By old, I mean how long I've been in the hobby, not necessarily my age, although they do kinda go hand-in-hand, yes? ;^)
I've been SWLing/DXing on and off since around the late 70s, and really got into it in my college days, starting around '79-'80.
List of radios I've owned for SWL/DXing:
Realistic DX-160; DX-302
Also, I have a Yaesu FT-757GX that isn't working on anything but AM (no audio on the other modes). I may start another thread for that, but just thought I'd mention it. I'll also mention that I'm not crazy about the sound of it on AM. The audio is a bit "hashy", but then, it's not a full-working radio either, so maybe that has something to do with it.
I still have everything listed above except for the Realistic stuff. Believe it or not, I miss the DX-160. It was a nice little radio, even with the interpolation one had to do to figure out what frequency you were on.
I've been doing a lot of reading of the reviews here and elsewhere to see what kind of radio I'd like to get. I am leaning toward getting an older one instead of a newer/new one, because I don't like menus. I've played with a few rigs that have them, and maybe it's just a matter of not having played with them enough.... I also just like the look of a "classic" rig - just the right mix of a lit-up S meter, buttons, switches, frequency display, some shiny things.... I know some of you understand! :^)
Anyway, the radio I use the most for serious DXing on shortwave is the Drake R7. It has passband tuning, and a nice notch filter, and between the two, I can dig about any signal out of the noise.
Whatever radio I end up getting, I want to have that same kind of functionality.
Also looking for:
--Nice audio; minimal "fatigue" from listening
--General coverage recieve - I'd still like to use it for general SWLing and DXing shortwave stations from time to time.
--Base station, mainly. If I want a mobile unit, I'll make that my second rig.
--No need for high power - 100W or under is fine with me for now.
I have my Tech license, but am studying for the General. Don't yet know CW, but would like to learn.
I have to say, from looking at the reviews, and from what the few hams I know have told me, that I'm probably going to be a Kenwood guy, at least for older rigs. So that's where I've been focusing my research. My "dream" radio from what I've been reading is probably the Kenwood TS-940SAT. It looks like it would be a good radio that would allow me to still do shortwave listening and DXing, while slowly getting my feet wet (or jumping in cannonball-style!) in ham radio. That gives you an idea of my budget too I guess.
I have trees and room for antennas, but so far only have random length long wires and a dipole that is in need of repair or retiring.
I have no qualms about doing mods or replacing caps or anything like that. Or I can always bribe my brother into it - he lives next door and has been wielding a soldering gun since the days of tube TVs and mechanical tape recorders.
I'm not liking the prices at eBay right now for Kenwood equipment. Is it always that high? Is it the time of year? Is demand going up for some of the older Kenwoods?
That's all for now..... Thanks for any guidance you can provide! I plan on getting with some guys from the local amateur radio club as well for advice.