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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Grundig Satellit 800 Help


Reviews Summary for Grundig Satellit 800
Grundig Satellit 800 Reviews: 67 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $699.95
Description: The Grundig Satellit 800 Millennium gives you the ultimate in features, performance, convenience, and sound. It's incredibly powerful. Technologically sophisticated. Yet easy and intuitive to use. Whether you're an experienced shortwave listener or a newcomer to the world of international broadcasting, this is the radio to get. Your ordinary shortwave receiver doesn't have features like:

Synchronous detection to improve the purity of shortwave and AM reception. This helps clarify fading signals and reduce interference from adjacent frequencies.
AGC- Automatic Gain Control. The onboard microprocessor monitors signal strength, adjusting gain up or down to compensate for atmospheric and other conditions. It's like an onboard radio engineer. Choose either fast or slow AGC mode.
Excellent sensitivity and selectivity. The Satellit 800 Millennium receives stations most radios can't, including weak daytime shortwave signals.
Three built-in bandwidths for shortwave, using electronically switched IF filters: 6.0, 4.0 and 2.3 KHz.
You aren't limited to shortwave signals. The Satellit 800 Millennium is the ultimate portable AM/FM radio, too. Enjoy FM stereo with headphones. Listen to the VHF aircraft band from 118 to 137 MHz. Many of the same advanced features which enhance shortwave broadcasts do the same for AM reception, too. Listen to distant AM stations at night without fading. Pick out those weak stations on adjacent frequencies.

Enjoy legendary Grundig audio quality from the 4" built-in dynamic speaker. Adjust the sound with bass and treble controls - tailor it to your room or your taste.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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JEZPOOL Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2004 22:26 Send this review to a friend
Good quality and performance at a fair price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a "refurbished" Grundig Millenium 800, purchased from Universal Radio, for over a year. I've field stripped it down to an empty case, mostly out of curiosity. The only difficult part is removing the back which must be sprung slightly to clear the various rear connectors. It's well laid-out; connections between boards are plug-in coax jumpers.

My only hardware complaint is the volume control; this has been mentioned by another reviewer. It cuts-off the left channel near full CCW but not the right channel. The channels are not balanced and there is no balance control. I don't really care because I've soldered a tiny short between the tip and ring on my headphone plug, i.e., the phones are monaural which I prefer for DXing. I suspect, as others do, that Chinese QC is somewhat lacking. Reduced cost may not be the only advantage in a "refurbished" unit if it is returnable.

Arguably, "off-the-air" stereo is not high fidelity, even with a very high quality FM tuner and antenna. There is too much noise (hiss) from stereo decoding. A multiband receiver should not even be considered a high fidelity audio device. Headphone audio is good enough for voice and popular music but high fidelity stereo requires discrete, high quality components. The speakers are most important.

Just as good speakers driven by a cheap amplifier usually outperform an expensive amp with cheap speakers, a cheap radio with a good antenna usually outperforms an expensive receiver with a poor antenna. A well matched high-gain antenna will enhance any radio receiver, regardless of cost.

My antenna is entirely "home brew". It's a 50'x15'x4' triple loop which resembles a 4 facet pyramid in the attic. Since loops are balanced feed antennae, I use a balun to couple the antenna to 50 ohm coax downfeed. The balun also serves as an impedance transformer. The loop impedance is near 100 ohms and the Grundig SW antenna input is 50 ohms. Impedance matching is extremely important because a mismatch will result in signal loss from the coax downfeed.

This afternoon (01/19/04), at around 1 PM local time, I logged a station, at 13670 KHz, broadcasting oriental music, from Tinian island at S7 on my Grundig 800. In the same time period, I easily copied a VOA broadcast from Botswana at 13710 KHz at S5. All WWV transmissions, except 2500 KHz, were at least S6 and CHU at 14670 was an S8. I've been told that the Grundig 800 S meter reads low but I don't have the equipment to calibrate mine. I don't have a comparison receiver so I'm posting these S readings for others to evaluate.

I have made one internal modification and a simple antenna hack. I disconnected the internal ferrite loopstick by unpluging the coax jumper. This reduces MW noise with my external antenna connected. The 50 ohm antenna connection on the Grundig 800 requires an SO-239 (CB style) connector. I've drilled a small hole in a right angle SO-239 coupler (available at RS), threaded a small bolt into the center connector. The bolt extends out the side of the connector and is insulated from the shield. I connect this bolt to the whip antenna, using a clip junper, to utilize what appears to be the whip's RF preamp stage. This results in a 3 db increase in S meter reading for most signals. It does not work equally well at all frequencies and can lead to front-end overloading. The antenna selector switch on the back of the Grundig 800 makes it easy to experiment with this hack and it doesn't void the warranty.

