SS Tuner that sounds as good as Tube Type

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by allied333, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Anyone ever heard a solid-state FM tuner that sounds as good as a FM tube tuner? FM is not near the priority of other sources, but still like good FM sound on the better quality FM stations. Detroit area has a few good quality FM stations left.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  2. DryWhiteToast

    DryWhiteToast Well-Known Member

    Oh, where is the popcorn. :-popcorn:
    There it is.

    You don't know what you have done.
    :hide:
     
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  3. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Luxman T-117 is the best sounding SS tuna that I've ever had inside of my system. It's not an MR-67 sonically, but its not bad at all, and it doesn't cause me to run for the off switch as fast as I can like most SS tunas I have tried have.

    Sansui supposedly made some of the best SS tunas, but I've never owned any of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  4. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’m here to help

    Location:
    Ohio
    Sansui and McIntosh would be my choices but those tube tuners are pretty hard to beat.
     
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  5. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Yo mama so fat Thanos had to snap twice.

    Location:
    New York
    Have to ask: Why aren’t you asking for tube suggestions if you like tube sound?
     
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  6. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I do not want to rebuild a tube tuner. New tubes, rebuilt PS and other parts cost about $150 itself. SS does not need rebuilding......yet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  7. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’m here to help

    Location:
    Ohio
    Money would be my reason. Tube tuners are getting stupid expensive and that’s a rough spot to invest in a system. Broadcast radio is getting worse everyday it seems.
     
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  8. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    Yeah the thread title seems needlessly goading. There are some very nice SS tuners from McIntosh and Marantz. Just leave it at that.
     
  9. I have an McIntosh MR-75 that I like very much.
    Stations come in quite well, there seems to be zero creep, but getting to "stereo" on some stations is VERY finicky. I like the aesthetics of this tuner also.

    I have a Marantz 2270 and the tuner in this seems very adequate as well. I also like the aesthetics of this unit.
    The tuner section of my Yamaha RXZ1 works very well also, although I never purchased this HT receiver for that reason.

    I do enjoy a good tuner and for me the priority would be the ability to pull in a station without static. I really have little patience for static while listening to radio so the receiver better work well.
    The overall sound quality of most FM stations is not that great so "sound quality" has never been a concern, but I do like it when things sound good.
    When a station signal comes in strong I notice an increase in the bass response, a clarity and depth if you will.
    Otherwise as long as it is not full of static I am good to go for radio listening.
     
  10. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I have great FM reception in northern Oakland county here in MI. Also 300 feet higher than Detriot. Detroit radio stations are 10-30 miles away. So, ultra high sensitivity is not necessary here. I also have outdoor FM antenna with a little gain.
     
  11. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Cruising on youtube I get a sense of what voices sound like on tuners. I know youtube is not necessarily a good representation of audio quality. The Kenwood KT-8005 is natural sounding like tube tuners. The discrete multiplexer can be an issue. The following year the Kenwood KT-8007 came out with same discrete audio circuitry (no op amps), but uses a multiplexer IC that never falls out of calibration. (Source is fmtunersinfo site). No Kenwood KT-8007s are on youtube, anyone heard the Kenwood KT-8007?
     
  12. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Diamond Tone Junkie

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
  13. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Kenwood KT-8007, Sansui TU-717, Scott 312c, 312d. All are very musical with nice soundstage and affordable.

    The "as good" part is up to the listener/user. Then again so is "nice soundstage" and "affordable".
     
  14. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’m here to help

    Location:
    Ohio
    This is impressive, it is also huge. Is that chassis filled with electronics that make it sound awesome? That is just asking for way more room in a rack than I have to give. In fact, I could really say the same for all FM tuners.

    I don't mean this as a thread crap but if giving up on the tube sound, the argument for streaming a radio broadcast from the internet is a good one. Even if you had 10 awesome FM stations within range of your tuner, they all stream on the internet. Get it worked out where you have a computer or internet enabled device connected to a DAC and you have all the broadcast radio you could ever want to listen to.

    If it is the love of equipment and interest in collecting gear, these options are fantastic. If sound quality and content are the objective, the FM tuner is not the best option in 2018.
     
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  15. allied333

    allied333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    BTW- fmtunerinfo is wrong. The KT-8007 has an audio op-amp unlike the KT-8005. So, I may be 'stuck' with a discrete multiplexer than needs alignment in the KT-8005. So be it. I do not like op-amps.
     
  16. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA

    Very good point here IMO. If I got better reception in my area I'd have kept my MR71 and had it refurbished. But if I can't have that, the TuneIn radio app works flawlessly and sounds terrific. Would an MR78 sound better? Possibly. It would definitely be more fun. But I'm not sure it's worth the price and space.
     
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  17. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Diamond Tone Junkie

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    [​IMG]

    Tuner Information Center - Tuner Reviews M-N
     
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  18. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’m here to help

    Location:
    Ohio
    I do wonder if some FM signals are just better than what the streaming alternatives are, from a SQ standpoint. I know there are many variables in a stream but some FM stations just sound very "full" and clear. Perhaps its an analog signal and uncompressed? I listen to a little NPR on my Sansui 9090 almost daily.
     
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  19. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I'd definitely put a top shelf tuner of any era over streaming. But I think there's a pretty steep drop off/regression to the mean after the top shelf, and a really good FM streamer connected to a good DAC is going to compete very well. By good FM streamer I mean something like the Sonos implementation, not necessarily your standard browser-based internet radio.

    They can and do compress FM, but probably mostly on the top-40-ish stations. When I reach for FM when I'm not in the car its typically the various music-without-words stations.
     
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  20. feinstei9415

    feinstei9415 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I have a Harmon-Kardon Citation IIIx, a Marantz 10B, a Sequerra One, a Sony XDRF1-HD, and the McIntosh MR-88 beats 'em all hands down in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, and the full-bodied vacuum tube sound that I value.

    There's nothing better out there IMHO....
     
  21. DangerousKitchen

    DangerousKitchen Up in TO, keepin jive alive

    OP: Is the word "budget" missing from your thread title? If so, I think I get the intent of the thread and this is only an instance of promoting what I own when I say that I started looking for a cheap SS tuner about 10 years ago, flipped a Luxman and a Pioneer and stopped when I got a Yamaha CT-810. I've had folks say they couldn't believe they were listening to radio.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  22. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    McIntosh MR80 is the finest McIntosh tuner ever, IMHO, however it is a very complex unit. It even has slightly better sensitivity specs for 50 dB quieting than the Yamaha TX-1000 and even the current Accuphase T-1200.
     
  23. ranch 22b

    ranch 22b Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    I've had the pleasure of listening to FM through some pretty nice solid state tuners (Sansui TU-717, Akai AT-2600, Nikko NT-850, Pioneer TX-9100). As far as overall listening experience, to my ear, none of those have been able to surpass the Kenwood KT-8007. I would describe the sound of the 8007 as full and rich. I feel fortunate to own and enjoy an 8007, especially after one came up for sale locally at a more than reasonable price.
     
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  24. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Surprised nobody has mentioned the Carver Tx-11a Quartz-synthesized Stereo Tuner yet.

    It was quite impressive (at least to me) back when it first came out.

    I've seen the odd one in pawn shops for next to nothing over the years.

    Jeff
     
  25. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Not only is the Kenwood KT-8007 a great sounding unit, it is also very selective and sensitive. Nice wide and deep soundstage with very good detail. I like mine much more than my previous KT-8300 which wasn't bad.
     
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