View Full Version : The best tuner ever


javelin79
12-10-2008, 10:12 PM
Hi fellow AKer's I know I will get alot of heat for this. Of course there are some good solid state tuners out there. The Tx1000 from pioneer, the sanyo plus series tuner, yamaha has a few. But there is one out there that can be found both working and not working and needing some work. To put this short its the Dynaco FM3 tube tuner. The sound quality is unmatched compared to any tuner I have ever listened to. The sound is warm and spacial and the tuner can be aligned at home with no special tools required. No special equipment needed to do anything to it. Also the tuner section is incredibly strong. Weaker FM stations are brought in........in stereo. If anyone has opinions or can speak from experience lets hear about it.

sheltie dave
12-10-2008, 10:19 PM
The FM3 wouldn't crack my top 100, but opinions are just that. www.fmtunerinfo.com has one of the better comparative and peer reviewed shootouts. The Marantz 20B, 150, 120, and Sansui TU7900 readily top my three Dynacos, and all my receivers do as well, excepting the Sansui G5050 which needs work. The Dynaco was spec built to be a middling tuner for its day.

More arrows incoming.:scratch2:

johnda
12-10-2008, 10:57 PM
Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Incoming!!!! The Dynaco was certainly designed to be an economical unit, if that's what you mean by "middling". It was the favorite of a great number of people primarily because of that warm and spacious sound. It is a sweetheart just like my Dynaco SCA-35 amplifier was. So, as for me, I wouldn't call the sound of the FM3 middling, only the price.

"Twanggggg":D

Bob E.
12-10-2008, 11:08 PM
I'd like to find a REL "Precedent" just for the cool factor. No tuning capacitor, full-permeability tuning needs no AFC. It was exotic and considered "the ultimate" by many, even in it's day. Oh, did you want stereo? Sorry, hadn't happened yet when it was built...but as a laboratory instrument disguised as a tuner, it would have to rank high for "wow!" factor for me.

--Bob

ponderbear
12-10-2008, 11:14 PM
I love my FM-3 too. I can listen to it for hours with no fatigue. It looks cool.

It's the best tuner in the world... for me, in this house, listening to this station right now. Because I am listening to it and loving it.

For anyone else, listening to anything else, is the best in the world? Don't know, don't care.

If you have a tuner that makes you happy, what else matters really?

snap. one broken arrow. anybody else ready to make peace?

Njord Noatun
12-10-2008, 11:14 PM
AK Search is your friend:

Thread 1 (http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=180064)
Thread 2 (http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=193483)

But if you just wish to cut to the chase, here is your final, indisputable answer: :smoke:


http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/TPT-3001A.jpg

ponderbear
12-10-2008, 11:16 PM
But if you just wish to cut to the chase, here is your final, indisputable answer: :smoke:


http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/TPT-3001A.jpg

How shocking you'd say that ;)

beans
12-10-2008, 11:18 PM
Now it's time to put up the picture of the REL Precedent ...you know the drill. :D
... not that I have anything against it. In fact, I'm utterly fascinated by it. :nerd:

EDIT: Somehow I missed the post where it was mentioned already... a really interesting instrument.

ponderbear
12-10-2008, 11:28 PM
Not again! Let's look at a Howard instead. Cause it's cute.

http://www.somerset.net/arm/radio_pictures/howard_482.jpg

mhardy6647
12-11-2008, 08:28 AM
The REL Precedent is the sine qua non as far as I am concerned. There are a few of them kicking around in New England.

In terms of good sounding and affordable, the Sherwood tube tuners are hard (maybe impossible) to beat. Scotts and Fishers are great, but have more cachet and are consequently pricier. No need to mention McInstosh :-) Someday, someday...

2chanman
12-11-2008, 01:30 PM
I was one of the first to buy and build the FM-1 Dynatuner when they first came out. It became an FM-3 when I bought the multiplex adapter for it. That "warm" sound was due to a lack of high frequency response stemming from a -3db error in it's de-emphasis circuitry. It didn't have AFC, but certainly needed it, as it drifted for at least a half hour after turn on. I was never impressed with it and was happy to sell it, as it required repair several times. The later Dynaco FM-5 and AF-6 tuners surpassed the FM-3 in EVERY respect. That statement should bring the tweaks out of the woodwork.

