| misnacat wrote:|
| FM is a large part of my entertainment be it the car, boat or home, My Accuphase T100 was checked over and aligned back sometime in the late 1990s by a local fellow that is now deceased.|
I would like to have my tuner looked over again and discuss possible upgrades. I did ask this question a while a go at tuner info centre and received a mixed bag of glowing recommendation all across North America.
One guy, his price started at $300.00 to $1,300 for all out modifications for the T-100, not likely.
This is the dilemma, WHO is competent to do a good job? Any recommendations?
Good question. I would like myself to have an answer.
The subject of tuners is very complicated, much more complicated than most of other audio components. When we talk about tuners we imply
2) Reception in respect to topology
3) Sound quality
4) Sound quality in respect to Reception
Those categories might be very isolated and it is very difficult to find a technician to assist you. I do not know in which county you live but here in US it is very difficult to find a good technician, period. To fix older audio equipment is tricky business. The old audio equipment itself cost very little and when people decided to fix it then they understandably willing to pay not much. So, for the people who make leaving in repairing business the only way to deal with it is to increase volume of the repairs. They charge 30-40$/h, have no more knowledge then most of doctor and most of them have year and years of experience. How they can compete with contemporary let say high-tech engineers who bill 150$/h juts after one-two years of practice? So, it is understandable that audio repair-men are looking for quick and dirty jobs to speed up the turn over. A proper alignment of tuners is very much from quick and dirty jobs and it is not surprise that the people who do it ether very badly or turn into jerks with whom is imposable to deal with.
When I said “do it ether very badly” I meant that in tuner alignment it is very simple to do, ok let me to rephrase – it is very difficult and very not gratifying to do good job. Alignment of tuner is not just a technical job but more like a work of art where there is no “best way” to do the things but rather the infinite amount of different “better ways”. To do it the person need to be truly stimulated, the question is “the stimulated with what?” The money we would pay for the alignment are not truly the stimulation…
Most of the tuner alignment people tweak tuners front-end getting get best sensitivity. The best of them align the first-second stages of intermediate stages and then limiter. If the IF and limiter are made with many stages then they do not go over each section assuring that they have the identical windows. To get the best linearity the IF stages is very tricky and it BTW has direct affect to sound not only for selectivity. In many cased people do it many time, getting the best configuration. Then there are many other subjects of detector distortions, the MPX distortion and crosstalk and so on. It is not the it is difficult to do but it rather a degree where to stop and here are the “fast” and non-stimulated “specialists” and in many case are not helpful. I do not even mention that mention that among the alignment technicians there are just open idiots, like the one that I faced:
So, I would feel that the “best” alignment is the one that you would do to yourself if you have the skills as you can really take your time and do it right. Alternately if you can find an alignment technician who has knowledge and at the same time who would be personally interested or stimulated in your FM result then it might be wonderful. I do not have such a person and I envy to people who do. If you have such a person then you might advance your FM to get rid some specific design problem of your specific tuner or to accommodate your tuner specifics for the specifics of your stations and your locations… This is what I call the “upgrades: not the stupid part swapping that most of the people do.
About the tuner sound. I would not trust to ANY of the technicians and if they begin to talk about sound then I walk. The alignment technicians shall deal with a set of dry technical qualification and measurements and it about it. I would prefer those who do not even listen tuners and have no idea that tuners might sound different…
Another sad part about the alignment technicians – they all very negatively talk about each other and it is not about the bitching about competitors but each of them willing to bring facts against competitors. Very distressing to hear it. So, developing good personal relations with your alignment technicians and have good feeling about his I think is a very right thing to do. I would pay more and I would give more advanced objectives for modifications to a person with whom I feel more comfortable. I do not give recommendation, like I never do in purchasing decision. Partially because I do not have a complete comfort with any of alignment technicians I know. Ken from Connecticut did a phenomenal job with both of my Sansuis but I never was able to make him in past to address one design defect of SU-1X. Lately Ken has developed some interpersonal difficulties that made him hardly ever useful.
I spoke with a few other people but I did not see among them valid candidates. I have bought my own sweep-generator and I thought to have my own hands dirty with alignment of my tuners. I do not think it will happen. The idiot Vince from the Watertown’s Audio Pros did fuck up my Rohde & Schwarz. Formally it was imposable to overload my Schwarz but after the idiot touched it the auto-gain is got des-calibrated. I would LOVE to find somebody who would work on Schwarz…
Sorry, I was not useful for you but I am in the same boar as you are, trying to find WHO is competent to do a good job or at least who whom I would be comfortable….
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche