MW DXing- what's the best receiver?

Status
Not open for further replies.

snapperq

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
64
Location
Tiffin, ohio
Hello,
I'm interested in MW dxing and am looking for the best portable receiver available. Looking for sensitivity and selectivity. I have a GE super radio lll but it's crap from the start. I don't want to break the bank but don't want a cheapie either. Outdoor antenna is not an issue. I live in northwest Ohio in a rural area.
Please reply with your opinions and any questions you may have in helping me decide on which radio to purchase.

Thanks in advance, I'm sure I'll have more questions!
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,490
Location
Bowie, Md.
Moved from the propagation thread since it didn't address that topic...

I had always heard that the GE Superradios were terrific MW DX machines (tho not without their flaws); Let's start the discussion....

Mike
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,490
Location
Bowie, Md.
I think you'll find that there's a pretty wide variation on how folks define sensitivity and selectivity; this is particularly so with MW DXing, where the quality (and whether it can rotate) of the loop antenna inside the radio itself plays as much of a role in both departments...however we have a number of sites from our wiki that have reviews of portables...

Reviews | The SWLing Post

Portable | Shortwave Radio Index

eHam.net Reviews - Receivers: General Coverage

Medium Wave Circle - Receiver Shopping List - Receiver Reviews from Radio Netherlands and MW Circle

And there are some portables reviewed here...

Dave's Radio Receiver Page - N9EWO - Shortwave Radio

Grab a long cold tall one and start reading (heh)...Mike
 

majoco

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,722
Location
New Zealand
Like most radios on any frequency, the biggest benefit can be had from getting the best antenna. If possible, you can get better performance by disconnecting the internal ferrite rod antenna and replacing it with an external tuned loop or a longer ferrite - you can either tune it with the existing tuning capacitor or using an external one to tune the loop/ferrite - you will alleviate any tracking errors by doing that.

The big question is local noise a factor? If you can get out into the country you'll be surprised at the improvement in signal over noise. BUT I did try an experiment some time ago with a Kenwood R2000 comms receiver running off my car battery and a spool of telephone wire laid out across a farmers paddock. Expecting great things later on in the evening I was somewhat disappointed by the racket generated by what sounded like hundreds of electric fences!
 

WA8ZTZ

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
787
CCRadio-EP is an excellent AM Broadcast band DX machine. Easily the best of all my portable radios when it comes to MW DX. The GE Superadio III has somewhat better audio but the tuning scale is compressed on the top end of the band and tuning is touchy there. The Crane radio scale is more linear and tuning is smooth. It has a fine tuning control that is helpful in some cases when it comes to separating co-channel interference or peaking a weak station. There is provision for external antenna connection but performance is good even without an external antenna.

As you get more into DXing the AM broadcast band you will want to experiment with various antennas but right out of the box the CCRadio-EP is a winner.
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
925
Get a loop for your GE Superadio III. Unless it tunes weirdly, i.e. "skips" or won't hold tune in the lower ranges (i.e. the tuner is defective, and you would know that right away), it should work better than most AM radios and definitely will DX with an external loop, which should only cost you $30. I've bought two GESRIII's and both are excellent, although there were some I've read about that weren't as good. Still, you're dealing with a TRF radio with a 200mm loopstick, if the SRIII tunes well you could probably match most other radios you'd buy if you just get an external loop (like an AN200).

Other radios I'd suggest would be the Sangean PR-D5 or a PR-D15 (both usually less than $100). DSP IF chip, twin coil loopstick, cheaper than a CCrane. I've read that the PR-D6, an analog Sangean, around $35 or so, is also very good for the money.

Or get a CCrane. I've read very good reviews both about their digitally tuned CCRadio and the one that's analog tuned (can't remember the model number, may be the EP?). I've read they have very good customer support. The only downside is their radios are a little bit pricey, but if you're into DXing, it could be worth it.

PS, an indoor external tuned loop set next to the radio (even homebuilt) will be a better choice than an outdoor antenna on MW.
 

Roodog2k

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
46
Location
FN21ub
Other radios I'd suggest would be the Sangean PR-D5 or a PR-D15 (both usually less than $100). DSP IF chip, twin coil loopstick, cheaper than a CCrane. I've read that the PR-D6, an analog Sangean, around $35 or so, is also very good for the money.

Or get a CCrane. I've read very good reviews both about their digitally tuned CCRadio and the one that's analog tuned (can't remember the model number, may be the EP?). I've read they have very good customer support. The only downside is their radios are a little bit pricey, but if you're into DXing, it could be worth it.
.
I'm not OP, but I've been trying to shop around for a good MW receiver. I had been considering the CCRadio-2E, but I have an uneasy feeling that most/all of CCrane's radios are rebranded Tecsun radios, possibly with some tweaks. For instance, CCrane's Skywave seems to be an engineering update to my "Grundig" G6 Buzz Aldrin edition.

Back in the 1990s, Crane did something shady to my grad school department when ordering a BC-895XLT, the sort of thing that makes me thing they're a little dishonest.
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
925
I'm not OP, but I've been trying to shop around for a good MW receiver. I had been considering the CCRadio-2E, but I have an uneasy feeling that most/all of CCrane's radios are rebranded Tecsun radios, possibly with some tweaks. For instance, CCrane's Skywave seems to be an engineering update to my "Grundig" G6 Buzz Aldrin edition.