JohnVF
12-11-2008, 01:33 PM
I have an FM-3. It sounds great. My Fisher FM-200b, slightly modded by my tech, walks all over it sonically. If I could control what the stations broadcast, I could happily live with the FM-200b as my only source forever.

JohnVF
12-11-2008, 01:34 PM
But I think the FM-3 is the coolest looking tuner. Simplicity at it's most simple.

2chanman
12-11-2008, 02:57 PM
Mine didn't look cool. It had the cheap thin brass front panel that model started out with. The later extruded aluminum panels looked a lot better.

JohnVF
12-11-2008, 06:00 PM
I'd never seen a tuning eye before the one I have. I'm not old enough to remember tubes growing up (though the family stereo had home built speakers biamped with dynaco tube equipment, later given by my father to one of my sister's now ex boyfriends).

Speaking of which, my FM-3 is most likely going back to my father as I help him rebuild his stereo. That tuning eye is cool. Mine's developed a hum, however, that I need to figure out.

Splatter Pak
12-11-2008, 07:35 PM
I have owned these great tuners:

Realistic TM-1001

Magnum Dynalab FT-101

Kenwood KT-8300

Cyrus (early model)

However the best FM I have ever heard came out of a Pioneer (ready for this?) KP-500. Yes, the early Super Tuner car stereo. I set it up once on the bench with a 12 VDC power supply, an antenna and a pair of speakers, and WOW. I have considered this unit and a second set of speakers just for FM. Too bad it lacks a line level out...

Axcel
12-11-2008, 07:53 PM
Accuphase T100 dy no mite in all aspects

Satch
12-12-2008, 04:46 AM
Best sounding: Yamaha CT-7000, best overall package (sensitivity, sound, ease of use, features): Revox B-260 S with the RDS-module.

Laemmle
12-12-2008, 01:30 PM
My vote for best analog ss am/fm tuner...........MR-74 McIntosh....as far as sound is concerned.

ponderbear
12-12-2008, 01:55 PM
However the best FM I have ever heard came out of a Pioneer (ready for this?) KP-500.

Dammit. You've made it that much harder for me to resist my fantasy of ripping the crappy stock CD player out of the van and putting a classic SuperTuner in.

ponderbear
12-12-2008, 01:58 PM
I'd never seen a tuning eye before the one I have.

Yeah, I love those. I wish I still had my Tandberg Stereo 64, with the magic eye VU. That would make a handsome combo.

jhoyt
12-12-2008, 07:56 PM
I have to add my new Hitachi FT-8000 -- simply the best sound I've ever heard out of a tuner. Smooth and liquid, it doesn't sound like FM, but far more refined than "radio" has any business sounding. I'd put it (for sound quality) up against any stock tuner, and I'll bet it would raise eyebrows...

clydeselsor
12-12-2008, 08:19 PM
My Sherwood S-3000II tube tuner sounds nice...

Splatter Pak
12-18-2008, 07:16 PM
Dammit. You've made it that much harder for me to resist my fantasy of ripping the crappy stock CD player out of the van and putting a classic SuperTuner in.

I'll twist the knife some more: I have the optional anti-multipath module mounted on the back of my KP-500. Interested, hmmmmmm...?

Regaman
12-19-2008, 10:14 AM
my best tuner:



http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/1852/h2ki8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/h2ki8.jpg/1/w1600.png (http://g.imageshack.us/img511/h2ki8.jpg/1/)

best regards

Timo, from Germany

riverrat
12-19-2008, 04:01 PM
Onkyo tuners are, in general, highly under-rated. I have never seen that one, very nice with the engraved letters. Looks to be early 70's vintage?

