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Old 12-26-2016, 10:51 PM
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Default Magnum Dynalab MD108t vs: McIntosh MR88

by J. Dan Daniell


It must be my age because when I thought of premium FM tuners the first ones that used to come to mind were the Marantz 10B and the DaySequerra FM Reference tuners. These two tuners were the envy of every serious audiophile worth his salt back in the 60’s and 70’s. Of course the McIntosh MR78, especially the final CG version, also comes to mind. As time past, McIntosh continued to build separate tuners of premium caliber while Marantz and DaySequerra tuners took their place in the vintage archives. There are some audiophile DX’ers that still seek and treasure the Marantz 10B and the DaySequerra tuners but getting either one in excellent condition is near impossible, and having one repaired is even more difficult.

As McIntosh continued to design and build separate tuners with little serious competition, Magnum Dynalab opened its doors in 1984 with the goal of manufacturing the world’s finest high-end FM tuners. Since their founding Magnum Dynalab has steadily raised the bar on analog FM tuner design and performance through continuous research and development. Today they have established themselves as the preeminent FM tuner manufacturer. Their tuners, manufactured in Ontario, Canada, are highly respected and sought after worldwide.

I have been a Magnum Dynalab enthusiast for years and have longed to own one of their premium FM tuners. My current excitement for an FM tuner centers on the Magnum Dynalab MD108 Triode. It is an analog tuner with a triode tube output stage. It sits one rung under the MD109, Magnum Dynalab’s top model. I personally like the MD108t for its more traditional look over that of the MD109.





The Magnum Dynalab MD108t features their proprietary TRACC (Triode Reference Audio Control Center) audio control board, as well as dual toroidal transformers on the power supply boards which provide separate power for the RF section and the audio stage. The audio stage is a true differential balanced circuit utilizing the full influence of the triode tube design. This insures that the balanced signals are perfectly matched, enabling the full benefit when used in a balanced system. The six stage RF front end with three ultra-sensitive bandwidth settings and enhanced selectivity delivers the best possible signal from either of the two analog antenna inputs. The MD108t is the culmination of years of research and development. It is a world class reference FM tuner in every respect.

The Magnum Dynalab MD108t tuner can be ordered with the optional RC2 Precision Remote System which then allows an owner the ability to store and scan up to 20 preset stations. Without the remote option the tuner requires manual tuning of the large and pleasantly weighted tuning knob. With a tuner like this I prefer the hands on approach. I love turning the tuning knob, centering the channel just right, and enjoying the analog experience. The two Sifan signal strength and multipath meters, plus the magic eye tube for center channel tuning are delightful and useful tuning aids. The large left hand knob selects between the two antenna inputs, and if equipped with the DAC option, also selects between two DAC inputs. There are eight spring loaded snap switches across the face. From left to right they control Power, Mute, Stereo/Mono, BW1, BW2, BW3, Blend, and Dim. BW1, BW2, and BW3 provide selectable bandwidths.





The Magnum Dynalab MD108t tuner presently in my possession is on loan from Audio Aficionado member doguniverse. He was aware of several comments I posted stating that the MD108t was on my wish list and was kind enough to ship the MD108t to me for this review. It has the 19” gold face plate and knobs. I have been enjoying this wonderful tuner for a week now, making direct comparisons of it against my McIntosh MR88 tuner. It has been interesting.

The McIntosh MR88 tuner is a digital tuner and employs DSP (digital sound processing) circuitry that helps improve the sound quality, particularly with weaker signals where background noise can be an issue. It also is capable of receiving AM/FM, FM-HD, and XM digital satellite broadcasts when equipped with an optional XM antenna/mini-tuner and XM subscription. The MR88 includes both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, plus coaxial and Toslink digital outputs that can feed an external DAC. Its display is unique because the typical tuner log scale has been enhanced with a digital display indicator that moves across the dial replicating the older tuner pointer. The MR88’s right hand knob is a traditional tuning knob for manually dialing in stations. In addition there is also a digital display window below the log scale that shows station frequency, call letters and other RDS radio text when available. Dial brightness and digital display brightness are independently adjustable. The MR88 is remote controlled and can be linked to other McIntosh components for power and control. The tuner allows for 20 preset stations that can be recalled with the left hand knob or the remote control.





