Tuner on ML's- how do they sound?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

SugarMedia

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
733
Reaction score
0
Location
EU
My wife has asked me to look in to a Tuner for our audio set up. She said she prefers this over CDs which "get boring."

I am curious if anyone out there is currently using a Tuner with your ML's? If so, can you describe the differences in sound? I have never heard a tuner hooked up on a hifi system, and all of my friends interested in this hobby only use CD and Turntable.

I have the new Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amp and CD Player with the Aeoni.
 

risabet

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
0
Location
SoCal
SugarMedia said:
My wife has asked me to look in to a Tuner for our audio set up. She said she prefers this over CDs which "get boring."

I am curious if anyone out there is currently using a Tuner with your ML's? If so, can you describe the differences in sound? I have never heard a tuner hooked up on a hifi system, and all of my friends interested in this hobby only use CD and Turntable.

I have the new Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amp and CD Player with the Aeoni.
I have an old NAD 4020A which is an analog tuner. Tuners can sound exceptionally good. My NAD is only okay but I only listen to NPR for news and talk. For music, in the vintage camp, if money is no object, I recommend the McIntosh MR-78 or a Marantz 10B. The new school I recommend any of the Magnum-Dynalab tuners, specifically the Magnum MD-106T. All of these are tube based tuners and will provide amazing sound if given a proper signal. None of them are cheap, hell,none are even affordable, though if I had to I'd pick the MR-78.
 

zaphod

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
0
Location
Cloverdale, BC
risabet said:
... I recommend the McIntosh MR-78 or a Marantz 10B. The new school I recommend any of the Magnum-Dynalab tuners...
the mr-67 is also a fine tuner (from what i've heard tell). for a wealth of information and ratings/shootouts, take a look at www.fmtunerinfo.com

i remember doing a tour of Sonic Frontiers and having a good talk with one of the designers. he used to listen to an old dynaco fm-3 to get CBC (Canadian NPR :))

But be careful with older tube tuners. i have a Eico FM tuner at the office that has a weird whistle for all stations but CBC and a matching Eico AM tuner that has really bad reception all across the band.

whatever you choose, put some thought into your antenna. Old TV rabbit ears are good, and Magnum sells a nice whip style antenna as well as some traditional roof top models and a set of high-tech rabbit ears. I also have an old article by Scott Dorsey (NASA engineer/Audiophile) on making a tuned antenna using copper tubing.

of course if you're going to hook the tuner up to the cable signal, then the antenna and antenna section becomes less critical.

however half the fun of tuners is pulling in from the air, or moreso, DX'ing from far distances.

as a kid i hooked the furnace duct work to my AM antenna and could pull in boston stations from ottawa canada. in university i happened into a residence room that got a multipath bounce allowing me to pull in Toronto Stations from London Ontario.

I've been thinking about a tuner too, for using during the last couple of hours of listening at night when i don't want to walk "all the way" over to the CD/TT and keep changing media. Better to fall asleep listening to music than in front of the television :D

what do you think of the other Magnum-DynaLabs? i have heard that the lower end ones are not so hot (etude and FT-11) and have occasionally looked at used FT-101A tuners.

cheers
 

zaphod

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
0
Location
Cloverdale, BC
SugarMedia said:
Wow, I had no idea they were this expensive.
but honey, you said you wanted a tuner... :eek:

older tube tuners whose names don't rhyme with mcintosh (dynaco, scott, eico) are reasonable.

the 70's in many ways were the peak for tuners, i use an old Technics and it sounds pretty darn good over the ESL-57 i have upstairs. an old technics can be found used for under 100.

sansui is another excellent name in tuners from that vintage.
 

risabet

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
0
Location
SoCal
zaphod said:
but honey, you said you wanted a tuner... :eek:

older tube tuners whose names don't rhyme with mcintosh (dynaco, scott, eico) are reasonable.

the 70's in many ways were the peak for tuners, i use an old Technics and it sounds pretty darn good over the ESL-57 i have upstairs. an old technics can be found used for under 100.

sansui is another excellent name in tuners from that vintage.

I recently sold my Dyna FM-3 on E-bay, probably to a guy who wanted it for the parts, which are harder than hell to find. While it worked it sounded gorgeous, a warm and round tube sound. The problem is I couldn't keep it working. There are some very good, reasonably priced tuners out there. Previous post list some. Good Luck!
 

sleepysurf

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2005
Messages
2,514
Reaction score
9
Location
Tampa, FL
I'm currently using a Yamaha RXV-1000 receiver as a Pre/Pro/Tuner feeding a Sunfire Cinema Grand and Aerius speakers. I often listen to NPR/Classical and Jazz, and it sounds surprisingly good in this system. You might also consider cable digital music, or even satellite radio as another option.
 

tfkrato

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
I have a Sunfire pre/pro which has a tuner and it sounds fine. However, if I'm going to pull something over the "air" to listen to, I prefer to use my satelite tv music stations. They sound great and you can select the genre you're in the mood to hear.
 

kwr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
301
Reaction score
0
Location
Sydney Australia
http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/

More information than you ever needed probably.

