Why does the Marantz 10B Tuner sound so amazing ???

I am usually listen to rock , but I find my self mezmerized when I hear classical music on the 10B, the instruments sound so real and beautiful. I own many high end tuners but none have the musicality of the 10B . It simply Plays music like a fine musical instrument. What did they do in the design , parts etc. to make this piece sound so great ?
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The 10B tuner came in at an incredible sum of money ($650.00) back in 1965. The unit would be the cause of financial ruin for the Saul Marantz company and eventually required the sale to Superscope to keep the doors open.
I beleive, the incredible talent of Dick Sequerra, Sid Smith, and Mitch Cotter (yes Mitch Cotter), and the use of those priceless Marantz power supply transformers (they dont wind em like that anymore). Take all of this and couple it to the famed Marantz all tube audio circuits and you have magic.
As a personal note, I think my McIntosh MR-78 on the last run CG series, not AD series, is overall the better unit. RF wise it is definitely a better unit and through an all tube system manages to sound close to a tube tuner.
But if you need the nth degree of ultimate musicality, its gotta be the 10B.......Frank
Is it possible that the fase from the signal when passing the circuits is playing an great roll????
My father was one of Sol's early customers on Long Island. He bought everything from him, constituting my introduction to hi-fi.
Besides the pre and power amps, he decomissioned his venerable Fischer tuner, which got me really mad because we always listened in the dark except for a winter fireplace. The light of the tubes threw varied eliptical patterns on the walls and ceiling because of the protective cover. The Fischer had a beautiful bird holding a note in its beak, on the glass front plate, lit by the tuning bulb. I loved it and the Marantz was boring to look at.
But when the Masterwork Hour came on, announced by a particularly magisterial 'Sleepers Awake' and stentorian announcer, it was a new world. And WQXR was even better. He kept the old one, plugged into nothing, for mr to look at.
Like Sol, this sonorous tuner was the financial ruin of my father. My mother was sick and tired of his audio addiction, which she cruelly noted, had taken hold of me at a tender age. The man with the golden arm had nothing over golden ears.
I have an interesting frying pan that constitutes his death mask. I use it for Jello.
Like Sol, he sold out to (more exactly, traded-in for)Superscope. Out mit der tuben, in mit der solidaten state.
Gone were the evenings with the radio.
Shortly after, we were burgeled. Gone his top of the line monster receiver. Ha ha ha, they left behind the old Browning and Fischer.
Last year, he came to visit me. I have the McIntosh MR as well now, quite happily. Listening to my tubes he said, boy what a stupid trade-in I made back then.
I cannot really compare the Mc and the Sol, but I hope I can someday.
The guy that calibrates all of my test equipment recently purchased a 10B that was in very good shape. After going through and aligning it, he was utterly amazed at the sound quality. He directly compared it to a few well respected tuners head to head. When telling me of the results, he kept laughing about how much better sounding the Marantz was than anything he threw at it. Amongst the big name tuners, the oft mentioned MR 78 was one of victims that he made specific mention of. He also mentioned another Mac tuner that it beat, which he said is a better tuner than the MR 78. Seeing as how i've already got almost 20 tuners as it is, i'm not in the market for any more*. Sean

* Well, maybe just one more. I've always liked the Sherwood Draco Micro-CPU 100, but never owned one. Designed by Larry Shotz, i would have to imagine that it at least sounds decent and had good sensitivity.
Yes it is that good unless you believe the tuner experts at a certain web site then the 10B is only so so. Ha!

There was a really good article on the 10B several years ago in Vacuum Tube Valley. Or was it Sound practices? Higly recommended reading. Dig it up.

Aside from the exceptional tuning front-end and all-tube circuits, I think the big difference may have been the six IF stages. Yeah, six. Far more than anything else you can buy. And I believe the filters might have been phase-linear, resulting is the cleanest and most selective IF bandpass possible. Another plus was that I think they used a discriminator circuit instead of the usual FM demodulator.

So it probably isn't the front-end or the audio back-end that makes the sound so clean. I'd wager the sonics are due to the linearity and bandwidth of the IF strip and demodulator circuits.

YES! Great tuner!! Magic !! I picked mine up directly in Long Island City when it was new!! I think they moved to California soon after that.
I have owned two of them in my audio lifetime and now make do with a Luxman T110. If you don't live in NYC, what good is it to have the world's finest tube tuner? Here in Washington, DC, there is one good FM station with decent quality FM music broadcasts, but that is IT for FM. This is what keeps me from buying another 10B.

The 10B, Mr 71 and Mr 67 are all wonderful and a pleasure to listen to for long periods.

If you have a few good stations in your area, any one of these
classics would fill the need quite nicely.

With the iconic 10B, however, you have an amazing midrange with a large
soundstage and layering that is hard to duplicate. The magic could be in its hand made point to point wiring, custom built power supply and dream team design it.

With a good antenna, it does things digital struggles to achieve if ever.

If you change out the optocouplers, which are available on e-bay, replace the sweet and lush 6jk6 tubes as needed they can be reliable. The alignment is very solid and rarely needs work
if they have not been absused.

Let's hope for a few more good stations.

I found this link on goggle from Pro Audio Group that summarizies why the 10B is so unique.

"The Model 10B came out in 1963. It was a no rules-money is no object project. It has an onboard CRT tube for tuning in multipath stations. There are 22 tubes total. About 5000 were built. It weighs 38 pounds and sold for about $650 back in 63. It took 3 and 1/2 years to develop and nearly bankrupted the company. The engineers, Syd Smith, Dick Sequerra (who built another killer reciever) and others worked 18 hour days and weekends.

The tuning capacitor was a Hammarlund 8 gang, silver plated, push pull design. It balances out circulating currents and minimizes cross coupling between stages. It also cuts down on common mode feedback. It is calibrated at ten different points. It is also designed to make the radio dial linear. It is the most expensive part in the tuner and you couldn't afford it today.

The IF section used 3 pole filters in six stages which were heated in an oven prior to aligning in a special jig. Torroid cores were used until they discovered that the soldering irons were magnatizing them, which changed the bandpass. They switched to pot-gapped cores later. The screws are hidden to prevent people from trying to allign the reciever themselves.

The multiplex section featured a new concept called a quasivestigal sideband system. It uses more of the lower sideband than the upper sideband by unbalancing the mix between the two over the frequency range.
and Neon lamps were used on the grids of the direct coupled vacuum tubes to prevent excess voltgae from damaging the tubes before the heaters warmed up. They also used the neon lamps to optically control swithces in the tuner, such as the Stereo/Mono switch, which gave noisless operation.

The Tuner has 108db/octave cutoff slope, making it the most selective tuner in existance."