Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My tuner collection with comments

Here is a list of tuners I have with comments about their performance (from a posting earlier this year at AudioKarma before I got Marantz 20B):

Sony XDR-F1HD (x3) one has full RadioXTuners analog output mod (original)
***** This is my current main tuner and the ONLY tuner in my supertuner collection which gets KPAC without a birdie. I pipe this everywhere in house with Sonos and use wireless remote extenders for control (tricky setup in high RFI environment). Main system gets direct feed. I have been thinking about advanced mods based on external tube-buffered passive filter.

McIntosh MR 78 with Modafferi mod (2000) Nice tuner for DX'ing, sound can be annoying (unforgiving).

Fisher MPX-100 multiplex purchased for use with MR78 and others to give more pleasant sound (purchased recently, not yet hooked up).

Sony 730ES very nice sounding tuner, just tested recently. Might be convertable to LA3450 MPX adapter...

Yamaha TX-1000U my previous reference tuner, possibly still sounds nicer than Sony XDR-F1HD sometimes. Very good DX'ing performance also.

Kenwood KT-8300 Nice sounding tuner, seems to have more "passion" than digital tuners, but also way more noise. Good DX'ing.

Kenwood 600T Very nice unflappable mellow and rich sound. Very useful in antenna tuning because it has strength meter calibrated in 10dB increments. This has held fort in my Kitchen for several years now, hope to replace with MR78+Fisher combo. Very impressive looking (you know you've arrived when you see this).

Yamaha T-85. Former bedroom tuner, now needs service. Nicer DX'ing features than TX-1000U, but otherwise similar performance. Mine doesn't sound as good and constantly drops computer lock.

Kenwood KT-7500 This was my reference from 78-90. Unfortunately I grew to hate it's not-quite-good-enough performance, but I can't seem to let go of it either.

Onkyo 9090 MkII. Main tuner from 91-'01. Never has sounded quite right to me, slightly muffled, though it performs very well and has good features, except you can't actual tune new stations on the remote (which has always bugged me).

Sumo Charlie (non-handled) OK, but not much more.

Sony 5000F Mine needs repair because meters are broken and have to tune by ear. Pleasant sound, decent performance for 1-bandwidth tuner. But I wouldn't say it outclasses everything else as some prices would suggest.

Sansui TU-9900. Similar to KT-8300, but nicer looking, possibly slightly better sound, mine needs repair.

Fisher KM-60/61 (x2) Very nice sound, amazingly sometimes sounds quieter than 600T. Local stations only.

Kenwood KT-1000 (1980) Nice sound, clunky controls, currently in donation pile.

What I'd like to try: Marantz 10B, 20B, 150, 2130, 19 receiver (but they always sell for more than I want to pay). Kenwood L-02T (dream), L-1000T, KT-6040 tuner (on the way soon). Sequerra with Panalyzer (Model One or D/S Reference, would prefer later D/S Reference model because I suspect it has better sound quality, but not worth buying w/o panalyzer).

I'm still operating with indoor antennas (sigh). I have APS-13 and others, but not installed. The outdoor construction project is mind boggling for me, though I have most everything picked out.

As it looked like I might never get a Sequerra with Panalyzer, I instead bought RF Spectrum Analyzer cheap, has problems but actually works adequately. It's actually a cell phone tester, but has spectrum analyzer option, HP8922M. Scope barely functions (crooked ebay seller) but video out works. Just purchased recently and was helpful in debugging problems in 413Mhz remote extenders, also noticed small adjacent channel blip which may explain birdie for KPAC.

I also have nice Tektronix 465M (no fan) for use with tuners, but don't use it much. These are great (if you get a working one, mine is rock solid) and I shoulda got a bunch of them when they were cheep. Also have Tek 475, ST1000A, ST1700B, and PC-based sound analyzer with RightMark, SpectraPlus, and Juli@ 192Khz soundcard.

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