Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Eton Grundig Satellit 750 Ultimate AM/FM Stereo also Receives Shortwave, Aircraft Bands - Black (NGSAT750B)
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on June 16, 2009
I've been playing with my new Grundig Satellit 750 for several weeks and believe that I am now ready to give it an honest review after making performance comparisons with my other receivers, namely, the Panason RF-2200, the Sony ICF-6500W, the Sony ICF-2001D, and the GE Superadio III.

Build Quality:
I removed the back of the Grundig 750 and was amazed to find a very well layed out design. Looking from the rear, the speaker, with its huge magnet, was sitting there all alone with plenty of room for reverb. For a portable radio of this size, an impressive looking audio amp was the only component sharing this compartment. To the left of the speaker was a large printed wire board (PWB) that was mounted to what appeared to be a box in a box (with the radio chassis being the main box and the inside box framing everything on the front panel except the speaker). The PWB had its wire side facing to the rear of the radio and was essentially the cover of the box I mentioned, so I was not able to observe the number of components inside the radio or on the PWB. This main PWB had two large metal shields soldered to the wire side of the PWB, obviously to eliminate spurs. I removed about 8 screws from this main PWB in an attempt to remove it to view the rest of this beauty but decided not to go any further because there were numerous hard mounted plugs around the edges of the board and I did not want to risk breaking anything. So I stopped the disassembly process. I'll just say this. It was obvious from the design that this is a modern, clean, computer generated design.

The only build quality cons worth mentioning are: 1) this radio direly needs a foot to prop up the front (I used a 15 inch triangular architectural-ruler which worked perfectly); 2) the bottom section of the whip antenna was too tight ( I expect that many Grundig 750's, like the Panasonic RF-2200, will end up with a broken whip antenna.); 3) the ferrite MW antenna must use spring contacts that seem to lose contact at times - MW reception goes blank at times and a slight movement of the rotatable antenna corrects it - not a big issue, it only happened once during the week of testing.

Performance in a nutshell: For Shortwave, I would say that with the exception of the lack of SYNC mode, this Grundig 750's selectivity, sensitivity, and SSB usefulness are as good or better than the Sony ICF-2001D (2010). Tuning the SSB Ham bands was easy, and once tuned, it remained rock steady, absolutely no drift was observed. MW performance was the same as the Sony ICF-2001 except at frequencies above 900MHZ the Grundig far outperformed the Sony. FM performance was superior to the Sony plus the Grundig provides FM Stereo when using an external amplifier or a stereo headset.

Cons:
1) I find the memory usage of this radio to be too complex with the exception of using it in conjunction with the ATS mode which works very well. This is one area where the Sony ICF-2010 beats the Grundig. Sony's simple direct memory buttons are very handy and useful when compared to the memory sequence required by this Grundig (again, except ATS). By the time you finish sequencing this memory system you may as well just punch in the frequency directly. Speaking of memory usage, the radio provides a push-button switch labeled VM/VF. Via the manual I know that this switch is used to change the PAGE mode, but what does VM/VF mean?

2)The manual is severely lacking. It does not give proper information of the workings of the up/down switch and its relationship to the FAST/SLOW switch. Also, the manual fails to point out many of the features of this radio including its SCAN capabilities versus bands. (For those who may not know, this radio is capable of scanning the bands identified as Broadcast Bands by holding either the up or down switch for more than a couple of seconds. While Scanning, it will stop on strong stations for 5 seconds and can be stopped by hitting the up/down button again. Also while scanning, it will automatically skip the non-broadcast bands - I like that.).

Pros:
1)Very pleasing audio. After listening to this radio for hours while working at my desktop computer, I can say without hesitation that it has the most pleasing audio of any of my portable radios. I would call the audio quality extremely pleasing for personal listening. I agree that the GE Superadio and the Panasonic RF-2200 have great audio, but they are both a little boomy compared to this Grundig.

2)Except for the lack of a front foot to prop up the front, the design layout and ease of use could not be better. The feel and usability of the main frequency dial is superb.

3)The rotatable MW ferrite antenna works great except for the scratchy contacts that I hope Grundig corrects, but I would not put off buying the 750 for this reason.

