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March 03, 2011

Comments

David F.

I have the Sangean RS-330, the updated version of the Proton 300. There has been much praise for the Sangean WR-2 on this website, but also blame for the difficult alarm controls. The RS-330 has easy alarm controls and excellent sound; it is also smaller than the WR-2. The RS-330 may well be a superior clock radio to the WR-2. It would be interesting to see a comparison of AM/FM reception between those two Sangeans.

Ed S.

The radio pictured above is not the 300, it is the small but nice Proton 320, the clock radio.

Keith Beesley

I've got a 320 (white) that I coincidentally picked up a month or two before reading about Protons here, just because I thought it looked cool. I was very pleasantly surprised when I plugged it in and turned it on.

I don't have any current hi fi table radios to compare with it, but sound compares favorably with several vintage ones, including a tube Zenith and a tube Magnavox. Reception-wise, it hears as many FM stations as anything I've got, just with the little pigtail antenna. AM reception is ok, better than average but not in the Superadio category.

Jeffrey McMahon

Ed, thanks, I'll get a new, right photo.

David, I've always been intrigued by that Sangean and doubt it's still available. I heard its weak point is AM band. True?

David F.

The RS-330 is listed as active on the Sangean website. Sangean lists three radios as "discontinued," and it is not one of them. But Amazon does not seem to sell it. Even with a dipole antenna, neither AM nor FM reception is as good as the PR-D5 or the Tecsun 310. DSP on the latter seems to make a big difference.

Jeffrey McMahon

I don't see any pricing on the Sangean site. If I could sell my WR-2 in white (I also own a black one, which I'd keep) and get the RS-330 for about $80 or so, I might get one.

Doug

Ed, based on your rave review which is in accord with other praise I've read on this radio, I just bought one in pristine condition for $110 plus $30 for coast to coast to coast shipping. It looks near new in the photos and described as functionally perfect. I should have it in a week or so and will post my impressions once I have played it. I love the all black retro look of the 300 and the simple, clean controls layout. Thanks for your post.

Mark Roberts

Ed, do you know anything about the Proton 100, the walkman-style radio with great FM performance (in its day)? I have two of them, neither of which is working any more. In my experience with portables, only the Tecsun DSP radios provide comparable performance, but even they don't sound as good as the Proton 100s did.

Ed S.

Doug, That's a good price for the 300, and if you can afford it, you must get the matching speaker, the 301, for the complete experience. They show up on ebay for $50-90.
This radio may not be an "AM DX-er" but tha's not its strength. It's the sound and the stereo and the simplicity.
Also, get and connect a dipole antenna to it for FM reception...the old "T" antenna will work fine. I hope your 300 is in reasonable shape. These things were built like tanks and meant to last forever, but you can remove the speaker grill to inspect the woofer--be sure the rubber surround hasn't deteriorated. Also, make sure the "FM Stereo" lamp comes on and stays on when a a Stereo FM station is tuned in; some units would lose stereo lock and the lamp would not stay on. Proton basically started that "all-black" look in the 80's. I hope you enjoy the 300 as much as I do.

Ed S.

Mark, the Proton 100 FM walkman was being sold before I worked there, it was their first product. I don't have any experience with it, except I know it was very popular at the time (1983?), joggers loved it, but it had a tendency to get intermittent at the headphone jack. It had a very high failure rate because of that, (Every walkman and earbud headphone I've ever used had, and still has, this kind of problem!)
It was designed (as was the 300) by one of the the top RF engineers of the day, Larry Schotz, who I did know, and his radio designs were good-sounding and sensitive, if not always of consistent quality in mass production. (Proton was made in Taiwan, which was about 10 years behind Japan when it came to QC.)
Sorry your 100's have given up the ghost, but I'm glad you got some some enjoyment from them when they did work! It was a classic, that's for sure.

Doug

Hey, Ed. Thanks for all the info. The seller, who has a 100% pos feedback rating on over 1200 transactions, says that all the lights work, including the FM stereo beacon and the radio locks onto FM stations with no drift, and the photos suggest that it is verify fine cosmetically. So I am hoping to be able to add to his feedback streak. Like you, I want this radio mainly for classical music, occasional jazz, and NPR, hence the appeal of the 300's incredible audio and simplicity of operation. I don't listen much to AM and have little interest in DXing, and I always have my SR II to fill those needs. My neighbor has a Bose, so I may borrow it for an hour to do an A-B comparison. I always have thought that her Bose sounded good, but not great. I will post my impressions probably sometime in the middle of next week.
Oh. Do you have any recommendation for one of the Proton clock radios, 320', 420, etc?

Ed S.

Doug--I'm only familiar with the 320. Analog, of course... still sounds very good. The first "high-end" clock radio! Don't pay more than $50-70.

Mark Roberts

Ed, thanks. The one Proton 100 that lasted the longest indeed had headphone jacks that didn't hold up in use. I had to "hotwire" one of the jacks to keep it going. That was years ago. The 100s were also very sensitive to impedance -- some headphones just wouldn't work with them.

The case on the older one also cracked and has missing pieces. As you say, the QC on those units was lacking at times. That was a shame; that tuner could hold its own with many hi-fi tuners. The Tecsun DSP radios are a good replacement, but they still don't sound as sweet as the Proton 100.

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