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Old 05-25-2014, 05:40 PM
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Default Need help with Magnum Dynalab MD 90

Maybe this is the place to ask this.

I have a Magnum Dynalab MD 90, using a Day Sequerra FM Urban Antenna. There are several stations the MD picks up but gets no sound on. Apparently the tuner can't pull in the signal well enough to matter. The stereo LED is on with these stations, but the signal is almost non-existent. Living in NY there is a lot of multipath to deal with. I'm across the street from Brooklyn Tech high school, which is probably another reason why reception is tricky.

I wonder if MD's MD-205 Signal Sleuth will help, since it would amplify signals, or do I need to consider a new antenna or (gasp) tuner to pull in more stations in an urban environment?
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Last edited by prepress; 05-26-2014 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:01 PM
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Have you tried a simple dipole?
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2014, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaki View Post
Have you tried a simple dipole?
Not on the MD; I have one on the Harmon Kardon receiver in the bedroom. I could, if I can figure out how to situate it properly, try one and see what happens just to get an idea.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2014, 11:20 PM
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Charles.......Perhaps it is time to send the MD 90 to the factory for a total alignment. It will come back like new.









Or, maybe it's time to let her go and replace it with the Mganum Dynalab MD 108 triode tuner.


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Last edited by jdandy; 05-25-2014 at 11:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2014, 06:36 AM
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Thanks for the new thread.

I don't know where those "there but not there" stations are located or their formats. And there are some stations that don't come in clearly, suggesting (to me) antenna positioning or signal strength is an issue for them. In two cases, I used to get them better than I do now.

While I don't think I'll lose sleep over this, I do wonder why it's occurring, and if there's a reasonable solution. Depending upon how curious I become and how badly I want to pursue that solution, troubleshooting is in order. Steps I can think of off the top of my head include checking the settings on the MD 90, then repositioning the antenna, replacing the antenna, trying an amplifier (MD's own Signal Sleuth), then upgrading or replacing the tuner; the McIntosh MR88 popped into my head, and now MD's own 105 as well (that 108 looks nice too). Outright replacement is a last resort, of course.
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2014, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post
Preliminary troubleshooting suggests it's an antenna issue. My placing options are limited, but I will plan to experiment with that a bit more. Perhaps contacting MD is in order as well. The tuner is only 3 years old, so I'd have to have a stronger reason than the "phantom stations" to do an outright replacement. I have begun to miss AM somewhat; I had it with my Denon TU-800.

MD does offer an upgrade for the MD 90 to an SE edition; that's $500. I'm no expert, but to me none of the upgrades seem to have anything to do with pulling in stations.
  • Balanced output
  • Solen Polypropylene capacitors in the audio stage with by-pass capacitors
  • 4 stage tuning
  • Precision brass flywheel and clutch assembly for the tuning pot
  • Kimber hyper-pure wire on all outputs balanced and unbalanced
Charles.......The four stage tuning is an upgrade that will impact tuner sensitivity. The Solen caps in the output stage will improve the sonic performance as will the upgraded internal wiring to the output stages. That is a reasonable upgrade price. A tuner alignment and you would be rocking again. I say get the MD90 into Magnum Dynalab and have the service performed.

The other option, list it in the Marketplace and let some other lucky person have it to get the upgrades done and own a fine Magnum Dynalab tuner.
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VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2014, 02:11 PM
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^^^
Oh no! I'd pulled that post you quoted back to edit and ended up deleting it. I wanted to add that there's an upgrade to the MD 100 for $660. It offers:

• MD 100 audio section

• High grade polypropylene Solen capacitors in the audio path

• Upgrade the RF section with low tolerance hand selected critical components

• WBT/RCA connectors

• Balanced outputs

• Precision tuning assembly

If I decide that I really want those phanotm stations (whatever they are) and I get nowhere with the antenna, I can either go for the Sleuth or the MD 100 upgrade. It's things like this that take me down the path to "hobbydom," if I'm not careful. Well, this and curiosity. But I lean toward the 100 upgrade in a circumstance like this, frankly.

And as usual Dan, you offer good information.
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Last edited by prepress; 06-01-2014 at 02:16 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2014, 02:23 PM
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Charles.......That upgrade sounds like a bargain, too. You also mentiuoned the Magnum Dynalab MD205 Signal Sleuth. I have one that I am presently using with a McIntosh MR74 tuner. It improves the signal quality of at least eight stations that used to be fringe and objectionably noisy. The MD205 is worth it's price of $440.00.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2014, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Charles.......That upgrade sounds like a bargain, too. You also mentiuoned the Magnum Dynalab MD205 Signal Sleuth. I have one that I am presently using with a McIntosh MR74 tuner. It improves the signal quality of at least eight stations that used to be fringe and objectionably noisy. The MD205 is worth it's price of $440.00.
I was leaning toward going for the conversion (not upgrade) to the 100; but the Sleuth is less money (though not a huge difference). This is why the antenna angle is important. If moving the Day-Sequerra around doesn't get much traction, that would lend some weight to experiences I've had with amplified antennas; they were of limited help. But that was a different apartment, and the 205 is a different animal and probably more powerful than what I used in those other circumstances. Reception in general is dicey in this area so I'd want the best solution. NYC is a beast.

Here, therefore, is my plan. As before, I want to try repositioning the DS antenna, despite limited placement options. But depending upon those results, I will contact Magnum Dynalab and seek feedback on which option (MD205 or MD 100 conversion) offers the most bang. Or maybe I get both, even.

And away I go . . .
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2014, 04:17 PM
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I heard from Magnum Dynalab today, and their preliminary assessment is I would do best to change out the antenna. They suggest their SR-100 for my particular circumstances. Or if I want, I could go for one of their internet tuners, and I could trade in my MD 90 toward that.

The antenna is only $35, so why not try that, I'm thinking, before going a more expensive route. Besides, its smaller profile would give the SR-100 more placement flexibility, even in my crowded apartment.
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