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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | JRC NRD-515 Help

Reviews Summary for JRC NRD-515
JRC NRD-515 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $900-1350 US, depending on option
Description: 100Kc->34Mc, AM/USB/LSB/CW/RTTY -- Massive Cool
Product is in production.
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G7NKS Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2015 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have collected 3 of these fabulous sets over the past few years. I also have 3 of the memory units and 2 of the remote keypads. The double adaptors are very hard to find. The mechanical filters do fail and need cleaning/restoring which is a fiddly hard job, but doable. They hold their value and when you have one you will understand why. If you like HF Dxing or SWLing then these are a class apart.
ZL1LK Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2015 01:55 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I managed to purchase a mint condition 515 with the matching speaker and memory unit all with original cartons and manuals. Well if thatís not enough to impress me, I connected it all up and WOW! It holds it own in my radio shack. I put it up against my FTdx1200, TS480 and my AOR AR-5000. I thought my FTdx1200 was untouchable. I found the 515 on SSB could pull out weak signal as the 1200 could but the 515 just made it that more pleasurable on the ears.
The NRD-515 is by far the best receiver for working MW DXíing that I have ever owned.

Built like a battle ship,
Positive felling controls (still after 30 years)
The VFO is super smooth,
The Filters (including the optional 600Hz) are outstanding,
Excellent audio with its NVA-515 speaker,

After leaving the radio off for a few minutes in the VFO mode, the kHz reset to 000.0 (Iím not too sure if this is normal even with the NDH-515 memory unit attached?)

Overall I would give it a 10 if I could so I will have to settle for a 5.

73 Roy ZL1LK
KB8E Rating: 4/5 Oct 22, 2013 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Very good receiver with a few flaws  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I really wanted to give this fine receiver five stars and keep its perfect rating going. However, after working on and upgrading a number of samples, Iíve discovered a few flaws that prevent me from giving it a perfect rating.
The biggest issue Iíve run across is that the IF filters are not matched properly. The first IF filter at 70.455 MHz has about 3 dB or more ripple and is mismatched at the first mixer side. A shunt resistor on its input to ground solves the problem, albeit with a slight reduction in sensitivity. All of the 455 kHz second IF filters are mismatched as well. Iíve replaced the IF matching networks to get a perfect response out of all of the second IF filters from the stock 6 kHz, 2.4 kHz, and 600 Hz filters as well as an Inrad 400 Hz wide filter. Plan on opening up and cleaning any stock mechanical filter in the unit, the internal foam gets gummed up and must be cleaned out for anything close to good performance. This is not a particularly difficult task and instructions can be found on the web.
The good news is that this receiver holds its own against the competition, even today. The synthesizer is complicated, but effective, although the 100 Hz tuning steps are a little coarse. The sensitivity is good and Iíve yet to note any overload or intermod issues. The service manual is quite good and the receiver is fairly easy to work on. The controls and display are intuitive and very straightforward.
Removing the front-end protection diodes is recommended to improve IMD performance. I replaced mine with a high value resistor in shunt with a neon bulb. Iíve also had a sample with sticking front-end routing relays, but I suspect that was an anomaly (replacement relays are expensive!). Other issues Iíve run across include an off-frequency 70 MHz oscillator and a defective 5-volt regulator. Not particularly unusual for a radio of this vintage. Donít pass up a good unit, but be prepared for some work, especially in the stock mechanical filters. The mismatched filters donít ruin its performance, its just not as good as it could be. Overall, this receiver is a favorite of mine.
WR3KI Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2013 06:44 Send this review to a friend
Magical receiver   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've wanted this rig for years & recently picked one up at a good price. Minty condition. Now I know why they don't come on the market often & have a cult like following.
I did some A - B tests, my Yaesu FTDX-5K vs the 515 & was impressed. The JRC copied weak dx like the 5K, BUT I could make out what was being said on SSB just a bit better on the 515. The JRC is just a quieter rig than the 5K. Not bad for a 30 plus year old rig.
Anyway, if you can find one, buy it.
If you are a career SWL or dx'er, you won't be disappointed.
ZS6DJD Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2011 17:52 Send this review to a friend
A very very good general coverage HF reciever.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This such good reciever I am not sure what to say. But this radio recieves so well you will hear most everything on good old shortwave of the best ever made. I still use mine today listen to some local stations on short wave in Southern Africa and I have picked up some stations from half way arround the world.
W1BR Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2010 22:20 Send this review to a friend
Can't say enough good about it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned the JRC NSD-515 and NRD-515 transmitter and receiver twins for over 20 years. The only rigs of similar quality that I could compare them to is my earlier Collins S Line station. These JRC products exude quality. The case and panel are all metal construction, the PC boards are quality glass epoxy, and the engineering is first rate. They have been extremely reliable and have required very little maintainance. The receiver's mechanical filters failed as a result of foam rubber material breaking down into a gooey, lossy mass; this required that the filters be opened to replace the foam shock mounting.

