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The Analog AM/FM Radio Tuner Still Has Fans - Thousands

Dateline: 03/25/08


Before MP3 players, HD Radios, iPods, Satellite Radio receivers, and cell phones that receive audio – there were only AM/FM tuners and receivers.

Tuners vs. Receivers

A tuner is an electronic component that receives AM and FM radio signals. A receiver is an electronic component which includes not only a tuner, but a pre-amp, and an amplifier.

Back in the day, people who sought quality audio had to use hardware like this to get the only radio that was available at the time.

Tuners and receivers used to be big. The bigger - the better. Then, then got small. Real small. Bookshelf size small. Then big again. Now there are all kinds for every taste.

Historically, tuners and receivers have featured a myriad of switches, knobs, lights, LEDs, options, accessories, and styles. As a former tuner-holic, I admit I have been tempted and attracted by "bells and whistles" - part of the allure for many audiophiles who insist their tuner experience be as full-bodied as the audio it is delivering.

(I am currently in a 12-step program to wean me off tuners and I take it day-by-day.)

Just Tuners, Thank You

To group tuners and receivers together would probably be considered sacrilegious – at least by one collection of fans – the folks at the Yahoo! group known as FMtuners.

You can visit this forum by going to tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/fmtuners/

I am told this is a very active analog FM tuner group which boasts over 4500 members. According to the group’s description, it welcomes a "…general discussion of high end FM tuners, both tube and solid state, as well as antennas. Feel free to post pictures, schematics, repair tips, modifications, and information on your favorite high end tuners, regardless of age."

You can also access it from www.fmtunerinfo.com, the website which originated the group.

Fmtunerinfo.com offers a multitude of reviews and related information. I don’t think any brand is overlooked from the very familiar Pioneer to the renowned Telefunken to names you may not have heard of like Sequerra and McKay Dymek.

Get Ready to Geek Out

I have to warn you though: these people are serious about analog AM/FM tuners. They eat manufacturer specs for breakfast and are very comfortable using such abbreviations as MHz, dB, and uV.

If you’re an audiophile and already appreciate the architecture and performance of traditional AM/FM analog tuners – or – if you’ve tired of that pocket-sized FM receiver you’ve been using that looks like a bar of soap, visit the FMtuners group or fmtunerinfo.com and discover why so many fans are enthralled with the simplicity of analog.

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