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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | GE Superadio III Help


Reviews Summary for GE Superadio III
GE Superadio III Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $44.99
Description: High Performance AM/FM Portable Radio
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.home-electronics.net/Products/ViewDetail/0,7333,SI5-CNUS-LNUE-LI25-CI100827-PI100022-PGMTAwMDAw-LC-PC100814,00.html
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WA0ZZG Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2008 14:02 Send this review to a friend
Unfinished design  Time owned: months
The biggest complaint of this reliable design is the lack of dial calibration. Many have gone in and tried to get the dial to track. Don't try. You will only make it worse. Cover the existing dial scales with some nice paper and make your own markngs. I suspect a voltage controlled oscillator was used because it's still inexpensive but is very quiet.
Dave
WA0ZZG
 
WA9ENA Rating: 2/5 Feb 14, 2008 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Great sensitivity and sound, lousy radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a Superadio III, Model RP7887A, which bears an RCA label, as opposed to the "GE" markings of earlier sets. I live in a rural area and wanted a portable radio that offers better sensitivity on AM and FM than other sets I have. The SRIII does fulfill some of the requirements, but it falls far short on others. First, the GOOD news:

- Great sensitivity on both AM and FM bands
- Excellent audio from the pair of built-in large magnet speakers and tone controls that really work.
- External antenna terminals for both bands
- Large AM ferrite rod antenna
- Built-in D cell battery holder for long operation on battery power, plus built-in AC power supply with cord storage

Now, for the BAD news, and this stuff is serious:

As noted by other reviewers, the dial calibration on AM is off by the proverbial "country mile", especially below 1000 kHz. The FM calibrations are fairly accurate. I opened up the set to see why this is so. Well, the SRIII is tuned by a pot, not a mechanical variable capacitor as in days of yore. The pot varies the voltage applied to vari-cap diodes, which then tune the circuits as required. There are trim pots that allow setting of the high and low end dial points, but the SAME trimmers and tuning pot are used for both bands. Thus, you can be accurate on only one band. The makers have obviously chosen FM as the "THE" band to calibrate.

Other reviewers noted that the radio drifts in frequency. Yes it does, and that is something I have not experienced since using super-regen sets of decades ago. The most likely reason for such drift would be varying voltage at the tuning pot input. The problem is offset on FM by use of the AFC function. On AM, especially if the "Narrow" position is chosen on the mode switch, the effect kills the usefulness of a narrow pass band. Add in the fact that AM tuning is very touchy and you have to conclude that the pot chosen for the tuning function has much too coarse of a change on the AM band. It needs to be of a different value or needs a vernier in series with it to spread out the tuning rate. Either way, it is lousy design that shows lack of attention to important detail.

Tuning on my set, as received, was very erratic, especially on AM. The set does have a QC sticker on the back, but I guess that Thomson Consumer Electronics, distributor of the radio, does not consider shipping a radio with a tuning pot that needed cleaner applied as important to the QC effort. Once cleaned, the pot is fine and that problem went away.

All in all, the radio is a disappointment. It does what I wanted, but does its functions so poorly that I can not recommend this radio to anyone else. The SRIII has a long reputation that, from reading other reviews, sounds like was earned by the earlier versions. The present set reflects sleazy design and manufacturing all the way, with little or no respect for the customer. Way to go, Thomson. You have trashed one of the premier names in radio electronics with this turkey.
 
VE3ES Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2007 22:33 Send this review to a friend
Good radio for what it is.  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's not a fully loaded Drake R-7A but for what it is it's a nice product. Great AM broadcast reception. And cheap. Something like $50 or less at ABC Warehouse in Michigan, about that price at Universal Radio in Ohio.
 
N4NYY Rating: 4/5 Nov 26, 2007 17:23 Send this review to a friend
Great for price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got this for $45 after returning the Sangean CCRadio. It's great for the price. Analog dial is annoying. If they had this radio with digital tuning, it would be great. I use it to listen to WFAN in NYC, and Yankees games. You can't go wrong on he price.
 
