Good tuner under $300? any recommendations?

 

Silver Member
Username: Shane24

Post Number: 111
Registered: Mar-07
Yeah I Was wanting to buy a tuner, coz my 15yr old sansui gave up... I checked out marantz, denon... and other brands you guys can recommend?
I have studio L890 driven by nadc372...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10277
Registered: May-04
.

A "good" tuner is chosen by way of certain specifications that will allow the tuner to perform in a certain location with an appropriate antenna. Do you know what specs will be important in your situation? Sensitivity? Selectivity? Alternate channel rejection? What sort of antenna will you be using? A folded dipole or a mast mounted antenna? Do the stations you listen to do live broadcasts of certain types of music or just the typical computer programmed play list? Do you want a HD tuner? XM or Sirius? Or does "good" tuner mean something else entirely?

.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shane24

Post Number: 112
Registered: Mar-07
A standard tuner to listen to FM, no not hd tuner not xm and certainley not sirius..(i guess one has to be really specific about a tuner here eh.. )not worried abt specs,sensitivity...
Yeah, just the typical p.c programmed play list is what i am looking for(mounted antenna)..
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dscrobe

Reading, PA USA

Post Number: 31
Registered: Dec-05
Shane, what did you mean by p.c. programmed play list? You want to use your computer and a tuner card?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 6988
Registered: Dec-04
Daniel, a lot of stations buy their playlists from providers who carry the inventory and determine playlists by demographics and locale.
These 'providers' download the content to stations(with preprogrammed commercial content sometimes) for the market that they are selling to.
Most of the typical stations use this service, especially overnight.

What you hear has been emailed to your station from somebody in a distant location, with a bunch of mumbo-jumbo formulae in tow, to provide a programme of music and spaces for a radio station to convert from Digital to Analogue, and broadcast with their own mixing preference.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shane24

Post Number: 114
Registered: Mar-07
No, not computer and tuner card, meaning programmed play list at the radio stations which are all p.c programmed play list....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dscrobe

Reading, PA USA

Post Number: 32
Registered: Dec-05
So much for DJ's such as Robin Williams in Good Morning America. Thanks for explanation Nuck. My tuner recommendation would have to be the Onkyo Home Stereo Receiver (TX8522), priced at $280. I'm sure there are much better high ends such as NAD but Onkyo is what I have been used to and it has served me fine.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10295
Registered: May-04
.

If you're not worried abut specs, then you're not worried about whether the tuner will work well for you. It would be nice to know what we are supposed to "recommend" when it would apppear any ol' tuner will serve your purposes. And any ol' antenna will do. That rather sounds like anything will do; so why bother making a recommendation other than go buy what has front panel lights you like? How about no lights? Go buy a Tivoli Model Two and plug it into your pre amplifier. You won't find a better designed tuner for many times its price.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shane24

Post Number: 115
Registered: Mar-07
thanks vigne for the blunt and sarcastic assistance u have shown, its good to see platinum members like urself always ready to help other newer members on this fine forum...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10302
Registered: May-04
.


I do what I can with what I'm given. Sometimes the truth can be no more than blunt. But sarcastic, never. What answer did you expect when the request was for a tuner where it really didn't matter what was recommended since nothing other than price was important? Surely you can research price on your own. My recommendation stands, the Tivoli provides an excellent quality tuner. It might not suit your needs but I know of no better tuner for that price.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4633
Registered: Feb-05
Actually were I in the market for a tuner right now I would exactly what Jan has suggested. I know several folks who have and have been rewarded with great reception and sound quality...what more could you ask for from a tuner.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7056
Registered: Dec-04
And Hey, add a little flavor to the look of things with the Tivoli!
Diversify.
A little pizazz.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jmsoave

South Lake Tahoe, CA USA

Post Number: 58
Registered: Feb-07
Is the Tivoli tuner a good one for connecting to an integrated amp? From what I can tell on their website, it only has a headphone output, not a true stereo output, but I could be mistaken.

I'm in the market for a tuner as well, and I'm mostly concerned with sensitivity, since I live in a remote mountain area. And like I said, I want to integrate with my existing hi fi system...would the recommendations be a bit different for me?

I'm using Cambridge Audio components, so of course a CA would look good, but I haven't seen too many great reviews of their tuner and I'd rather have the best bang for the buck...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jmsoave

South Lake Tahoe, CA USA

Post Number: 59
Registered: Feb-07
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I listen to a lot of public radio stations that have live talk and music. Lots of live jazz. But also some local stations that play cd's...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10311
Registered: May-04
.

The Tivoli products have about as good a FM tuner as you can find. To get better in new equipment is either splitting hairs or far more expensive in most cases. The headphone output should provide a good sound quality. The impedance might be off a bit, I'm not certain what the spec for the Tivoli products is for headphone output, but it will provide a decent signal quality into most Aux/Tuner inputs of the average integrated amplifier.


