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April 30, 2008

Comments

Mike W

Co-incidently, I had to take a sick day today, and being mostly housebound, did some A/B comparisons of my few remaining radios on AM. Bottom line, the PR-D5 is a real bargain at under $75. Two of your points surprise me :

(1) A few people, including at Universal Radio, have told me the PR-D5 is better than the KA-2100 on MW.

(2) I am surprised the WR-2 falls so far down the list.

herculodge

Mike, I didn't write the radios in descending order in terms of AM. The WR-2 is excellent. Do you own one?

I don't notice superior AM in the PR-D5 to the 2100. Both seem equally outstanding but the folks at Universal know more than I do, I assume.

Since I sold my PR-D5, I'm hoping the PR-D7 has the same antenna.

Mike W

No, I never did pick up a WR-2, because I've been mostly interested in portables for a while now. You can run them off batteries, move them from room to room easily, and orient the set for best reception less awkwardly. The WR-2 was the tabletop I was thinking of (I never use the alarm function on radios), but then I got to Jonesing for a Proton 300, vis :

http://cgi.ebay.com/LEGENDARY-PROTON-300-AUDIOPHILE-AM-FM-RADIO-NEAR-MINT_W0QQitemZ150241991759QQihZ005QQcategoryZ94902QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

But am trying to hold out for the 750. I have always waited for new models to shake out in the past, but I like the design of the 750 so much I'll risk it.

herculodge

I like the Proton 300's look. What kind of antenna does it come with?

Mike W

Well, as you can see in one of the photos from the eBay link, AM has a very sturdy ferrite that pops up from the top back and swivels. On FM I am less sure. There are connections on the bottom for FM, but at least one reviewer here :

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/accessories/others/proton/PRD_117974_1590crx.aspx

refers to the antenna being hardwired. I have been assumming if I bought on I'd use an old-fashioned twin-lead cable to a window antenna for FM if there's no adequate internal FM antenna, and the swivelling ferrite antenna for AM/MW. Perhaps another reader will know about the FM antenna on these old Protons.

Ed S.

I used to work at Proton in the 80's, and still have a working P300. It is legendary for its sound. Reception-wise, it's not as sensitive as modern-day radios.
Make sure you also get the powered companion stereo speaker, the P301.
The FM connections are screws on the bottom (unfortunately). They accept 300-ohm twinlead, ie old TV antenna flat lead-in wire. A flat dipole aFM antenna on a window will work fine. There is no internal antenna for FM.
The AM ferrite bar is rather short, but is on a ball-joint for good adjustability/orientaion. Make sure the one you're buying is intact... AM can be a little noisy on weaker stations. But the sound in FM stereo is still spectacular, maybe the best table radio sound ever.

Mike W

Ed, I am well and truly flabbergasted. You not only still have a 300, but worked at Proton? Let me pick your brain a little.

I've been fascinated on & off by the 300 for a while now (even if it looks like Leonid Brezhnev's microwave oven) but the thought of buying one just to test-drive it and kick the tires did not seem worthwhile.

Let's agree it sounds great on FM.

But what's it like as an AM receiver? I know it will sound good, but does that AM antenna really catch tough AM signals, or are modern portables much better?

We better stop Jeff before he buys again...

Ed S.

Yeah, I've been around!
The Proton's ferrite bar is only average in catching AM signals; it is not the equal of the 8" bar antenna in the PR-D5 or the Kaito 2100. HOWEVER, on the bottom, in addition to the screws for the FM antenna, are 2 screws for a (long wire) external AM antenna and a Ground connection. You can increase AM sensitive quite a bit with a good external AM antenna and ground, at the expense of more AM noise of course, which also will be received better! But still the 300 might only then equal the stock 2100 on AM, but your mileage may vary. But then again, you buy the Proton for the *Sound*, not its AM-DXing ability!
My Bottom line?... Every true radio lover should own a Proton 300/301. Sorry, Jeff.

Mike W

Thanks, Ed, you just made my mind up for me and I deleted the bookmark I had for the eBay auction. As for Jeff, I'm not sure, maybe he better get the tape measure out and see if the garden shed will accomodate the mattress from the master bedroom.

Ed S.

The ebay unit was overpriced at $180, IMHO. Look for a P300 for $100-125 and a 301 for $50-70.

Dan

I have a just picked up a free 300 with a broken am antenna. Any idea where I can get a replacement? Thanks, Dan

jeffrey McMahon

Dan, give me the exact name of the radio and I'll ask Gerald who know a lot about vintage radios.

Jeff

Dan

It's a Proton 300. Thanks

jeffrey McMahon

I'll e-mail Gerald and see if he has the information. Then I'll put another comment in the same category.

Jeff

herculodge

Dan,

here's Gerald's response:

wow a proton ! my brother had, has one of those things and man its awsome! as for searching for an antenna , i can only say he needs to scour the internet.i might even call ccrane or universal and see if something they had could be rigged. he probably will have to find a broken unit and scavenge the antenna from it. id try every used electronics house, thrift shop and garage sale i could if i were him.

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