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November 13, 2009

Comments

Tom Welch

In America, people return stuff for all sorts of reasons. I imagine these radios from Universal Radio are a pretty good deal since Universal Radio has checked the radios out.

About 10 years ago, I purchased an Icom R2 scanner from a vendor in the UK. A note in the box said that if I needed repair or support I was to contact the manufacturer, not the retailer.

Ken K.

Two years ago I would have jumped at this, but with the recent advances in small portables such as the Tecsun PL-380, the same $70 can buy a lot more for my money in terms of performance and features.

Jeffrey McMahon

Ken, the the PL-380 has many tech advantages, as you state, but what about its speaker sound? Can it compare to the E5's?

Tom Welch

Jeff, a person in the small portable radio market is probably not greatly interested in the speaker's sound.

With the new Tecsun radios, the price performance radio has changed so dramatically that I'm not sure that Grundig, Sony and Sangean can successfully compete in this AM/FM/SW market niche.

eBay has given us the ability to buy radios from all around the world rather than wait for some company to introduce radio products to us with a North American flavor.

Jeffrey McMahon

Tom, you're correct. Most buyers don't emphasize speaker sound like I do. That's my own preference.

Ken K.

For my part, when I want excellent sound in a portable, I do still have the Grundig YB400 (similar to your defunct G4000). I've never owned the G5, but my understanding it that it's sound is similar to the YB400 (G4000) which has the best sound for it's size of any portable I own. As Tom Welch stated, now my goal is performance and features.

I don't use the YB all that much anymore, but it still works fine after 15+ years of ownership, and can still pick up one or two FM stations clearly that none of my other portables can.

Tom Welch

Most folks that buy small portable radios use headphones to listen and as Ken pointed out, the YB400 has long had the reputation of a sweet sounding speaker.

Among professional journalist who work on an international basis, the Sony ICF 7600GR is the radio of choice, however, the Tecsun PL-310 has one very neat feature that may change all that. The Pl-310 comes with a USB cable to recharge its batteries from a computer, no AC adapter required.

¾ Blind

I've owned an Eton E5 for about 2 years now, purchased from Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) for $100. I use it every day and am overall pleased with its performance. Pluses: Great sensitivity, on AM almost as good as the GE SR2 and on FM equal to the SR2. One of my hard-to-get stations is KVCR, Riverside. Only the SR2 and E5 after adjusting the telescoping antenna will receive this station. SW performance off the whip is good, almost as sensitive but not equal to the Sony 2010. I actually appreciate that the wide/narrow bandwidth filter is selectable when the BFO is on; this is generally viewed as a sign of low quality in an HF receiver as higher quality HF receivers have separate LSB and USB filters that are deliberately narrow to reject adjacent channel interference. But I prefer listening to SSB in higher fidelity on a "cheap" receiver with wider IF pass band. The speaker sound can be described as crisp which for my needs is a good thing as I use the E5 for listening to news/talk. The displayed frequency has good legibility and contrast and the LCD back light is very bright. Minuses: Funky ergonomics. The keypad and display have bi-polar disorder, they may be in either page mode or clock mode. If you wish to access the memories via the 7 direct access buttons the radio must be in page mode, else you will land on some random SW frequency. The 4 character alpha display for page ID is a mixture of lower-case and upper-case letters and is of a a font style that I can best describe as "stoned". Finally, the clock in my sample gains about 1 minute per week. This radio replaces a Realistic DX-440 (Sangean ATS-803A clone). Except for less bassy audio, the E5 is a better radio and about ¼ the size.

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