Denon TU-850

1 9 7 7 november 1977
1 9 7 9 1979

A fairly rare beast sparingly distributed, even in Japan. It was ranked "below" Denon's own Japan-only digital TU-1000 tuner which seems to have sold... not at all :)

As the previous Denon tuners, the meters can be used for signal/multipath indication, broadcast level or to monitor the level of an external source, through a set of speaker posts. A 400Hz cal generator is at hand, alongwith a moderate 1-position high-blend, wide/narrow IF and muting switches, plus fixed and variable outputs.
Sorry, no presets !

Slightly heavy design (I grant you it is austere indeed) which nevertheless vanishes completely when a good quality station happens to be at hand !

Not only is this 5-gang, FM-only, Mos-Fet-charged tuner quite refined but, paired with an outdoor antenna, it could make one wonder if spending so much on one of the well known super-tuners is a necessity :-)

If bass isn't the most present element (I for one would say it is evenly balanced), the medium region is magnificent, allowing a real sense of depth and height. Highs and sibilances remain quite detailed and well contained, respectively.

At 79,000¥ when introduced, this wasn't meant to be an absolute market topper - if only today's mid-end units were as good as this... we perhaps wouldn't regret the late 70s period.

I cherished for five years my own TU-850 - it is absolutely non-fatiguing, dead silent, and makes one want to listen more and more and more and more. After all, FM is a free source and there's no getting up to flip sides :-)

But definitely upper class (world-class topper that is) was and still is the Sony ST-A7B.

Thanks to Grzegorz, more inside images can be found here ; a review is of course available at the fmtunerinfo website.

Denon TU-850, image 1 Denon TU-850, image 2 Denon TU-850, image 3
Denon TU-850 specifications
Title Value
Frequency response : 20Hz...15Khz (+0,2 / -1,5dB)
THD : <0,05% (mono)
<0,06% (stereo)
Input sensitivity : 0,6µV (26dB/40Khz hub)
Trennschärfe/discrimination : 80dB (400Khz, narrow)
30dB (400Khz, wide)
S/N ratio : 84dB (mono, unweighted)
82dB (stereo, unweighted)
Stereo separation : 55dB (wide,1Khz)
45dB (narrow,1Khz)
Gleichwellenselektion/equal waves : 110dB
Image rejection : 120dB
ZF absorption : 110dB
AM supression : 65dB
Pilot tone supression : 80dB
PC : 45W max.
Dimensions : 43,4 x 16,4 x 40cm
Weight : 11kg.
Pricetag : 70,000¥ (1978)
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