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  #1  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:24 AM
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Radio Jay Allen

Some of you guys and gals are no doubt already familiar with it, but I thought I'd share a link here: https://radiojayallen.com/


Owner loves portable transistor radios and has an enormous collection of 'em, old and newer (see pix on the site). Lots of good repair/restoration info, too.

Radiodayz
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:36 PM
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Indeed, a nice site full of useful information about high performance portables, as well as some that miss the mark. I have enjoyed his reviews since the old days on the Radio Intel site (which hasn't been updated recently)

http://www.radiointel.com/reviews.htm

He keeps a nice balance between nostalga, restoration, and hot new radios. It is a tribute to Zenith and GE designers that several vintage transistor radios are still rated quite highly against the latest designs!

Reading his review of the new Sangean pocket wonder (DT 160) cost me 40 bucks, but I am very pleased with the FM dx capabilities of the radio which seem more in line with the well known AM capabilities that this family of radios has exhibited since the DT 200 was introduced some 10-15 years ago.

Thanks for posting the link!

jr

Last edited by jr_tech; 09-01-2016 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:50 PM
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Yeah, I've been reading his reviews for a few years, too. That DT-160 tempted me, too... but, can't buy them all. After reading his reviews for the CCrane-EP and Sangean PR-D5, I had difficulty deciding which I wanted for my birthday a couple years back, so I gave both model #s to Christine and told her to surprise me, which she did by ordering both. What a gal!

I use them both pretty much daily - the Sangean provides tunes in the Master Bath, while the CCrane-EP is my DXer and ballgame listener. The Crane has the best AM I own. Now I'm considering a multiband model, but am finding that a very difficult choice. Also am likely to be ordering one of the tuned loops he touts soon, AN-100 or -200. He is an evil influence.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:17 PM
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For an inexpensive (under $150) multiband I recommend the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. I've had one for nearly a decade and consider it to be a VERY good portable for SW and ham listening. At the time I bought it that radio was the best combo of features, performance, and price in The Passport to World Band Radio's reviews. It has matched or beat every other SW receiver, tube or solid state that I've owned.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
For an inexpensive (under $150) multiband I recommend the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. I've had one for nearly a decade and consider it to be a VERY good portable for SW and ham listening. At the time I bought it that radio was the best combo of features, performance, and price in The Passport to World Band Radio's reviews. It has matched or beat every other SW receiver, tube or solid state that I've owned.
Jay Allen doesn't share your love for the 7600GR, I've noticed for some time, but many SWLs seem to, and it is widely reported as being made in Japan to high standards of fit, finish and feel, with good unit-to-unit consistency. I'm trying to decide on a new hand-held likely next month, and I have included it among models I am considering. However, I am more interested in AM performance than with SW, so with that in mind, should I keep it on my list?

Another I am considering is the new Sangean ATS-405 (at half the price of the Sony) due to its reported AM superiority, and the ability to defeat it's DSP soft-muting. That seems more geared to the AM user, so may be all the radio I need. I already have CCraneEP and Sangean PR-D5 AM/FM-only models with outstanding AM performance, but they are full-sized, and I prefer something smaller for pulling in distant ball-games. For pure AM dxing the EP is hard to beat, imo and ime, but lunch-box style.

I have already ordered a Kaito AN-100 tuned loop which I intend to use with whatever hand-held I decide upon. Getting the right radio means more to me than the difference between $160 and $80. I've also considered the Eton Traveler III, Satellit, and CCrane Skywave. While SW is not my primary interest, if a radio provides good AM performance and a decent SWL experience, in a smaller form factor, then so much the better. My old Panasonic RB-40 doesn't seem to measure up on any band, but I'll be interested to see if the tuned loop gives it more life. Also have the cheap, diminutive Kaito WRX-911, a mere toy.

Too many choices; the build quality of your Sony does make it quite alluring against the backdrop of all these Chinese-made radios. I have a lot of respect for Jay, but he seems to rate the 7600GR much lower than most. Your remarks have placed it back onto my list bigtime, though if you have anything to add specifically about its AM performance, I'd be interested in that, too.

[Also, as a public service announcement, anyone interested in an old tube Transoceanic project that looks pretty decent for $40, should check the Mobile, AL Craigslist ads.]
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Last edited by musichal; 10-01-2016 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:00 AM
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It is fairly good in the AM band too* (it is basically my go to DX rig). I've gotten WBBM on it at night quite clearly if you ignore atmospheric fading while staying in Atlanta...I was even able to get WBBM from Lakeland Fl...But the Cuban stations made listenability extremely poor.

