2012 Recommended Components FM Tuners & Antennas
DaySequerra FM Reference Signature Modification: $2800 (+ cost of tuner) ✩
David Day’s Signature Mod effectively addresses this ultimate FM tuner’s cathode-ray tube’s tendency to burn out. Switching circuitry has been added to allow the CRT to turn off when not needed. The Signature Mod also replaces the tuner’s incandescent bulbs with longer-lasting LEDs, and uses hand-matched, low-group-delay filters for lower distortion and better channel separation. LG noted punchy, quick bass response, a deeper soundstage, and a more transparent midrange. “The new CRT’s greater range of brightness and longer life expectancy makes the Signature Modification essential for owners of the DaySequerra FM tuner.” (Vol.12 No.6, Vol.14 No.12, Vol.21 No.6, FM Reference; Vol.29 No.9, Signature Modification Read Review Online)
Editor’s Note: There are currently no Class B FM tuners listed.
Outlaw RR2150: $699 $$$ ✩
One of the few low-cost, high-performance, two-channel receivers still available. See “Integrated Amplifiers.” (Vol.29 No3, Vol.31 No.1 Read Review Online)
Tivoli Audio Model One table radio: $149.99 ✩
“The Tivoli Model One is a radio stripped to its essentials: no stereo, no station memories, no remote control, no tone controls,” said ST. This design from the late Henry Kloss didn’t like being played very loud, ST discovered, but was “plenty loud for a typical office, and, ultimately, loud enough for me.” He heard “a richness, a warmth, a generosity of tone, and a clarity that made for enjoyable listening. I was never fatigued.” “A bit boomy,” says JA, “but pleasantly so.” AD connected the Model One’s record-out jack to his preamp inputs, then muted its speaker. Matching the Tivoli with a RadioShack 15-2163 FM antenna, he found that “the combination has been nothing short of wonderful in my system: a flexible, great-sounding monophonic source for a combined price of only $124.” (Vol.24 No.3, Vol.27 No.7 Read Review Online)
Bel Canto FM-1.
Sangean HDT-1X HD radio tuner no longer available.
Editor’s Note: No indoor antenna can compete with a good roof or mast-mounted outdoor antenna, but because apartment dwellers often don’t have a choice, we list the following indoor models that we have found to work well: AudioPrism 8500 ($499, Vol.14 No.6), AudioPrism 7500 ($299, Vol.12 No.5), Magnum Dynalab 205 FM Booster ($350, Vol.10 No.6), Fanfare FM-2G ($99, Vol.20 No.12), and C. Crane FM Reflect Antenna ($34.95, Vol.32 No.4).