Receiver with best tuner


Unregistered guest
Hello, I have been setting up a 2 channel audio system. I currently have a MF 3.2 Integrated & CD player, Totem Forest speakers & Rel Storm III sub. I want to purchase a tuner next. At some point I will be setting up a home theater. I thought that I could use the tuner from an AV Reveiver for my 2 channel system. What receivers under 1K would fit the bill. They would have to be able to drive Totem surrounds and a center channel. Thank you.

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 811
Registered: Feb-04
Denons usually have good tuners, but the power and quality of the amps isn't the best.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Maybe I'm not understanding what you want; but, if you have an integrated amp why would you want to buy a reciever that duplicates most of the elctronics you already own? You should be looking for a separate tuner that will plug into your integrated.
I would avoid recievers if you want the best radio performance since most tuners in recievers are an after thought and not of the same quality as a separate tuner.
I would send you to the used market place if you want the best tuner for the dollar spent. Tuner technology has not changed significantly over the past 30 years. If anything the arrival of digital tuners has made the sound of tuners much worse than during the analogue days.
I would suggest you look for a tube tuner if you want the very best sound available. The classic McIntosh tube tuners are some of the best available and can be had for under $1k. The tubes in a tuner are going to last for a decade or more since they are not subject to the wear and tear of power output tubes. My Mac tuner form the 60's still has the original tubes.
The Marantz 10b tuner is still considered the very best sounding tuner ever made but it is far from the $1k price range. Fisher and Scott made excellent tuners during the 50-60's. Heathkit also had good product though they were sold mostly as kits and the construction quality of the assembler may not mean the best product.
If you don't want a tube unit I would look at some of the Japanese tuners from the 70-80's. Sansui, Kenwood, Pioneer and Yamaha all made good tuners during that time period. I would stay away from digital tuners, particularly early digital designs. But a top of the line Pioneer TX-9500, I would guess, can be had for a few hundred bucks.
Buy a decent tuner but remember to get the best antenna you can afford. The antenna is far more important than the tuner itself. Usually a unidirectional antenna on a rotor is the best choice. Depending on your location to the station's antenna you will need to determine the gain of the antenna. Most older TV shops can help you with that choice.


Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 628
Registered: Dec-03

My first reaction was the same as Messr. Vigne, but upon re-reading your post, I think I understand. You want a good surround sound receiver for HT use and still have a good tuner for two channel listening which you can play through your MF 3.2, right? Well, this is very do-able.

IMO, there are a couple of good receivers for under $1K that have excellent tuners and still have excellent sound capable of driving your Totems in five channels.

My first choice is what I bought, the NAD T753. Clean, warm, and with a sonic signature very close to your MF integrated, the T753 is a killer product. Comes with a superb FM tuner, too. In a head to head, I found it far superior to the tuner in my older Denon 3803 (which really isn't that old) and which cost much more than my NAD. I was able to get my NAD for $800, so it is well within your price range.

The only other receiver under $1K that I heard that I like is the Cambridge Audio 540R, but I cannot attest to the tuner's quality as I have never played with the tuner section.

I also used to recommend the Marantz 7300, but is has been replaced by the 7400 and now I understand a 7500 is coming out, which I haven't heard. Marantz was bought by Denon and it is well known that Denon intends to move the brand down market and make Denon the premium brand, so I am not optimistic about their products over the long term, but today's product may be exactly what you want. So, it is worth an audition.

Other than these three brands, I don't think much of the mass market receiver market below $1K.

Good luck!

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 839
Registered: Aug-04

I wish I could put my hands on the article, but it stated that both the Denon and Marantz brands would be left to continue in persuing improvements and maintaining their respective musical attributes to which their customers have grown accustomed. I'm not doubting what you were told. I can only hope that person was wrong.

If I can locate the article I shall post the link.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 630
Registered: Dec-03

"I can only hope that person was wrong."

Hey, me, too! I have long admired the Marantz sound and felt their x300 and x400 receivers were far superior, sonically, to the comparable Denon product. It will be a shame if they sacrifice the build quality and gut the brand equity in order to cover the low end of the market.

It is perfectly logical that Denon has had a change of heart once they got the Marantz brand in house and developed a better understanding of its market. I admit my info is well over a year old shortly after Denon had completed the deal. After all, the Denon brand is pretty well entrenched into the mass merchandisers here in the USA, and Marantz tends to be in independent audio shops where sound quality is more highly regarded, so moving Marantz down-market never made much sense to me (much like Volkswagen making an $85K sedan called the Phaeton--no matter how good it is, it is still a VW!).

I suggest we all keep a close on on what Denon does with Marantz and keep our fingers crossed that they won't turn it into a "me Denon, too" brand.

Thanks for the reassurance!


Can you post a short review of differences between the T753 and the CA 540r.


Unregistered guest
Thank you for the responses. Hawk hit the nail on the head to what I was looking for...basically I am trying to save some money by not purchasing a tuner and using the receiver. Is this a good way to go...or should I just buy a seperate tuner?

Bronze Member
Username: Sulfur

Post Number: 48
Registered: Dec-03
The answer depends on how far away in the future will you have a HT system, and what your perceived Music/HT listening ratio is. :-)

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I would stand by my recommendation under two circumstances. 1) If you listen to radio as a source not just as background music. 2) If the stations you can access are worth the price of a separate tuner.
My tube tuner is very good, actually better than the stations I have to listen to. It does make the stations I can pull in sound better than my analogue and digital HK's or digital NAD A/V reciever.
If you live in an area that has top notch FM performance and you spend the time listening to FM, I would spend the money for a separate tuner. If FM is merely background, you probably will not notice the difference between one and the other.


Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 634
Registered: Dec-03

I actually think your plan makes a lot of sense, and it is the direction I would go. I assume everything is in the same room?


Soundwise, I find the Cambridge receiver to have a leaner sound than the NAD. It is like comparing Lance Armstrong with Ray Lewis (the Ravens linebacker). They are both the very best at what they do, with the NAD having much more raw strength and power and the Cambridge stressing finesse. Both have an incredible amount of detail, so you don't give up anything by choosing one over the other, but as they have a different sonic character, it all comes down to which sound you prefer. I prefer the NAD's, but some people are going to prefer the Cambridge. Choice of speaker is also going to have an major impact on this question, too.

I hope this answers your question!
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