*It covers LW continuously up through 29999KHz including broadcast AM in it's AM mode....The only separation between 'AM' mode bands is that the auto fast-scan will loop back to the other end of the sub bands when you hit them and beep to inform you of it. From what I've seen performance is VERY consistent across the AM mode frequency range. I've tuned in hams running ~1KW(IIRC) in AM mode out of the Chicago area on it from Lakeland Fl at night on the ham bands just above the AM broadcast range (granted I needed my 100' long wire antenna to read that guy well).

It is very well built. I got mine when I was ~14-15 years old, and while I took/take great pride in it and try to take good care of it, I dragged that thing around with me everywhere for years, dropped it, shook it, scraped it spilled food/drink on it, etc. many times and it still keeps on ticking as good as ever (save for some small scratches and bits of the the leatherette recently wearing off parts of the carry pouch)...If mine was lost, stolen, or destroyed tomorrow I'd go and buy another without a second thought...I've gotten my monies worth of enjoyment out of it and then some.

One thing you may also like is that it has a line out. I've hooked it up to my stereo, and to timed MP3 recorder players to capture broadcasts I wanted to hear but not stay up for.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:57 PM
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Thank you, Tom C. for your erudite and on-point reply. Build quality is a consideration. I read somewhere that this is Sony's last SW radio - that they are getting away from the genre. So anyone who wants a built-in-Japan model... well, seems those days are over. (Except for maybe the Sony model that tunes only the six Japanese transmissions, omitting the rest of the world - maybe they're dc-ing that one as well, IDK.) If you want a replacement it may be a now or never proposition.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:22 PM
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Here is a review of the 7600GR that I wrote in 2006:

Quote:
For several years Sony has been moving away from the Shortwave marketplace that they once dominated. One feature that Sony included on many of their more expensive radios was the Synchronous Detector circuit, which can make a big difference in the reception of signals that are suffering from selective fading and/or adjacent channel interference. Sony seemed to "get this right" more often than other other producers of SW sets (few even offered it).

But alas, the famous 2010 (one of my all time favorite SW radios) is gone, the SW-77 is gone, the SW-100 is gone and this year the highly innovative SW-07 has been deleted.

The 7600GR is the only remaining Sony with this feature... I would not wait too long, or it may be deleted as well!

Ok, but one feature does not define the radio. I must add that the 7600GR does very well when compared to more modern designs. On AM and Shortwave, reception is quite sensitive, and with the sync detector, the fact that only one bandwith is provided is not a large handicap (many sets have two bandwidths available).

FM reception is good but not up to the level provided by the Eton E-5, Kaito 1103 or even the Kaito 1102. LW reception on the 7600 is very sensitive, and it has better "image rejection" (fewer false signals) than the E-5 or Kaito 1103. The 7600 does not have a tuning knob, so "bandscanning" is not as convenient as on the E-5 0r 1103. Note: the Kaito 1102 does not have LW or tuning knob.

In Summary, this is a well-built high quality (still made in Japan) radio that stacks up well against its competition.
Ten years later, the 7600GR is out performed by a number of cheaper imports. In my collection, it is relighted to "shelf queen" status, appreciated for what it represents, while my well worn Eton E-5 gets daily use. My E-5 is so beat up, I am hoping that the new Eton satelit will turn out to be an adequate replacement, should it fail.

jr

Last edited by jr_tech; 10-01-2016 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:57 PM
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I envy you your E-5 (G-5) even though it is larger than I want, while they down-sized the new Satellit which is why I'm considering it as well. In fact, after a good bit of reading, I've decided one of these three will be my next radio:

Sangean ATS-405, about $80.
Eton Satellit, about $125.
Sony ICF-SW7600GR, about $160.

Okay, the Sangean is not likely the choice of most SWLs. I'm not currently a SWL. Would that change with a better handheld than my old Panasonic RB-40? I honestly don't know. With SW stations having been dropping like flies... All I can say is that the few stations I have received have been of very little interest to me. AM dxing provides the fun of lots of available channels and trying for a best catch, like an electromagnetic game of solitaire, but more interesting. And there's ballgames. Then why buy a multiband? They seem to comprise the best handheld models of radio, period. So maybe the Sangean is all I need.

On the other hand, if I'm to buy a radio which includes multiple bands, shouldn't I go ahead and buy a better model? That's certainly a valid way to look at it, I suppose. And that brings me to the next two on the list.

