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July 23, 2011


vimal oberoi

An interesting reading''Imperfect Sound Forever
Why some enthusiasts are going back to vintage audio gear'' https://www.soundandvisionmag.com/blog/2011/07/19/imperfect-sound-forever?cmpid=enews072211 “Vintage equipment is built to last, too,” he continued. “The products in my store have been working for 20, 30, 40 years. That’s probably not going to happen with home theater gear. The manufacturers know you’ll be replacing a new receiver in three to five years to get the latest technology, so why should they build them to last?”

Robert Richmond

I am thinking AC power cycled on and off a couple of times yesterday while I was away from home, which I suppose might have been the catalyst needed for the radio to finally fail. Still, with that said, I have a whole-house surge protector, the radio was on a decent surge protector, the radio was turned off, and it should still fall back to batteries when power is cut. It even had alkaline batteries installed with the integrated charger disabled. I also have a large number of much more sensitive electronics, and none of them were affected.

The reason I said "finally fail" is because some of the PL-660 features had seemed a little quirky for awhile. For example, the backlight control sometimes seemed to have a mind of its own, but given the low price point, I was still satisfied since the PL-660 otherwise had audio quality exceeding my Sony 7600GR and offered good reception for an affordable portable.

The occasional electronics failure happens, and for around $100, I would still recommend trying the Tecsun PL-660. However, if one can deal with the comparatively limited sound quality of the Sony 7600GR, it is probably the better buy for about $30 more - IMO, of course. Given I already have a 7600GR and am not a big fan of its internal speaker, I am thinking that I might as well try a Grundig G3, which I can conveniently pickup at a local Radio Shack store.

BTW, I have not purchased another Eton or Grundig since buying a 350DL - great sound, but abysmal build quality. It was fine for awhile, but it eventually developed the tuning problems often associated with the model. Think I worked on the tuning stage two to three times, plus I reflowed various solder joints a few times. Dealing with the radio got annoying enough that I eventually stripped it down to harvest parts for other projects.


I had a G3 in perfect working condition that I returned for two reasons. One, it seriously overloaded on am with an external antenna and I didn't like the audio from the speaker. It's audio is better than the Sony 7600GR but nowhere near as good as the Tecsun. It's rubber coating also rubs off on your fingers. It's not a bad radio, I just don't think it's worth 150 bucks.


Believe me: you will be disappointed in the Grundig. My Tecsun PL660 is a much better radio than the G3 that I returned. Same problem for me: horrible audio and the front end overloaded horribly.

My suggestion? Since the PL660 is already a "known quantity" to you, why not get another one? It's quite possible that your 660 was a lemon, and a replacement will more than likely last.

Robert Richmond

I still have the failed Tecsun PL-660 in storage. I might eventually get around to opening it up for a closer look. As previously noted, my PL-660 seemed quirky for awhile before failing. I just overlooked any issues since it was otherwise still fulfilling its role with adequate receiver performance.

I did today pickup a Grundig G3 from a local RS store. It is tiny, but it still sounds better than my Sony 7600GR. It is being used as a nightstand radio, so it is not like I am looking to these portables for serious receiving. I also generally prefer HF band broadcasts, so mediumwave and FM are not overly particular concerns. Overload is not much of a concern either considering I am using a ground-level antenna (probably -20dB or worse) and have a MFJ-1020C preselector/amp available for gain control if absolutely required.

From a build quality standpoint, not that I will be likely using the telescoping antenna much, but I did note the G3 antenna is tragically flimsy towards the last couple of sections. I might change it out assuming the radio stays in active rotation and keeps my interest for more than a few weeks.

As to receiver performance, I have only rolled through a few broadcast stations after picking up the G3, but it seems okay for a nightstand radio. Upon a quick listen, the 7600GR and PL-660 probably have better automatic sync circuit performance, but the G3 appeared stable enough for basic ECSS on a talk station I briefly tested, so the issue could be a toss up. I will hopefully know more after a few days of use.

BTW, I also picked up a Grundig S450DLX while at the store, and before someone even bothers, I am already well aware of the random quality control issues. It was more of a personal interest purchase than anything serious, as in I wanted to see if Eton actually addressed some of the more common issues with the previous S350DL.

On the downside, the S450DLX still feels cheaply constructed, and Eton apparently can not be bothered to spend maybe $4 in parts to integrate a BFO for basic SSB tuning. On the upside, the S450DLX sounds about like I remember the S350DL sounding, the double conversion design is a welcome addition, plus it actually tunes and holds frequencies. !!

I am not sure the S450DLX is worth $90 (current RS "sale" price), but if nothing else, it will probably go into rotation as my occasional outdoors radio for local stations and a few of the big shortwave broadcasters due to its large internal speaker for sheer volume and six D batteries for power.


My Degen died after two weeks. They are all made by the same China factory; Degen, Kaito, Tecsun, Grundig.

You should make a review video for Youtube with your broken Tecsun. End the video wailing on it with a 5 pound sledge. That should make you feel better.


Hi Friends
I have just brought a Tecsun Pl660 from ebay , it is latest build version. On first day itself , it has gone in Timer mode ( Timer is flashing & none of the key working. I tried to reset / remove Batteries , but still same timer screen continues with a clock progessing. What could be issue? A help to restore unit to factory is appreciated.
Thank you


I got almost a year out of my Tecsun before it's tuning began to fail. Tuning upwards in slow mode I would watch the digits click by... 31 32 33 31 34 35 36 37 38 37 38 40 39 40... It only did this occasionally and only when tuning upward at first, now it does it in both directions in slow or fast tune. Not to mention the stand broke off the second month LOL. I was trying to use it tonight... The digital display doing its hokey-pokey while the electronic kept it lock solid just a hair off radio Havana. Once I tuned up to 10,000 and was still listening to Radio Havana, I turned it off and then back on and whammo... wwv rock solid. I have tried resetting it a handful of times but no luck. I got my money out of it though... Almost a year of solid service for $119? I have a degen 1103 for portable with an amplified loop antenna (which works surprisingly well by the way) to tide me over until tax time. Eton/Grundig has a new field radio and a new satellit coming out second quarter 2014 that both look enticing. I loved the audio quality on the Tecsun though. It will be missed.

Carlos Eduardo

My PL-660 died after a couple months and maybe 5 or 6 uses, very little listening time. Sad. It keeps cycling on timer mode as stated by someone here. After hours without batteries I cant get it on again, but the keys works for just a couple minutes, than stop working and then its a brick again.. :(

Sad. Was expecting more from the good reviews I read online.


I just bought a Tecsun PL-660. Im now really concerned after reading all the poor reviews because there are literally over a hundred.

One customer bought a new unit and was supplied with a refurbished unit, however he only noticed it after the warranty expired and the unit stopped working. He opened the unit and saw it had been refurbished. All these Chinese manufactured world band receivers have a lot of bad reviews.

This will be my first ever world band receiver, I really hope it will not be a disappointment :(

And it cost a lot of money too, here in the 3rd world we have to pay 14x for something where the 1st world pay only once for the same product due to the exchange rate.

I really hope I did not waste my money :(

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