The overall design of the MR88 is traditional McIntosh with its signature black glass face, anodized metal end caps, a stainless steel chassis, linear power supply with a custom wound R-core transformer, and a clean sounding analog output stage. The rear panel includes the traditional 75 ohm F type connector for a coaxial antenna, a proprietary AM connection for the MR88’s separate RAA2 remote mounted AM antenna, and a mini XM antenna/mini-tuner input.

Comparing the McIntosh MR88 and the MD108t was a simple matter of selecting the proper input on my preamplifier for the particular tuner. Actually, the MR88 had two inputs on the preamplifier because I was comparing both the analog output and the digital output through the Esoteric K-03 DAC to the MD108t’s strictly analog output. Using the McIntosh C1000 input Trim feature I was able to level match the MR88’s digital and analog inputs with the Magnum Dynalab MD108t’s analog input to the preamp. It should be noted that both tuners were fed from my Magnum Dynalab ST-2 half wave omni directional antenna mounted on the second story eave of the roof. I installed a high quality coaxial two way splitter on the incoming antenna coaxial cable and fed each tuner with a four foot coaxial cable from the splitter.

My first test of the two tuners was to see how many listenable FM stations each tuner could pull in. By listenable I mean without objectionable background noise or multipath distortion. Whether the station was received in stereo or mono did not impact my decision on the qualification for being listenable. Both the McIntosh MR88 and the Magnum Dynalab MD108t pulled in 18 listenable stations each. Four of those stations were received by both tuners in mono only. Five more stations were received in mono only on the MR88 while the MD108t received those same five stations in stereo. The nine remaining FM stations were received in stereo on both tuners. For total stations received in stereo the MD108t beat the MR88.

Next was my listening test, tuning the same station on both tuners while comparing the MR88’s digital and analog outputs and the MD108t output. This was quite revealing. The McIntosh MR88’s digital output through the Esoteric K-03 DAC was consistently better sounding than the MR88’s analog output. The coaxial digital output produced a fuller bass sound with more weight, a midrange that sounded more in harmony with the lower and upper frequency range, and a treble range that was clearer. The MR88 analog output seemed to produce less impactful bass, while the midrange seemed tilted forward slightly by comparison to the MR88 digital output. This was the case on all stations used for the comparison. This convinced me to compare only the digital output from the MR88 to the MD108t output.

The McIntosh MR88 digital output gave the Magnum Dynalab MD108t a run for its money. I used the three strongest signals in stereo and one strong signal received in mono on both tuners for the comparison. In each case on all four stations the Magnum Dynalab MD108t delivered a more enjoyable performance. The bass and midrange from the MD108t always sounded musical, delivering rich deep bass, tuneful midrange and sparkling top end. The sound of piano on the MD108t was full and believable with excellent dynamics, weight and authority. The McIntosh MR88’s digital output came mighty close in all cases but the bass was not quite as extended or harmonically rich, and the midrange detail sounded slightly analytical when directly compared to the MD108t. The essence of high fidelity music was stronger from the MD108t. All things considered, the Magnum Dynalab MD108t FM capabilities were a notch up from the McIntosh MR88, although I will state the MR88 digital output is very good, just not as musically fleshed out in a direct A/B comparison with the MD108t. I have little doubt the amazing IF front end coupled with Magnum Dynalab’s 100 hour cryogenic treatment process of the TRACC (Triode Reference Audio Control Center) audio control board and triode tubes plays into the lofty FM performance I have been enjoying. As much as I have enjoyed listening to FM broadcasts on my McIntosh MR88, the Magnum Dynalab MD108t delivers improved performance. Of special note, the Magnum Dynalab’s tough fiberglass and metal foam lined air-freight shipping container is a real plus. One nitpick of the MD108t, those blue LED’s are way too bright. They should be at least 75% dimmer. Being that bright makes the LED’s seem like blue lasers. They are an irritating distraction.

I must say this about the McIntosh MR88 tuner. It is a feature rich digital tuner that offers more radio reception options than the FM only MD108t. At its retail price of $4500, the MR88 offers an excellent value and very good performance. It delivers great sound that is superior to nearly all other tuners. When comparing the MR88’s price to the $7250 price for the black MD108t, one has to weigh their personal commitment to FM only reception by discounting the other great features offered by the MR88. I know this much, I am going to have a case of the blues when the Magnum Dynalab MD108t has to be returned to its owner.


