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Discussion in 'Tuners' started by bully, May 22, 2003.

  1. doug s.

    doug s. Super Member


    i have listened to a lot of tuna, including what you have, and what you want to hear. all that you mention i think provide top-notch sound. (except the only fishers i have heard are the earlier mono units w/a relatively modern studio-12 decoder; and the scott i owned was a foster blair modded 310d/335mpx. i also owned a mac mr65b completely refurb'd modded by stephen sank - a thing of beauty; and sounded good to boot! acccording to mr sank, completely refurb'd/modded 65b/67/71 are too close to really say one's better or worse than another.) regarding the tubers, to my ears, the sherwoods - both mono w/modern outboard mpx, and stereo; are the best sounding tubers i have heard. best reception, as well. never heard the marantz 10b, but i have heard the 20 inside an 18 receiver (two iterations, one refurb'd by mike williams). considering some say the 20 is better than the 10, i'd stick w/the sherwoods.

    regarding the s/s units, i must first of all state that i find the mac s/s tuna unlistenable. i had a mint mr74 and a completely refurb'd mr77, and they were one of a select few tuna i could not consider a quality listening source. never heard a 78, but since most folk who've compared say the 74 & 77 are sonically better, i have no desire to hear one. regarding the others you mention, i have heard all except the tu919, and i find them all superb. (i still have a marantz 18 receiver and a tag mclaren t20, which is a slightly tweaked 8000t.) i also think the revox b261 is every bit as nice as the b760, in spite of that the tic "shootouts" say about it. and the b260 is also in the same league. re the da-f20 and the tu-9900, i had two of each, one modded, one never serviced. stock, i preferred the da-f20 to the tu-9900 modded, the tu-9900 was better than the modded da-f20. i can't say if unit-to-unit variability played a part regarding the stock units. i do know i did not like the fact that the mitsu doesn't have a blend circuit for less-than optimal signals.

    i also have a modded refurb'd tu-x1, which is a fine thing indeed. worth the money for the sonics and reception? honestly, only if you're a collector. in hindsight, i should perhaps have sold the tu-x1 and kept the modded tu-9900 - the sonics were so close, and the looks and size of the tu9900 are far better than the mammoth tu-x1, imo. all the tuna you mention wanting to hear - Marantz 20/20B, Revox B760, Audiolab 8000T, Philips AH6731 - are all fine sounding, imo, (the marantz noticeably less sensitive of that bunch, imo), but would you actually prefer any of them to what you already have? i think you might, but you have to try it and hear for yourself! :biggrin: also depends on the rest of your system, and whether you favor extreme detail, slightly warmer, etc. for example, i found the revoxes to be extremely detailed, a little on the drier side. same w/the mitsu. the philips and the tu9900 and the audiolab less so; and the accuphase 100/101 even less so; perhaps w/a tiny loss of detail.

    regarding what you have heard and let go, my st-a6b is a killer, but it's been modded and refurb'd. i loved both the t100 and t101 i had, but i can't really say one was better than the other - both excellent, w/the sound leaning to the organic. i had a modded accuphase t109, but my modded hk 18 was slightly better, w/a taller soundstage; otherwise they were equal.

    for my ears, the best bet for the money is a modded refurb'd hk citation 18. (possibly the same goes for the 14 & 15 - same sonic signature and still extremely nice even in stock form.) can be equaled, but not beaten. also in this category - great sonics, reasonable scratch - modded rotel rht-10. and the rotel has the best reception i have encountered - a smidge better than all my good, quality s/s tuna, which i have found to be pretty comparable. except, of course, for the sony xdr-f1hd, which has the best reception of anything. (imo.) too bad it sounds so mediocre. and only ok after extreme mods. regarding the rht-10 - this is a tuna that screams for mods and refurb. stock, it is merely excellent, but not a standout.

    best tube sound? any mono sherwood after the s3000ll, w/quality modern s/s mpx. or a stereo s3000 iteration, if my refurb'd mildly tweaked s3000v is any indication. (i've never heard the earlier pre-s3000ll iterations; they may sound as good, or better, w/less selectivity.) easily as good as the best s/s, imo. doesn't sound "tubey"; just extremely smooth, accurate, extended dynamic sound. better than the beautiful totally rebuilt mr65b, better than the mono fishers or scotts. imo, of course!

    enjoy your tuna fishin'! :music:

    doug s.


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  2. soundiz

    soundiz New Member

    Doug, thanks for your detailed response.

    I went ahead and grabbed one of the tuners mentioned before, the Sherwood S3000IV. You'd listed this as one of your favorite sounding tuners after mods. Can you tell me what is entailed in the mods, a ball park on the cost, and who I might trust to do the work?

