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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Yaesu FRG-7 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FRG-7
Yaesu FRG-7 Reviews: 50 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $300.00
Description: General Coverage Receiver
Product is not in production.
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KC0EKQ Rating: 4/5 Nov 5, 2017 01:17 Send this review to a friend
Good, solid radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I remember when I first saw the FRG-7 in a radio magazine (I can't recall which).

I thought it was one of the best looking receivers I'd ever seen, and the reviews seemed to be very positive.

So when I had the funds ready, I finally got an FRG-7... and I found out there is more to this rig than its good looks. :)

I happen to be a fanatical knobulator -- I dig turning and switching and tuning and just basically knobulating -- and the tuning system/method of the FRG-7 is a perfect match for me. It's not complicated, to be sure. It just requires a bit of... well, knobulation!

I like the audio it exhibits, though I know some find it a little muffled or bassy. I guess that's just personal tastes, of course, but I find the audio quite nice. And plenty loud if you need it!

For AM-mode program listening, it is a simply good, solid rig. Better than some, not as good as others, as always.

But SSB listening is a bit of a chore -- tuning in a SSB signal is very precise and tight, and the radio drifts quite noticeably until it has warmed up for a while, maybe an hour or so, honestly. Even after warm up, however, it will drift, only less dramatically. It's not my favorite radio for listening to amateur signals, and I don't think I've even switched on the SSB mode in a decade or more.

FRG-7 models with the Fine Tuning knob/feature -- not all units have it -- are obviously going to be a bit easier to tune precisely, and mine does have that feature -- in fact I modified mine with the 'finer fine tuning' mod -- but it doesn't change the drift issue, just makes it a bit easier to deal with. It's not a deal-breaker, or really terrible, but it can be annoying after a time.

There are other modifications for this radio, and all seem pretty useful, though I haven't done them nor have I felt the need to do them, the radio is very good just as it is.

I'm a little baffled by the current average prices I have been seeing for them on certain internet auction sites. They seem high to me. Although the receiver is top notch for an analogue unit, and it is heavy and shipping is only getting more expensive as time marches on, the price just seems to be more about the name and reputation than its actual, real-world performance, which is solid good but not what I would consider *great*, and certainly not at those prices.

If you find one at a bit lower price, do yourself a favor and grab it. It IS a very good radio and you will definitely enjoy using it.
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2017 11:16 Send this review to a friend
Built to last  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this 30 years ago at a dealer and it was a used item then. I listened to it just noodling around the SW bands and doing some late night AM dxing, just like when I was a kid. Over time it got relegated to the shelf and I'd bring it out now and then for a trip around the block.

Today I got the old girl out, cleaned some switches and pots and fired her up. I'm listening to a station on 20 meter CW and the copy is actually very good. This is a reasonably sensitive receiver with absolutely no bells and whistles. It has very nice audio and I like the built in speaker. Built like a tank and it's given me no trouble at all in the last three decades. Yes it's wide enough to drive a truck through, a lot of the GC all purpose radio's were back in the day. Hey I cut my teeth on copying other novices on 40 CW with a Heathkit HR-10B in the summer of '71. Even today with my newer rigs I often forget to use my filters: just use the Type One, Mod Zero original CPU that sits between my ears.

Not just nostalgia. It's a good radio doing it's thing long after it's day. I'm thinking of pairing it with my HT-40 and reliving the old days: it's good enough for that.

VA3YNK Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2017 15:37 Send this review to a friend
A Great Receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Although there are some shortcomings with this receiver as stated elsewhere, I find them an absolute joy to operate.
The audio is a lot more pleasant to listen to through the stock speaker on the FRG-7 than most of my other receivers/transceivers.
With an adequate horizontal run of wire, you'll be amazed at what you can pull out. I've done quite a few side by side comparisons with several much higher priced radios and although lacking a lot of the bells and whistles, the FRG-7 continually amazes me. AM broadcast band DX'ing is phenomenal.
I have Realistic Minimus 7 speakers wired up to two of my FRG-7's and the audio is fantastic to my hearing.
I currently own 6 of these receivers which get regular use and am always on the lookout to add more to the stable.
If you can find a good working one for around $150-$175, you can't go wrong for this well built and fun to use receiver.
VK2JEM Rating: 4/5 Jul 25, 2017 19:04 Send this review to a friend
Every shack should have one  Time owned: more than 12 months
You know its and FRG7, the VW Beetle of radios.