Back in the 1990s, Crane did something shady to my grad school department when ordering a BC-895XLT, the sort of thing that makes me thing they're a little dishonest.
I've read that many of the CCrane MW radios (the CCradios especially) are made by Sangean.

The digitally tuned one (the big CCradio2E, not the little SW "Skywave" model with all the buttons covering the front) looks like it operates like a PR-D5 (tuning knob + five memory presets per band, DSP chip with twin coil 200mm antenna) with extra functions. I've read it is made by Sangean. I'm not sure about the CCradioEP, but I think I read it was made by Sangean also -- but I could be wrong....

I've never had one, just didn't want to pay $160 for a radio when I could get a PR-D5 for $65 or $70.

But I've heard they work well. At least they care enough to make radios for MW DXers.

After looking over their website, that analog tuned CCRadioEP looks like a good radio. Twin coil ferrite, stereo FM through headphones, and I've read it's a very good MW performer. The tone controls are obviously handy, and it's more affordably priced than the digitally tuned one...

PS, you're right about the Skywave, I think I read that it is made by Tecsun.
 
Last edited:

pjxii

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
209
Location
Naples Florida USA
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the classic Panasonic RF-2200. Yes it's "old school technology" but still the portable MW radio reference standard.
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
925
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the classic Panasonic RF-2200. Yes it's "old school technology" but still the portable MW radio reference standard.
The problem is they either are owned by guys who are holding onto them, so that no one else can get one at a half decent price, or they have bad bandswitches that are impossible to fix unless you are really good with fixing radios. So a lot of guys aren't aware of them or have no idea if they can get a working one.

I had a chance at buying a half-broken one at a pawn shop in the late 1990's and the guy wanted way too much for a radio with broken switches. I passed.

The Superadio II is probably the new portable MW radio reference standard. I see a lot of guys comparing other radios to an SRII.

Either that or a CCrane.
 

a29zuk

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
765
Location
SE Michigan
This thread is getting replies after about a one year hiatus....but +1 for the Sangean PR-D15. The PR-D15 is an upgrade of the PR-D5 with an extra speaker and a tone control. It has the same 200mm ferrite antenna with good sensitivity and great selectivity. It is also under $100.

Jim

Sent from my standard laptop with a standard keyboard.
 
Last edited:

flythunderbird

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
1,027
Location
Grid square EM99fh
I've had the CCRadio 2E for a little over a year, and I'm very happy with it. Not cheap, but money well spent. It is at least equal to my SR II in terms of DX performance.
 
Last edited:

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
925
This thread is getting replies after about a one year hiatus....but +1 for the Sangean PR-D15. The PR-D15 is an upgrade of the PR-D5 with an extra speaker and a tone control. It has the same 200mm ferrite antenna with good sensitivity and great selectivity. It is also under $100.

Jim

Sent from my standard laptop with a standard keyboard.
Glad you like the PR-D15 -- if it's anything like the PR-D5 it is undoubtedly a great radio. Probably same guts with a few features added. BTW, the PR-D5 has the same number of speakers (2), both radios are in the same case, like a mini boombox.

Perhaps you were referring to another Sangean model? They have a lot of one speaker models out there, some of which work very good on AM and FM.
 

a29zuk

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
765
Location
SE Michigan
Glad you like the PR-D15 -- if it's anything like the PR-D5 it is undoubtedly a great radio. Probably same guts with a few features added. BTW, the PR-D5 has the same number of speakers (2), both radios are in the same case, like a mini boombox.

Perhaps you were referring to another Sangean model? They have a lot of one speaker models out there, some of which work very good on AM and FM.

Thanks for setting me straight. I should of did a little more research...must of been thinking of the PR-D7.
I know I've read some reviews in the past of the PR-D5 with the biggest complaint being the audio was a little muddy and it didn't have a tone control.

Glad you enjoy your PR-D5.

Jim


Sent from my standard laptop with a standard keyboard.
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
925
^^^^^^^ Yes, the PR-D5 can sound a hair muddy on the AM band at times, it's the narrow selectivity (somewhere around 4 kHz, excellent for DXing, not so excellent for listening to music on the AM band -- although I listen to South Asian music frequently on my PR-D5 and it's not bad).

I think when they made the PR-D15 they added the tone control for that very reason.

Of the two radios, I think the PR-D5 is the basic version, the PR-D15 is the added feature version. :)
 

formula72

Newbie
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
1
The best can be subjective, but I will add what I have...

The Panasonic RF-2200 is right at the top. Its expensive though and hard to find. many can be had off eBay at varying price points, ranging from $120 up to $400. Lower tiered units might need cleaning, have many imperfections such as dings, scratches, broken knobs, etc Higher priced units are usually clean, work well, and have little imperfections ( but you pay for this ).

Sangean PR-D5 / PR-D15 / ::: Outstanding radios, and highly recommended. They have a 200MM AM antenna inside. Great all around radios.

Sangean PR-D4W...Roughly the same performance as the PR-D5 /15 radios, but has a smaller 6.5" AM antenna. Audio is a much richer from this single speaker radio.

GE super Radios:::There are 3 versions of this radio. The 1 and 2 are roughly the same, with the 2 squeezing out the performance edge over the 1 by a slight margin. The 2 had a tweeter that can be a bit fatiguing to some. The 3 was all over the place, but a few that came out the factory were excellent performers.


I don't own any of the C.C radios, but I hear they are at the top of the list.



These are just a few that own, or know about.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top