Dynaco FM-3 Tube Tuner

Analog FM radio may be on its way out, squeezed out by satellite radio, HD radio and Internet radio. Now, though, it is still very much alive and an excellent source of free music programs. In Philadelphia, the Penn college radio station WXPN is a commercial-free way to stay on the edge of what’s out there. Regular readers of the blog will learn that I love electronic gear with tubes (or valves, as the British say). The warm glow goes along with what many audiophiles consider to be the purest analog sound. New tube gear is very expensive, but there are a lot of Dynaco FM-3s on eBay. Very simple controls: on/off, a volume control (that you don’t need) and an ingenious tuning eye that tells you precisely when you have perfect stereo and a simple kit-based design that is easy to repair. Make sure you get one that definitely works.

Affordability: 5                   Luxury: 8

Wnat more luxury? It’s fun to look and see what comes up on eBay from time to time. Old Marantzes and McIntoshes are beautiful and rare and for those reasons, far from affordable. But you never know …

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