However, ...


You are asking for a more specific product and your requirements are difficult for even the best tuners to satisfy without a very good directional antenna with high sensitivity/gain. I suspect you know FM does not travel well when presented with any impediments to the signal. Mountains, buildings, electrical towers and even trees will either block the signal or cause multipath reflections. Listening over the internet would be the better approach today. That also presents problems in that many NPR stations will not provide a continuous stream and the signal cuts off after about an hour without warning. But clarity and signal to noise ratio will be better in most cases by a large step.


I would begin researching antennas as I said looking for a high gain, directional antenna. Depending on your situation you might want a rotor or an indoor antenna that can be manipulated. Usually an independent TV shop can provide information on which antennas best suit your locale. Since any tuner is only as good as the antenna feed provided it, I would invest a large portion of my money in the antenna and making it work in your location. With a very good antenna suited to your situation you might find a moderately priced tuner is sufficient for your needs.


If you are truly looking for a high sensitivity tuner, I would suggest older Japanese tuners unless you can afford a vintage McIntosh or original Marantz (nothing after Saul sold the company to SuperScope). Keep in mind most tuner specs are trade offs and making one spec a priority might sacrifice some other qualities. The Yamaha, Pioneer, Kenwood and Sansui tuners from the late 1970's through the early 1990's were superb (dollar for dollar) for sensitivity and most managed to balance specs with a generally desirable trade of one for another. My personal preference would be an analog tuner rather than digital as analog will provide the ability to de-tune the station a bit should multipath or alternate channel interference become a problem. Digital tuners are either on frequency or not and few of them provided sufficient abilities to tune off center to minimize multipath. But analog tuners don't often provide presets. Here's a very good Kenwood for sale at a good price; http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?misctunr&1182629574



The Magnum tuners are terrific, if you provide them with a good signal from the antenna. Check the Audiogon site for good deals. A Dynaco FM3 is a pretty good tuner with much less sensitivity but a very nice tube sound when fed a clean signal. The Yamaha T80 is one of the most sensitive tuners you can find.


Keep in mind that with sensivity the tuner will want to pull in any channel close to the chosen frequency and the antenna must help you make alternate channel rejection and high signal to noise possible. You should find out where the antennas for you favorite stations are located to determine just what sort of antenna might be appropriate for the stations you want to listen to. Two listeners, a few miles apart and desiring different channels, might find different tuners most desirable for their own situation, so tuners are a difficult call at times. But even the Tivoli will benefit from an external antenna feed.


Check here; http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?misctunr


and here; http://www.audioclassics.com/cat.php3?cat=Tuners


for some ideas. Tube tuners offer very good sound quality but will require a knowledgeable tech to align them every now and then (every five to ten years is typical if you want the absolute best performance) and tube tuners usually require a top notch antenna. If you have no local TV shops in your area, try these folks, http://www.ccrane.com/, they can probably help with getting you the correct antenna for your location.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10313
Registered: May-04
.

I should add that high sensitivity brings with it front end overload on many tuners. Consider what channels you actually listen to, where their broadcast antennas are located and whether DX'ing is that important to you. The internet would be the better option for ocassional long distance reception and allow you to maintain a more reasonable tuner and antenna package for what is important closer to home. While the Yamaha T80 is a very sensitive tuner, if you do not have the ability to sometimes pad down the incoming signal, it will sound distorted due to overload on close in stations.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shane24

Post Number: 129
Registered: Mar-07
Probably go in for a marantz tuner, a buddy of mine is a salesrep, he said he will try and get me one of those ole marantz tuners.....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10317
Registered: May-04
.


Ask if he can get a deal on a 10B.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jmsoave

South Lake Tahoe, CA USA

Post Number: 60
Registered: Feb-07
Thanks for all the info and advice, Jan, it helps my research a lot. There's a good local TV shop that I'll check with on antennas, and then go from there. I'd love to mount a good antenna on my roof. I'll let you know how it turns out...

I agree with you on the internet radio, in fact I already have that setup, i.e. laptop to stereo via external sound card, and it sounds great. But I'd also like to have a tuner, just for the convenience of being able to fire it up easily for local stations without turning on my computer.

You know, I also have a great little Boston tuner ( http://www.bostonacoustics.com/home_product.aspx?category_id=34&product_id=213 )
but it doesn't have an audio out...I wonder if there's a way to open it up and rewire to an interconnect...??
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7182
Registered: Dec-04
Joe, you could do that, if you take the pre signal before the amp of the radio. I would suggest this with a gain stage for a preamp.
That could get messy in a hurry.

Better to go with a complete tuner, I think.
 

