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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:06 am 
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So, I'm one of a dying breed that still loves listening to FM radio (insert laughter here!). I'm a receiver guy for convenience, and I grabbed a Yamaha R-S500 Receiver a few months back. For CD playback, the receiver sounds fantastic and truly offers me 90% of the quality I've had in the past with integrated amps, and even mid fi or low higher end separates.

Unfortunately, the FM stereo playback sound quality is not very good. I have a Magnum silver ribbon antenna in the basement and before you may think, well the basement is the issue, this is not the case, as my previous Yamaha, Rotel, and even Adcom receivers and tuners sound far better. In fact, I had a cheap Yamaha RX-V550 and it was one of the better sounding tuners I've had on a Yamaha receiver bar none.

Trying to decide if I should just look for a new used receiver, or if I should purchase a separate stand alone tuner and use it with my Yamaha since I love the Yamaha for CD playback.

Can anyone recommend any best bang for the buck FM tuners that will offer a good quality sound experience?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions anyone can throw over to me!


Last edited by Hula Pie on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:33 am 
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Kenwood KT-815

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"Sonically, in my opinion, this tuner is a sleeper. It reminds me a lot of its more expensive brother the KT-917 (honestly). Being a audiophile rather than a DXer, I am more inclined to purchase based on sonics. This tuner, like the 917, has a 'big' sound and flat frequency response (which I prefer to the colored sound of some tuners). I would rather make the tonal adjustments via my control amp myself. The soundstage is large (not compressed) and spatial characteristics are excellent (even more so than the KT-917). I could easily discern individual instruments and their placement in the soundstage. The stereo separation is an incredible 55 dB and signal-to-noise ratio is an extremely quiet 80 dB in stereo. This tuner really does live up to these specs. I at no time felt any listening fatigue - in fact, I find myself listening to it more often and, depending on the station and its music source, I sometimes forget that I have the tuner on and not the CD player! This is no exaggeration. This tuner is currently used with a simple dipole antenna in a hilly rural setting. I pick up a classical station that is more than 50 miles away with a strong multipath-free signal. The result is outstanding sound quality and a very quiet background in the wide mode. I had occasion to use the narrow mode for a jazz station with a weaker signal, and it eliminated much of the interference with an almost imperceptible change in the frequency response. Other tuners I've owned have included well-cared-for 'like new' versions of the Pioneer TX-9100 and TX-9500, Kenwood KT-917, McIntosh MR 77 and MR 74, Yamaha T-2, and Fisher KM-60 and FM-100B, and I must say that dollar for dollar, the Kenwood KT-815 is the best value of them all."


http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/kenwood

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:01 am 
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Location: Montréal, QC, CA
You're looking for one of these:

Serviced Sansui TU-717
or MD FT-101

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:14 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I don't do FM, so I cannot help there.

But are you sure that FM cannot be replaced with free streaming? Most radio stations offer their music up on the Net these days, and many receivers are network capable.

Else, it is off to the thrift shops to find that overlooked Magnum Dynalab for you!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi Hula Pie,
Perhaps the tuner needs alignment?

I have everything required to do that if you want.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:17 pm 
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You can download the service manual here.(30-45 second delay).

https://elektrotanya.com/yamaha_r-s500_sm.pdf/download.html

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Ohms

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Well ... going back to your original post i think your antenna being located in the basement is indeed your issue.
You sould try ideally to get the antenna outdoors and high as posible. And do it with coax cable.
Your signal strength will be very high then you can judge the quality of the tuner section of your receiver.
Until you do the antenna properly you cannot possibly tell how your FM sounds. IMHO

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:37 pm 
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That is very true, but it should be working at least as well as other tuner sections. If it isn't, it's probably out of alignment.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:25 pm 
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I picked up an old Yamaha R-7 this past weekend and the tuner in this thing is friggin awesome, and that is using the same d antenna I had connected to the R-S500.

I've had stand alone tuners that didn't sound this good. Very impressed. The R-7 is a keeper, but not sure about the 500. Sounds great on CD and other sources, but FM not impressive. Spoke to another person on the weekend and they also were not satisfied with FM performance.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:37 pm 
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I have the 700 and it is adequate but not as good as any of my component tuners. This despite the rest of the unit sounding very good for the price. BTW, R-7 was a pretty high end unit IIRC. Mid to late 1980s. Very nice.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Hi Hula Pie,
Since the tuners are often the same between units that are close to each other in the model line-up, you may have just compared two identical tuners.

I used to do warranty service on Yamaha home audio products. The equipment I have now is a lot better than what I used back when I was doing warranty work.

-Chris


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