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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Drake C-Line Help

Reviews Summary for Drake C-Line
Drake C-Line Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1198
Description: RX: R-4C, TX: T-4XC
Product is not in production.
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AD4U Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2019 13:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Rigs  Time owned: more than 12 months
Several years ago I attended an old fashion tailgate hamfest.There was a complete Drake C line in the rear of a pickup. As the hamfest was breaking up, I noticed that the Drake C line was still in the truck. I spoke with the owner and he told me he bought a new K3 and a new amp and he wanted to sell his Drakes to get some his $$$ back. He had a late model R4C receiver with the optional 1.8 and 500 filters and the noise blanker and with the Sherwood mods, TX4C transmitter, AC4 PS, MS4 speaker, MN-2000 transmatch, C4 console with all the pieces, the FS4 frequency synthizer, and a L4B amp with two spare NOS EIMAC tubes. He was getting ready to pack it up and he said he did not want to take it home and asked me to make an offer. I had $1000 cash in my pocket and I offered that. He took it. In the hands of a good operator (I am not a good operator) IMO the Drake C line will hold its own against just about anything on the market today.
KJ4WS Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2016 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
After some horse trading we got the R-4C and T-4XC with the Power Supply and MS-4 Speaker. We bought one or two tubes at a time while doing the restoration. With all new glass and proper restoration. We are very proud of this rig. I owned the same setup in the early 80's and loved them back then also. After installing the N3ZI inspired Digital VFO 1000. DDS based VFO. This rig is as stable as any new rig. ( search N3ZI on Google ) It still takes about ten minutes for everything to settle in. At start up we are 60 Hz high in frequency. After that 10 minutes we are good to go. I own a Jupiter, Paragon, Omni Six Plus and many others, including Yaesu ( FT-897D ) Kenwood, Icom etc.... Check my QRZ page to see Boat Anchor City. My friends all tell me that the transmitter sounds better than anything we own. The receiver is as sensitive as anything we own. It is quiet and sound quality is great. This particular set of Drake Twins is the only thing in my shack that is Not for Sale. I use this rig with the Shure 444 microphone. If you can find a pair in good shape, there is no way to go wrong owning this transceiver. 73 Wade/KJ4WS
KW6G Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2013 21:52 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Radios  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I happened to be in the right place at the right time! A friend of mine gave me his son's old ham radio that turned out to be a Drake C line....An initial check of the rig showed that both T4XC and R4C worked, except the AC-3 power supply was suspicious (dried up capacitors??) Also, the rig had been sitting in a garage for 25+ years - need I say more?

I had Ron Baker, WB4HFN clean it up and realign it for me...Bought a refurbished AC-4 PS and off I went...

I also own a Drake A-Line circa 1965, and had heard a lot about the C-Line, but had never owned or operated one...Well, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with its performance...The R4C is as good, or perhaps maybe even a bit better, than my IC-756 ProII. I compared the 2 side by side, and I must say the R4C is quieter and maybe a bit more sensitive. The audio is also excellent. BTW, my R4C is a very early serial number and hasn't any of the Sherwood mods..I installed 2 Inrad filters for CW and narrow SSB, but am considering some or all of the Sherwood mods...

In summary, I can say that all the things I have heard and read about the C-Line are true...These radios are a great piece of engineering and manufacturing...Good old fashioned yankee ingenuity and knowhow.....
IK1LBL Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2009 13:24 Send this review to a friend
I love it !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Ham since 1987 im just discovery the world of vintage gear from 2 years and i fall in love of boat anchor radios.. How many time i have lose whit black box !!!
I brought my C Line from diffent source, the T-4XC on ebay from Norten Ireland Ham and a R-4C from a club station on Faroe Island... the rx was cheap why is to fix it... 15 minutes of work on them and soon the RX sound like a Hi-Fi equipement !
I have also a B line.
Use this kind of radios its a real pleasure, you have to try !!!
When you have a problem, fix it is just a piece of cake !!! try to fix your self a FT9000 !!! hi hi hi
Listening the RX it's very good ! quiet ! clear.... tuning on transceive after a few minute is a easy job and now is one o my prefered procedure...
I just wait to have enough money to load the R4C whit sherwood roofing filter and some mod.
For sure im a proud owner of this old American Radio ! work very well, very sensitive!
Sorry for my poor english...
Just search for my call on youtube to see the B and C line in action !
VE6DRW Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2009 21:57 Send this review to a friend
Bullet-proof and great fun to operate  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the fourth C Line I've owned in the past 35 years and I never tire of the operating pleasure these rigs give. When properly refurbished and setup with appropriate mods (Sherwood and InRAD), they hold their own with some of the best available.

If you're used to digital bells and whistles and point-and shoot operating, these rigs take some getting used to. But if you like "operating" the radio, these are a great experience - lots of knob twisting. The positives are:

R4C Receiver:
- VERY Quiet
- A REAL IF notch control
- Excellent control of filter bandwith and passband
- Outstanding AGC
- Excellent audio
- Great ergonomics

T4XC Transmitter:
- Rugged final section
- Stable
- Flexible transceive integration with R4C

Two negatives come to mind; the C Line (and most rigs of this vintage) have limited "band-hopping" capability. If you like to change bands like you change channels on your home theater, this is not the rig for you; band changing can take a minute or two. Serious digital mode operation can also be a challenge as they lack the VFO stability and TX turn-around time that some modes require.

Cosmetics are outstanding; the black case, two-tone gray faceplate, and blue illumination are timeless.

Maintaining and operating the Drake C Line is a labor of love and well worth the effort.
W7NWH Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2008 10:44 Send this review to a friend
A great American Classic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just picked up a set of twin's recently. Both in excellent shape. They have been sitting in a closet for 30 years. Used a variac first time up, surprised to find both operated fine. Receiver is just superb, that fat Drake SSB sound that I find my often used TR-4C has inherited. These are missing cables so I have not used them in transceive mode yet. Add the matching Drake speaker and I'm all set.

I just fell into becoming a Drake collector. Nabbed a clean TR-4C and now honestly, I can't stop! Nostalgia maybe, but there's something about owning a tubed radio.

I will most likely sell these eventually as there is no room in my small shack to really appreciate the American simplicity and quality engineering.

If you can find a clean pair, or an R-4C and you like operating period radio's then you'll get a huge smile spinning the VFO's on these rigs!

N4FZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2008 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Classics  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Dad bought the C-Line back in 1979, second hand. Still in use today. I retubed the finals a few years ago, and had the set realigned. Well designed, and built in America. Great reciever and transmitter. I have enjoyed using them all these years.
HB9DDS Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2008 08:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, also today  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I own a Drake C-Line with 2K Sherwood Filter 1th ZF. Receive AND Transmit Audio are excellent with the Shure 444 Mic and a RF Speech Processor from Daton (ASP). Very quit RX, no Pops Problems with QRN and the AGC, easy to handle (tune). Newer Rigs are NOT "better" except some more comfort (Split, Memory etc). Very fast tuning over the bands, working also on 30M, 17M, 12M without nor problems and full output. And with the Digital Display DD-103 attached to the RX it is very comfortable.

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