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Tuners FM, HD, Satellite

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Old 06-10-2020, 02:43 PM
mepstein10 mepstein10 is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area, California
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Default Trying to decide on a tuner (MR88/MD108T/MD90T SE with 105 Upgrade)

Hello everyone! I have been running myself in circles on trying to find a tuner for the last few weeks. At this point, I realized that I need to get the input of others.

The best option would have been to listen to them and decide, but given the state of the world right now, that seems very unlikely. So as much as I dislike buying something sight "unheard" it may be the only option I have.

I currently have mostly McIntosh gear for my 2-channel setup (Mcintosh MC452/C2600 driving a pair of Wilson Sasha DAW. My sources are Mcintosh MT-10, MCT450, Sony HapZ1es with the Modwright Truth Mod). The only source I am actually missing is a tuner. I am about 15-20 miles away from SF and in the hills, giving me pretty good reception without an external antenna. And being a Jazz nut, we have 2-3 good jazz stations in my area for which I am grateful, not the level of WWOZ of New Orleans but at least I have some options.

Anyway...

I have 3 options under consideration. A McIntosh MR88, a Magnum Dynalab 108T, and a Magnum Dynalab 90T SE. Now I realize they are not the same price normally, but since neither is being priced as new the MR88 and 108T are close enough in price that it is worth considering.

The Mcintosh MR88 is a show demo from Mcintosh, meaning that it is as brand new as a demo unit can possibly be: it was used for the show and then boxed up. It is being offered to me under at slightly under normal retail cost.

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of XM so I am unlikely to use that feature. And although AM is a nice feature to have, I am unsure how much I would use it, if at all. The McIntosh has an added bonus of being able to visually match some of my other equipment, which makes the designer in me happy, but if performance is substantially better even the designer in me will stand down.


The 108T is a floor demo in good condition, though not the level of the Mcintosh. It was a piece that was used, albeit gently, but it is obvious that this is not a new piece of equipment. It is being offered at a substantial discount to its normal retail price, but still more than the Mcintosh by a good $600-700.

THe 90T SE is the least expensive (very relative term for this hobby). It has been given a 105 upgrade, and is priced at half of what the others cost. From the economic standpoint it would make the most sense, but then I would always wonder what if I picked the higher end model? Though if there if there is enough similarity between the 108T and the 90T SE then perhaps that should be considered seriously as well.

I would appreciate any insight that could help make this decision easier.
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:25 PM
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Maks Maks is offline
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I know a lot of people have reacted negatively toward HD FM, but I've found it to sound better than the standard analog using the analog/HD mix on my MR88. The HD sub-channels can be fun too, if you're not expecting the greatest quality. When I first got my MR88 I missed being able to control the noise filtering as I could on my MR-74, but the digital noise reduction does a great job and also at eliminating multipath. Every now and again I'll see what I can find on AM, the antenna does a pretty good job indoors IMO. You'll find a lot of great reviews on the MR88 here and I use mine regularly, although sometimes I get the urge to hook my MR-74 up just because it has that great retro look. Unfortunately I can't compare the MR88 to any of the MD tuners.
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