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Reviews For: Alinco DX-R8T

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Alinco DX-R8T
Reviews: 17MSRP: 500
A General Communication Receiver covers 150 kHz to 30 MHz in SSB, CW, AM and FM. Other features include: IF shift, band and memory scanning, attenuator, preamp, RIT and noise blanker. Enjoy 600 alphanumeric memories (3 banks of 200 channels). Attenuation level may be set at -20, -10, 0 or +10 dB.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KK1VT Rating: 2018-12-31
Excellent Receiver for What it is Designed For Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I’ve owned and been operating this receiver for about ten months now and though I would chime in on my opinion of its performance. I do not use the memory functions, I only use it as a shortwave receiver for international broadcast and listening to the amateur radio frequencies.

Much criticism has been made about the layout of the user interface, i.e. “the buttons are too small”, “the buttons and knobs are too cramped and get bumped when tuning”. I have not experienced any of these complaints while using the receiver. The most commonly used buttons are all located in the lower right side of the radio interface. Complaints have been expressed about the main tuning knob, most commonly about the rate at which it moves across the tuning range. The tuning rate is configured for fine tuning SSB signals and it works well. For general tuning the UP and DOWN buttons do an excellent job. The button tuning rate can be set by the M/KHz button. One general user interface design point that I think so many of us oldsters overlook is that millions of people have come of age pushing buttons on the TV remote control. I came across this same issue on Amazon reviews of stereo receivers with remote controls. It’s now a digital world, push buttons and rotary encoders are the norm. The tuning rate using the push buttons works fine for SWL. I use the tuning know when I want to fine tune a signal I found using the UP/DOWN buttons. The spin on the tuning knob could use move friction but it is certainly acceptable.

The reception and level of sensitivity is in proportion to the quality of the antenna it is connected to. When I listened to it using a 265 ft center fed dipole in rural Vermont…it rocked. Now living in urban Tennessee and listening with a G5RV it still does an excellent job. Its sensitivity is close to that of my Yaesu FT-897D on the same antenna. Audio for the built in speaker is so so, but that is also the case with all my other transceivers. I NEVER run any of my receivers from the internal speaker. External speakers should always be used with ANY receiver.

For the price, especially on the used market, you cannot beat the performance of this desk top shortwave radio receiver. Personally I find that too many critical reviews are written by people with far too critical viewpoints completely overlook the original intent of the product.

Steve, KK1VT
WB3BD Rating: 2018-05-24
Doesn't work for me Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm with KD9AUR on this one. The biggest problem with the radio is the inconsistency of the build quality and design. The main unit is ruggedly constructed, but the front panel is cheap with poor ergonomics. In particular , the tuning dial is way too wobbly/sloppy due to improper coupling to the encoder shaft. This is really a design flaw that Alinco needs to fix, and represents a major failure point IMO. Control buttons are very crowded (even for my skinny fingers), and the function algorithm employed is cumbersome. Electrically, the radio does o.k. , although if you're in a noisy environment, forget the noise blanker - it's one of the worst I've experienced on any receiver. Finally , the display that many folks positively comment about, just doesn't do it for me. Although it's visually acceptable read-wise, it seems more like it belongs on a microwave oven, rather than a communications receiver.
KA2SHU Rating: 2014-01-29
Worth more than you will pay Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just got a new DX-R8T and have spent a good deal of time getting use to it. Here are my comments:

The Good:
Excellent SSB and CW reception
Nice backlit disable display that's easily read
Removable front panel(head) for great flexibility
Very good sensitivity on MW band
A plethora of all sorts of features to customize this radio
Shows good quality of construction

The Bad:
Buttons much too small in proximity of large tuning dial
Audio on wide filter AM just marginal for extended listening even with an external speaker
Too easy making a mistake inputing data using all the second functions. Getting use this will take practice.
Radio does not come with a power supply

The Ugly:
One of the memory banks may be hard to locate as it shows nothing on the display.
Scrolling through the 600 memories with out a scan requires continuous pushes of the same up/down buttons
Do not use the auto power off as a sleep timer. Before the radio shuts down a very loud code alert may throw you out of bed.
The learning curve on this radio can be very frustrating as many commands require extra button pushes.
Audio quality through the internal speaker is really quite metallic

KD9AUR Rating: 2014-01-07
Not worth it Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just returned this radio for a refund after playing with it for 2 weeks. My biggest reason for returning it was that with the same antenna, stations I could barely hear on the Alinco were clearly understandable on my Icom R-75. This applies to all bands and all modes I tried out.