__________________
Dan



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

Last edited by jdandy; 11-19-2018 at 02:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2016, 11:16 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is online now
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Dan, dan, dan - you're a man after my heart. Owning the 108T now for about 15 months, I agree with everything you've said. I absolutely love mine. I will be sending it back to MD in the next few months though to change the blue lights for amber, have them dimmed, and while I'm at it, upgrade to the SE edition. Shoot, then I'll have to upgrade the cables.

I swear though, I really swear, that's my only upgrade for 2017.
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Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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Old 12-26-2016, 11:19 PM
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And, let me say, dan is right about the MR 88. It's a great piece and if you have the whole McIntosh look going on, hard to resist.
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Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:00 AM
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Nice writeup, a MD tuner has always been on my list as well.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirdcuba View Post
Dan, dan, dan - you're a man after my heart. Owning the 108T now for about 15 months, I agree with everything you've said. I absolutely love mine. I will be sending it back to MD in the next few months though to change the blue lights for amber, have them dimmed, and while I'm at it, upgrade to the SE edition. Shoot, then I'll have to upgrade the cables.

I swear though, I really swear, that's my only upgrade for 2017.
Jim.......The Magnum Dynalab Signature Edition upgrade replaces many parts of the current MD108t. It is substantial. I will be very interested in reading what you have to say once this work is completed. The MD108t has certainly impressed me.
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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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Old 12-27-2016, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maks View Post
Nice writeup, a MD tuner has always been on my list as well.
Steve.......Thank you. I may have to begin a slush fund because I really want a MD108t now that I've had my hands on one.
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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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Old 12-27-2016, 02:20 AM
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GaryProtein GaryProtein is offline
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I have an academic interest in how the Magnum Dynalab 108t/109 stacks up against the Accuphase T1100 tuner.

I say an academic interest because the FM quality and available music programming quality in New York is in the toilet and I will probably never buy another tuner.

I know, I had to throw a wrench into the mix.
__________________
Listening Room: McIntosh C46, MCD500, MR78-Modafferi modified, MPI4, MC602 (2), Accuphase DG58, Pass Labs XVR1 (three-way), tri-amplified Infinity IRS Series V, TailTwister T2X rotator, AtlasSound FMA Rack, dedicated electrical sub-panel, boarded up the fireplace, NO TV!

Living Room: McIntosh C28, MC2300, MEN220, Revox B225, Tascam CD355, Thorens TD125 MKII w/vacuum platter, Rabco SL-8E, Grace F9-Ruby, McIntosh ML-2C (2) & ML-1C (4) stacked, MQ-107, SAE 2800, Nakamichi Dragon, Tandberg 64X, JL Audio f113 (2), NO TV!

System photos: https://www.audioaficionado.org/atta...3&d=1340065567
https://www.audioaficionado.org/atta...2&d=1340065551
https://www.audioaficionado.org/atta...0&d=1502929994

Last edited by GaryProtein; 12-27-2016 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:22 AM
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I'm sure the 1100 is a great tuner (see my signature), but I've never heard one. I think it's all dsp (not analog), and I do think there's something magical about the 108 analog sound. Not sure about that.

On the content, I'm down to four community and college stations that are worth listening to, but they're fabulous - well worth it.

The 108 is by far my favorite source sound wise.
__________________
Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2016, 10:46 AM
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Dan.....a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read, as always. I find this tuner very attractive and it's obviously a serious tuner. One look inside makes that very obvious. I've always had a love for tuners, as you know, and consider a system incomplete without one.

While I probably don't see one of these in my future (I too much of the "Mac look" going, not to mention the price on one of these) I'm intrigued by Magnum Dynalab products, and do see a M/D antenna and a signal sleuth in my not too distant future. Teamed up with my McIntosh MR78, it should be a winning lineup. While my MR78 is not of the final production run, it sounds fabulous even with a marginal antenna, and picks up a slew of stations. I've recently outfitted it with new glass, LED lighting and of course the usual cleaning. I wouldn't trade it for anything. What I have found myself considering over the years is a trip to Vestal for the Modafferi mod. I believe Richard still does these, though I haven't inquired as to the price in quite a while.

