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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Ten-Tec Paragon Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Paragon
Ten-Tec Paragon Reviews: 48 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $1,895
Description: 1987 era frequency synthesized 100 Watt Amateur HF transceiver with general coverage receive
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com
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K0CRX Rating: 2/5 Dec 8, 2015 12:27 Send this review to a friend
Unreliable and expensive to repair  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned only two TT transceivers - a Paragon and a Pegasus. There will NEVER be another TT radio in my shack.

The Pegasus cost me nearly as much in repairs as the radio cost. TT service replaced so many parts that it was evident to me that TT used substandard components in the original manufacture. TT was quite happy to stick their customer with the bill for their shortcoming.

My Paragon has been repaired three times by TT. The last repair cost me shipping both ways TWICE for the same repair. (See my review of TT factory service) It's down, again, now. Attempting to entry a frequency via the keypad causes the radio to lock up, requiring a hardware reset.

I will not repair it, again. I have, simply, reached the point of diminishing returns on unreliable TT equipment. I will sell it for parts.

There will NEVER be another TT radio in my shack.
 
K4AXF Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2015 15:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for SWL & Ham Ops  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is my second Paragon. The first one really impressed me but would go into PLL OUT OF LOCK until it was thoroughly warmed up. Although I did not understand the operation of a PLL at al, I tried fiddling around with it and made it worse. Discouraged, I sold it as a tech-special. During the next year or so, as I tried out one SWL receiver after another, I found that I was comparing them to the Paragon I had and coming up very disappointed.

Now two years later, I've acquired #2. It has the same PLL problem, but this time I'm determined to find the problem and fix it. To that end, I've got a 100 MHz scope and an 80 MHz frequency counter on the way. And have been studying the PLL section of the manual and have a pretty good picture of how it works.

Meanwhile, I have my wife turn the rig on in the morning when she gets up. By the time I roll into the shack, the Paragon is working flawlessly. Did I mention that it was a great SWL receiver? I'm blown away by it! I lengthened out the slow AGC to 4 second decay and it's a pleasure to tune in all the stations I love, BBC, VOA, R. Rumania, All India Radio and late at night, R. Australia (17,840 KHz), R. New Zealand (15,720 KHz).

I also use it on CW a lot and really love the sound of signals coming in over muted band noise in the background. Great analog audio. And folks tell me the tone and keying sound great! Who would expect less from Ten-Tec!

Flimsy buttons? Cheap build? I don't think so. After 30 years of use, everything on this rig works just like it did when new. (Except that drat PLL problem - not to worry, I'll get it this time!)

The Paragon has the look, feel and operation of a fine lab instrument. My Corsair may have better close-in performance, but I find that I enjoy using the Paragon just as much.

So If you have a Paragon, and think it's a piece of #@!*, let me know and I'll take it off your hands.

UPDATE: July 7, 2015 - I fixed the PLL problem; it was a cluster of failed solder connections on one of the PLL boards. My Paragon now operates flawlessly.
 
K4AXF Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2015 14:40 Send this review to a friend
An Excellent SWL Ham Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my second Paragon. The first one really impressed me but would go into PLL OUT OF LOCK until it was thoroughly warmed up. Although I did not understand the operation of a PLL at al, I tried fiddling around with it and made it worse. Discouraged, I sold it as a tech-special. During the next year or so, as I tried out one SWL receiver after another, I found that I was comparing them to the Paragon I had and coming up very disappointed.

Now two years later, I've acquired #2. It has the same PLL problem, but this time I'm determined to find the problem and fix it. To that end, I've got a 100 MHz scope and an 80 MHz frequency counter on the way. And have been studying the PLL section of the manual and have a pretty good picture of how it works.

Meanwhile, I have my wife turn the rig on in the morning when she gets up. By the time I roll into the shack, the Paragon is working flawlessly. Did I mention that it was a great SWL receiver? I'm blown away by it! I lengthened out the slow AGC to 4 second decay and it's a pleasure to tune in all the stations I love, BBC, VOA, R. Rumania, All India Radio and late at night, R. Australia (17,840 KHz).

I also use it on CW a lot and really love the sound of signals coming in over muted band noise in the background. Great analog audio. And folks tell me the tone and keying sound great! Who would expect less from Ten-Tec!

Flimsy buttons? Cheap build? I don't think so. After 30 years of use, everything on this rig works just like it did when new. (Except that drat PLL problem - not to worry, I'll get it this time!)

The Paragon has the look, feel and operation of a fine lab instrument. My Corsair may have better close-in performance, but I find that I enjoy using the Paragon just as much.

So If you have a Paragon, and think it's a piece of #@!*, let me know and I'll take it off your hands.
 
