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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Ten-Tec RX-340 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec RX-340
Ten-Tec RX-340 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $3950
Description: DSP HF Receiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com/rx340.htm
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KA2KFB Rating: 2/5 Sep 8, 2014 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Buyer beware  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this radio back in July of this year. I have found several things I don't like about this receiver. First off don't use an active antenna with it or it will overload very easily on the AM broadcast band with many stations repeating due to harmonics. PBT is very sensitive, you need surgeons hands to return the control to zero. The arrows for the tuning steps are reversed, I.E. the left arrow increases the tuning steps while the right one decreases the steps. The manual says otherwise. The manual is a photocopy, for that kind of money it should have been printed. The manual on their website is different than one they set me even though they say otherwise. The biggest problem with the radio is that the 10KHZ tuning step reverts to 9KHZ when the radio is repowered up. A call to customer service seemed surprised this was happening and said software engineers will be notified of the issues but don't look for fix anytime soon. They also said there was nothing wrong with the radio and it was just a software glich. This is a SDR radio, therefore it has a problem. I contacted another reviewer on this page and he said he was given the same runaround 8 years ago and finally gave up. Over 8 years and still no fix? I would not recommend this product due to lack of customer support and repeatedly selling of a product with a known defects.
 
KC6RCM Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2014 22:06 Send this review to a friend
A listening instrument.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had never owned a premium receiver before purchasing the RX-340, but I still had high expectations regarding the level of performance to be expected. Having owned my unit now for over seven years, it has exceeded those expectations by a wide margin. I use it primarily for NDB DXing in the 200 to 500 KHz spectrum. Using an effective antenna system, it's amazing how many beacons I can hear in the winter months. Many of the beacons lie beneath other, stronger beacons that are located on the same frequency. With a little time and patience, they eventually get logged... a listening instrument at its finest.

If you're thinking about an HF receiver for serious Long, Medium, or Short Wave listening, you must give the RX-340 consideration.

 
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2012 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Second to None!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was fortunate enough to get one used in the oak cabinet and matching speaker for a price well below the new Ten-Tec price. I haven't been disappointed yet!

Needless to say, as has been mentioned here previously, this is a MIL SPEC receiver with all the bells and whistles one could want. I've used it with a separate home-brew transmitter for CW work on the amateur bands and it is awesome for amateur use.

I also love SWLing in the VLF range and here is an area where it shines. The only area where I have to say it lacks is it could use some DSP noise reduction but I use a Timewave DSP-599zx with it for that. I also hooked up a DRM-1 Down-converter to the IF output for DRM reception and it does a good job there too, much like my RX-320D and RX-350D. Yes, I'm a Ten-Tec man also owning an Orion II, Jupiter, OMNI VII, a pair of Argonaut V's and a 526 (6N2). I have to tell you, you can't beat their good old make in the USA equipment!
 
AG6LI Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2012 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've just paired my Ten-Tec Orion to an RX-340. The step up from the Orion receiver is remarkable. With the same antenna setup I'm pulling in a LOT more, and everything is a lot clearer. Awesome receiver.
 
KE7GSK Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2010 18:45 Send this review to a friend
Still in the Running  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The RX340 is considered a MILSPEC receiver having been modeled after the Ten-Tec RX331 which has seen service in government circles throughout the world.

MILSPEC radios are expensive for many reasons but quality and reliability are at the top of the list. With consumer rigs, the manufacturers are looking to keep their prices down to keep sales up. Cheaper parts are one of the many ways they do this. MILSPEC radios are built to strict government standards and rarely does cost factor in. The government requires the radio be able to endure rough handling, severe weather temperatures, aircraft, shipboard and field use. Add to all that the fact that most times the rig will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years. After all, we want the best for our troops, special agencies and agents.

Iíve owned the RX340 for the past four months, it replacing my Ten-Tec Orion. My QRZ page shows some of the rigs that accompany the RX340 and there are many no longer in the shack Ė Watkins-Johnson, Racal, AOR, and JRC to name a few, all worthy in their own right.

After reading everything I could on the RX340 I noted some areas of concern by a few reviewers (not here on Eham) and make some additional comments below:

S.A.M.

One reviewer, with admittingly limited amount of play time with the RX340, commented about how the S.A.M. feature frequently loses lock. The only time Iíve found the RX340 to lose lock was when very strong signals come within 3-5 kHz of the desired signal or deep fading entered the picture. Iím on the west coast so I rarely have problems with close-in strong signals but I would suggest those closer to Europe would experience it more than I.

In regards to deep fading and, as already mentioned by another reviewer below, the RX340 has a user programmable AGC feature so you can tailor the areas of Attack, Hang and Decay. So losing lock can be almost defeated if you just apply a longer Hang time.

