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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Hallicrafters S-40 Help

Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters S-40
Hallicrafters S-40 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $89.50
Description: AM/CW Shortwave Receiver
Product is not in production.
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K7UA Rating: 3/5 Feb 6, 2013 07:20 Send this review to a friend
Still a nostalgic boat anchor  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review of my old S40A seven years ago. I couldn't help myself when recently I got a chance to buy another one. I did a restoration and used it with my original novice transmitter on straight key night. It is a poor receiver today, but I had a lot of fun with it and plan to keep this one.
K7PMI Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2010 15:27 Send this review to a friend
Fun Restoration Project  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The original S-40 product brochure from Hallicrafters (February, 1946) listed it as a "Communications Receiver", "tailor made for hams". For $79.50 you certainly would not expect the best performance. It's a rewarding restoration project which can yield many hours of nostalgic fun. Tons of info on the web for restoration and performance upgrades.
W8ZNX Rating: 2/5 Apr 11, 2009 12:08 Send this review to a friend
not a amateur receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
one more receiver
listed in the wrong section

another run of the mill Hallicrafters
band set, band spread
general coverage receiver

lots of dial drive back lash
drifts and drifts some more
a dog on cw
a pain to use on ssb
broad as a barn door

note the S not SX
which means it does not even have a
old style crystal filter

this was a 2nd rate economy receiver when new
age has not helped it one bit

lots of old receivers
in the same price class will run rings around it

sorta kinda ok,
for casual SWL work
but you can do lots better

mac dit dit

BODEN Rating: 4/5 Apr 13, 2007 23:32 Send this review to a friend
Reliable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ok, its a tube receiver and only single-conversion, but it's reliable. Also, I can understand and fix it if necessary. I like the broad frequency coverage (for its age) and while it's no shack powerhouse, it's still a good receiver for general listening. Unlike many ham radios, the S-40 is actually attractive, with that round, glowing blue-green dial - perfect for keeping in one's bedroom or living area (very low SOOR - Significant Other Objection Ratio)!

I also did the 6SB7Y tube mod to increase performance on Band 4. The high-impedance and ancient built-in speaker isn't great, and I use an external. With its primitive noise filtering, the S-40 really benefits from a quiet, low-noise external antenna like the PAR EF-SWL end-fed unit.
F6CER Rating: 4/5 Oct 12, 2006 02:57 Send this review to a friend
drift correction  Time owned: more than 12 months
I acquired one in fair cndx. after much work the thing is alive : some mods in the mixer tube : 6SB7 against 6SA7 and a 105V zener to stabilize the oscillator and I can even copy CW on 28 !
W9CTY Rating: 4/5 Apr 8, 2006 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Gave a lot of us the "bug"  Time owned: more than 12 months
Maybe not the finest receiver ever built, but on a cold winter night with the snow falling outside, the green dial set to the BBC or Radio Moscow or some other distant place gave many of us the reason to pursue a ham license. I studied a lot of code coming out the speaker of my S-40B. Didn't need much more than a wire around the ceiling of my bedroom to hear just about everything I wanted.
K7UA Rating: 3/5 Feb 2, 2006 14:44 Send this review to a friend
Nostalgic boat anchor  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a S40A as my novice receiver back in 1961. It was ok back then, but certainly no Collins! I can't imagine using one now. It is long gone, but I kind of wish I still had it as a keep sake. I had a lot of fun with the thing.
SWL377 Rating: 3/5 Jul 5, 2005 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Fun, good looking, OK performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love my S 40. My first SW rcvr was an S 40 and of course as age related nostagia strikes, you have to recreate you childhood station. But lets not confuse the S 40 with a serious HF comm rcvr. It isnt very selective, it drifts a lot on higher freqs, and its sensitivity at the top end is not very good even when freshly aligned. Still, its fun, good looking and very easy to work on. Their are no hidden compartments or circuits in soldered cans. It's pretty open underneath and armed with the appropriate SAMS PHOTOFACT, you can fix anything, even restringing the dial cord is easy. I dont know anything about the differences in the A and B models, but I think its mostly cosmetic. The S 40 would greatly benefit from improved selectivity. A Q mult or a Q5 (ARC 5) outboard IF stage would help a lot. I suppose you could even put in an xtal or ceramic IF filter. But then it wouldnt be a true S 40 would it. If you want a really good Halli get an SX 100. It can do way beter than an S 40 but expect to pay 3x. The legendary SX 88 is the Halli King, but I have never even seen one other than on eBay and prices are beyond absurd. If you have a few hundred to spend and only are going to own one tube rcvr, dont buy a mint S 40. Get a Hamarlund HQ 180, even if its a bit beat up. Still, I do love my S 40, but its more for nostagic resons than any rational assessment of performance or value.
W4PTO Rating: 4/5 Feb 8, 2005 10:53 Send this review to a friend
Brings back great memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one of these jewels in my teen years. Bought it from a high school professor for $15 but sold it for $20 (dumb move).

This was the radio that introduced me to shortwave (and boatanchors). That huge green dial and the way the #47 lamps shown through the perforated grill like a constellation on my ceiling. Plus that musty tube smell with the speaker crackling out "This is the Voice of Radio Moscow." What magic! Gotta get one again
ALEX_NS6Y Rating: 4/5 Feb 6, 2005 05:39 Send this review to a friend
Man does this bring back memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
I remember years ago buying one of those that was advertised on a college bulletin board. I listened to Radio Moscow on it, and all kinds of things. I discovered "numbers stations". One time I noticed a tube had the prettiest blue glow and it didn't work so good - a friend who repaired TVs ordered me a new tube and all was well again. I had a set of old high-impedance headphones I'd use, or use the speaker, depending on how much noise I wanted to make. Once I was amazed - I heard some people talking on the phone! It was, on those old 27-MHz cordless phones. It sure was a great old radio.
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