4)Like most Grundig's before it, the 750 has the looks of a serious, great looking, communications receiver.

Conclusion:
To me, the discontinued Sony ICF-2010 has met its match, or should I say its replacement. And unlike the poor audio quality of the Sony, this Grundig has very pleasing audio. The only advantage of the Sony over this Grundig is smaller size and the fact that the Sony has a SYNC mode. So if you are looking for a great entry level digital portable radio, and the discontinued Grundig 800 is too large, this may be it.
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on February 22, 2009
I finally took the plunge and had to find out for myself about this nice looking radio. People complained about SSB reception and the Filters. I was glad I made the decision to purchase this radio as my radio has none of these issues with a serial number in the 1400's! A QSO was going on this morning on 3872.00. I turned on my Yaesu HF rig to verify the this was exactly 3872.00 LSB. To start the comparison against several other radios, I placed the ETON E-1 on 3872.00 and hit LSB and bingo, audio was fine as you would expect it to be. Time for the Sony ICF-2010. Same results, first I hit the USB and audio was weak but audible, hit the correct LSB setting and audio was loud and clear.

OK, now onto the Satellit 750. Placed the radio on 3872, hit USB, BFO set at 1 o'clock position, Normal, and audio was weak but audible, hit LSB and audio was strong and clear. The 750 acted exactly the same as the Sony did .....

This tells me that the 750 has absolutely no issues with SSB reception...

Naturally the operating instructions are not clear on the 1 o'clock position for SSB control. It came from the factory set at 1 o'clock. My Collins 75A-4 has a 1 o'clock position for LSB and a 11 o'clock position for USB, the 750 acts the same way... Since the 750 tunes in 1 KHz steps, you will need to tune the SSB knob at times, but the USB and LSB bandpass circuitry is fine. Yes they should have made the radio tune in 100Hz steps when SSB is on, but that is not the case. The E-1 does tune in 10 Hz steps so it does not need this. The Sony tunes in 100 Hz steps so you can get SSB Close but not exact.. For that reason the 750 is better than the ICF-2010... I used the narrow filter for these test.

OK, now to the issue of the wide filter... After playing with this for about 10 minutes on local AM stations and I mean STARING closely at the S-meter, I would say that the filter has a very slight kick up on the very edges, I mean out at 4 KHz offset. + or - 3 KHz the signal just rolls off, normal operation, as you hit 4 KHz on each end the S-meter might move up a tad, but at 4 KHz you are already loosing signal and reaching the end of the filter. But +- 2 khz the S-meter is flat.. If something is obvious, I do not see it. Tune in a station, S-meter is peaked , tune away either side and the s-meter will fall off as you hit 5 KHz in wide mode. I used the attenuator to keep the s-meter in its mid range.

I am not saying something is not present, but after close examination I see nothing that indicates a problem. I have the Scott and BR sports show on now, 1090, XX1090 San Diego, and have it in wide position for full audio... Sounds great!

OK, all this positive talk, must be something that concerns me, right?? I do have a concern about the battery cover. It does look very delicate, as does the entire radio. This is not a radio to drag off to the beach,,, This is not to say that the battery cover is not strong and one just needs to be careful. The E-1 battery cover has the same concern but so far after many battery changes, the Eton E-1 cover is still fine.

This radio is a fun to use. Keyboard entry is fast and flawless, can't say that about the E-1. E-1 needs to have the decimal pushed, 750 does not... I have not got into the memory or scan functions or timer mode yet.. That should be straightforward...

The Monitoring Times review is way out of line... He made non qualified assumptions with many parts of the evaluation. He was concerned it was only a dual conversion and not a triple conversion and might have issues with strong local signals. Here in San Diego, NOT THE CASE.... Plus with an RF gain and 3 position attenuator, you would never have an issue. With Zero attenuation and full RF gain and tuning around a 75K watt AM station, 690, no issues, and I was able to NULL out with the top antenna 90% of this powerhouse station.. Larry Van Horn has done a great injustice to this radio in Monitoring Times. I was skeptical, but had to just prove to myself, I am glad I took the plunge, this radio is not being packed up for return to Amazon... Now I have to figure out where it is going to go in the house. I honestly think it may replace the Sony ICF-6800W now sitting next to my Sangean WFR-1 WiFi radio.. You just have to love radios that have a real S-meter to use...
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on March 11, 2009
Grundig definitely has a winner with with the Satellit 750 radio! I am extremely impressed right out of the box with how well it performs on its own attached whip telescopic antenna and its rotatble ferrite rod antenna even for quite weak signals with both very good sensitivity as well as selectivity on ALL bands. The current price of about $ 220 on Amazon (including FREE shipping) is a fantastic value and should be a great bargain for many avid radio listeners.

