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  #21  
Old 07-10-2019, 10:04 AM
Charles Charles is offline
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Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Charles - forgot about this thread. Thanks for reviving it.

The MR 80 sounds the best out of all of the McIntosh tuners I’ve owned and better than any of the handful of other tuners that have visited my systems over the years.

This MR 80 has been very solid and lives in our Wisconsin lake home 85 miles as the crow flies from Minneapolis. I have a roof mounted 6 element yagi. Works great.

I agree the super narrow is only useful for DX or situations where there is a strong adjacent channel station.

I have not yet done any upgrades or mods to the tuner so I have that to look forward to.

Tom
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 if 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.

Last edited by Charles; 07-10-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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  #22  
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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  #23  
Old 07-10-2019, 11:34 AM
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Just read the manual of the MR87, the mpath, noise and signal graphs are all missing from the MR88. We are simply stuck with the 3 bar signal display, which is the only complaint I've had about the tuner.
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2019, 01:49 AM
Charles Charles is offline
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Originally Posted by Maks View Post
Just read the manual of the MR87, the mpath, noise and signal graphs are all missing from the MR88. We are simply stuck with the 3 bar signal display, which is the only complaint I've had about the tuner.
It's interesting that the MR 87 also has in addition to a noise and multipath display, a variable sensitivity feature and a variable stereo blend feature. In looking at the om for the MR 88, the MR 88 has none of these desirable features. I was under the impression that the MR 87 and 88 were identical except for the additional HD features of the 88. I mention that Mac made a MPI4 that along with the MR 80 allowed one to optimize FM reception similar to the abilities of the MR 87.

Last edited by Charles; 07-13-2019 at 02:12 AM.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:13 AM
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I assume it's due to a different chip being used in the 87 vs the 88. If someone doesn't care about HD or XM, the 87 is clearly a superior choice to the 88. I'm just happy Mc is still making tuners!
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  #26  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:15 AM
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Iím curious - there are now 3 McIntosh Tuner modules, TM 1, TM 2, and TM 3. Does the MR 87 use any of these modules or is it a stand alone design?
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Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

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  #27  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:22 AM
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The TM2 includes HD, so that's definitely not used in the 87. The TM1 I believe is similar to the MR85.
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  #28  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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Iím just happy that there are folks talking about tuners.
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  #29  
Old 07-13-2019, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maks View Post
The TM2 includes HD, so that's definitely not used in the 87. The TM1 I believe is similar to the MR85.

85 used the TM 1
88 used the TM 2
87 uses the ?!


Looking at the back panel of the 87 itís hard to tell what they are doing. But it sure seems like they have a winner.
__________________
Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

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  #30  
Old 07-13-2019, 12:11 PM
Charles Charles is offline
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Originally Posted by Weirdcuba View Post
I’m just happy that there are folks talking about tuners.
Mac was in the design stage for an MR 79 which would have combined the MP14 and the MR 80. It had no presets and had Normal Narrow and Super Narrow options. The design was cancelled and the MR 80 produced which had Narrow and Super Narrow. Narrow was "Normal". The goal to me of FM is to be able to advance up the FM dial in .2 increments as opposed to .4 while at the same time maintaining the all same specs and sound quality. In addition you want to be able to monitor the quality of the signal because the other part to FM is the antenna and the number of stations in your area. It is unwise to have a quality tuner and not have a quality external antenna.

When you look at the MR 85 which I owned for years it had a signal strength indicator and a few other minimally useful features. That was it. It had none of the really desirable features that the 87 possesses. The remarkable thing about the 87 is that when you look at all the specs they are the same for the adjacent channel as they are for the alternate channel and when you are going up the dial using Seek, the 87 with some exceptions can actually advance in .2 increments, not .4 and the stations are generally clear and free of noise and multipath, and signal strength can be poor, average, good, or high. With my 85, it was basically an excellent alternate channel tuner. On Seek it advanced in increments of .4. On a good FM channel I have never been able to discern much difference in the sound quality between Mac tuners. They uniformly have excellent sound to my ears. I think this is because the audio quality of the sound produced by the station's gear is inferior to the tuner's quality. No tuner can exceed the quality of the station's gear. It's really incredible what Mac has done in almost every part of the audio chain whether it be amplifiers, preamps, sources, etc. Mac has been making tuners for 50 years and these designs have not been lost or forgotten nor has their sound quality. In the MR 87 they seem to have put it all together and created a tuner that can truly advance up the tuning dial in .2 increments with no compromise in sound quality, vary sensitivity and blend, and carefully monitor the quality of the signal.

Last edited by Charles; 07-13-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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