Yamaha CT-7000

Yamaha CT7000This tuner is legendary in the great scheme of radio things, with superlative design and ergonomics. It has timeless styling which Yamaha has recently resurrected for its range of hi-fi separates, only the slight patina of age on a CT-7000 marks it as being something designed in 1973, rather than 2013. At 436x144x352mm it’s standard sized, but it very heavy at 13kg and immaculately screwed together.

As soon as you look inside, you realise why it weighs a pound or two – there is precious little open air, with Yamaha using separate circuitboards for each stage, all meticulously shielded and with top quality wiring and passive componentry. The circuit design is comprehensive, with a 7-gang tuning capacitor, 7 IF filters, mixing ceramic and LC types, and a discrete MPX decoder. The switchable muting circuit has an adjustable threshold, and there’s a signal meter that also works as a multipath display. The rear panel even has multipath outputs for an oscilloscope!

Built like Swiss bank vault, the tuner works with precision, captures stations effortlessly and sounds superb. It makes other tuners seem artificial and edgy, or plasticky and fake; you don’t marvel at its sound so much as realising just how bad most of FM tuners are. Stereo sound staging is wide and deep, detail is peppered all around, and there’s a wonderfully full, deep tone that makes virtually all modern FM tuners sound scratchy and thin. It’s a lovely thing to hear, but so it should considering it cost nearly £500 in 1974! By today’s standards, the only downside is it’s slightly insensitive, but then you’d have to reward a tuner like this with a multi-element roof-mounted FM aerial, anyway!

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