PROS:

1) A double conversion, PLL (Phase-locked loop), fully digital portable radio that that comes with a AC/DC power adaptor and a readable, but too brief manual.

2) Excellent weak signal reception on ALL bands (AM/FM/SW/LW/Airband) using four separate band selector switches. It really performs very well! The LW band is simply selected by double clicking on the AM band control switch.

3) It has very useful bass and treble tone dials with fm stereo through earphones (NOT supplied) as well as a continuously variable RF gain knob as well as a continuously variable Squelch control (for the airband).

4) A separate backlight control that nicely illuminates the display as well as two alarms for wake-up/snooze,etc.

5) A dedicated wide/narrow bandwidth control switch and a SSB (single-sideband) switch whose functions are controlled for the USB (upper side-band) and LSB (Lower side-band) choices by as separate BFO (Beat frequency oscillator) control dial. On my unit this system is very stable and works extremely well. If you change bands and come back to SW however you will have to reset up the USB/LSB and SSB choice to get back to your previous SSB selection however. The two bandwidth choices (Narrow/wide) on the Satellit 750 are usually adequate, but not as good as those currently available on the Kaito series of KA1101/KA1102/KA1103 or of the Tecsun PL-450/PL-600 radios in my opinion.

6) Numerous tuning methods are available including a fine or a coarse tuning setting button for ALL bands and including an ATS storage system for 1000 presets (automatic tuning system), direct keyboard frequency entry without hitting an "ENTER" key, up/down scanning keys, a fine and smooth, manual tuning knob with a dimple for your finger, etc.

7) Very high quality and very readable backlight controlled display with many many icons for indicating battery life, wide/narrow bandwidth filter setting choice, RF gain attenuation, external/internal antenna choice, fm stereo setting, etc. Clock time and station frequency are displayed simultaneously, with the meter band setting also briefly replacing the clock display during tuning of the system.

8) Good battery life is available using only 4 D cell batteries and the unit can be separately powered by the included AC/DC adaptor as well.

9) Easy channel memory presetting and automatic preset recall of the 1000 preset memory locations (100 for each band, plus 500 presets which can be arbitrarily chosen by the user).

10) It has an easy to use reset control button (but it is located too close to the manual tuning knob).

11) There are ports for two types of external antennas (with both high and low impedance type jacks available). In addition the internal ferrite rod antenna can be fully rotated manually on the top of the unit for optimizing the detection of AM signals and thefully extendable telescopic whip antenna (for FM/SW/Airband) is very adequate for many weak signals as well.

12) It has a very nice foldable top carrying handle and can also be easily moved by the two side rack mount handles as well.

13) A nice (but recessed) and sensitive analog signal strength meter right next to the LCD display as well as a line-in and an fm stereo earphone output jack. This unit also has nice rubber feet on its bottom to keep it from slipping on a table.

CONS:

1) Smallish speaker, but the sound quality is very good for its size.

2) This unit cannot recharge the batteries internally.

3) Some of the knobs are a bit small for efficient control.

4) The BFO knob control is fairly coarse (compared with other similar portable radios) for full control of SSB fine tuning for such a high quality radio. One other reviewer who also liked this radio quite a lot overall also noted this lack of BFO frequency control as well (with 1 KHz BFO tuning available, but where using 10 Hz BFO tuning would have been much much better).

5) No synchronous detection circuit (for controling of fading due to interference) is available on the Grundig Satellit 750 which is present on the SONY ICF-7600GR or on the forthcoming Grundig G3 (soon to be available in April 2009). Both of these latter units are about $140-150 so $ 220-240 for the Satellite 750 seems to be a reasonable price given all its other fine features.