Incidentally, the manual specifies an external power voltage requirement of 7-10 VDC. I measured the output voltage from the Grundig's AC power supply at 11.8 VDC. Consequently, I tried connecting two 6 volt (PS640) gel-cell batteries, in series, into the external power plug. This higher voltage, continuously applied, has done no harm to the receiver for over a year. I float charge both batteries for emergencies. I've bridged the battery output with a 100 mf capacitor and slipped a ferrite ring around the power cord at the jack end to eliminate interference from the charging units. I would recommend using a series resistor of about 10 ohms when trying this caper initially to reduce the output voltage within specs, I did. I removed it because it wastes battery power and gets hot.

I'm satisfied with my Grundig 800. I use it primarily for SW DXing and casual MW and FM listening. LW DX reception requires a gigantic antenna from my location in western Colorado and there is very little airband chatter so I cannot evaluate the Grundig 800 performance in these bands. I monitor a lot of SSB, an acquired skill, which would be easier with a variable BFO (the receiver tunes in 50 Hz steps). CW is easy to copy. Seventy memories are more than adequate but I don't like the 10 memory page scan arrangement. I would prefer a simple threshold scan on all bands, separate from the memory system.

I close with one more blanket statement. The results obtained from most receivers depend largely on the skill of the operator. I've DXed Africa with a 2 tube regenerative receiver but it wasn't easy. All the modern gizmos (synchonous detectors, rf amps, narrow band filters, etc.) usually yield disappointing results for an inexperienced operator because they expect spectacular results, just by engaging a function, under any condition. It doesn't work that way. Know your receiver, whatever brand, and you'll probably enjoy using it.
 
N6HBJ Rating: 1/5 Jan 14, 2004 19:19 Send this review to a friend
very dissappointed....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I started out in radio in the 70's, so BIG radios I like! I also like analog swing s-meters. So I had no trouble with the size of this radio or the looks. And I couldn't wait to try out the synchronous detector (which is why I purchased it because Ham transcievers lack that function) on shortwave broadcast stations. I didn't want to go all out and spend high dollar for a reciever just yet so I figured this radio would be a good temporary compromise. Table top performance for 1/3 the price!
I've been impatiently waiting for this reciever to arrive in the mail. I was so excited to finally get it and try it out.
However, I was very very dissapointed-especially after reading all the great reviews - including the one from "Passport to World Band radio" which is a SWLer's bible. The problem with this radio is that when I try and use an external antenna, I get bombarded with splatter from the AM broadcast band throughout the entire HF spectrum which makes the radio generally USELESS for shortwave listening unless ofcourse I use the whip antenna. But then I can't pick up any decent signals with just the whip.
So I guess I'll probably be returning it - didn't even last 24 hours.
 
SWLFAN Rating: 4/5 Nov 18, 2003 00:54 Send this review to a friend
It has some bugs, but a good radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using the radio over the past weekend, I would like to share the following with you.

I am mainly interested in the SW performance.

The radio I got was made in the July 2003, according to the way posted in this forum to decode the serial number.

Bugs:

1. SW band selection of 49m band. It is supposed to start at the frequency of 5950 kHz, but S800M will start from 5800 kHz.
2. The infamous LISB display.
3. The well known noisy power supply. It is not too bad, but a better power supply can make a noticeable difference.
4. Signal strength meter for FM. It does tell me almost nothing because its needle always stays all the way to the right for any station I choose.
5. Others? Add yours please.

Neutral:

1. The old style of the appearance. It looks like a product of 1970 or 1980, definitely not an appearance of a modern 2003 electronic product. Unpolished square keys, the handles, etc. The square keys even have rather sharp edges.
2. The earphone looks nice, good enough for listening to SW, but it is surely not good enough to match the radio’s wonderful FM sound.

What I wish it had, but it doesn’t:

1. More memory, and with more intelligence to act like other products in this modern electronic era.
2. Continuous antenna attenuation.
3. Finer tuning resolution SSB.
4. Preamp for the external antenna.
5. Battery backup for the clock.


