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Thread: Tuners ... are they all pretty much the same ?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Posts: 202
    I'm Andrew.

    Default Tuners ... are they all pretty much the same ?

    Hi guys , so my tuner is an old Yamaha T-700 that I paid a fiver for at a carboot and I have always had the thought that anything of a decent brand will do the job, am I wrong about this ?
    Clearly the source matters as does the amplification and speakers and cables but the tuner ??

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: Charente, France

    Posts: 3,470
    I'm Nodrog.

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    I would have thought that a tuner was as important as any other part of the system - if you listen to the radio!

    I used to have the Yamaha and it was pretty good but not as good as the Troughline or the FM4. I reckon most decent tuners are pretty similar but the bad ones.......yuck. Ronnie, my wife, had a Pioneer tuner with her system. The rest of it is great but the tuner was thin, screetchy with no body to the sound at all. Terrifically sensitive though, a shoelace would have done for the aerial. We tried with a big outside one but it went straight to the dump without passing go!

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Posts: 202
    I'm Andrew.

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    Ah yes the FM4 , I did enjoy mine as I do this Yamaha. Like you said why discount the tuner when we strive for perfection elsewhere. I have a horrible acoustic solutions dab tuner that I haven't even tried ( it was free ) . Some tuners fetch damn good money too though I suspect that it's not because of their sound .

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 27,748
    I'm Grant.

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    Yes you get good, average and shite same as anything else. I think a decent antenna make and breaks most tuners. No point in buying a fancy cd player and playing mp3 on it
    Regards,
    Grant

    IMUTO TAURUS X4 BATTERY SUPPLY. - RPI2B & AUDIOPHONICS DAC running MOODE 3.1- CHROMECAST2 AUDIO x2. - JBE SERIES 3 SLATEDECK & EMOTIVA XPS-1. - PIONEER 717 & MODDED MF X10v3. - PROART AMP/BERESFORD TC-7240 SWITCHBOX. - WIN10 JRIVER21, AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 HEADPHONES, KINPS CABLES, SMSL M6 MINIDAC & CHROMECAST AUDIO DONGLE, POWERED BY LINEAR AND BATTERY PSU's - FULL RANGE TWIN & SINGLE TELEFUNKEN's - CARTS.. AT95S, SHURE M55E, JVC MD1029. - RCA CABLES BY BRIAN SPKR CABLES BY MOI HAIR BY MARCO FEET BY ELECTRICBEACH - MAINS REGENERATED AND FILTERED.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 14,648
    I'm Neil.

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    With any FM tuner the aerial is the first part of the chain, suitable good aerial and decent coax cable to it and you are on your way. After that yes different tuners and makes offer something different and improved sound quality.

    I used to think the Leak Troughline + an FM decoder was the best out there, I was wrong. Yes its a fabulous tuner but there are so many others that are better. Tuners from Kenwood, Sansui, Pioneer, Sony, etc.

    Read through this site http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/index.html particularly the review comparison section. Its possible to pick up fabulous tuners for not much, though since FM got a stay of execution the prices are going up again. My own recommendation re best sound for least money the Kenwood KT3050, or the KT5020. Stunning and up there in the top 6 or so FM tuners. Nothing special to look at, but really nice to listen to.
    Regards Neil

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos & Cambrian mountains, Wales

    Posts: 8,036
    I'm Jerry.

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    The old and venerable Denon 260L was always a favourite of mine - far better sounding than most and probably available for a few tens of these days.
    Jerry

    Main systems:
    Spotify Premium and TIDAL hi-rez streaming, Xiang Sheng DAC-01A. Alternating amp setups: Little Bear P8 valve pre / Nobsound NS-02G power amp & Philips Black Tulip 270 pre / Philips 380 power amp. Speakers: MBL 116F. Atratus3 i/c & Western Electric 16GA spkr cables. Missing Link Cryo Ref and Nordost Magus power cables

    Analog rig Turntable: Technics SL-150mk2 & AT-1010 arm, ADC XLM1 Integra / Linn Asak - VdH retip cartridges.

    Headphones: B&O H6, PSB M4U-1,Beyerdynamic DT-150, B&O Form 2 & 2a B&O U70, and Sony XBA-H1 & SoundMagic E10 IEM headphones

    2nd system: Pioneer DVD transport, Rotel RP-3000 tt / Goldring Eroica LX, SMSL Q5 Pro DAC/Pre-power amp, Klegg Symphony 102 speakers

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Oxfordshire, England

    Posts: 120
    I'm James.

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    FM via Troughline will, IMHO, knock the spots off any other way of receiving the Radio. Let's hope they never turn off Analogue Radio as they have with TV.

