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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Drake 2B Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Drake 2B Receiver
Drake 2B Receiver Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$279
Description: The DRAKE 2-B is an extremely versatile communication receiver designed to bring you top performance in reception of all modes of amateur transmission in a compact package. It is a triple conversion super heterodyne receiver employing crystal controlled high frequency oscillators, a highly stable variable oscillator tuning the same range on all bands, and for selectivity a steep-sided L-C filter at the 50 Kc I.F.
Product is not in production.
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W0EAJ Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2016 22:13 Send this review to a friend
First Rate  Time owned: more than 12 months
Back in '62, stationed at Treasure Island (SFRAN), a fellow ham (K9IHG at the time - K4TO now) had a new 2B. I fell in "lust" with it and swore I'd have one someday.. well, I do. At the time, it OUTperformed the S1 series Collins we had, and I'm inclined to think it STILL will, including the S3s and up. I repaired a TR-4 for a fellow, and he gave me the 2b, which had been dropped, requiring some bodywork, but little else. I have discovered that DRAKE gear had frequent problems with oxidized tube-socket pin-jacks. A rotary file, made from a large paperclip, and some DeOxIT, takes care of the problem. just tonight, listening to W1AW cw practice on 20m, the 756 ProII could barely hear the sig, but the 2b had it nicely. Like the other chaps say - get one... keep one.
YS1RS Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2015 20:54 Send this review to a friend
If I just could have known better!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a couple of old vacuum tube transmitters like the Heathkit AT-1 and a few homebrew ones too, like my Ameco AC-1 clone and more. I needed a good boat anchor receiver to match them. Sent a search over the Internet for "Best ham radio vacuum tube receivers" and one of the first links that came up was from eBay! Guess what, on top of the list was the Drake 2-B. eBay is not a ham radio authority at all but they sell a lot of ham radio equipment, more than anybody else ;-)
Anyway, I bought one nice 2-B+2-BQ and 2-AC Crystal calibrator. Man I am impressed! This receiver can go to finals with any Collins (I have a few), leave well behind any Heathkit (also have a couple) and more. Small size, unquestionable quality, efficient design, durable, stable, sensitive, can add additional bands, Tripple Conversion, Product detection for CW and SSB, Diode detection for AM, Passband filter for 3.6, 2.1 and .5 kHz. for CW. 455kHz IF that can be used as source for modern SDR applications as shown by YouTube user M0HBR, glow like a real radio. Just add the efficient Q Multiplier plus Crystal Calibrator (better grab one complete) and what else can you ask for?
If I just had found this information earlier I would have saved a lot of hard earned money. My receiver came original with no mods or updates and was working perfectly after 54 years, that says a lot.
If you come across one, listen to us an grab it! will never regret it. Is one of the most popular boat anchor receivers ever made and now I know why.

73 de Rob
K6CTW Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2015 21:41 Send this review to a friend
Superb & Easy To Repair  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had 2 Drake 2-B's in my ham career since 1967. Unfortunately I let my original one get away. I bought and have fully restored another and it is one of my favorite receivers. It has adequate selectivity for all but the most demanding contest work and superb audio!
EBay prices seem to be a bit high but I would recommend this to anyone as a great station receiver or even just a "band scanner" Adding a couple of SWL crystals has opened this radio up to much greater use. Paired up with the DX-60 and a homebrew DDS-VFO and a B&W TR switch, it is great for all my CW fun!

