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Onkyo T-4017 and Filter Mods

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by Paul C, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I picked up an Onkyo Integra T-4017 (c.1982) from that famous auction site for $14.00 plus shipping, total $28.00. This little "diamond in the rough" is really a pretty nice little tuner in stock condition, but needed a little work.

    One thing this tuner lacks is Onkyo's "R1" remote system. It cannot be interconnected to an Onkyo preamp and operated via remote, nor does it have it's own remote capability. This tuner predates the introduction of the R1 remote system which apparently came out in the late '80's. That's not a big deal except that I like playing with the remote and am too lazy to get up to change channels.

    First, some photos.

    [​IMG]

    Nice display. Stereo/Mono, Wide/Narrow Mode, Local/DX, etc. The tuner's APR (Onkyo's Automatic Precision Reception) will automatically choose what it thinks is the optimum settings for everything, and generally gets it right, but you can override the Stereo/Mono and Wide/Narrow settings for best reception. Local/DX is automatic. 16 channel memory. It can automatically scan for stations, or you can step through the frequencies manually.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 75 ohm antenna connection is a little funky. I just may install an F-connector socket there. :scratch2:

    UPDATE! ~ I did install an F-connector socket. I just could not leave it as it was. This is much better! :yes:

    [​IMG]

    Output level control! That's nice, something you don't see every day! :D

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
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    Next are some nudies...

    Overall shot of the circuit boards:

    [​IMG]

    I've opened up some tuners and found one tiny little circuit board and a lot of empty space. This one has "lotsa stuff in there".


    This is the area we will be modifying:

    [​IMG]

    According to the service manual, X101 and X102 were either 280 khz and 230 khz or both 230 khz filters. I suppose the difference was for various world markets. This tuner had a 280 khz filter in the X101 slot, and 230 khz in the X102 slot.

    X103 and X104 are switched in for Narrow Mode. These filters would be working in conjunction with X101 and X102. They are narrower, 180 khz wide filters. This gives better selectivity, filtering out strong adjacent stations.

    This tuner is an old mid-80's tuner. The filters used back then were very lossy. They had an insertion loss in the 12 db-14 db range . We can do better now by simply replacing with modern filters.

    I've experimented with this for the last few years and have found that SNR filters did not give any improvement over the old filters. However modern Muratas have an insertion loss in the 3.5 db (+/- 1.5 db) range. There are a number of articles on this subject, you can find them easily enough beginning at the Tuner Information Center website.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
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    Now to the actual filter modifications...

    Here are some reading assignments:

    http://www.geocities.com/rbrucecarter/ceramic_filter.htm

    http://www.amfmdx.net/fmdx/filters.html

    http://home.computer.net/~pritch/betterfm.htm

    http://www.mindspring.com/~brucec/select.htm

    http://www.geocities.com/rbrucecarter/ceramic_filter.htm

    Now, on with the show!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First you have to remove the old filters. This is VERY easy on this tuner. No need to remove the circuit board, unplug a lot of connectors and all that. The bottom panel comes off by removing the four feet and a half dozen other screws, giving easy access to the area you want to get to.

    Use Solder Wick desoldering braid as shown in the links above. Remove the old filters. As you remove each one, make note of which way the lettering on the filter is facing. Make a mark on the board, a little mark with a Sharpie marker will do. The new filters should be put in the same way.

    You may wish to put in sockets or simply solder the new filters directly into the board. I've done it both ways in my previous tuner/receiver projects. These sockets are purchased locally and are labeled "high reliability". They are gold plated and hold the filters quite well with no chance of the filters coming out accidently. They come in strips of 10 pins and can easily be broken along the lines to make any size you need. I can get six 3-pin sockets from two of these socket strips.

    You may need to drill out the circuit board hole slightly to accomodate the pins on the sockets. I use some tiny numbered drill bits with a handheld "pin vise", drilling the holes by hand, not power tools.

    Solder in the sockets. (Optional) Or simply solder the new filters in the proper positions.