I continue to be impressed by my Onkyo T-9. And I own a Marantz Model 20 and a Kenwood L-01T, neither of which are slouches.

musichal
12-20-2008, 08:26 PM
Your Onkyo is one moddy purdy tuna. It's almost worth having in the system even if it didn't work.

goldear
12-20-2008, 08:56 PM
What no mention of the McIntosh MR-67? I prefer its sound over all others that I have ever heard. The FM-3, is cute, and innofensive sounding, but frankly it can't touch the Mac. Unfortunately this tuna is pretty-much uselless if you don't have strong signals.

dr*audio
12-20-2008, 09:15 PM
The best tuners I know of, for quietest reception and best sensitivity, and great sound:
Sansui TU-X1
Kenwood 600T
Sony ST-J75
Technics ST-9030
Pioneer TX-9800

In no particular order. The sound on the Technics blows me away, though. I think sound wise, the best sounding tuner I have would be a tie between the Technics and the Sony, with the TX-9800 coming in a close second. I do not own the Sansui or Kenwood, sadly.

wajobu
12-20-2008, 09:16 PM
Hands-down, the Lirpa Labs Tuners: http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/lirpa.html

My Yamaha CT-7000 (with re-built power supply by Merrylander) sounds just splendid.

BrocLuno
12-20-2008, 09:50 PM
I think we have two issues here. One is sensitivity and quieting. That is radio reception performance. Two is the sound of the output driving the rest of the system. Although we all talk about things not coloring the sounds, they all do. Tube tuners will not sound like SS tuners. Which is better is up to the listener.

PeterFCassidy
12-20-2008, 10:15 PM
The epitome of ultrabadness in digital FM tuners.

Peter

lha1992
12-20-2008, 10:21 PM
What about the Kenwood Kt-7500, Kt-8300, 600t, 700t.

hpsenicka
12-20-2008, 10:45 PM
What about the Kenwood Kt-7500, Kt-8300, 600t, 700t.

I don't believe there ever was a 700T.

mlhm5
12-20-2008, 11:06 PM
I'll put a Sony ST-J75 up against any tuner for the ability to pull in stations and of course the sound. It is simply amazing.

Now I have other tuners including some of the top rated, however the only one that comes close is my Mitsubishi DA-F-20 which has been completely recapped, realigned and has Bill Ammons' Filter-Adder boards.

The Mitsubishi DA-F20 sounds as close to the Mac 78 as you can get, however neither will beat the J75 in the ability to lock on 4 lights to a distant station.

All this for $150 or less.

kewlkws
12-22-2008, 02:39 AM
My kenwood l-02t is the smoothest sounding i've ever heard

niklasthedol
12-22-2008, 03:20 AM
I'd still say to get the best take a pick among the Tandberg TPT 3001A, Ten Magnum Dynalab MD-109 and the Day Sequerra Studio tuners.
This time I will leave out pictures.
I chose the 3001A.

Don't compare or you will be bankrupt unless you comparison takes place on crappy gear. In that case: Why bother?

"dolph"

lha1992
12-22-2008, 03:30 AM
I don't believe there ever was a 700T.

Yes there was a Kenwood 700t. It came with the Supreme series that was made from 1973 to 1978.

Here is the link to the vintage knob on the 700t.
http://www.thevintageknob.org/KENWOOD/SUPREME700/SUPREME700.html

This is one very rare tuner.

bharper
07-10-2010, 11:34 AM
sae t101
sae mark VIb
marantz 20b

Russellc
07-16-2010, 05:40 PM
I use 2 of the FM-3 units dailey. I love the warm sound, easy to work on layout, and simple style. That said, my Mcintosh MR 67 smokes them in EVERY regard. And not just a little bit either! That said, they are a very pleasant and affordable tuner, however. They also respond very favorably to mods.

russellc

DrMux
07-16-2010, 06:10 PM
My Dynaco FM3

KentTeffeteller
07-18-2010, 10:49 PM
Best FM tuner ever,

REL Precedent (an engineering work of art, more like broadcast equipment than a consumer product, Inspired the Marantz 10 and 10b).

