Reviews on A Couple Extension Speakers...

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cbehr91

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Yesterday I bought at R&L Electronics (not endorsing them, just happen to live in the area) and bought two extension speakers to use in my car:

MFJ-383 amplified speaker with volume control

MFJ Enterprises Inc.

President CB-1000 (though the box says Pyramid brand) passive speaker (can't find a website)

Both speakers have mono 3.5mm plugs for easy use with nearly any type of scanner, CB, HT or mobile. The MFJ speaker has a cigarette lighter plug for power (5 watts). On that note, we'll start with the MFJ.

I'm using it with an ICOM V-80 handheld I use as a railband scanner, which on its own has a pretty loud speaker, but not loud enough for highway speeds. Is the MFJ speaker loud? Yes. Can I audibly hear what I'm receiving? Yes. But above a certain threshold the audio echos within the speaker so it can get muffled. I don't know if it's cheap electronics or what but it is kind of annoying. And the speaker is kind of tinny.

Now for the Pyramid/President one. It was quite inexpensive. I think R&L price is only like $8. It claims 25 watts which is a lot for a passive speaker (at least in my experience). It's pretty large in size (which I like), but when I picked it up it was pretty light -- it "has a lot of air in it" as I like to say. However when I plugged it in it produced more robust audio than the MFJ but not as loud as the amplified speaker (obviously), if that makes sense. I'm sure it would blow off your doors if you were using it with a mobile, but with a handheld in a vehicle it just doesn't cut it.

I'm not sure if I'll keep the MFJ speaker. It does okay, and the volume control is redundant in my opinion. I think there are better amplified extension speakers that I don't have to put together myself to use with a scaner (I'm talking about those Moto ones).I was pleasantly surprised by the Pyramid one considering the price.

Thanks for reading!
 

Halfpint

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If you can get inside the MFJ speaker without a lot of trouble you might want to put a small 1" to 2" thick or so square piece of fibreglass home insulation in it to take care of those `echoes'. (Varying the thickness, and `compression', of the fibreglass that you put in will vary the frequency response of the speaker-cabinet so you should be able to get rid of those `echoes' and possibly adjust the overall sound, too.)
 

cbehr91

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One week update: The volume control on the MFJ speaker decided to stop working and after just a few uses I was getting a bad hum (that may just be due to car electronics), however the volume control not working is really annoying and it seems to point to the build quality/quality control (or lack thereof) of MFJ's products I read about here. Hopefully I can return the speaker and get my money back.
 

jdobbs2001

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A good speaker if you can find them, usually cheap 19 dollars or less is the Altec Lansing ACS52 speaker. They have been out of production for a long time but they are great for SWL. Nice thing is they have two inputs so you can connect your HF radio and your VHF/UHF radio to them
 
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