    If you did a neat job of removing the old filters you might want to plug them back in where each filter came from and see the results of changing these filters one by one. If seeing the signal strength meter increase from 1.5 to 4.5 or 5 (on a 0-5 scale), and doubling the number of clear, clean stereo stations you can receive by swapping out just two filters does not impress you, nothing will. Or even better, finding new stations you like that you never heard before!

    I have been buying Murata low loss ceramic filters from Greg Gortman. These new filters are only $1.50 each and $2.00 shipping for any quantity. Dr*Audio tested the filters I used on this tuner and found them to be "right on the money". So, not much worry about "matching" these filters frequency-wise.

    http://www.dxfm.com/IF filters/IF Filters.htm (Greg Gortman's site - mail your order to the address on his website.)

    I have also tried SNR filters from another source and they performed no better than the original filters.

    I replaced the Wide Mode filters, X101 and X102, with 180 khz filters. The 180 khz filters you want for this are the ones third from the top on Greg Gortman's page, the Murata "180 kHz Low Loss" SFE10.7MS3A10-A. These filters will be marked "10.7SA".

    Put these 180 khz Low Loss filters in the X101 and X102 sockets with the lettering on the filters facing the outside edge of the circuit board. That's the way the originals were oriented, but if you forget and put them in the other way it won't really hurt.

    [​IMG]

    X103 and X104 are the Narrow Mode filters. I replaced these with the 150 khz Low Loss filters from Greg Gortman's site above. These are the filters second from the top, "150 khz Low Loss" SFE10.7MJA10-A. These filters will be marked "10.7JA".

    Put these 150 khz Low Loss filters in the X103 and X104 sockets with the lettering on the filters facing the rear of the tuner.

    [​IMG]

    Cost of 4 filters x $1.50 ea = $6.00, + $2 shipping, total is $8.00. Add to this the cost of the sockets, which are optional. You may want to just skip the sockets and solder the filters directly into the board like the originals. That is fine, too.

    Now, put the bottom panel and top cover back on, and enjoy your hot rodded tuner!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
    USA
    I have done these same filter modifications on previous tuners and receivers and no other work was necessary. They worked just fine with what I had done above. But this T-4017 tuner was not quite ready to go. Though mono reception was fine, I was having trouble getting stereo in my metal shop building, which I can usually get with other tuners and receivers... this was a problem before installing the filters.

    So I sent the tuner to Dr*Audio for an alignment. This is not uncommon for older tuners and receivers. This was unrelated to the filter installation, and in this case needed to be done whether the filters had been installed or not.

    Dr*Audio wrote back:

    "Paul,
    The tuner is done and it is simply awesome! All it needed was alignment. Also the antenna cable you had on there was crap. When I moved it the reception changed. I replaced it with a much better piece of coax I had lying around. Now the reception is excellent, the tuner is extremely sensitive."


    I asked specifically about the filters. He answered:

    "I did check the filters out with my spectrum analyzer to make sure they are properly matched, and they are right on the money! I was picking up a station 40 miles away with my attic antenna, at full signal strength."

    And he stated further:

    "The discriminator adjustment and the 78KHz adjustment were off. I think the cable was causing most of your problems, though, because I was getting stereo reception when I got the tuner, but the reception varied when I moved the cable."

    Arghhh... I had just grabbed a cable out of a box I had in the corner and left it on the tuner. Goes to show sometimes the easy things can get you.

    So it is now up and running just fine.

    While I have used other filters, these from Greg Gortman have worked very well for me and I recommend you buy your filters from him.

    And I also highly recommend Dr*Audio for any alignment jobs.
     
  5. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions Subscriber

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    Awesome write-up, as always, Paul!!!
     
  6. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks, (Thedelihaus) Paul.

    What is really revealing is installing the sockets, and putting the original filters back in place. Then tune to a weak, distant station, remove the first filter in the chain and replace with one of the new filters. With each filter replaced the signal strength really increases.

    Unless you are tuned to a station in Narrow Mode, you won't see a change when you change the Narrow Mode filters.

    Anyway, this is an easy and inexpensive modification. If you can solder, you can unsolder. Have fun!
     
