This TU-1500 is my main tuner. I have had the opportunity to test some modern tuners and some vintage tuners from the 1970s and early 1980s. From the modern tuners, this TU-1500 is in my opinion the best sounding tuner below approx. 400 US$.
From my previous collection of vintage tuners, the tuner that appraoches the sound quality of this Denon TU-1500 in its high-frequencies is the nice little Sansui TU-s33, but the Denon has a more powerfull bass and somewhat more depth.
I now have two tuners in operation, the Denon TU-1500 and the Sansui TU-s33. Both, I consider as excellent.
This is a very small, thin form factor standalone FM/AM stereo hi fi tuner. I like it a lot, though the remote control must be purchased separately.
This is one of the few tuners that has full remote capability, as well as an actual knob tuner. It can be set for scan/seek, and it has a bank of 10 preset buttons and within that, A,B,and C preset groupings for tons of possible presets on both AM and FM.
Though I still have a weakness for analog dial tuners, they are now difficult to find. Only the very large, clunky vintage tuners come with the sumptuous weighted tuner dials. What a shame.
The tuner dial on this unit controls the tuning via a digital readout indicating the station frequency. I found the tuner dial to be very small, and not particularly responsive to the actual tuning action. It feels disjointed enough that sometimes I find myself almost wanting those simple up/down pushbuttons-- yechh. Still, I MUCH prefer a tuning knob over up/down tuning buttons.
And at almost 400 bones, this tuner is a bit on the pricey side... especially when you see how 'small' it is. Standard component width, but it can't be more than 9 inches deep, and maybe 1 1/2" high. Still, I like the features of remote-controllability and the tuning dial. It also has RDS, a nominally useful feature.
The tuning performance of this tuner in terms of signal strength and capture is actually surprisingly good. In fact, it outperforms a vintage pioneer TX-9500 tuner (highly regarded among tuner-files) in my relatively (at the time) difficult location... So, I got rid of the relatively large, bulky, vintage Pioneer!
Ok I was going to buy the Yamaha Tx950 but the unit was sold when I came back with the money. That surprised me cause it had sat in the store for two years before I seen it. Anyway, I set out to get a good sounding tuner and I did some research on the Denon-1500rd. I knew Denon always did make good tuners so I figured I would give it a try. I don't think RDS is going to catch on cause I have only four stations that use it. I had three stations when I bought it a year ago. I can tell you that this Tunner sounds better that any Non-seprate tunner I have heard and it sounds better than 75% of the seprate tunners I have heard. For some strange reason a high ticket dosn't mean a that much in Tunner land. For instance the $300.00 Yamaha 950 blows away some $1500.00 tunners I have heard. The Dennon has good Recieve but I am using the Radio Shack out door Omni-directional antenna with it because I like to keep my friends guessing how I always get pipe Line, no fuzz stations. Well the Bottom line is this it is a good tunner at a reasonable price. Unless you have a Progammable remote put aside an extra hundred bucks though.
Sorry for my English. (Price at $ is after calculate).
My first tuner was SONY - very poor sound (I repent many to spent for it), no RDS (1990's of course), bat had signal level indicator! Then I bought DENON TU-215 - more better sound than SONY and it has RDS.
But I wanted one feature, which have tuners over $ 200 only - "narrow". I don't know any receiver, which it has. It is usefull function to receive nearly stations (strong and weak). DENON TU-1500 it has. I traveled 800 km (foreign country)to bought it, because in my country was not official importer - nowadays exist). I wanted DENON tuner, because my audio system is DENON (AMP, CD, TAPE).
+ PLUS: DENON TU-1500 has clean sound, low noise, good canal separation (can't compare with CD, SACD or DVD-A), good readable dot matrix display, perfect "narrow" feature. I can receive some stations, which I can't receive whith others tuners. The other good feature is RF-attenuator for strong stations. Remote has digit button to direct access to memory and keys for RDS.
- MINUS: DENON's tuners have not signal level indicator - it is pity - it is hard to find right place for antenna. Memory is organised like 5 x 8 = 40 positions (A:1-8, B:1-8, ... ,E:1-8) (like YAMAHA), for people is natural 4 x 10 = 40 There is only 1 antenna input. OK DENON TU-S10 (extra $100) has 2 antenna inputs: A and B, but some others brands has 2 antenna inputs in this price range and TU-S10 is gold and my audio system is black and it is not from S1 or S10 category. Subjective - visage of rotary tuning knob is out of date (like 70's) - DENON TU-235 has nicer.
Overall DENON TU-1500 is very good tuner, with good sound and with useful features. The weaknesses are not so terrible.
Next step will be DAB and DENON AVC-A1SE (like AVR-5800 without tuner), but first I must rob any bank :-)))
I have to admit, I don't listen to much radio. I listen to Howard Stern (Baba Booey), NPR news, and classical music, but all in all, not much. Still, the idea of Radio Data System (RDS) intrigued me. To best of my knowledge, RDS works only on FM stations. The station must be broadcasting RDS signal, which is encoded onto inaudible portion of the signal. Much like close captioning on TV broadcast. RDS can consist of any textual information, such as the song title. Furthermore, RDS allows the station to identify themselves. Information such as the call name (e.g., WCBS), local time, and format type (e.g., Rock, News) can all be encoded into RDS. An AM/FM tuner equipped with RDS can decode these information. It can also use RDS for "smart searching." For instance, you can tell it to search only the classical music station.
But I digress. As an AM/FM tuner, the TU-1500RD is great. It's a handsome unit built around the metal chassis. It is remote capable, but it does not come with one. It's got aforementioned RDS capability plus very readable alphanumeric dot-matrix display.
Other goodies include ability to name AM/FM stations (upto 40), 40 stations preset memory (8 presets per page), and an array of FM tuning options (RF ATT, wide/narrow IF band). Best of all, it's got the traditional station tuning knob. Most new AM/FM tuners come with buttons. I hate tuning stations with buttons.
One key feature missing is the signal strength meter, which makes the antenna placement easier.
The TU-1500RD can find stations pretty well, but it because of its smart logic, auto station tuning is a bit slow. But when it does, it sounds great. At least as good as mid-priced AM/FM tuners go (I've briefly compared it against offerings from Onkyo and Yamaha).
Back to RDS. If the station is sending out RDS signal, the tuner will scroll the information. Many RDS stations transmit the current and upcoming song. If you find RDS message distracting, you can turn it off entirely.
So there you have it. 4 stars for the tuner. I would've given it 5 had it come equipped with the remote and signal level meter. But you can't have it all I suppose. FYI, I paid $300 (and got a break on Terk's powered FM antenna).