Old FM Tuners....O.K., Great or Folklore...

You can name most of them, Like the Sansui 719 and more. Has anyone actually had the chance to compare an older well thought of tuner to the better current manufactured units..like Magnum Dynalab..etc.? The high end Audio hobby/passion is filled with nostalga. As an example, I put much money into a 1960 Corvette..when done my Dad said, "you know what you have there.....an old car". When I got some newer cars I learned he was right. So is older audio gear more than a trip down memory lane? And I know there are some classic models from ARC, CJ and more..... so ie: are some old classics simply old classics compared to more current high end technology and components within those units? Just asking.
most people have never heard great FM, everyone is shocked at how good FM sounds at my house.

No matter what, get a dedicated FM Antenna.

I am in love with my tube tuner/preamp from McIntosh, mx110z, made between 1962 and 1969. Simply Awesome.


"When operating to spec, the mx110 tuner section is superb. McIntosh engineer (way back then) Richard Moderaffi (who originally designed the MR77 & MR78 tuners) (performs modifications on McIntosh tuners) said there is nothing he could do to improve upon the original design of the mx110 tuner section. It was (and still is) that good".



I also have a great modern, ’advanced’ technology, my prior favorite, Carver Asymmetric FM Tuner TX-2.


No doubt Carver is an amazing tuner, but, I prefer the tube FM. It’s just outstanding.

No prior FM, SS or Tube tuner has come close to either of these. If you don’t want tubes, prefer solid state, need help with signal strength, run and get the Carver!!!

Cost: the Carver’s are one of the best bargains around, people are giving them away, many don’t listen to radio except thru their computers, if at all.

mx110z are not inexpensive, but I am sure glad I bought mine. It’s also a magnificient tube preamp, many inputs, two MM Phono, ...

Yes the tuner info site is informative, but it is like all other opinions out there, it is in the end result someones opinion.  No site dealing in any interest/dicipline is the word of God...simply some human's opinion.  Unless you go back to the early days of the Wine Advocate with Robert Parker, then you were dealing with the word of God...esp. when it came to what a wine would sell for after a positive review by Mr. Parker.  The whole "walking on water" thing is still of questionable use. 

I have several, including a McIntosh 77 and a Scott tube tuner. But in my area (Tampa/St.Pete) there are only two FM stations with a signal/music program worth listening to. WUSF 89.7 (NPR and late-night Jazz) and WSMR 89.1/103.7 (NPR Classical). All the rest are commercial dreck.
Presently have the Mitsubishi (Diatone) DA-F10 (1977) tuned to WUSF 89.7. A real "sleeper" tuner with advanced circuitry and can be found for less than $200! Sound quality equal to tuners costing 10X!
I also have a Carver receiver with the same FM circuit. And a NAD 1600 preamp/tuner.
roberjerman3,370 posts   Your post is painfully true.  Not only is the FM dial filled with former AM mainstream.....I will use the word I would in a live converstation,...crap.  Beyond the content you have the concern if the signal is compressed or frequency limited artificially...FM, as does AM, has it's actual limitations without being made worse. 

Boy I could say the FM band is like much of America's taste in many things, mainstream is actually a cesspool rather than a stream. 

I did have the Mitsubishi DA-F20 ....and wish I had it back.  One of the best I have had, which includes the top Magnums, Fanfare and the like. 
like all other opinions out there, it is in the end result someones opinion.

Thank you for sharing that amazing insight!
   Sarcasm is usually a good way to test possible truths and/or non-truths.  Sarcasm has been one of the mainstays of comedians and humor since before the time of Shakespeare.  Don Rickles was a bell cow for sarcasm.             

"Whilst it is said by modernists that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, listening to Hamlet could certainly change anyone's mind. Hamlet uses sarcasm as a relatively threatening and aggressive thing - he's not being that way for "laughs", there is usually only an audience which would not recognise the sarcasm"
I have a McIntosh MR85 tuner and a McIntosh MR88 tuner with HD and XM in 2 different systems and listen to both daily. 
Nostalgia can have a warm glow (must be tubes) and embellish memories.  In my teens I had a decent, real hi-fi, but also bought a mint console, mono radio from the 40's.  It was simply a beautiful example of Art Deco design...and yes the way it looked likely had impact on what I thought of the sound(it could help with my rock and roll fever by picking up WLS out of Chicago)  It is hard to think of what it might be worth today, had I not sold it....or the mint '67 silver Stingray with both the soft and hardtop and the 350hp 327 and Muncie 4-speed......I certianly wouldn't want that back!


The only reason I will part with my tubed 1965 Mac MR71, is if I'm gifted either a Marantz 10B or REL.

Tubed is the only way to fly!

Funny because for years living in NYC ,WNEW FM was the go to station  for Classic  Rock.I had a Sony STR 7065 which bought in the station so clear....that at night the Allison Steele the nightbird was in the room with you.
Rebuilt Fisher FM100B & McIntosh 110z with an old Radioshack roof top antenna.
We have two local stations that sometimes play LP’s the sound can be amazing.
Sadly I rarely listen to FM anymore because of the constant commercial interruptions. Instead use Tidal or just play my LP’s.

In the heydey of FM radio (60's and 70's) it was a very important source in hifi-landia, and many manufacturers (especially the Japanese mass market companies) went all out to build state of the art tuners. Today, very little effort is directed at FM tuner design. There are so many vintage top flight tuners available at very reasonable prices that I have had never any interest in exploring brand new "hi end" tuners.

I am lucky to live in an area with 5 non-commercial stations (commercial stations have become unlistenable.) I have three vintage SS tuners (McIntosh MR-78, Marantz 20b, Pioneer TX-9500II) and one digitally synthesized (Sanyo Plus T55.) Right now the last one might be my favorite, and it cost me $55. It may well could be bettered by a Magnum Dynalab or vintage super tuner, but it (and the other three as well) sound like music to me so I am happy. (The hobby being what it is, I would like to get my hands on a good tube tuner, however.) 
Vintage FM tuners can be great additions to your system. 
I had a Marantz 10B for years and it was awesome. After moving on from my tube gear a Luxman provided some good FM. Currently using a Marantz Model 20 which was just refreshed by the folks at Audio Classics. I've got to say, it sounds great! Probably not the equal of the 10B, but iwonderful vintage sound nevertheless. 
Sansui made amazing tuners.  The one in my 9090DB is outstanding.  So is the one in my marantz 24 tuner/preamp, which I believe was built to compete with the excellent tuner sections of the McIntosh MX112 and 113 tuner/preamps.

As I said above, I would like to try a tube tuner. As a teenager I inherited my father's Sherwood, and it was great. In general, do tube tuners suffer from HD interference or is it very much case by case?
... In general, do tube tuners suffer from HD interference or is it very much case by case?
Pretty much all FM tuners are vulnerable to sideband noise caused by so-called "HD Radio." The more selective the tuner, the more resistant to the noise it will be.

I refer to HD Radio as "so-called" because - as we know - HD radio isn’t "high definition." Not even close. It’s digital, though, so it’s quiet.
I had a solid state Magnum Dynalab and got rid of it after I purchased a really nice HH Scott 350 A tube tuner. I replaced the tubes in the multiplex with government issue, new old stock Telefunkens and that made a gigantic improvement in clarity and musicality. I need to have the multiplex aligned with a multiplex generator but no one near me has one, so I listen to it in mono. My other radio is a 1957 Zenith Trans Oceanic short wave radio which I cherish but it needs an alignment too.