ITs basic, no frills not an exceptional performer, but it works. It wont let you down it does what it should and will continue to when all the others are dead and buried.

And its kind of fun to play with every now and then in the same way its fun to tootle round in a VW beetle once every now and then, but if its your only choice to use day in day out you would want to spend more for newer or better.

Yep a classic but you can get newer better smaller cheaper.
WS9T Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2015 11:14 Send this review to a friend
HI FI Audio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I do not like muddy sounding radios, which some call pinched audio. Connect this radio to a good speaker and you have great sound. Yes the IF band width is wide, but for me that is good, it lets the high notes through. Music sounds almost HiFi with a good speaker. If I want SSB, CW, or narrow AM there are a lot of radios out there. But it is hard to find one that sounds good on music, producing all the highs and lows.
It is not only a great sounding radio with a good speaker, but it is selective and can pull in the weak stations. I have 2 and I am looking for a 3rd.
K4CMD Rating: 4/5 May 20, 2014 21:19 Send this review to a friend
Who says you can't go back?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I still remember it like it was yesterday. A 12-year-old kid, just getting interested in ham radio, the proud owner of a cheap Science Fair shortwave kit from Radio Shack, bumming around Sears with my dad one Saturday in 1977. Suddenly I spot something big and black on display near the CB radios. What is it? Well, once I discovered the "Sears FRG-7," my dad had to peel me away from it a half-hour later. Not even a teenager, I couldn't even imagine the $350 it would take to own one.

Fast-forward 36 years. Now I'm 48, got a place of my own, an Extra-Class license and a respectable little ham station. But something's been missing all these years: Even though I've been as much an SWL as a ham, I've never acquired much more than a handheld shortwave receiver. OK, my HF rig does the job, but it's not the same. What I want is that receiver whose lights and dials still shine brightly in my distant memory.

A trip to that year's local hamfest turns into the fulfillment of that dream. A few tables over from mine is a guy selling the real Yaesu version of the radio for $170. Not only is it in excellent working condition, there's not one scratch, dent or blemish on it anywhere. This thing looks like it just came out of the box.

Fast-forward another year, to today. I have probably had the FRoG on and used it more in the past year than my HF radio. This little sucker is everything I ever hoped it would be. Sure, it can't beat all the performance and features of today's radios. But who's expecting it to? It's 35 years old! That said, it does pretty darned admirably! (Sadly, its wide filtering probably would NOT do so well if the shortwave bands were as crowded with S9+40 signals as they were 10 years ago!)

I've found this radio really shines on the MW (AM broadcast) band at night. (Remember to set the jumper correctly on the antenna terminals if you're feeding the radio with coax, if you expect to hear anything.) I frequently listen to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville like it's a local station here in Richmond. The Wadley Loop design in this radio really does keep the blasting and fading to a minimum, the radio is spot-on frequency nearly everywhere, and everything works as it should.

But lemme tell ya, friends, where this radio REALLY shines. Turn off the lights, power up the FRoG, and watch the radio cast its glow around the room. All of a sudden I'm that kid again, hunkered down over my little radio after everyone else has gone to bed, dreaming of big radios and far-away places. This radio is a time machine that Yaesu built to stand the test of time. Sorry for waxing poetic here ... but this is THE best $170 I have ever spent in this hobby. Get one while you can and let it take you back.
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2014 04:39 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a Yaesu FRG-7 in pristine condition it took me a while to learn how to tune manulally due to lots of modern receivers but have to admit i enjoy using it monitoring hf aircraft antenna Paordt active mini whip..
VK3YWB Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2014 22:48 Send this review to a friend
Classic Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say that others haven't already said?

