There's music in the air. Literally. Radio is the original curated music streaming service and there's still plenty to tune in to. In fact, a good strong stereo FM signal can be quite high fidelity, so it can pay off to have a quality tuner, especially if you also seek ease of use and reliable reception. In that vein, McIntosh introduces the MR89 AM/FM tuner ($5500 USD).
McIntosh is no stranger to making awesome tuners. The Birmingham, New York-based company's latest harkens back to its iconic MR78 tuner, a device that earned its spot in the proverbial Audiophile Hall of Fame for its ability to discern between two very close (n frequency) FM signals, even if one was notably weaker. Fast forward to today and the airwaves are saturated, so radio lovers have a greater need than ever for a discerning tuner.
According to McIntosh, the new MR89 offers:
• Upgraded Stereo Blending and introduction of a “High Blend” option
• Softmute feature to reduce audio output of lower quality station input
• Highcut function to reduce high frequency and audio content
• FM Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) support to display station and music information
• Adjustable Seek function
• Ability to store 20+ preset stations for both AM/ FM
The MR89's advanced signal quality monitor displays signal, multipath, and noise levels to fine-tune AM or FM antenna placement—a McIntosh RAA2 AM antenna is included. The MR89 has balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, plus digital coax and optical outputs. The tuner's exclusive McIntosh RF circuitry can receive both strong FM signals from nearby stations and weaker FM signals with little to no noise.
Dual 60dB meters show the signal level from each channel's analog output. Meanwhile, the preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or other control device controls the volume. If you know how to read the meters, they offer an idea of the degree of stereo separation the reception affords you.
The MR89's black glass front panel, meters, knobs, and brushed aluminum end caps are housed in a polished stainless-steel chassis and sport the signature McIntosh look. The MR89 pairs well with amplifiers, turntables, CD players, home theater processors, room correction systems, loudspeakers, and other source components to create a comprehensive HiFi audio system.
Radio fans seeking the best tuner are in luck, it is shipping as of June 2022 (i.e. this month) in the US and Canada, with the rest of the world soon to follow.