|Broadcast Band Table Radios
|These receivers are good, solid performers for AM/FM broadcast band
monitoring (especially AM). These radios feature good sensitivity and
selectivity along with superb audio. For the serious DXer, they are
easily modified for enhanced performance and flexibility.
I have serviced (aligned) and
modified the 9550, 9580, and
9650 and can personally attest to
their quality of performance and
construction, and friendliness of
use, operation, and listening.
I have played with, but not
opened, the other models
shown here and likewise feel
their performance in keeping
with their kinship.
One of the (sort of) major
differences I have noted is the
use or either the bass and treble
tone controls vs. the balanced
type of single tone control.
Obviously, the preference would
be for separate controls, which
allows for more flexibility in the
listening experience, but that's
just a personal preference.
These radios have very good
dynamic range when using the
internal ferrite rod antenna,
allowing enough head-room for
almost any local flamethrower
station to go unnoticed (within
reason) until you tune to it.
External antenna connectors
permit the use of any type of
suitable indoor or outside
auxiliary signal snatcher for
grabbing some of those distant
broadcasters, but overload
becomes a very real possibility
with the locals booming in
through your sky hardware.
I will speak only to the AM band
functions since I seldom DX the
I often feed my 9550 from a basic
home brewed preselector that
has a small, quiet preamp and an
attenuator function (along with
the usual preselector filter
functions). The attenuator being
important if your outside
antenna is quite large and/or
very efficient in the AM band.
In using my 65 foot sloper or 120
foot end-fed antennas, the
attenuator (true RF gain control)
is indispensable in keeping the
big signals from swamping the
otherwise robust head end.
I have toyed with the idea of
adding a digital readout, but as
of yet have not convinced
myself to that particular form of
traditionalist heresy. Maybe
some day when I'm bored, I'll
give it a try...hummm.
These nicely built guys show up
on ebay and other places on
Internet often, for usually
around $20.00 to $50.00 -
depending on how determined
the bidders are that day. I have
purchased several in the past
two years for less than $30.00.
My vote would be for one of the
three models mentioned above,
although they all are worthy of
consideration, but especially the
golden boy of the group: the
These are just about the last of
the radios designed where the
engineers of the 1970s and
1980s still considered the AM
band as a viable selling feature.
There's no ipod dock, no
cassette deck, no CD player, no
clock, and no alarm with the
requisite and obligatory snooze
and sleep timers - these are
solidly built, well-designed, good
looking radios, plain and simple.
|If you enjoy AM radio and want
a good looking, good sounding
companion, you may want to
consider one of these.