Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Adcom GFT-555 tuner

I'm not a radio guy since most of the program material in my area is pretty bad - overplayed classic rock and a plethora of bro country stations.  But I do fancy some classical music once in a while, and perhaps a little sports radio if I'm in the mood to experience some Red Wings hockey.  So with that in mind, and to keep the rest of my family happy, I purchased an Adcom GFT-555 tuner to match the GFP-555 preamplifier.

Together they make a handsome pair with black metalwork, red LEDs, and matching dials.  Such a setup would have been common for an entry-level audiophile of the early 1990s.  Inputs are for separate AM and FM antennas, while the output is a single pair of RCA jacks.  Digital tuning between station is using tap-a tap-a buttons, and there are also buttons for presets and whatnot.

Sound quality is nothing to get excited about - this is, after all, a compressed, eq'd, and limited format - but what does come through has that Adcom trademark sound: slightly warm, inoffensive, and just a tad grayed out.  This is no Marantz 10B or McIntosh MR78, but is instead a good working man's tuner.   Reception is better than the (probably misaligned) Sansui AU-777 in my collection, but the latter does have an even warmer sound and one of the coolest dials around.

Old school radio is a dying format versus satellite and Internet services, but there still is a nostalgic place for a peace of gear like this.  So if you need a tuner, then the Adcom GFT-555 tuner is worth it provided you don't pay more than $100.