Bob (Bob's Filter Corner; Jim and Bob's DIY Mods; Tube Tuners; Review Panelist [BF]): Bob has been an FM audio enthusiast since the early '70s, when he set up a rotating antenna in the attic to receive FM stations from NYC to Philly. He is a DIY builder/modifier of everything related to audio reproduction, tube and solid state, analog and digital, and a tuner collector who owns many of the better vintage tube and solid-state units (more than 50 tuners at last count). Bob also has an FM tuner alignment lab for IF filter matching and tuner testing/alignment. His main listening system includes Rega Planar 3 turntable, heavily modded transport/DAC, 6SN7 triode preamp, PP EL 34 UL amp driving Magnaplanar 1.6QR speakers, and an Antenna Performance Specialties APS-9 with rotator in the attic. Bob has 30+ years of experience in audio and RF measurements from working at major Test and Measurement companies. He lives in northeast New York.
Jim (Jim and Bob's DIY Mods; Shootouts; Modified Tuner Report; Tuner Lamp Information Center; Review Panelist [JR]): Music crazy through his grandparents' love of music and radio, and audio hobby crazy for more than 50 years, Jim never got over his amazement of hearing stereo for the first time. Main hobby: Music, audio repair/tweaks, DIY audio projects and sharing time/info with other audio hobbyists. Jim's knowledge of FM tuners has grown tremendously since the formation of TIC and the knowledge shared here. His original Shootout review system has seen many changes over the past few years and now sports a homemade clone Bottlehead line stage with exotic parts, C4S mods, built-in remote control via a repurposed Creek passive preamp, Heathkit W3Ms transformers on W4M chassis and, as with the line stage, all new exotic parts. Output transformers are Acrosound TO-300. Tube complement, 5V4, 6SN7s, 7027As. Other equipment includes a Sony DVP-S7000 as a transport driving a modified PS Audio DL Three DAC with r/2R PCM1702 DACs. A Squeezebox Touch, Monarchy DIP Classic and MSB Digital Director round out digital. Various tube and transistor phono stages, Technics SP-15 turntable sporting a Rega-RB300 arm, and Paradigm Mini-MK3 speakers with tweaked crossovers. His favorite FM tuner varies from week to week, with 180-plus to choose from in the Texas warehouse. The Kenwood L-02T was the Shootout standard that all reviewed tuners had to measure up to. Jim enjoys being called a GESR (Golden-Eared Subjective Reporter) and Tube Hugger. He lives in the suburbs in north Texas.
Eric (Editor/Webmaster; Review Panelist [EF]): Eric was an FM DXer for more than 25 years before HD Radio sideband interference ruined the band, and has been a tuner collector since 2000. Inspired by Ed Hanlon's discussion of modified Kenwood and Sansui tuners on the WTFDA listserv, Eric discovered eBay and went on a year-long tuner-buying binge. He met Jim while buying a Kenwood KT-7500 from him, and met Bob when he emailed Eric asking about a filter-modded tuner that Eric was selling. Eric then introduced the two audiophiles electronically and the three of them joined forces to launch TIC in September, 2001. (TIC's lifeblood, the Yahoo FMtuners group, was set up by Bob two months later.) Eric's equipment includes a rotating cast of 10 or 15 tuners, an assortment of insignificant amps and one powerhouse Hitachi, Realistic Minimus-2 speakers custom-rebuilt by RFM (thanks Ray), and an Antenna Performance Specialties APS-9A with rotator in the attic. Eric works at a large law firm in NYC and lives in a northern suburb.
Ray (Jim and Bob's DIY Mods; Modified Tuner Report; Review Panelist [RFM]): A long-time audio hobbyist, Ray started in 1960 trying to make AM tube radios sound and receive better. (Did you know one can stagger-tune the varicaps on a three-gang TRF radio for wider audio response or line 'em up for DXing?) His first FM tuner was a kit-built Eico HFT-90 (still has it!) that, upon completion, informed him that the northern U.P. of Michigan in 1966 was a dead-air space. That was quickly remedied by suspending a four-wavelength rhombic that could pull in Green Bay, Wisconsin from 150 miles. It was very hard to rotate it, though. Ray's present tuner count (which varies) is 17, of which nearly all are of the "sparrow feed" class and only a few have not been modified. For the last 20 years, and likely forever, his favorite tuner is the Hitachi FT-5500 MKII. The gear in Ray's room consists of a Denon DP-51F with Empire MC-5 for LPs, a Marantz CD-63MKII, H.K.-825 pre, an RFM subwoofer X-over followed by a 3-way Marchand (yup, 4-way active), three RFM power amps and a Jolida JD-202A just for its heaters. The speakers are also RFM creations. This stuff and the room can be seen at Jim's DIY-tweakers site. To listen to it you must go way up north to L'Anse, Michigan and bring beer.
