Second tier tuners which are perfect for beginners, tweakers or those who don't live very close to a broadcast site.

Car Receiver Specifications 


Alpine Cassette Receiver

Manufactured in China, but extremely robust, maintaining the build quality Alpine Electronics is renowned for.

Max Tune series incorporates a conventional IF section of 3 x 180 kHz ceramic filters.

Although modifications are unnecessary, these are relatively easy to modify once you pry the soft aluminium case of the tuner module open. 

Mono Usable Sensitivity9.3 dBf (0.8 V/75 ohms)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio65 dB
Alternate Channel selectivity (unmodified)80 dB
Number of IF Filters - FM section3
Capture ratio2.0 dB
Stereo Separation35 dB

Component Tuner Specifications

PIONEER TX-960A TUNER: 1985 Pioneer T960A AM Stereo FM Stereo tuner

AM Stereo reception.

Wideband, high fidelity AM Mono reception. 

Cannot force FM mono reception on weak noisy signals.

Manufactured in Japan.

Unsuitable for FM DX use without modification to the 2 wide ceramic filters. Easy access to filters. The best board layout I have come across in a tuner.

Usable Sensitivity11.2 dBf IHF (1V/75 ohms)
Signal - to - Noise Ratio - at 85 dBfMono 77 dB

Stereo 73 dB
Distortion - at 1 KHzStereo 0.4 %
Alternate Channel Selectivity (400 kHz)67 dB
Stereo Separation - at 1 KHz
40 dB
Frequency Response30 15,000 Hz (1 dB)
Number of IF Filters - FM section (unmodified)2
AM Sensitivity (IHF, Loop Antenna)300V/m
AM Signal - to - Noise Ratio50 dB

SANSUI T-80 TUNER: 1980'sSansui T-80 by VintageTuner

Analogue tuner with a digital frequency display. Rotary tuning dial. Wonderful sound.

Manufactured in Japan.

Unsuitable for FM DX use without a simple modification to the 2 wide ceramic filters.

Photograph courtesy of

Youtube Video

Technical Review

Signal - to - Noise ratio Mono 72 dB (at 65 dbf)

Stereo 70 dB (at 80 dbf)

Stereo 68 dB (at 65 dbf)
Stereo Separation - at 1 kHz 40 dB
Spurious Response ratio - at 98 MHz 75 dB
Image Response ratio - at 98 MHz50 dB
IF Response ratio - at 98 MHz85 dB
AM Suppression ratio - at 98 MHz 50 dB
Capture ratio1.0 dB
Number of IF Filters - FM section (modified)4
Number of IF Filters - FM section (unmodified)2
50 dB Quieting Sensitivity (an alternative tuner sensitivity measure)Mono 15 dBf

Stereo 37dBf
Sensitivity (IHF T-100 standard)
Mono 10.8 dBf (1.9 uV)

Mono 1 uV (DIN)

Stereo 21 dBf (IHF)
Frequency Response
(+1 dB, -2 dB)
30 - 15,000 Hz
Total Harmonic Distortion - at 1 kHz
less than 0.2%

less than 0.25%
Alternate Channel Selectivity (400 kHz)
60 dB

These specifications relate to their unmodified FM section performance. Measurements have been sourced from service manuals. All tuners appearing on this page, except the Alpine TDM-7546E have been modified slightly (all the original FM IF filters have been replaced with narrower 50, 80 & 110 kHz ones). These filter modifications may improve or degrade individual values. The Sansui T-80 was modified with an inexpensive Bill Ammons' Filter Adder board. These boards double the available conventional IF filters available in your tuner if you want to DIY. See the FM Tuner Information Centre for purchase details for these boards, which are still available in 2010. Even though they are designed for "in car use", the car tuners are used inside the house with 12v DC power using Jaycar regulated power supplies.

© 2009-2011 Ryan Leigh Donaldson. All rights reserved.

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