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The best tuner

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by Linnik, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    Happened in the earlier episodes:

    I bought a cheap Yamaha CT-V1 tuner from 70s. It is the model with it's sister CT-V2 which got handles on fascia. Quite basic and simple analoque tuner, full hight and width box.

    I did change nearly all the electrolytes and wired out the PSU caps & regulator.

    Then changed the t-former a bit bigger, build a small card including four Schottky diodes as the rectifier and a bigger than original filtering cap added with small cap across.

    Another small board consisted by DIY regulator with voltage reference and LT1086CT regulator.

    All wiring was conducted by small silver plated PTFE insulated wires.

    The new caps on the main board and the filter cap are of normal quality, nothing special. There is one old electrolyte still on the main board, a 330 uF as I did not have the value. Must be changed later.


    The tuner sounded quite different animal after modding.

    Now, after about 3 weeks of use it is the best sounding tuner I have ever heard. Must admit I have not been too interested in tuners and thus not heard too many of them. It is about 20 years when I last time heard a Naim tuner for awhile..

    The CTV-1 modded has a bit boosted bass as you would expect from a japanese tuner of 70s.

    But it is delicious. As the tune is so marvellously good. The bass is just fantastic. And it seems to be tuneful through the range.

    It is not perfect, still. Somehow it is a bit slow and clarity is not going through all the range.

    But it is the best I have ever heard of. It is just unbelievably good now. So beautifully sounding.

    I am planning to take the main board off once again and find out where is the borders of the line amp and the tuners. And then offer the line amp a separate, own cap+regulator. This should make it the ultimate tuner for me.

    My friend asked me to check his old Yamaha T-450 which is the cheap basic low model, just a bit newer than the CT-V1 I assume. Quite much the same thing. The boards looked very alike as did the PSU.

    On comparison T-450 sounded 100% crap agains my modded CT-V1. T-450 was lacking the tune overall. It was very distorted and midrange boosted. CT-V1 showed itself now as very much more sophisticated and musical - a real top and high class unit on comparison. Did not compare before modding but obviously they must have been quite close to each other.

    Conclusion is that I just have to recommend this for you as a DIYer. Have a nice analogue tuner, renew the lytes and re-build the PSU. You will get something you might not find from shops today. :p


    P.S. I am not using better than a small electronic FM antenna near the tuner itself.
  2. yairf

    yairf Trade: Teddy Pardo Audio

    Nice work Oz
    Seems you are really having fun there!
  3. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    Thanks Yair, I am really having fun!

    The most important experiences have been that those kind of music which is played in the normal radio stations here is music I am not buying. National hit pieces I have normally heard in the car etc.
    Now it is surprising how some of them are quite musically recorded. This means I am now hearing many hits for the first time very much different way I have never heard them before. Even older ones. Orgasmic bass sometimes!

    And that means great FUN! :p

    One main thing happened thru the new PSU was that distortion came into a fraction from original. It is obvious that Schottky rectification and the superior regulator circuit with volt. ref. lowers distorsion very much. Plus the new caps.

    I remember when I changed the tants for new in my NAC, distortion got clearly lower, too. So cap change have to play one part with it. (and I still have that one 330uF lyte to change there, hehheh.. getting better still!)


    P.S. To give even better sphere for you: I did have a Creek tuner, the older model, here with this Yamaha before modding. I chose which to keep. Creek had somewhat better resolving and more tuneful highs and it was more sensitive thanks to it's capability to mix softly mono and stereo when noise gets otherwise high. But Yamaha had clearly more tuneful bass. As Yamaha served me obviously better opportunity to gain by modding, I sold Creek and kept Yamaha. Now happy I did. Quite sure Creek would now collapse half dead and even distorted played next to it.

    This Yamaha shows now such a large stage with very black background and taking players apart into that huge space... Same as this regulator circuit and Schottkies also made to my NAC. LT1086CT is a super class reg. circuit! The definition is so high that you really feel to sit face to face with a reporter in the same small studio room. It is quite breathtaking.

  4. vuk

    vuk \o/ choose anarchy

    ... it is the best sounding tuner I have ever heard. Must admit I have not been too interested in tuners and thus not heard too many of them...


    do you not see any logical problem with those two adjacent declarations?

  5. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    "I am not using better than a small electronic FM antenna near the tuner itself."

    ... and on a Yamaha CTV-1 declared the best sounding tuner? I can't even find that model on the Tuner Reference Site . Got a picture of the beastie?

  6. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    That is correct James,

    I did not find it there either and that's why I took it for one of the cheapest tuners of Yamaha. It is also simple by it's functions.

    Actually it is CT-V1. Just checked if from it's fascia and edited my earlier post in this thread. Also I found same like CT-V2 model at German ebay, where I did buy this from. The model 2 seemed to have a bit more functions.

    I have thought to place a photo for that reason and propably will arrange that later tonight.

    But I think it is quite much the same which tuner you choose for this kind of modding, you would always gain quite much. There is propably much better tuner to choose for modding than this model.


    That is the very reason I did mention that. So if I did not, there would have been something to wonder about but not now. You should get yourself very clearly informed by the text I posted. The best I have heard to date but keeping in mind my limited exp. with the better tuners. Did not say the best sounding tuner there is, didn't I ?

  7. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    My baby's here:

  8. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Nice looking tuner you got there Oz.

    Love the butch rack handles, but don't you have polish and dusters in your part of the world? ;)

  9. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First


    It does not look that way in the real world. It is the flash which makes it look like that. But true is I have not given much of attention in cleaning it but gone directly inside and make is SOUND better!