Acquired mine at a garage sale in 2011 for the princely sum of $50.

Although the leaves on the i.f. board lead me to believe it had been stored in a shed, the only work it needed was the mode and band switches. These responded well to switch cleaner and have been flawless ever since.

The set is in really good condition apart from the leaves, minimal scratches, no dents. No real sign of wear and tear. It has some leds replacing bulbs that failed.

Agree with the SSB filter. 6khz does result in a bit of "monkey chatter" but otherwise a nice performer that gives ATS909 a run for it's money.

Although there is a bit more to tuning it than other sets it does become 2nd nature readily and you can quickly roam about the various bands in search of interesting stations.

I do find the gain switch has to be in the centre position (maximum) for 500 - 1600 khz otherwise there is noise but no signals.

The FRG-7 is 35 years old and still performing well, my ATS909 is in for repairs after only ten years. It seems more than certain that this radio will keep you listening to HF for the longest time
KYSPENTAY1 Rating: 4/5 Jan 3, 2012 11:12 Send this review to a friend
Well Proven Design  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok, I'm not going to tell you that the FRG-7 is the greatest DX machine ever. Of course, it's not. But, I do believe it's a pretty darn good receiver. With even a modest improvement in filtering and a decent antenna, one can do some serious DXing with this radio. My only major complaint about this rig is the lack of a genuine RF gain control, which would help a lot when trying to get the necessary S/N ratio to copy weak sideband signals when noise is high. Still, there's something of a prince within this Frog.

One thing I really appreciate about the FRG-7 is its durability. I think there are only about 15 electrolytic capacitors in the thing. If you replace all those and touch up the alignment a bit, it's as good as new. Unlike many of the 1980s-era receivers that followed, the FRG-7 has almost no exotic, hard-to-find parts in it. I've never heard of any part in this radio that has a history of repeated failures. Many Frogs have gone deaf, but the culprit is almost always lighting-caused damage to the front-end FET. Very easy to remedy with a modern equivalent, like the NTE454. To me, the analog display is actually a blessing. I did purchase an external digital display for mine, but, in all honesty, I rarely use it. I think the dial drum on the Frog is plenty accurate for me in most situations.

In summary, if you're looking for a vintage shortwave receiver that will require little, if any, work done to it and does a great job of pulling in stations on all bands, I heartily recommend the Yeasu FRG-7. If you do decide to work on it(like replacing the "barn door" standard filter), you will find the FRG-7 very accommodating to your soldering iron.
SIERRAHOTEL Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2012 05:04 Send this review to a friend
A classic receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a Sears FRG-& years ago, but sold it when I bought some other radio. I always wanted another one, and a while back, a little over a year ago, I found one on Ebay that looked good, in the pics, at least. Sadly, not only was it in poor shape due to neglect that the seller hid very well, but it was damaged in shipment due to bad packing. I started looking for another one, but I lost a lot of auctions. I got the first one going, the damage was mostly cosmetic, but the alignment is a bit off. Just before Christmas, I saw a lot of them on ebay again, and I bid on several of them, and I won not one, but two of them! The first one was very cheap, due to it being a bit rusty, and was slightly damaged due to bad packing again, but the other one looks new! It has one tiny scratch on the front panel, and that's it. The manual shows a lot of wear, but the radio itself is in amazing shape. I'm going to take the rusty one and paint the case after sanding all the rust off of it, and change the filter for improved SSB operation, and get it aligned, along with changing out the caps which seem to be ok, but a couple look a little swollen. The nice one is staying untouched, and the first one will be a parts donor for the two new ones, as it's in by far the worst shape of the three, both electronically, and cosmetically.


Built like a tank, and amazingly, a lot of parts are still available, like the front panel switches and audio amp IC! Simple to use once you get used to it. Decent audio.


Analog dial is "close", but you never know exactly where you are unless you hear the station say it, or it's WWV, etc. Overloads on a good antenna. SSB filtering is way too wide.

All in all, it's a really fun radio to play with, and if you accept that you have to twiddle knobs constantly, a radio that works amazingly well.
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