Also, this receiver really needs to have more filters as the included filters are not up to all the tasks you would want them to perform. There is also not much of an excuse for not including more tuning steps. How hard can this be? While you can use the arrows to tune, it is cumbersome to change the steps, and it is hard to get to them unless you have very skinny fingers.

In general, the construction is sturdy, however, the method of attaching the tuning knob to the encoder shaft leaves a lot to be desired, in that only a small segment of the encoder shaft is supporting the weight of the tuning knob. That is why it wiggles around so much. Also, there is no drag on the knob. It spins way too freely and it tends to move around on you while you are attempting to use the buttons around it.I think it would not take much of a blow to the knob to snap the plastic encoder shaft clean off.

Whether USB or LSB I had to use the RIT to fine tune the station I was listening to. The adjustments are very fine for such a small knob, and it takes a lot of work to get a signal that does not warble.

I also tried to use the freeware that is available for this radio. In terms of an SDR, you should be able to have a much, much bigger swath of frequency to look at with the bandscope. I had about 25 KHz or so. It also seems like the SDR program actually reduced the sensitivity of the receiver. There are more details of using this radio as an SDR here:

I had a choice of keeping this receiver or a Tecsun PL-660. I opted to keep the Tecsun portable as I think it is more of a radio than the Alinco.
K4FEG Rating: 2013-09-16
Very Fine SWL Receiver Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have recently gotten back into SWL after about a ten yr absence from the hobby. I have owned a few receivers over the years including: Kenwood R1000, Drake SW2, Grundig Satellite 650, iCOM-R75 and the Palstar R30.

In researching receivers, I looked at used and new from various manufactures. However, I found that a lot of the great used receivers were running in the $500 - 800 price range, additionally a lot of the receivers were 20+years old and may require adjustments, replacement parts, etc.(IMO).....So it came down to 2 choices for me 1. Alinco DX-R8T 2. iCOM-R75.

Since I had owned the iCOM-R75 (it is a great receiver) before, I wanted to try something different.... Based on the write-ups and excellent reviews, I decided on the Alinco DX- R8T. I am very pleased with my purchase...The Alinco DX-R8T is a great little receiver that performs well for SWL and is a terrific value for the money. Selectivity, image rejection, and sensitivity are decent...controls, knobs and buttons are well laid out and all have a nice feel to them. The buttons on the key pad are a little small and could be an issue for someone with large fingers, for me it is not a problem. It uses Murata ceramic filters : AM-W55G (9kHz) gives good fidelity, SSB-CFJ455K-5 (2.4kHz) is very good for SSB but a little narrow for AM. CW-CFJ455K-8 (1.0kHz) is excellent for CW. I have replaced the SSB filter 2.4kHz with a Murata CFJ455k-12 (2.9kHz), which gives a little bit better sound on AM narrow and SSB (IMHO), although, the original SSB filter was perfectly acceptable....The large brightness adjustable ice-blue display is outstanding. This receiver is also DRM capable/ready and the unit is solidly built with above average fit and finish. It is an exceptional value for around $450, especially considering that there are very few new SW tabletop receivers being made and certainly not in its price range....for me its a keeper!
AKSWL Rating: 2013-05-03
Great radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Scaled down version of Alinco's SR-8TE transceiver, which has had very good reviews,

