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McIntosh MR89 AM/FM Tuner: Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life

One of my most prized possessions as a kid was my Sansui TU-717 AM/FM Tuner; it was passed down to me as a Bar Mitzvah present when I inherited the family stereo as my father married up into a solid state McIntosh system from Bay Bloor Radio. I used it more than any other source and it was my window to the world of jazz, classical, news, sports radio, and comedy programs on Sunday evenings.

I always wanted a McIntosh AM/FM Tuner or something from Magnum Dynalab because radio meant that much to me; my father was on Canadian radio for over 25 years and I had my own show in college on WRGW 540AM in Washington D.C.

I almost fell out of a third floor window as a kid trying to hang an antenna because I found myself living in a home on a hill with perfect line of sight to the CN Tower and I had to get Dr. Demento to sound its best though my tuner and Celestion Ditton 33 MKII Loudspeakers.

Had my leg not caught on the back of my dresser, I probably would have fallen to my death on the stone driveway below or landed on my parents’ Jaguar.

I loved listening to the radio that much.

But AM/FM radio is kaput. Supposedly. Not for people like me.

The brand new $5,500 USD McIntosh MR89 AM/FM Tuner is their most advanced one ever; ironic considering the view that radio is dead.

McIntosh claims it incorporates a multitude of advancements to maximize radio listening, including adjustments to sensitivity, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion, channel selectivity, and stereo separation.

The MR89’s advanced signal quality monitor can display detailed signal, multipath, and noise levels of the incoming radio signals to help fine-tune optimal placement of the AM or FM antenna (their RAA2 AM antenna is included).

Additionally included are a pair of balanced and unbalanced analog outputs and digital coax and optical outputs to connect the MR89 to any home audio system. The tuner features exclusive McIntosh radio frequency (RF) circuitry that can receive both strong FM signals from nearby stations, avoiding overload or distortion that can plague lesser tuners, while also being able to tune in weaker FM signals with little to no noise.


  • Upgraded Stereo Blending and introduction of a “High Blend” option
  • Softmute feature to reduce audio output of lower quality station input 
  • Highcut function to reduce high frequency and audio content 
  • FM Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) support to display station and music information 
  • Adjustable Seek function 
  • Ability to store 20+ preset stations for both AM/FM

A pair of 60dB output meters show the signal level being delivered from the analog outputs of each channel, while the volume is controlled by the preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or other control device.

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The meters on the MR89 accurately portray the Left and Right channel audio output generated from the received station – depending on the program received, the meters are a good indication of the MR89’s quality stereo separation. AM and FM frequency reception for the MR89 varies by country (please find detailed frequency listing on the McIntosh website).

The MR89’s black glass front panel, meters, knobs, and brushed aluminum end caps are all housed in a stainless-steel chassis polished to a luxurious mirror finish that evokes the timeless McIntosh aesthetic.

The MR89 can be paired with a variety of amplifiers, turntables, CD players, home theater processors, room correction devices, speakers, and other source components to make a complete home audio system.

Price & Availability

Orders for the MR89 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers. Shipping is expected to begin in June 2022 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $5,500 USD.

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