Tim Britt & Ann Weatherwax <timbritt@...>
Some of you know we think highly of the McIntosh MR74 tuner. We did a
little shoot-out about two years ago at casa Britt/Weatherwax
involving the McIntosh MR74/Sony ST-S730ES/Pioneer F-91/Sansui
TU-919/McIntosh MR78/Kenwood KT-815, and we liked the MR74 by a nose
over the Sony ST-S730ES and the rest of the tuners in the shoot out.
Well, time passes, and we have had several people tell us we needed to
listen to the McIntosh MR75 since we liked their solid state tuners
(Note: We've also had people advise us the McIntosh MR80 is pretty
darn good, too, but we've had way too many people and dealers advise
us that the pre-sets will need to be rebuilt so as to function
properly, so we're going to pass on trying this one - Anyway, we need
AM and the AM is good on the MX117).
So, we won am eBay auction a month ago on a ridiculously low-priced
MX117 (A McIntosh MR75 tuner with a pre-amp incorporated in it), had
it shipped to McIntosh Labs in Binghamton, just like we did with our
MR74, so we could compare apples to apples after they went through it,
cleaned it, replaced any broken items, and aligned the tuner. It's
important to compare like to like.
The MX117 arrived here Thursday: Initial impressions: The MX117 (MR75)
is absolutely better at picking up weak signals and bringing them in
with less noise than the MR74. We tuned both to 99.7 in Charlotte, NC,
and 89.5 in Elizabethton, TN, and the MX117 (MR75) was much quieter
than the MR74 on both these stations.
As for the sound quality, please bear with us. There are differences,
but we're not ready to make any opinions public yet. Since we just got
the MX117 (MR75) in Thursday we really need to do some more
listening to it and the MR74.....
Construction quality: The older MR74 seems better built, with all the
sections of the FM tuner encased in metal boxes - Many of the tuner
parts in the MX117 (like the FM and AM gangs) are open and not encased
in metal boxes for shielding, but if the MX117 ends up being better,
does this matter?
We will provide a follow-up report on what we think the differences
are between these two units, but we need to do some more listening
right now. We're still McIntosh people, and think the only other
SS tuner that might satisfy us is the rather rare and expensive
Philips AH6731 tuner Brian Levy, sedond, and others think highly of.