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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: 20 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $3950
Description: DSP HF Receiver
Product is in production.
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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.
WA2PVK Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2005 20:22 Send this review to a friend
WOW!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I will spare the technical information. Other reviewers had mentioned that. This receiver is the culmination of my search for a REAL communications receiver. I have had other receivers as well as transceivers that had general coverage receivers. Some were better than others but the RX-340 is incredible. I do not have the greatest antenna but the performance of this receiver is still remarkable. My antenna is a sloper that consists of about 90 feet of #12 standed copper wire. This is attached to the center pin of a PL-259 which is connected to a long "barrel" adaptor which is mechanically and electrically attached to the 40' level of my tower. The other end of the barrel connects to a 50' run of RG-8 that connects to the receiver. This antenna has worked quite well with a variety of receivers and the RX-340 seems "pleased" with it. (I do want to experiment with other antenna types eventually) I have had several transceivers that featured band scopes and have become almost "addicted" to using those. My solution to this "addiction" was to take the 455 KHz. signal output from the RX-340 (there are various IF and Mixer outputs on the back) and connect this to the designated RX-ONLY antenna connector on my transceiver. I can tune the receiver to 455 KHz. and then use the band scope to monitor the RX-340. This works GREAT.
Back to the RX-340! This receiver is absolutely beautiful and highly recommended for anyone who, like me, wants a REAL receiver and who enjoys BCB DX, SWLing, and "exploring". It is also extremely useful, and EXCELLENT, as a ham band receiver and it certainly can be used in conjunction with a transmitter! It IS expensive but worth every dollar as far as I am concerned. This receiver is definitely a keeper!
KY6R Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2005 15:22 Send this review to a friend
Amazing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Couple this receiver with the latest version of the K9AY Loops (with the switchable terminating resistor) and you will be in BCB DX / SWL heaven.

I've been looking for this SWL "solution" for many years.
W5UMO Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2004 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Nothing better  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 40 years of shortwave listening and occasionally frustrated using good but not great equipment, I decided to mail off a box load of money to get the best radio on the market. I haven't been sorry. This radio performs superbly in just about every category. Some tweaks and adjustments on the well-designed and functional panel turn signals falling on any reasonable antenna into ear candy. Broadcast programs, especially music, are a pleasure to listen to with a good external speaker. The well-written instuction booklet provides easy to understand guidance, which is needed to fully realize the vast capabilities of this piece of gear.

For most of us (i.e., not single), an investment this large requires some thinking. I don't believe the output of this radio is three times better than good radios at one third the price. But it's such an excellent performer that I spend a lot more time listening and have more fun and enjoyment doing it. If you're regularly combing the bands and want the best, the RX-340 will not disappoint. And, here's one case where the best is Made in America.
SSN700 Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2004 22:33 Send this review to a friend
World Class  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had many fine radios. Including most of the Japanese trancievers. I always seem to buy new, play for a while, get bored then sell them off.

I have been in and out of the SW hobby for many years. Built many Heath's and Elecrafts latest offering, the K2. That's gone as well.

The RX-340:

Coupled with N4PY's software, you have as capable of a HF recieving station as those probably do at CIA.

I was surprised that extra care in boxing this radio is not considered at the factory. I had no problems, but extra care should be considered in the future.

I have always had radios that had mass and weight. It made you feel you were operating a real peice of equipment.

Well, I am surprised indeed that Ten Tec has packaged this unit in a standard 19" rack configuration and weighing in at around twelve pounds.

I applied power to the 340 and the displays came alive. Quite nice indeed!
The clear blue flourescent displays have over a 50,000 hour life rating.

The controls are absolutley world-class. There are no flimsy buttons here like my last three Drake radios. The ability to adjust and tailor the audio is nothing like I have heard before.
simply, quite amazing.

I live about 3 miles away fom WLNA, an AM broadcast station. Any time I have operated any of my radios of "past", I have always had to engage the Attenuator.

With this 340, I can't believe it's not butter, just kidding, I can't believe the front end on the receiver. I don't understand why they even have an attenuator, you WILL NEVER NEED IT.

This radio has the ability to block the upper and lower of the selected AM frequency with NO carry over. I am starting to understand why the price is a little up there.

The audio quality with the on-board speaker has been satisfactory for now, but experimenting with a good quality outboard will certainly enhance your listening pleasure.

All of the controls, both analog and digital, have a tactical feel and have immediate feedback. The direct entry is just a momentary tap, and your at your frequency.

The main tuning dial has a smooth, comfortable and weighted feel, and very precise.

The step control is very flexible, and very useful. The bandwidths, are breathtaking. I never imagined that HF signals
so close together in a given band could be isolated so precise.
You must use headphones to experiment with the ability to adjust the skirt. You can isolate a frequency so that it's practicaly perfect in every way.

I have only ventured ever so slightly into the programmable mode with the AGC function. But I can say that Ten Tec has given the user the ability to adjust the variables to such an extent that unless you have patience and a true understanding of gain control parameters, leave it alone and you will be very happy with the pre-programmed, default modes.

Computer control is very high speed and flawless. Using a remote software package, like N4PY's gives you the ability to scan the horizon, and hear, then catch even the slightest frequency. The program is very good indeed. The band-scope mode coupled with this radio is as good as you will get, anywhere, at any price.

I have sliced out frequency's with the bandwidths I never in my wildest dreams even knew that were present. I am looking forward to some real utility hunting this fall and winter.

For the cost of a used motorcycle, you will have a radio, that with no doubt, will be handed down, and is sure to please even the most professional individuals, as well as people interested in extreme utility hunting, like myself.

I am proud of this offering from Ten Tec. I appreciate the R&D and patience they have not only put into this radio, but all of there products.