New member
Username: Cpmsched

Seattle

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-07
I just picked-up a Sansui TU-717 (and an AU-717) on ebay. $200 for the tuner and $300 for the integrated amp. A bit pricey, but they are supposedly 1-owner mint condition. Back when I was a teenager in the late 1970's, these were the units I wanted -- but couldn't afford. I bought the AU-317 and TU-317 instead. I am looking forward to the arrival of this classic used gear and hopefully they will perform well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Alright_boy

Post Number: 267
Registered: Jan-07
Luxman, if you can find one. None better.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10591
Registered: May-04
.

He already found a tuner, jonesy, and it's a lot better than anything Luxman sold in the US.


Another bright shiny terd from jbj. Sheeesh!
 

Silver Member
Username: Alright_boy

Post Number: 271
Registered: Jan-07
Your opinion Janny. We'll consider the source.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10595
Registered: May-04
.

Sounds like JF already did. You're always late to the party; eh, jonesy? Probably because no one invites dorks like you. Are you thinking about speakers and audible distortion? What a font of useful information you are. Answer a question, jonesy, stop being totally useless as you usually are.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7616
Registered: Dec-04
John, you have the pieces you wanted at a reasonable price. Maybe reasonable because you wanted those alone, and that makes sense to me.
I hope they do, and look, exactly the way they should/appear.

Cheers!
 

Silver Member
Username: Hifisoundguy

Post Number: 139
Registered: Aug-06
The NAD 4300 is one of the best in it's time and you can find one for under $180. A really good one now a days is the Denon TU-1500 and you can find them for around $300.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11120
Registered: May-04
.


Eh, RW, this thread has been over for two months now.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 54
Registered: Apr-07
[Yep - I know this thread has been over for a few months, but as long as it's on top -- for now, anyway... ]

Some pretty good info here too:
http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 229
Registered: Jul-07
Mike B- That is an awsome list. I am also looking for a tuner for the system I am building.
Luckily, I have no problem with sensiivity. I just have one station that I can see from my place. I often listen to the Tivoli with headphones. I have used 3 different tuners and a reciever and reception is no problem. What I am looking for is one that will sound really good on the Quad11L and the Velo sub (on the way). Looking at Rega and Naim int amps. I don't know if synergy is an issue on the tuner.
No set price in mind. So many cheap tuners on ebay that have good reviews.
There is an Audiolab 8000T on http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?misctunr&1190914439. It is in Eugene, OR. Rated #6 on that shootout. Any one we know around there? Art?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 230
Registered: Jul-07
On ebay I see Kenwood, Rotel, Nad, etc. None maybe as high end as the Audiolab.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5273
Registered: Feb-05
I'm about 40 minutes from there.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 231
Registered: Jul-07
You are up early too!
Do you know anything about the Audiolab. Worth 3 times the other used tuners?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 256
Registered: Jul-07
I got a Rotel RT990BX Tuner. Sounds very good and the boss thinks it looks good with the Rotel 172 cd player. Important that she likes it too. I told her they cost $25 each.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5304
Registered: Feb-05
"Important that she likes it too. I told her they cost $25 each."

LOL!!!

Now we know why she is so enamored with it!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 679
Registered: May-06
My turn to LOL!

My Carver TX-11b just lit up and nothing. After being lit with no sound for about a month now I started thinking "the lights are on and nobody's home". Might not spend anything to get it fixed.

Went into my spare parts and replaced the Carver with my Yamaha 492. Nope, it was way flat, uninspired.

I started obsessing about a MAC MR-67, 71, 74, 77, 78 or 80. Talked to JV, calmed down a bit, read a bit of this forum.

Light bulb went on, scampered to the garage and pulled my pawn shop special Pioneer SX-650 Stereo Receiver. It has a tuner on it I'm thinking.

Anyway, on the SX-650, speakers set to off, selector set to FM, Tape Monitor 1 set to on, ICs REC to Rogue.

Sweet.

Art, I paid $40 (USD) and was going to use it for my garage receiver!!!


Even if Jan were to stop over and clues me in that it is dog meat compared to a MAC MR XX I am going to keep this in play a while. Rich mid-range, decent imaging, and quiet reception, coincidentally my favorite Dallas Rock station, using little more than a dipole antenna. I have a 90" attic antenna which will be going up this weekend.

This is really a great thread!!!

Tip of the hat once again to JV.

P.S. Kevin this really did only cost $40 and it classes up my media room a little bit (if you read any of Nuck's recent posts).
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 272
Registered: Jul-07
I love a bargain but it is not usually happening around here.
The Rotel is nice. I use the FM at night for a program from SanFrancisco: http://www.jazzwithbobparlocha.com/
The wife listens to "hits of the 70s, 80s, and now".
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11257
Registered: May-04
.