Best SS tuner,

Sequerra Broadcast Monitor (the FCC uses this tuner for measurement and assessment of FM signals, most went to the FCC and broadcasters)

Other special mentions:

McIntosh MR 74 (their best sounding FM/AM tuner in the solid state era. Every stage designed by the best McIntosh engineer for that stage. Excellent musical sounding audio and excellent RF capabilities for all but extreme needs. Our stations have many of them in use for air monitors)

McIntosh MR 71 (their best tube tuner in the RF department. Sounds nice as well and very fine RF capability)

McIntosh MR 65B and MR 67 (my favorite McIntosh tube tuners for sound quality, not quite as selective as the MR 71 but still excellent)

Marantz 10b (one of the best tube tuners made post 1964 in the audio department. I am less than impressed in the RF department though they are very good here. Not good for overload resistance or for stations running SCA or HD carriers) A marvel of audio art and industrial design. Development and teething issues with this tuner forced Saul Marantz to sell the Marantz Company to SuperScope in 1964 and history changed, Very difficult to repair and most need some amount of repair to even play in Stereo.

Sherwood tube tuners. All are at least very fine if not superb in both sound quality and RF abilities. Underrated classics from a company who also was a pioneer in early FM multiplex Stereo.

Fisher tube and early SS tuners. Same goes for Fisher as does Sherwood. Any of them up to 1970 are worth owning. Many were also used in broadcast work.

HH Scott tube and early SS. As a rule, the best affordable tuners before McIntosh and Marantz got into FM tuners in the sound quality and reception department. Most broadcasters used them heavily in air monitoring and relay work. The 4311 was their best tube unit. The 4312 and 311D are still superb in audio and RF prowess and need less signal strength than most for reliable Stereo reception. Some of the best MPX stages ever in that era. Very sensitive too. All are worthy up to 1973. HH Scott was also a pioneer in FM Stereo and also made FM Multiplex Stereo equipment for broadcasters and collaborated with the FCC on FM Stereo.

SS Sherwood. All US made and early Japanese made Sherwoods to 1975 are superb buys. Nice RF abilities and sound. Their Micro CPU was a nice early digital display tuner and developed with Draco Labs and their last statement tuner.

Later on, I'll discuss the top Japanese makes in FM tuners and list some of the best in design, sound, and RF performance. Some of them are the best available in their glory era.

Russellc
07-19-2010, 08:13 AM
My Dynaco FM3

Somebodys been to the FM-3 Zone! Lots of parts and new faceplates to be had!

Russellc

DrMux
07-19-2010, 08:52 AM
Somebodys been to the FM-3 Zone! Lots of parts and new faceplates to be had!

Russellc

Yeah man. Got this one off Ebay for less than the Zone, but I did buy the upgrade kit there. It was easier than putting it together myself. :thmbsp:

It looks like a modern tuner now.

Blast
08-03-2010, 10:06 PM
--snip--However the best FM I have ever heard came out of a Pioneer (ready for this?) KP-500. Yes, the early Super Tuner car stereo. I set it up once on the bench with a 12 VDC power supply, an antenna and a pair of speakers, and WOW. I have considered this unit and a second set of speakers just for FM. Too bad it lacks a line level out...

That can be remedied easy enough. :yes:

Tillerman
08-04-2010, 08:27 PM
I just got one of these for under $100 in decent condition this Spring. Sound wise, it beats my Yamaha T-85 (fully modded w/extreme tune by Punker X).

The sparrow feed tuners on the TIC, such as the Sony, are some pretty amazing tuners for the money.

The Sony continues to amaze me with the dynamic range and sound on decent stations.

Scott

USA Soccer
08-05-2010, 09:27 PM
http://images01.olx.com/ui/5/90/95/1270713409_86638595_1-Pictures-of--MCINTOSH-MR88-AM-FM-XM-HD-TUNERNO-RESERVE-1270713409.jpg

59volvo
08-05-2010, 11:31 PM
I'll put a Sony ST-J75 up against any tuner for the ability to pull in stations and of course the sound. It is simply amazing.

Now I have other tuners including some of the top rated, however the only one that comes close is my Mitsubishi DA-F-20 which has been completely recapped, realigned and has Bill Ammons' Filter-Adder boards.