  7. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions Subscriber

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    I think, in the future, besides the Kenwood 7100 I plan on doing, I'll tackle a couple of Sansuis I got running here as well as possibly a Marantz 105.

    We'll see- too many other pokes in the fire to think about it right now.
     
  8. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Santa Cruz, CA
    Very nice write up, Paul, and well-documented, too. When I get into a project, I forget to take the pictures and notes needed to produce what you've done. Your attention to detail is superb.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  9. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Great write - up Paul! Gee, now the price on T-4017's will probably shoot up! That is a sweet tuner!
     
  10. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
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    I have seen several Onkyo T-4087's lately on that auction site. That is a similar tuner with wood sides. I did the same filter mods (though the board is laid out differently) on a T-4087 with the same excellent results. My older son now has that tuner. A VERY nice tuner!

    The filter-modded T-4087 performs identically to my modded T-4500.

    Both of those had similar 2 filters for wide mode, 2 more for narrow mode setup. However the T-4087 had the two narrow mode filters in the middle. That is the two wide mode filters are X101 (230 khz) and X104 (250 khz), first and last in the filter chain. When going to narrow mode, X102 (150 khz) and X103 (150 khz) are switched into the circuit in between the wide mode filters. So it is important to look at the service manual and figure out which filters go where. On the T-4087 I used 180 khz for X101 and X104, and 150 khz for X102 and X103.

    The Onkyo T-4500 also has the wide mode filters first and last (X101, X104, both 230 khz), with the two narrow filters in the middle (X102, X103, both 150 khz). Again I used 180 khz for X101, X104, and 150 khz for X102, X103.
     
  11. mg196

    mg196 Johnny Thunders - LAMF

    Messages:
    2,403
    Location:
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    Thank you for the write up! My T-4017 is the only tuner in my house...so I gotta bring mine up to specs!!
     
  12. bully

    bully member

    Messages:
    12,750
    Location:
    Near Lafayette, Indiana
    I think Onkyo tuners are excellent sounding machines.
    I have two T-9 and a T-4090, older analog tuners. There reproduction of sound is what really shines--though they do well grabbing signals. Years ago I found a personal website than listed improvements to the T-9 that would really make it even better sounding (from excellent to what? LOL). I sent the guy an email and he mailed me the information.
    I should find that packet and have someone mod one of my T-9.
    BTW, both T-9 are in systems in the lower level (walkout finished basement family room) and pick up stations very well with great strength.

    OK, here's the link http://www.10audio.com/onkyot-9.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  13. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

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    3,687
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    Here are filter locations for the Onkyo T-4500. In this photo the view is from the front of the tuner.

    [​IMG]

    The two blue filters, X101 and X104, are for wide mode, 230 khz wide filters replaced with 180 khz Murata Low Loss filters.

    The two tan filters, X102 and X103, are for narrow mode, and were replaced with 150 khz Murata Low Loss filters.

    I don't have the Onkyo T-4087 tuner here, it was given to one of my sons and I did not take photos.

    I posted this in another thread about the performance of my T-4500 with filter mods. The modified T-4017 performs similarly. Note the strings of adjacent stations that can all be picked up with no crosstalk:

    "This is with my Onkyo T-4500 tuner which now has two Murata 180 khz filters in wide mode, plus two Murata 150 khz filters in the narrow mode. I did not write down frequencies where I received a signal, but was noisey, only clear stereo stations. I have stations on these frequencies:

    88.1, 88.5, 88.7, 88.9, 89.3, 89.7, 89.9, 90.3, 90.7, 90.9, 91.1, 91.5, 92.3, 92.7, 92.9, 93.1, 93.3, 93.7, 94.1, 94.5, 95.1, 95.3, 95.5, 96.1, 96.3, 96.5, 96.7, 96.9, 97.1, 97.3, 98.1, 98.5, 98.7, 99.1, 99.9, 100.3, 100.7, 101.1, 101.5, 102.1, 102.5, 102.9, 103.3, 103.5, 103.9, 104.1, 104.3, 104.5, 104.7, 104.9, 105.1, 105.3, 105.5, 105.7, 105.9, 106.3, 106.5, 106.9, 107.1, 107.3, 107.5, 107.9.