The only drawback with the receiver is the 100Hz tuning steps resolution of the main tuning encoder, the operator must use a separate fine tune control for precise tuning on SSB or CW. But, that is part and parcel of the design limitations of the day. Both units have been flawless, except for the damaged PA transistors in the transmitter when purchased (the rig was used in field day envirnments previously.) Unfortunately these are the last of a breed, since no manufacturer currently offers discrete RX and TX packages. The transmitter features true RF clipping, but I digress. These will be the last HF radios that I will ever need.
VR2XMQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2009 08:15 Send this review to a friend
Best receiver I have owned  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Without a doubt this is the best receiver I have owned. I was fortunate enough to find one with a matching NDH-518 memory unit in stunning mint condition, it looks absolutely brand new.

The general feel and performance of this radio is absolutely top notch and it will be a keeper for me. People complain about the AM audio, but I have found with the JRC NVA-319 external speaker that it is quite acceptable.

If you see one in good condition, DO NOT PASS UP THE CHANCE of owning it, you will regret it! They are still expensive second hand but are worth every single penny.

Steve, VR2XMQ
KE5CBG Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2009 16:38 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
TDLS Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2008 14:43 Send this review to a friend
A great receiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A great receiver.
Very quit and very sturdy.
When warmed up (after 15 minutes) it gets more sensitive and quieter, just like a class A amplifier.
Don't use it with the original speaker; use a small hi-fi speaker.
Bought it on Ebay with the NDH-518 memory unit for 800 Euro and I don't feel sorry!
No modern gizmo's like sound processing.
Very easy to understand; in one week u know all the bells and whistles.
I live in the center of the Hague, the Netherlands and use this rig with a Wellbrook 1530+; the ideal combination!
If they were made new u would pay at least 1600 Euro for this receiver.
My short review, sorry for the bad English.
N1KPR Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2006 08:22 Send this review to a friend
Several generations removed, but still hard to beat.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought my second 515. I thoughtlessly sold the first one - bad move - and I regreted it. The radio is 4 generations removed from what JRC now has to offer, and I suspect that shortly there will be a 5th gen unit available, soon. If I had to sum it up in a word, I'd call this receiver the "rock." It is stable, selective and sensitive. Its dynamic range is fine. I miss not having the BW control and internal memories, a la the 535, but considering the radio's age, and the technology of that time, this thing is certainly a beauty. On my old one, I did some audio mods - on this one I may not bother. The key is to use a good quality 2-way (at least) speaker (or plug it into a small stereo) and tune the audio with the freq. offset control ... maybe 50-100 Hz or so. This is the kind of receiver that looks, feels, and performs like the stuff I got to play with in the US Army Signal Corps - It's a REAL radio!
You can sit at the controls for hours on end and DX your heart out without fatigue. The controls are where they should be. There are no annoying menus or secondary "function" buttons. The controls feel like top quality, and tuning around the bands is a joy - plain and simple. I have better (read more expensive) radios, and in some regards they have an edge on the 515, like in the area of noise reduction or bandwidth tweeking, and other perks, however just like clothes, wearing a suit makes you feel a bit special, but that can get old fast - sometimes you just like to relax in something comfortable.
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