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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sony ICF-S5W Help

Reviews Summary for Sony ICF-S5W
Sony ICF-S5W Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $$80
Description: AM/FM radio. About 6.25" x 8.5" x 2.25". 3 C batteries.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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N8PGV Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2010 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Good sensitive radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using one of these in my garage to listen to talk radio and out of area sports for quite a few years. If I am running between the house and the garage working on a project I turn on my GE SuperRadio in the house and the Sony on the same station. Many times the station just isn't there on the GE. I would pick up another one if I could get it for a good price. I can't swear it is a super BCB DX machine, but MINE is very sensitive.
TRXWGN Rating: 4/5 Dec 27, 2008 22:26 Send this review to a friend
Perhaps as good as the hype  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I pulled the trigger and bought a S5W on ebay because of its rave reviews. If I didn't know any better, it is just another analog Sony radio from the early eighties, maybe a little unique because of its two colored LED tuning indicator and 10 region AM radio dial with broadcast call signs.

My house no doubt has a fair amount of electrical interference since I have to rotate the radio a bit to cut down on background noise. Other radios I have appear to be less effected by the interference.

In some casual DX testing, yes, the S5W does a good job of picking up the distant stations, a tad better than my 7600G sensitivity/selectivity wise, for instance, but not exactly mind blowing.

I wonder if it really is "that good". It is a basic radio -- no clock, no sleep timer, no light bright enough to read the dial in the dark, no shortwave nor weather band.

I give it a 4+. A good performer, though I expected a little more out of such a "rare find".
N7EKX Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2005 23:33 Send this review to a friend
Best BCB DX Portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was surprised to read a review of this great BCB DX radio, as I thought its superior performance was a well-kept secret. I purchased my ICF-S5W during a Navy port visit to Hawaii in 1980, and was astonished at its sensitivity and selectivity. It is clearly superior to any portable radio in BCB DX capability, and I have tested it against every competing machine for the past 25 years... nothing even comes close! Sony must have invested quite a bit in the design of this phenomenal radio, and it's a shame that they didn't keep it on the market longer than they did (as I recall, it cost about $150, quite a lot of money in 1980). Anyway, if you have interest in BCB DX and have a chance to snare one of these, stop what you are doing and act quick!!
LRDHEAT Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2005 19:47 Send this review to a friend
Superior AM DX Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Sony ICF-S5W was on the market from about 1980-1981. The radio was the top end of the Sony SSP series of portable AM sets...Sensitivity Selectivity Portability. The dial is features a linear analog dial...the spacing of frequencies is uniform throughout the frequency range. The frequencies near the 1600khz end of the dial is not all squeezed together as on most analog AM sets. In addition, a rotary dial is provided where station call letters from major stations from 10 regions in the country can be displayed. The regions conform with the 10 geographical ham radio regions of the U.S.

Performance is not equaled by any portable that I have compared this set to. Unfortunately, the set was produced as interest in AM was on the wane, and before the resurgence of AM in the talk radio age of today. As result, the model was discontinued after about a year.

My head to head testing has always consisted of daytime testing, utilizing groundwave reception. I find that it is much more difficult to discern a difference between sets at night when even an ordinary radio can pull in distant stations with ease. The Sony ICF-S5W can actually make WBAP Dallas readable in Laredo (400+ miles away) at mid day. The GE Super Radio, by contrast, does not even hear a station at the 820Khz slot. The CCR Radio is much more sensitive than the GE with daytime signals, but clearly falls somewhat short of the Sony. Importantly, the CCR suffers from lesser selectivity. While the Sony can, in most cases, receive stations 10Khz away from a strong local signal, the CCR often "hears" a local's signal 30Khz up and down the dial from the local's frequency.

The ICF-S5W is quite a special portable

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