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August 24, 2008

Comments

Paul

You should be able to replace the ferrite rod with a longer one if there is space ...

How can Tecsun make such a basic mistake on the headphone jack?

jeffrey McMahon

Paul, thanks for reminded me about that subpar Toshiba. I deleted the post. Thanks again.

Scooby214

There looks to be plenty of space for a longer ferrite bar.

As far as the mistake on the headphone jack, it is the same way on the original S350. (I also used to have a cheapo vintage lookalike radio that was wired the same way.) It appears that they did it to allow for either stereo or mono headphones. Since the original S350 didn't send FM stereo to the headphone output, I guess this was their way of making it compatible for more users. I'm pretty good with a soldering iron, so I may try to tackle correcting it.

Stetsiwawa

I like the boxy, minimal, strictly functional design of the R308 - a clear compact tuning scale, with the rest of the cabinet devoted to the sizeable speaker; nice big tuning and volume knobs (how's the feel of these? reasonably smooth, not too stiff, etc?), pleasing integrated carry handle, handy rear stand, etc (all very plasticy no doubt).How about the actual sound of the R308 through the 4 inch speaker: full and rangy when compared to the likes of DE1103 etc? on a par with the S350? Thanks.

Scooby214

The knobs are reasonably smooth, though there certainly is no flywheel effect to the tuning. The actual sound of the R308 is just slightly less than that of the S350DL, probably due to not having separate bass and treble controls. It doess sound bigger than the small portable receivers I've used, like the Grundig YB400PE. It has a pleasant sound when listening in a large room. (I use mine in my classroom before and after school). The handle feels surprisingly sturdy, and the radio has a sturdy feel overall.

Stetsiwawa

My Tecsun R-308 arrived a few weeks ago. Speaker audio sounded a bit flat, I thought, so I changed it for this one:
http://www.radioparts.com.au/ProdView.aspx?popup=1&Category=SXBB6005&Product=38852301&ProdDesc=SPG2301+100MM+SQUARE+SPEAKER
from a Radio parts shop here in Oz. It's 8 ohms like original. Power rating is 10w vs 2w original; seems to be just as sensitive/efficient though - the low power radio amp distorts at highest volume anyway. Replacement was simple - plenty of room in the large cabinet to work in. A Phillips head screwdriver was required to remove speaker and a couple of circuit boards. The new 4 inch speaker has the same standard square shape and mounting holes as the original. So it was a simple matter to replace speaker and screws, then solder wire. The magnet on the the new speaker is, however considerably larger in diameter (and weight), so I had to neatly cut away a section of the battery compartment to refit the rear panel (cabinet is just deep enough to accept speaker depth). Batteries fit easily now. Otherwise, the whole operation was dead easy. And the result is a spectacular improvement in sound quality. The rolled cone surround and whizzer cone has greatly broadened the frequency range. Lovely warm and bright balanced sound, particularly on FM (AM is OK, but I wish the radio had a more comprehensive tone control). The sliding bass control is, as Scooby says, just a scratchy bass boost which only kicks in near the bottom. It is however, quite effective, and once I adjusted that to my liking, I've rarely had to change it again. Speakers this size usually require much more (mid) bass than treble boost anyway. This is a cheap (US $32 delivered from China) plasticy radio. The tuning knob fell off immediately - a bit of Blu Tak (Sticky Tak) solved that problem (I also used some Tak to line the circumference of the new speaker - Tak is a very effective dampening agent). Otherwise, it's solid enough. The tuning mechanism is just a little stodgy, but the volume knob is smooth and perfectly incremental.
Anyway, it's now a completely satisfying table radio. And It probably sounds as good as anything it's size (costing xxxx $ more).

Carrie

Stetsiwawa,

Thanks for the detailed comment. I'll post it tomorrow. Jeff on my wife's computer.

Paul

Stetsiwawa,

Can you comment on the AM, and especially FM performance, especially in comparison with other radios you may have?

Also did the tuning knob fell off as a result of you opening the radio up and putting it back together, or is construction quality really that bad that the knob just fell off when you started using the radio?

Thanks very much

Paul

Stetsiwawa

I second Scooby's comments: FM is definitely this radio's strength. It's sensitive alright. I can get most of my local FM stations quite clearly with the antenna entirely unextended. My little Tecsun PL-450 certainly can't do that trick. (By the way, I also swapped the 57mm speaker on the PL-450 with one from an old Panasonic RF-P50 - once again, a marked improvement, with a newly pronounced difference between high and low tone settings. It seems to me that nasty original speakers may be a major hidden cause of disappointment among radio buyers.) When the antenna is extended, things obviously improve greatly. Selectivity is good too: seems to have a marked lock in/lock out "fencing" effect (if that makes sense) between stations. I haven't noticed drift on either band. Sensitivity and selectivity on AM are fine for me too. DXers may think otherwise. The ferrite rod is a little shorter than 5" if I remember right (Scooby confirms this). AM somehow doesn't sound that great to me - a slight personal tonal preference - I wish the radio had proper bass and treble controls - that said, I've already grown accustomed to the AM sound. When I make these audio-related comments, keep in my mind that I've replaced the original speaker with a superior after-market one (which has certainly improved both AM and FM audio quality).
I can also confirm Scooby's observation that the tuning scale on the R-308 is more accurate on FM than AM.
The tuning knob fell off the moment I took the radio out of the box. The tuning and volume knobs are designed to pull off with a bit of force; so the fit simply wasn't tight enough. You can put that down to poor quality control.
Earlier this year I bought a Redsun RP2100 (sold here in Oz, with local guarantee, under the Digitech brand for a great value US$90) for my sister, so she could listen to Radio Australia from Hong Kong (Total failure - she lives in one of those 100 metre high metal cages, through which no radio wave on earth can penetrate). That was a fine sounding machine with a 5 inch speaker and bass and treble knobs. I wish I could compare the R-308 to it. The R-308 does me fine. It sounds great with the new speaker, and the compact size makes for easy room to room portability.

Scooby214

On my two R-308 radios, the knobs didn't fall off. Instead, they were pushed too far onto their shafts. This caused them to rub against the case. They were securely glued into place, but I was able to carefully pry them out to a proper placement.

I bet that they neglected to put the glue on your knob. Probably a result of poor quality control.

You just can't find radios that are built with the attention to detail that was put into the vintage sets.

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