Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: AOR AR-7030

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 : AOR AR-7030
Reviews: 22MSRP: 1,799.95 (7030+)
A Menu-driven Radio which can also be Computer-Controlled
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KT6LN Rating: 2006-01-27
Close but no cigar! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Ok, it is the best I listened to so far in terms of sync-AM, but ...

Most everything else needs help.

First, UPNB option is a waste of money. NB is totally useless. Notch is cool to watch as it locks but it cannot remove more than one tone at a time. There are more capable DSP add-ons these days for less money.

Then, there are still mechanical problems it seems. My spin-wheel has already started acting up. Buttons are loose also. As such, they give you the feeling as if they are going to fall off their holes on the face plate. Even asking the customers not to tighten the screws as a precaution to prevent stripping of the holes is a shame to start with. I have been using very many radios and I have never had any problems on any of them. I have not opened and will not open 7030's case unless it is absolutely necessary (well, that may be coming soon to replace the spin-wheel, ouch!). I use the remote control as much as possible now.

Menu system is ok. It does not take long to get used to it for the majority of the functions but there are those functions that really need separate buttons, such as dial-lock.

The main problem with the menu system is not that it is difficult to comprehend but it requires to many button presses and/or spin-wheel turns which accentuates the mechanical problems.

Firmware has its quirks too. For instance, from it's remote control, press 0-1-Mem, it recalls memory location 099. But if you press 1-Mem, or 0-0-1-Mem, it recalls 001 (go figure). I don't understand why remote cannot turn the radio on and off either. This could reduce the wear and tear on power button. I don't see the use of "fast" button as it is not a sticky function so you need to keep pressing it. This should have been replaced with the lock functionality IMHO.

The main knob is polished metal. It is somewhat slippery and as such it is not easy to use. I am wondering if anyone has attempted to change this or was able to put a wide rubber band around it to fix this.

In terms of the radio performance, I have an overall luke warm feeling. Here is my assessment in terms of modes despite the published radio specs:

LSB/USB : lacks sensitivity (R5000 is the best on this) which can be remedied with the internal preamp albeit with reduced dynamic range. I have a Kiwa preamp which is better.

Background his is excessive (every other radio I own now is quieter).

AM : mellow audio but not the clearest and in even moderate fades, the whoosh-whoosh noise reminds me and is worse than my NRD525 that I owned sometime ago. I can't stand it.

Sync-AM : here this radio shines though it takes a while to lock on to most faint and fading signals but once it locks, it stays there even if i remove the input signal; it also clears up the AM audio problems as well, and it is a joy to listen to.

CW : better than average in this respect. I am not a morse code person so I reduced the BFO pitch to 0 and use it as in DSB mode. My JRC radios allowed this also and I used to use this as a good replacement to sync-AM, even if my 535D had the ECSS mode.

DATA/FM : I did not try these modes.

A few other comments :

I commend Shortwave Shop for their excellent service. I certainly was impatient as I wanted to get my hands on the radio ASAP. I kept calling them and they were patient with me as much as I was impatient. They shipped on friday UK time and it was at my doorstep before 9:30am monday morning (by FedEx on USA side). They were not any less expensive than Universal Radio, however. But their price did include the super fast shipping and apparently the customs duties as well.

I cannot, however, say the same thing for AOR-UK. They are NOT responsive at all. I asked a question on memory recall issue I mentioned above with no response whatsoever. Who knows if I have a real problem what I would do, I would probably call Bob at Shortwave Shop.

If anyone would like to make any comments please check my callsign (KT6LN) on and send emails directly. Please do not bash me for my subjective opinions, yours certainly may differ from mine and I respect that.

I hope this helps one way or another for whoever would like to purchase this radio.

Ismail, KT6LN
K1EO Rating: 2005-11-12
Capable Receiver Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have used this radio with beverages in Maine for the past summer. I have owned many transceivers with general coverage, mostly icom, such as the proII. This receiver easily compairs to the proII on the general receive capacity, but improves the fidelity and intellegability of shortwave station dramatically. It is significantly more enjoyable to listen to the top speaker on this radio, than the proII. It also does a very respectable job on the ham bands. I found the ssb with narrow filters to have terrific fidelity, and able to control thunderstorm noise easily. Able to receive AM broadcast for 400 miles or better during the day, using the preamplifier. Sincronious AM lock is fantastic, almost never coming unlocked from a Broadcast station during deep fades. I do use dipoles or loops cut for the frequencies I listen to. The rig is able to handle overload conditions from local stations easily. I am also impressed with the robust construction; cabinet is heavy, and the boards are rugged. The size of the rig is great as well. I could consider this rig portable, at 9" by 9" by 4". I have replaced one of the digital sensors for the volume control. Found this part from Digi-key, and replace with great success. I am not an electronics master. Almost anybody could fix it. I purchased the radio from Universal Radio in Ohio,from their used classified adds. They are nice people, accurate in their description. It was shipped in good packaging and quickly. I have used the radio for a cw receiver as well. Found the bfo offset of plus 6 (+6) on the screen to be closest to the correct offset for my ears. I do have the plus version. Haven't used the 400 memories yet. I have found that the push buttons to jog through the menu system can switch from the one I want to three selections deeper. I am not sure if this is unique to my radio, or maybe the nature of the radio. Takes a little getting use to how to touch the "key". I can't say it's a real problem, as receive sensitivity, or overload from strong close signals makes a bad receiver useless. This rig is great that way. I find the screen gives enough information to keep me ammused, without every conceivable button having to be at a fingers reach. This maybe the height of practical shortwave receiver design, as the bands are slowly loosing their good programs, and the market for a receiver in this price range is probably small and not very profitable. I am glad AOR went to the trouble of making this terrific receiver. I found the British web site for AOR very helpful; I could down load the operators manual for the plain 7030 and the 7030 plus as a separate smaller file. Thanks Guys. If someone has the inclination to spend this kind of money on a receiver, you won't be disappointed.

