...My radio ownership points of reference are a 30-old GE 10 band Model 72971A , and a 15 year old Radio Shack DX390.
While I can't speak for the GE, I think this would be a very nice improvement over the 390. No major chuffing, and external antenna jacks, and more. If it's worth the money is up to you.
Let's see where to start ...
You do not want WD40 on the antenna jacks. Apparently they mistook the common complaint of popping during rotating to be purely mechanical. What you REALLY want is to open the radio, and use contact cleaner like DeOxit or similar for the rotating AM bar. Or just live with it.
The Terk and the Grundig tabletop loop are about the same. They perform a bit better than the stock am antenna, but you make the choice of clutter vs convenience. Inexpensive enough to try anyway. If you are dxing AM, these may be a better choice than the EndFedz wire, due to the loop / loopstick being very directional.
A key issue to remember is that this is a sub-$300 radio, that does a lot of things, but doesn't specialize, so there are things you have to deal with. Like easily overloading it with an external antenna. Yes, you can use the rf-gain control to sledge-hammer it into submission, but there is a "mid end" so to speak, and not just the front end, that needs attenuation when using very efficient antennas. This calls for opening up the radio, and soldering in an attenuating resistor right off the Toshiba IC chip leading to the am/ssb detectors. Even with that, it does not compare to a typical $500 radio - we are just taming it a little bit.
And yes, QC can be an issue like most radios these days - you basically take your shot and hope for the best. If this radio takes your interests a step further then great - but don't judge what even mid-level radios are capable of based on the Grundig. It is just a very convenient portable, that some like to eek out the most peformance out of - but there are just limits that can't be overcome unless you redesign it, or go hog wild with modifications - and ok, maybe then end up with a $350 radio.
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