Tuner choice

I know no one is interested in tuners given streaming etc and on and on, but I moved to a place with some excellent radio stations and I think having a tuner would work for me. I got one for free from my brother, a 70s vintage Dynaco kit and it seemed to warm up over time without any repairs etc. although the light is out and gauge doesn’t seem to work. Muting is not functioning but once on a station it brings in some pleasant sound.
On the other hand, I see old units on eBay that are low cost, some say tested, mint condition, etc. so would it be worth a couple hundred dollars to have a different tuner? Or is the Dynakit not a bad vintage tuner and if it’s working, I’d be smart to stick with it? Any suggestions for replacements worth the change?



Just pick up a used Cambridge Audio t500...they are out there for a 100 bucks or less. It's a great tuner imo...modeled after the Creek t43....

eBay have a number of Magnum Dynalab tuners, of course.

I don’t pretend to know the specifics of each model (I covet a MD90T), but the FT-101’s seem to be priced at around USD700 or so. One I looked at is from a dealer so lab checked and good to go.

Yes, I’m sure that a 108T is quite good, too. The decimal point might be a bit in the wrong place in its price tag, though.


Yes, decimal point issues in price. It seems with any collectible there are the big names that rightly fetch top prices. By their reputation the prices seem to inflate from there. Meanwhile, I think there are some less touted names that are a close second but at half the price. I try to find that sweet spot, but tuners are an odd commodity. The most expensive back in the day might have had cutting edge tech for that time, but it became standard or later improved on. It’s tough to disentangle the specs and prices without being an electrical engineer. 

Even so, the hunt is fun. 

It’s tough to disentangle the specs and prices without being an electrical engineer.

There exist some guides for us mortals as to what specs to think about. I consulted one or two a few years ago, google is your friend. Takes some patience.

The thing with tuners (and CD players) is that because there are moving parts and precision components, it may not be prudent to get one that is becoming tired, or you buy with the knowledge that it probably will need to be re-calibrated and so on - so it may be false economy and that might blunt the fun.

I saw this at the fmtunerinfo site reading (? struggling, actually) through the shootouts of vintage gear. Often they would say that a tuner being considered needs looking at for one reason or another. Yeah, they may have been state of the art at the time, but now they are quite tired.

Yeah, as always, the sweet spot is good - forget the elite and also the rubbish, leaving a good bunch in the middle. I use a yamaha, from the mid 80s. Its pretty good with great ability to pick up distant stations or weak reception, but sadly not analogue.