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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Drake R8B Help

Reviews Summary for Drake R8B
Drake R8B Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1379.00
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KA6RIM Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2002 18:58 Send this review to a friend
American Technology at its great  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have operated this receiver side-by-side an NRD 535. Drake is slightly better. Stable as a rock. No extras to add. Great sound. Its AM reception is exceptional with a Sony AN-1 active antenna. It makes you proud to be an American.
N2JBP Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2002 23:39 Send this review to a friend
Best Tabletop Reciever Made  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great sensitivity, selectivity, intermod rejection, dynamic range and AM SYNC make this the pick of the litter. Sound quality, however is just ok and the ergonomics leave a lot to be desired. After looking at the 100 page manual, still couldn't get the reciever to stay in VFO mode at powerup. No backup memory also hurts as a power failure or spike means that you have to reset the memories and the clocks.
WB9GKZ Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2002 10:29 Send this review to a friend
Probably The Best Gen Coverage Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Excellent performing radio with just a couple of little quirks that prevent me from giving it a "5".

Appearance and physical quality: Very good, nice layout of buttons, nice bright display. No "menus", all of the controls and button-controlled features are in open view, a real plus.

Sensitivity: Right up there with the best receivers....however, there is a certain amount of internally-generated noise in the radio. The noise floor is not as low as my Kenwood TS-870 or Icom Pro. There are a few "birdies" received on two or three frequencies that are actually loud enough to move the'll never see that on a Icom or Kenwood!

Selectivity/Synch Detection on AM: Superb. Drake relies on its proven low-frequency (80KHZ is it?) IF amp and filter scheme that it developed decades ago. The filters are all there, unlike the Icom R-75, no "extra" expensive filters to buy. The radio has a "warm" sound that is most pleasing to listen to, although one must consider that some of that sound is a result of a 5KHz audio filter that is inside the design of the audio amp section of the radio. It would be nice to have a little more high freqency response in
AM Broadcast. The AM selectable-sideband sync detector is the best. You can punch either the LSB or USB button while in AM and listen to one sideband or the other while completely rejecting
the opposite sideband....all the while listening in full-fidelity AM....this feature sets the R8B far apart from the earlier R-8 or 8A. It is really worth the money. One quirk I noted while listening with the sync enabled is an increase in hiss from this detection stage. It's only slightly annoying but the increase in copy (which at times is a tremendous increase from not being able to copy an AM signal at all, to total clean reception) is worth the slight increase in hiss noise.

Drake has a real winner here, this may be the last of a dying breed of communications receivers that have great-sounding L/C filters in the IF. Looks like the future will bring us DSP IF filtering with their "digital" sound. Ten-tec's
line of receivers is a good example. I can see the R-8B elevated to cult-status as a THE classic communications receiver, much like the Hammarlund HQ-180 is now.

I plan on keeping mine for a life-time. Great radio.
W2DTC Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2002 02:54 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT RECEIVER  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
One of the really nice features of the Drake is that if there is an interfering carrier above or below the AM station you are listening to, you can put the receiver in "sync detect" and select either upper or lower sideband and the interfering carrier goes away.
TEASHEA Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2001 15:07 Send this review to a friend
Nice puppy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After an absense of several years on SWLing, I have returned to the flock. I decided to replace my Kenwood R5000 with something new. After reading the reviews, I picked an R8B. I am very pleased with it.

I agree that the factory tuning knob does not feel very good. The first thing I did was to fill it with lead. I used small fishing line lead weights mixed with 5 minute epoxy. It now weights 12 times more than the standard knob. It feels very good.

Tom Shea
AB0NF Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2001 10:35 Send this review to a friend
thumbs up  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my R8B for 3 years now, and I love it! Great sound, and very easy to use. With a simple piece of speaker wire I can get overseas broadcasts with no problem.

The only thing I would change is the tuning knob. No flyweel affect.

Sound is much better than my on MKIIG, but then again that's not designed for the best sound.
K8MRS Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2001 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Very nice receiver.  Time owned: months
I have owned the "A" version of this fine family for almost 5 1/2 years now. It has been a very good performer for general SWL'g. The selectivity and passband offset really make this receiver dig down for the "hard to hear" signals.

If you want a good to excellent second receiver for your shack .. consider this one.

Good job Drake. P.S. The older vintage 2B is another great catch if the opportunity comes up. I bought my first one about 3 years ago now. It has excellent selectivity. Quite the contrast in technology though. From analog to digital readout and accuracy. Good American products ! Proud to own both.
WB6MYL Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2001 22:23 Send this review to a friend
bring 'um back  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have to echo the two previous reviewers; this is a great receiver...newer does no mean better; pass band tuning is something that needs to be experienced with this rig; better than on the Collins in my opinion;very quiet receiver (my TR-4 is a lot noisier). Great sensitivity and selectivity. BUT THE BEST FEATURE OF THIS RECEIVER IS THE HIGH-FIDELIC TOOOOBY SOUND; Its analog non MOSFET sound is something you can enjoy listening to for hours. Try to pick up the T4X with it and enjoy the transceive capabilities. Good luck
KE4MOB Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2001 12:25 Send this review to a friend
Wish they still made HF's too!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I also own the grandpa (R8) of the R8B. Had it for 8 years or so. Very simply put, it is the best receiver I have ever seen. Sensitivity is excellent across the whole 150kHz to 30 MHz, and will pull in signals that most HF rigs can't even hear, much less make intelligible. Downside: flimsy feet on the front. But as far as pure radio performance goes, it doesn't get any better than this.
TKRIDEL Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2000 13:21 Send this review to a friend
R8 Also Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've never used an R8B, but I've had its grandpa, the R8, for about six years. The R8 is a great value and a great performer. My only gripe is the "carousel" arrangement of filters; not user friendly at all. I believe that the carousel was eliminated starting with the R8A. Even so, if you find an R8, and the price is right, don't pass it up.
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