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Author Topic: Sony sw7600rg / I need serious opinions quickly  (Read 3549 times)

Posts: 5

« on: November 30, 2012, 11:04:22 AM »

I ordered this radio after reading some online reviews. I ordered it from b&h in manhattan. I would like user opinions on how the radio has held up over time. My concern is that the antenna seems a little wobbly when fully extended. My concerns are that the case will break, or he antenna will break. I went to the store and notices that the two floor models had the same wobbly antenna syndrome. My other questions is how does the battery door hold up? Finally, is this the best bang for my buck for a portable receiver? I want to know if I'm better off returning the 7600gr for something different? This is my price range and would like to just know about be things I've listed and whether or not the radio has held up over time and its worth keeping over another current radio.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 11:06:37 AM by RIGGO » Logged

Posts: 1256

« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 12:21:47 PM »

My advice is to get a receiver that has a provision for an external antenna,don`t rely on a built in one. My ht receives the hf bands lousy with the built in ferrite bar antenna. However,if I connect just a few feet of wire to the sma connector it hears really well, Even on the low bands. It doesn`t need to be an 80m dipole,just 5-10 feet of wire.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 01:16:49 PM »

The 7600 does have a provision for an external
antenna....a 1/8" jack on the side of the unit.
Mine came from the factory with a reel type wire antenna.
Don't use too much wire, maybe 15 or 20 feet,
as the receiver is easily overloaded. I feel this
radio has poor rejection of adjacent signals, one
of my beefs with it. I also don't care for the Up/Down
slewing  tuning method. Give me a dang knob any day. Cheesy
It does receive SSB, which makes it fairly unique
to it's class. Still, I wish I had purchased another
portable HF receiver for traveling.
Your mileage may vary...
73, Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 5

« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 01:44:54 PM »

What would you recommend if I return this?

Posts: 2243

« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 08:30:53 PM »

What would you recommend if I return this?
Sorry, can't help you very much as I am unfamiliar
with current market offerings. The older but VERY
highly rated Sony ICF-2010 is an outstanding
portable SW/Air/AM/FM/LW receiver. You can still find
used ones for between $150 to $200.
There is currently an unopened box "brand new"
one on EBay but they are asking a ridiculous $579.
73, Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 545

« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 11:52:38 PM »

Do you mean 7600GR?  That's the current model.

I have an ICF-7600D; I bought it second-hand about ten years ago.

I use it as a "travel radio" in my campervan but only for MW AM & FM.  It has good performance on those bands; I've never used it for shortwave.

The antenna swivel does seem a little "loose" but the whip on mine stays vertical if it's set vertical; if it's set at an angle the whip will "droop" under gravity.  No big deal and this radio has had a lot of use in tough conditions.

It has a couple of irritating features; these may have been fixed on later models.

It loses the clock and alarm/wakeup settings when you change the batteries; the time and alarm have to be reset.  Sony should have included a backup battery; perhaps they have in the 'GR.

I overcome this by plugging it into a 12v outlet in the van when I change batteries, thus keeping the radio "alive".  I use a cable I made with a dropping resistor in it.

Sometimes I don't bother; I just swear quietly while I reset the time & alarm.

I use re-chargeables and get very good life from them in the Sony.

It doesn't show the time while the radio is on; it just shows the frequency.  To see the time you must turn the radio off, look at the time and turn it on again.

It does have an external antenna input but, as others have said, this is not necessarily a blessing; it must be used wisely.

The design of all portables of this kind (not just the Sony) is based on the use of a short whip antenna; this does not collect much signal.  The front-end must therefore have a lot of gain.  If a larger antenna is connected the high-gain front-end can be overloaded and performance suffers.

The Sony has a Local/DX switch that can help but it's not ideal.

My van has an aluminium moulding strip running around the inside perimeter of the fibreglass roof; I screwed small terminals to the strip in a couple of places and connect (with a cable I made) whichever one is closest to where I'm using the radio to the external antenna input.  This helps a lot in the remote areas of Australia where MW AM or FM are not available locally.