6) It is a faily large and fairly heavy, but still a readily portable unit (except perhaps on airplane flights!). It was built for Grundig in China specifically as a scaled-down version of its famously popular Satellite 800 radio which has a fine design with very fine reception capabilities. With the Satellit 750, they did accomplish a significant reduction in both size and weight and also a much smaller price tag (especially right now) and still retained many of the features of the Satellit 800 however.
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on March 28, 2015
I rarely write reviews but I felt like I needed to take the time and give my opinion of the new Traveler. It is a quarky radio with some features that I find unnecessary like the time zone switch unless you are truly a globetrodder. I would much rather prefer a keypad for direct entry in the space taken by the time zone switch. However, the performance of this little radio makes me quickly forget any missing features. Frankly, at this price point, you cannot get everything you want and I would much rather have a hot rig than a keypad.

I am absolutely blown away with this little radio's performance! Primarily, I am a MW DXer and the Traveler III will be my new go-to small portable. You might think I'm crazy but it is almost on-par with my CCrane 2E and Superadio II. In fact, it is a better MW performer and much easier on the ears than my Satellit 750. The only other small radio that I own or have owned that can compete with Traveler III on MW is the ultralight Sony SRF-T615. Not only is the radio very sensitive, it is also very selective. I live about 7 miles from a 50K watt blowtorch and this radio handles it well.

I am satisfied with FM reception as it can pick up my "reference" station without extending the antenna. Some other radios that can't find that station even with antannas extended are the older CCrane SWP, and the cheaper Sony ICF-S10MK2 and Sangean SR-35. The RDS feature works well.

I'm not a huge shortwave listener and definitely not an expert but performance seems above average. In a quick check of the band, the Traveler picked up the stronger stations like the US religious ones, Cuban radio, Radio China. I would recommend seeking reviews from more experienced shortwavers. I honestly cannot give a trusted review of the shortwave band.

All in all, if you are a stickler for sensitivity and selectivity in your radios then you need to add this guy to your collection. The controls are quarky and there is a bit of a learning curve but you will be pleased with the raw performance especially for the price and portability.
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on December 4, 2009
hesitated to buy this radio because of the few negative reviews ; i bought it anyway.glad i did!!

let me address some of the nay sayers complaints.
*dead SW (this is nonsense,there are some settings that need to be set or it will effect your reception on SW ,the "ANT.ATT" button is one of those features , i assume most know to turn up he RF gain as well.

*sensitivity (the radio is actually very sensitive to background RF from lights or PC's.
i tested my radio in 2 houses 3 miles apart and the house with few wireless items and CF lights received almost twice as good .

*the rotating AM antenna(i have found no problem with it and it works very well.

* "the signal meter doesn't seem to work" (this stated by people who have never seen a buffered reaction meter(slow/smooth reaction instead of spikey movement,this is completely normal for a receiver,not so on a transceiver.)
----------------------

things i like;
*the main tuner knob is very smooth and has a pro receiver feel and feels to be made of REAL METAL!!

*the front "crash bars" seem to be sturdy and actually useful for face plate protection and as a hand rest to steady will pushing buttons.

*the rubber pads on the bottom of unit stop it from sliding on a tabletop.

the radio performs as a table top receiver should and does so in a HQ manner.
the size is about the size of a shoe box.

about me ;i'm a licensed amature radio operator .i mostly just listen nowadays.
similar radios i have owned to this unit.
grundig S350
sony SW07
Kaito KA-1200
Sangean ATS818
this is by far the best set-up for a larger portable. i would set the value at $250
but $300 is about far enough . this will be a classic in the casual SW listener market .

radio hams, stop judging this radio as a pro-communications receiver! it is every bit the radio the sony 2010 was.
I'm not usually a grundig fan but they get it right this time,
you won't be disappointed IMO
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on December 26, 2013
Nothing like Shortwave to stay in touch with the world; I grew up with a Zenith Transoceanic and chose the Grundig Satellit 750 as a higher-tech alternative for these modern days.

I had read reviews for the 750 here and elsewhere that mentioned the volume control problem on earlier versions of this particular Grundig, and for 8 months gloated that I had gotten a 'good' one, obviously superior to those old, defective units.