My other suggestion is to purchase a Sherwood Engineering SE-3 Synchronous Detector. What you do when you marry the SE-3 to your RX340 is add modern technology to an already worthy rig thereby giving you unbeatable S.A.M. performance. So, by buying the SE-3 you have just fixed both the close-in strong signal and fade issues.

Notch/Noise Blanker

The manual notch works very well but I agree with some reviewers who stated they wish there was an automatic notch feature. The onboard manual notch is superb though and one need only provide a bit of time to isolate and eliminate an unwanted heterodyne. I have had time to compare the noise blanker of the RX340 to the Icom IC-7700 and the 7700 easily came out on top.

CW (Superb!)

One of the areas that the RX340 beat all of the other receivers Iíve owned, and at best rivals the Yaesu FT-1000D transceiver, is CW. Using the RX340ís special ďFast Filter ModeĒ, reducing the bandwidth filter down to say .250hz (goes down to .100hz by the way), scaling back the manual gain, and finally messing around a bit with the BFO to your preferred hearing taste, this rig easily isolates a CW signal to a point where there is hardly any background noise and the signal is clear as a bell and sharp to the ears. Even my technologically advanced Icom IC-7700 couldnít hold a candle to the RX340 in this area.

Is it worth it?

I feel the answer is up to the individual. Again, I refer you to the first section of this article. I guess it comes down to how long you plan on keeping this rig and/or what your purpose is in having it. There are some pretty cool software applications for the RX340 ranging from inexpensive to pretty pricey. By the way, go ahead and price some other comparable MILSPEC radios and youíll quickly realize the RX340 is a bargain.

Equally important to me is the reliability of Ten-Tec. They are one of the only radio manufacturers that continually buy and build parts for their radios, long after the radio itself is no longer built. Most commercial and government manufacturers stop making or buying parts right around the point the radios stop coming down the production line. You must count this as a huge plus in your decision.
 
W8IDL Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2008 22:13 Send this review to a friend
Superb!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned one Ten-Tec RX-340 for four years now, and my second one for two years. This is absolutely, positively a PREMIUM RECEIVER in every sense of the phrase. I sold off some of my Harris (RF-590) and W-J (various) receivers to buy these RX-340s, and have never looked back. The only thing I can add to the other reviews here is that Ten-Tec now offers an optional wood cabinet and matching speaker. I bought a set, and they are beautiful with professional workmanship. The speaker sounds great as well. If you're an HF recever nut (premium-rx reflector subscribers unite!), you can't miss with this impressive receiver.
 
KBH669 Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2007 09:53 Send this review to a friend
2nd Gen. HF DSP at it's best.  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you're looking for a premium receiver with low to zero maintenance, great audio and sensible ergonomics then the RX-340 should be at the top of your list.

This is based off of using an AR7030+, R8A, HF-150, & R30C in the past. Connect a good antenna system to it and you will not be disappointed. I use my 340 for just about everything - Shortwave broadcast, digital modes, & SSB coms. It was no small decision to invest in a radio like this, but I haven't regretted it and still feel like this is 'the one'.

I've had my RX-340 since 2000 and the only service performed in the past 7 years was to replace the signal meter bulb with an LED type that Ten Tec sent me, free of charge. I use a Sherwood SE-3 for AM service and use the full frequency DC-coupled audio output for SSB. I run both AM/SSB signals to a tube amplifier so if there is any 'hardness' to the audio, I'm not hearing it. In fact, what I do get, is very clear non-fatiguing sound that is neither bass nor treble exaggerated (this is how I can listen to it for hours on end).

Some of my listening habits include trying to catch low-power AM signals from Europe late on the weekends. I found that if I run my 340 in CW mode in conjunction with the SE-3 that I'd be able to use all the controls the rig has to offer to manipulate the signal. Having the BFO, PBT, & Notch at my disposal allows me to not only zero in from a selective angle, but gives me full control over the audio signature for best intelligibility and EQ. Speaking of selectivity, if you have not experienced the phaselinear quality of DSP filters you are in for a real treat. Also, I have yet to experience a more sensitive receiver than the RX-340 - this radio excels in digging through the bands to find faint signals to make copy of for both AM & SSB.

I'd like to echo N2JSG's comments about the AGC system for this radio and add my two cents: Using the programmable AGC on the RX-340 along with the manual IF gain control is the secret to getting this radio to perform to it's fullest. Once I understood the concept of setting the AGC to pull in as much signal and yet allow the radio to breath a little with proper IF adjustment, it increased the sensitivity while keeping the static at a level where the audio could come through out of the noise. As a result, this receiver provides EXCELLENT audio recovery of weak signals from working the programmable AGC loop/manual IF gain circuitry.