    Thanks again,
  3. doug s.

    doug s. Super Member

    hi tom,

    i think the sherwoods sound fantastic, even w/o mods. i have a s3000lll and an s2200ll that have never been serviced, and they're excellent sounding w/a studio-12 mpx decoder. the s3000v i have was refurb'd by the p.o. mods were slight - like using better caps, etc. and, the power switch was relocated to a toggle at the back of the tuna, to eliminate the length of wire going to the front switch. i'd listen to yours as-is, if it's in working condition, prior to sending it out for service.

    as far as where to send it, mike williams, who posts here would be a good choice; he works w/craig ostby of nos valves, for the tube stuff. and there's terry dewick; and there's stephen sank. i've never used terry (or craig), but i have heard great things about them. i have no idea what a refurb/mods would run, but you can query these folks for estimates.


    happy listening! :music:

    doug s.
  4. soundiz

    soundiz New Member


    As mentioned, I did acquire the Sherwood S3000iv and it does work. I've experimented with some of the knobs but not sure if they're working correctly and/or I'm not clear on what they're supposed to be doing.

    There's 3 clicks on the main knob. First click got it turned on. Second click, not sure if that's stereo or mono. Third click, guessing that is whatever the second click isn't. Haven't noticed much stereo separation either way. Faceplate has "Stereo Normal" listed in that order.

    There's a rotating ring around the outside of the main knob (says "Blend" on either side). Not clear on what that is doing when it's moved to different positions.

    Hush on or off, not a real noticeable difference there. Is that like a Hi-blend filter for noise?

    It appears to work best with AFC on.

    Do you know if there's a manual floating around for this tuner?



    P.S. If there's another way I should be handling this communication please let me know, I'm new to this.
  5. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Independence, MO
    I recently had two excellent tuners:

    A Sumo Charlie which I had to do a bit of work on and clean up. I bought it with some other Sumo gear, mostly non-functional.

    An Akai AT-V04 which I found in a thrift store for five bucks.

    The Sumo was black like the other gear in the main system, but I swapped it off and kept the Akai because I liked its ergonomics better. Both tuned and sounded excellent.

    Sorry, Charlie.
  6. Ds2000

    Ds2000 All About every cool stereo component. Subscriber

    New York City
    Have been liking my Kenwood L-1000T for a few years now. image.jpeg


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  7. endrik35

    endrik35 New Member

    Quezon City, Philippines
    I have only two tuners, A Magnum Dynalab FT-101A which definitely needs recalibration and a vintage Denon TU-850. . .
    I must say I love the SQ of my Denon more:)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    As you can see on my pic, the center meter of my Dynalab is tilted towards the left. . .
    I need a technician!!! :)
  8. Nyycebro

    Nyycebro nyycebro

    Charlotte, NC
    See below
    001 (2).JPG 065.JPG 031 (2).JPG
    endrik35 likes this.
  9. tanker 200

    tanker 200 Well-Known Member

    Northwest Washington
    I have two (or maybe three), I'm using this
    Sansui TU-9500

    And have this in storage
    Sony St-5066
    endrik35 likes this.
  10. doug s.

    doug s. Super Member

    in my opinion, sell the m-d and use the proceeds to upgrade the tu850. the m-d, tho a looker, is only so-so sounding at its best; the tu850 is a most excellent tuna, and is worthy of making it sound as good as possible. even if you need a 2nd tuna, you can do far better sonically than the m-d, for under $100.

    doug s.
    endrik35 likes this.
  11. Longaevus

    Longaevus Active Member

    At the moment the workhorse is my Kenwood KT-8005, one of the most gorgeous tuners I've ever seen, completely in love with it. Unfortunately it was purchased as a hit or miss kind of thing where I made an offer to someone which I did not believe would be accepted and it was, I didn't even had the time to re-check the condition of the unit, figures out on arrival that some buttons don't hold in place, must be broken switches I guess, some bulbs seem to be out and I have yet to test it with the building's external antenna.

    I have recently parted out with some nice ones like the mythical Denon TU-500, the most exquisitely designed tuner I've come across, very unusual with very rarely seen features, supposed to be used as the center piece of the rig but all that specificities scared the hell out of me and I sold it to someone who could maintain it in case something went wrong.
    I also regret having sold an Akai AM-2600 in mint condition who would pluck out of thin air ever single available radio station just by using a flimsy indoors antenna, pure voodoo I must say and a Toshiba ST-420, a tuner that I am about to purchase again, brutal build quality with a thick solid aluminum front face, can't help it and will not sell it again specially if I can get the matching integrated amplifier for a good price, harder these days.


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  12. tater415

    tater415 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    alta loma ca
    I'm new to this website' I love all integrated stereo receivers made in the seventies I'm currently listening to fully restored pioneer S X 1980 but I also own a fully restored Kenwood KR 9600. sitting beside that I have my trusty realistic sta 2300. and in the shop right now that's being repaired is my DOA Technics sa 1000 that I just purchased
  13. busch63

    busch63 New Member

    I m pretty much into tuners.......love FM radioshows (lots of new Music and great Quality).
    I´d collected to far:

    Pioneer TX6200 (really great sound)
    Pioneer TX7100 (super optic and technic)
    Pioneer TX9100 (excellent, possibly one of the best technic ever and fantastic optic ) (see the upper one)


    and Receiver Hitachi SR302 (fine Quality)
    Tivoli iSongbook (Henri Kloss quality)

    Fomer gear:
    Harman/Kardon TU915 (great Mix between digital technic with analog-style Wheel)
    Marantz 2215BL Receiver
    2 more Hitachi SR302 Receiver
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  14. busch63

    busch63 New Member

    I owned the Harman/Kardon TU915 nearly 30 year and was quite satisfied with his Performance.

