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Best Tuner B&O ever made?

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seethroughyou
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seethroughyou Posted: Tue, Mar 10 2020 9:59 PM
I’m really getting into BBC radio 3 or 4 and after comparing FM to DAB there really is no comparison. FM sounds so much better. What do people consider to be sonically the best tuner B&O ever made?

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Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.

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Cleviebaby
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Cleviebaby replied on Wed, Mar 11 2020 12:47 PM
Arguably the best tuner made by B&O is the Beomaster 5000 from the late sixties/early seventies. Tim Jarman reviewed it in his vintage slot in HFNRR in 2012 and it came out very well indeed. Our own Adam Smith (Adam S) wrote about it on another site, saying

“.....original Beolab 5000 amplifier and Beomaster 5000 tuner are stunners - my own Beomaster 5000 tuner was actually bought new by the BBC in 1968 and spent 40 years in Broadcasting House monitoring the output of GLR!”

My personal favourite of those that I’ve owned was the tuner in the Beomaster 4400 which is still giving excellent service and getting excellent, hiss-free stereo reception of Radio 3 using just a ‘rabbit’s ears’ aerial.

If you are serious about FM radio I would recommend installing a good external FM aerial. Sadly, I had to sacrifice mine when the lady of the house installed solar panels on the roof!

Cleve
chartz
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chartz replied on Wed, Mar 11 2020 12:58 PM

Agree with all of the above obviously.

The Beomaster 8000 also have an excellent tuner section.

Jacques

AdamS
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AdamS replied on Wed, Mar 11 2020 2:30 PM

I stand by my previous comments! I personally believe the Beomaster 5000 to be one of the best tuners ever made full stop, and not just best B&O tuner. I know of two people who have changed to one in preference to a Yamaha CT-7000 which is another model that is often touted as one of the best tuners ever made.

And chartz is right, too - the Beomaster 8000's tuner section is something special as well. I'd put it a very close second.

seethroughyou
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So what makes this late 1960s Tuner so much better than modern tuners or more recent B&O tuners/beomasters?

Were the components super high quality or the implementation?

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Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.

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Cleviebaby
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Cleviebaby replied on Wed, Mar 18 2020 11:48 AM
seethroughyou:

So what makes this late 1960s Tuner so much better than modern tuners or more recent B&O tuners/beomasters?

Were the components super high quality or the implementation?

Excuse the delay in replying but I was hoping that someone with a more technical persuasion would respond. Anyway, for what it’s worth here’s my understanding of why it’s so good. This view owes much to Tim Jarman’s book on collecting B&O and his review of the Beomaster 5000 in 2013.

Like the Beomaster 8000 from the early 1980s and to a slightly lesser extent the Beomaster 4400, the Beomaster 5000 was built to meet the best standards and performance the B&O engineers could achieve, rather than to a specific budget. The components were pretty much state of the art but were put together with considerable care as well. In effect, this lived up to the old adage that the whole was better than the sum of the individual parts (and the individual parts were exceptionally good).

Sound wise, I’ll leave that to Tim Jarman’s review in which he says,

“....a rich-sounding tuner that seems capable of making almost any broadcast a pleasure”

“...portrayed in a way matched by very few tuners of any vintage”

“Radio 3...Sibelius...delivery ...both mid band and treble sweetness combined with a good sense of texture...soundstage solid and stable .....exceptionally involving and satisfying performance”

“Radio 4 .....warmth and authority of presenters’ voices......could have been there in the room.”

I’ve owned two of the best performing FM Beomasters (The 8000 and 4400) and have been a serious radio listener with a proper external FM aerial for listening to foreign stations, for example, France Musique. I can vouch for the quality of the tuners in those Beomasters over the performance of some of the later models, for example 5000/5500/6500/7000 series and the the 7000/7007/7700 Beocenters which, whilst very good indeed, do not have the ultimate sound quality or DXing capability of the earlier tuners. The only reason I’ve not ventured into the earlier Beomaster 5000 is the cost of a full and contemporaneous Beolab system, especially a fully restored one from Frede Kristensen of Classic Audio!

Hope that helps,

Cleve
seethroughyou
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Thank you for that very detailed reply.

I am going to try and find one in the UK or ask Frede if he has has one.

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Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.

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Beochamper
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Beochamper replied on Sun, Sep 19 2021 11:48 AM

I live in the UK and have both early Beomaster 5000 (1967) and Yamaha CT-7000; A-B switching is very revealing - I have loft mounted FM Aerial. On wide range speakers (I have TDL RSTL [Reference Standard Transmission Line] and IMF Ref Standard MK IV, the difference is quite amazing on good quality FM Transmissions. The Beomaster gives detail from the transmission that is just not there on the Yamaha. The Beomaster sound stage is better defined and it pulls in the deepest bass I've ever heard on FM. I've had both units in constant use along with an early Beolab 5000 for the last 12 years. I also have Tandberg tuners, pre-amplifiers and power amplifiers. I just keep coming back to the B&O 5000 sets - the sound just invites you in. I am very critical but the B&O units just tick my box always for accurate detailed sound. 

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