    DAB is pretty awful but suffices for 'day to day' listening. Not Hi-Fi though.

    With a decent DAC, listening via PC is pretty good from sites such as...........
    http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/other.asp (still not much better than MP3 though).
    There are also some other good feeds via URL's which were printed in 'What Hi-Fi' (?) or some other such magazine last year. Sorry I don't have details though. I seem to remember the Radio 3 feed was pretty darn good. (Sounded a lot better than MP3! JRiver said it was 48kHz 16 bit, don't know what bit-rate though).
    The Freeview feed is not too bad either for listening this way (with a DAC). Better quality (bit-rate) than DAB.

    Magnum Dynalab make some of the very best modern FM Tuners but the price tags reflect this!

    Pioneer made some exceptionally good Tuners in the 70's and 80's (sorry to disagree with the previous Poster!). But their very best efforts I think were always reserved for their Receivers. So, if you've already got an Amp...............

    Get yourself a Leak Troughline, get someone to service it (correctly) for you, spend a decent amount on a proper Aerial and you won't look back. But start petitioning your MP to keep Analogue Radio going!

    Jim.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 3,250
    I'm Jez.

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    and the opposite view..... I really wouldn't recommend the Leak Troughline. A poor tuner. The leak Stereofetic or Delta FM (the same circuitry, completely different styling) are much better tuners in every way.

    If you really must have a Troughline then I've got loads of 'em. Hint. Although I have maybe a dozen of these and have the equipment and knowledge to refurb them I don't use one......

    The Hitachi FT5500 in either Mk is superb
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 14,648
    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC View Post
    FM via Troughline will, IMHO, knock the spots off any other way of receiving the Radio. Let's hope they never turn off Analogue Radio as they have with TV.

    DAB is pretty awful but suffices for 'day to day' listening. Not Hi-Fi though.

    With a decent DAC, listening via PC is pretty good from sites such as...........
    http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/other.asp (still not much better than MP3 though).
    There are also some other good feeds via URL's which were printed in 'What Hi-Fi' (?) or some other such magazine last year. Sorry I don't have details though. I seem to remember the Radio 3 feed was pretty darn good. (Sounded a lot better than MP3! JRiver said it was 48kHz 16 bit, don't know what bit-rate though).
    The Freeview feed is not too bad either for listening this way (with a DAC). Better quality (bit-rate) than DAB.

    Magnum Dynalab make some of the very best modern FM Tuners but the price tags reflect this!

    Pioneer made some exceptionally good Tuners in the 70's and 80's (sorry to disagree with the previous Poster!). But their very best efforts I think were always reserved for their Receivers. So, if you've already got an Amp...............

    Get yourself a Leak Troughline, get someone to service it (correctly) for you, spend a decent amount on a proper Aerial and you won't look back. But start petitioning your MP to keep Analogue Radio going!

    Jim.
    That's fine Jim, I have well over 25 tuners, I have compared them and I am solid on my thoughts regarding this.

    The Troughline I used to use regularly is a mk 2 with a Tim De P FM decoder, its set up right and the likes of the Kenwood 3050 eats it for breakfast.

    Magnum Dynalab are good, but one needs to go up their model range to get best, and frankly the cost is so crazy high that compared to the best vintage FM tuners... well in my view they don't represent good value for money.

    Re Pioneer the 9100, 9500 mk2 and 9800 are very good tuners. I also own most of the Sony highend tuners too. The A6 is very good, as is the much older ST5000 FW. I have Accuphase too, Audiolab, Revox, Sansui, and I could go on.
    Regards Neil

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: County Durham, England

    Posts: 527
    I'm Malcolm.

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    With radio being digital most of the way across the network, surely there's little point in remaining 'analogue' unless it's for the pleasure of using a vintage tuner? (Rather like playing vinyl versions of modern digital recordings as there is pleasure in the medium.) I liked my Denon 260L a lot, but it languished in the box for years. Nowadays, when I do radio, it's from my Mac Mini feeding the DAC of the Cambridge StreamMagic - or, for speed and convenience, the Freeview tuner. (Both these sound better than the 'Internet Radio' as streamed by the Cambridge itself.)

    Technics SL1210 MkII / SME 309 / Timestep PSU / Achromat / Denon DL-304
    Trichord Dino Mk2
    Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 / iPad Air / Mac Mini (Lossless, MP3, Spotify)
    Pioneer BDP-450 Blu-ray/DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD transport
    Toshiba BDX1200 Blu-ray player (Zone A & Region 1)
    Yamaha RX-V1067
    B&W 804S stereo, HTM4S centre, CDMSNT surrounds (5.0)
    Sennheiser HD 700 headphones
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