N9QID Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2015 07:40 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Paragon 585 that I have is a great HF rig. It was traded even up for an IC-718. I think I got the better deal. It has all the filters installed, and it is easy to isolate very close signals from each other.
Menus? Who needs them? While you are looking through the manual to see which menu you need to change a setting, I will be making contacts. This radio is more ergonomic than any other radio I have owned, tested, or spent time on. When it came out, some people knocked it for not having a separate band switch. I think direct keyboard entry of the frequency is better.
Even though it has a small speaker on top pointed up, it sounds good, and is not tiring to listen to. The sensitivity of the receive is very good, and the notch filter is sharp like it should be. The radio transmits fine, and after trying a number of microphones from cheap to expensive, I have found that the 705 mic works the best.
The memory bank is somewhat limited especially compared to current radios, and when using a non-rechargeable battery, draining it rather fast when the radio is not able to draw power . The memory battery issue became a non-issue with the installation of a good rechargeable lithium ion 9 volt. Other than that it has been trouble free.
I think this radio was better than almost all of its contemporaries, and was not surpassed on weak signal receive capabilities until the Omni VII came out.

It has been my pleasure to own this radio, and if you like a nice, large radio that was designed well, consider buying one.
 
KG8LB Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2014 06:11 Send this review to a friend
No better than the last set of fingers inside of it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two of the Paragons . Absolutely a fine rig . The first one came to me from a fellow visiting here from England . He had nothing good to say about it . Seems he had been inside often after performing a "much needed" modification to "correct" a factory issue . I simply un-did -his "corrections" , repaired numerous non-factory soldering issue and was rewarded with an excellent radio for my efforts . The unsolicited audio comments are a testimony to the fine people who design and built these old radios . Yes, let us not forget these are OLD radios . Anyone who expects every one of these old radios to still play perfectly has a defect or two of their own . Like any other radio , it is hard to judge a "repaired" example without considering that it can not be any better than the last person who worked on it . A poor score from them is often a poor score of their own abilies .
 
KJ4KBC Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2014 09:41 Send this review to a friend
Very good for thirty something!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really get tickled reading the negative comments of some of the posters here! Jesus, it's a 30 year old radio. Most factory issue's should have been addressed years ago. I have a Paragon along with 9 other rigs. Most older and all working! I love my Paragon! I use it more than My FTDX-9000. Tells me something. It's a good sounding fun Radio to operate. If you do experience an occasional pll out of lock or processor freeze up, Check your power supply voltage. Mine as others have mentioned, doesn't like low voltage. Less than 12.5v and I'll have issue's so I run mine at 14V and no troubles. You know I always get more unsolicited comments about the clean sound of the Paragon Than my other rigs. Using a TenTec 705 mic. If you find one with everything working, you should be fine. If and when this one die's, I'll find another. 73's
 
K4LRX Rating: 0/5 Oct 17, 2014 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Terrible rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Piece of junk, worst rig I ever had,numerous problems with the power supply, P.L.L unlock, processor did nothing. Bad filter caps, rig would not produce 100 watts with out tripping the power supply. Control board problems, never will own another Ten Tec.

If you see one, Run do not walk away RUN.

Traded it in for Kenwood TS 950 SDX light years ahead of the disaster.
 
AB4GN Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2014 08:58 Send this review to a friend
Suprising Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought an old broke TT Paragon online for $100.00 dollars. Repaired it, never used it, until I decided to loan it to a new Ham. I have been using it over the past week or so and am very pleased at how well this old rig performs. It is surprisingly selective and the received audio is very easy to listen to. Very underrated rig.
 
N2OTG Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2014 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Underrated Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a terrific transceiver. It has very excellent receive audio-- some of the best I've ever heard-- and I get nothing but compliments on the fine transmit audio on SSB and CW. One unusual feature is the audio BP/FADE control. It is a clever circuit that combines a razor-sharp audio bandpass filter with a FADE control that mixes filtered and non-filtered audio; this way, you can go back and forth between the two controls and not lose the signal when you switch in the filter. This is most effective indeed in digging out weak CW and rivals anything you can do with DSP.

Make no mistake, the rig can be quirky. I got my Paragon from an older ham who became fed up with the rig's processor going tilt during high-power transmit. It turns out that the rig is VERY sensitive to low voltage. I merely shortened the leads from the rig to the station PS and have had no further trouble during 11 years of use.

In my opinion, you can get a lot of good technology in this radio at a very reasonable cost. I speculate that the Paragon is basically a commercial radio that was modified a bit for ham use. When 60 meters became available to hams, I became aware that the rig will transmit anywhere and that the proper low-pass filters were in place for this and other commercial bands. Furthermore, the electronics is all on vertical plug-in boards that are easy to work on in the field; this is another characteristic of a commercial rig. To me, it's worth putting up with a few quirks to get all this great technology.
 
K4LAN Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2014 06:24 Send this review to a friend
5/5 +  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought mine several months ago for general coverage.Have a complete ten tec line and have for over 25 years. this radio gives me a second rx to check the bands. great rx audio. not as hot as my omni 6+, but i knew that when i bought it. its a great general coverage receiver for a second hand or back up radio. never have put it in tx yet, only use it for rx, checking for dx pile ups. i only operate cw any way. got mine with 3 cw filters. should of bought a paragon sooner to add to my ten tec line up. looks great next to the ten tec line up. ten tec has produced some of the best made ham gear for a reasonable price for many years.
 
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