Thread: MR 80 Restored!
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Tom, this was a period in my audio journey that I made mistakes. One of them was trading my MR 80. I have never been a tuner afficionado especially back in those days but I never liked the MR 7083 and I gave it to my father and went to an MR 85 which I believe cost about 1,800.00 by memory. I kept the MR 85 for a long time but again it was a solid but "nothing special" tuner. Although the MR 80 had frustrating flaws, it is quite unique, very beautiful, and had excellent sound quality.

I believe the MR 87 is everything the MR 80 attempted to be. On a good station their sound quality is comparable but I would definitely go with the MR 87. Also something that is not recognized is that McIntosh has achieved an adjacent channel selectivity almost the equal to the alternated selectivity (60 and 66 db respectively) which is quite remarkable. I live in an area where using the published FM locator that lists every FM station within a 70 mile radius, there is a station on virtually every .2 increments of the dial. The MR 87 pulls in virtually everyone of them and no distortion or noise.

Right now just for fun I am on 88.7 which about 10 miles away. The signal is crystal clear. Above 88.7 is 88.9 which is 65 miles away in Bowling Green KY and above that is 89.1 which is 1 mile away. Below 88.7 is 88.5 which is 24 miles away and below that 88.3 (32 miles) and 88.3 (3 miles college station only 700 watts). All these stations come in crystal clear which is if you know anything about tuners and I know you do, is quite remarkable.

With the MR 87 you can vary the sensitivity to your taste. The noise, multipath, and signal strength are clearly displayed so that is you have a rotary antenna you can optimize the reception. If I were a tuner afficionado I would have a directional rotary antenna and use this feature to optimize reception. The MR 87 allows this by measurement, the MR 80 only measures signal strength. In the days of the MR 80 Mac made a separate piece that allowed you do do this, i.e. thoroughly analyze and optimize your FM reception through your MR 80.

If you look at the respective distances listed above one station is 1 mile, another 3 miles, another 65 miles, i.e strong stations near weak stations and on adjacent channels. That's about the most stringent test for any tuner because strong stations interfere with weak stations that are adjacent. I attribute this remarkable quality to the digital signal processing which I believe represents the first really significant advance to come along in FM tuners. I am unaware of other tuners that do digital signal processing other than the Accuphase T-1200. The MR 87 really delivers the goods when it comes to analog high quality FM. For me, the Super Narrow was so compromised it was a curiosity. The adjacent channel selectivity of 8 db in the Narrow mode would not be sufficient to pull in the above signals without considerable interference, nor would any other vintage tuner (MR 78 or 74, Marantz 10B for examples to name a few). The ability of the MR 87 to have nearly equivalent adjacent and alternate channel selectivity both of which are at least 60 db is remarkable. I am saying this not to put the MR 80 down. It is a great tuner but to point out that if you are looking for a tuner that is everything the MR 80 strove to be, look no further that the MR 87. And it is a truly beautiful piece also.


Charles - Thatís very impressive performance out of the MR-87. The MR-80 canít match that.No way.

I agree that DSP is a technology very well suited to improving FM Stereo reception. There is so much that can be done in the digital domain to reduce noise and adjacent channel interference.

When one of my current tuners bites the dust (I have an MR 77 in Colorado) I think an MR 87 would be a great way to go. Thanks for the real world info. Truly impressive.

Tom
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