MD-108T Tube Tuner
MD-108T Tube Tuner
The predecessor and backbone of the new MD 108T Triode Tube FM Tuner, the MD 108, is one of the most successful standalone FM tuners we have ever introduced. It has been a staple of the Magnum Dynalab collection for over 10 years and the first of our tuners to employ the distinctive and incredibly precise MAGIC EYE tube for tuning, and also the first of our products to utilize a separate audio stage within the unit. In 2005, the Magnum Dynalab design team took this discrete audio stage to the next level. Our proprietary TRACCTM technology (Triode Reference Audio Control Center) was introduced first with the launch of the MD 109 FM Tuner, and this innovative design has resulted in our most impressive audio output ever. With our most inspiring audio section now available to the market, we felt it appropriate to apply this new technology to some of our classic Analogue FM tuners. Introducing the MD 108T.
In addition to the inclusion of the TRACCTM audio section (also found in the MD 109), we have also utilized an ultra-stable power supply, a new RF design with greater sensitivity, closer tolerances fort he critical components, and a thicker printed circuit board with gold plated solder pads. Finally, a true differentially balanced circuit utilizes the full influence of the Triode tube design and insures that the balanced signals are perfectly matched - thus realizing the full benefit when used in a balanced system.
Advanced RF Features
Building on the MD 108 fm tuner, the six stage front end is yet another improvement on a proven design. With three ultra-sensitive bandwidth settings and enhanced selectivity, you are ensured the best possible signal from either of the two analog antenna inputs.
Plus, the MD 108T is equipped with two digital antenna inputs for future upgradeability. A muting circuit eliminates unwanted inter-station noise, and to provide a visual cue of the devices operation, the MD 108T fm tuner employs two accurately calibrated taut band analog meters to indicate multipath and signal strength. In unison with these meters, a unique dual MATRIX EYE tube for centre tuning means there is little guess work in optimizing FM reception.
This degree of customization in an FM tuner is only made possible by the fact that we at Magnum Dynalab continue to design and manufacture all of our RF front-ends in-house. Coupled with the impressive collection of critical components used throughout the device, it leads to an impressive list of primary highlights.
Dual MATRIX EYE Tube Tuning: A unique and precise vacuum tube used to ensure that the RF front-end of the device is tuned perfectly for each RF frequency.
Three Ultra-Sensitive Bandwidth Settings: Wide, Narrow and Super-Narrow to ensure that the front-end of the tuner is able to collect the ideal amount of RF signal according to the specific listening conditions for each station.
Low Noise Dual gate MOSFETS: Transistors in the front-end of the tuner are specially selected to ensure that boosts in gain of the primary signal are not accompanied by a boost in adjacent noise, ensuring a strong signal without interference.
Custom "Potted" Torroidal Transformer: A secure platform from which to deliver perfect voltages to all critical components throughout the device via an overbuilt custom transformer.
Six Stage Tuning Front End: Six stages of RF filtering to ensure only the purest signal is delivered to the audio stage, all delivered via a custom designed and manufactured RF front end.
Custom Ultra-Linear Power Supply: A pure source of DC power throughout the device is of critical importance when supplying current. Our stable power source not only allows the tubes to perform at a consistently high level regardless of the dynamic changes in the music, but is also properly shielded and grounded to eliminate any transient signals.
Two Analogue Antenna Inputs: Easy switching between two antennas, which can be placed in different locations throughout the home for maximum signal capture for specific stations.
Hand Matched Resonators: For variable bandwidth selections (Wide, Narrow and Super-Narrow), resonators have been hand matched to ensure the signal gain is consistent in all products we build according to our exacting specifications.
Auto Blend RF quieting circuit: In stereo mode, this unique circuit removes adjacent channel noise and stray frequencies from impacting the clarity of the primary signal by systematically adjusting the degree of channel separation.
The Audio Selection
With delicate and fastidious detail, Zdenko Zivkovic's purist philosophy has established a truly unique design that realizes zero influence on the original signal. Our major design differentiator is not insignificant ... to our knowledge, we are the world's only audio manufacturer to eliminate capacitors after the gain stage of the tubes.
