First, a detail, albeit a small but still important one. Epinions has labeled this a "receiver," which it is incorrect. It is a stereo component separate, in this case, a AM/FM tuner which requires connection to a pre-amplifier/amplifier, or an integrated amplifier (receivers are a combination of a tuner and an integrated amp).
Recommend this product?
But enough obsession with vernacular. As a comparatively inexpensive (mine was picked up new for about $130) component tuner (a shrinking market category), how does this stand up?
The answer is pretty darn well.
Selectivity (the ability of a tuner to pick up a specific station without other nearby channels crowding into it) is darn good, and that's given the acid test I gave this in a suburb of New York where the FM band is crammed. Overload rejection and image rejection were also good, another important consideration for a listener like me who lives close to some stations' transmitters (poorly designed tuners run into problems with these stations, with the latter crowding out all the other nearby signals).
Sensitivity (the ability of a tuner to pick up distant, weaker signals) is also surprisingly good; I was happily surprised to actually capture strong signals from some stations in Stamford, CT (a good 100 miles away) that I'd previously never heard!
I also appreciated all the programming and utility features of this tuner, which are numerous given the low price.
First, the tuner allows the use to pre-set 60 stations (30 in both the AM and FM bands), and is also capable of doing auto pre-set tuning, where the tuner scans either the entire AM or FM band, automatically adding the strongest 30 stations on each to the pre-set memory.
It also comes with a remote, which really changes the nature of listening (think about how the addition of the TV remote changed the way we all watch TV, and you'll understand what I mean). Both the tuner itself and the remote allow you to tune a number of ways, including "direct access" (where you punch in the numbers for the station you want, ergo "103.9"), or scanning through the pre-sets, or general scanning. And for those who want to literally curl up on the sofa and fall asleep (or wake up) to the sound of music, the built in clock on the tuner even has timer and sleep functions.
Note: anyones' experience with a particular tuner depends, to a large extent, on the reception conditions in their particular area, as well as their antenna setup (I use an outdoor, three-element FM rooftop antenna, the signals it captures are sent to the tuner through a 75 ohm coaxial cable. Yeah, putting it up was somewhat involved, but for those who really want the best possible signal for an FM radio, this is the way to go).
Or stated another way, the best audio equipment on earth isn't going to get you good FM stereo if you live in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from strong signals (those in that sort of situation really need to look into satellite radio). But for those in urban/suburban and even ex-urban areas, who have component systems and are looking to add or update a tuner, this is a small investment in happiness - for the fun involved in hearing all the new or forgotten music that's still on the airwaves.
One other note: the TEAC cassette deck I purchased back in 1984 is still going strong (yep, I pull out old tapes now and then, the cassette format isn't dead yet), so I have the sense this company builds equipment that stands up. Not that wear and tear is an issue here; outside a few switches, a tuner like this has no moving parts (the things that inevitably wear out), but still, my prior positive experience with TEAC is a significant part of the reason I purchased this tuner.
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Amount Paid (US$): 132