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Author Topic: Grundig Satellit 750 warning  (Read 28439 times)
KF7MUH
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« on: December 08, 2013, 12:17:44 PM »

This post is targeted to anyone considering the purchase of a Grundig Satellit 750. About 5 months ago I purchased a 750, after reading several posts on this forum.
My conclusion was that the radio was well designed, well manufactured and overall a good performer. I was wrong on all 3 counts. My biggest mistake was in keeping the set longer than I would be able to make a return. Here are the major faults I have found with the 750 I bought:
Even though I returned a first rig and got a replacement, the current rig still has noticeable interstation "Chugging" when using the manual tuning knob. The Bass & Treble controls have little to no effect on the sound. The sound quality is on par with any $25.00 radio one might buy. The sound quality is equally as poor when using the Line Out connections to a HiFi audio amplifier. When listening to the set via Headphones, volume control mistracking is VERY evident. My last observation on this set is the fact that the noise floor on ALL bands is unacceptably high, which makes the set usless for weak signal work. For the purchase price of $300.00 these sets should perform better, far better! Anyone considering the purchase of a Shortwave Portable radio would be well advised to stay clear of the Satellit 750.
Trust me, they are a "Pretty Face", nothing more. KF7MUH
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W7ASA
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Posts: 268




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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 01:31:59 PM »

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I have a friend who has a 350 and loves it.  A coin was tossed on the Chinese production line and this particular radio was actually fully functional and shipped before it failed: luck of the draw.

The ORIGINAL Grundig name came from excellent German engineering and rigid QA which produced superb radios with long lives. Used , genuine GRUNDIG radios sell for better than average prices on-line because of their reputation.  However, the brand name 'Grundig' is now plastered on Chinese radios and as we have seen, quality is poor as can be the customer service from many of the vendors.  I bought one radio from the new "Grundig" a couple of years ago and it had intermittent switches, pots that did not function, poor mechanical alignment of the case and etc.  Unfortunately, I bought it through what turned-out to be an unscrupulous vendor and had no ability to return it or have it replaced.

In my honest opinion (Woooo, THAT's worth a LOT!) Chinese stuff being given the brand name of "Grundig" is like putting perfume on a pig.



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 01:42:51 PM by W7ASA » Logged
WA8ZTZ
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Posts: 55




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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 04:09:15 PM »

Recently purchased the Grundig Field Radio and noticed that the noise decreased considerably when not using the AC power supply and running just on battery.  Perhaps your 750 will act likewise. 

Anyway, thanks for the heads up...was considering the 750.  How is it on long wave?
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N4NYY
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 04:52:26 PM »

Recently purchased the Grundig Field Radio and noticed that the noise decreased considerably when not using the AC power supply and running just on battery.  Perhaps your 750 will act likewise. 

Anyway, thanks for the heads up...was considering the 750.  How is it on long wave?

I thought it was overpriced and a bit too big. I like portable. But that is just my opinion. The Tecsun PL-600 is about $100, has a sync detector, and does SSB nicely. also does AMBC nicely. But if you are looking for a desk unit, you will not be happy with that.
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 09:48:58 PM »

Everything's decreasing in quality, and things can no longer be repaired because of surface mount components.  Hold on to your working, high grade older electronics for dear life, they are the last of their breed.
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KAPT4560
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 02:55:10 PM »

 The real German Grundig Satellits were legendary. Solid and elaborate German engineering. A pain to work on like their cars. The newer Eton units probably don't give the old namesake its due honor with birdies, images and wobbly plastic knobs.
 Eton quality has been slowly moving upwards, but it is a Grundig Satellit in name only.
 Don't expect the Chinese to sell you parts to service your radio. You'll have to buy a new one.
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HFCRUSR
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Posts: 139




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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 05:03:21 PM »

I fell in love with SWL using my Grandma's old Grundig Majestic console back in the 60s. That's too bad about this radio. I like the way it looks, and I also think that swivel MW bar is neat. They have the right idea but I keep hearing quality sucks. I have a little Grundig am/fm/sw portable with one of those battery cranks and it happens to be a very good MW DXer. So I assume that 750 oughta be as well.
I sure hope they improve that radio.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 06:29:22 PM »

I meant to say the PL-660. The PL-600 is not as good as the 660.
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HFHAM2
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 11:17:48 PM »

So... at the time of writing, we have one disgruntled owner with a few vague dislikes and perceived shortcomings, and a bunch of posts from people who don't own one (but have an opinion on them anyway).

