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April 08, 2013



To top it off (literally), when I was testing on FM I noticed that the top of the whip antenna is seriously bent. It's pretty likely that this was an item previously returned to Amazon, and it's going to be returned again, so they can ship it to another customer who will be disappointed.


So twelve years after the Sony 7600GR began production, your choices for a new top-shelf shortwave portable are the Sony or the Tecsun PL-660, that's it. Pretty depressing..

Keith Beesley

Gary, if you really want one, keep trying. Mine works very well on SW,FM and VHF air band. Not as sensitive on AM as, e.g., the KA 1103, but I have other good AM radios.

Bob C

I was lucky and got a good one from Amazon. It just arrived yesterday and - believe me - I gave it a pretty thorough test on all bands. All worked just fine.

Here's the telling thing: I now have three G3s and each has slightly different reception characteristics. One is a little weaker and noisier on MW than the others (yet still fine on FM and SW), so it gets to be a "beater". The others offer very good to excellent performance.

Interestingly, I have the Sony, but am not a fan of it. The FM tuner on it sucks and the MW is not much better than the G3, G5 or PL-600. Tuning shortwave with the up/down pressing of the buttons is a boring chore. The Grundigs and Tecsuns are far more user-friendly, IMO.


Jay Allen just got one of the cheap Amazon G3's as well. He said the sync works very well on his sample (unlike mine), but the sound is more hissy than his original G3, with lots of digital noises on MW AM.

I'm sure there are G3's that work, and Jay's earlier sample is one of them. I'm just not sure how much effort I'm willing to expend to get one. I read somewhere that the G3 has been discontinued. Maybe Eton dumped all of their remaining defective G3's on Amazon for sale as new units.


One feature of the G3 I find rather annoying is the so-called 31-step digital volume control. On my sample, the first step that provides a volume louder than a whisper is level 8. By level 13 it's getting too loud to be used in close proximity. So it's more like a 6-step volume control for my purposes, with big changes between each of those 6 levels.


I received my Amazon.com $52 Grundig G3, today. I have owned the older Eton E5 for several years, and have been interested in the G3 for the sync detector and selectable SSB upgrades. The unit I received is definitely pre-owned, as the wall wart cord was knotted in a well worn wire tie, and the stock rechargeable AA cells were missing.

First, the good...

Sync detector works quite well, with a nice lock-width using either side band and signal strength of just two bars

FM reception is excellent on fringe stations in head-to-head comparisons with my modified Eton E5 (miss the high frequency rolloff switch, though)

Frequency readout is spot on with the fine tuning control centered

HF/SW sensitivity comparable to my E5, which is excellent

The not-so-good:

Deaf on the AM BCB, to the point where a cheap 30 year old GE clock radio has it beat by far.

Volume control tailoring slope shows almost no audio gain from 0 to 10; at 11, it jumps to life. A nominal gain of 20 is needed to fill a small bedroom adequately. My Eton E5 fills the room at 10, on the same 0 to 31 scale.

With the volume at 20 in the Sync or SSB modes, which is nominally necessary, the audio has a gurgling distortion, as if there is excessive current draw or inadequate V+ decoupling pulling down the V+ line to those circuits. This occurs both with fresh batteries or the wall wart supply. I also tried the wall wart from my E5 and had the same issues.

Audio quality in AM mode, wide bandwidth, is screechy and irritating.

Plenty of digital whine that is typical with a poorly shielded display, at all volume levels and in every mode but FM.

I suspect if I opened it up and correctly bonded the display shield, increased all the V+ decoupling caps on the low signal level buses, and fattened up the audio coupling capacitors it would be 75% of the E5.

By the way, this is the third G3 I have purchased in the last 14 months...the others were also returned to their respective vendors for other poor QC issues. My Eton E5 was purchased as a re-pack, was physically perfect, and worked superbly right out of the box.

As a broadcast engineer, communications equipment designer, and broadcast professional, I am not a
stranger to making repairs or improvements to communications gear. But, Amazon represented the product as new. This was not the case here, so it will be returned.

vimal oberoi

Is Amazon.com selling used, defective Grundig G3′s?
Posted on April 10, 2013 by Thomas


Bob Balser

It seems best to ignore Grundig as a once reliable brand & just realise these are mass produced in China

Alex K

I received a brand-new G3 at the $47.21 price from Amazon on Saturday. It was sealed, and clearly not a return. This was my second G3 purchased from Amazon so far.

The first G3 I bought was around Christmas, a gift for my nephew who is 12. I tested it alongside my G5. I also tested my new $47 G3 alongside the same G5. Both G3's appear to have the same primary disadvantages in comparison with the G5:

-Tinny audio
-Less sensitivity on SW
-Tuning using the encoder is slower (more effort)
-Volume control range / resolution as described above (made me chuckle!)

The synchronous detection is a nice feature, but it doesn't work well enough or consistently enough for me. I have lots of other radios, so I don't particularly care.

I consider the G3 at that price kind of like a good value FM radio that also has some mixed bag of "fair" to "good" AM performance.

At some point I will compare the two G3's when I see my nephew again. Also a friend of mine bought one at the same price, but I have yet to hear if his was a dud or not. It'd be luck if we can get all three G3's together to see if they are consistent. We'll soon see.


I got my replacement G3 today from Amazon. From the way it was packed, I don't think this was a returned unit as my first one was.

Cosmetically, it's much better than the first one. The whip antenna is straight, but there is a slight ding in the base section of the antenna. There are no scuff marks on the case.

The sync locks on frequency with no C113 adjustment needed, and USB/LSB sound very similar.

MW AM is still pretty bad, although maybe just a tiny bit better than the first one with respect to sensitivity and internal noise. Many of the stations I regularly listen to need an external loop to reduce internally-generated hets and other digital garbage, including even 50 kW KNX 1070, which has a strong het around 1066 kHz (on the first unit the het is at 1073 kHz). Normally the sync detector would be useful to reduce this tone, but KNX is an IBOC (HD Radio) station, so using SSB sync causes a rushing noise.

On SW it seems as sensitive as the first one, and the sync never seems to lose lock on fades. In sync mode it sounds very nice on SW.

Unlike the first one (after the C113 adjustment), this one sounds best on frequency with non-sync AM, not tuned 1 kHz high. Like the first one, it sounds somewhat raspy and shrill in non-sync AM, but it's not quite as bad.

On FM it performs very well, as did the first one.

Based on what I know so far, I'll keep it for SW AM and SSB (and perhaps FM), but I'll probably use my other, quieter radios for MW AM.

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