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Author Topic: A decent tabletop receiver.  (Read 22037 times)
S21TC
Member

Posts: 2




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« on: January 26, 2014, 02:02:17 PM »

Hello,
Before asking this question, I researched online about my query. I haven't found anything solid yet- and this is why I am asking it here.
I am after a tabletop receiver for the sole purpose of SWL (I know these days all major broadcasters are withdrawing leaving large number of chinese broadcasting behind for the SWLers). SSB is not an issue. I got a KX3 (needs to be assembled) and saving some money for a top end HF rig.
My question is, those who had and have the opportunity of trying both the R75 and KX3 radios- do you think as a SW receiver KX3 is as good or better as R75? I am asking for only AM- on the basis of filtering, sound quality etc. I will be using an End Fed PAR SWL. I know there are few good receivers out there as well. But, considering the budget and feedback on eham, I am convinced that I will go for R75 if KX3 in not as good on AM for SWLing.
Any suggestion? Thank you all.
Hashmi.
S21TC/ VK5HTC
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 471




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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 10:24:37 AM »

Hello,
Before asking this question, I researched online about my query. I haven't found anything solid yet- and this is why I am asking it here.
I am after a tabletop receiver for the sole purpose of SWL (I know these days all major broadcasters are withdrawing leaving large number of chinese broadcasting behind for the SWLers). SSB is not an issue. I got a KX3 (needs to be assembled) and saving some money for a top end HF rig.
My question is, those who had and have the opportunity of trying both the R75 and KX3 radios- do you think as a SW receiver KX3 is as good or better as R75? I am asking for only AM- on the basis of filtering, sound quality etc. I will be using an End Fed PAR SWL. I know there are few good receivers out there as well. But, considering the budget and feedback on eham, I am convinced that I will go for R75 if KX3 in not as good on AM for SWLing.
Any suggestion? Thank you all.
Hashmi.
S21TC/ VK5HTC

The KX3 is a better receiver than the R75, but if you are using primarily AM you will find that the R75 has wider bandwidth and therefore I can see it being more desirable for the SWL.
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KD7RDZI2
Member

Posts: 68




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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 12:38:11 PM »

I have a Drake R8 which has excellent audio. However I would highly recommend the
"Built SoftRock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver" available at fivedash.com for just 92$. SDRs have in my view great advantages over standard receivers especially for SWL. First you make filters as large as you like at no extra cost. If you like a hifi 20khz wide filter YOU CAN. If you like to have a 100hz for cw, YES YOU CAN. At no extra cost you can get the software SDRSharp which has an impressive image rejection capability and excellent sound. Softrocks need a line-in stereo input sound card in order to have image rejection.
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ZL2MC
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 12:27:36 PM »

Rather an open-ended question - you haven't told us what your budget is or what you mainly like to listen to.

Most of my stuff is pretty old, the most recently purchased new was a WinRadio G303e which is an HF SDR but not the top line model - works well enough - being tied to a laptop hardly makes it a tabletop model though. I don't have any experience with the US made Drakes/Collins/Halli etc - favourite is my JRC NRD515 - bulletproof tank, very sensitive and stable - closely followed by my old standby Kenwood R2000 which I've had since new in the 80's. I recently bought on our local auction site an ex-marine Debeg 7313 (a re-badged Skanti 5000) which shows great promise once I get all the age-related bugs out of it but it's hardly an XYL friendly device for the dining-room table!
Otherwise a heap of larger transistor portables ranging from a huge Sony CRF-230 through a Zenith TransOceanic 3000-1 down to a Degen/Kaito 1103 which is a surprisingly good performer both RF and AF!

I've heard many good reports of the PAR EF-SWL antenna, but I have made a copy with 66ft of 7/029 insulated wire with a wideband un-un on the end - works very well especially on the lower HF broadcast bands. Radio Espana Internacionale comes in very well on 49m band and I can't get any further away than that from NZ!
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S21TC
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 01:27:58 AM »

Hi guys,
Thanks for your responses.
I will use the receiver solely for Short Wave broadcasting. As KE7TMA mentioned for AM, R75- that offers wider bandwidth will be the best option for me. I do not want to be dependent on PC for swl. I have couple of SDR receivers unassembled. I would prefer a desktop for general broadcasting. For the rest I will be using my KX3, SDRs and if I ever end  up with- a top end transceiver.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Cheers,
Hashmi.
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ZL2MC
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 01:14:00 AM »

You've got a "top-end" receiver, it's the KX-3! Problem is, it's a 'communications' receiver and it's design is for speech intelligibility, not for wideband broadcast music. A big old Hallicrafters with a push-pull audio amplifier or and external stereo amp and a couple of large speakers will sound pretty good, but the sensitivity/selectivity won't be as good as the 'comms' receiver. I pass all my receiver audio through a mono mixer with tone controls into a basic stereo amplifier and a pair of speakers and they sound OK to my ears but it's not a setup I would want in the lounge room - nor would SWMBO!

Some of those mid-60's transistor portables sound good and work really well on an external antenna and some have internal power supplies - they might fit the bill.

Zenith Royal 7000, Transoceanic 3000-1, German Grundigs (not the Chinese ones!), big Sony such as the CRF 150/160/230/5090, my Nordmende 7/601 is sensitive and good sound  too! Big money in the old tube radios, Saba Freudenstadt, Scott, bigger Zeniths and many others.
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RENTON481
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 09:11:48 AM »

If I had the money I'd go for a Drake R8. I've read nothing but good reports on their performance and sound.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 730




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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 08:10:30 PM »

You can use the KX3 as a very high fidelity shortwave receiver with bandwidth capability out to 24kHz or more. More than sufficient to do AM SWL.

Hint:   Use the RX I/Q output to feed HDSDR.

Enjoy.







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KI5WW
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 07:14:20 PM »

Havent used either radio, but great choice on the ant. You should never need anything else but the Par. Ive got the SWL and 9 of the ham band Pars. All absolutely wonderful. Good luck.
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ZL2MC
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 12:34:29 AM »

I always find it rather strange that guys buy a "communications" receiver and then grizzle that it hasn't got very good " high-fidelity" - whatever that is  Roll Eyes .

Surely the two are mutually exclusive - what do you want to do - communicate or listen to the music? To communicate a voice message, all you need is a restricted frequency response like the old telephone - 300Hz to 3kHz. You can do do that quite effectively with SSB, even if it's a bit off-frequency and sounds like Donal Duck, the message still gets through. However, music needs a wider and flatter frequency response - maybe 100Hz to 10kHz - but then there's another problem. You'll need a better power supply to eliminate the last of the hum and you'll get the heterodyne from the adjacent religious station on the 19m bands. Anyway the spacing on the HF broadcast bands is only 5kHz so there's always the sideband splatter.......
So you plump for a big 1950 's Scott All-Wave - big speaker, wide bandwidth, great fidelity - but then you won't be able to listen to the Aeronautical stuff.......oh, well. "Please, dear, I need to buy a Drake R8 or a JRC NRD 535....oh, and another long antenna......" Wink
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KC0KEK
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 07:01:07 PM »

If I had the money I'd go for a Drake R8. I've read nothing but good reports on their performance and sound.

Agreed. I've had one since about '95. Great sound. Sensitive. Selective.

I also have an Icom R-70, which is outstanding. You can't go wrong with either one.
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