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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Radio Shack DX-394 Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack DX-394
Radio Shack DX-394 Reviews: 37 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $399.95
Description: General Coverage Communications Receiver Rating (1-5): H (1) <br> Made In: China 1995-1998 Voltages: 120 VAC 12 VDC <br> Coverage: 150-30000 kHz Readout: Digital LCD 0.1 <br> Modes: AM/LSB/USB/CW Selectivity: 7.2/6/5.7 kHz <br> Circuit: Double Conversion Physical: 9.125x3.5x7.8" 5 Lbs. <br> Features: ¼" Head. Jack, S-Meter, VRIT Tuning, Dial Lamp, Keypad, NB, Fine Tuning, Clock, 5-Event Timer, Scan, Sweep, Standby, Lock, Record Jack, Sleep Timer, Four Tuning Steps. <br>
Product is in production.
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K7HZN Rating: 4/5 May 7, 2014 16:17 Send this review to a friend
Meets my needs  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got one of these when they first showed up in the Radio Shack stores. It has given me good service and is still my primary SWL receiver since my transceiver is ham band only.

Never had a moments trouble with it in all these years.
K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2012 06:42 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio - good value for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I LIKED this radio. I paid about $175 for a used one, which had been tuned and checked by an old ham. My example performed perfectly and without fault, and was plenty sensitive for general SWL-ing and listening to the ham bands. It received ham SSB transmissions very well and was easy to tune and adjust for proper reception. Radio is well made and feels solid and durable. This is not the best table-top SW radio, but it beats any portable in its price range, and you can get them for the price of an average sized portable.

Bottom line - good performance for the price, solid feel, good audio, reasonable selectivity and sensitivity, and looks good even you have had one for awhile. Good value for the money.

Happy trails and good DX to ya. // K8JHR //
W4ARZ Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 2011 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Good 4 Overall  Time owned: more than 12 months
In addition to all my high end receivers & transceivers, I have given home to 2 of the B series 394's. Both have the anti chuff and audio mods. Didn't buy em for tracking space shuttle signals but I did want to use them for casual shortwave,MW & SSB listening. I hook em up to my Cushcraft A4s or my Carolina Windom 160. My friend Allan has a couple of SW stations 7.415 & 5.110 WBCW.. They work fine & I turn doen the RF gain ( most people run their receivers with the rf gain wide open & wonder why the front end is overloading). These little guys look great ( mine are pristine). and they take the load off my really high end equipment & boatanchors if I just want to listen around the shack casually. Not bad on SSB either. The Problem I have is that there is no adjustable brake on the vfo.. All of em are kinda free wheeling and I like a little resistance in the tuning.. Otherwise it would give it a 5.
KB1FQG Rating: 4/5 Jun 8, 2011 15:11 Send this review to a friend
Good for what it is!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I question the logic of people who compare this to a $500 RX and complain about it. I have a few $1,000 plus radios and wouldn't expect this radio to be anything like it. It is what it is, a $100 (used price) portable hidden in a desktop box with some extra features. If I'm looking for ultimate satisfaction I'll use my Drake R-7A, SW-8, or my collins, Racal, or Harris gear. But for poking around or something to use at my office or out on the porch, its just fine.
KI6RSE Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2011 21:16 Send this review to a friend
FUN TO PLAY WITH  Time owned: more than 12 months
Honestly ive had a couple of these..If you dont have the funds to spend a few hundred buck on a more expensive reciever by all means get one of these..I read some of the prima donna reviews on here and definately dont agree with the low scores..This is available for the 150$ range on Ebay and for the price works great..I can hear AM stations on alongwire..right on frequency with WWV .. not difficult to operate..SSb works fine...its not a Kenwood 350$-500$ reciever ..people should give this radio shack radio Credit...For the price its a Great bedside radio..even better if your into the mods for it..
AA9K Rating: 4/5 Jan 17, 2011 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Add These Mods To Make It A Very Good General Coverage Receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a non-working DX-394 which had the boards covered with oxidized junk. It worked after disassembling, cleaning and reassembling but I was not impressed with the performance.
After looking around the Internet for some mods I came across this site - and installed all the mods except the DRM (I don't need it) and DSP (I'm too cheap) mods. It's hard to believe how much better this receiver performs now - and for less than $15 worth of parts !!!
Mine still has one issue that needs to be addressed; the IF selectivity is broad enough that strong adjacent CW signals will pump the AGC. However, there is a Kiwa IF Filter mod that might help with that. There is a lot of information available on the Internet including the manuals which can be downloaded free from the site mentioned above.
N4UE Rating: 3/5 Aug 2, 2010 16:19 Send this review to a friend
"toy" radio that kinda works  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have thought long and hard about how to rate this radio. I have been a frequent contributor here and my radio collection grows almost daily.
My delimna, is that the radio is 'kinda good', 'kinda bad'. This is the first radio I have ever had these kind of mixed feelings about.... ha ha
The previous posters hit all the nails on the head about this radio.
It's another in the long line of "GRE" radios made for RS. Mine is the "B" model and made in China.
I guess if there were some GOOD aftermarket filters available for it, it might be a much better radio.
(I have the Service Manual and downloaded ALL the mods for this radio from '', but have not attempted any yet).

