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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sangean ATS 909X Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Sangean ATS 909X Receiver
Sangean ATS 909X Receiver Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $449.00
Description: AM/FM/SW receiver
Product is in production.
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SM4KAS Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2016 08:30 Send this review to a friend
One of my best portables  Time owned: more than 12 months
Some of the portables I own similar to the Sangean ATS-909X are Sony ICF-7600GR, Tecsun PL-660 and Degen 1103.

Using the AN-LP1, the Sangean (after evaluating all these receivers for about four years) is the winner with the Sony very close behind.

The 909X with the AN-LP1 is a simple and nice setup that I would recommend anyone interested in BC-listening on shortwave.

That said, I like all my receivers. They just have different personalities and that is a good thing.
KB1BBY Rating: 4/5 Nov 7, 2015 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Very good receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My black Sangean ATS-909X is ONE OF the best battery powered portable shortwave receivers I have ever owned. For the somewhat high price, it could be better. More narrow filter bandwidths and synchronous detection (and display indicators for both) are the two missing features and I am VERY SURPRISED that Sangean overlooked these two highly desirable capabilities. There are several other less expensive receivers on the market (some MUCH SMALLER) which support BOTH features. With these 2 features added, this radio would be HANDS DOWN, THE VERY BEST BATTERY POWERED PORTABLE SHORTWAVE RECEIVER EVER MADE!

Build quality is very good and the audio is excellent. The slow tuning rate is more than sufficient for SSB and due to that fact, I don't really mind the tuning detents. Before getting this radio, I was almost certain I would end up performing the bench surgery to remove it, but now that I have used it a bit, I must say I am very impressed with how well this radio will zero beat any SSB signal with ease. I would still prefer the fine tuning to be a thumbwheel on the side of the receiver, but not a deal breaker.

Sensitivity lacks somewhat on the telescoping whip, but for good reason. This radio was clearly designed to plug and play very well on external long wire antennas without overloading very easily. The exceptions are easily dealt with by reducing RF gain. Also, many weak AM signals on SW and MW can be tuned in SSB modes EXTREMELY WELL for much improved copy. This MAY be why Sangean never implemented synchronous detection in this receiver.

Of all the small battery powered receivers I have ever used, this one is probably the CLOSEST to the armchair copy you would expect when using a formidable HF transceiver to hunt down weak AM/SSB signals.....WHEN used on a well matched long wire antenna. I don't chase down CW signals very much these days, but I'm sure a much narrower filter would be needed for great CW copy.

When I need to grab something VERY compact on the fly, I will bring my Grundig G3 with me. I have realigned the internal trimmer caps for better SSB balance and good SYNCH functionality and I am very happy with the performance for such a tiny receiver. The RDS on FM works pretty good too, but not as good as the ATS-909X. Also be aware of the new G3 on steroids....which is the miniature Eton Satellit. Eton has recently implemented better firmware to address the muting issues with the main tuning encoder...and I have also heard that it has SEVERAL SELECTABLE DSP FILTER I MUST try one of those little receivers.....and SOON!

HOWEVER, when I don't mind lugging a slightly bigger receiver, the ATS-909X provides much richer audio AND overall much easier fine tuning of SSB signals than my Grundig G3.

Due to the fact that there are smaller and less expensive receivers which include synch AND better narrow filters, I have to rate this radio a solid 4. If Sangean ever ADDS selectable DSP filter bandwidths, I will certainly give it a rock solid 6!

Happy band hopping and DX chasing! 73, de KB1BBY / Scott.
G3SEA Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2015 19:10 Send this review to a friend
A little Gem !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I have the black model of this remarkable little
World Band Radio.
The 40 HZ fine tuning and DSP are a great improvement over previous models and the AM/FM audio is superb !
It got a real test in the recent ARRL SSB and CW Contests where Hams from all over the World were heard on just the reel antenna.

No doubt a matched Ham antenna will improve even more on it's performance.

KE5GGY Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2015 00:27 Send this review to a friend
Solid Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
A great looking and performing radio. The radio has a 'high end' feel to it. Sound is superb. On an external antenna it rocks on ham bands. However, internal and whip antenna performance is just average. In fact, the Tecsun PL-880 (which I also own) performs better on SW and AM DXing using built-in antennas. In spite of that issue, I love this radio!