    But since I switched the the 70er Vintage Audio I need to replace.
    Have a look: sleek and slim
  15. Pit

    Pit New Member

    Hey, new guy here. Here's my console tuner.

    DSC03188w.jpg DSC03183w.jpg DSC03195w.jpg
  16. yamaha hippy

    yamaha hippy New Member

    Mine sounds awful! And occasional spikes of loud noise! Ouch, can't listen loud, nor long.


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  17. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

    NE Ohio
    The KLH Model Eighteen has amazing selectivity for the size and price.
  18. Nick_G

    Nick_G Active Member

    Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK
    I haven't bought any tuners for a while but I think one of my favourites is still the Denon TU-800L. Superb sound and DXing capabilities in one box, and made all the better for acquiring it for just £22 about 4 years ago. It's probably one of the only tuners I bought where the alignment seems pretty much spot on, which is impressive for a tuner that is now approximately 26 years old.
  19. Chris2016

    Chris2016 New Member

    Sansui TU-X1
  20. chronosbryFm642

    chronosbryFm642 New Member

    Have listened to/played with the following, plus some others I tried, sold, and then forgot about.
    I should have made a list way back at the beginning.

    I firmly blame Mr. doug s. for getting me invested in this hobby. :D

    In no particular order:

    Adcom GFT-555 II
    Philips 6731
    Philips 185
    Nikko Gamma V
    Sony ST-A7B
    Denon TU-900
    Onkyo T-9
    NEC T-710
    Mitsubishi DA-F20
    Accuphase T-100 (stock and modded)
    Harmon Kardon Citation 18 (stock and modded)
    Nakamichi 430 (needs work)
    Rotel RT-2100 (needs work)
    Rotel RHT-10
    Kenwood L-07T II
    Luxman (a couple older models with the logo/model faded/rubbed off)
    Aiwa 9700E
    Aiwa 9700K
    Musical Fidelity Elektra E50
    Sansui TU-717 (modded)
    Akai AT-93
    Pioneer F-28
    Sherwood S-3300
    Sony ST-J75

    ....plus the others I forgot about...

    I have ten years in this hobby, sometimes with years between powering up a unit (or multiple units) and giving them a listen.

    My Nikko Gamma V left me to be overhauled, aligned, and upgraded.
    I think it will be simply killer once it returns to me.

    Current favorite is a Sony ST-A7B.
    Dial is left on 90.7 WFUV.

    Have trouble picking up the other stations I want,
    89.1 W209CJ (WMNR "Fine Arts Radio" classical simulcast),
    90.3 WQXW (the "new" WQXR simulcast),
    93.9 WNYC,
    in full quieting, wide stereo with my simple tuned loop.

    Is it the best I've ever heard?
    Voices and instruments are floating all over my head;
    the bass goes way, way down, and not bloated bass (like on the Accuphase T-100), tuneful, impactful bass,
    which makes me wonder if I am damaging my hearing, listening with Sony MDR-7504 via the headphone section of an Apt-Holman pre-amp.

    The ST-A7B is not the most detailed tuner I have heard.
    The DA-F20, Kenwood L-07T II, and Aiwa 9700 are all more detailed.
    However, you trade that detail for a wide, deep soundscape,
    rich, tuneful bass, and a very relaxed, inviting sound.

    The Apt-Holman was about $30.00 off craigslist.
    The headphones my dad got broken and repaired (though they sorely need new foam pads).
    The antenna, a tuned FM loop that looks like some archaic religious artifact from a now extinct ancient civilization,
    I built from an old broom handle, a long stick, masking tape, duct tape, and some hose clamps.

    The ST-A7B was...ahh..a bit more pricey.

    Voices do not sound boomy.
    Differences between stations are easy to hear, as are differences between individual songs on the same station.

    The display is wonky; this unit is infamous for the "rabid soldering" as noted on TVK.

    I am sure it could use an alignment and a cap refresh; it doesn't pull in some NYC stations 40 miles distant
    as well as I believe it should.

    It leans slightly to the "romantic" or "sweet" side (if I am using those terms correctly), and is never harsh or strident.

    I don't know what the words "tubey" or "vinyl" mean, as I don't have access to those sources,
    but, from a decade of reading the opinions/experiences of others, I am guessing this sort of sound is what they mean.

    When I get the Nikko Gamma V back from being overhauled, I may be done with acquiring new tuners,
    unless someone who also owned the ST-A7B can suggest something they found sonically superior. :)

    I'd love to hear a Sansui TU-X1, Pioneer F-26, Kenwood L-02T, Accuphase T-1000/T-1100...but I don't believe the differences would be tremendous as compared to the ST-A7B.

    I do believe there is better out there sound-wise and reception-wise,
    though I am guessing the pockets must be mighty-deep to acquire it.

    I am thinking my next investment in a couple years will be a quality DAC for Internet radio streaming, unless someone here has heard something which significantly bests the Sony.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016

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