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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: 19 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $449.00
Description: AM/FM/SW receiver
Product is in production.
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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.
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2012 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Portable Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up a brand new Sangean ATS-909X new batch direct from taiwan for $155 australi with shipping didnt get an adapter end english manual no big deal,The cost in australia is between $380-$550 for waht i paid for performance on hf aero is excellent with its own telescopic antenna was able to copy stations from auckland,
brisbane,manila,nandi,new york ,singapore hooked up to a outdoor Wellbrook-ALA1530AL-1 active loop can hear stations like my other receivers all i can say its a keeper..
WA3YAY Rating: 4/5 May 4, 2012 15:30 Send this review to a friend
Fixed the tuning knob  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had the radio less than an hour and it was up on the bench in full warranty-voiding mode. Took it apart, unsoldered the tuning control, removed the detent spring, reassembled and now it's a pleasure to use. Whoever at Sangean thought that design was a good idea needs a refresher in mechanical design.

If you want some insight to how to do this, go to the bottom of where I sort of document the whole affair. Just a mechanical mod that you can do with some patience, soldering skills and a good magnifying glass.

As for the radio itself, it's nice. The quality is good and the performance ranks a 5 for shortwave broadcast listening and a 4 for Amateur use. The filters are just a little wide for CW. FM audio is superb. Overall a decent radio.

But the price is too high. I knew ahead of time that if I wanted to, I could have bought a Tecsun PL-660 and would have been happy. Or maybe a Kaito 1103, but I was in the mood for a replacement for my old ATS-909 and had a bug up my butt for the X model. Was it worth another $75 or so. Probably not, but the deed is done.

The only thing I wish I could have improved is the feel of the tuning control. It's a fine thought to place the knob on the front, but the mechanical design was half-baked. I tried everything I could think of to make the thing smoother, including Teflon shims, but to no avail.

Still a decent radio.
9V1JP Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2012 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I learned about the newest worldband receiver from Sangean about 2-3 months ago. I did not buy it until my trip to Taiwan. Finally bought it from BEST electronic store in Taipei. I happen to have my Eton E1-XM with me. Did a quick A-B comparison with the built in telescopic whip antenna. Sangean seems to perform better in the MW band. On the SW band, the Eton E1-XM seem to be better in terms of readability and sensitivity. I have not had opportunity to compare SSB reception at the moment. The Synchronous Detection on the E1 helps in eliminating fading and increases readability/intelligability of the signals.

For the price and the size of the Sangean, I think it is much more portable for travelling. But for tabletop applications, I prefer the E1.
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