Thanks for a most enjoyable review. I expect I'll be revisiting it more than once...I just love a great tuner!
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No. 35


Main System: Harmon Kardon T60 TT/Ortofon 2M Black, McIntosh: MR78, MCD1000 Transport on Stillpoint ultra minis, MDA1000 D/A Converter on Stillpoint ultra minis, MS750 Music Server on Rollerblock Jr's, C40, MC501's (3), Soundcraftsmen: DC2215 Eq/AS1000 Real time analyzer, DBX 3BX II, Carver C9, Nakamichi Dragon, Crown SX724, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), Sony XBR55X900E 4K TV, JBL L220A's, JBL B460, Sumo Delilah active crossover, WireWorld Silver Eclipse audio interconnects, WireWorld Starlight and Silver Starlight Coaxial Digital interconnects, Wireworld SuperNova 7 Toslink digital interconnect, WireWorld Aurora 7 and Silver Electra Power cords, Wireworld Equinox 7 speaker cables, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna, PS Audio Direct Stream Power Plant 12, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-Ray Player, Bryson BUC-1 USB Converter, Wireworld Gold Starlight XLR Digital interconnect

Florida Room/Art Studio System: Pioneer PL-L1000 TT/Audio Technica ATS52W2, McIntosh: MR77, C32, MC2205; Crown Power Line Four, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 Digital to Analog converter, Soundcraftsmen AE2000 Eq, JBL 4313B's, JBL 2241-based Sub, JBL BX63A Active Crossover, Oppo BDP-105D Blu-Ray Player, Samsung 5500 Series 32" Smart TV, Terk AF-1 Powered Antenna

Master Bedroom System: McIntosh: MX120 Theater processor, MC206 6-channel amplifier; MR74 AM/FM Tuner, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, JVC HM-DH40000U D-Theater Digital VHS, Phase Technology PC80 Towers (now used as stands), (2) JBL 4401's, (1) JBL Studio 6IW speaker, (2) JBL Studio 6IC speakers, Sony XBR-49X900E UHD TV, Panamax 1000 Line Conditioner, (2) JL Audio E110 Subwoofers, Wireworld Solstice speaker cables, Wireworld Aurora Power cords, and various other flavors of Wireworld and Audioquest cabling

Office System: Marantz 150 Tuner, Crown DL 2, Crown EQ 2, Crown SA 2, Crown D-75A (as headphone amp), McIntosh MCD7009 (as transport), DBX 3BX Series II, Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player, JBL 4401's, JL Audio E112 Subwoofer, Samsung 5500 series 32" Smart TV, Wire World Oasis audio interconnects, Wire World Solstice speaker cables, Wyred for Sound DAC-2 DSDse Digital to Analog converter, Wireworld Starlight Coaxial Digital Interconnect, Sennheiser HD800 Headphones, Sennheiser HDVA600 Headphone amp, Wireworld Silver Eclipse Balanced Interconnects, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB Cable

High Resolution Source: HP Omen 17" Gaming Laptop
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:57 AM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Dan, thanks for the comparo. You did a great job with this.

I wrestle with the idea of a new tuner. I've been using a Mac MR-80 since I bought it new decades ago ... back when I was using a biamped Infinity RS 2.5 speaker system. At that time, an excellent tuner was at the heart of virtually every serious hi-fi system. I bought the MR-80 after auditioning a bunch of other top tuners. At the time, it was arguably the best available.

The MR-80 has been serviced a few times over the years and still sounds great, but of course the quality of FM has declined steadily over time. It's not only the programming that has suffered, but SQ as well. The addition of an HD signal contaminates the analog FM signal, imo ... at least to a point, and most FM stations compress their audio much more than was common back in FM's heyday. So while it's always been true that an FM tuner is only as good as the signal it receives, high quality FM signals are more rare than ever.

Even though I still listen to FM, all this makes it very difficult for me to justify the cost of a new FM tuner. I love the look of the Magnum Dynalab tuners and they've sounded great when I heard them at audio shows and - were I to upgrade - I'd also consider another Mac. But to spend that kind of dough just for FM? It's difficult to rationalize here in the third millennium.

Of course, much in our little audio pursuit is difficult to justify, so perhaps it's not fair to single out FM for warranting spending restraint. Since buying the MR-80, I've gone through a few speaker systems, preamps, amps and sources. Every change has resulted in a worthy audible improvement. Would an upgrade from an MR-80 also result in improvement? Quite likely! Would it be worth the thousands of $$$$ necessary to get there? It's a thought I ponder.

This review gives me a little more to consider - so thanks for that, Dan. Perhaps it is fortunate that I have no local dealer or pal to loan me a new Magnum Dynalab. Without the benefit of a direct comparison, the MR-80 still sounds great.
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