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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | National NC-57 Help

Reviews Summary for National NC-57
National NC-57 Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $98.50USD
Description: General Coverage Communication Receiver with 9 vacuum tubes.
1RF and 2 IF(455kHz). AM,CW 0.56 to 54MHz. BFO,AVC,ANL.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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KAPT4560 Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2016 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Better than I thought.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this NC-57 (ser# 277-0961) at the AWA spring meet this past May and wasn't expecting much, but after going through it and the more I use this radio for SWL, the more impressive it is to me. Some reviewers call it a 'hot' receiver and I am inclined to agree with them.
I replaced the filter and wax caps and many resistors that had drifted high. A couple of stressed resistors had drifted 'open'.
At first, the audio was tinny and quiet from the self-contained speaker. The original voice coil was frozen. Inside the cabinet gets warm and being next to an adjacent hot tube may have accelerated the speaker's failure.
I replaced the speaker with a Jensen auto speaker I had around and mounted the audio transformer on the chassis nearby. That brought good tone and volume back. Not having to have an external speaker makes this a nice, compact package.
I had to restring the bandspread, cleaned the dial discs with soap and water (no glass cleaner) and oiled the tuning linkages. The clear flat lens over the dials was badly warped, so I cut a new piece for that.
There have been concerns that these radios are 'rust buckets' and it doesn't have the glossy hammertone pearled finish like the other National NC's, but more of a satin gray finish. The paint on the front and sides was OK, but the top was flaking off and rusting. That may have been from internal heat. The important thing was that the chassis was very clean and corrosion-free.
I do miss an S-meter, but notice an external mounted meter (National SM-57) that plugged into a rear socket was optional.
There is also no crystal selectivity, which I don't use that often anyway.
A S-O-J can plug into the accessory socket making the receiver more full-featured. (I also own a NC-125 with S-O-J and a strong family resemblance to this receiver).
The B+ has voltage regulation and the instruction manual tells how this radio can be used on batteries in an emergency or when AC is unavailable. Removing the VR tube opens a jumper for the power transformer primary, so if the AC cord is left plugged in and power happens to come back on, you are safe.
The NC-57 was a 'high-value' receiver in it's day, but had more features than the low-priced NC-33 (another strong family resemblance to the NC-57 and almost the same front panel).
When restoring the receiver, I made sure that the latest factory upgrades were present as stated in the National Service Notes in BAMA. Some values were changed and best practices like short bypass cap ground leads to help 6 meter sensitivity and image reduction are given for the NC-57.
Proper component lead and wire harness dress also are helpful, especially to upper band performance.
This is currently my bedside receiver with an E-W attic longwire and it is very enjoyable with the soft amber glow of the dials with very good and clear reception day or night.

KF0XV Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2007 15:33 Send this review to a friend
Use it everyday  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this receiver for about 15 years now just setting down in the basement. I'd turn it on every few years and wonder when was I going to restore this thing. Well I did it about a month ago and was I ever surprised. This thing works better then my R4C and my HQ-170 on AM and I repeat AM only. That is what its for. It does cw good for Heavy Iron. It is teamed up with my B&W 5100B For my AM operation. I only wanted to hear it after rebuild and it ended up as my primary AM receiver. I still need to paint it but I don't want to take it out-a-line to do it. Oh, I do need to mention, this is the NC-57M. I think and I might be wrong, M means Mobile or Marine and the alignment procedures are a little different.
WB0TUA Rating: 4/5 Jun 2, 2005 09:11 Send this review to a friend
A "hot" radio that is a pleasure to use!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I too just finished restoring an NC-57. I was shocked at how "hot" it was. I live in the midwest and was easily able to pull in Radio Australia. When I first got the radio, I pulled off the bottom cover and it was a mess! As I was replacing all the capacitors, I found that the cathode of the first I.F. tube was not connected. Also, a big 2 watt resistor fell off its' connecting points when I wiggled it. I was lucky to have an original manual and I put all the connections back the way they were supposed to be and did all three alignments (RF, BFO, and General Coverage). The radio does remarkably well for a low-priced, low-end receiver and I'm very happy with it. This is a lot of radio for the money. It even has an audio output transformer with a speaker built into the cabinet. Congratulations to the engineers at National who put together a terrific set.
VE7BGP Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2005 21:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Classic Rx  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have just finished fixing up my old Classic NC-57. I replaced the old paper "Condensors" with capicators undid a couple of mods that made no sence to me, restrung the Bandspread dial scale dial cord. That gave me a chance to clean up the chassis and tuning caps & mechanism. I tweaked up the alignment and wow does this old receiver sound nice and pick up stations great. Not having a Product Detector you need to back off the RF Gain control to receive SSB but does ssb ever sound nice on 75 meters on this old RX. I am really suprised. It has a old vr tube to stableize all the oscillator and rf screen grid voltages in the front end. I think National did a great job of the rf engineering of this old receiver. It's not a every day driver but a nice receiver to turn on once in a while to enjoy a nice Boat Anchor that's not too large.
Gerry VE7BGP
K3GW Rating: 4/5 Jun 24, 2003 15:19 Send this review to a friend
just a comment  Time owned: more than 12 months
My dad, W3NVS (sk) had this receiver when I got my novice license (WN3KYN) in January of 1957. The only 'problem' I had with it was because the receiver had an all metal cabinet as well as some control knobs, it was always dangerous to have any stray RF in the shack..... if so, you would get 'bit' when touching the RX. For the time, it was a good receiver for our use. We ultimately upgraded to a HQ129X.

Gary, K3GW
JH1BYI Rating: 4/5 Sep 30, 2002 13:02 Send this review to a friend
appendics  Time owned: months
I forget to add my HP.
Sorry It's described in Japanese. But you can enjoy photoes.
JH1BYI Rating: 4/5 Sep 30, 2002 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Looks radio but it's a communication receiever  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This lovely Radio is made in 1957 to 51. As you see, Main Dial and Spread Dial is coaxial to the dial scale. Of course, not directory connected. This magic was developed by complex mechanism. You can see the detail at my HP .I enjoy some vacuum tube receiver. This is very pretty and lovely with nice stability and sensitivity to the age. At this erra, I was born. Now I am aged 50. My Health Status is fine, but this brother is extermely file. All the parts is healthy, because no BalckBeauty was used. (^^: I added Ceramic Filter to match todays selectivility. It doesn't have a product detector, then I turnes and reduce RF-GAIN and also increase AF-GAIN to receive SSB. It needs 30 min. to warm up for SSB, but stabel after that. It is the communication receiver, no doubt. But it looks not so heavy. It match to a classic or modern interriors. This is only the receiver that my wife allowed to set at living room.

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