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Reviews For: JRC NRD-545

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : JRC NRD-545
Reviews: 19MSRP: street price appx $1795 (Grove)
Luxury Receiver covering 100 KHz to 30 MHz.
Optional converter allows coverage up to 2 GigaHertz.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VK5ISO Rating: 2018-02-25
Superb receiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had JRC receivers since the early 1990s (my favorite was my old JRC 535D) and acquired a second-hand JRC545 in Australia for a very reasonable sum in 2013. I think it is really helpful to get a sense of what the JRC-545 was intended to be and what it was not intended to be. It seems to have targeted fairly well-off amateurs and small news organisations wishing to monitor all available modes in HF. As such it is really a magnificent piece of equipment. Sound quality is not as good as the AOR 7030 which I also have in my shack, but the power and flexibility of the digital filters, passband filter, etc is exceptional. If you want to dig a signal out of the mud, this is it! If you want to listen to All India Radio's shortwave programs for hours, look at the AOR 7030.
I contacted JRC in Japan and they still had a TCXO avalable which they very kindly shipped to me for a token price.
Prices on Ebay are basically ridiculous, but if you can find one at a reasonable price, grab it. It will still be working 20 years from now when all the SDRs will be mired in OS compatibility problems, etc.
N6MWA Rating: 2018-02-20
Good Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Purchased this radio new back in 2000. Has never let me down. I purchased the wide band module for it and must confess this option is a very poor performer. The quality of the construction is first class using plug-in boards. It is true that JRC lost interest in this product soon after it was released. For it's time it was state of the art. If you find one at a reasonable price I would say go for it. Spending a lot of money to get one would not really make sense IMO.
N0TLD Rating: 2018-02-20
Eh... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I know everyone thinks this radio is a kind of holy grail for DSP filtering, and I obviously see there are numerous good reviews for it, so I'm not suggesting it's a bad radio...

... but it was pretty unsatisfying for me.

It needs help that JRC wouldn't give it, as they stopped supporting the 545 almost as soon as it was released. I had DSP cards fail after a year or so and there was no replacing them or repairing them. A good radio that can't be repaired if something goes wrong, is not really a good radio, to me.

It needs help with AGC. It needs help with artifaction and hiss in much of the DSP/filter range. It needs help reducing the godawful level of noise it bleats in the absence of signals. It needs help being reliable.

It does NOT need any help looking beautiful or having fine ergonomics. But the 535D looks and feels much the same and is simply superior to the 545 in performance and reliability.

When it's all working and with a good antenna, it is a beautiful and capable radio for the most part, but those issues I mentioned put it below the 'great' shelf for me.

For some reason this radio has maintained its monetary value, but for the price, there were then and are now much better, service supported, more reliable receivers. The Drake R8s were one such line and they are STILL supported and serviced here in the US. My R8B was one of the finest receivers I've ever used, once I got it some help with cleaner, less rumbly audio.

The 545 is not really help-able, and I've never been able to really recommend it.
TURBO68 Rating: 2015-09-14
Excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my JRC NRD-545DSP in 2014 second hand but condition is brand new with the converter on board main intrest for me is monitoring aircraft on hf its hooked up to a wellbrook active loop and a metz antenna have received stations from around the world as for vhf using an Icom-AH7000 discone it also does an excellent job do have other receivers to compare from aor,commradio,drake,elad,icom,ten tec,winradio,yaesu
this one is just as good its not perfect but it comes down to what antenna to you are using so with that in mind i am very happy with my receiver.
KG8LB Rating: 2015-01-18
May be a good investment , not so good ast radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought one of the last of the JRC-545 just as production was ending . I had great expectations but reality wiped most of that away . The "DSP was a real let-down as the audio had a bothersome distortion and the noise level on AM when carrier drops would nearly drive you out of the room . To top it all off , the bugger just plain quit . Sent it back for service and it was returned a week later . The mute no longer functioned and the service center said it was the best they could do because they could not get replacement boards .

A very "pretty" receiver however with unbeatable ergonomics .

A brand new radio that doesn't work with no parts available is a poor "investment" in my book .

I'll stick with receivers that work and look to make money by other means .
AK9S Rating: 2014-03-25
Outstanding Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Compared to the Drake R8 series, this receiver is able to make weak signals sound highly intelligible. It is extremely sensitive and offers an astonishing number of ways to deal with QRM.