Look at the more recent reviews of this radio here on eHam.net and you'll see almost all of them give 5 out of 5 star ratings (same over at Amazon.com's reviews); we can't all be wrong.

Maybe you got a lemon, are super critical or have buyers remorse at having spent (according to you) $300.00 on a radio that others (including myself) have bought for closer to $200.00 by shopping around.

I'll agree that it certainly does not have the build quality of a Zenith Transoceanic or the German Grundigs of old, but no-one builds consumer grade radios of that quality any more, and if they did, they would cost a heck of a lot more than ~$200.00.

As far as I'm concerned, the Sat. 750 is amongst the best SW General Coverage receivers currently available for ~$200 (and I've owned lots of higher-end SW radios over the years).

The earliest production runs did have problems, but the more recent ones (made in the last few years) are about as good as you're going to get at this price point.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 11:43:36 PM by HFHAM2 » Logged
N4NYY
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Posts: 4821




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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 04:54:47 AM »

Quote
So... at the time of writing, we have one disgruntled owner with a few vague dislikes and perceived shortcomings, and a bunch of posts from people who don't own one (but have an opinion on them anyway).

That is the purpose of a forum. To give opinions. There is enough info out there on the web to do that.

Quote
Look at the more recent reviews of this radio here on eHam.net and you'll see almost all of them give 5 out of 5 star ratings (same over at Amazon.com's reviews); we can't all be wrong.

47 reviews totaling 4.1/5 on eham. 173 reviews on Amazon score it a 4/5. That is most certainly NOT "almost all of them give 5 out of 5 star ratings".


Quote
As far as I'm concerned, the Sat. 750 is amongst the best SW General Coverage receivers currently available for ~$200 (and I've owned lots of higher-end SW radios over the years).

No chance. The have a Tecsun PL-660. Nothing beats that for $100.

The earliest production runs did have problems, but the more recent ones (made in the last few years) are about as good as you're going to get at this price point.

The Tecsun PL-660 or the Sony ICF-SW7600 are better. I won't mention the tiny little fact that the Grundig is not even a Grundig anymore.

http://radiojayallen.com/grundig-satellit-750tecsun-s-2000/

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HFHAM2
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 11:53:07 AM »

So... another post from someone who doesn't own and hasn't owned a Sat. 750 but has an opinion on how he *thinks* they perform based on one review from some guy on the web who tried one out for a couple of days. There are obviously a great many  Sat. 750 owners who disagree with him.

N4NYY also didn't read what I said before he went off half-cocked in order to defend the honor of his pet radio. I said that most of the *RECENT* reviews were almost all 5/5. Sure, the earlier reviews panned it because the early production ones weren't up to snuff. That obviously skews the *average* ratings he quoted.

I'm not going to get into a pi$$ing contest with you buddy, especially as I have not owned a (small, portable) Tecsun PL-660 and therefore DO NOT PRETEND TO KNOW HOW GOOD OR BAD IT IS, but I have owned the Sony ICF-SW7600, 7600G and 7600GR (amongst many others), and although they were once amongst the best in their (small, portable) class, they have been superseded by some of the newer Chinese radios (at least in terms of performance and features).

As regards "the tiny little fact that the Grundig is not even a Grundig anymore", welcome to the 1990s, like it or not, badge engineering is everywhere in case you hadn't noticed.

Opinions are fine and we can all agree to agree or agree to disagree, however, I do take exception to the original poster heading his rant "Grundig Satellit 750 Warning", like it's going to catch fire or something, when all he's doing is expressing his opinion on a few things he doesn't like about it. Why not just post a review in the review section like everyone else where his review can be seen in the context of the other (mostly positive) reviews which would give the potential purchaser a proper sense of perspective.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 12:38:19 PM »

You're right.  I do not own one. I sell them. Which puts me on the front lines with buyers experiences. In our store, I would recommend the Sony, Sangean 909x, and the 750 in that order.

