Hi! Welcome to my site! I’ve worked in broadcasting and electronics all my life and have been interested in portable transistor radios since the early pocket portables of the 50′s through today’s multiband radios. I’m currently employed by CBS Radio as Production Director for one of its station clusters but I also managed a repair facility for an audio shop for 18 years back in the 70′s and 80′s.
I’ve written many reviews for Radiointel and a few for Monitoring Times, but now all my previous and new reviews and vintage radio articles will be right here. I hope you’ll stop by often to see what’ s new and please feel free to email me with any questions or comments. If you subscribe at the bottom of this page you will be notified whenever new articles appear.
email me at: email@example.com
WHAT’S NEW: Latest Reviews
The Sony ICF-EX5MK2 is an unusual portable radio in several ways. There is considerable mystique surrounding it as it is intended for the Japanese market, which helps explain why so few of us here in the U.S. have ever seen one, even though we’ve been reading bits and pieces about it for years. It is reputed to have Super Sensitivity so I had to try one out…what I found surprised me. It does have a few shortcomings, but it also has one unique superiority…I think you will find the comparisons between it and the Panasonic RF-2200, and several other top AM portables to be an interesting.
Available since 2008 I have been remiss by not reviewing this AM/FM all-analog portable earlier. No sooner had I posted my review of the Sony ICF-38 than readers began asking me how it compares with the R-308 so I will cover that in this review as well.
What can $25 buy you nowadays? How about $50 For the price of tank of gas (or a half tank) these two radios offer credible performance. We’ll compare them to each other and also to the CC Radio-EP to see how they compare.
It has been several years since I initially reviewed the Quantum Loop V2.0. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to use several other antennas and additionally I’ve been loaned a KIWA MW Loop which is highly regarded but unfortunately no longer being manufactured. So how do these loops compare? Is a used KIWA worth more than double the price of a new Quantum Loop? I’ve wondered about that for a long time…now I know. Read all about it here:
New production differs a bit from the original production and I’ve discovered an unusual characteristic which may explain why different people have such different opinions about the sensitivity of this radio.. Read the updated Sangean ATS-909X Review.
CC Radio-SW/Redsun RP-2100
UPDATED Review – CC Radio-SW/Redsun RP-2100: It has been several years since I wrote the original Redsun review and I have since received an updated Redsun model with English labelling and the C.Crane CC Radio-SW version. These are a fantastic value among the portable world band radios currently available…if you’re looking for excellent audio and great reception in a lunchbox-sized radio this is one you should look at.
I had tried an early sample of the newest radio to carry the Satellit name when it was first released some 2 years ago. Although I loved its looks and ergonomics I was not impressed with several aspects of its performance. However many posters to various newsgroups indicated that these early problems had been resolved so I decided to take a look at a fresh sample from recent production. Has Eton/Grundig “fixed” the SAT 750? Is it now worthy of that prestigious nameplate? Read the full review:
The Sangean DT400 is the successor to the well-known DT200VX. I am happy to report that the new model is even better than the original. Providing top quality FM/AM/Weather Band reception, wonderful sound through earbuds, a built-in utility speaker and many great features this radio is a joy to use. And it’s just so darned cute! Read the full review:
Five AM/FM Pocket Radios Compared
If you fell in love with a small transistor radio when you were a kid you’ll be happy to know they are still available today. They are not only inexpensive (as low as $10), but are now AM and FM capable. The best of them work very well, but which are the best?
Combatting AM Interference: One of the perennial questions I receive is “how come my car AM radio is so much better than any radio I can buy for my house?” The answer may surprise you. Noise, or Radio Frequency Interference (“RFI”) is the biggest limitation to AM reception inside most modern homes. So the problem may not be your radio, but your house! But there are things you can do to reduce that noise level and improve your AM and SW reception…in this article I’ll describe the specific steps you can take to locate and eliminate noise, and how to cope with the rest of it.
In the late 1950′s and early 60′s transistor radios were the new rage. We kept them with us as often as we could…they went everywhere with us. In November of 1955 Zenith entered the game with their Royal 500, the first of a long line of radios that not only set the standard of performance, but would also become one of the most popular and most copied of all portable radios. We’ll check out the entire 500 series from the first, 7 transistor, hand-wired model through the pinnacle of the series, the Royal 500H. Then we’ll go inside a few of them and discuss what kind of work they generally need to be restored to original working condition, then we’ll compare them to some current day radios to see just how good they really are.
R-7000-2′s new in-the-box often go for over $2000 on eBay…recently a few have topped $5000. Imagine my surprise when my son and daughter-in-law presented me with one in the box from a relative’s Zenith Radio/TV shop! I never expected to own one of these. We’ll open the box and check out this brand new, wonderful present and we’ll also see how this somewhat controversial ZTO compares with the previous model, the Royal 7000. There were a few surprises!
Another little-known radio here in the US, the German-made ITT Schaub-Lorenz Touring International 103 has not only the longest model name of any radio I own, but also the best sound quality. I was fortunate enough to have a pristine example reconditioned by a friend in Germany who specializes in ITTs and this radio has become an audio benchmark by which I judge the sound quality of all portable radios. In addition to absolutley killer sound the ITT provides very good recepton and is the kind of radio that draws comments when people hear it…a true mini-fi-fi system. Read the ITT Review:
What…never heard of a Hacker? Either had I. But what I found was an ear-opening experience into a whole new world of radios I’d never seen before.
C.Crane’s Terrific Home FM Transmitter has had Major Upgrades and I was lucky enough to get the very first one sold! If you’ve been using one of these or have been thinking about one I think you’ll find this review interesting.
Wondering how the most popular radios compare as AM portables? Here’s the biggest AM Portable radio comparison project I’ve ever done…over 40 top radios were put through rigorous tests to see exactly how they compared in a variety of circumstances, plus I describe my testing methodology to help you understand the results and do your own comparisons more accurately.
These were Zenith’s top-of-the line AM portables in the 50′s and 60′s. I’ll take you through the entire model line and we’ll restore a few of them to peak performance, then compare them with some other great AM radios to see how they compare – a fun look back at Zenith’s in its heyday!
The New PL-660 is Tecsun’s latest mid-sized portble and is their top of the line model in that category. It has synchronous detection which works well and is a great radio on FM and SW…not quite so hot on AM.
C.Crane’s Wonderful CC Radio-EP is a winner with “Top Tier” AM performance in a simple, analog radio…and it’s only $69.99!
Article: How To Compare Radios (And Get Meaningful Results)
How ofen have you read user reviews like these: “This radio is the best one I’ve ever had. I heard station WXXX over 1000 miles away!” or “I compared my $20 kitchen radio with the “super whiz-bang” $500 radio and their reception was identical…in fact, the cheap radio did a little better”.
If you’ve ever read one of these reviews and smiled you know what I’m talking about. If not this article will be a must read.
There are many places on the Internet to find radio information and user reviews. Some of this information is informative and valid, but some of it is simply wrong…it is naively derived and very misleading, no matter how good the reviewer’s intentions. As in any scientific test, the variables must be controlled so you know what you are measuring or comparing. I’ll walk you through a typical comparison test between two radios, I’ll test tehm under different conditions to show ohw the results can vary, and provide high quality audio files to show you exactly how to interpret the results, and explain what my tests are measuring and why. If you’ve ever wondered why different comparison tests yield different results this article will explain it clearly. You are likely to be rather surprised at some of the things you will read and hear.