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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | swan 500 Help

Reviews Summary for swan 500
swan 500 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $swan-500
Description: hf radio w/ssb
Product is not in production.
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W2IL Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2009 12:10 Send this review to a friend
A classic & I Love it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a SWAN 500C which I purchased in July 1968. Other than changing out the finals(6LQ6's)it has worked perfectly for 41 years.I use a fan to cool the finals and use it almost exclusively on 20 meters. The less you switch bands and tune it up, the better. No drift after a brief warm up, it has great audio and a delivers a strong punch ( I use a Shure 444 mic). Much better than my PRO III for breaking a pile ups. I do not run an amplifier. Puts out a solid 300 watts and the receive is good but I even make it better with a Timewave DSP-599zx to assist. I also have a back up 500CX which I recently had John Bruchey give a complete alignment. (He is the man for Swan service) Both my Swan rigs are in mint condition and I can't ever see myself parting with them.
KI6NQT Rating: 4/5 Jan 17, 2009 17:15 Send this review to a friend
I love it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 500cx. It is a work horse.
Great audio, much nicer on the ears, not tiring.
Put a final cage fan and the finals will last.
Easy to work on, I can see the components no problem.
Drift is not a problem if you let it warm up for 15 minutes.
Do not need an amp.
The knobs keep me busy!
You should try one of these just once in your life.
KI6NQT Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2008 13:41 Send this review to a friend
Great even today  Time owned: more than 12 months
Favorite radio. Good receive with great punch, finals are getting pricey. Being able to work on this without a microscope is nice.
K6SDW Rating: 3/5 Jan 28, 2008 19:41 Send this review to a friend
Fun way back then...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine was a drifter...and I mean drift city. Awful selectivity on receive, but always got better than great audio reports!

Thems was the gud o' days, eh!
KB4UHK Rating: 4/5 Aug 11, 2007 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Wish I still had mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
After my Heathkit Hw16 went toes up, this was my normal rig as a kid. My elmer had a 700cx, so when I had mowed enough lawns to buy something used but decent, I went with him to a fest and this was the rig I drooled over.

I was a novice so I never ran it over 200, usually I kept it on QRP actually as for a time, my parents would only allow an indoor 15M dipole. It did quite well with that antenna and once my dad let me have a cubical quad I was working DX just fine.

The receiver is noisy and the VFO tended to drift a bit on 10M but the radio is very forgiving of high SWR (it will probably load into a roofing gutter or bedsprings). I might buy one again some day.
WB9MSM Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2006 14:47 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RIG From the PAST!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned six or seven 500's over my 30+ years in ham radio. My first one was back in 1973 when I first got my general. They are Excellent tube rigs that are very forgiving of high SWR! I recently picked one up at a local swapfest. It is one of the cleanest that I have had in recet times. The receive audio is wonderful. It sounds full! I like the feeling of actually tuning up this radio! Everyone should learn how to 'peak the grid' and 'dip the plate'! Only thing is that with these finals it is not recommended for a training ground. These sweep tubes can be damaged quite easily by the inexperienced. I really like the feel of the veriner tuning knob! What a wonderful feel! It tunes across the band GREAT! It also has an Excellent Sound for CW! I like how the 'dashes and dots' pierce through the speaker/power supply. This one that I picked up is a late model from 1973. It really makes my day to make a contact with this CLASSIC Radio! If you have love for the past and want "glow worms" in the shack - A SWAN 500CX IS FOR YOU!
KB3LXY Rating: 4/5 Dec 21, 2005 16:55 Send this review to a friend
Like it..always did  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 500cx was the rig that got me back to ham radio in the present...Long story !

But I have had my most recent 500 for a few years. I use it mainly for 40 and 75 meter phone. It does the job very well. I run it mostly bare foot, but can also bring a Mk-2 amp on line if conditions require.

Mine puts out a little over 300 watts on 40 and 80 meters, has a very decent reciever. But it does lack some noise reducing features that the newer rigs have. Asside from has always gotten great audio reports...and even warms my shack in the winter,

And with the Mk-2 it certainly puts out a very "BIG" signal. It is a keeper !
EX-W6BC-REMOVED Rating: 4/5 Nov 11, 2003 17:30 Send this review to a friend
Nice Older Rig - Packs a Punch!  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you can get a Swan, get one. I've had mine for 10 years and never regretted having it in my shack. These rigs are very simple to operate! DX the world without a linear amplifier. My 500C has PEP of 520 watts, but I would recommend using lower power of 300 or less due to the older age of these units. Have fun with them and you'll also be pleasantly surprised when you tell people you're using one of these old Swans. They do drift a little until they're warmed up, but hey, it's a tube rig.
AD5EM Rating: 4/5 Apr 7, 2003 00:52 Send this review to a friend
Lotsa Power for Low Bucks  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've got a Swan 500 now that I recently purchased. I have owned a Swan 350 in the past and enjoyed that one, too. There is only a couple of freqs I use on 75/80M, so I use the Swan for that band, only. Not that it doesn't work well on the others, I'm just making it a single purpose rig. And, I don't have to listen to my linear fan run . I'm using an old GE mic that I bought for $5 at a hamfest and I get good audio reports. The 500s receiver is pretty sensitive, but not all that selective..but hey, on 75/80M everyone is running 500-5000watts, so hearing is NOT an issue . It's fun, very simple to fix (if ever needed) and I like watching the tubes in the olde days.
73 and enjoy!
NO9E Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2003 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Powerful on transmit, so so on receive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had it around 1984 for 2 years. It was very compact for its power (up to 300W PEP out) and won praises for its excellent transmit signal. On receive, there was no CW filter. Image rejection was poor, and a preselector was needed for a reasonable performance. However, there was never a hardware problem.

It was a rig where almost everybody could copy me but I had problems copying them. After replacing the SWAN with IC-735, I could receive a whole lot better but transmit signal was 2-3 S lower and unspectacular.

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