So; I like the 7600D for my purposes; mine has had a lot of use, it must be full of red dust but it keeps going.  A tough radio I think.

Sony have always done audio quality very well; I'm a classical music person and (accepting the restrictions of such a small receiver) the Sony performs well.

But I would never use it (or any other similar small portable) as an even half-serious short-wave receiver.

The small slider pots and the tuning up/down buttons would, for me, be a PITA to use for any serious work.  I have tried tuning SSB using the Fine Tuning control and it required the dexterity of a brain surgeon.

If you absolutely must have a radio of this size, the 7600 is probably the best of the bunch but none of the bunch will be a serious receiver.

If you can carry something larger there are receivers that would give much more satisfaction in use than a small portable; a "Frog", a Kenwood or an Icom (all with a wire antenna and an SLA power source if required) would be preferable.  If your travel destinations have 110v power, so much the better.  

Now this is just my opinion; others may find that the small radio does the job.

The decision is a personal one; it's up to you.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 11:54:46 PM by VK2TIL » Logged

Posts: 336

« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 03:34:02 AM »

I have had a Sony 7600g for 20 years.  It is the best portable around.  OK, I have had to tighten the antenna screw and re-glue the speaker grill, but it's been through a lot and travelled around the world. The new version is probably even better.

Jonathan, M5AEO.

Posts: 5

« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 04:05:42 AM »

Thanks for all the replies. One more question. There are three sliding switches on the right hand of the radio, and one on the left(the att slider). The switches on the right side seem tight with no play, while the att switch seems to have some looseness in the same direction as it switches. Is this normal? This is a rand new radio.

Posts: 6764

« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 09:05:56 AM »

RIGGO:  I think maybe you've bought a pizza sheet!  Loose slide switches, flimsy antenna......  I don't think you're a bit happy and probably won't be satisfied until you get another radio that you feel comfortable owning.

This is the major problem with buying online instead of actually "fingering" the unit before buying.  Good luck.


A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 2218


« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 11:20:05 AM »

How about a really good receiver like an Icom R-71A? Probably much better in every way. You can find one used pretty cheap, if you're not in a hurry.

There are other good receivers in its class (or better), but I'm not familiar with them.


Posts: 545

« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 12:15:29 PM »

The description of the sliders sounds about right; the attenuator switch is two-position so it moves easily but the SSB etc switch has several positions with more friction so it's stiffer.

The movement between positions is just a couple of mm and you have to be careful to set it in the position you want; as I don't use it for my purposes it's not a problem but it would be more of a problem if you are tuning SSB signals.

The pots are stiff in mine even after much use.  The "knob" is very small and I push it one way or the other with my fingernail.  I only use the volume slider of course; I think this would be a PITA for SSB when you are trying to adjust the BFO slider.

The 7600 is a very good radio; the best in its class I think.  But remember that its "class" is small portable; no member of this class will be as good all-round as a "full-size" receiver.

The RF performance may be very good but the useability of tiny knobs & buttons can't match the useability of larger controls and "knob-twiddling" is a constant exercise when seeking very weak signals.

If, like 'AEO, you require a radio that you can carry in airline baggage, the 7600 is for you, provided you accept its limitations.  If you want high performance & useability and can accommodate a larger radio, send it back and look for an Icom R7x, a Kenwood Rxxx or a Yaesu FRGxxx.

Even the humble Realistic/Radio Shack DXxxx models are quite good receivers and can be had cheaply if you look around.

The decision is yours; consider your needs & priorities and let them guide you.

Posts: 95

« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 01:33:52 PM »

Treated with care is an excellent radio. I own one of the first 7600GR. The antenna had too much friction when rotated and eventually broke the plastic back. I had the back replaced ten years ago. Being reasonably cautious when orienting the antenna I had no more problems. I bought one to my daughter years ago and it is still ok. A great radio, as its predecessor 7600D (mine bought in 1987 is in excellent shape and used daily).
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