Sometimes you CAN go back. And it feels good. '
This is my second Sony 5800. It's a model that looks very similar to the 5900 and smaller 5500. And it's a stellar performer on all bands.
I bought my first one a few years ago on E-Bay. It was from a seller in Japan and if I recall correctly, the FM band stopped well short of what we're accustomed to here. It might have gone up to the low 100s----I can't recall for sure. That radio had a large chip in the plastic cabinet that I repaired with Mighty Putty----and painted black to match. The repair looked presentable. The pop up antenna and timer were not functioning on that first 5800 I had, but it hardly mattered. I loved the radio, particularly the excellent shortwave reception. I also liked the fact that while you can always find 5500 and 5900 models for sale on E-Bay, you hardly ever see the rare 5800. I liked the exclusivity.
Stupidly, I decided to see if I could turn a profit on the rare piece. I was on a selling roll----and figured I could make a tidy sum to plow into more radios and always pick up another one "later." Well, I barely broke even on the deal as only one person bid. And before I even boxed it up for shipping, I missed it. I have looked to replace it over the years----and finally, recently, a seller listed my new one as a "Buy It Now" for about the same price I sold my original one for. The auction was only a few hours old and I pounced. I needed to clean this one thoroughly (just as I did my first one), but it shined up very nicely. Once again, I'm impressed with the performance. This one has the full FM band. I can't remember if my first one was simply the ICF-5800 or if it also had the "L" as part of it's model designation. Maybe this one was intended for North America and my first one for Europe and Japan? I don't know.
Sony "No Baloney" did some really wonderful things in the 1970s. Their product quality for portable radios, clock radios and other at-home consumer electronics was excellent enough to justify the higher price. And for vintage shopping, that's still the case. It's worth seeking out these Sony products, even though they're now closing in on forty years old. Fact is, my experience is that these things were built for a lifetime of use and the way I have it figured, this radio has a good chance of outliving its new owner.
It feels that solid, that reliable. It's a radio I can have confidence in, something to trust. Like my Panasonic 888, it will not be sold. I make mistakes----but usually not twice. Keeper. Absolute keeper.