You will need a decent antenna preferably outside.

There is a whole tuner community watching out there on ebay and the classic late 70's analogue tuners are prized. Best to find something at a secondhand store etc to start playing with tuners.

Kevin
 

TomDac

former MLO owner/operator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
3,605
Reaction score
9
Location
Rancho Mirage, California
Does she want to listen to local radio or just a variety of music and doesn't want to bother with CDs?

If it's the latter, try the digital music thru your TV.. We have DirecTV and there are about 20 channels included in our package that are music only. Digital quality.. no commercials.. title and artist are displayed on the screen if your TV is on. I believe cable providers offer something like this as well.

It's a really good alternative.

Tom.
 

SugarMedia

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
733
Reaction score
0
Location
EU
Hey Tom,

She is mainly interested in hearing politics and news. I think I sold her too well on the ML sound stage and I presume she wants to hear the politicians as if they were right in front of her. :)
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
I highly recommend Magnum Dynalab tuners. They display very high fidelity to the original source and are highly accurate when it comes to tuning a station. To the previous post concerning previous MD components: The Etude was the former top of the line MD tuner, andit sounds great. If you can find one on Audiogon - highly recommended!
 

lexor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
tuner

i have a dynalab FT101A and i really like it and i am using there whip antena, it sounds great with a good transmitted station.
 

zaphod

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
0
Location
Cloverdale, BC
does any one have any experience with the MD FT-11? i've heard that it's the poor cousin of other MD tuners, but that might still blow away anything else :)
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
I may be wrong about this, but I don't think the FT 11 was produced in very large numbers. The only time I have ever heard one was at a dealer. I have not seen many of them used on the net.

BTW - MD is very good about upgrading older products. I had an FT 101A that the factory upgraded to an MD 100. When I decided to move up to an MD 106t, the factory offfered me a very generous trade-in. The latest tuner is quite a piece of work and I intend to keep it for a long time. I received an XM tuner as a gift and I haven't listened to it at all after the MD 106.
 
I

Ironic77

Guest
zaphod said:
I've been thinking about a tuner too, for using during the last couple of hours of listening at night when i don't want to walk "all the way" over to the CD/TT and keep changing media. Better to fall asleep listening to music than in front of the television :D
For music, I highly recommend either digital cable or DirecTV with their endless channels of music for all tastes. Not a huge fan of XM, but I assume you could go that route as well.

Also, one of the best purchases I've ever made:
http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/audiotron/

I see it is discontinued for now, but this beast is amazing. Thousands of your own tracks at your fingertips with no media changing. Granted, I don't remember if it supports lossless, but it does support higher VBR MP3 or WMA formats. Plus, nearly any Internet broadcast can be tuned as well. I listen to stations all over the world (some in pretty decent quality) to satisfy my variety craving. If you want news or foriegn language broadcasts, this is the way to go. Meshes with your audio equipment and you can control it without your TV being turned on using the front display or the web interface.
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
Satellite radio uses an encoding that is not "lossless." If you're after the highest quality in radio, XM does not make it despite their very good programming. It sounds somewhat like MP3.
 

zaphod

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
0
Location
Cloverdale, BC
aliveatfive said:
Satellite radio uses an encoding that is not "lossless." If you're after the highest quality in radio, XM does not make it despite their very good programming. It sounds somewhat like MP3.
for most people. MP3 is all they need or want. that's fine, but i suspect that most people here are are not "most people". ;)

some of the best at-home music experiences were late night with CBC stereo listening to Ross Porter's Jazz show over tubes and electrostatics. pure magic.

Sugermedia - thanks for starting this post, you have really gotten my interest back in FM, i'd forgotten how wonderful it is.
 
I

Ironic77

Guest
Why listen to MP3s?

I recognize that some people are more snobby than I am about their sources. I listen to FM and MP3/digital audio all the time, because I crave variety more than anything. Doesn't mean I do that with my critical listening.

That's not to say that I am not more discerning than many of the people I know. I don't like XM. In my opinion, XM sounds overly compressed on even an average system -- and I listen to FM in the car all the time. But the digital music on cable or the Internet is better than dealing with FM static and poor content where I live. And the CDs that I compress using >256kbps WMA VBR are nearly equivalent using a decent decoder. If you use lossless, then you've actually got a bit-perfect copy.

I suspect the reason for some people's perception of compressed music is due to the fact that they have only ever experienced MP3s that are from poor sources, using bad encoders (this makes a HUGE difference), at the "typical" 128-192kbps. Much of the world things that is "CD quality", but it really isn't.

You could take the discussion further and talk about the merits of Analog vs. Digital. But everyone here has used digital as a matter of convenience and cost. Unless you have a giant record collection that you don't mind wearing out, if variety is your thing, you will be using digital. I was simply pointing out that there are very good options for getting that variety. And if you think that your MLs are too good to be able to enjoy them no matter the source, then you probably aren't appreciating them as much as I appreciate mine.
 
2

Latest posts

Top