SS Tuner that sounds as good as Tube Type

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

  1. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    Magnum Dynalab FT-101A. Fully analog, fully manual, sounds great. I own one and love it. Reasonably priced for used units on eBay (got mine there for $249 in great shape).
    HenryH likes this.
  2. Heyraz

    Heyraz Active Member

    Long Branch, NJ
    I too have a Magnum Dynalab and it's great for when I listen to the local College Radio Station. Far superior to their stream.
    It's solid state but dials in like it's an analog tuner.
    And it sounds good.
    I see them pop up on the bay all the time at a fraction of their original cost.
  3. Colin M

    Colin M Forum Resident

    Still pull out the Quad FM4 during the BBC Proms.
  4. Clay B

    Clay B Forum Resident

    Excellent choice. Often forgotten these days but well made and great sounding. A real jewel.
  5. Fedot L

    Fedot L Forum Resident

    In my opinion and personal experience, the question has no sense. Just as a question “Anyone ever heard an FM tube tuner that sounds as good as a solid-state FM tuner?” could be.

    It’s not amplifying element type that determines the quality of audio components, but the level of their objective technical parameters.
  6. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    the finer points of sound quality aren't to be determined by a spec sheet.

    come on. this is basic.
  7. Fedot L

    Fedot L Forum Resident

    A perfectly “grounded” answer!

    Just mine is: The finer points of sound quality ARE to be determined by a spec sheet. Come on, this is basic!

    Well countered?
  8. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    No one listens to music on a spec sheet.

  9. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    Spec sheets - objective

    People - subjective
  10. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    i enjoy a sansui tu-717 almost daily. I paid under 100 for it. Like the sound, not going to fuss with recapping or anything else. It goes into a modern tube amp. downside, no remote.

    I have a couple antenna. Prefer the simplicity of the beam box to help finding the better part of the signal.
  11. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Forum Resident

    True, or no one would ever listen to tubes. :winkgrin:
    Panama Hotel likes this.
  12. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    HH Scott 312D first version or McIntosh MR 73/MR 74.
    911s55 likes this.
  13. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    They both have their places.

    Without the objectivity of measurement, there'd be no reliable way to identify a problem, or to fix it.

    Without the subjectivity of listening, there's ultimately no basis for caring about whether or not the gear has a problem in the first place.

    Measurements are made to serve humans, not the other way around. The metrics associated with audio gear measure specific performance parameters. which isn't to be confused with the overall performance of the product.

    I'm not a mystic about this. But I am one of those people who used to mock the very idea that tube preamps and amps were able to provide a more absorbing listening experience than transistors. Then one day I listened to an old tube preamp/amp combination. Subjectively. Firsthand experience. I didn't find the superiority of tubes to be subtle; it was at least as dramatic as the difference in taste between a well-brewed cup of high quality coffee and the powdered instant stuff. Not only that, I can hear the same superiority with a comparative audition of a good 1950s-1960s vintage table radio and a top of the line solid state table radio, playing a clean radio broadcast signal at moderate volume.
  14. ti-triodes

    ti-triodes Forum Resident

    Denon TU-720

    Found it at a thrift shop for $8. It’s superb and I’m not just saying that because of the price. :)
    911s55 likes this.
  15. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Lewes, DE
    Before the internet FM was the boss way to get access to great stations and great playlists.
    On great sounding equipment FM was high resolution and very "alive" sounding.
    Nowadays there is nothing in my neighborhood playing good tunes so MEH.
    I listen to Europe on the internet to get live stations with a great playlist.
    A low bitstream internet sound is not in the class with what we "used" to get.
    But I can't waste time worrying about what used to be.
    Nowadays I'm looking forward to Tidal and MQA to establish a baseline of high quality and some good playlists.
    The paradigm has changed.
    But the song remains the same.
  16. jcmusic

    jcmusic Forum Resident

    Terrytown, La.
    I currently have a Scott LT-110 B tube tuner and a Kenwood KT 5020 SS tuner, they both sound great but the Kenwood is so much better at dragging in stations it sounds much clearer!!!
  17. William Kucharski

    William Kucharski Well-Known Member

    That's because (at least to me) it was impressive in capability, in sound quality not as much.

    I'll never forget the time I took my TX-11a into a store to directly A/B it with a Magnum Dynalab FT-101 they carried.

    It took about three minutes of A/B listening before I handed over my credit card for the FT-101.

    Today I have very, very good sound from a used Sansui TU-9900 that blew the doors off the Sony XDR-F1HD that replaced the FT-101.

    I had actually purchased a McIntosh MR-78 when I found the Sansui, and once again five minutes of listening revealed how horribly rolled off the top end of the MR-78 was compared to the Sansui, so thankfully the seller of the MR-78 allowed me to return it for a refund.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  18. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident


    The Carver must have been a real dog if the Magnum Dynalab FT-101 bettered it. I bought a FT-101a based on all the great reviews and was very disappointed with the sound quality. It did a great job pulling in faint signals in stereo but that wasn’t enough to compensate for the solid state colorations. I sold it as soon as I could.

    This thread interests me because I have a Fisher FM-100B (tube) that sounds great but just can’t get the stations I want to listen to, at least not in quiet stereo. I would really like to find a solid state tuner that could provide quiet stereo reception with sound quality similar to the Fisher.
  19. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

    I had one of these and it surprised me in it's very full, balanced, musical presentation. It is not the most sensitive but if you have some strong signals that aren't too crowded they are worth listening to.

    Mine was the bit rare black version, very nice visual presentation as well and space efficient. Pretty cool!.
    ti-triodes likes this.
  20. senza

    senza Member

    I had some very good tuners up there. The best I had in my system are Naim Nat 101, Nat01 and Day Sequerra FM Ref 25th anniversary edition. Sequerra can be said the best for my experience.
    I’m in Europe so distances are much shorter than in the US or Canada and you are never so far from the emitter .
    So Naim can be considered (only with a good roof antenna).

    Never heard the tubed MD, nor Accuphase.
  21. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE.

    South Mountain, NC
    I prefer SS haddock, myself.
  22. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    The MR 73 and MR 74 from McIntosh are much more like a MR 71 in sonics than the MR 75 is, the MR 73 and MR 74 have the old sound.

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