[AMRadio] Best Boatanchor

Brett gazdzinski brett.gazdzinski at verizonbusiness.com
Fri Sep 29 21:30:43 EDT 2006

I have used some of the best of the modern (IC chip)
ham and swl gear for receivers and I think it all 
sucks big time.
Its noisy and distorted, look at the specs, 1 watt
at 10% distortion, and that is just the audio amp!

For the old gear, it depends on what you want.
Some of the old stuff would go broad as a barn door,
with push pull direct coupled 6L6 output audio tubes,
and sounds fantastic!
You cant tell what frequency you are listening to,
but it sounds great.

The NC300-303 are good, the R390 is good, the
 SX17 or SX28 are good, the Scott SLRM is very good,
with its magic eye tube as an S meter.

The boatanchor receivers all have their good and
bad points, but most are better then the noisy distorted
modern solid state crap.

I don't know about an SWL receiver, but for a HAM
receiver, the R390/R390a was the best one I 
had before the homebrew.
Its noisy and does not like to band hop, but with 
outboard audio, it sounds and works well on AM.

I got tired of the commercial crap and home brewed a
few tube type HI FI AM receivers, and they work so well
I sold off all the other receivers.

My favorite vintage receivers were the R390/390a,
the SX 17, the Scott SLRM, and the NC300/303.
The R390 and NC300 need outboard audio to sound good,
the others you had no good frequency readout.

The NC300/303 are still reasonable in price.
The Collins S line receivers have promise,
with outboard audio, and good AM detector, and a good
IF filter, the 75s1 might be a good receiver as
they are reasonable in price, accurate and stable,
and a small light box. They look cool also!


>  Daniel,
>     I have a suggestion that you might ponder. Save the boat 
> anchor for the transmitter, something like a Johnson Ranger. 
> For the receiver consider a more modern Icom R-75 general 
> coverage receiver. I own one of these, and with appropriate 
> filters, these are absolutely excellent on AM, and are all 
> mode as well. The Kiwa folks have a whole array of 
> modifications too that enhance overal reception with an 
> emphasis on SW AM broadcast reception. You might get a used 
> R-75 for $350, and add another hundred or so later for the Kiwa mods.
>     I also have an RCA AR-88, and Hammerlund SP-600 receiver. 
> These are very nice, but since getting the Icom, I put the 
> RCA on the shelf, and I only on occasion turn on the 
> Super-Pro. The mechanical filters in the ICOM, offset 
> passband tuning, synchronous AM detector, Noise Blanker, and 
> DSP all stand out over my two boatanchors. That said, the 
> super pro has superior audio, and sensitivity. When the band 
> is noisy, and crowded, I use the Icom. The RCA is sort of in 
> between, but it too has good qualities (except it weighs a 
> hundred pounds!).
>  Regards,
>  Jim
>  WD5JKO 
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Daniel Hileman <n9wx_dan at yahoo.com>
> To: bcarling at cfl.rr.com; Discussion of AM Radio in the 
> Amateur Service <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 10:48:22 AM
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Best Boatanchor
> Hi Guys,
>   Thanks for all the suggestions...there are LOTS of 
> favorites for sure. I guess I have a little thinking and 
> investigating to do. Thanks for all the input...now it's time 
> to start the homework! 
>   Thanks and 73,
>   Daniel  N9WX
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