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Which tuner to get and getting the most from it. Thank God, for the radio!

Can you keep the MR78 until after the experiments?


I used a McIntosh MX110 tuner/preamp as my tuner for the last 15 years, but as some vintage tuners are becomeing studiply expensive, decided I should get "settled" with tuners while I could bear to pay the price. I want to have a good office tuner and a main system tuner. Most of my FM listening is in the office- probably 90% as my main system (Audio Research all tube) has always been 90% LP.

In the last year I bought a Revox B160, MR77, and MR67 with the idea I'd keep two. The winners are probably the B160 and MR67. Btw, for some reason I like the sound of the MR77 more than the 78, and the MR67 more than the 71, these seems to have more "direct" sound in some way. Certainly, the 78 anbd 71 have better DX and filtering control and so on, but sonically the earlier models seems to please me more. Lucky for me too as the MR77 was $500 and the MR67 $400- and both these are $2-300 less than the more sought after, later models.

The MR67 actaully I think has the most glorious sound from FM I've ever heard- including Marantz 10B. I'm completely retubing and aligning it- enjoying buying more NOS Telefunkens than I ever dreamt of- It's a delight to get a pristine Telefunken 6AB4 in the box for $6 and exotic and glamorous NOS Valvo pinched waist, red label, gold pin E80CF (6BL8) for $15 each! I always wanted a pinched waist tube.

So, my thought is that since tuners keep rising in price, perhaps you might consider keeping your MR78 and since you know the sound, you can use it as a reference, and buy a Sansui or two, and live with the three until the clear winner emerges. You may return tto the MR78 anyway. When I analyse my choices, I realise that in reality I'm going back to the MX110 which is supposed to have something like an MR67 in it. Whatever attracted you to the MR78 in the first place is probably still with you.

Personally, as tuners have such distinct personalities, I think having two very different sounds is more interesting. When I was fussing with old cars, I had simultaneously a 1928 Packard Dietrich convertible, a 1957 Jaguar XK140 roadster, a 1957 Morris Minor Convertible, a 1965 Volvo 122S estate car, and a 1970 Mercedes 6.3 saloon- a real variety pack and I liked the very different scale and style of such different machines. I think of tuners likewise and as I say with rising prices, and the fact you're improving them, you might make enough on the resale to fund the improvements to the other.

And certianly, if yuo've not spent time with a tube tuner, if you don't need the need -al-out highest specification for sensitivity and selectivity, the sound can be just wondrous. the MR67 makes my solid state office system experiment (Audio Research LS3 and D130) just amaze me- with neutral electronics, the source is everything.

Just a thought.


Bambi B

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