Tuners that do it?


In my 30+ years as an audiophile I have owned a few tuners that had good specs and received good reviews in the audio press. Generally, I was never satisfied with any of them and found they never matched my turntable or other source components for audio quality. I concluded that high-quality sound was just not possible with a tuner as the source.

But recently I bought a Harman Kardon TU910 tuner on ebay and its excellent performance in my reference system has caused me to rethink the whole issue. The sound is well balanced, the midrange is literally marvelous, the focus, imaging, and depth of the soundstage is quite impressive. I was listening to a local jazz station last night and my thought was that I'd never heard sound this authentic from a tuner before. I know that my particular tuner is not the best one out there, nor is it highly rated, but for some reason it sounds way better than other tuners I have tried over the years. My antenna is not anything special, so I know it can't be related to that. It has me wondering how good the sound quality may be using more upscale, highly-rated models.

I welcome any thoughts or comments on this topic.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!
plato
I purchased a Kenwood KT8300 here on Audiogon and had it shipped directly to Don Scott who cleaned, aligned and modified it. It is a great piece that I enjoy very much. I see two KT 8300's on sale on Agon now. I agree with Warnerwh. Go to fmtunerinfo.com and enjoy the reading.

Regards,
Paul
I'll chime in about antennae. I have a Magnum Dynalab MD-90T, my first tuner, and have tried many antennae. I live on the tallest hill in the county and you would think that I would not have any problems. That thinking was disproven.

I am now enjoying FM so much more now since I am using a Godar Model 1 antenna. The noise is gone. The fidelity is there. And, I can get stations from another college station 60 miles away like it is transmitted locally. Now I have more to choose from with the jazz that they program.

Do a Google search on Godar. While I can't speak for your situation, you might do well on trying these products. Mike Godar was extremely helpful in getting me dialed-in on what I needed and that speaks to the service that is there as well.
I agree that a tuner with proper antenna can serve as an excellent source. Older models of many good brands (e.g., Sony, Kenwood, Sansui) can be purchased on Ebay and Audiogon. The transformation from "good" to "excellent" occurs when the tuners are properly upgraded. I've had very good results from Joseph Chow at http://www.componentplus.us/index.html
It is amazing how some tuners can sound better. Of course it also depends on the quality of the transmission.
Well; let me toss in my two cents. My TU-S9
blows my Rotel CD player out of the water sonically.