Magnum Dynalab MD 109 FM Tuner

With the rise of satellite and Internet radio, you might think that terrestrial radio tuners are a thing of the past—but you'd be wrong. Magnum Dynalab has been making FM tuners of distinction for over 25 years, culminating in the flagship MD 109.

Several innovative technologies are found in the MD 109, such as the Triode Reference Audio Control Center (TRACC), in which MD Reference Cryovalve 6922 tubes deliver direct current through the audio path without the variable impedance of output capacitors. Also, the MD 109 marks the introduction of Magnum Dynalab's World Source Platform, which allows upgrades to accommodate digital audio from various sources, such as satellite and Internet radio.

The tuner can be operated from the front-panel touchscreen, which dims after a period of inactivity. If you prefer a more tactile interface, two large knobs let you tune in your favorite stations precisely.

With both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, the MD 109 is touted as "the world's best FM tuner"—and it had better be for $10,000. If the accolades from Stereophile readers for some of Magnum Dynalab's other products are any indication, I have little doubt that this is indeed a piece of ultimate gear.