Onkyo T-9 Tuner Modification

Onkyo T-9 Tuner Modification

This analog tuner was one of the best in its day, and is now even better. I had been using a Magnum-Dynalab Etude, but never really felt it was providing sound quality commensurate with its price. So I bought a used T-9, which was part of my first component system, and started tweaking. After 18 years as a field engineer, my efforts paid off with eight individual modifications including:

1.  A complete FM section alignment for great performance.
2.  Add a second pair of gold plated, Teflon insulated RCA jacks, wired with Mogami shielded OFC copper that takes the audio signal right off the FM section - MUCH better sounding than going through the internal audio amplifiers.
3.  Add EAR chassis dampening material.
4.  Replace the stock feet with EAR isolation feet.
5.  Add a Corcom EMI/RFI AC power filter to improve the quality of the incoming AC power and improve the sound.
6.  Add a connector for 'F' terminated antenna cables for convenience, although a balun transformer on the 300 ohm terminals give a higher signal strength.
7.  Install a new, higher quality power cord.
8.  Replace the power supply rectifiers with fast-acting Hexfreds.

It sounded so good that I sold the Etude, found four more of these great sounding tuners, performed the same mods to them, and sold them to four lucky audiophiles. These tuners were in good condition when they were sold; there were no scratches on the plexiglass, and of course, everything worked: all lamps, meters, etc. were in good working order. You might be surprised at how many nice people have emailed asking about modifying their tuners. After this small "production run", I'm out of the T-9 mod business. Included with the tuner was a copy of the original Owners Manual, schematics and calibration instructions. The list price of the tuner was approx. $450.

Having a tuner is very handy when it is time to break-in new cables. I soldered a 47k ohm resistor across the terminals of an inexpensive panel mount RCA jack, plug one end of the new cable into this jack and the other end into the tuner's factory equipped jacks (not the ones installed in #2 above). Then just leave the tuner on for a few days and the cable is ready to use. Talk about dual-purpose!

This is a great sounding analog tuner, and a source of many hours of listening to free music.