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on November 2, 2000
I might have only given this radio three stars, but I think it gets a fourth for the performance it delievers at it price level.
AM and FM reception are quite good for a little radio like this. Shortwave reception is mixed. On one hand, you can pick up many stations, not just the big high-powered broadcasters that you get on low priced radios (BBC, CBC, etc.). On the other hand, they come with a lot of noise and fading distortion, and you get nothing but a local/DX switch to try to improve the situation. There's no ability to micro-tune, switchable audio or bandwidth filters, etc. I therefore feel that this is definintely an above-average radio on SW for its price, but that enthusiasts should spend more money and get something that will make distant or weak stations more pleasant to listen to. (Then again, I have come to believe that internet broadcasting is going to render SW obsolete in the U.S. and similarly developed countries, so maybe a mega-buck radio is just an unncessary expense.)
Sound quality through the internal speaker is poor. I assume this is because Grundig made a design decision to minimize battery consumption, size and weight, but that comes at the expense of a decent audio section. The sound is adequate for desktop or bedside listening of voice broadcasts. But music is tinny and the radio doesn't have enough juice to play across a mid-sized domestic room without distorting. Headphone listening is significantly better. If you think of it more as a walkman-type radio with a courtesy speaker for when the phones are inconvenient, you'll probably be pretty satisfied.
The radio is pretty easy to operate, looks good, and doesn't feel cheap. The sleep timer is a nice convenience. There are a couple things that bugged me though. One is that you have to shift between high and low shortwave bands, and cycle through FM and AM to get from SW2 down to SW1. Annoying and anachronistic. The second is that you lose your presets and clock time when your batteries go dead. I wouldn't have minded some more presets either, since I like to set favorite short-wave braodcasters on several of their frequencies to pick the clearest signal at any given time.
The radio is a good value, especially when it is discounted. With the "PE" version, not only do you get an above-average radio for the money, you get the ac adaptor, headphones, wire antenna, cheesy case, and a booklet, too. Some of their competitors make you buy this stuff separately for a good $20 or so.
Finally, a word of warning. There is some older stock of this radio floating around that appears identical to current production but has less frequency coverage than the current model (and may lack some other electronic impovements too). I actually got stuck with one of the older ones.
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on May 31, 2000
I wanted a highly portable am/fm stereo radio, with provision for ac adapter and stereo headphone jack, with excellent fm stereo reception. The shortwave is a bonus I'll figure out later. In the meantime, I got everything I wanted. The fm reception is outstanding. As a test, I set it up on my office desk, at least 6 feet from the nearest window, using the ac. I work in a high rise amidst a forest of high rises in midtown Manhattan, a very tough fm reception location. This radio pulled in excellent stereo reception of WBGO 88.3, WFUV (Fordham) 90.7, and WNYC (93.9), all of which will be familiar to NYC listeners as great but low-powered public radio stations at the low end of the dial that are hard to get. The sound is excellent through the headphone jack. The reception is at least as good as the Kloss Model 88 (which I still highly recommend, and which is permanently ensconced on my window sill with a Magnum Dynalab Silver Ribbon antenna). I can't ask for anything more.
The only reason I give 4 rather than 5 stars is that I have not attempted to seriously appraise the model's shortwave performance.
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on February 19, 2000
This radio has very good sensitvity to FM, MW and Shortwave. Its sensitivity is almost as good as my Grundig 400PE, but some of the other specs aren't quite as good which I would expect for a receiver that is about half the price of the 400 PE. Its power consuption is better than the 400 PE too. It's smaller size (than the 400 PE), very good designed, easy to use controls, good sound quality along with an excellent read out offers a good value. I like this radio's abliliy to quickly get to the frequency I am interested in. This is a fine little radio--- four stars.
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on March 2, 2002
My wife bought this little beauty for me as a gift. Planning to live in Africa for an extended period, I wanted a radio with shortwave to tune into the BBC and Voice of America. Further, I wanted one with solid AM and FM reception to listen to local stations. I was pleased on both counts.
Learning to find shortwave stations was easier than I'd expected, and the presets for each band made it easy to toggle to different frequencies for better reception during the broadcasts. AM and FM reception were admirable in our remote village, certainly faring better than the radios of our neighbors. I was also quite impressed by the battery life, especially considering that only three AA batteries are required.
A few reviews here have noted that the radio's sound quality is not the best. I'm not an audiophile and thus won't quibble with them. For a mono-speaker radio, however, I think that it sounds quite good.
The carrying case is quite nice, and the headphones are average earbuds. The AM wire antenna actually helped quite a bit to improve the signal. The radio is definitely slick-looking, and stood up quite well to the abuse we put it through (only a few nicks and scratches).
Overall, this is a very solid radio, and at a great price from a well-respected manufacturer!
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on February 19, 2000
This radio has outstanding AM and FM reception compared to standard radios. I live in the northern part of Toronto and can clearly recieve Buffalo AM stations which is not the case with the other radios I own.