Just a brief recap of MY likes and dislikes:

- quite sensitive when using an outside antenna
- very stable
- sounds good on SSB, fine tuning is great
- easy frequency entry
- small

- broad as the proverbial barn door. I have it and several other receivers connected to a good coax switch. The '394 is the only radio that hears multiple signals on the WWV frequencies. Not loud, but they are there.
- small (see above!) I guess I just like 'big' radios. My DX-302 is the same size as my Icom 761. Still, to be fair, this would make a great 'bedside' radio.
- mine might need alignment, 'cause it's a deaf as a stump with the internal whip.

The seller described it as "mint" etc. It wasn't too bad, but the whip antenna and the flip-down feet were missing. I made a whip and feet.

However, I have to wonder....don't Americans wash their hands anymore?
This in NOT the fault of the radio of course, but just a commentary on the usual condition of the radios I purchase (and I buy a lot!). I would be ashamed to sell a radio with funky knobs and I won't use one until I clean them.
Yeah, take all of 3 minutes...... NO, I am NOT a 'neat freak'!
Off the soapbox, sorry for the rant.

DXTUNER Rating: 3/5 May 17, 2010 21:58 Send this review to a friend
Good at some things  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If you can forgive the chunky PLL tuning and the horrible audio quality, then you've got a fairly useful little tabletop DX machine here. The DX-394 is small, light & plastic - the anti-thesis of the Kenwood R-1000 - but it actually receives very well. I use it for snagging LW broadcasters abroad, as well as beacons stateside, things my other general coverage receivers don't hear quite as good.

It just doesn't have that real 'radio feel', however. But for the $100 - $200 it sells for on Ebay, the DX-394 is a darn good buy. For what it can do.
WA7UHR Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2009 14:45 Send this review to a friend
A good receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have had it only a short while. Paid a whole dollar for it at a yard sale. After some fluff and buff it fired right up. The bands were poppin' with signals. Little rig has lot of options and is not that bad a preformer. For the money (ha) it's by far the best receiver that I own. It went on the night stand next to the bed for some relaxing late evening listening.
KITKAT1963 Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2009 15:50 Send this review to a friend
Great budget radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is the "Rev B" model, I got it second-hand of Ebay for less than 50. Yes, ok, the tuning is clunky, but what do you expect for an entry level HF receiver? Mine is hooked up to a Global AT-1000 ATU, and a 30ft longwire in the garden. On a good night I can pull in signals from the USA quite well, and also the Trans-Atlantic HF transmissions from Gander and Shanwick. It also picks up things like Radio China well too. One of it's best features is the direct entry of frequencies, which is great for following the aircraft from one freq to another. It does just as good a job as my rather tired FRG-7700, but the audio isn't as good. Great little rig for not many bucks!
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