The Mitsubishi DA-F20 sounds as close to the Mac 78 as you can get, however neither will beat the J75 in the ability to lock on 4 lights to a distant station.

All this for $150 or less.


How does the J75 compare to the sony xdr-f1hd?

bluesky
08-07-2010, 10:29 PM
Sansui TU-717. At least...to me!

Mine sounds wonderous. I'll never part with it.

PoppaSteve
08-10-2010, 05:50 PM
For some reason I have a tuner fascination. Always have to play with every one I see in the local thrifts. I have stopped buying all of them, though.

I have two that are mighty nice. Kenwood KT-8300 and Yamaha T-85. I also have a T-80 that is very good. Wouldn't want to part with any of them.

Are they the best ever? Maybe not, but they get the job done a lot better than any others I have.

KP11520
08-10-2010, 06:35 PM
I have two. Sansui TU717 and Creek T40.

Creek is decent but nowhere the best.

TU717 very decent for a very old (and mint) tuner. But after a re-cap, I bet it will easily run with the big boys! :D

KentTeffeteller
08-10-2010, 10:42 PM
McIntosh MR 88 best new FM tuner in audio quality and among the best new tuners in RF capabilities. The best HD tuner available and our radio station group's HD reference monitor. Even better audio than our Day-Sequerra HD modulation monitor (which actually cost more money). Eats Magnum-Dynalab for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. :tresbon: Superb analog RF capabilities and sonics to boot, comparable to a good MR 74 or MR 77 for analogue. Timeless McIntosh styling and nice analogue dial. A pleasure to use and cherish!

jhoyt
08-16-2010, 10:50 PM
Kinda funny to see the "XM" and "HDRadio" logos on the front of a classic-looking Mac. But I think I could live with it! :D Are any radio professionals using the Accuphase T-1000 for reference?

Ricktptman
06-30-2013, 06:57 PM
Pioneer F-93, TX-9800 and TX-9500 II. Anybody who hates the 93 but lauds the 26 and 28 because of its rarity, is just yankin' your chain. Mine are all in "biggish" rooms with very "biggish" systems, so......just sayin'.

resound
07-01-2013, 11:11 AM
Lookin' up old threads and answering 3 year old questions.

Just sayin' Check the dates.

..

KentTeffeteller
07-01-2013, 11:58 AM
No Accuphase here, but we do have 2 Kenwood L07T tuners in service.

vfd fan
07-02-2013, 01:22 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aj1zpnmm0_Ihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjsCILdG9yI&feature=player_detailpage

KevinCorr
07-03-2013, 01:25 AM
Lookin' up old threads and answering 3 year old questions.

Just sayin' Check the dates.

..

Glad he brought it up again. A sticky for sure, best tuner ever. Thats what we want to know.

KevinCorr
07-03-2013, 01:28 AM
Sansui TU-717. At least...to me!

Mine sounds wonderous. I'll never part with it.

They seem to be pretty common used, 2 on the bay today and not so crazy high as the 919.

stoutblock
07-03-2013, 05:04 AM
I would not argue if it is the best, but I would never ask a tuner to sound better than my Yamaha T-2.

MX117.MC7150
07-03-2013, 06:06 AM
McIntosh MR 88 best new FM tuner in audio quality and among the best new tuners in RF capabilities. The best HD tuner available and our radio station group's HD reference monitor. Even better audio than our Day-Sequerra HD modulation monitor (which actually cost more money). Eats Magnum-Dynalab for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. :tresbon: Superb analog RF capabilities and sonics to boot, comparable to a good MR 74 or MR 77 for analogue. Timeless McIntosh styling and nice analogue dial. A pleasure to use and cherish!
My understanding is the that FM/HD/AM of the MR88 is the same as in the TM2 tuner module that was in the McIntosh MA6600 integrated amp I used for a couple of years. While good, the analog was not up to the standards of the fully refurbished McIntosh MR80, Sony ST-J75, Yamaha T-85 and, especially the Accuphase T-106 that were used along with it. The only advantage it had was during poor listening conditions the HD was considerably less susceptible to noise generated by stormy weather (isn't that a song ;)). While 'good', definitely not great to my ears. The Accuphase T-106 remains at the top-o-the-heap for best sonics and T-85 for best reception for me.

