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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Hallicrafters SX-99 Help


Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters SX-99
Hallicrafters SX-99 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $85-125
Description: General coverage radio of the mid 50s. .530 Mc to 32 Mc. Two "half moon" dials, big central "S" meter, crystal phasing, 3 position selectivity. 7 metal tubes + 5Y3 rectifier.
Product is not in production.
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KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2016 17:47 Send this review to a friend
Representative of Minimum Acceptable Communications RECEIVER  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a "Mint" SX-99 that represents to me 100% nostalgia and 30% receiver performance.

Back in the mid 1950's I (at the age of 12) spent hours "drooling" over the great looking (but impossibly expensive at $199.95) SX-99 in the the Sears-Roebuck and Allied Radio Catalogs. That Christmas my Grandfather and Elmer (W4SNI) gave me a brand new Hallicrafters S-53A (costing $89.95)--less expensive and sophisticated than the SX-99, but still way beyond my wildest dreams. The S-53A represented a very high quality, compact, entry-level Short-Wave Broadcast Receiver with a fixed-frequency BFO for minimalist CW/SSB reception.

Soon after the above, I got my Novice and later General License using the S-53A as my ham-station receiver. The S-53A had no Variable (BFO Frequency) Pitch Control or (sharp) IF Crystal Filtering available with the SX-99. While negotiating the crowded Novice Bands, it soon became obvious that these two features were essential for a reasonably pleasant operating experience. I.E. these features are a minimum requirement for a true communications receiver.

While not competitive with the receive function in a modern entry-level transceiver--especially with regard to frequency readout or stability, the SX-99 represented the minimum requirements for a competent communications receiver in it's day. The SX-99's RF Amplifier Stage, S-Meter, Crystal Phasing and Antenna Trimmer Controls provided significantly useful "icing on the cake". Both receivers had the all-important RF Gain Control so necessary for distortion-free CW/SSB reception.

Based on the above-outlined facts, I have NO nostalgic memories of my S-53A which I spent many hours struggling with--but will not part with my SX-99 which I WISHED that I had possessed in my early days as a Ham!

While not pertinent to this review--my ever-generous Grandfather and Elmer later gave me (well after receiving my General Class License) a brand-new ham-band-only (SSB/CW optimized) SX-111 ($249.95) which was one major step above the general-coverage SX-99.
What a difference in performance! This demonstrated (at the time) what I had been missing without the critically-needed features missing with the S-53A Receiver.
 
NZ5L Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2012 17:48 Send this review to a friend
Vintage boat anchor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The SX-99 was an upscaled S-85 (or a "downscaled" SX-100 - the features are about the same escept for the cosmetic touches). A large centrally mounted "S" meter was added between the dials and a crystal "phasing" control added, plus an antenna trimmer. Otherwise the same as the S-85.
The selectivity is fine for SWLing or AM listening. After a little practice, SSB can be tuned in (no product detector, but fairly strong BFO injection) and cw sounds pleasant. This is a great receiver for listening to foreign music stations, especially thru a large, vintage speaker. Nits? It is large and heavy, and takes up considerable desk space. Exactly where you are on the dial is mostly by guess. Dial stringing can be a headache. But the rich tube audio is unobtainable any other way, if that is what you are after, you have to make the accomodation. The 99 is one of the best for the price.
 


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