuner from Cayin, the 220i, and was given a lesson in all the detail I had been missing. Here's my take on it:
If you go with a tube amp (like me), you will get all the creamy butterscotch you need sound-wise with a modern tuner.
Once I let this slim little Cayin bugger warm-up, I gave it a listen, I switched stations VIA THE REMOTE CONTROL, until I found a terrific tune. The soundstage was huge, and I heard detail I never hear from ANY of my vintage tuners (one of which I purchased at a high price and was perfectly aligned) I told myself '' good enough for me, no way I'm going back to vintage tuners, game over''.
Actually guys I think most of you missed the original intent of the post. What I was curious aobut was the signal change from analog to digital. I know many large radio stations are gearing up to brodcast in digital. I know that the FCC is planning to gobble up all the analog stations in late 2009. So if analog is going to disappear in the near future. What whould be the point of buying an expensive analog tuner? It will just sit there and look pretty.
I will admitt that tuners seem to do an excellent job of presenting a sound stage. And I don't need to keep getting up to put on more music.