For most of my DXing, I usually start w/the AGC in programmable mode (Attack 0.1, Hang 0.0, Decay 99.9) & reduce the manual IF gain to around 18-23db. With the receiver's AGC set to it's fastest recovery time, I'll use the manual gain to find the saturation point & then relax the AGC starting with the Hang setting (0.1-0.3). If further adjustment is needed then I'll work the Attack & Decay until the best S/N ratio can be found; basically working back from a fast AGC configuration to a slower one along with the corresponding +/- IF gain depending on conditions & signal strength. I use the Noise Blanker with a similar approach and to ensure that it is working productively with the gain circuitry for best overall recovery.

An easy way to hear the AGC's programmable mode interactions is to actually open the manual IF gain all the way up on a clear frequency and listen closely to the raw static as you change values. This will let you hear the threshold points for the Attack, Hang, & Decay rates for a better feel on how they work together.

One thing I love about the RX-340 is when listening to a Shortwave Broadcaster with the 16Khz filter in the clear, you can set the AGC to a fast mode and then roll back the manual gain until the signal comes out of an almost FM like background. That's what separates this radio from the others: the audio is so beautiful that it lends itself to a more enjoyable listening experience. You can incorporate this receiver into a HiFi setup and never look back. It really is that good.

In regards to the 5kHz IP3 dynamic range of the 340, it can be improved upon if you use a quality preamp and engage the attenuator w/increased IF gain to reduce the impact from stronger nearby signals. This will smooth out the audio so you can hear what you're chasing after. This is how I can listen to Radio Nikkei in the morning on the 75m band with easy copy amongst all the voice traffic.

As a final thought, the manual (pg.5-10) mentions Post DSP IF/AF data available from the RS-232 port for use with additional signal processing equipment. If this provides digital audio in IS2 form, you could use an outboard device or software program to customize the AM/SSB signals in the digital domain for later conversion with a USB DAC or similar for further audio refinement.

The 340 takes patience to master, but will really perform if you invest the time to learn all of it's idiosyncrasies. Coupled with a low noise antenna or similar (I use an EWE), you'll be amazed at what kind of DX you can hear with this rig. The performance & fidelity of the RX-340 is fantastic!
 
KU4MO Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2007 07:30 Send this review to a friend
Great! so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Added PC amplified speakers to improve audio
 
KA9P Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2005 06:55 Send this review to a friend
Better than, well, you know....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The superlatives have been exhausted.

Here's my beef. The little knobs are cheap (really cheap). The main tuning knob is weighted, but the skirt is cheap (mine's a bit eccentric from the factory, eccentricity is not uncommon here...) The tuning was stiff and a bit uneven, but after a tip from a fellow user, I pulled the knob out a bit on the shaft and it works much better. They STILL ship this in a single box with two pieces of form fitting foam and some bubble wrap. For some reason the signal strength meter filter is more green than the blue of the flourescent displays....

But it's worth it. I cleaned house, letting several favorite receivers go (including WJ and Harris) to pull this off, and while I miss their personalities, none exceeded the performance of this radio in any serious way that I can notice.

It's been head to head with an HF-1000A for quite a while now. As reported by others, synchronous AM performance varies. The 340 locks and follows over a narrower range, and requires apparently more S/N to lock. Not really an issue on anything but netted, weak AM signals. Audio and AGC make the 340 easier to listen to for long periods.

AM fidelity is good, but there's better. SBB fidelity is superb, rivaling the best I've had here. Ergonomics are great. Size and weight make it possible to consider carrying it around. Legendary TenTec service makes it possible to carry around without worrying about it.

Two in a diversity set up would be THE hot ticket...........
 
K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2005 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Tough to Beat the Performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I must admit that I found the learning curve for this receiver to be a bit steep. This isn't the type of rig you can pull out of the box and use without committing a decent period of time manual reading. Once figured out, however, this becomes a beautiful piece of equipment.

I consider this receiver to be the Ferrari of receivers. Like a Ferrari, it is a demanding piece of equipment to master, but once done, it can do anything for you that you ask of it. With the number of possible listening combinations available, if it is there to listen to, and you have a proper antenna setup (this is key), this receiver will pull it up.

Like a Ferrari, however, this isn't designed as a "touring" receiver. The sound quality is a tad harsh compared to, say, an IC-R9000, and I personally feel it isn't quite as pleasant to listen to for extended periods of time.

Overall, a great pick for pulling out those tough signals. I would suggest, however, that you take it for a test drive before purchasing, to insure that it is the right receiver for your needs.
 
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