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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:46 pm 
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Location: Lasalle, ON, CA
In my efforts to experiment with differnt components, I recently purchased a used Yamaha A-S500 integrated amplifier to get a taste of any differences I might notice between newer vs. vintage gear. I tried the Yamaha in my main system and it performed surprisingly well for a budget integrated, well enough for me to begin seriously considering experimenting with other newer gear. Despite how well it performed, however, it wasn't quite up to the demands of my AR9LS speakers, but was good enough to merit a place in my bedroom system, allowing me to switch my Luxman R-117 to run the AR9LS's instead (until I can find a better match).

Before experimenting with other integrated amplifiers, however, I thought I should consider whether I should upgrade my source. After all, many people claim that you should begin with the source and build your system from there, so I thought I should appeal to the general wisdom of other, more experienced members of CAM before going any further.

Unlike most people here, my main source is actually FM. I would be willing to guess that at least 90% of my listening, both casual and dedicated, is FM. As a result, my most important source component is actually a Tuner, of all things! Now good tuners can be expensive (especially those listed on the tuner 'shootout'), but of those rated highly I have found the Luxman T-117 to be reasonably affordable, and so have focussed most of my efforts around it. Thus, currently I own a T-117, a PT-117, and an R-117 (mentioned above). I also own a Tandberg 3011A, which I also like.

I'm wondering if there are any tuners that would be obvious upgrades over the Luxman T-117 and Tandberg 3011A that I should be looking for as a way of improving the quality of my primary source. I'm aware of the ones listed on the tuner 'shootout', but have not heard any of those tuners firsthand, and so have no sense of how much better they are than the Luxman or Tandberg. These are by far the best tuners I've heard to date (comparisons with NAD, Proton, Nikko, and Denon), but if there are others that are noticably better I would be keen to know what they might be.

Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:53 pm 
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Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
Tube or SS?

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Collecting vintage tube Pilot (Pilotone) HiFi gear.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:41 am
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Location: SE Quebec, QC, CA
I've used a number of tuners ( NAD, Denon Marantz and 3 Magnum Dynalabs--FT 11 FT101A and MD 90 ). Assuming you're listening to FM stations with good sound quality ( where I live basically only CBC 2 English and French which were very good with an aerial )then the only one of the bunch that I suspect MIGHT be better than the Tandberg would be the MD 90.

The MD 90 was significantly better than the FT 101A and any of the others. Again assuming your tuners are aligned and working as they should, I expect that it would not be easy to find alternatives that could be better without spending a lot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:18 pm 
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Location: Waverley, NS, CA
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... lab-ft-11/


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Here's what I use for reference searching. (And I listen to plenty of "FM" (as bad as that is hereabouts - so mostly CKUA & CBC2)

http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/shootouts.html

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
[quoteThe MD 90 was significantly better than the FT 101A and any of the others. Again assuming your tuners are aligned and working as they should, I expect that it would not be easy to find alternatives that could be better without spending a lot.][/quote]

Assuming Phil you want sound quality/ reliabilty MD90 is best bet, I like and use a MD100 and have also that is quite decent Quad FM4 ,but again this Quad is upgraded and aligned.
Tube FM Tuner (McIntosh, Fisher, ) can be very good but as tubes wears out, spec and alignment are good for 1000 hours, after that it drifts in performance......


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:49 pm 
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I listen to cbc and a Detroit public radio station with good signals from each, so I'm more interested in sound quality than reception. I have not had my tuners adjusted, so they may not be realizing their full potential.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:37 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
I have a the 101a by Dynalab. Gold face, upgraded by dynalab to have "gyro" tuning...

I'll be shortly upgrading. You can't go wrong with Dynalab.
Just get a good whip antenna to go with it.
I use theirs.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
Instead of upgrading, I'd rather spend the money on the alignment of the HF filters on your Luxman.
The HUGE benefit of buying a used Dynalab is that they can do the realignment in their company's lab and they will do it right.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
magnum 108T short stay at me place. i dont know what all the wazoo is all about because i have not heard one tuna can handle candle to a decent TT. then iam jus a bais rass!


best, Fats.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:13 am 
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Location: Brampton, ON, CA
If you haven't already done so, maybe explore an internet type tuner/streamer. Lots more choice of content and perhaps some stations may offer better sound quality over AM/FM. From a sound quality perspective FM and internet radio probably have various compromises compared to a cd or vinyl. I suppose the internet stream would depend on the quality of the dac used and the bit rate of the stream. Certainly, if you listen to AM radio, the equivalent stream through the internet should be much better.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:15 am 
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Location: Dunstable, MA, US
I would up grade to a roof top antenna and rotor. Great improvement in sound.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:07 am 
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Location: Mississauga, ON, CA
I also listen to a FM radio for hours a week. "Jazz FM in T.O." They have a much better record collection then I do. I have a Kenwood 5020 the is in the top ten of the tuner 'shootout'. I think if sounds great. It is not the equal to my TT or SACD however I sit sit there and enjoy! I have line of sit to the CN tower so FM reception is full bars!!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:51 am 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
Going to an old NAD, Proton, etc would be a lateral move at best. I have tried a couple of the tuners from the FM tuners website and I don't agree with their ratings, but to each their own.
I think a whip style antenna and high quality RG6 would be a nice upgrade, but that is up to you.

I agree with others that a Magnum Dynalab is the choice to make, for simple reasons. First, they are Canadian. Second they provide support & upgrades for all their products. I bought an early FT101 and for around $300 they upgraded it for me. Sounds significantly better than before. Third, they also sell direct, so you can find an older Magnum Dynalab that has been factory inspected, if you wish. Fourth and most important, they sound good and are reasonably priced in the Canadian used market.

The other option is to find a local tech who is familiar with tuners to go over your current tuners and bring up to specification. The ones you own are over 30 years old and some of the parts have gone out of spec. The thing to keep in mind is cost. Is it worth spending $200 on your Tandberg? I would say yes. On the other hand, is worth spending $600? Not so much. Again your choice.


Last edited by Vinyl Guy on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:06 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Best sounding tuners I have heard are from Magnum Dynalab, then Linn, then Rega. I currently use a modern NAD.


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