KiM3Ce
07-03-2013, 12:47 PM
I still have a lot of shootouts to do (No I'm not the TIC guy) before I know which is best, but the Dyna FM-3 was my gateway drug to tube tuners. Alas it is quite susceptible to noise caused by HD radio broadcasts but for many users that will not matter. I for one hate magic eye tuning indicators and found the tuning of the FM-3 fiddly but not a fatal flaw. Enjoy!

ekits
07-03-2013, 12:52 PM
I have a Denon TU-500 that amazes me. You forget you are listening to FM. Looks cool too.

vfd fan
07-06-2013, 07:28 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7gu7_IGweshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zPlpLybYbvU

sony6060
07-06-2013, 05:18 PM
Out of 30 or so FM tuners, best sounding are the Fisher tube units. If having a 12AU7 in audio amplifier out, I swap with E80cc or Brimar 13D5. Second is a SS Scott LT112 or 312. Third is Citation 18.

vfd fan
07-15-2013, 07:50 AM
Studer A764 (http://www.vintagerecorders.co.uk/sales/Studer_A764-1/sale.htm):thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp:: yes::drool::drool:

91r100gs
07-15-2013, 10:28 AM
The one that you are listening to at any particular moment.

MRL_Audio
07-17-2013, 01:39 AM
For stand alone tube tuners... any takers on the HK Citation III-X?

MX117.MC7150
07-18-2013, 05:44 AM
For stand alone tube tuners... any takers on the HK Citation III-X?
Not yet, but I would enjoy looking at a pic or two.

craig h
07-22-2013, 10:29 PM
My Yamaha tx 1000u pulls in everything and has a clean warm tube like sound and it has remote!

uxwbill
07-22-2013, 11:15 PM
Here are some tuners I've had good experiences with and would recommend to others.

- Sansui TU-D99AMX (especially if you want to hear an AM stereo station)
- Carver TX11a (almost reaches the performance of Sony's XDR-F1HD)
- Kenwood KT-880 (very basic, but good performance and great bass)
- Kenwood KT-880 D (almost if not totally quiet FM stereo reception)
- Sony XDR-F1HD (hands down the best analog FM performance I've heard)

Sansui's TU-D99AMX also seems to be quite a performer when listening to FM. It's quiet, clear and well balanced...just generally enjoyable to listen to.

Tuners I've had middling to poor results with:

- Denon TU680NAB
- Meduci Pro1K AM stereo tuner (unstable, touchy and prone to drifting)

I wouldn't say the Denon TU680NAB is a bad tuner, but my example just doesn't sound all that good when listening to FM stations. It's fine on AM.

new,zealand
07-22-2013, 11:28 PM
and heres a pic ,how would you rate this against your one:-) be very interesting

Ricktptman
06-17-2014, 05:42 PM
I have a T-2. It's a fine tuner, but the sensitivity isn't what you'd think it be when considering the number of gangs in the front end. I aligned it and it does very well, but then the F-93 is pretty much a world beater when used with a MD-205. That's probably why some hate on it for the sound. It sounds a whole lot like a 9800 hundred to me. But with better shielding. Trying to find the "best" tuner is a fool's errand, because nobody lives in exactly the same place. Everything's relative.

MX117.MC7150
06-18-2014, 05:34 AM
I have a T-2. It's a fine tuner, but the sensitivity isn't what you'd think it be when considering the number of gangs in the front end. I aligned it .............
Am thinking this could be the problem. ;) My T-2 was gone through by a pro and selling it was one of my biggest gear phoo paws (faux pas).

Nick_G
06-18-2014, 01:51 PM
Interesting. My T-2 hasn't been aligned but there's nothing wrong with it's sensitivity. It's also excellent at separating stations when the band gets crowded during big tropo or E-skip openings.

I was a little apprehensive about how it would perform when I pulled the trigger on it because I'd never bought any hi-fi that old before but it exceeded my expectations, even given the review on TIC.

Regards,
Nick