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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sony CRF-230, CRF-230B World Zone radio Help

Reviews Summary for Sony CRF-230, CRF-230B World Zone radio
Sony  CRF-230, CRF-230B  World Zone radio Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Large 23-band professional quality AM-FM-SW world band radio manufactured around 1970. Originally advertised as the King of Radios, see May,1970 edition of National Geographic magazine for Sony's advertisement of this radio.
Product is in production.
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K9FLY Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2019 18:48 Send this review to a friend
A boat anchor with a handle.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have just added this awesome receiver to my collection of 50 years that includes Grundig, Panasonic, Collins, Drake, Sony and Hammarlund to name a few. It is an early CRF-230 (vintage early70's) found at a premium price on epay but it was a 9 on a 10 scale. It is heavy, large and with lots of knobs and switches. Being a career pilot, the more knobs and switches, the better I like it, Smile..... The FM portion is almost hi-fi in reproduction. The MW/LW is below average on this unit. The SW1 and SW2-18 performs well with a decent antenna. (5 band vertical). It probably could stand a tweak in that regard but it plays so well now, that will be in the future. As a Ham I was interested in SSB reception. It has no bandspread to speak of but it has a bfo on/off switch with a vernier control for USB and LSB. It seems to work well on a stronger station. S-Meter is accurate. Tuning crank reminds me of old ham gear and Grundig to change bands. It would benefit from a pre-selector but breaking the bands up into increments seems to work well on receive. Sony thought of most everything, including narrow/wide selectivity, muting, ANL, DX/Local and MGC which is their version of AVC. It all works as advertised. For the period, it was the king of Portables, lugables, if you will but it is certainly a 5 on any scale...... Beware of the missing cord, they are unobtainable, but it can be run on batteries for quite some time......
NI6S Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2006 22:28 Send this review to a friend
Pure Nostalgia  Time owned: more than 12 months
My radio hobby began in earnest once I acquired an early vintage CRF-230(1972)from an elderly SWL who'd passed on. The year was 1977 and shortwave was booming! I logged quite a few stations on the Tropical bands because this receiver was so sensitive, even though I only used its telescopic whip. The radio got beaten up over the years and was eventually superceded by many other receivers and transceivers. But I recently purchased another one in pristine condition (later vintage CRF-230B/1979) and just plugged it in for the first time tonight. Wow!! The audio is practically hi-fi and the sensitivity is as I remember. I put it side-by-side with the Drake SW-8, using that radio's telescoping whip and the Sony blew it away in every respect, especially in sensitivity and audio recovery. The Sony's MW band is also hyper sensitive and pulled in numerous distant stations. This is a well-built, self-contained radio that you could display in your living room because of its level of quality and visual appeal. FM on it is superb, too! I bought one in an attempt to simply recapture the excitement I once had with this radio. I am thrilled that mine is in excellent condition and works as well as the day it left its assembly line. If you're looking for a quality piece of 1970's equipment, you won't regret picking up one of these. Snatch one up while you can. Highly sought after, even by the Japanese! Average used price is $400-600. Be sure to get the power cord, as it's nearly impossible to find otherwise. Good luck!
RADIOMYSTIC Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2005 12:01 Send this review to a friend
Incredibly great radio!!!  Time owned: months
I have had several of these CRF-230 Sony radios over the years while also having owned many other highly rated receivers. I have owned and enjoyed the following radios: Collins R390a; Grundig Satellits 6001,600,650 and 800;Icom R71a;several Zenith transoceanic 3000's; Panasonic rf-3000,rf5000, and rf-2800; Sony icf-6800w,icf-2010 and the big CRF-330K. My point is that I have had a lot of radio experience since 1966 and am comparing the CRF-230B to all of these radios.
The CRF-230B that I now have rates as the best radio I have ever owned, despite some of its obvious limitation. These limitations include; it is not very portable, lacks 1 Khz precision frequency readout, is not a general coverage receiver with continuous tuning, and its selectivity is not quite up to that of a modern communications receivers.
Having stated these limitations, this radio is still a shining star in a sea of radio mediocrity. It is extremely sensitive, has very good selectivity, has an effective noise limiter, and exceptionally full audio. All the controls and switches are of professional quality (in my opinion)and the overall build of the radio is simply superb. The three main tuning knobs are just silky smooth in their operation with never a hint of play. When a station is tuned in it seems to have actually been forcefully pulled-in and is not just "there". This is probably due to the extra gain from the two (2) FET-RF amplifier stages this set uses on the shortwave bands. Regular AM and FM band have very sensitive and strong reception also, actually better than any of the above mentioned radios. Not just very good but exceptionally strong RF performance on all bands.
Actually the selectivity is given in the service manual with a graph showing a total bandwidth of only about 8Khz@60db down and this goes on down to 80db with a total bandwidth of about 13-14 Khz. These are actually quite superb figures. I just do not have the instrumentation to veryify their authenticity.
If you open up one of these radios you will see some incredible engineering. All RF tuning stages are metal encased. Everything is solid and nothing looks cheap. These radios will benefit from a good cleaning with contact cleaner and ocassionally I have made some dramatic improvements on the MW and SW1 bands by tweaking the RF and mixer stages according to service manual procedures. So if you are not adverse to using a little contact cleaner or following a service manual alignment procedure (or having a techinician doing it for you)I would highly recommend this model Sony radio. Every time I parted with one of these I immediatly knew it was a mistake to let it go. Now I have a CRF-230B and it is a keeper for me.

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