[AMRadio] Wanted: Receiver - New England

Jim Miller WB5OXQ in Waco wb5oxq at grandecom.net
Sun Feb 17 20:19:46 EST 2008

Watch out for some of the very old receivers that don't have a very good 
front end and are not very sensitive.  I would try to look at specs and find 
a receiver that has at least 1 microvolt sensitivity.  Stay away from the 
smaller rigs that do not have an rf amplifier and some don't.  always check 
the tube lineup to make sure.  Some even have 2 rf amp tubes.  I have owned 
rigs like the NC183s that have push pull audio out and others like an NC98 
that had only a 6aq5 making a watt but sounded real good and rich connected 
to the correct speaker and the speaker has a lot to-do with how good the 
audio sounds.  I use a 2 way speaker that came from a tube type Zenith 
stereo radio.  It has a 8" woofer and a 2" tweeter and was built to be used 
on a radio that only made 1.5 watts of audio so it drives easily with single 
ended output radios and sounds very full and rich.  If you love rich tone 
stay away from small speakers that have small drivers in them but be aware 
that if you use a large system built for a home stereo system it may need 
more power than many radios can put out.
Here is a good web site that may have useful information for you. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JT Croteau" <jt.n1ese at gmail.com>
To: "Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service" 
<amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2008 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Wanted: Receiver - New England

>I want to thank everyone who has responded so far, both on and off
> list, to this thread.  Brett, N2DTS, said, a couple posts posts back,
> that I need to take a better inventory of my priorities so let me try
> and clarify what they are to me.
>>From what I've read, there are two categories of receivers;
> "Battle-Fields" and Hi-Fidelity and it is very difficult to have your
> cake and eat it to.  Unfortunately, I am trying to have a mixture of
> both but leaning more towards Hi-Fi because it is the pure love of the
> sound of AM that is driving me to setup this AM station.
> I am learning that there is no perfect receiver and it is very hard
> for a newbie like me to pick one.  I wish I had the luxury to afford
> to buy several different ones like some people but I can only afford
> one receiver at the moment   A big problem for newbies is the fact
> that EVERYONE has differing opinions for each model and it's often
> hard to get two people to totally agree on the same model.  For
> example, I'll ask for opinions on an ABC-123 and one person will
> reply, "oh yeah, it's awesome on AM" while another will say "stay
> away, it's only good for slopbucket signals".  If I could afford
> multiple purchases, it'd be much easier to take a gamble and
> experiment but I can't so it's very difficult to choose from just
> looking at specs and "opinions".
> With this said:
>   AM 75M and 40M coverage is my primary interest at this time, I will
> NEVER be using the radio to tune in slopbucket nor CWer.  SWL and 160M
> coverage would be nice as well but it will be a couple years before I
> have space for a 160M antenna.
>   Hi-Fidelity is near the top of my must haves but not if it's
> results in a huge hit on receiver performance.  However, I definitely
> don't want bottom of the barrel communications grade audio.  I've been
> in some shacks where the audio fills the room and you can feel the
> audio down to your bones.  I want to achieve this or as close as I can
> get within my budget.
>    Looks, style, size, and weight don't really matter as it's what's
> inside the box that counts to me.  Ideally the smaller the better and
> if it fits in a standard 19" rack, all the better as I have plenty of
> rack space.
>    Budget - Yeah, this will always be an issue for me.  But I can
> realistically afford to spend a max. of $400 on a receiver so I may
> not be able to get super Hi-Fi with this budget but I would think that
> I should be able to still find something with very good fidelity.   If
> I had the money to go all out, I'm the type of person who definitely
> would so I am not trying to cheap out on this.  But I do want to get
> something now rather than save an wait.. patience and me have never
> gotten along.
> Since my first post a couple days ago, I've been reading a bit about
> Hallicrafters SX-17's and SX-42's with their push-pull 6V6's and how
> they can really make some very nice audio - a couple people seem to
> really like these.  However, for some reason, these two rigs don't
> seem to be mentioned much.. are they genuine "sleepers" in this case?
> The SX-17 appears to have good sensitivity and good selectivity with
> an IF bandwidth switch actually works.  I think I read that the narrow
> position is somewhere around 4-5 kc and the wide is somewhere around
> 10-12 kc.
> Has anything I've said made sense and may point me to more specific
> models of receivers I should be looking at?
> Thanks again.
> -- 
> JT Croteau, N1ESE - Manchester, NH (FN42gx)
> Contest Manager, TARA Skirmish
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