    "That is SIXTY ONE clear stereo stations. There were other stations that were noisy, but this is what I get clear."

    Before the filter change more than half of those stations simply could not be heard. And some of the rest were unlistenable due to adjacent channel interference. That string of stations from 103.9 to 105.9 include both strong local stations and weak distant station from 60-90 miles away. Yet now they can all be heard clearly. 105.3 is 90 miles away to the west and in the "null" area of my rooftop antenna, which is pointed north.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Schnitzer

    Schnitzer Active Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
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    From this thread I got interested in replacing the stock IF filters in my Sony STR-7800SD receiver. When I checked the tuner board I discovered that it has just a single filter component. The part is identifed as Murata SFJ10.7MA and is described as a "double deep skirt filter" in a website selling replacement parts. This is the only info I have been able to find. Even Murata's archives for discontinued parts has no info for it. This filter is about the width of two single filters side by side. It has four leads (two) near each end. From a similar looking filter for a different application the four leads were identified as: Input, Gnd., Gnd., Output.

    I was considering replacing the original flliter by connecting two 180kHz low loss filters in series on a socket. However, when I looked at what it would entail to remove the tuner board, I lost incentive. Rather than using connectors, Sony opted to wire wrap to terminals on the board. With these series of wires coming from three directions, I would have to do a lot of cutting and later splicing them back together. Additionally, the tuner pulley with the dial string would have to be taken off the variable condenser shaft.

    I would be interested in learning if anyone has:
    a/ further info about the SFJ10.7MA filter
    b/ any experience with removing and replacing the tuner board on a Sony STR-7800SD
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  15. westend

    westend Audiopile

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    Great write up and perfect step by step advice, Paul. Good, clean, understandable pictures of the layout, also. I don't know how you guys get such great pics. Looks like I need some photo skills. :scratch2:

    Could this thread be a sticky to refer those wanting to change their filters?
     
  16. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

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    Thanks, but I didn't do the last photo of the T-4500 board. I got it from the Tuner Information site.

    But I did do the others, including the blurry ones. It's a new camera and I haven't quite got the knack of doing closeups.

    Schnitzer: The 4 lead Murata filter... check with Bill Ammons. He makes a filter adder board that replaces the old 4-lead filters. ammonsphx@earthlink.net

    From one of Bill Ammon's "flyers"

    "The IF FILTER SPANNER PCB™ replaces the older 4 pin Murata ceramic filters with the same performance as the IF FILTER ADDER PCB™. This board is built in a right hand input only. For tuners like the KT-8300 that use three of the 4 pin filters, there is also available a non-amplified 4 pin to 3 pin filter converter PCB. With this PCB you can use one or two standard 3 pin filters in place of the older 4 pin parts. This approach expands the narrow IF of the KT-8300 to six filters !"
     
  17. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

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    Actually, I already have a very nice tuner, the Onkyo T-4500, which I purchased on Dr*Audio's advice, as well as three very nice receivers. All had received similar treatment and are working really nicely.

    I'd like to thank Dr*Audio for all the advice and help he has give me in these projects.
     
  18. Schnitzer

    Schnitzer Active Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Detroit Metro Area
    Well, I finally took the plunge and disasembled the tuner board from my Sony STA-7800 receiver in order to install sockets for new filters. In addition to taking out the retaining screws for the PCB, it required taking off the tuner pulley and, also, half a dozen wires wrapped onto some board terminals. This was just to be able to turn the board far enough over to get to the solder side. Took precaution of securing the tuner string on the pulleys with duct tape before disassembly.

    The two stock double filters were replaced with four Murata 180 kHz Low Loss filters. Although I didn't find a big improvement in tuner sensitivity, what really is apparant is a significant gain in clarity, definition, and resolution of the music I hear now. I would guess that this because the new filters have better shape factors.

    Thanks Paul for your recommendations and the inspiration for making the tuner upgrade.
     
  19. Paul C

    Paul C Super Member

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    Great!

    Thanks for the kind words, too.
     

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