Released in 1973 and rare enough to fetch $202 on eBay, the Panasonic RF-888 arrived in mint condition today and is a spectacular radio worthy of sending shivers up the spine of any radio lover. The sound is big, bigger than my Sony ICF-5900. AM and FM reception on the two radios is equal, which is to say outstanding. I prefer the louder, in-your-face sound of the 888.
Also my 888, unlike my 5900, has an accurate tuning dial. While I love the look of both radios, I prefer the big speaker on the 888. It reminds of of a mag wheel that would go on a sports car.
If you don't need SW and want a strong performer, you will definitely enjoy the powerful Panasonic RF-888.
I haven’t had a radio review in a while. Sedated on the Sangean Kool-Aid evidenced by a Sangean U3 worksite radio in my office/gym, a Sangean PR-D4 in the kitchen, a Sangean-made C.Crane CCRadio-2E in the bathroom, and the Sangean WR-2 as my “crown jewel” bedside table radio.
I haven’t had a Sangean WR-2 in a year because a year ago Southern Cal Edison fried all the electronics on our block doing unauthorized work. They had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to residents. I was paid about $400 for the loss of some of my electronics, including my Sangean WR-2.
For a year I used my CCRadio-2E as my bedside radio. A great performer on AM and FM, the 2E suffers from a telescopic antenna (hooks around my arm when I get up at night) and sticky on/off and preset buttons, a common complaint with a model that costs in excess of $160.
I decided to get my beloved black WR-2 back. This radio, which I first purchased in 2005, is one of those radios that marks my entry into being “radio-minded,” a guy who is very aware of the radio performance hierarchy.
The WR-2, with its wire antenna, is very sensitive on FM and very capable on AM. I like its heavy low-profile, which makes it difficult for me to knock off the bedside table. With fond memories of my WR-2, I recently bought another. To my surprise, the black WR-2 was different than my previous one, noticeable in two ways:
Different speaker calibration: Brighter, louder sound out of the box with “15” being very loud. In contrast, you had to crank the WR-2 1.0 up to “40” to get decent volume.
Different interface: The WR-2 1.0 had a separate clock setting button with separate hours and minutes buttons. This made setting the time relatively simple.
Below, you can see the WR-2 1.0 and 2.0 respectively:
Goodbye to simplicity with the WR-2 2.0. Now you have no separate clock buttons. You must press a menu and scroll through the following:
Clock Setting (set time with Tuning Wheel)
DST (daylight savings time)
Clock 12/24 Hours
VER P.01 (your radio’s software version)
You use the volume control to set hours and minutes.
You must follow 4 steps for Snooze.
You must follow 5 steps for setting alarm.
The Good News:
The complexity of the interface is not a deal-killer by any means. So far no bugs have been detected.
The sound is actually better than the 1.0 version—brighter, louder, crisper, less muddled.
The AM and FM performance seems identical.
I’m no Luddite who cringes in the face of radio DSP chips, software updates, Internet radio options, Bluetooth, etc. However, a part of me, the romantic with fond memories of those majestic vintage Panasonics and Sonys from the 1960s and 1970s, loves the simplicity of an analog radio.
Because I do not have my father’s engineering and math genius (I turned out to be a college English instructor), I don’t have the tech proclivities to maintain vintage radios (cleaning the pot, ridding static, etc.), and my vintage radio quest halted several years ago. But I wonder if I would have been happier getting a new analog radio from Sangean: The Sangean WR-15. Perhaps in the near future I will get one.
Sony ICF-306, ICF-P26, ICF-P36 is ready on sale in Europe, Asia(Japan), and ICF-P26 in USA.
With curiosity I always buy every new Sony, I like them. Each Sony model bring something new.
In Japan I bought Sony ICF-306 and ICF-P36. FM frequency design for Asia from 76 to 108 MHz, it is narrow then if it's made for North America because half scale is not in range and it is more complicate to tune than if it's made from 88 to 108 MHz's ,but anyway I impressed from quality of reception and nice sound.
FM Reception is very clear, even with Asian frequency scale great signal null. ICF-P36 smaller than Sony ICF-306 but has almost equally great sound.
What is interesting thing about receivers that it produce sound with middle to high frequency, detailed like micro hi-fi audio. It doesn't have bass or in this size muffled sound with is hide music or voice speech details.
AM reception of Sony ICF-306 is more selective than ICF-P36. To compare: Sony ICF-306 more like ICF-38 and Sony ICF-P36 more like old ICF-S10MK by selectivity ,but both new receivers have better null clarity.
Antenna rotate in 360 degrees and receivers has very cool light legs. One is green ( power ) and other is red, tuning leg, at night it look nice.
Shape receivers is wider and it allow to put radio on any side to achieve better null a specially when listening AM.
Head phone is mono but in two headphones work, not like old ICF-S10MK just one.
Size Sony ICF-306 is something middle between ICF-38 and ICF-S10MK , with it still fit in big pocket, and ICF-P36 is like ICF-S10MK but wider.
Consumption: 2 AA buttery 100 hours work.
There is many positive thing for this receivers . It is portable, with better sound , better antenna rotation, with both headphone sound, reception, size and shape-essential improvement for simple analog AM,FM radio. I am looking forward to buy ICF-P26 with I believe identical to ICF-P36.
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