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Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 23:19:35

Posts: 261
Location: Washington
Joined: May 20, 2003
About 10 years ago (before the economy tanked) I invested in a new system and included an MD-90 tuner. Sadly I've not listened to it as much as I expected (probably fewer than 40 hours), but when I did use it, it worked. A few days ago I turned it on and there was no signal. The lights went on, but the needles didn't move. I checked the antenna, I tried several local stations, I turned it off and turned it on. No needles, no signal, nothing. I forget what I paid for it but it was quite pricey as I recall. I have receivers from the 60s and 70s that still work, and so I can't imagine what could go wrong with this unit, particularly given it's extremely light usage. I was hoping it might be some simple thing that someone else has experienced and could help me with. Any suggestions?




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RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 8, 2016 at 08:11:08

Posts: 619
Location: Phoenix
Joined: January 4, 2005
If it was hooked up to an outdoor antennae it could have been damaged from a close lightening strike. We have a lot of lightening, have had a few tuners with SS front ends damaged. Sometimes other equipment is damaged, sometimes the tuner attached to the outdoor antennae was the only thing damaged. Unfortunately, it is not usually an easy fix.

I just looked at their web site, if I am understanding it correctly, they have a set $150 service charge. If so, that is a good price. I also tried to find a schematic, didn't have any luck, another reason manufacturer is a good route to getting it repaired.


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 8, 2016 at 23:07:26

Posts: 261
Location: Washington
Joined: May 20, 2003
nope -- not connected to outdoor antenna. no lightning. all the other equipment on this same power conditioner works. this tuner just flat died. lights come on. needles don't move. never had a problem like this with any other piece of gear.

unfortunately this machine gets so little use and my finances are such that it's simply not worth $150 for me to fix. I was hoping someone would say "just tap it above the power input" or "flick the middle switch three times while whistling Oh Canada" or something like that. I hate to say this because I know it gets good reviews but this turned out to be a waste of money. and I can't even sell it on Audiogon because it doesn't work....

perhaps someone else knows the magic elixir....


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 10, 2016 at 08:00:12

Posts: 8828
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
Start with your basic - open it up and see if there are any fuses inside.

If not the front end is basically all IC chips. a little static and poof!


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 11, 2016 at 20:27:34

Posts: 261
Location: Washington
Joined: May 20, 2003
Thanks. I was thinking of taking it to a local old-school audio guy who fixes a range of gear here in Seattle -- he's good and affordable. But when you say IC chips it sounds proprietary and perhaps beyond his ken. Does that sound right?

Thanks for your help. I'm not that knowledgeable about radio stuff...perhaps I simply have unfair expectations that tuners are trouble-free components.


they're typically pretty rugged, posted on December 12, 2016 at 18:05:45

Posts: 11308
Location: New England
Joined: October 12, 1999
October 23, 2016
odd that yours would have defecated the bed, as they say.

Certainly could've been a static discharge, but the fact you've got lights suggests (to me) it wasn't a lightning strike.

One thing that does come to mind (and I know nothing about this particular tuner). Most FM MPX stereo tuners have an interstation muting circuit. It will "squelch" the audio if there is not signal above a certain threshold. Perhaps you have the muting ON and insufficient signal strength to unmute the tuner? Switch the muting off if you can (or switch to FM MONO, which usually disables muting) and tune it. See if you get anything (e.g., the "whoosh" of FM 'static').

Is the antenna (still) properly connected to it? if, e.g., it's 300 ohm twinlead, make sure the two 'legs' of the twinlead aren't shorted at the antenna connectors on the tuner.

The waning popularity of FM has made tuners (especially more modern/digital and mediocre ones) pretty much a buyers' market. You can probably pick up a decent one (locally) for less than repair will cost for the M-D if there's really something wrong with it.


all the best,


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 12, 2016 at 20:16:06
Jeff Starr

Posts: 1565
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Joined: March 4, 2000
If you can get it fixed for $150, a freshly aligned MD-90 should sell for well over $500.

And another option is list it here on the Asylum Marketplace, free listing and can list items for parts or repair.

My first MD the bottom of the line lasted for over 20 years with lots of use. and it just needed an alignment, I traded it in for an reconditioned Etude, that works perfectly.


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 13, 2016 at 09:33:34

Posts: 456
Location: connecticut
Joined: January 17, 2006
does tuner have multiple antenna selection? maybe you moved the antenna selector switch, if it has one. My 1997 Yamaha has that feature. Does the tuner have digital station presets? maybe you lost them,can you tune it manually?


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 22, 2016 at 15:54:22

Posts: 1806
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
November 16, 2014
It's worth getting it fixed. A new one is $1400. After you get it fixed, if you don't use it you can always sell it and make some cash with the sale!


RE: Magnum Dynalab MD-90 problems, posted on December 22, 2016 at 19:34:13
The Dill

Posts: 1145
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: July 1, 2004
February 3, 2016
It sounds like your not receiving a signal. Try a different antenna. Many tuners will not do anything unless a working antenna is connected. Does the stereo light come on?


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