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Respectable Stereo Tuner Amp?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My situation is as such. My current tuner is garbage, and the phono doesn’t work. I need a tuner amp that has a phono stage input and optical inputs. I only plan on having a stereo speaker setup, so it doesn’t need to be 5.1 or anything. I want to use this for my record player / computer via optical for movies and other multi-media. I would like to upgrade to some decent book shelf speakers at some point, so I’m not sure how much juice I would need to be safe for upgrades. Not planning to have more than stereo output.

I would like to spend under $500, it doesn’t matter how old it is or new, as long as it is respectable and quality.

Other suggestions welcomed.

Cheers,Sean.
post #2 of 27

Divide and conquer!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by badpenny View Post
My situation is as such. My current tuner is garbage, and the phono doesn’t work.
Your budget is decent, so buy a decent receiver with a digital input and look for a seperate phono preamp. You can buy newer opamp-based phono preamps around $129-250 or you can look for a decent vintage preamp for this task around $70-150. Adcom GFP-1 (MM only) or NAD 1020B (MC/MM) are two superb examples.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
The NAD 1020B looks interesting, any idea how hard they are to find? And as for a reciever, I still don't really know where to start. Do most new recievers not have Phono Premaps?
post #4 of 27

3-way might be better

Quote:
Originally Posted by badpenny View Post
The NAD 1020B looks interesting, any idea how hard they are to find? And as for a reciever, I still don't really know where to start. Do most new recievers not have Phono Premaps?
The two units I mentioned are exceptional. They have discrete circuitry and superb sound. The GFP-1 is a bit brighter but not too edgy. The 1020B is very musical, especially through the phono.
You have to go on ebay and wait for the right one... They do come around once in a while.
And you are right about current receivers. Most are made without a phono input. However, there are some decent units out there, especially the ones based on digital amps.
Here is another option, if you have the space for it. Get a seperate preamp like the above mentioned ones. Also look for a seperate analog tuner. I have a vintage Kenwood KT-413 (I think...) which has a unique arrangement of "magnetic memory" for station search. It's not the best tuner but it is decent - and it's way "cooler" than any digital tuner you can buy today...
Now you just need a decent amp. Problem solved!
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
I came across this NAD 1020A. Looks kinda shotty... but ya never know... Plus Its located in Ontario where I live.
post #6 of 27
badpenny, if you're looking for an all-in-one solution, you might be better off looking at receivers. Most mainstream brands have mid- to high-budget offerings that incorporate phono preamplifiers, and every current receiver has digital inputs.

You can buy one heck of a receiver for under $500, especially on eBay. Just remember to visit the manufacturers' sites and read through the specifications before you make a decision.
post #7 of 27
Optical input, phono preamp, and stereo-only is, AFAIK, a tough combination to find.

In general, it's multichannel A/V receivers that have the digital inputs, and stereo receivers that almost always provide phono inputs (though some stereo-only units have dropped that.)

If you only need stereo for movies, that is available from the analog outs on your DVD player......or should be from your computer sound card. No need for decoding in the receiver.

http://www.accessories4less.com/cgi-bin/item/ONKTX8522

Way under budget, but it does what you really need. If you poke around that site and look at the various Marantz receivers that cost a lot more, you will see the front panel controls appear to be placed in nearly the same positions as the much less expensive Onkyos. Then look at the back panel photos in detail, and the jack positions match up even closer. My guess is that they are all out of the same Chinese plant and are pretty much just badge engineered.
post #8 of 27
what do you need an optical input for?
post #9 of 27
I am a big fan of Adcom products, having had mine for over 20 years. In Ebay-Canada there is currently the following available.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ADCOM-GFP-555-pre...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Adcom-GFA-555-Pow...QQcmdZViewItem

I am not associated w/ the sellers.
post #10 of 27
That Adcom combo wouldn't provide him with the tuner, though.

Didn't Adcom make a tuner-pre at one time? I used a Harman-Kardon tuner-pre from maybe 1994 until 2003 or so. Always wondered why they weren't more popular. Most people were not so demanding about tuner quality as long as it was OK, but the flexibility of swapping the power amp would have been desirable.
post #11 of 27
OutLaw Audio Around $649 for the reciever,also has a USB input.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html
post #12 of 27
The Outlaw looks nice. NAD also has the stereo/cd receivers with digital inputs.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sejarzo View Post
That Adcom combo wouldn't provide him with the tuner, though.

Didn't Adcom make a tuner-pre at one time? I used a Harman-Kardon tuner-pre from maybe 1994 until 2003 or so. Always wondered why they weren't more popular. Most people were not so demanding about tuner quality as long as it was OK, but the flexibility of swapping the power amp would have been desirable.
Yes, they did. I posted those two because their sound to cost ratio is huge. Besides it is very easy to get a tuner from Ebay.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ok, here is the deal... I made a mistake in calling a receiver a tuner, I don't need a tuner. In the near future I would like a receiver hooked up to my computer via optical for playing sound through a set of bookshelf speakers. Also, I want my record player to be hooked up to those speakers.

- I would like optical inputs.
- Line level output for amp + phones. (to hold me over untill I get a dedicated DAC)
- Phono input.

Should I just get a 5.1 receiver and use it in stereo? im not quite sure? I don't need all the bells and whistles... but I would like good sound and possibly 3d stereo effects for movies and such.

Also looking at some bookshelf speakers for under $350 that are quite available. Possible a good match with a suggested receiver.

Cheers, and thanks for the input.. I am constantly researching options... So let me know what you think.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh, and I have checked out the 'Outlaw' before... it is an option for sure... I would prefer black though... As of right now I have been interested in 'Onkyo' new or used...
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