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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Commercial/Military/Marine adaptable to ham use | Watkins Johnson HF1000 / 8711A Help

Reviews Summary for Watkins Johnson HF1000 / 8711A
Watkins Johnson HF1000 / 8711A Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $3,800 - 4,000
Description: Receiver
Product is not in production.
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HB9FBD Rating: 4/5 Jan 5, 2014 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Good radio but a bit burdensome to operate  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own one of this receiver (early HF-1000 model and firmware 4.1.3) for one year now and I'm quite happy although I had to learn it without a manual.

SSB quality is great, you have a manual notch (a bit Tricky to use) and sometime I miss an automatic notch.

CW was for me at the beginning simply unusable. Learn the use of the combination AGC-Manual Gain-Speaker Volume helped a lot.

AM quality is remarkable, but I haven't any experience with SAM.

The DSP filter is still today very impressive and the noise blanker is very effective.

The audio quality (speaker output only) was an issue, but if you get how to manage RF amplification, AGC and audio level, then is ok. Audio distortion can be partially avoided (or limited) using the Phones output to an external speaker instead of the rear connector.

Adding a "real" external Audio amplifier to the external speaker would improve the overall quality of the listening. Phone output is perfect.

This is not the receiver you power on and simply listen. Comparing to other modern receivers this receiver surprise me (in positive) every time I power it on. It's very flexible and it makes fun.

I willigly had a separate control (knob) for filter bandwidth and BFO and an higher quality audio amplifier.

VE3GEM Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2012 14:15 Send this review to a friend
A remarkable receiver!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been fiddling with radio receivers for 57 years and in a word, this is the best I have ever found. Unlike other rigs that do great in some areas but lack in others, this radio is a true master of all trades. VLF beacon hunting, BCB dxing, tropical band, SSB or digital modes, this radio shines. Sensitive, stable and selective as they come. And I am most impressed with how it interfaces with the human operator...very large displays, tactile controls, good punchy audio. And speaking of audio, I love this radio has 4 separate audio lines , and they can be controlled from the front panel so you can route one audio line through for extra filtering ( I use a W9GR filter) and one line just for casual listening. How about the fact the S meter does not swing right or lose sensitivity when you turn back the RF gain. And you can set the RF gain to either operate or not, your choice, when the AGC is on. Add in a noise blanker, IF shift, notch, 60 filter widths, SAM detection and you have it all. I now have my Icom 756 pro slaved to this receiver..the Icom does the transmitting and on receive it becomes the bandscope for the WJ's IF.
Although not the cheapest radio in the world, I sure find it is worth every penny I paid. Hope you can find one. 73
KA9P Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2002 23:08 Send this review to a friend
Too much fun!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This receiver is what professional receivers are about. You can read the displays, handle the knobs, punch the keys and have a great time.

Most everything you've read about it is true. It does have an annoying AGC pop on ssb/cw unless the gain is manually backed down. There is a little digital hash on the audio output. The audio is pretty crisp. But you can get used to all of it. Audio recovery is outstanding on AM, and otherwise blows the doors off the receiver section of my TS870S in every respect except except the 870's smoooooth, mellow audio and a few ergonomic factors related to selectivity adjustment and bandwidth centering.

It's not a radio for everyone, but it's a radio every receiver junkie should have, at least for a while. The scanning features with squelch are handy, as it makes it easy to monitor for 10 AM openings, for example. And the plethora of selectivity settings and steep skirts make possible everything from 8 khz AM to useable cw selectivity of less than 100 hz.

The reviewed version is a late model HF1000A with 4.0.9 firmware and the preselector. The receiver is used routinely about a mile or south south of a 50 KW AM broadcast station on 1000 khz, and shows no sign of it, either with or without the preselector (so the preselector may not be something you'd want to look for).

But if you can, try before you buy. It's a radio that really does require a test drive.
ODXA-RMS Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2001 12:31 Send this review to a friend
Advanced SWL Receiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One of the best DSP receivers for tough catch SWL listening; complex operating manual, and takes some time to learn all the tricks. Ready to plug in SE-3 and also works well with MFJ DSP audio units. Plan AM reception mediocre, but the SAM (synchronous AM) mode more than makes up for this. You can use SE-3 and SAM at same time, like diversity reception. BNC antenna input. 100 memories & you can scan between memory inputs. Gets useable audio where R5000 can't

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