Purchase used in mint condition as a collectable, I now have no intentions of ever selling it. Worth every penny of the premium asking price over retail. They just do not make receivers of this caliber and quality anymore. If you can find one, snatch it up quickly!
G7ENQ Rating: 2012-08-13
Not so much a receiver - more an investment Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my 545 new in the late nineties and have never regreted the purchase. It performs exactly as it says on the can - an outstanding piece of kit. I also bought the frequency extension card which takes it into the VHF/UHF bands. So in essence this should suffice for 99.9% of the needs of any shack in terms of Rx.

Selectivity/sensitivity wise, it works with the proverbial piece of wet string as an antenna. At least this goes some way to reducing your expenditure on fancy active antennas - it really doesn't need them, unless you're operating down a mine shaft.

It was sad to read that production of the 545 stopped in 2007, so my mention of the word investment is likely to be bourne out. They were never cheap when new, and they appear to holding their value extremely well.

Summary: If your wallet can stand it, don't let one of these cuties slide past you again.
ZL1003SWL Rating: 2012-01-20
Definitely the best receiver I used so far. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my JRC NRD 545 back in 2002 when I was living in New York. Got it second hand from Grove Enterprises.
So far I have owned and tried many receivers such as Grundig 2000, Yaesu FRG 7700, JRC NRD 345, Icom R75, Kenwood R1000, Yaesu FRG 7, Barlow Wadley XCR30 and no doubt the NRD 545 is in another category.
Yes, it does have some "issues", such as the strange "burping" noise when tuning a strong signal, very occasionally went blank on power on and it had its front end protection ceramic filter replaced by the folks from Sherwood Engineering as the original one was terrible when trying to do DX near stations with strong signals.
The sound quality is not that great but I don't care much as on DX I only use a very good Sony headphones.
The sensitivity is amazing. Selectivity is the best as we have all sort of tools to eliminate interference like selectivity filters, Notch filter, PBS, etc.
Anyway, for those looking for a PROFESSIONAL grade receiver, with excellent construction, excellent performance, excellent ergonomics I would recommend the JRC NRD 545.
I never regretted for buying it.
KB8QEN Rating: 2009-09-25
Bottom of the heap ! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Sorry but this is one of those great looking radios that does not come close to it's asking price. I bought one of these brand new from Universal, ( A fine company) I had expected a new receiver that would rival my old Drake R-8 and R-8A receivers. Not quite! The layout is gorgeous, the ergonomics are fine, the performance and reliability are NIL .THe concept was actually quite good but the execution was miserable. Pity too. THe continuously adjustable bandwidth coupled with it's passband tuning showed real promise. The limitations on AGC in the AM mode were dissapointing. The noise floor is near deafening when there is no signal present , the DSP overall is down right nasty . To top it all off the receiver is prone to just quitting , the DSP cards fail and JRC offers little or no support. Mine quit after but a couple of months. It was returned for service and came back "working" but not quite . When sent back for correction it needed a new DSP card. JRC would not supply the card and the radio purchase price was refunded . No problem there. I was glad to get the money back. It seems within less than two months from ending production JRC, Japan had decided to no longer support the 545 !
Unlike the mighty Drake R-8 series which is very well supported by the fine folks in Ohio. Then again I have owned 3 R-8 series Drake and never needed to service them. Recently a friend bought used R-8 that required service due to abuse by the former owner. The R-8 was promptly serviced and returned with a very low service fee charged. And yes, the Drake is a fine performing receiver that is still supported years after production was halted prematurely when the new owners took over.

If you want a very impressive looking radio that has a pretty display and are not the least interested in the actual performance nor longevity suffer the JRC.

Looking for a good high end receiver? DRAKE ! Not JRC, Not LOWE.(especially not LOWE)...DRAKE!
G0UUT Rating: 2009-08-13
fantastic 10/10all the way Time Owned: more than 12 months.
the pepole who give this 0/5 or3/5 don't know how to use this pro rx or they do not know what DSP IS
i have x2 of them and it is great rx for all used ham sw etc well made you still can buy them but not in the US .
AND jrc HAVE A VERY GOOD SUPPORT IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT e-mail address it is a very big company .
thank you JRC for this nice rx