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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Collins 75A-4 Help


Reviews Summary for Collins 75A-4
Collins 75A-4 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $695
Description: 10-160 meter AM/SSB/CW Receiver
Product is not in production.
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N8FVJ Rating: 4/5 Nov 3, 2002 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Great, audio needs 'a little'  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great receiver, however the audio is not great. A few modifications did clear it up just fine. What makes the radio desirable is the stability, real passband tuning, selectivity and the analog dial that allows anyone to find a frequency! And, 'its a Collins'.
 
WB6MYL Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2002 19:38 Send this review to a friend
argueably, one of the best ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
I, as with the previous reviewer, have a large collection of receivers/rigs (probably 50 at last count). I love my R-9000, TR-7, FT-1000D and the 51J-4; these are great rigs and special in their own right; however, when it comes to fidelity it is hard to beat an A4 for listening pleasure; that wide open audio that Art and his boys put in that St James box is hard to describe except for "very analog" and "tooooobey"; this is deemed even more impressive considering you are talking about fifty year old technology. You can find these things sitting in garages and attics with years of neglect, plug them in, and many hear very well (yes you typically have to recap and/or retube but it is worth it). Argueably one of the top two or three amateur band receivers ever made; Best analogy: listen to the top of the line stereo receiver from a hi-fi jobber and compare it with a set of 60s vintage McIntosh tube monoblocks; great pass-band (although I beleive the Drake passband is better) and best sounding rig in my shack with the exception of my 390A/TMC 591 SSB adapter; I wish I could get these black beauties in my 401K.
Thanx for reading. Phillip W. Harris, PhD.P.C.
 
N4UE Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2002 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Still incredable performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi, let me preface this by stating I collect receivers. I have a lot. My pride and joy, is a perfect example of the state of the art in 1955. I own serial # 029. I purchased this radio sight unseen upon the recommendation of K8DR, from W4XO. I was told that my radio was "nice, but needed the usual recapping, etc" , a 'working radio'. The radio arrived in the most elaborate packing I have ever experienced! Even the Xtal calibrator was removed and wrapped in styrofoam, as were the filters. The condition of the paint was near perfect. This radio had the 4:1 knob and gears installed, which I feel is mandatory. I immediatly thought that this radio needed a companion speaker. After having sticker shock at the 270 series Collins speakers, I ordered one (reproduction) from Mort Jones. I defy anyone to tell it is not origional. What is really amazing is that the paint is a perfect (and I speak as a car builder) and I mean perfect, match to old # 029. Several ham buddies simply cannot believe how good it looks. They swear it is a matched pair. Mort, I don't know how you do it.....unbelievable......
Back to the radio......It played perfect, out of the box. part of 10 M was dead, but that was just a matter of tweaking the osc. coils.
I left the radio alone for about a year, because it worked so well, I just couldn't imagine it being any "better". And this is from a ham of 45 years, (and a retired EE), who can't leave ANYTHING alone! During this time I acquired many new HF radios including an Icom 756Pro, a 706G (both bought by me, in Tokyo and carried on the plane back). The A4 could hold it's own. One day I decided to re-cap the thing. I gathered all the information on the WWW and gathered the necessary parts. I bought the 75A-4 video from the CCA and followed Chuck Rippel's advise about the 'deadly caps'. Sure enough, all (!) the bypass caps were NFG as were several of the micas. I did the mod to remove the B+ from the: 500Hz. 1.5KHz. 2.1KHz and 3.1 KHz filters I had acquired. I did a complete alignment. Some specs were right on, othere were WAYYYYYY out. The result? Probably the best radio I have in my museum/collection. I have a mint '67 EAC R390A with a CV-571A SSB converter (yet to be 'refreshed') so I can't rule this combo out..... However, the only other tube radio I have that can play with the A4, is my Collins 51J3. Recently, I purchased a PD-1 (Product Detector) for the J3, and I have not used it yet.
To 'spruce up' the A4, I polished the tube shields, painting the inside of them black. The chassis is absolutly 100% mint and sparkles like the day it was made. I put the dial drum in my lathe, turned off the old decal and put on a reproduction.
Digital pictures of this radio cannot possibly do it justice! It has earned it's own dedicated table in my museum.

When my new shop/shack/museum is completed this year, I hope to be able to replicate these efforts for any Collins fan at my cost. These are unbelieavable radios and you should acquire one at any cost! They are worth every penny. Trust me!

ron

N4UE

Moving to Lake City Florida
EM80
 
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