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McIntosh unveils brilliantly retro AM/FM tuner complete with famous power meters

McIntosh unveils new AM/FM tuner for radio lovers
(Image credit: McIntosh)

Despite the rise of music streaming, 50 million adults in the UK still to listen to the radio. In an effort to capitalise on this, McIntosh has unveiled a brand new AM/FM tuner.

The new MR89 AM/FM Tuner promises to "maximise sound quality from AM/FM broadcasts" with a slew of fine adjustments, ranging from sensitivity and separation to signal-to-noise ratio. 

Much like the current MR87, the new MR89 boasts the US hi-fi giant's proprietary radio frequency (RF) circuitry. McIntosh reckons the tech can receive ultra-strong FM signals from nearby stations – something that can overload lesser tuners. The result? Extremely low distortion.

Placement of the (wired) RAA2 AM antenna should be a doddle thanks to the advanced signal-quality monitor, which displays detailed multipath noise levels. Useful info when standing on a chair, waving the antenna around in search of that elusive 'sweet spot'.

McIntosh MR89 AM/FM Tuner

(Image credit: McIntosh)

There's no DAB here, and no option to stream internet radio stations, meaning the MR89 is strictly for the AM/FM enthusiast (in the UK, anyway). It does, however, offer the ability to store 20+ preset stations, plus the usual analogue and digital outputs.

Design-wise, it's all very McIntosh, with a black-glass front panel and a stainless steel chassis. This time around, the famous green-lit power meters have been tweaked to show the radio signal being delivered. Clever.

McIntosh has an impressive track record when it comes to tuners, making some of the best models of the 1970s, so we've high hopes for the MR89. But at £6800 (around $8300 / AU$12,000), it doesn't come cheap.

McIntosh dealers are taking pre-orders now, with shipping expected to begin later this month in the US and Canada. The rest of the world will follow "shortly thereafter".

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.

  • Gray
    After spending £6,800, UK buyers will need to hope the proposed FM switchoff never happens🤞
    Reply
  • Mr. C Nation
    £6800 for a tuner that doesn't do DAB or streaming?

    XX millions listen to the radio. XX millions minus a very, very small number listen to a 'kitchen tranny', FM in the car or a streamed radio station. What is there on AM? I have an American friend who has been a big fan of 'The Archers' since she came to UK 30 years ago. She now listens to it on a kitchen TV, as she does other BBC R4 programmes.

    This is another case of a manufacturer scratching around in the legacy bins ] for something to sell. The '70's were 50 years ago. In tech terms, that's pre-history.

    It may be that the population of the USA includes a sufficient number of people who are in the market for this device, for whatever nostalgic or tech reason, making it a viable line to sell.

    As for the UK? Here is the reason why it deserves to bomb. "I bought the Rotel T11 to replace a 17 year old Pure Tuner, which could no longer get many of the DAB radio stations that I like. The Rotel with DAB+ solved this problem and I have all the radio stations back that I like. "

    The T111 can be had for £330

    Reply
  • D rob
    It annoys me all the Av recievers that dont have Dab+ as standard. But have the soon to be dead low quality AM band. There european counterparts usually have Dab+ aswell! If you are going to pay large amounts of money you would exoect it to be futureproofed.
    Reply
  • Sparky Polastri
    This looks really nice, but I'm pretty sure there aren't even 50m adults in the UK, let alone listening to the radio.
    The proportion listening to AM/FM must be vanishingly small.
    That's why this is so expensive: I'm sure it's good, but they now need to sell fewer units to boomers to turn a profit.
    Reply