Is it the equivalent of my fully restored and Sherwood Mod'd R-4C? No, but it would be the last receiver I'd ever consider letting go of.
K5AX Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2015 10:26 Send this review to a friend
I have had 3 Drake 2Bs.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 3 2B's since I've been a ham. The first 2 I sold because I was in the Navy and stationed overseas, when I left I sold the gear to other hams stationed with me because I thought I could always get another one, and they couldn't get one so easily. But my present 2B is a 9900 series receiver and still looks new. I have an SO2R set up with K3's but still always turn on my 2B for back-up or just because it is still a kick-ass receiver pushing 50 years old. I can hear whatever the K3 can hear and a lot of time with a less elaborate antenna. I just bought a 2NT which is going to be on-line soon. If you hear me on give me a buzz.
VA7AA Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2013 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Drake 2B is a really nice little radio. Back in the 70's these were all the rage and for good reason, but back then a poor teenager could never afford my first rig was an old Hallicrafters S-85 and a DX40...not the best combo for sure. Got this receiver on a good buy, and it even came complete with matching speaker, Q multiplier/notch filter. Won't look back... because this one's gotta be a keeper. This little radio likely equaled or even outperformed most of the heavy metal mil-spec Collins rigs that could easy cost the taxpayer 5X the price....and weighed 5x as much. If you get a decent one...don't ever let it go.
MI3LVZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2013 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Bloody hell!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What an astounding little receiver. Lovely warm audio, super stable on frequency, silky smooth VFO, passband is a gem, cracking period looks and like all real radios..IT GLOWS IN THE DARK!
Typical Drake quality..superb.
W8KZW Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2012 15:03 Send this review to a friend
Stellar  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I traded my HQ-170A for a 2B and haven't looked back yet. It's simply a great receiver for SSB and CW ... haven't used it on AM so I can't comment.

My friend ran a 2B and Globe HG-303 in Pleasant Valley, NY as a teenager. I coveted his station as I was running a homebrew 6DQ6 and Hallicrafters S-107! My Elmer ran a 2B with his Heathkit Marauder. Some 45 years later, I paired a 2B with my own Marauder and its one of my favorite operating positions.

It hears as well as anything else I have used, and the passband tune, coupled with the switchable LC filters, performs flawlessly.

Over engineered? Hardly. If it wasn't worth the money, Drake wouldn't have sold the hundreds or thousands that they did, and it wouldn't be in such high demand today.

This is simply a marvelous little ham band receiver that, if you enjoy using vintage gear, you should have in your shack.
N6YW Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2012 22:28 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, stable & FUN!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned many of the most coveted receivers ever made and my current collection reflects what is considered top shelf in every respect. I now own another but it compares on a level I never thought possible. Simplicity combined with a well thought out design that works very well. This is the RL Drake 2B, and I finally bought one today after years of wondering what all of the fuss was about. I now know! What a gem of a receiver and it has it all in one small, tube enriched friendly package that promises to give hours of enjoyment. The selectivity, stability and great audio is an absolute gas and I don't need to do a side by side with my Racal, Collins or Icom rigs to know this. Why bother? It is what it is and what it does it does very well. Pleasing on the eyes as well as ears, and today was easy on my wallet. $80 bucks and I drove it home, hooked it up to an antenna and listened to the 75 meter Vintage Sideband Roundtable on 3895 khz. It was a blast and it stayed right on frequency while others were chasing each others tails. I cannot wait to find the matching pieces so I can assemble it as it's own operating position here in my shack. I hope everyone gets a chance to get a hold of one. You will not be disappointed unless it's in need of service, which is easy and the tubes are cheap. What more could you ask for?
73 de Billy N6YW
N0XE Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2011 08:40 Send this review to a friend
Not for AM  Time owned: more than 12 months
Love this radio!!! but not on AM, too narrow, other then that hard to beat! 73 Jim N0XE
KG8LB Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2011 04:11 Send this review to a friend
Not for "collectors"  Time owned: more than 12 months
Drake had a way with receivers and this one is a pure winner. This little box can run circles around most of the more highly sought "collector" type receivers. The receiver flat out performs in all areas . Passband tuning, a well programmed AGC circuit and the ability to work well in AM, CW as well as SSB without additional tin can filters.
If you only want to impress other collectors by bagging an over-priced SX-115 or 75-A4 , pass on this one. If you want to be truly impressed , pick up on one !
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