There sales and technical staff have been one of the best I have dealt with. Elecraft as well has passed my expectations when I dealt with them with the K2 project.

American company's, Ameriacn Products. In final, the RX-340, is probably the finest receiver ever made. I cannot imagine a more useful and pleasant radio receiver to operate and listen to.
Ten Tec has made a professional grade receiver available to people like me, and I can't thank you enough. I have always been into quality material things in my life, and the 340 is no exception!!

K7FD Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2004 15:01 Send this review to a friend
Whole new ball game...K7FD  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Even before plugging the Ten Tec RX-340 into power, you'll recognize this is no toy! Quality commercial-grade construction and cosmetics throughout. Yes, you'll feel like one of the big boys at a government monitoring station when you hook this one up!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but you'd be hard pressed to find any radio nut that doesn't agree this is one of the most beautiful receivers they've ever seen. From the rack mount handles down to the cool ice blue frequency readout, the RX-340's design lines will make your heart race. And the BIG analog S-meter just caps off what is one gorgeous piece of equipment.

After reading N2JSG's review, I totally agree with the capabilities of this receiver, especially when performing A/B tests against other modern radios here at the listening post. Comparing reception against the Drake R8, Palstar R30C, and even Icom's DSP '756 Pro II, the Ten Tec RX-340 easily blows them away. DSP-based selectivity brings on a whole new meaning with this radio; weak signals that used to do battle with adjacent station interference are basically a thing of the past. I detected no coloration of the audio that sometimes accompanies digital signal processing; AM reception was extremely clear and rich sounding. SSB and CW reception was close to 'hi-fi' as you could wish for...

The RX-340's synchronous AM combined with ability to choose sidebands and then dial in your filter bandwidth of choice virtually guarantee's a big smile on your face. Example: with WYFR on 17.795MHz at 30db over S9, RAI in Italy at S4 on 17.800MHz was totally clobbered beyond recognition. While listening on the Drake, Palstar, and Icom rigs, copy was unreadable. On the Ten Tec however, easy copy. No adjacent channel interference. With the S.A.M. mode kicked in and USB chosen, not even a whisper of WYFR interference on the Italian station. The RX-340 was the hands down winner. If Lance Armstrong was a radio, he'd be an RX-340. Case closed.

In sensitivity comparisons, only Icom's Pro II could keep pace with the Ten Tec. However, that didn't last long when the going got rough. Like a Formula One car in the corners, adjacent station interference made the Icom wipe out and hit the wall as the RX-340 sped by untouched. Basically it was no race at all...the '340's far-superior use of DSP makes it the Ferrari of radios.

During a AM BCBDX evening, the sensitivity and selectivity offered by the RX-340 made the competition pale in comparison. In the end, it was basically this: you could hear the weak ones on the '340 and you couldn't on the others.

As far as service, I haven't had to use what is sorta defacto 'legendary' service from Ten Tec. I do know I was treated in a very professional manner by Stan Brock when I inquired about purchasing the radio. There's something to be said for talking directly 'with the factory'. I told him flat out & up front I was picky and didn't want a radio to arrive that didn't work or had any scratches on it. It's happened too many times to me. He assured me all is throughly tested and quality checked before shipment. No demo's or returns are sold 'as new'. Mine arrived as promised: pristine.

In closing, I would say if you are a seasoned radio operator, ham or swl, you'll be very pleased with the Ten Tec RX-340. If you're a bit timid or new at the radio game, give yourself a chance to grow with a less expensive rig...and smell the roses along the way. There's a LOT of great listening to be had with a $1000 radio. But when you feel you've mastered the listening hobby and think you've done all there is to do, treat yourself to the best. You'll appreciate the Ten Tec RX-340.

73 John K7FD, WPE7COH

NL11346SDZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2003 13:05 Send this review to a friend
This is real good!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Wow, this is a very good shortwave receiver! Both for real dx-ing and programm listening.
Audio recovery in AM is superb, selectivity also very good.
Digging weak signals out of the mud is a pleasure, operation is very smooth!

Before, I have owned a Drake R8b, also a very nice receiver, and the JRC-NRD545 but non of them is as good!

It costs a lot of money, special if your home is in Europe/Netherlands. But it is worth all that money.
Its the very best receiver I ever owned.

WHFITE Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2003 12:54 Send this review to a friend
As good as it gets  Time owned: more than 12 months
It took over a year of scrimping and saving as well as untold squabbles with the War Department to buy this receiver. It replaced a Drake R8B which, up to that time, was my choice for the best all-round HF receiver currently in production.

It is better. Lots better.

Admittedly, this is more receiver than most people want or need. It requires a substantial investment in an antenna system if you want to realize its full potential. If you're just going to hang a piece of wire on the arse of this machine, save your money. But given a really fine, well installed antenna, it exceeds the capacity of all but those receivers that the DOD and spy agencies won't let us buy.

It also requires a substantial commitment to learning and practice. Although its performance right out of the box will astound you, tweaking and peaking adds much more. But you'll have to spend hours (not an hour or so...HOURS) with the manual and on the headphones to really learn to extract all its capability. Facility in making fine adjustments "in real time" takes lots of practice.

It does sound digital. Some people say that is a downside but I suspect that is what the sound is really like and our older analog gear has just been filing the edges off of it. I point that out because somebody with a 390 is doubtless going to write and say that their Collins works just as well and sounds soooooooooo much better.

It doesn't. Been there, done that.

I hate reviews in which reviews make all sorts of superlative claims in a ponderous "if you don't agree you must be an idiot" tone and I'm afraid I'm beginning to sound like that here.

So go listen for yourself. It really is the very best HF receiver you can buy anywhere in the world, at any price.
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