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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | National NC-183D Help

Reviews Summary for National NC-183D
National NC-183D Reviews: 7 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $269.00
Description: Vintage seventeen tube general coverage receiver. Frequency coverage from .54 Mhz to 30 Mhz continuous and from 47 to 55 Mhz.
Product is not in production.
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NB9M Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2018 01:44 Send this review to a friend
1st-Rate Band Cruiser!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was fortunate enough to find an outstanding, recapped example of this dual-conversion National classic. It shines like a new nickel. Yes, the push-pull audio is the game-changer; it spoils you. Tuning through the international bands is a delight on a cold winter night. The whole experience (visual, auditory, olfactory) would truly be satisfying for any serious vintage radio listener.

Hint: the rectifier tube location heats up the (now generally unavailable) nearby power transformer. Replace it with a solid-state replacement. Always use with an inrush current limiter (available from Electric Radio, Super nice examples of the NC-183D receiver are getting hard to come by! I know that Northern Radio produced a rack-mounted version for utility service, and some had an excellent Dovetron product detector modification.
N8FVJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2017 18:55 Send this review to a friend
Fine Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
The NC-183D is a good receiver. It is general coverage with dual conversion to eliminate 'ghost' images on the shortwave bands. The 6V6 push-pull audio is ultra clear and powerful. I believe it slightly outperforms my National NC-303 on 75 meter AM and the NC-303 was aligned.

This is an old radio and it needs replacement of the old coupling capacitors plus a new electrolytic capacitor in the power supply. The RF and I.F. screen resistors are known to go way up in value too. Without these updates the receiver will show its age with lower performance. It does not hold up like Mil Spec receivers in the day, but the cost was way less.

I can recommend this receiver. It outperforms many other vintage receivers.
VE3OWE Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2013 14:34 Send this review to a friend
they dont make them like this anymore  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this radio about 5 yrs ago for $160, The gentleman i bought it from was a tv repairman in the tube era and restored antique receivers as a hobby. It s a beautiful machine, he really did a great job, all caps have been replaced and the unit came with the original speaker and a professional reprint of the owners manual. when its warmed up it has an old radio smell, lift the lid to view the glow of the tidy tube arrangement. a.m. sound is awesome, and sensitivity is alongside with any ham radio or communications receiver i have sparred it against. if you can find one that works you wont be disappointed.
A showpiece for sure, but you will probably need a hand to move it around.
W7MBR Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2012 04:04 Send this review to a friend
LOOKS AND PERFORMANCE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am lucky enough to own two of these 50's classic receivers and I wont let go of either. As already mentioned the push-pull 6V6x2 audio section really makes this receiver shine on AM reception with no listening fatigue. It is also remarkably stable for an old school designed radio due to its solid construction and quality components lending itself well to CW and SSB. If the NC-183D was made today you would probably have to break the bank to pay for it. "American Made" at it's very best. Get one if you can.
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2007 15:53 Send this review to a friend
one of the best of its age and class  Time owned: more than 12 months
in over 45 years of playing with short wave radios ive owned tons of tube receivers
from RME to Hallicrafters, Collins to RCA

most of them ive owned for a few years
then sold to buy/try another receiver

the National NC-183D is one of my favorites
traded it off to get a 75S3B

love the collins s line receiver
but missed the old National

few years later got lucky
and was able to get it back
this time it stays till the final SK
estate sale

its one of the best of the best
of the old style
band spread, band set general coverage receivers

DXSHORTWAVE Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2007 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Excellent SWL AM reception  Time owned: more than 12 months
Could not agree more with W5EI's assessment of the 183D for beautiful AM reception. It is fantastic. At our commercial HF monitoring and point to point transmitting site, we have all the high end receivers so a comparison is an easy deal.

One of our folks brought in a 1954 vintage 183D (in great shape) and we put it on line for a comparison. Probably because of the dual 6V6 audio output tubes and other design considerations, (AM selectivity, etc.), it literally blows the other units away. We all agreed it should still be made today.

Sure, it doesn't have synch detection and the other new stuff, but it didn't seem to matter here with large antennas and big signals. What a gem for beautiful AM reception.
W5EI Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2004 00:16 Send this review to a friend
SWLing as it was meant to be  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio has been a pleasant surprise for me. I found it at a hamfest, and fortunately it was in very good cosmetic condition. As I was powering it up on a variac, one of the ac bypass capacitors blew. After replacing both bypass caps, I also went ahead and installed a new two stage filter cap, and replaced all the molded paper caps with new, axial polyester ones that look almost like the originals. A few resistors were out of tolerance, so they were also replaced. One of the great things about this radio is the very uncluttered and neat layout of the components under the chassis. Everything is easy to get to. After the component replacement work, I had to find a replacement for the 10" matching speaker, as the original had a cone that was pretty well gone. I found an Eminence 10" speaker designed for guitar amplifiers. It has a whizzer cone for the higher audio frequencies. Once in the National speaker cabinet, you can't tell it apart from the original, and does it ever sound great! Was all of this time and work worth it? All I can say is that I hardly ever SWL with any of my other radios anymore. I've used a Drake R8B, Yaesu FT1000D, FT900, Icom IC-746, and Kenwood TS-2000 among the newer stuff, and also my old Hallicrafters SX-100. None of these receivers comes close to the sound of the NC-183D. With its two 6V6s in push pull, the audio is just fabulous-this radio will really honk. Sensitivity and selectivity is hard to beat as well. For a radio designed in the early 1950s, it is still pretty amazing. This receiver weighs in at 65 lbs., so it definitely is in the boatanchor class. The styling is typical of the period, and the dark silver-gray cabinent is beautiful. I have not used it for hamming yet, but it would probably be a great one for AM. Let it warm up for an hour or so, and it is pretty stable. The 183-D is dual conversion from 4.4 MHz to 55 Mhz, and single conversion from .54 to 4.4 Mhz. Although it was designed primarily as an AM/CW receiver, SSB detection is possible by turning on the CW oscillator, adjusting the pitch, and turning down the RF gain control. The chassis is venilated with slots in the rear of the cabinet. To remove more of the heat, I installed a 4" muffin fan on the back of the cabinet, and the radio runs much cooler that way. The NC-183D was manufactured from 1952 until 1959.

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