Then it broke.

Failure mode: Turned it on, radio went to full volume and stayed right there, despite any and all manipulation of the volume control. Suddenly.

Now what.

Still under warranty yes, and I'm sure the kind folks at Grundig/Eton would have been happy to have a go... but. First of all I'm in Japan and didn't feel like sending my stuff all over the place for what, secondly, has been reported by some previous reviewers as a recurring problem, even on repaired or refurbished units. Fool me twice shame on me; thirdly that particular merry-go-round is not one I'm very good at riding. Much more comfortable with a screwdriver and a soldering iron.

These were employed, allowing first of all removal of the back of the cabinet, secured with 6 phillips screws (one is in the battery compartment). Sliding the back gently up and to the left, minding the wires that remained attached, allowed removal of the two phillips screws securing the audio board (on the right and under the speaker) to the front of the cabinet. Knobs removed, the board slid back and out, some gentle persuasion was required. Unplugging the two wiring harnesses from the audio board allowed for better slack; the two sets of red and black wires stayed where they were, kind of anchored in there anyway.

I first tried cleaning/lubing/resoldering the stock potentiometer, fuggedaboudit. No chance.

Enter soldering iron in earnest: liberal use of desoldering braid freed the original pot, easy does it. Resisted urge to straighten crookedly installed caps etc., they don't really like that.

Thankfully Grundig printed all the component specs right on the board, for easy repairs anywhere in the world, and the stamp on the pot did agree, the offender is a 10k ohm unit with an audio taper (A10K). I used a Bourns unit (PTD902-2015F-A103), sourced from Mouser Electronics. This is identical electronically to the original in every way (plus it works)... Caveat: D shaft instead of splined... that would be a ...2015K... and I couldn't find one in stock anywhere, or an in-stock equivalent by any other maker, at least not without more larking around, and I wanted it back together. Fortunately again it was easy to make it work, a sharp 6mm drill bit removed just enough of the knurls inside the knob to give a nice snug fit indistinguishable from stock. Did it by hand with the bit grabbed in a vice-grips and not a power drill, lest ventilation of the knob or excess slop.

These little potentiometers *will not stand a lot of heat*! Therefore I was quick with the fire, factory recommendation is around 3 seconds MAX @300 degrees or so. Using 60/40 @1mm and a nicely tinned 40W I was able to nail 'em in about half that.

Threw some batteries in and tested before reassembly, after an hour I was satisfied it was good to go.

Careful not to pinch any wires or strip any screws it went back together, lack of brass machined inserts ftl... counterclockwise 'till the thread 'click' then back down the same way they came out. Failure to take care will result in stripped plastic o no.

Final step: Reinstalled radio on shelf and enjoyed. It is really a very good unit, with good station sensitivity, selection and sound; in this price range it really stands out. Not fair to fault the unit as a whole for one defective component, although it must be said that given that the volume control is such a critical and oft used control it should be expected to be of top quality, on any equipment and especially a radio of this caliber. Problems like that really detract from what is otherwise an excellent concept.

Fine tuned ratings:

Radio design and function: 5 Stars, really nice.

Build quality: Considering the volume pot, and having had a look inside: 3.8.

Would I buy another one? Yes, with high hopes that the problem is fixed... got an extra potentiometer ready to go just in case. ;)

Do I enjoy it? Yes again, every day.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/permalink/mo3TJBUIHMNIU9R/B0014T7W8Y/ref=cm_ciu_images_pl_link
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on February 24, 2009
Despite the other 1 and 2 star reviews, I bought one. I'm pretty happy with it and recommend it to someone who wants a little more than the standard portable sw radio and doesn't want to spend a lot more money for an expensive table top. I get stations from all over the world with just the provided telescopic antenna. When I hook up a homemade (piece of copper wire!)antenna, it performs closer to an expensive tt than a portable sw. It's got some great tuning features that portables don't have. If you have one and have trouble, get a better antenna. If that doesn't work, return it, you may have a bad unit. Grundig's pretty cool about that. Also, get the 2009 "Passport To Worldband Radio" book to help find more stations and get some good tips. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if possible.
P.S., Amazon, it's called the "Satellit", not a satellite.
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on August 29, 2014
I found the radio to be of very high quality in terms of construction and operation. The radio has a solid feel, with surprising heft, and is very well put together with nothing obviously loose or rattling. All functions performed as they should including the band switch, and the tuning and volume controls, as well as the buttons in the front. The buttons only need to be pressed once, and have good tactile feedback. The audio was a welcome surprise, being rich and full for such a small, thin, casing. While I would not describe the audio as room filling, it can get quite loud without distortion. I am not partial to orange backlit displays, but this is easily readable from almost any angle. The antenna only extends and retracts, it does not swivel. It is rather short, but it is not flimsy.

