Vintage Tuner-Only wonderful because it's the SOUND I grew up with?.....

I scooped up a lovely vintage 70s, Nikko FAM 500 Tuner.  

When I work from home, I will stream certain Chicagoland radio stations while working.  Several have pretty strong data over stream - per Roon's readings of the connection. 

I plumped the cute yet smartly designed Nikko into place and the machine sounds great!  I've only listened to FM stereo so far. It's been hours, so who knows?  But I sure am enjoying a smooth sound with a bit wider soundstage--I know those to be true. 

I wonder for a second.. . What was so wrong with radio when played over just decent equipment?  

So, do vintage tuners have a subjective sound quality that makes them enjoyable? Or is this the sound I grew up with, which is just great with faults.   



The impressions made from your earliest experiences, are the foundation of the Journey that developed with listening to music.

If you are still passionate about Music Replays today, the ownership of this vintage device is sure to stir emotions and catapult one back to halcyon times.

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy. In the same way I do LP's purchased from the late 70's - early 80's, their foibles onboard from a misspent youth are all overlooked and forgiven.

@jbhiller ...So, do vintage tuners have a subjective sound quality that makes them enjoyable? Or is this the sound I grew up with, which is just great with faults.


Yes, maybe a little of both. I sure enjoy my FM tuner, and there are times when I enjoy it more than streaming. Particularly so late on Sunday evenings.

I use my 1978 Mitsubishi DA-F10 every day to listen to WUSF 89.7 FM Tampa. Commercial-free college/NPR radio! At night they have a wonderful jazz program - All Night Jazz.

I love my Cambridge audio t500 tuner. I have it hooked up to an aerial antenna, a Winegard, mounted in the attic. I pull in station 50 miles away. It’s fun late at night surfing the dial. The t500 has a conventional knob used for tuning, so it provides that old school feel. I also have a vintage Kenwood tuner and a Marantz st6000. This coming from a guy who still uses cassette decks and mini disc recorders, even 8’s about the music for me....using all the above components is a lot more fun than streaming in my opinion.

Great responses.  It is interesting how using a machine like a tuner or tape deck or turntable changes or influences the process of listening and enjoyment. 

Listening late last night to the Nikko showed me a few things.  While there are some inherent artifacts in the signal, the depth of the soundstage and imaging are quite something--just a different sound than streaming. But.... the inner detail on bass is lacking.

I was surprised at how enjoyable the sound is. 

@jasonbourne52 , that's a sweet tuner. I've been watching those. 


@audioguy85 , I'm not familiar with your unit.  I'm going to check it out. 


@pindac , thank you for the kind words and encouragement to enjoy the journey!!

@jbhiller re: bass, just for grins I swapped over a pair of my better OCC copper interconnects from another component over to my FM tuner. Against all odds and specs of transmitted fm-radio signal, bass and inner detail started showing up.  To this day, I'm pleasantly surprised sometimes as to what sound actually comes through on some channels every once in a while.  Best of Luck, enjoy!  

Some stations broadcast a high quality signal, some do not...I use McIntosh MR-74 and Luxman L-110, both upgraded by Don Scott, who had said that a well done FM broadcast could sound incredibly good...

The subjective sound quality is enhanced by the fact you don't have to rely on an internet signal/computer to listen to music, and it's FREE!

1965 Mcintosh MR71-last tubed model manufactured.  


@jbhiller : the DA-F10 from ’78 is quite advanced in circuit design! It had a test/write up in Audio magazine. I had one then - bought new for $280. Used it for 20+ years. My present one was bought a few years ago on eBay for under $200. Exemplary sound quality!

Radio is not about decent equipment. It's about sad programming, commercials, multiplex distortion and RFI.

I grew up with AM over tube car radios.

I'm listening to my local station now. FM today has the same limitations it's always had. Limited frequency response and noise. Still sounds darn good on a good station. 

I have a couple of nice FM tuners - Onkyo T9090 II and Magnum Dynalab Etude.  With a decent roof antenna the news / jazz station about 50 miles away sounds quite special.  I listen all day while working.

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Some cool programming out there an still some good sounds.   Never stopped using the tuner for FM listening and I'm a geezer.    Have an old Kenwood that sounds great and am sure I could make it sound better with a little maintenance/modding.  If you are in range or want to hear it through the Web, try 93.9 Keokuk, IA station tonight, starts 5 or 530 I think.   Blues then local rock bands with some very cool and live DJ types speaking that make it fun.

I had the opportunity to purchase a Marantz 10b tuner from its original owner.  Had it cleaned and checked out and have been enjoying its vibes for a couple years now. Mounted a nice FM tuner on my roof and I pick up stations all over the Michigan, Ohio, Ontario area.  Love it.