Sansui TU-9900 (1974, $570, front 1, front 2, back, schematic, owner's manual, service manual) search eBay
The TU-9900 has 5 gangs and 3 IF filters, two of which have 4 stages rather than a typical ceramic filter's 2 stages, so it's like 5 filters if we count them in the traditional fashion. The TU-9900 is solidly built and our panelists who have used it praise its sound quality and DX performance, but David "A" rates it well below the TU-X1 for sound even though Eric (a non-audiophile) felt that it was "close enough." Our panelist Bob did some mods on his: "The TU-9900 has incredible potential. At first, it just did not open up sonically, but after trying a bunch of things, I nailed it. It is there now. I removed tantulum caps in the signal path. The big gain was replacing the TA-7136P op-amps, which were limiting the sonics in a big way. They are inline 7-pin units, so I had to put in 7-pin inline sockets, and custom modify a standard single op-amp to solder onto a 7-pin header. It was about three hours' work just to make the replacements, but well worth it. I also added six polypropylene caps, along with new power supply caps. With all the mods, the TU-9900 may be one of the top all-around tuners ever built. I have talked to many people who feel that a stock TU-9900 just smokes about everything out there for distant reception capability. If your unit does not astound you, it is broken or out of alignment. It will easily surpass a stock KT-8300 by a decent amount. I think the sonics were the holdback on the 9900s, but not anymore."
From fmtunerinfo.com: The TU-9900 is very sensitive and selective in stock form, better than just about any analog tuner that commonly sells for under $500 on eBay. It also offers many nice features, including a calibration tone and scope outputs. Because it uses LC filters that are encased in metal and plastic enclosures, no one should buy a TU-9900 expecting to replace the filters, but our panelist JohnC says: "Aside from the power supply, the TU-9900 is very easy to work on and mod. Bill Ammons' op-amp boards make it very easy to change out the old op-amps and since you can leave 4 caps out of the audio output the cost, compared to using say Black Gates for those 4 caps, is actually a wash." Read about John's mods to the TU-9900 on the DIY Mods page, and a comparison of his modded TU-9900 to his modded TU-919 in the TU-919 writeup above. Our contributor doug s. says, "I own a modded refurbished TU-X1, and I can say that its performance compared to the TU-9900's is only the tiniest bit better, with a bit more low end, and you really need to hear them side-by-side to discern differences." On eBay, the TU-9900 usually sells for around $450-700 but anywhere from $380-800+ is possible, depending on condition, the seller's track record, and fluctuations in demand. A mint one sold for $952 in 12/07 and the all-time record was $1,200 in 2/08 for one with the original box and manual (that's one pricey box). [DA][JC][BF][EF]