JohnC (Jim and Bob's DIY Mods; Review Panelist [JC]) John has been an "audiophile" ever since a small Lafayette integrated tube amp arrived at his house in the mid-60s with an admonition that "this should keep you away from the good stereo." Since then he's had a litany of equipment covering all the popular media sources and amplifier topologies. Growing up in NYC, the available broadcasts allowed exposure to all genres of music, from classical to progressive rock and everything in between. Currently John's collection exceeds 9,000 albums, 3,000 CDs and even a few cassettes. His main system consists of an Oracle/Ittok LVII/Koetsu in front of an Audio Research SP-10 pre > EC21 active crossover feeding an ARC D79b Power Amp and Dahlquist DQ 10a speakers with a D200 Sub Amp pushing two 3 cubic foot, acoustically suspended subwoofers. The shop system is an ARC SP7 Preamp feeding a Hafler XL-280 Amp and AV123 X-Static D'Appolito configured Open Baffle Hybrids. Everything has been modded to some extent. The current reference tuner is a Sansui TU-X1 with the in-house tuner count rapidly approaching the century mark and an APS-9B on the roof. John currently lives in the Midwest near Louisville, Kentucky and it's easy to see that there, it's all about the music.
David "Anonymous" (Ricochets; Review Panelist [DA]): David grew up listening to Dad's custom tube-based system and was an addicted audiophile ever since he built his own modified audio preamp and amp at age 13. While working for large corporations, he also worked as an audio consultant doing digital and analog audio designs. His production audio designs have included: 1 FM tuner, 3 DACs, 1 CD drive, 1 cassette player, 1 preamp, 3 amps and 5 speakers. These components won numerous awards including COTY design awards (Japan), Super A/V Component of the Year (Hong Kong) and Stereophile Class A ratings. He has designed 6 VLSI devices used in telephony and holds many patents. He is continually revising his 3 audio and A/V systems. Reference system A currently includes Sansui TU-X1, Boulder Preamp, Boulder Mono Amps, custom CD drive, Boulder DAC, SME turntable/arm, Transfiguration and Denon cartridges, Transformation Audio, Mach 1 and LAT cables, and custom 5-way dynamic reference speakers. Cheerfully answers to the nicknames "tunerho," "audioho," "ho3" (but only during the holidays), or "hey, you opinionated...." [Please note that David "A" is not David Rich, who is listed below. - Editor]
Paul Baptista (Contributor): Paul is the master of ceremonies at Paul's Antenna Attic and Paul's Receiver Rack and also provided information for the DIY Mods page and TIC Library.
Bill Ammons (Contributor): In addition to constantly advancing the state of the art in filter mod techniques through the creation of his Filter Adder PCB products, Bill provided technical information for some of our tuner writeups.
PZ (Contributor): PZ researched and prepared the Luxman History and Yamaha History pages, and provided reviews and information for Luxman and Yamaha tuners.
David Rich (Contributor): Renowned for his tuner reviews and technical analysis in The Audio Critic, David provided technical information for some of our tuner listings (particularly Kenwood and Pioneer tuners) and photocopies of tuner pages from 38 years of audio buyer's guide yearbooks!
Ed Hanlon (Contributor): Arguably the world's biggest fan of Radio Shack equipment, Ed hasn't been heard from in a few years but he was one of the inspirations for TIC and provided reviews and information regarding mods.
Jesse (Tuner Benefactor): Jesse is an audiophile and tuner collector who lives in north Texas.
Kevin (Tuner Benefactor): Kevin is an audiophile and tuner collector who lives in New York City.
Andrew a/k/a Andre (Web Consultant): Andrew has been engaged in web design and consulting since 1996. He used the McIntosh MR 78 as the inspiration for TIC's layout and the review page colors when we started the site in 2001, and now we'd rather call it "retro" than "outdated." Much later, Andrew is a software engineer and entrepreneur in NYC.
Evan (Executive Assistant): Evan branched out from his former ad hoc photo-cropping duties to provide invaluable service in the Great Tuner Review Page Division Initiative of 2008. He is now a software engineer in Seattle.
Bronwyn (Mascot): The Lady Bronwyn Underfoot (1999-2016) served with distinction as TIC's official mascot from the website's inception until her passing. A calico, Bronnie was adopted at two weeks of age when her mother was killed and was fed with an eyedropper until weaned. She liked the same music as Jim and preferred warm FM tuners with wood cabinets and a high listening position. Donate to your local ASPCA or adopt a shelter cat!
Special thanks to the following additional contributors of content and moral support (in alphabetical order): Hank Arnold, Hank Batts, Brian Beezley, Dante Bencivengo, Paul Bigelow, Greg Bogantz, Eli Bowen, Tim Britt & Ann Weatherwax, Gary Bronn, Greg Burnett, John Byrns, Chris Campbell, Bruce Carter, Robert Chambers, JC Cunningham, Glenn Davis, Jim Davis, Antoine Deschênes, Ray Deslauriers, Al Germaine, Pete Gianakopoulos, Stephan Grossklass, Balázs Horváth, Ryan Huizenga, Ed Kessler, Peter Körner, Norbert Krämer, Thomas Krause, Dave Mancini, Fernando Martins, Don Nesbit, Dave Obergoenner, J.C. O'Connell, Kevin O'Connor, Jovit Pamarang, Charles Peterson, Dave Platt, Jeff Randels, doug sedon, Gordon Sheetz, David Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Spry, Rick Stewart, Rick Stout, Joe Strickland, John Via, Ed Von Essen, Don Waring, Peter Wieck, Megumi Yamada and Mike Zuccaro.
If you want to join (or rejoin) the Tuner Gang and see your name in lights here, send us a new tuner review or some comments, photos, etc.