Denon TU-1500RD stereo AM/FM tuner with RDS


Denon TU-1500RDDenon TU-1500RD is a middle class stereo FM/AM tuner with RDS function. Introduced for the first time around the year 1998. Manufactured in Europe. Although the tuner is equipped with an IR sensor, it’s been sold without a remote control. The compatible controller is called Denon RC-158 and it was available as an option. What is quite interesting, is the fact, that the remote is made in Japan.

The TU-1500RD is a very good tuner with great reception and sensitivity and therefore it’s a gear recommended by DXers (long-distance reception enthusiasts)


  • excellent finish, aluminium face plate, great ergonomics, lovely tuning knob;
  • alone standing power transformer;
  • 3300µF capacitor supports the PSU;
  • JRC transistors;
  • Mitsumi tuner module;
  • this model had also a rack-mounted professional version called TU-1500RDP.

Retail price in Germany in year 2001: 600DM
Retail price in Germany in year 2003: 319€
Retail price in Poland around the year 2000: 1425PLN
Retail price in the UK in year 2002: 213£
Retail price in the USA in year 2003: 375$


Manufacturer's description

The TU-1500RD is a mid-range AM/FM Stereo tuner featuring highly sensitive reception performance and
beautiful, clear sound. The TU-1500RD is also intuitively easy to use and sports an easy-to-read display.
You couldn’t ask for much more when you want to enjoy an overall spacious listening environment to
complement your lifestyle.

Sophisticated tuning circuit design

The TU-1500RD has a 4-Gang Variable Capacitors in its
front end to guarantee accurate input of station frequencies.
Thanks to the use of large-capacity microprocessor in the
tuning section, reception drift is a thing of the past.

Low-impedance Output Circuit (100 ohms)

The TU-1500RD employs a low-impedance output circuit
that enables high-density signal transfer to the amplifier and
ensures an open, transparent sound with minimal distortion
in the high-frequency range. The low-impedance output circuit
also protects the signal from external noise to further
contribute to high-quality sound.

RDS (RDS-EON) Functions

The TU-1500RD provides a rich variety of RDS (RDS-EON)
functions and is equipped with a Radio Text function that
takes maximum advantage of the various Radio Data System
(RDS) services. The name of the musical selection currently
being heard, messages, and any other text data that is
broadcast by stations providing RDS services can be read on
the tuner’s display in up to thirteen characters at a time.

Dot Matrix Display

The TU-1500RD is equipped with a dot matrix display with
greater resolution to ensure that RDS texts and other character
displays are easy to read.

Rotary Knob for Improved Ease of Operation

Up/Down tuning and search operations have graduated
from archaic push buttons to a single rotating knob that is
much easier to operate.

AM/FM 40-Station Random Preset Memory

The TU-1500RD offers random preset and recall of up 40

Highly Rigid Top Cover

The TU-1500RD has been built with a highly rigid top cover
that is impervious to vibrations from outside.
The TU-1500RD is also endowed with an attractive aluminium
front panel that blends in well with the PMA-1500R,
DCD-1550AR and DMD-1000 components.

Technical specification

  • FM section
    • Tuning frequency – 87.50 MHz-108.00 MHz
    • Usable sensitivity(DIN) – 0.9 µV (15.3 dBf)
    • Signal-to-noise ratio(A-weighted) – Mono 82 dB,Stereo 78 dB
    • Total Harmonic distortion – Mono 0.08 %, Stereo 0.12 %
    • Frequency response – 20 Hz – 15 kHz,(+0.5,-1.0 dB)
    • Stereo separation – 50 dB (1kHz)
  • AM section
    • Tuning frequency range – 522 kHz-1611kHz
    • Usable sensitivity – 18 µV
    • Signal-to-noise ratio – 53 dB
  • Other specifications
    • Power supply – AC 230 V, 50 Hz
    • Power consumption – 8 W
    • Dimensions – 434 (W) x 76 (H) x 330 (D) mm
    • Weight – 4.0 kg


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.

Hinderink,, 2nd August 2004

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The first thing that impressed me was the attractive design and somewhat intelligent layout. The buttons are a little on the small side but spaced far enough apart to be used without hitting two or more buttons at once. Using it for the first time was extremely easy with little surprise. The tuning knob works just like an analog tuner does, except in ‘Auto’ it will scan until it finds the next station. It doesn’t change from narrow to wide mode automatically either, but will stay in either mode when searching. I noticed that the tuner was trying to lock onto even weak stations that barely had any signal that I don’t normally don’t listen to, but changing to ‘manual’ would bring in many cleanly. Sonics-wise, nothing really jumped out at me, it was pleasant and non-fatiguing. Soundstage had very good depth, bass was very natural-sounding without being obnoxious or overly boomy, highs were a little laid back, but the detail and clarity is excellent. Overall I’d say the sensitivity of this tuner seem to outweigh any sonic deficiencies there might be because you can hear more stations better than before, at least I can, and any sonic shortcomings are relatively small compared to other less sensitive tuners. The RDS can be a very nice feature, probably more suited for use in cars, but helpful when DX’ing. I think this would be a good tuner for someone who doesn’t want to have to pay to have a vintage tuner upgraded and repaired – it just works well out of the box.


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Auch wenn dieser Tuner in vielen Zeitschriften hervorragende Kritiken und Bewertungen bekommen hat – man sollte nie nach irgendeiner lobdudelnden Zeitschrift gehen – schaut euch diesen Tuner selbst an und überzeugt euch von seiner Qualität, die nur mit einem Tuner dreifachen Preises noch zu übertreffen ist. Ein stolzer Preis von nun 319 Euro, aber Qualität hat und wird auch in Zukunft ihren Preis haben.

Christoph Harmuth,, 14th March 2003

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First initial impressions, two stations I listen to most are the public Jazz and Classical stations, both located on the north side of Chicago. I’m roughly 70 miles south of there with lots of large buildings in-between. This is one of the quietest tuners I’ve heard yet for those two stations using an indoor antenna. Hardly any perceived noise at all, with even my Philips having some trouble pulling in those two.

DanTana,, 22th November 2005

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Tuner wykonany i zaprojektowany perfekcyjnie, świetny wygląd, mała waga, czytelny jasny wyświetlacz, wspaniała czułość. Prezentuje się elegancko w obu wersjach szampańskiej i czarnej jeśli zaś chodzi o dźwięk – nie jest on zbyt neutralny jednak przyjemny dla ucha, wyeksponowane wysokie tony (większość naszych stacji jeszcze to pogłebia ścinając niskie tony w przekazie) jednak nie jest to bardzo drażniące. Głosy brzmią naturalnie, muzyka przyjemnie.

sylwiusz,, 6th May 2009

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Die Ausstattung läßt keine Wünsche offen. Auch den Empfang meistert der TU-1500 an Kabel und Antenne vorbildlich. Ortssender bringt er sehr rauscharm und in Wide-Stellung enorm räumlich.

Testruteil: Sehr gut, Stereo, May 1998


…der Empfänger führte bereits in Paradiese: Da hörten sich nicht nur Ortssender, sondern auch entferntere herrlich plastisch-lebendig und farbenfroh-strahlend an. Und so trat der TU 1500 RDS den Beweis an, dass es für 600 Mark schon Supertuner gibt…
Fürs Geld wunderbar satt-wuchtig und oben heraus strahlend-luftig klingender UKW-Tuner. Tadelloser Empfang.

Testruteil: 40 Punkte, StereoPlay, April 2001