KB1VXP Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2014 03:54 Send this review to a friend
Quality, sensitive receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased receiver a year ago and had the Radio Labs mod done whereby tuning she'll detent removed for smoother tuning and filters installed making receiver more sensitive. Compared to my Grundig 750, I have to say the 909X, with the mod is definitely more sensitive without a doubt. My antenna is a 80' longwire at 20' or so. Programming is relatively easy once you figure it output. Manual is so so, but there are YouTube videos out there to help out. Overall, well constructed, sensitive unit and I would recommend having the mod done to it. I have no connection or Radio Labs. The mod cost me $75 but it was well worth it.
M0GFN Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2014 10:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased this radio as a sit in the chair twidler.
Very well designed, nice looking piece of kit, with the exception of the click on the tuning knob.
You either like it or loathe it. At first it was the latter but as with anything else you get used to it.
I agree with other users that on the whip weak stations are just that, but bear in mind this is not a dedicated comms. receiver. However plug in the supplied external ant. or plug it into your station ant. and it really comes to life.
It comes to life without overload, intermod. etc. that I find other happens in other portables such as the Tecsuns. They are more sensitive on the whip but connect an external ant. and it becomes unusable due to overload.
Obviously I have not made any measurements on intercept, blocking etc but merely my own experience using this set. I did use it during the WWCQ ssb contest and it performed well, this contest really is a good practical test for any receiver as the bands are packed with many stations some of them high powered using high gain ants.
The general sound from the radio when listening to AM and FM is very good, very pleasant to listen to.
The display is well thought out and the backlight even and bright.
Given what I have said about sensitivity, you can't have it all ways (well not at this price) I would rather have the radio less sensitive on the whip but with a better dynamic range than something super sensitive that overloads easily when challenged with a larger antenna.
I shopped around European dealers and if you use the net you can get a very good price.
All in all recommended as a portable/casual listening set.
KD9AUR Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2014 13:18 Send this review to a friend
Best in its Price Class!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had been comparing the Sangean to the Tecsun PL-660 and PL-880. I wound up returning the PL-880 for a refund as the 909X is a much better radio than the PL-880 with less bugs.

My main complaint with the 909X was that it was definitely less sensitive on the whip antenna than either the PL-660 and the PL-880. This was discussed in the ATS-909X Yahoo Group, and one of the members came up with a 4:1 BALUN mod for the whip antenna which has resolved the problem so well that my 909X is now definitely more sensitive on the whip on SW than either the Tecsun PL-880 or the PL-660. If you have one of these radios, I highly recommend the mod. Instructions can be found in the files section of the Yahoo Group.

I also prefer the FM on the 909X over the Tecsuns. The RDS works flawlessly and the sound is to write home about. You can also set the radio to automatically set the clock from the RDS data. I do not do much on LW or MW so I can't comment much on that except to say the MW sounds excellent on the speaker, and the ferrite bar antenna appears to be very good as the radio is as sensitive on MW as any of my other portables.

On shortwave, I use both the whip antenna as well as an external antenna. The 909X handles the external antenna quite well and has proved to be just as sensitive as my Icom R-75. You occasionally have to back off the RF Gain slightly on the external antenna , but it is easily adjustable, and I far prefer the ability to fine tune the RF gain over a Local/DX switch. While I prefer a BFO, the 40 Hz tuning for SSB is more than adequate for the job, and the DSP makes for easily readable weak signals. Weak signal SSB distortion (whether from an AGC hardware design flaw, or firmware problems) was my major complaint against the PL-880.

As far as the tuning knob, I have gotten used to it now, and I do not mind the detent at all. In fact, It is quite useful in staying on frequency if you are moving the radio around.

The other things I like about the ATS-909X are the large display and classy looks. It also has enough room on the inside to easily mod it. I also feel the operation is more intuitive than the Tecsun's, and you don't have to remember the "hidden functions" and deal with the soft mute issues. The backlight on the display has a separate button to turn it on and off, and it is bright and makes the display easy to read from any angle.

The 4 KHz and 6 KHz filters have an IF of 450 KHz as opposed to 455 KHz, so replacing one filter will be somewhat limited in choice. Most people who feel the wide filter could be wider opt to replace both filters with 455 KHz filters. For myself, most of my listening is done on headphones in USB, and the 4 KHz filter is perfect. Adjusting the passband is fairly easy with separate trimmers for each filter. When I am listening in AM on the speaker, while it could be a little brighter, it still sound great to me.

I personally believe this is the best radio in its price class, and highly recommend it.
SAILCAT Rating: 4/5 May 6, 2013 21:11 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs Up!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the Sangean ATS-909x few weeks ago and I like its performance. It has very good, if not quite excellent, MW capabilities and it also has excellent FM sensitivity. SW is very good to excellent, as well. Not interested in SSB, so I cannot address its performance in that area. The audio is surprisingly good from such a small package and it is very satisfying to listen to. Controls are intuitive and well laid out, requiring a short learning curve to operate. Construction quality is very good, as well. It is solid and it has no mysterious rattles or loose bits that would be annoying. It is a pretty handsome design, too. The price is rather steep but it is nice to have a radio that provides the impression that it will be around for a long time. Overall, the ATS-909X is a very good radio and I would give it a 4.5 rating if I could. Recommended.
SAILCAT Rating: 4/5 May 1, 2013 21:51 Send this review to a friend
Expensive, Imperfect, But Very Good Portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Briefly, the Sangean ATS 909X is crammed with desirable features and it is a strong performer for a relatively compact portable radio. Is it perfect? Alas, no. MW is very good but not excellent, although it is close. FM is excellent by most measures and SW is strong but perhaps not up to the level as the Tecsun 660, but it is very good, nonetheless. Controls are intelligently devised and intuitive, quite unlike the classic Sony 7600GR, another very good MW/FM/SW radio. Overall, it is a worthwhile purchase but it is rather expensive. Recommended.
KB3DIV Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2013 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For the new in the box price of $200.00 I feel I got a deal. If you don't read directions you won't be able to run any piece of equipment to its full ability. Most of the negative posts on this review are user error inflicted, I assure you! I hear everything very well with the supplied antenna(s) as well as outstanding results with the external connected wire outside. I installed 4 rechargable batteries and find the operation and functions to be better than expected.
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