I don't have enough experience with Shortwave to speak to the quality of that feature.
Each band (AM, FM, SW1 and SW2) has 6 memory presets. In addition, you can direct enter any frequency you want which is rare in a radio these days.
My only complaint about this radio is its behaviour when the batteries run low. Instead of just shutting itself off for good, this Grundig radio starts to reproduce static and will shut itself off when a crackle is particularly loud. Yet you can turn the radio back on and it will go for another 5 minutes.
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on November 12, 2000
I took the radio I had been using in my home office to my office on campus, and needed a replacement for it. I ordered the Grundig YB 300PE and love it. It is easy to tune, and easy to handle, and all in a compact, pleasant looking case. When my wife saw it she liked it so much that I had to order another for her. The radio is a pleasant addition to my home office - good tone - good looks - easy operation!
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on December 29, 1999
Not a good buy Very poor speaker, even for a small one. Adjacent channel and bleed over occurs frequently on FM and AM even from stations that are many miles away. Controls are somewhat confusing.Not one of Chinas better exports.
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on December 8, 2001
The 1st 300PE I bought was dead in one month. It just shut by itself. I like its sound so I bought another one. It worked fine after one year. I like its AM/FM sound quality- very clear. I plug it in to an external speaker and it is good. Shortwave is just average - sensitive anough but with a lot of noise and drifting. When I change battery, I have to re-set memory and clock - I hate this, very inconvenient. Also I may have to reset it (a tiny hole in the back), or nothing works-another inconvenience.
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on November 15, 2003
During any given week, I probably listen to more radio than I watch TV. Public radio and shortwave might be my main sources of broadcast news and current events.
The Yacht Boy 300 PE is among the better battery-powered portables I've come across when it comes to FM reception, and it compares well with Tivoli and Boston Acoustics radios, which are excellent. I can't speak for the AM section, since I rarely listen to it. Some here have been critical of the sound from the 300's speaker, but I have no complaints. You can't expect high volume or big bass from such a small radio.
The 300's shortwave reception is very good for the price. I listen almost exclusively with just the built-in whip antenna, but there is an external wire antenna included that improves reception in some cases. A local/DX switch provides attenuation on strong signals to avoid overload, and all 13 broadcast bands are covered. Sensitivity is very good, and selectivity more than adequate.
The 300 comes with everything you need in the box, so you get a good bit for your money. The radio comes with an AC adapter, batteries, earphones, and a carry case. Like all Grundig radios I've seen, a guide to shortwave listening is included as well; a nice touch.
I tend to prefer analog tuners to digital, despite their supposed inconveniences. To me, scanning the bands is just easier with analog, or at least a rotary knob. The 300 has the usual push-buttons for tuning, but that's likely to appeal to listeners who aren't old-fashioned like I am. At any rate, the controls are logically laid out and easy enough to operate. Even I have to admit the presets are sometimes handy, and the clock and sleep timer are nice to have.
Battery life is good, but like any digitally-controlled radio that has a clock, some current is consumed even with the radio turned off. Take the batteries out if the radio isn't going to be used for a while and unplugged from AC.
Overall, I'd recommend the YB 300. The build quality seems good, all the accessories are included, and its reception is good. No radio in this price range is going to be perfect, but I give it at least four stars for what it does at its price point.
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on February 25, 2005
This radio is a great value in a PLL-digitally-tuned radio. It is being phased out in favor of the Eton/Grundig E100. These days there has been a trend for analog-tuned radios with digital frequency counters like the Grundig 350 field radio. While these radios are easy to tune and bandscan, they do not have any memory presets and the tuning drifts after a few hours based on temperature and humidity. The Grundig YB300PE, on the other hand, is a true digital radio and has 24 memories. The memories are a boon for FM/AM listeners like me who like to "channel surf" during the long 12-minute commercial breaks on Howard Stern and the Don & Mike show. The direct frequency input is unheard of at this price, especially for a Grundig. Granted, this radio is no longer made in Taiwan but mainland China (the box actually says "QUALITY PRODUCT MADE IN CHINA" in big letters, possibly in response to the reviews it gets in the Passport to World Band Radio book).

The extras that are included with this radio cost almost as much as the radio itself: a quality AC adapter that doesn't introduce that annoying 60 Hz hum, a reel antenna, a carrying case, earbuds, and a lanyard that is actually really handy (the radio is much smaller than you might imagine from the pictures). It runs on 3 AA batteries for what seems like forever in FM, and only a little shorter when always in AM or shortwave (cheap off-brand AA batteries are included).

I can't really say that the speaker is useful for those who want to hear music but those folks are better off with the YB400PE, the larger cousin of this unit, or even Sony ICF-SW7600G. No single-sideband is available but if you're serious about something like that you won't be buying a radio at this price, anyway.

Overall a good radio for AM and FM digital preset channel surfers like me and the occasional jaunt into shortwave. A great clock radio for travelling, too.
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