The purest analogue FM tuners
We work with just one brand of tuners, Magnum Dynalab from Canada, simply because this range of pure analogue tuners sounds superb and unusually they are absolutely analogue, throughout.
The majority of manfacturers use digitally-synthesised tuning because it is easy to implement and inexpensive chips can be bought off-the-shelf. However it does have a different character and the tuner might not be precisely locked onto the transmitter.
Magnum Dynalab’s strength is building in their own factory the key part of any tuner, the continuously variable tuning head module. This is a precision device in the tuner’s critical ‘front end’ that must be accurately specified and aligned for the best results, to maximise selectivity and sensitivity and to minimise noise.
As the models go up in price they include more RF tuning stages to improve these characteristics, as well as having better power supplies and other circuitry.
A key benefit with Magnum Dynalab’s continuous analogue tuning is that the tuner can be locked precisely – shown on the lovely retro meters – to the transmitter’s frequency for minimum distortion and noise. By contrast, digitally-synthesised tuners are limited to fixed jumps, usually of 50kHz, which means they might not be exactly on tune.
In addition to the three solid-state models there are another six with triode valve analogue output stages. Read full details on the various models on the Magnum Dynalab site.
These tuners are just beautiful to look at, in a slightly retro style, and a delight to use with their comprehensive controls, weighted fine-tuning knob, highly-informative meters that give signal strength and spot-on tuning information, assisted by the frequency read-out window.
Look for reviews on the various models and note the excitement and enthusiasm of the writers bubbling through. Here are a couple: MD102T Choice and MD106T. The “T” for “Tube” or valve versions are very popular with their sweeter, mellifluous sound.
Visitors to our studio, accustomed to hissy, crackly FM radios, are astonished at the lush, natural sound of music and voices emanating from an inky-black silence in a vast sound stage. Be ready to be seduced!
Has FM radio a future?
You will no doubt have thoughts about where FM broadcasting is going in the UK. We don’t know any more than you but we have looked into government announcements and also the report from the Communications Committee of the House of Lords.
The government would like to re-claim the FM radio frequencies for other, commercial, purposes but there’s clearly a lot of opposition and counter-advice. Interestingly, the topic is high on the list open to the public of unwelcome legislation on the Cabinet Office’s web site, with strong opposition and criticism of digital broadcasting.
Think of the number of receivers in most households: in kitchen and bedside radios, in clock alarms, in mobile phones, in MP3 players, in cars – any more?
Our belief? FM is going to continue for quite a long time yet – and that’s not just to persuade you to buy a tuner!
The range starts with the MD 90 for about £1200 – be aware that material prices and exchange rates affect these prices – and goes up to about £10k. Apart from better specified components and power supplies the higher models – for better selectivity and sensitivity – have more of the crucial factory-made RF tuning stages, the tuner “front end”, as critical as your CD transport or phono cartridge. Speak to us for more information.
MD-90 and MD-90T SE
£1200 – £2200 (triode valve output) Visit the Magnum Dynalab site to read about the models in the range.