Enjoy, Whit
FENU-RADIO Rating: 2005-07-09
Good Receiver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very good and sensitive Receiver! Super audio! Only the IP3+ is not that which the technical data write.
More in german:
W4WAL Rating: 2005-01-08
Better the ever Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After owning this fine radio for many years, performance had slipped and then it quit. I send it to AOR-US, they sent it to AOR-UK. When I got it back they had performed all updates available, including a new speaker. The radio is stunning in performance. It has the best AM Sync of any radio that I know of, I wish all my purchases were as good as my purchase of this radio.
G4EDY Rating: 2003-12-16
First Class Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Some rig manufacturers should buy one of these to see just how a broadband receiver should be designed!!

I have a 7030 plus with noise blanker PCB and an INRAD filter, it is superb.

I get a lot of enjoyment from SW broadcast listening while working in my workshop and this receiver has opened up a new world in entertainment.

It is my first menu controlled receiver and I found no difficulty mastering it, and I am a bit of a dinosaur!!

RF performance is first class, it easily outperforms many mid priced transceivers, and some top notch rigs as well. Now if AOR produced a transmitter to go with the 7030 I would sell my main HF rig.

N0XE Rating: 2003-11-23
serious receiver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well not sure how a radio can check out way above the Drake RB in the ARRL Lab and not be in the same class, but I guess we all have our Ford ,Chevy moments. This is a serious SWL radio and a super General Coverage reciever. It is does a super job on the ham bands as well and it's price tag also reflects it's performance. Some users are not crazy about how it drives or is controlled, but for the most part it is no different then most of the modern rigs today which all seem to have a learning curve. This radio received a 5 star rating from nearly all the major short wave reviewers, (Pass Port Radio, World Radio, and an extensive review in the ARRL lab showed super dynamic range and outstanding performance in all areas. If I recall it exceeded the Drake R8B in several areas. I think the Drake R8B is an excellent radio, but this radio is as good if not better.
73 N0XE
WHFITE Rating: 2003-11-23
A very nice toy. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This is a capable receiver that the manufacturer has crippled with an operating system that someone, I suppose, thought was cute and would give the receiver marketing appeal. It isn't hard to learn, it is just a nuisance. Apart from this inexplicable mistake, it is a good, capable receiver. It isn't the monster that its partisans describe but if you aren't bothered by its ginchy O/S (or you want something that none of your friends have), it certainly performs well. It isn't in the class with a Drake R8B but it comes reasonably close.
BOBH Rating: 2003-03-24
Best purchase I ever made Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I wanted a reciever for short wave broadcast listening, and because I live in the east of the UK I wanted a good one. We are 'not supposed' to listen to the BBC world service, and where I live is not a natural hop from the famous european stations.

I bought my 7030+3 second hand, with 5 different collins filters, and was impressed from the very beginning. The way the software automatically orders the filters is very clever.

I use a simple long-wire with a home made ATU for matching, although this is hardly necessary, and the results for nightime listening to European stations are stunning. I use the sync mode and switch between sidebands to eliminate interference, and the AGC performance is truly magnificent. I've had hours of pleasure listing to wonderful music that would otherwise be unobtainable.

I spent some time DXing uk local MF stations with a small loop, just for fun, and again the ability to discriminate one station from another was superb.

I've listened to broadcasts from the USA and Australia with a very short antenna, and the tuning, AGC and filtering combine to make a useless signal very listenable to.

Technically the receiver is superb - you can find the specs on the web - but for me it is the ability with which it does what I wanted that is the clincher. Recommended.
W5WLA Rating: 2002-11-23
Grrrreat Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Haveing owned several high end SWB receivers, I think the 7030+ that I have owned for several years is the best, cost is high, but the hardware is exceptional. After you use the radio enough, you find that you can flip through the menue quickly. This radio also has some features built into the design that makes it unique. My back up rx is a restored R 390, 85 pounds and 27 tubes, runs neck and neck with the 7030, until the SYC detector is engaged, the dectector actualy tracks the signal and stays locked on.
G4SGI Rating: 2002-07-28
The best analogue HF desktop there is Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This design has been around quite some time with very little in the way of improvements - but how can you possibly improve a design that is as good as this.

If you want an analogue RF design that you can be sure is the best performer there is, the AR-7030 is the one.