What I like about this radio:

1.Good smooth sound. Better than any of my other radios. I can listen to it for a rather long time without feeling tired.
2. Huge, efficient whip antenna for SW and FM with preamp.
3. Very clear large LCD display.
4. Good layout of keys, knobs, and buttons.
5. Large metal keys and knobs.
6. SW stability is better than my other radios including Ten Tec R320, SW77 and SW 2010.
7. Good SW sensitivity, comparable to Ten Tec R320, SW77 and SW 2010 on an external about 70’ long wire antenna on the roof. It is the best among my radios by using the whip.
8. The sync really works! In fact it, works obviously better than all of my Sony radios (SW100s, 7600gr, 2010, and SW77) in most applicable cases.
9. The analog signal strength meter for SW and MW. It is especially useful to work with Justice MW antenna, or MJF 956 antenna tuner.
10. Separated BASS and TREBLE control.
11. Multiple antenna connections: 70 ohm, 50 ohm, 300 ohm, whip, you can choose whichever works the best.
12. The radio is large. It seems to be there in my desk, not easy to be knocked off my desk like my other radio. I do feel that I finally have a radio now. However, it can be moved to anywhere without a lot of effort.

This radio is a keeper, and I wish I bought it earlier.

Happy listening,
 
N3TTN Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2003 09:52 Send this review to a friend
Excellent value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since the improved "millenium" version of this receiver came out, this model has gotten great reviews just about everywhere, and I can see why. The Satellit 800 Millenium has top notch features and performance found in radios costing many hundreds of dollars more. I purchased a "recon" (factory reconditioned) unit from Universal Radio for $399, and the radio appeared to be brand new in every respect. The Satellit 800 brings in stations I could never hear on my top of the line Sangean portable, and the audio is superb. The supplied stereo headphones are a nice addition, they sound great, and are very useful for listening to those weak signal DX stations. This radio lacks a BFO for fine tuning of SSB transmissions, which would have been a welcome addition in my opinion, but is otherwise a relatively minor flaw. My biggest complaint (if you can call it that) about the Satellit 800 is the size....this thing is BIG, even HUGE, but the upside to the large size is that all the displays and controls are very easy to read and operate. Considering the excellent performance and features of the Satellit 800, this radio is a superb value for the price, and my only regret is that I did not purchase one sooner. This radio should satisfy the needs of all but the most demanding SWL users, and I highly recommend it. 73's N3TTN
 
KABC7 Rating: 4/5 Sep 3, 2003 21:38 Send this review to a friend
Nice SW Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am really happy with the radio. I have not experiences any of the problems that I have been reading on the internet.

Even so, I believe these problems do exist. My radio was born in October or 2002. Mine must have been in the batch of "Good" radios.

I rate this radio as "Good" because there is no next station scan feature. I do not understand why this feature is not on this great radio.
 
ADAM12 Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2003 23:16 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've owned Sony ICF-7600, ICF-7600G, ICF-2010 (two), Grundig YB-400PE, Satellit 700, Lowe HF-150 and Palstar R30C (lousy radio IMO). The Grundig Satellit 800 Millenium is the best of the lot for my purposes. That is, for program listening without having to mess around with external or active antennas and separate speakers to make it sound good (like you do with some of the others.

I held off buying one of these for a long time as I was put off by the big boom-box looks and poor initial reviews.

Anyway, I bought one when they started deeply discounting them on eBay. My unit (from a seller in AZ) was a late 2001 model and it's solid as a rock. I have absolutely no problem with the build quality and it's actually pretty good looking too!

It's lacking a few creature comforts like station labeling and an RF Gain control (which would improve it a lot I think) but the slow AGC and Synch Detector are a fantastic combination and improve program listening dramatically.

Only thing I could complain about is that it's a bit "hissy" but it's such a good radio that I have to give it a 5.

 
HIFILISTNER Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2003 09:30 Send this review to a friend
S800 Experience  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi:

I recently purchased the Grudig Satellit 800 radio and wanted to post about the experience so far. I ordered the radio directly from Eton, and based on the serial number it was manufactured in April 2003.

In the past I listened exclusively to the "big guns" on a Sangean ATS909 (along with other radios). After purchasing "Passport to World band Radio" I became interested in trying to listen to the more obscure broadcasts and decided I needed a better radio. After reading all of the positive and negative comments I was a bit concerned about the quality, but the S800 fit best into the type of listening I want to do. I was looking for a radio that had good
sound, had an internal antenna (so I can move it to different locations), had the option of running on batteries, and had more advanced features than my Sangean ATS909. The S800 pretty much fit the bill so I thought I would give it a try.

After some fairly heavy listening the following are my observations regarding the S800:

First the sound is very good compared to all of my other SW radios. It's also better than the other radios I looked at when considering a new radio. I like the separate bass and treble controls as they make listening much easier.