FM performance is quite good. There is no stereo mono switch. It is mono until you connect the headphone jack, and then it will switch to stereo, with the word "Stereo" coming on in the display. Audio through the headphones is also superior. As the other reviewer mentioned, you can pick up many stations on FM without the need to extend the antenna.

AM performance is also surprisingly good given the size of the radio. No problem at all with all local stations, and it surprised me by picking up a couple of fringe stations. It obviously has an internal ferrite bar antenna as it is directional.

Shortwave performance is about what you would expect for such a small package. It is better than the Meloson S8 on shortwave, but not as good as the Tecsun WRX911. There are 2 shortwave bands, which require many turns of the tuning wheel. The time button serves as a band switcher, and, not in the manual, the hours and minutes buttons double as scan up and scan down. It was about 2 pm when I was testing the shortwave performance, and I easily got WWV on 10, 15, and 20 MHz. I also got Brother Stair from Overcomer Ministry holding forth on the 19, 22, 25, and with a little difficulty, on the 31 meter band.

I like this radio. It has a very attractive design, is simple to operate, and sounds good. We will have to see how it holds up, but for right now, I am favorably impressed.
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on September 27, 2014
When I do reviews of shortwave radios, I use a Report Card system shown below. Below that is explanation of each grade and how I derived the grade. The grading system is the typical school grading system of A through F with no pluses or minuses.

- Look and Feel
- Readability
- Power Options
- Tuning
- Audio Quality
- Special Features
- Reception

Average Grade

Look and Feel - The Eton 550 radio looks good in that it is made of heavy plastic and the color scheme is very professional looking. The knobs and buttons feel and work quite well. There is no wobbly feel to the tuning knobs and the buttons don't feel mushy. The predecessors to this radio (Grundig 350 and 450) had band selector and mode control knobs that were very week and gave the user the feeling that they could break at any time. These knobs on the 550 click into place and feel very stable. The handle is well padded and feels strong which is important, as this radio can be heavy to carry around. I would call this radio a transportable not a portable radio because of the size and weight. The control switches on the side of the radio feel snappy and are easy to reach. The connectors for external antennas are well constructed and should provide good connections to your external antennas. I do not prefer the F type connectors that this radio and the 450/350 use but that is a personal preference. I did find that the radio is a little prone to tipping over if there are no batteries installed and the radio is power by the AC adapter. Grade - A

Readability - The Eton 550 has a new display is much different than the Grundig 450 or 350. It is a black background with amber characters. It is very easy to read even several feet away. This is a much-needed improvement over the typical LCD display with black characters on gray background. The lettering on the controls is the correct size and color, making them easy to read. The display has a brightness control with 3 levels plus an off position. I found the lowest level to be the best for me. Grade - A

Power Options - The Eton 550 comes with an AC adapter. This is your typical module that plugs in the wall outlet and has a line cord that connects to side of the radio. There was no noticeable line noise (hum) introduced into the radio by using the adapter. The radio uses 4 D cell batteries, which makes the radio a little heavy but helps stabilize the radio. Using D cell batteries typically means longer play time however I have not tested this. There is no means for charging the batteries in the radio but typically you do not find rechargeable batteries in a D cell size. Lastly, I suspect that the new display could consume a lot of power thus the need for D cells. Considering a quality AC adapter was included, I did not detect a grade level for no recharging capability. Grade - A

