- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sony ICF-5900W Help

Reviews Summary for Sony ICF-5900W
Sony ICF-5900W Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $250.00
Description: Sony high end AM/FM/SW communication receiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Sony ICF-5900W.

Page 1 of 2 —>

RENTON481 Rating: 3/5 Feb 6, 2015 07:38 Send this review to a friend
Great MW receiver -- SW good when its working  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got one of these marvels used, and the first couple of years it worked well on SW, as well as MW & FM. It was reasonably accurate on SW, using the XTAL calibrator / bandspread system.

The radio is an excellent design -- plenty of IF amplification and filtering on all the bands. The defect in design is in the switches -- they just don't age well.

After about a year or so of use I noticed SW1 began to cut out, and was difficult to keep connected. Then the XTAL switch stopped working.

And finally the rest of the SW bands went south also. Switch cleaner / deoxit doesn't help. My guess is there is something wrong with the switches themselves.

Now I just use it as a MW DX radio -- for which it is excellent. FM still works, and it pulls in fringe stations reasonably well.

It has great selectivity, and great sensitivity, and for MW there is a large 150-200 mm loopstick inside (haven't measured it, but it looks to be the same size as a Superadio's)

The radio is great, but if you buy one used, expect to work on the slide switches sooner or later. From reading on the 'net, some radios of this era tend to have these problems. If they can be overcome, you'll have a great, classic radio that works on all bands.
K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2012 11:15 Send this review to a friend
Super Duper Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The SONY ICF-5900w is my favorite radio of all time. It is SO easy to tune using its crystal calibration system and fine tuning band spread dial. Even though it is an analog set, with an analog slide rule dial, it can be tuned to the exact frequency very quickly using the 5 kHz crystal marker system. No more guessing whether or not you are on frequency and have the station you are looking for. Mine cost me $149 when new, and I would pay three times that to buy it new again, today. Nice to have external antenna connections, and even better that it does not overload on a big external antenna. It even has a battery / signal strength meter.

Excellent audio, good sensitivity, excellent selectivity, and maintains stable frequency - it has it all. Low battery consumption, so you can travel with it. Good radio to take camping, as it pulls in the world, especially on an external random wire tossed into a tree. No fancy frills, but solid performance, with convenient controls, makes this my favorite radio of all time.

// K8JHR //
KA6SGT Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2011 13:35 Send this review to a friend
Nice all-round portable receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased mine new in 1977, when the SWL bug bit again. This all-round receiver provided everything I needed in a "small" package. Regular AM and FM BCB DXing, as well as the popular SW bands. The BFO function provided code reception on the ham bands, with a stable bandspread dial to help control the slight drift. Having owned mine for more than 20 years, I wish I had not sold it. It would be nice to listen to again!
AH6SZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2011 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Great memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio second hand in Taiwan in 1976. The FM band was set for Japan and I paid a small amount to have a local repair place change it to US / Taiwan frequencies, or something like that. I enjoyed it for many years. I can't recall exactly what took it out, I think it was dropped or something after it got moved out to the tool shed. Brings back fond memories. Excellent radio. Very sensitive, great audio, and terrific frequency accuracy for its day! If I were collecting, and I am not, I'd want to have one.
KO0KY Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2010 15:02 Send this review to a friend
A great radio that has proven itself over time  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these in 1976 at a TV Appliance store in Shreveport, La. It was my pride and joy. My fiance at the time spilled some milk on it and it immediately went downhill. I wound up donating it to a ham friend a few years later for parts. Well, I recently obtained a fine one on Ebay for $140, and it is money well spent. What a great little radio it is. Great audio, sensitive, selective enough for the purpose, and all around terrific. It was way ahead of its time, and I bought it because of the frequency repeatibility, well before the digital age.

Now I have to hide it from my XYL, she loves it! No milk is allowed in the room with the Sony!

SM5HUA Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2010 14:05 Send this review to a friend
Excellent it is...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello all,

Got my 5900w many years ago and must agree with the feedback here, such a outstanding analogue radio it is! Pure pleasure listening on it, no wonder ppl go crazy getting their hands on one of them :)

73s Peter / SM5HUA
K6LO Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2009 15:59 Send this review to a friend
Looks Cool  Time owned: more than 12 months
I keep one of these on my night stand for SW broadcast and casual ham listening. Hooked to a 20 piece of wire running under the base board it is sensitive, has lush audio, and I swear I have not changed the batteries in years.
IZ5PQT Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2009 04:54 Send this review to a friend
Great analog portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 5900W in 1978 and I still own and use it. It is a great receiver. After reading the review in the World Radio TV Hanbook I was uncertain among the Panasonic RF-2200 and the 5900W, but after looking at them in the shop I chose the Sony. At the time it was a real breakthrough. The Barlow Wadley XCR30 was superior but also more expensive. At the time I was an active SWL listener and I used it a lot especially on the 60 mb. The only drawback for me was the absence of 120 and 90 m bands. It was (for those years) reasonably compact and light. I put in a better filter to increase the selectivity. Now after more than 30 years it still operates flawlessly and I switch it on at least once a day. You can see and hear it on
KB2NAT Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2008 05:53 Send this review to a friend
Truly Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has taken time to show me how great this unit was. As others, I took this radio plane, car, poolside, beach, etc. It's sensitivity and resistance to overload were great strengths. I should have kept mine since it was reasonably travelable(?) and very high performing on all bands. It had the value of analog (that is, the ability to sweep bands for any signals) and digital (it could zero in on a specific freq with great accuracy). Now owning a GEII, Zenith 7000, Kaito 1102, Grundig 800, etc, I can now appreciate what a great portable it was...too late. Get one if you have the opportunity.
MKANG Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2008 00:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Analog Portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Glad to have back one original unit in good operational conditions after minor adjustments & repairs.
Very bold ergonomic design with large SW dial for accurate tuning and wide clear strip of band markings.
Large speaker mesh with strong sound output with controls in black colour and case body in gunmetal grey.
A timeless classic from the 70's comparable to the Panasonic RF2200 of the same era.
Page 1 of 2 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.