Second the sensitivity and selectivity of the S800 is better than any of my other SW radios, including the ATS909. Note that I'm using the standard whip antenna on all the radios and the S800 clearly comes out on top. I spent a considerable amount of time comparing the ability of the S800 and ATS909 to see if there was differences. The S800 is able to pull out stations that are mixed in with noise on the ATS909. Even when using a reel wire antenna on
the ATS909 the S800 is able to dig out stations better using only the built in whip antenna. Note, however, that with the long antenna wire the ATS909 does a very respectable job. It will be interesting to see how the S800 does with a different antenna.

I have never had a radio with a sync detector before and it took me a while to understand how to properly use it. I must admit that it's a great feature, and one that I really like. Using the sync detector significantly cleans up signals when there are close stations.

There are two weird things that I noticed with the S800. The first is the noise from the LCD and the optical tuning assembly (knob). All of my digital radios have noise from their LCD units, but the S800 seems to have more on certain bands. For example, the air band
has a lot of noise present when tuning with the knob. On the normal SW bands I frequent there is no noise from the optical sensors in the tuning knob, and the occasional noise generated by the LCD has not been much of a problem.

The second issue is the reported 60Hz. hum from the power block. I only notice the hum when listening with the headphones at very low volume. I was expecting to hear a lot more hum based on the discussions I have read, so I was pleased to see only a pretty low level hum. If you want to hear 60Hz. hum try a Tivoli Kloss Model 1 radio.

As for the quality, naturally I was concerned about the S800. The reviews on this radio are all over the place, with most of the negative reviews based on build quality. The unit I received is very solid. All of the mechanicals are great, the overall build quality is great, the operation is flawless, and I even figured out what the VFO button is for and how to use it.

So far I'm very pleased with the radio. My wife, who has virtually NO interest in radios, even commented on how nice the radio sounds when listening to foreign broadcasters. At this point I'm very pleased with the S800 I purchased.
 
KGLD Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2003 03:33 Send this review to a friend
Grundig/Drake gets it right  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
What a performer! I have owned Grundig Satellits (500 & 700) and the Grundig YB400PE. I'm also a big fan of the Sony ICF 2010, still my favorite portable radio. The Grundig Satellit 800 is a wonderful radio. My model was manufactured at the end of 2001. No loose knobs. Sturdy antenna. All the buttons work just fine. This radio really pulls in the MW (AM broadcast) band better than any other unit I have ever used for DX. The selectivity and sensitivity are very well matched. The AGC works nicely on those hard to get signals. Shortwave performance is fantastic. Listening to SSB is very steady and out performs any other radio I have used in the past. And the FM is superb!! In the daytime there is a little noise on the MW band due to the large LCD screen but no worse than the Sony 2010 when compared side by side. All in all a great performer. Now I can't wait for the Satellit 900... it's coming out soon (or at least by the end of '03)!!!
 
VA3GSS Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2003 16:48 Send this review to a friend
A Mixed Bag  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my Satellit 800 since late December and for the most part it seems like a pretty good receiver. I did have an issue with the tuning knob which kept coming loose but seem to have that fixed. I also find that the aM band seems to generate very distracting internal noise which sometimes drowns out the stations with a loud hum. Doesn't seem to happen on other bands. Sensitivity is great enabling the user to lock onto some weak stations. I've logged almost 100 AM and about 30 FM stations from my home on the Georgian Bay peninsula in Ontario. This is pretty good as it is a rural area far away from most urban centers. I can't say I've had much luck pulling in weak DX on SW band but am only using the telescopic antena. Would be interested in any reccommendations of commercial external antenas that might work well with this receiver.
 
WV2VXH Rating: 4/5 Jan 16, 2003 15:02 Send this review to a friend
A joy to use  Time owned: more than 12 months
My wife gave one to me for Xmas 2001, and it's had plenty of use since. I love it. AM and FM reception meet or beat everything else I've ever used, including a Hammarlund HQ-129X, Radio Shack DX-398 (Sangean ATS-909), Yamaha CR-1040, Marantz Model 150, and GE SuperRadios I and II, among other units. It sits next to the Yamaha and the Marantz, and it yields nothing to either on FM. It roasts the RS/Sangean on shortwave. My only knocks: 1) The volume control doesn't track evenly on both channels when listening in stero to headphones; 2) Dial scan (not just of presets) would have been nice; 3) The speaker could have been bigger: 4" is too small on a unit the size of a suitcase; 4) It's pointlessly huge and heavy (though it *looks* cool); and 5) The keypad ergonomics are nonintuitive (not unusual, but still a pain).

I wrote about the unit when it was new: I like it even better today.
 
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