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December 03, 2011



Thanks for the additional info, Jules.

I'm surprised that the PL-390 is so much more sensitive on SW than the PL-660.

I have a PL-380, and I find the audio rather shrill. I'm glad to hear that the PL-390 has better audio. The PL-380 has lots of false tones on MW AM. I understand that on the PL-390 this problem is reduced, probably due to the much longer ferrite bar antenna.

The worst feature of the PL-380 for me is that I can't listen to SW with headphones when also using a clip on, roll up antenna. For some reason, doing this seems to cancel out almost all of the signals. Stations that are clearly heard when using the roll up antenna and the speaker practically disappear when headphones are plugged in. It does this with all headphones that I've tried. It acts like it's treating the headphone wire as an out of phase antenna. Very odd.

I also own a Sony ICF-2010. I have only one radio that has a better sync detector than the 2010: my Grundig Satellit 800. The 800 also has a selectable slow AGC, which helps a lot with signals plagued with rapid fading.

vimal oberoi

What a comparison,it seems PL390 is a DSP wonder at it's best.


I don't think this is a fair comparison between the PL-390 and the PL-660 since most of your results are from automatic bandscanning. PL-390's ETM feature works differently (and better than) the autoscan feature on the PL-660. Thia gives the false impression of a more sensitive PL-390. It seems that you manually tuned the PL-660 only for 3945 Vanuatu and 5020 SIBC.

Can you please clarify? Did you compare the radios mostly based on autoscan or ETM detected stations?

A more accurate comparison would be to manually tune both radios at the same time over the same bands, and see how many stations you can detect.


I used the VF scan function as the PL-660 lacks ETM. I manually entered each station found with the PL-390 into the PL-660 at the same time and logged and rated what the scan and manual tuning found. I have performed several tests with manual tuning, and wanted to see if it was better at picking up stations using the scanning features. I don't use the scanning functions in normal use. I sent more detailed results to Jeff - he can post them. I'll just say that the PL-660 is comparable on FM, well behind on MW and SW. I'm off to bed...too many odd hours spent with headphones on lately and it's cold and windy out. Tomorrow I'm testing the new toy with my external antennas. 73


Well this is very interesting. I don't have either radio, and have been looking at both. Surprised that the PL-660 fares so poorly on SW compared to the PL-390. Thanks.

Jeffrey McMahon

If the 390 came with an AC adapter, I might be interested but too much fuss without one.


Mine came with an adaptor...depends on who you buy it from. One eBay seller even throws in a cheap IPod knockoff with your order. I like the fact that all of the Tecsun DSP radios take the same 3v USB adaptor as my Degen DE1127 - only have to pack one that way. I generally use Eneloops in my radios, and they lasted five weeks in the PL-310 with heavy use. I wonder how long they'll last in the PL-390, given the extra speaker.

I'll be packing them for a long holiday and DXpedition soon...can't wait!


Paul, if you're looking to buy a small, relatively inexpensive SW radio, I'd recommend the Degen DE1103. I don't love the ergonomics but it's a good, sensitive radio with full SW coverage and SSB for about 80.00 shipped. Good luck!


The PL390 is a wonderful small radio in terms of sensitivity and selectivity...but there are two aspects that bother me about it: In my opinion the sound isn't great even considering the size of the radio. I've bought a dirt cheap mp3 fm radio (chinese of course) smaller than the 390 and the sound is far more pleasant. The other aspect also linked to audio is the factory setting for the digital volume, the lower setting is too loud..

A. Black

@Jeffrey, My Jensen 1700 universal adapter works with my Tecsun PL-660 (except you should not use universal adapters to perform in-radio recharging of rechargeable batteries according to Jensen but only to run the radio) so that adapter would likely work with the PL-390 too.



You picked up 121 listenable SW frequencies on your PL-390? My god. Where do you live?


East coast of Australia. 133 SW stations, the vast majority (at that time of night) from Asia. The PL-390 continues to surprise: on Saturday afternoon I heard Galei Zahal (5/non-directional from Tel Aviv) loud and clear - couldn't hear it on all the others but my 2010.

Ed S.

I have PL 390 too, and while I thought it sounded good, I was recently given a Kindle Fire, and its 2 tiny built-in speakers actually sound better than the 390. I was amazed. Of course it is streaming Internet radio, which is usually a good clean signal to start with, but still...

Jack K.

Jeff - I too was very reluctant knowing this did not have a standard AC adapter, but after 8 months of use - I don't miss it. I can use this radio all day and plug it in at night to recharge, or charge during the day and listen at night.

You can easily purchase a USB charger that goes into an outlet and run it like that. (I use a Verizon cord from an old phone as well as a USB cord that will charge from my laptop.) Just saying, for under $70, this is definitely worth having around.

Arnfinn Hystad

The oil platforms in the North Sea has many helicopter beacon (NDB) and sometimes it can be good to he brought a listening instrument when you have tuned ndb antenna etc. These sends approximately 440 - 500khz and the question is whether some hr tested this radio to listen to ndb?

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