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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sangean ATS909\Radio Shack DX 398 Help

Reviews Summary for Sangean ATS909\Radio Shack DX 398
Sangean ATS909\Radio Shack DX 398 Reviews: 70 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $250 399 cdn DX 398
Description: Travel Portable Communications Receiver
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Sangean ATS909\Radio Shack DX 398.

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WA1UFO Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2009 16:52 Send this review to a friend
A beautiful radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been a swl for 53 years and have owned radios dating back to 1926. My only criticism is a lack of sensitivity with the whip. With 25 feet of wire this little beauty really performs. The mediumwave performance is awesome, as good as my Sony 2010. Sideband sounds beautiful and is the main use for me. Audio is impressive with a good pair of cans as well. I wonder if some of the reviewers who trashed this radio were born on another planet? Unlike Kaito and Degens this radio has FULL coverage. I love it!! Tnx Sangean!
KJ6MC Rating: 3/5 Sep 15, 2008 22:40 Send this review to a friend
909- Super In price, only  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased a Sangean "Super" 909 from Radiolabs. It has been back, twice. It is so deaf...I couldn't believe that a receiver costing this much would be so immune to actually receiving a signal. And twice (at my expense) the receiver came back with a clean bill of health. Want to listen to your local 50kw AM blowtorch? Get a "Super" 909. For DX, you're better off with a KA1103, and $200+ dollars in your wallet.
WB6TNB Rating: 3/5 Sep 12, 2008 22:16 Send this review to a friend
An OK radio but an awful value  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an excellent radio if, and only if, you use it with external antennas. Mine, as with many others, is deaf off the ferrite bar and whip. A Select-a-Tenna and 10 foot piece of wire clipped to the whip turn it into a real radio. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

This radio is still sold as the Sangean ATS-909 for as much as $250.00. I paid $100.00 for mine when RS was blowing them out only because $75.00 of that was other people's money. I wouldn't have spent $100.00 of my own money.

This radio has a cult following which completely baffles me.
TERRYW Rating: 2/5 Aug 12, 2008 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Deaf off the whip  Time owned: more than 12 months
Pros: tuning knob, lots of memory pages, USB/LSB switch, tuning mute can be modded with a simple soldering job, durable

Cons: deaf off telescoping antenna, not very sensitive using external antenna, below average speaker sound, flimsy stand, impossible to zero-beat SSB, extremely overpriced

Works same as ever after ten years, but is way outperformed by much cheaper radios

The $300 price tag is unbelievably high.
HK3ORT Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2006 12:58 Send this review to a friend
very decent portable radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 7 years with me, this portable radio continues giving to me many hours without any problem, working with different antennas, and always the development is fine, mine is sangean, unknow if RS has the same quality.
OE3SGU Rating: 4/5 Oct 15, 2006 08:21 Send this review to a friend
Good and decent performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned this Radio back in 1999 and liked it, but in my opinion it was to complicated to use and packed with options no one needed. Reception was quite ok, even in SSB and CW. I remember hearing plenty of JA's on 40 SSB with the built in telescope, not bad.
WZ9U Rating: 4/5 Oct 14, 2006 16:02 Send this review to a friend
A good companion radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a Grundig Yacht Boy 400PE and I'm completely happy with it. I bought the Sangean ATS-909 because my YB is in storage at the moment and I got nostalgic for a worldband radio.

There was an ATS-909 on eBay going for a reasonable price and I won it. It came with batteries (!), a soft plastic case, ear buds, and the reel-type long wire antenna, along with the manual, quick-start guide, original warranty card and some other paperwork.

I tend to agree that the ATS-909 is close to deaf on its built-in extensible whip antenna, but I've had China and Australia come in loud and clear on good days. I haven't yet tried it with the supplied longwire (which is supposed to make a world of difference).

My local Public Radio broadcasts the RDS signal, and the ATS-909 picks it up and sync's its clock with it nicely -- it also displays the callsign of any RDS station. That's nice.

It has loads of memories, comes from the factory pre-programmed with all the heavy hitters from around the world. It has an RF Gain and Filter (narrow/wide), receives AM, FM, USB, LSB, and tunes as finely as you could ever want.

I like it. I'm glad I bought it. I expect to like it even more when I attach the long wire. If reception improves, my rating would jump to at least 4.5, otherwise I'm completely satisfied with it.
K0WJH Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2006 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Love this radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my Super 909 for a few days now; this is a great little receiver. The audio quality is very good and the receiver is hot. I do not experience any of the complaints I've read about this radio in previous reviews. I have a Grundig YB400 that I've used for several years, great radio however the Super 909 is a nice step up. I'm very happy with my purchase and really enjoy this radio. Way to go Sangean and Radio labs!
KD7RDZI2 Rating: 4/5 May 22, 2006 18:37 Send this review to a friend
IT GOES IF-DSP also with DRM  Time owned: more than 12 months
I gave the 4 stars simply because I don't want to change the average rating.
The major drawbacks of this receivers are:
1) High price compared to better or similar sets such as DEGEN DE1103.
2) Poor front-end filtering and prone to overloading.
However it has very good qualities as well:
1) frequency stability.
2) low noise, I guess from the synthetizer with a low phase noise.
3) good image rejection I guess due to the double conversion design with the First IF well beyond 30Mhz and the second at 450Khz.
4) Although it is a compact design there is room enough to make a second IF output without drilling any hole if the telescopic antenna is removed!

Here we are! I did get IF-DSP and AM-DRM-SSB-CW and even FM in the shortwave bands with a Laptop (pentium 4)! Here are the steps:

1) I followed the instructions at to see where I could locate the second IF at 450Khz. I removed the telescopic antenna and placed a RCA connector and used small RG174 cable.
2) in a small shielded box I placed a Crystal mixer fo=462 KHz use for IF exact 450 kHz which I bought at
Before the mixer I placed in series two wide Murata filters F-450K-P2 which match well the mixer and provide excellent analog filtering to the third external mixer.
3) I connected the mixer to the soundblaster of the laptop and used the DREAM software downloaded at

Well, performance is outstanding. I could get a very clean sound, perfect DSP filtering at IF, IF noise reduction, Digital AGC and DRM and FM reception.

Basically what this radio becomes after this modification is a software defined radio. Only the stages up to the second conversion are used and modified to have a third conversion. Demodulation and audio is made by the Laptop.

To improve the frontend I made a preselector placing in series a variable 10-500pf about capacitor and several selectable axial fixed inductors ranging from very high values up to small values such as 10microH. It is a simple design but dramatically reduces overloading antennas.
ATOMICTHUMBS Rating: 4/5 Oct 28, 2005 11:48 Send this review to a friend
An overall good radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a very good radio. It has many advantages, including good reception with the whip, excellent reception with the included reel antenna, and great am,fm,lw,sw. reception. I use it for listening to ARt Bell and his ham buddies ragchew on 3.840 MHZ lsb. My only complaints are that the buttons could be backlighted, and the three alarms are extremely hard to set.
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