It's the build quality of the Sony vs the updated feature set of the Satellit, when you get down to why each is on my list.

So... which will I buy?

Already ordered it this am. The Satellit was the obvious choice in the end, once I considered my needs, likely use, and price. Naah, 'obvious' overstates it a bit for me, because I do find the build quality of the Sony exemplary is this size and price range. Thanks for helping me sort this out, guys.


EDIT: It's funny, I can select a preamp, amp or speaker with much more confidence than I can a radio. Have buyer's remorse already, and haven't even seen one in the flesh yet. Oh, well, it's Amazon, and I can return it if I want, but it's supposed to be here tomorrow. I guess if someone built a perfect hand-held, few of us could afford it, and quite a number of folks would modify it to improve its performance. Probably succeed, too. Immaculate reception.
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Last edited by musichal; 10-02-2016 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musichal View Post
I envy you your E-5 (G-5) even though it is larger than I want, while they down-sized the new Satellite which is why I'm considering it.

-----

EDIT: It's funny, I can select a preamp, amp or speaker with much more confidence than I can a radio. Have buyer's remorse already, and haven't even seen one in the flesh yet. Oh, well, it's Amazon, and I can return it if I want
The E-5 and G-5 are both coat pocket sized radios same as the new Satellit, perhaps you are thinking of the E-1?

It will be interesting to hear your opinion of the Satellite. several years ago I tried to replace my beat up E-5 with the newer G-3 model, which appeared to be an upgrade but tuned out to be not as good as the E-5... still looking for a replacement/upgrade.

IMHO, there is no "one size fits all" radio in this catagory, each radio has strengths and weaknesses, about the best one can do is to match these to your personal preferences.
Amazon appears to have a very attractive price, but what's the "deal" are these open box specials?

jr

Last edited by jr_tech; 10-02-2016 at 01:35 PM. Reason: spelling "Satellit" is correct
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:05 PM
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I hope not. They usually say so, if so. However, that small 'b' troubles me, probly means 'broken.' LOL. I thought it meant 'black' when I ordered, but could be b-stock? The reviews have me uneasy about it, too.

I'm not familiar with radio models, just learning, and I have read about the E-1s and E-5s and just about every other radio under the sun, it seems, and apparently did confuse the sizes.

I think autocorrect put that e on Satellit. Maybe I did out of habit, but I do know better.

As regards Amazon's price on the Satellit: I notice Universal Radio offers it for $200, but that includes a 'free' Eton Mini, which brings the two prices a bit more in line, $124 currently vs about $155, after deduction of Mini list price. Makes somewhat more sense when all factors are included.

I've been perusing a Pdf of the eton Sat manual available without downloading at the eton site. The buttons do multiple chores depending upon mode, not unusual obviously, but eton really takes this pretty far. I can understand some of the Amazon user reviews complaining of complexity, or about features they couldn't implement properly. For a newbie like me, not as familiar with relationships of all the features with which bands in which situations, the learning curve may be a bit steep. Some people have no patience for the amount of detail involved. Remarks such as "too complex" were not unusual among Amazon users which include, I'm sure, a wider type of buyers than Universal Radio attracts - or, that is, a larger % of non-enthusiasts. Still, multiple c/o "wobbly controls" and such comments do give one pause.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:36 PM
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One thing that threw me about the Amazon reviews is that they have combined several different models in the same listing. Watch the model number closely when scanning these reviews. When does yours arrive?

jr
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:48 PM
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Tomorrow thanks to Prime free 2-day shipping.

Amazon reviews: if you choose "see all xxx reviews" (just under the last review on the main page) then when the page changes scroll down ever so slightly, then click "all formats" you can choose to see reviews for only the model you're interested in. However, you must choose that model before choosing to see all reviews. In other words, if you want to be able to see Satellite 750 reviews only, then that is where you begin and etc for the TravelerIII and Satellit options. It's a handy thing to know to check for, with Amazon's penchant for combining various models of things. I spend way too much time at Amazon!
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Last edited by musichal; 10-02-2016 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:25 PM
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Ahh thanks! I never noticed that feature before, it looks like a mixed bag of reviews and reviewer knowledge... it will be interesting to see what you think.


edit add : Perhaps a more knowledgeable reviewer base on eHam:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/12160

jr

Last edited by jr_tech; 10-02-2016 at 08:45 PM. Reason: add link
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:52 PM
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Thank you. I'd run across them myself today, three or so hours ago, and they did make me feel more hopeful about the choice - more knowledgeable reviewers, for sure.
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