The inclusion of capacitors in any audio stage results in a variable impedance across the frequency range. That is, output impedances can vary anywhere between 10 and 20 times from high to low frequencies, putting additional stress on interconnects, and altering the tonal subtleties of the sound stage across the spectrum. In the MD 109, direct current from the MD Reference Cryovalve 6922 tubes is delivered without the altering impact of output capacitors, resulting in incredibly low impedance (200 ohms) that is flat across the frequency range (0.2Hz to 200KHz). This flat impedance also eliminates the influence of the interconnects, resulting in a signal that is virtually identical to that which was originally recorded in the studio.
This unique design forms the backbone of our Triode Reference Audio Control Center (TRACCTM) technology, Zero distortion variance from 0.2 Hz to 200KHz This demanding level of pristine signal movement requires a solid foundation. Double sided 0.093 thick printed circuit boards provide the base and minimize potentially damaging vibration. With isolation insured, individual components can perform as planned without unbridled influence from neighboring elements and activity. To maximize conductivity and insure that all micro-information is maintained, ceramic tube sockets and all circuit board contacts are generously gold plated. Special feet have been designed using Vibrapod Isolators to insure that the performance is not comprised from external vibration.
Without compromise, the MD 108T FM Tuner includes a collection of components supplied by world leaders Mundorf, WBT, Wima, Dale-Vishayand and Burr Brown. In the critical areas of the audio board before the tube stage we use the Mundorf Supreme/Silver/oil polypropylene dielectric capacitors and as the name indicates, high purity silver is used for the capacitor coating. The winding is impregnated with a special oil, and these features contribute to an even fuller and smoother tonal richness and diversity. Along with their collective ability to move sound while maintaining the purity of the original signal, these components are highly regarded for extensive unwavering performance over the long haul.
To minimize the stress on the tube and insure long tube life a special turn on circuit is incorporated that has a very slow rise time slope. This brings the tube up to the optimum operating current at a very controlled and safe rate. In addition to this notable design feature, our audio tubes themselves are different. Designed and manufactured specifically for Magnum Dynalab. Each tube passes through a series of operations, including a 100 hour cryogenic treatment process at -320oF. This reduces microphonic effects, lowers the dynamic noise floor and increases the 'apparent gain' to greatly relax and improve the dynamic and low level resolving power.
Further, the pins have been individually cleaned back to base metal and polished for much improved contact quality and sonics. The audio stage of the MD 108T is the best we have ever created. A testament to our long-standing experience in the treatment of the analog signal path, the end result is a sound stage that puts the MD 108T in a class of audio electronics inhabited by very few.
The Power Supply
In nature to his craft and passion, Director of Design Zdenko Zivkovic concentrated much of his efforts on the ground plane. By creating a unique grounding loop that eliminates the inherent troubles with chassis grounding, all sources of impurities that originate with the ground plane are eliminated, once again leaving only the purity of the original signal. What characterizes the 108T is how free the sound is of any transients and mysterious high frequency noises.
To ensure that the audio signal is unobstructed, all inputs and outputs are isolated from the chassis with a special insulator. To ensure that accurate voltages are supplied to the distinct areas of the tuner, two custom designed Toroidal transformers are employed; one to drive the TRACCTM audio stage, one to drive the RF and control board. As you can appreciate, the importance of this stage cannot be understated. It feeds and allows all associated downstream components to perform at their highest level notwithstanding the unpredictable demands placed on it by the dynamics of the music. Throughout the history of high-fidelity innovation, power supply purity and management have proven to be one of the greatest challenges for designers, and the 108T handles this challenge with precision and accuracy.
The MD 108T FM Tuner is specially packaged in an instrument-case to ensure the safety and care of the product.
Upon closer inspection of the MD 108T FM Tuner, one will find it equipped with a digital source module on the back panel, and 2 additional digital inputs available for selection on the front panel. This allows our manufacturing group to equip the MD 108T with an optional DAC, enabling the device to interface with any peripheral digital source. Our in-house designed DAC has been designed to provide the same high level of performance as our TRACCTM analog technology. This unique circuit board uses two industry leading core components for the receiving and rendering of the digital signal, with the front end of the board driven by the CS8416 192kHz Digital Audio Receiver from CIRRUS Logic; capable of DVD Audio performance standards. And when combined with the Texus Instruments PCM1792, 200kHz current output Delta-Signma over-sampling DAC for audio rendering, the result is a perfectly clocked, incredibly accurate signal that is virtually jitter-free.
The MD-108T comes with the MX-350 remote, our latest universally programmable remote control featuring soft touch buttons and a crisp digital display fully customizable to its users' preferences