Tuning - The Eton 550 tuning incorporates features from the Grundig 350 and 450. The concentric tuning knobs were incorporated from the 350 and the Q-tune feature, which allows jumping in steps of 1 Mhz in shortwave mode and 100 Khz in FM, and AM modes. So you get the best of both worlds. On my radio the larger tuning knob was a little stiff to turn but after a few minutes of use this went away and felt normal. One thing lacking in this price range of radios is a keypad for direct frequency entry. So if you like to "scan" the bands looking for broadcast, the constant turning of the tuning knobs may become a hindrance. Also, the shortwave band is broken down into three bands which means you have to select another band to move up or down in frequency when you reach the end of a band. Due to the lack of a keypad and the requirement to switch between three bands to scan to entire shortwave band, I subtracted a grade. Grade - B

Audio Quality - The Eton 550 has excellent quality on all bands with its large speaker. The audio is clear and there is plenty of reserve power. Does provide FM stereo using earphone output. Bass and Treble controls improved audio to some degree. Grade - A

Special Features - The Eton 550 has a number of new and old features. It still has the feature to store favorite frequencies in memory (50 memories, 10 for each band including the 3 shortwave band which has a total of 30). The 550 added the RDS function to display digital data from some FM stations that provide station name, artist, title of music and any other text data that the station puts out. Q-Tune feature from the 450 helps with scanning the shortwave bands. The connectors for antennas have been upgraded to provide a connector to allow the use of an external MW (AM) antenna to receive those distance AM stations. Grade - A

Reception - The reception on the AM and FM bands were very good, tuning in distant stations and selecting between adjacent stations. Shortwave reception was difficult to test because conditions for listening to shortwave have been poor the past month due to solar activity. Despite these conditions I was able to tune shortwave stations that were 10 Km away and some that were very low power. The switch that allows you to change from "Fast" tuning to "Slow" tuning made it easier to tune weak stations next to strong stations. Additionally the two selectable bandwidth filters helped. On the negative side the narrow filter is still not quite narrow enough to select between some adjacent stations. Using the internal telescopic antenna did not provide the sensitivity needed to copy weak stations (used a Grundig 750 for comparison). The addition of an external antenna improved reception greatly. A grade was deducted for poor narrow filter and poor shortwave sensitivity using internal antenna. Grade - C

Overall grade was a B, making this radio a "Buy" radio if the characteristics meet your listening needs.

Tom (hamrad88)
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on October 19, 2011
I'm not a radio-geek, but for me a HF radio is a necessary item on a yacht! With it you can easily get all sorts of up-to-date weather information and entertainment too. The safety stuff includes getting HF SSB transmitted WEATHER-FAX maps slowly growing line-by-line on the computer screen. You need an audio-cable and a special computer-program of course. So what's new? In May I sold my yacht in Queensland and with it the $4400.00 dollar HF-installation - an ICOM IC-710 with remote antenna tuner, earth cu-plates and the whole mast-kit and caboodle. I seldom use the TX so on my new (bigger!) yacht I resorted to my old SANGEAN ATS-909, but no longer as good as I had hoped. Sound sounded pathetic and the batteries went flat at a alarming rate. Worse, I was not able to draw in any useful HF signal and even AM/FM suffered in many coastal areas.

Not keen to spend an additional 4-5 thousand I thought I give this cheap-as-chips SATELLITE 750 a go. It arrived from Amazon and I started my testing. I could listen to a shortwave station in central Australia 1000's kilometer away in the red center and this is no small feat using internal antenna only. BOM weather stations received on several frequencies clear as day and I am already totally happy with this acquisition. I can now enjoy useful HF reception at sea at a fraction of the cost. Not exactly a gift horse, but nevertheless I do rate this radio as a outstanding choice if you sail/travel outside the beaten track and need to keep in touch with civilization.

PLUSES: Outstanding reception for a portable radio. Sound OK, but speaker could be a tad better. Superb STEREO sound in my BOSE QuietComfort 3 headphones! Love spinning that big shiny tuning-wheel - reminds me of my army radio-days and puts the others to shame! MINUS: Embarrassingly uncool retro look. Right or wrong, it looks vulnerable and definitely not suitable for dropping. Also, it would be nice if it supported ordinary D-size batteries AND rechargeable D-sized ones as well. And yes, it should have reached me much faster, but to be fair, I didn't ordered it soon enough I suppose...
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