As far as the PL-660, we do not sell it. I got it for its portability.  I tried it in the store, which is essentially a Faraday cage,  and picked up 40/20/15/10 SSB in a small wire. Incredible SW performance. 

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KB4QAA
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 11:00:03 PM »

Quote
So... at the time of writing, we have one disgruntled owner with a few vague dislikes and perceived shortcomings..
On the contrary.  The original poster was quite specific, and gave valid opinions.  Short of breaking out lab equipment, he did a good job of detailing the radio's shortcomings.
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WW7KE
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Posts: 87




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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 06:36:07 PM »

This post is targeted to anyone considering the purchase of a Grundig Satellit 750. About 5 months ago I purchased a 750, after reading several posts on this forum.

I've owned one for about a year and a half.  My comments will follow yours.

Quote
My conclusion was that the radio was well designed, well manufactured and overall a good performer. I was wrong on all 3 counts. My biggest mistake was in keeping the set longer than I would be able to make a return. Here are the major faults I have found with the 750 I bought:

It's well-designed for a $250 radio.  There are a couple of things they could have done better as far as manufacturing quality, even for the price.  For example, the internal/external antenna switch gets scratchy after a few months of switching between them.  They could have used a better switch.

Quote
Even though I returned a first rig and got a replacement, the current rig still has noticeable interstation "Chugging" when using the manual tuning knob.

I notice this a bit, and it's worse on shortwave than AM.  But I don't find it objectionable considering that it tunes in 1 kHz steps.  Because of the 1 kHz steps, its ability to tune SSB is diminished.  But this receiver is not designed for ham use.  It's designed to be a basic portable broadcast receiver with some extra features.

Quote
The Bass & Treble controls have little to no effect on the sound. The sound quality is on par with any $25.00 radio one might buy.

It's not great, but it is a basic AM/FM/shortwave receiver, not a full-blown stereo.  It's far better than some inexpensive receivers I've used.

Quote
The sound quality is equally as poor when using the Line Out connections to a HiFi audio amplifier.

I haven't tried connecting it to an external amplifier, but since the Line Out level is fixed, it works great with FLDIGI on PSK31 and other digital modes on my laptop.

Quote
When listening to the set via Headphones, volume control mistracking is VERY evident.

I haven't seen this.  Perhaps you got a bad one.

Quote
My last observation on this set is the fact that the noise floor on ALL bands is unacceptably high, which makes the set usless for weak signal work.

You sure that the problem isn't other equipment in your shack or a poor antenna (the built-in monopole isn't great)?  I live in an apartment with 6 computers running, and the external lath/stucco walls are a 30 dB attenuator.  Some bands work better than others.  Forget 160 or 80, and 40 is iffy, but that may be due to my apartment.  I have too much noise around 18 MHz, but that may be my laptop.  It loses sensitivity above 15 meters, but again, this is not a ham receiver.  

But 20 and 15 meters work as well as can be expected, even with the built-in antenna.  A single wire cut for 20 meters with a counterpoise works great when listening to PSK31.  That antenna covers 12-17 MHz well, and that's with no tuner.

Quote
For the purchase price of $300.00 these sets should perform better, far better! Anyone considering the purchase of a Shortwave Portable radio would be well advised to stay clear of the Satellit 750.  Trust me, they are a "Pretty Face", nothing more. KF7MUH

Dude, this is the modern equivalent of a 1940s/50s Hallicrafters S-38 or an early '70s S-120A!  $250 for a basic receiver is nothing in 2014.  The $47.50 that the S-38 cost in 1946 would be close to $500 today.  The S-120A was $60 in 1969 (I used to own one) - about $300 today - and that receiver's performance was one notch above a 3-transistor regen.  

For the price, the Satellit 750 works very well.
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WA8ZTZ
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Posts: 55




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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 09:04:30 AM »

FWIW, This radio was reviewed in the February 2013 MT.  The review seemed lukewarm.  The reviewer seemed think it was a better radio than it was 5 years ago but there were still some minor things he didn't like.  Hey, for $300, it covers a lot of spectrum and probably is what it is.
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