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here, but you should not take a receiver/amplifier/what-have-you and plug it into 120 volts if that unit has been sitting for any length of time. The power supply caps are likely to give way under such conditions. Not immediately but eventually, usually within a few weeks. The proper approach would be to use a Variac to slowly raise the voltage. Lacking that device, you should plug the unit into a dimmer of some sort and slowly raise the voltage over a few minutes. It would be best to have some ability to watch current draw as the amp comes up to working temps and voltage. You can construct a simple light bulb tester in series with the outlet if you want to have some idea what's happening. Without any such equipment to avoid slamming 120 volts into the caps you can only hope for the best.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 680
Registered: May-06
Kevin,

I meant that as opposed to "Important that she likes it too. I told her they cost $25 each.", mine really did only cost $40.

Built my DIY ICs replacing the Purist Audio Design Elementa Rev.A's. Discovering what Art and a few others have expressed, that there is a synergy in cables just like there is a synergy in components.

The warmth of the tuner remains, getting more expression, sound stage / imaging gained minimally.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 681
Registered: May-06
Jan,

Except for the TT and thunderstorm warnings, I generally leave all of my gear turned on...

Will leave the Pioneer turned on until I can conjure up something to wake it up peacefully like you suggested.

EC - "White hallucinogenic powder" on the Pioneer. Feels weird typing that but it sure sounds great!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 273
Registered: Jul-07
Michael- Great find! Lucky to find such a good bargain. Like our friend and all his garage sale equipment posted here. My problem is that even if I do see used stuff I may not know that it is good. Have learned a lot here though. My wife knows full well I am full of BS but she is mellow.

As for Jan's advice: "..you should not take a receiver/amplifier/what-have-you and plug it into 120 volts if that unit has been sitting for any length of time..." I guess I will have to also leave it on until I can rig up a device. The more we learn the more complicated it gets.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11258
Registered: May-04
.

If you leave the unit powered up for a few weeks and no problems arise, then you are unlikely to have later problems related to how you intially powered the unit up. That is not to say leaving the unit powered up for the first few weeks can mitigate any capacitor problems. The unit should be gradually brought up to operating conditions the first time out after sitting for an extended period. And, ideally, it should be monitored for problems. The issue is current draw and leaving the unit running while there is excessive current draw will not prevent a problem. (I guess you could say such operating conditions could cause larger problems should a fire result.) At this point use the unit normally and hope for the best, there are no hard and fast rules about when a capacitor will fail from long periods of inactivity. I've plugged units in when I first brought them home. They are products I've purchased at a garage sale for $20 so there's little to loose. But, if you've invested in a unit, you might want to consider taking it to a shop and asking the tech to place the unit on a test bench before you begin using it at full voltage. If there are no problems, the cost should be minimal and could save expensive repairs later.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 684
Registered: May-06
Ok, that was good advice. Thanks
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8637
Registered: Dec-04
However, would the gradual powering up of a componant not cause issues with the low voltage power supplies on their own? If the power is brought up enough to light a 5v supply at, say 4.3v, the result could be damaging enough.
Granted that most power supplies are nor on/off, but any ic's would not appreciate a 3-4v input.
change for a nickel.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11275
Registered: May-04
.


The change should be consistent and monitored. The IC's shouldn't care unless you dawdle on 4.3 volts just to see them blow up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8653
Registered: Dec-04
It is only theory, and best tested on a $40 unit, but I would disable the logic power supply while powering the caps and power stage to rated voltage. But the logic may not allow the control relays to close, which means that the outputs will not be powered.
This is a bit thick, to be sure, but that is why techs are there, I suppose.
For the mad scientist's out there, perhaps supplying a metered voltage directly into the caps, without plugging the thing in?
 

Silver Member
Username: Chicomoralessxm

Dutch islesCaribbean

Post Number: 208
Registered: Feb-07
Looking for a tuner myself in the same price range preferably new so my first choice of a magnum dynlab is out :-) was consider either the nad 425 or a tangent
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 332
Registered: Jul-07
This is fun: http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/shootouts.html


I have had such good luck where I have used tuners: Home in Alaska, Seattle and Portland, OR. All my tuners got good reception and sound good. I have had a few odd ones but now I have 2 that partner my integrated amp.

I just listen to public radio jazz and classical. My wife plays "hits of the 70s, 80s and now".
In the case that I have a tuner fail I use a Tivoli until I get a new tuner.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11822
Registered: May-04
.

chico - Have you read this thread in it's entirity? There are recommendations provided within the thread.

Add Your Message Here

Bold text Italics Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image Add a YouTube Video
Need to Register?
Forgot Password?
Enable HTML code in message
   
Jump to: Home Audio Forum | Home Video Forum | Home Theater Forum | Car Audio Forum