I've owned receivers since 1964 from a Laffayette Explorer-Air in 64 to a Harris RF-590A a Cubic 3030, Collins,51J4 51S1, R390A, Icom R71A R75 this litter receiver is at least as good if not better. Coupled with a good external speaker (I use Bose companion 2) compute speakers which are excellent. BW filters are excellent at 2.4 ssb and 6 khz for AM detachable front is a leftover from the transceiver, but Alinco's engineers saved money in production and RD using the same platform. Peramp is a plus, RIT and NB very effective. All in all a excellent well designed receiver.Passing the savings on to the SWL, smart thinking keeping the cost competative with Icom.
WS9T Rating: 2012-10-09
Great Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is truely a great radio, but it is not HI FI. I like to listen to AM music and voice, like radio 740 out of Canada. I would give the audio a "C+". I have owned a R71, R70, R75, R5000, R-1000, FRG-7, FRG-7700, FRG-8800, to name a few. The best audio I have found is in a R71, R70, & a IC-746 PRO, followed by a FRG-7700 and R1000. Yes I put the radio on an external speaker, a 12" speaker in a bass reflex box. I would gladly trade it for cash and a R70 or R71. If you just want a receiver, and do not care about music, this radio is one of the very best, considering the price.
K8CKW Rating: 2012-05-24
Superb Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned a DX-R8 now for a week. The receive performance is very very good. On line with much more expensive radio's. I own many receivers and transceivers; yaesu mkv, ft-950, ts-2000, Sp-600 Ar-88 and the list goes on. The RT8 meets or exceeds them all for pulling in the weak ones. DSP or no DSP. I bought the RT8 mainly for toying with sdr software. It is a affordable platform for doing just that and works well at it. To me the people that run down this product are a sorry lot. The RT8 is the first really nice affordable desk top receiver to arrive in a long time. The quality is fine and on par with my DM-330MV Alinco Pwr. supply. KEEP IT UP ALINCO! YOUR DOING A GREAT JOB!
KD8AMR Rating: 2012-05-13
Priced for what it's worth Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been using a Radio Shack DX-394 for many years. Since it's starting to show its age, I decided to replace it. After lots of investigation, I decided on the Alinco DX-R8. I use an EF-SWL antenna which is considered one of the best. My DX-394 had less noise than the Alinco. The DX-R8 has potential, but it needs some additional features which other receivers have (DSP, etc..) I think Alinco was trying to keep the receiver affordable, but IMHO, I would have paid more for a few additional features. I returned it and ordered the Icom R-75.
VK2GJF Rating: 2012-04-22
Shows great promise Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just purchased this radio, it is the E version with coverage extended to 35 Mhz. Out of the box, I liked the look of the radio and was keen to hook it up to my G5RV antenna to put it through its paces. The manual, I found was well written however I'm not all that interested in the scanning features of the radio, preferring to enter frequencies via a keypad or tune with the VFO. Heres the first of my critisisms, the keys are too small! I find it awkward to use the keypad as my fingers are fairly thick. At this point, I should add that I was directly comparing the radio to an Icom R75, Lowe HF225 and a JRC NRD515. All receivers were hooked up to the G5RV via a passive splitter. My second point of contention as that Alinco has used a 3.5mm plug for the headphones rather than the standard headphone plug found on most communications receivers. This then requires the purchase of an adapter so you can use good communications headphones. While I'm on the subject of shortcomings, its a pity Alinco didnt have a clock built in like the R75 that you can have set to UTC and check with a button push. That aside, the sensitivity matches the other receivers and seems to better the Lowe and Icom. The audio is certainly better than the Icom even with the DSP set to on with the R75. The 2 filters that are standard seem well chosen and the receiver shows good selectivity. I'm looking forward to testing the MWDX capabilities of the radio with an upcoming DX'pedition. The display on the Alinco is very good and clear. So far the Alinco shows great promise as a DX'er and I certainly will be keeping it. As for the provision of a Synch detector, while a good one would have been nice, I feel it isnt necessary with the functionality already provided allowing to extract signals in difficult circumstances. Oh, I agree with comments I have seen regarding the tuning knob! way too clunky and while it is very smooth, seems to have a very slight wobble. Performance, I'd give the radio a 5 but with the relatively minor shortcomings and poorly designed buttons, I can only give it a 4. A radio well worth owing however.