    Today I got a late Xmas present to my 12 year old son, the beautiful Nakamichi 630 preamp/tuner. Such a beauty!
    But found it faulty.. The other channel of preamp is dead. The tuner works as it has got a separate output and tried it out.
    Now in pieces. There is much to let out from the PSU load such as a dolby card full of discrete components for FM dolby plus perhaps the phono RIAA card etc.. But also I should find where it cuts.

    Now trying to go into it's soul. No, I am not having schemas on it.

    The German seller (female mixed into seller's role) did not only forget to send it in time but also goofed as it is a faulty thing.. Yes, I did pay full amount for it.

  10. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First


    Now I have opened this beautiful Naka (for my young son), cleaned all the long connectors and it works again! The other channel re-appeared and everything seems to work quite well.

    I have left it on for 3 days and nights to bring it to it's best in sound. I have passed my Yamaha tuner and NAC altogether and Nakamichi is acting as a tuner and preamp as it is. (Sorry, not cleaned outside yet, just worked on to make it sound stereo.. but you see the dust only in flashed photo)

    Then I took Nakamichi out of the system and re-connected the modded Yamaha tuner and NAC.

    HUGE change! The sound picture changed very much.

    Nakamichi was hifi. Detailed, quite rhythmic and puchy. Clear. More or less one-noted, thou. All as expected.

    While my own system is darker. 100 light years more separating. All the instruments went far apart on silent, black background. Highs are silky and unlimited but still the picture is in a way much darker. Much high hassle and hiss of the Nak is obviously missing. Perhaps the Nak is freq pushed up in the upper mids.

    Then tune. Just great, delicious tune. Music - not just detailed sound. I have created just a great tuner from this old Yamaha. It became more obvious now.

    Quite happy for it.

    My son, soon 12, may listen few years this less musical but good looking Nak before we will work more on his musical aspects. No spkrs but wireless headphones.

    Tuning with the Nak is great joy as the knob is sensitively turning much faster than the round tuning plate (ratio 6/1 turns). Just sheer beauty.. I always loved this design and finally bought it.


    P.S. I bought this Nak from Germany by ebay. It stinked tobacco but interiors looked very clean, like from factory. It is very tight package. Still, contact cleaning made it. Smoke had propably greased connections. It is about 25 years old! Very high quality electronics inside. Pretty neat design, indeed. The transformer being quite small as the filtering caps. With a separate, hefty multi railed PSU and some passed connections (by soldering) inside would propably make it much better sounding. For instance tuner signal goes always to a discrete Dolby board which should be passed altogether as it is really hefty pack of components taking power from the PSU.. Then passing tone controls etc...

    Only thing I could pass rather easily was de-connection of the RIAA board.

    In the photo the white ring tells where and which sized the t-former is.


  11. Robert

    Robert Tapehead


    Rob. (drooling.......:p )
  12. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    Just bidded a Kenwood tuner from German ebay... 12,50 euros.

    What is it when a man suddenly gots mad on tuners? Is it age or...?

    I just want to have another benchmark against my modded Yamaha.
    Perhaps I will mod/upgrade the Kenwood, too (for whom? dunno).

    I like it is just neat in it's simplicity. Perhaps I am looking the best possible face into my system horizon?? And Sansui TU-717s always get too expensive.

  13. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    At that price Oz it be rude not to buy the Kenwood! I really like the look of that Nak too...
    No, just good sense of course! It's a great way for a music junkie to score...

    If it's any consolation I'm doing the same - and posted my impressions of my shiny 'new' Onix BWD1 yesterday. It's a stunner.
  14. cromodora

    cromodora foshfishfie

    a seventies style silky smooth flywheel machined aluminium tuning knob.

    Bought mine at Cash Converters after a bout of knob twiddling. Settled on a silky Akai AT2250 over a highly regarded Technics. Sounds great but a bit wet.

    Cost? Equivalent of 10 quid.
  15. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First


    Yep you were a lucky bastard having the Onix!

    Martin, how do you do with the older antenna screws? If you got your antenna wire with the 75 ohm coax plug?

    (The Nak has even different, a screwable coax socket. I found some 7 mm screwable plug from shop which obviously is put on peeled cable the center pin being the cable hot wire itself..)


    BTW This was my 1000th posting! I have posted much more bullshit than you, Martin!

  16. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    This was my 1000th posting! I have posted much more bullshit than you, Martin!
    What makes you think that, Oz? :p

    The Onix has both coax ('Belling Lee' connector) and the screw-type 'F' plug, which is convenient. Lucky Bastard? Yeah, rather...
  17. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

  18. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    BTW do you have any experience on this snake oil aerial: Godar FM-1A?

    I DID order one as our house aerial for some reason is not connected to our sockets and we have to work it out next summer. Propably the coaxial lacks between the aerial and the divider box between the roof and ceiling. We have 3 flats in this house.

    So I will try out this super douper thingie..

    I am now using the same kind of pocket size triangular snake oil electronic aerial.

  19. dave

    dave Plywood King

    From an old post of mine:

    "I've got a Godar FM-1A antenna boxed up on my kitchen table awaiting return to Audio Advisor. From a signal-strength standpoint the Godar appeared to better my Magnum-Dynalab ST-2 antenna judging by the brightness of the signal-strength indicator lamp on my NAT 101 tuner. However, the signal from the FM-1A had a bit more hiss (though still low in level) and *noticeably* worse sound vs. my ST-2. (I guess there's more to fidelity than than specs and theory would suggest ehh?;-) The music simply wasn't as convincing through the Godar unit.

    ...Anyway, I realize antenna performance is somewhat application specific (so your results may be right the opposite), but wanted feedback on a Godar;-)"


  20. Linnik

    Linnik Flat Earth - Source First

    Thanks for your comment Dave!

    I will, of course, compare it to my small pocket sized, electronic
    aerial so it will be interesting to hear if I will have an experience to different direction than you comparing to a better aerial.

    At least I do hope so!


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