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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Hallicrafters S-38E Communications Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters S-38E Communications Receiver
Hallicrafters S-38E Communications Receiver Reviews: 10 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $39.95- $59.95
Description: The Hallicrafters S-38E receiver was manufactured from 1956 to 1961.  The
S-38E receiver has a new, modern cabinet styling and improved circuitry.  It is
12 7/8" wide x 7" high x 9 1/4" deep. The Hallicrafters S-38E receiver has
standard broadcast coverage from 540-1650 kc. plus three shortwave bands
from 1650 kc. through 32 mc.  In addition, it has an intermediate frequency
of 455 kc.  It has four tubes and one rectifier.  The power requires 105/125
volts. It came in these versions: S-38E, S-38EB (Blonde cabinet), S-38EM
(mahogany cabinet)and S-38E MkII. It was the last of the S-38 series that
ranged from the S-38, S-38A, S38-B, S-38C, then S-38D models.
Product is not in production.
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VK5GI Rating: 4/5 Jan 22, 2016 20:58 Send this review to a friend
Good solid radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my S-38E now for about ten years. I bought it from the US as a known wreck, and restored it to "better than factory" condition! Itmappears to be the typical American 5 radio, with short wave bands as a bonus! There is no way I'd sell mine, it is a genuine piece of radio ( and US) history. If you have one that is in need of tlc, then carefully replace the capacators, change any resistors that have gone high and above all else BE CAREFUL. THE CHASSIS IS LIVE.
NJ2H Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2014 12:20 Send this review to a friend
My first radio  Time owned: months
I got this for Xmas back in about 1958 in the 7th grade. The box sat under the tree for about a week before Xmas and when I asked my Dad who it was for, he said it was a set of pots and pans for my Mom. On Xmas day he told me to help her open it, and when I saw what was in the box I couldn't believe it. It sold for about 50 bucks back then, a lot of money. I spent many a night when I was supposed to be asleep listening to hams and shortwave. It was a great first radio.
Several years later I got my Novice license and built my Knight R100A and a picked up a very used DX100 and got on the air. That was 52 years ago.
KD5WKP Rating: 3/5 Aug 3, 2008 14:59 Send this review to a friend
ok for a starter rig.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Started with Hallicrafters S76 1958 era h/b 6146 osc-amp. cw 80-40 mts rock bound. Hi still have S76 4x4 inch s meter.the listed call is wrong. should be W5GJG.
KK7SS Rating: 4/5 Aug 3, 2008 08:16 Send this review to a friend
Started me in Ham Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The S-38 got me started in ham radio...
After many years, I once again now have a working one and 3 spare chassis in the cupboard... 'nuff said??
KB0XR Rating: 4/5 Aug 3, 2008 01:58 Send this review to a friend
I still like mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
My folk bought me the blonde version in 1957. I spent many hours swl'ing with it until I upgraded to Hallicrafters SX 110.

I've still got the S38 although two of the knobs broke in two(bandswitch and on/off volume). Just keep it for old times sake.
W4FID Rating: 4/5 Aug 2, 2008 14:34 Send this review to a friend
wish I had one back then  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a HeathKit AR-2 as a novice in 1961. It was a poorly accepted predecessor to their AR-3; which they sold lots of. The AR-2 was a "poor man's S-38" A very poor man's. Still I worked lots of Qs in the 80 and 40 meter novice bands with a dipole up less than 20 feet. At the time I wished I could have had a Hallicrafters -- ANY Hallicrafters -- and lusted after a "rich" friend who had a Drake 2B. In that era and with skills we learned as we went and the expendature of time guys like me had lots of fun and founded our life long connection to all things ham. The S-38, SX-99, and others contributed to what was then and we fondly remember now. Because it was what it was then is why we love it now. By comparison; the 2B is still a very enjoyable receiver and does well on CW even by today's standards. But it cost 3 or 4 times as much back then too. Then, as now, you get what you pay for but the memories are priceless.
W2XS Rating: 4/5 Aug 2, 2008 13:47 Send this review to a friend
Be Realistic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am listening to my S-38E now as I write this. It is fine for listening to local AM BCB stations and clear SW stations and actually sounds pretty good. It is an AC/DC "All-American-Five" circuit with no selectivity other than the IF transformers. It picks up stations on all 4 bands with halfway decent tubes and alignment. The BFO works surprisingly well on mine and SSB/CW is copiable if the QRM is low.

I don't think it is a true "communications" receiver and some simple QRP circuits work much better. But it is fun to use to listen to WBCQ or WABC's Saturday Night Oldies. And I like the looks of that dial too!


John W2XS
W4KPA Rating: 3/5 Aug 2, 2008 12:05 Send this review to a friend
Oh come on now  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was a very basic, inexpensive receiver for beginners and casual listeners. If it didn't deliver much performance, well, then it didn't promise much either. But, it's hardly "a stinking heap." I inherited my older brother's S-38E that he got for Christmas some time around 1958 or 59 and I still have it sitting on a bookshelf in my den. At age 50 (+ or -) it works just fine, and it's a constant reminder of how I got my interest in radio. If you didn't have to pay much for it ($10 or $15) it would make a great piece of nostalgia from the fifties.
W8ZNX Rating: 0/5 Aug 2, 2008 10:31 Send this review to a friend
a stinking heap  Time owned: more than 12 months

E model does not even have
the orignal S-38's good looks
WF6J Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2007 22:18 Send this review to a friend
Great old radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my frist receiver before I got my ham license in 1959. My Dad bought it for me from "Uncle Dave" Marks, W2APF at Fort Orange Radio Distributing in Albany, NY. While you had to use an isolation transformer, I had many years of enjoyment from the radio. I still have an S-38E on my ham shack shelf. One of the many glow in the dark era receivers.

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