Early impressions on the Crane EP: Daytime- Sensitivity is very similar to the Sangean PR-D5. On the lower part of the band (below perhaps 1000 KHz), it may be a hair more sensitive. The sound on narrow (labled news) is fine; not as muddied as I feared. The twin coil tuning does have an impact. That said, only a small amount of tweaking is necessary to peak signals.
There is a big bad, however: above about 1300 KHz, even on narrow, the radio is a chaotic mish mash of mixing products from our locals on 1300,1340,1370,1410,1490, and 1550. It is impossible to find some weak signals on the EP in this mess that are listenable on the PR-D5, and cleaner yet on the SONY ICF-S5W (the SONY ICF-EX5 has some hets and mixing products during the daytime around 1460 and 1560-1600) where no hets are found (except around 1620).
Both the S5W and EX5 have an image of our 890 local on 870. Below 1300, the EP is rather well behaved, and selectivity is similar to the PR-D5 (can usually hear stations 10 KHz away from a local when nulling). Below 1300, locals are on 1090,1000,960, 890, and 790. Nighttime- With the locals at reduced power (and 1370 off air), the EP does better on the 1300+ part of dial, but still cannot discern 1500,1510,1520,1530 while the PR-D5 can (with some mixing products) The S5W and EX5 hears these frequencies sharply and cleanly (their coverage ends, HOWEVER, at about 1630-1640).
The speaker is good, the dial lighting is great at night...kind of a neat retro look!
While I may keep the set, and while I still wish to test it a bit more, I can say that it isn't the magic set that I was hoping for...The SONY ICF-S5W, and from what I read, the Panasonic RF-2200 are as sensitive, more selective, and freer from hets and mixing products in an urban jungle. Further testing supports the terrible behavior of the EP above 1300 KHz in my particular urban rf environment. Below 1300 KHz, (in my particular setting) the set is quite good. I actually like the sound on narrow (similar to GRUNDIG 350 on narrow, but much better sensitivity).
The retro night light is great. I would imagine that away from the locals, i.e, maybe 5 or 10 miles out of town, the EP would be much better across the dial. In a more rural setting, I would expect this to be a real winner. The fine tuning of the twin coil is almost always best in it's default setting...users, dxer's don't have to expect the need to fiddle around with it as one tunes, even from one end of the dial to the other end (I do like knowing that it can be fiddled with, however!). The user's guide give selectivity as 6 KHz and 4 KHz, and am sensitivity as 0.2 mV!