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Old 28th April 2004, 03:22 PM   #1
bikejog is offline bikejog  United States
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Default off topic: Are analog tuners better?

If a tuner specs listed as 4-gang front end (the Marantz ST-17), does it mean that it has a analog front end?

Second question is that are analog tuners better than digital synthesized tuners? If so why? Anyone can recommend a good tuner still in production. Budget is around $500-$700. Prefferably I'd like one with lots of lights and meters and gadgets...

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Old 28th April 2004, 07:05 PM   #2
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The radio part of a tuner is analog, the " front end" is only user interface whitout bearing on sound quality, only related to convenience of operation. Top quality tuners seem to be of the "tuning knob conected to tuning capacitor" type, ie analogue.
Your budget for a tuner is generous, i think You could find a second hand Technichs ST8080 for below 200 $. Soundwise You wont find a better tuner except the Sequerra or Magnum Dynalab
regardless of price. The ST8080 also throws in excelent finish and (imo) top quality design for a tuner
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Old 28th April 2004, 09:31 PM   #3
rif is offline rif  United States
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Check out: www.fmtunerinfo.com

They have lots of info on lots of models.
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Old 29th April 2004, 01:05 AM   #4
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I don't listen to the radio much, but when I do, I really prefer an old unit I inherited... a Marantz 1530 receiver. Even though it is not a separate component, the tuner section picks up distant signals very well. The output sound is very smooth, much less harsh than anything digital I've heard in a long time.

I've seen a number of old Marantz's on eBay from time to time so you might want to look there.

:)ensen.
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Old 30th April 2004, 07:52 AM   #5
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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The "front end" of a tuner has nothing to do with the user interface, but is rather the RF part between the antenna input and the first and oftenmost only mixer in the circuit. A 4-way front end means that it has 4 tuned circuits in the RF ampifier circuit. The normal operating BW of an FM tuner is appx 20 MHZ, centered around 98 MHZ, - too wide for optimum gain and RF selectivity, - thus the use og ganged circuits, either by mechanical capacitor or varicaps.

Tuners of classical design employs quite a lot of tuned circuits that will drift with time and thus need retuning with special equipment. Modern mass produced tuners have been designed with many goals in mind, one of the most prominent ones being minimization of production labour, - "untouched by human hand", and does somewhat suffer from design compromises to fulfill this goal in particular.

A classical top tuner has the potential of being a much better tuner than todays low and medium range products, given that is in top shape electronically. Old, cheap tuners will be outperformed by most modern products, mainly because of simple design in addition to component drift.

Unfortunately I don't know of many top notch classical tuners, except some Luxman designs and of course the Sequerras, which was and still is concidered a professional product.
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