Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Lowe HF-225

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Lowe HF-225
Reviews: 7MSRP:
A UK made and designed HF receiver ideal for the SWL
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
JRT3 Rating: 2014-08-21
A classic SW radio! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
After moving last summer, I found a letter from Lowe (Dated 10/1990!) where I was quoted $740 + $50 air shipment from the UK, as they didn't have a USA dealer then, for a bare HF-225. Some years later, I found myself drooling over an HF-225 Europa while visiting Universal Radio in OH - I should have bought it! I did finally buy an HF-150 - and still love it around fifteen years later. Skip ahead fourteen years to 12/2013 - and I took a chance on an HF-225 with AMS, kbd, and service manual - in super condition. Fed by some RG6 from my Pixel Pro-1a, it has exhibited some minor CM & IM - like my HF-150 did - until I used 3 db attenuation, in the form of a splitter, in line. Perfection - especially when driving my large bookshelf speakers - Infinity P163's (The HF-150 has the same audio amp - so it drives a P163, too! It's synch AM detector is more versatile than the DSB only AMS in the HF-225). Unreal sound - AMS and 10kHz bw with R. Australia in the morning - or a local oldies AM station - is fantastic - really hifi reception. Crystal clear at 7, 4, & 2.2 kHz BW, too - and able to separate closely spaced stations, too. Like my HF-150, it's clean audio is greatly appreciated. A delight to use! I even logged a few LW BC stations last winter. It would do well DXing, too... even on MW! My Palstar R30A is collecting dust. The only thing missing are my favorite SWBC stations... but that's not the radio's fault. Another plus - Lowe included a schematic in their 'User Manual' - and sold a 'Service Manual' for them, too (You can't get a schematic of an R30/R30A from Palstar for love or money!). Lowe may be long gone - but their radios soldier on!
G3XBM Rating: 2009-03-29
Good receiver in its day Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Owned one some years back and used it for general ham and broadcast listening. Although the external styling was simple and a bit basic the receiver performed very well. My only criticism was the resolution of the display was to the nearest kHz. It pulled in plenty of DX and I would recommend one for an SWL. No doubt they can still be found on eBay and second hand sales.
KT6LN Rating: 2006-07-20
A second look reveals more worthy performance Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Ok, I was wrong to give 4. But the fault was really not mine in thinking that its front end was not upto par. In fact, there was actually something wrong with the radio I got. I don't know if only mine was like this but, here is the deal:

Everything was working fine, on the surface, until I noticed that the attenuator did not function. I could not switch it on or off. On the display it showed as if it were doing something but no reduction in signal strength occured when I switched the attenuator on. That was odd enough but I did not pay attention too much at first because I got this radio as a real bargain. But when I noticed that there were images and IMD (intermodulation distortion) products all over the bands, I paid closer attention.

The most obvious one was a local AM-BCB station at 1500kc mixing with a SW-BCB station at 9715kc produced a strong (S9+10dB) signal (the sum) on 11215kc. I found quite a few of these on other frequencies as well.

I had to open and peek at the radio. I downloaded the service manual and a few hours later, I found out +8V was not connected to the attenuator relays which were also used to power the switching diodes of the band selecting filters at the RF input of the radio. The funny part was that there were no PCB traces that carried the +8V to the relays and the cathode of the diodes D12 and D13. I wonder if there was supposed to be a loose-wire jumper from a nearby solder joint and it was forgotten at the factory. In any case, I soldered one myself and all is well. The IMD on 11215 totally disappeared.

Whoever has this radio: please check if yours suffers from strong IMD products. If yes, then it may be really easy to fix. Search for my callsign at qrz website and send me an email. I could tell you how to do it.

What a nice radio it turned out to be! It is well worth the money.
RS87390 Rating: 2004-06-21
A good all round RX. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought mine new in 1992/93. Still works well.


Good strong signal handling/dynamic range.
Superior audio quality on all modes, esp with a good external speaker.
Durable - Does not look it's age despite heavy use, no panel lettering has worn off!
Simple and fun to use, all controls work smoothly;no nasty chuffing effects when tuning.
Accurately calibrated (if small) "S" meter.
Very stable - I've really never noticed any drift even on SSB or when decoding RTTY.


No PBT or notch filter.
Sparse frequency display.
Sync. detector can't select upper/lower sideband.
Slightly tacky appearance.

Other Comments:

I would regard the keypad option for frequency entry as essential; large movements up or down the band are rather laborious without it.

Can't go far wrong with one of these really. I may have lusted after a flashier Kenwood R5000 or JRC NRD-535 12 years ago but I couldn't justify the extra cost at the time, besides I've never regretted buying the Lowe as I've had so much fun with it! At today's prices it's even better value.
G4TPV Rating: 2004-04-25
Good performer owned (s/h) since late 80s Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had it a while. I tend to like my HF transceives without general coverage, so, use 225 to gauge likely propagation on our bands by listening to adjacent util/BC bands - good old trick !

Mine was wacked by direct lightning strike a few months ago. ONE diode taken out !

Also squirted RF accidentally into it - again 1 (different) diode.

Agree re the not too long antenna but does need
to be matched.
RS180399 Rating: 2001-11-25
general review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
i have owned my 225 for 4 years now and have never looked back since. the reciever has everything needed for a swl such as proper filters lcd read out 30 memory channels real analoge signal meter i also own a philips d2935 but it is not a patch on the lowe the reason i gave it 5 in the ratings is its ability to pull weak stations out of the noise especially when the attenuator is switched on .
also the strong signal overload you get with other radios is not a problem with this one.
mine is fitted with the fm board and remote keypad, when switched to fm and tuned to the cb band it is as good as my 40ch cb rig and thats on a horizontal loop cut for 21mhz. so if any of you are wondering which receiver to buy secondhand then this is worth a serious look at the moment here in the uk the prices are good with a typical set costing in the region of around £220 . go on give it a go you wont be dissapointed
simon wood (RS180399)
N.A. Rating: 2000-02-02
Nice and clean receiver, no frills, typical Britis Time Owned: unknown months.
After owning several other gen. coverage receivers (Icom IC-R70, Aimor TR-105, Nasa/AKD HF-4) this one is really satisfying me. Good selectivity, nice filters, excellent SSB reception, very stable. Options are : wired keypad (must have), Batt.pack, FM/AMS decoder, active antennacircuit, leather case, extra speaker.If you have all the options, this receiver beats more expensive ones, often costing double the price of the 225 with all options.
Don't make your antenna to long, it sure don't need more than approx. 10 meters.