Any experience with the Tecsun TU-80 enthusiast-grade FM tuner?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, George, who writes:

Hi Thomas -I hope you’re keeping well.

[…]I have had my eye on the Tecsun TU-80. However, I seem to find no videos on its use and no reviews. Perhaps it’s because it’s new.

I wonder if any of the SWLing Post readers have some info about it.

Post readers: If you have any experience using the Tecsun TU-80 FM tuner, please comment. I am not familiar with it. Very curious if it might be a great dedicated FM DXing receiver. It is pricey ($530 US on eBay).

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11 thoughts on “Any experience with the Tecsun TU-80 enthusiast-grade FM tuner?

  1. Tha Dood

    Unfortunately, Bruce Elving, a.k.a. Mr. FM, passed away over a decade ago. A big loss to FM DX’ing enthusiasts, for sure. Still, I’d like to use his ideas to modify RX’ing FM tuner bandwidth, to narrow the 10.7MHz IF bandwidth to 150kHz, or even better, 110kHz. If you have a tuner that you really care about the audio quality, don’t get the 110kHz filters, since you will hear distortion in the cut-off of the barrow bandwidths, but on some tuners, like car stereo, that will make it a DX champ, even more that it normally would be.

    Reply
  2. Edwin Ducky Armstrong

    Any Radio with Hybrid Digital (NOT High Definition) IBOC in it makes a “no sale” for me, period. So, on that data point alone, I’ll recommend the T-80 over any IBOC-ulating, distortion producing/noise generator, lol.

    Reply
  3. Tha Dood

    FM analog only? If it had HD Radio, DRM+, and RDS, then maybe. Today, my best FM tuners are car stereos and modified radios with the Bruce Elving 110kHz TOKO IF filter modifications. Yeah, this Tecson is too little, too late.

    Reply
    1. Andreas

      Agreed, I’m very impressed with my kenwood kdc-hd458u. It picks up a handful of stations 200 kilometers away on any ordinary day in the car.

      Reply
    2. william

      Haven’t heard of Bruce Elving in a couple of decades now!! Do you have contact info for him. Does also do filter mods on other radios? Thanks for mentioning him. I bet his mods beat the pants off his competitors.

      Reply
  4. adi

    You haven’t found any reviews because no one actually bought it for that lump.
    * No PS, No PA… it could be just a “portable” circuit in a fancy-schmancy case.

    Reply
    1. Andreas

      The specs are not impressive at all. Kenwood car radios, the ones that support HD radio, seem to have much more sensitive tuners.

      Reply
  5. Rob L

    The Tecsun TU-80 is certainly a sharp looking piece of equipment but as they say, you cannot judge a book by its cover. Now most of the Tecsun portables in my collection perform quite well on FM, especially with a rooftop antenna & even a 100 ft. wire so odds are that this new Tecsun tuner will perform well. That said, my portables only cost between $40 & $230 and provide multi band coverage where as this tuner is simply FM at an extreme price point. George, you might consider taking a look at Radio Jay Allen’s website and his recommendations for FM DX quality portables & tuners (the Sangean HDT-20 comes to mind). 73s

    Reply
  6. Peter L

    I didn’t even think of RDS! No HDRadio at that price makes it no-sale for me (not that I’m ready to spend half a kilobuck on an FM tuner …). No RDS is just … what’s the opposite of icing on the cake?

    Fun idea, not enough features, amazingly.

    Reply
  7. Abigail

    No RDS seems like a big miss for a DX/enthusiast targeted FM tuner. RDS is great for identifying UNIDs, either because they’re playing music during a brief opening, or in a language you can’t understand. A DXers’ model would include full support for RDS decoding, including the PI code (which often comes in when other things like the PS don’t).

    This seems like something that’s about three years too late. Most DXers are using various models of enthusiast-grade SDR (like SDRplay, Airspy etc), with good selectivity and full RDS support in software. Why would I spend $530 on this when I could spend $250 on an excellent SDR?

    Reply

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