N6DGY Rating: 2/5 Aug 28, 2007 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Extremely poor dial calibration  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK... This radio has been in production for about 15 or so years now. It would seem that in 15 years that GE, RCA, Thompson, or whatever they choose to call themselves could have come up with a proper calibration procedure. More than 200KHz off is just plain unacceptable. Wonder what passes for quality control where these are made?

Time to crack this one open, as I did its predecessor many years ago.
 
WA4053SWL Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2006 00:12 Send this review to a friend
GREAT!!! for $50  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is a very sensitive for this price, I have the Sony 2010 [synchronous detector]$350.00 and Panasonic 2200 $200.00, and I do enjoy it!!!, audio fantastic, sensitivity and selectivity great, for the DX in medium wave [up 1000 miles]with his ferrite is sufficient!!!
 
K3YD Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2006 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Does AM well  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Superadios have a near cult following because of good performance at a low price.

I own both a SR2 (for the office) and and SR III (home). The SR2 must be 20 years old by now, the 'III about 12. Have never had a problem with, or need to repair, either. While the tuning is a little "vague," both sensitivity and selectivity are excellent for a radio of this price.
Example: I can listen to WBAL out of Baltimore, MD all day (1090KHZ; abt. 140 miles away) even though I have a local (9 miles) station on 1100KHZ.
Batteries (8 "D" cells) last for months. The audio, from a LARGE internal speaker has good reproduction for voices.
Between the two, I slightly prefer the SR2 because of its better dial calibration.
If you remember radios before they had digital readout, you'll enjoy this one. Oh, you won't be able to loose it in a drawer like an an I-pod, this radio has the physical presence of a small briefcase.
 
WU1T Rating: 4/5 Nov 17, 2005 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Unbeatable for the price.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is readily available on Amazon.com for less than $50. I own one that is about 8 years old, and am so pleased with it that I have another one, new in the box, waiting to go should my original crap out.

AM reception is where this radio excels, but it is also decent on FM as well.

The slide dial and tuning is nowhere near precise but this thing will pull in stations like nothing else.

Audio from the large speaker is superb for a portable.

Battery life is excellent, making this radio a good choice as a part of an emergency kit.

For the price, this radio lives up to the reputation.
 
K4IDX Rating: 3/5 Nov 8, 2005 12:51 Send this review to a friend
Fragile  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my SR3 for about a year now and thoroughly enjoyed it up until about 1 month ago. Now it loses it's audio and when adjusting the volume it goes in and out. I haven't had a chance to tear into it to research the problem, but anyone who knows me can relate to how protective I am of my radio's and how I baby them, so in my opinion this radio is, as I said above, fragile.
 
K2ROK Rating: 4/5 Aug 28, 2005 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Hi-Fi AM  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted a radio that had decent AM reception and good audio reproduction, and the GE Super Radio III, which I have had over ten years, does the job well. It is hard to find anything that really does a decent job, off-the-shelf, for AM reception. Using the inside, long ferrite bar to peak stations by swinging the lightweight yet sturdy radio around yields nice groundwave reception locally. Strong stations sound even better when you widen the AM filter -- allowing close-to-FM sound on the AM band, which gets a bad rap from misinformed listeners who think AM always sounds bad. When AM stations that are properly processed (not over-modulated and have a clean audio-chain) are combined with a quality receiver, AM shines. (Can you tell I worked for several AM stations over the years)

If manufacturers simply built better receivers, like the GE Super Radio, more would know AM can sound close to FM in quality.

Aside from that, this radio took a tumble down some stairs, and still works fine. Only the front grill was slightly dented and part of the FM whip broke off. So it is quite rugged. The dial has always been not accurate in terms of frequency, but not a major problem. FM is nice and the AFC seems to do it's job, but sometimes the radio will still hunt for a stronger signal even with AFC on. FM reception with the stock whip is fantastic and audio from the nice speaker is clear and clean.

Overall, a quality rig that can be run for weeks and weeks of D cells, which adds some more weight, but stability to the radio.

There are not a lot of reasonbly-priced options out there for those wanting more than a digital-clock radio for real radio reception in this price range, but the GE SuperRadio fits the bill nicely.

I would have given it a 5 if not for the FM drift.

 
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