The Sequerra Model 1 FM Tuner in a SUPER RARE GOLD FINISH
Already a member of our Holy Grail collection, this specific example is a Super Rare version of this famed tuner from Sequerra featuring a gold finished faceplate.
We get a lot of really neat equipment in the shop - but this is definitely in the top 1% of what we've ever seen.
This particular tuner series came out in 1974 at a time where there was some pretty fierce competition. The Marantz Model 10B had been around for a little bit, and the McIntosh MR78 had just come out a year before, so there were three all-American made tuners that are now considered the best tuners ever made. Much better than their British counterparts.
A lot had to do with the fact that in the US designers had the additional challenge of designing tuners to work over significant distances to reach stations - unlike the UK which is a more compact area. These 3 tuners were the absolute best of the best, and this Sequerra was the most sophisticated and most expensive by a large margin.
When this tuner came out in 1974 it was almost $2000, which is almost the price of a car in today's money! During its run which ended in the late 90's, it went all the way up to $4,000 in this variation. There were other variations like the reference models that easily exceeded $10,000, but this was considered reasonable/within reason, as this is more of an actual lab instrument than a piece of home audio equipment.
And you can tell by its construction, design, parts quality, and presentation. It was really designed for radio stations to analyze their signals and understand their performance limitations, and was quickly adopted by home owners that wanted the absolute best of the best.
Probably the neatest feature is the built in oscilloscope that is hard to miss. It has several different modes - Panoramic, Display Tuning, and Tuner Vector. And there's also a 4th mode titled External Vector which allows you to input external signal.
Writing about these features just doesn't cut it - please check out our video:
This particular model comes in a factory rack mount kit made for this piece which gives it a cool industrial look. It's about 4 rack spaces (4U) should you want to rack mount, but note that it also works perfectly well on its own feet. It does have a low front lip so it will need to overhang on the shelf you are putting it on/or taller feet to clear the shelf.
Overall this piece looks a lot more sophisticated than something from the 1970's, and Sequerra is still making tuners these days in the same design language which tells you how famous this tuner really is.
It's in good overall condition, but not perfect. There are very slight marks on the top lip, and the top cover has a couple of pit marks, but overall pretty presentable. The important things like the glass, buttons, and backlighting, are all really really good.
It takes about 30 mins to warm up per the included literature (the internal CRT tube needs to warm up and also related circuitry up to speed), and they do recommend this warm up period before enjoying.
Technical Specifications (courtesy of radiomuseum.org):
Manufacturer / Brand: Sequerra Company Inc.; Woodside (NY), USA
Model: The Sequerra Model 1 FM Tuner - Sequerra Company Inc.;
Material: Metal case
Valves / Tubes: 1: D10-160GH
Semiconductors (the count is only for transistors)
84: E310 2N4959 2N4250 MPS3639 MJE345 2N3440 2N3638 MJE3055 2N5962 2N3644 2N5639 2N5458 2N3569 2N2222 2N5210 2N5784 MC1496 LM301 MC10115 MC10131 SN74H102 SN74196 SN7490 SN7476 SN7404 SN7493 SN74123 µA741 µA723 MV104 5082-7302
Main principle: Superhet with RF-stage; ZF/IF 10700 kHz
Tuned circuits: 24 FM circuit(s)
Wave bands Details: FM Broadcast Band Only
Power type and voltage: Alternating Current supply (AC) / 120; 240 Volt
Loudspeaker Power Out: For headphones or amplifier
Dimensions (WHD): 16" x 5.75" x 12.75" / 406 x 146 x 324 mm
A digital-readout FM tuner with multipurpose oscilloscope and built-in Dolby Noise reduction, in metal case.
Optional: Without "Panoramic"-RF tuning-band display Price: USD 2000,-
Wood-Case: Walnut USD 125,-; Brazilian rosewood USD 150,-
Original Warranty: 5 years parts and labor (scope and incandescent lamps 1 year)
Magazine Reviews: Audio Magazine, August 1974, Stereo Review, October 1974, High Fidelity, January 1975, Radio-Electronics, March 1975
Also contains: 58 ICs and 4 HP LED displays. Each transistor/IC etc. listed once only.
Click here for a copy of the original Spec Sheet/Brochure
Click here for a PDF copy of the Owner's Manual
Click here for a PDF copy of the Schematic
The SkyFi Testing Process for Tuners:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and tubes are inspected for signs of stress overheating or cracking.
Then the tuner is thoroughly tested in our lab utilizing our professional Sencore SG80 FM Generator, which allows us to generate a reference FM signal of any frequency and amplitude, and then measure the resulting tuner output on our Sencore PR81 or oscilloscope. This unit passed with flying colors and produced a natural and warm sounding output.
Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
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