Customer Reviews: Terk Indoor AM Antenna ADVANTAGE
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on April 23, 2004
I'm a stickler for performance, and have high expectations for electronic equipment... especially when I hear fellow users raving about a certain product.
After getting the Terk AM Advantage to use primarily with my CC Radio, I have to say I'm not dissappointed. Giving it 5 stars would be saying that it goes beyond my expectations. The 4 star rating means that it comes pretty damn close!
Anyway, it does a fine job. The great thing, is that it can be used with ANY radio with or without external antenna terminals. I find it seems to work better without the hookup. Tuning the stations can be a bit tricky at times. The dial is slightly off and registers a station a few kHz higher than it is, and must be turned various ways near the radio to accurately do its job. It even seems to do quite well at being able to resist stronger signals that are adjecent to weaker ones.
For the AM DX'er, or lover of good `ol AM radio in general, it's an answer to a prayer!
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on August 26, 2006
This AM loop antenna does a remarkable job at its price point! It works by concentrating the radio station's signal and sharing it with your radio's built-in ferrite bar antenna through inductive coupling (no wire connections necessary). It can, however, be connected to a radio's external antenna terminals if your radio has no internal ferrite bar antenna. It works best with inductive coupling though. To use, tune to a very weak signal and rotate your radio alone for best reception. Then place the TERK next to your radio and adjust its tuner until you hear an increase in signal strength. Peak the signal by carefully adjusting the TERK's tuner control. Then experiment by moving the antenna around your radio until you get the best signal. Once the TERK has been positioned for best reception, there's no need to move it again when tuning in other stations. It will be necessary, however, to retune the antenna each time you change frequency on your radio. Some consider this to be a pain, but I think it's fun! The TERK's tuning dial is a bit inaccurate. Therefore, tune it by ear listening carefully for an improvement in signal.

Additionally, AM signals are directional and often require rotating of the radio for best reception. The TERK and the radio should be rotated as one unit, that is to say, together as one. Therefore, a Lazy Susan is a great way to accomplish this task.

I have not seen a radio that doesn't show improvement of reception when used with the TERK. Even the GE SUPER RADIO, which is already a very sensitive radio, will deliver improved AM reception with the TERK. The TERK's measure of effectiveness varies from one radio to another. The TERK works especially well with small cheap radios, often boosting their reception remarkably!

NOTE: Many people are tempted to try loop antennas at night when distant AM signals are already typically strong. They are often disappointed because they cannot notice an improvement in the signal, which is already being received sufficiently by the radio. Therefore, to really demonstrate the power of the TERK, try it first in the daytime on very weak signals. At night, the TERK is very good at offsetting the affects of fade out common to nighttime reception.

Whether you just want to hear that favorite weak station more clearly or you are interested in chasing weak AM signals, the TERK is definitely a fine performing AM antenna!

I love mine! : - )
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on June 21, 2007
Based on some of the negative comments made about this product, I have to guess that either the person does not completely understand how to use this 'toy', or their particular unit was defective. This type of antenna HAS to be TUNED for best performance. This unit is tuned in two different ways, for two different purposes.

But first, this unit can be 'connected' in two ways: If your radio has "AM Antenna" terminals, you can use the 'connect wire' so that there is a "physical" connection between the two pieces. If your AM Radio DOES NOT have an "AM Antenna" terminal - this means it has a "Built-In" Antenna, or even if it does have "AM Antenna" terminals - but ALSO has a built-in antenna, you can "magnetically couple" the TERK to the Radio's built-in antenna.

To "magnetically couple" the antennas simply means to place them physically close, so that their magnetic fields interact. As you rotate the TERK you will find that the signal will become stronger in some position, weaker in others.

FIRST - YOU MUST ADJUST THE TUNING DIAL ON THE TERK "EVERY TIME" YOU CHANGE STATIONS. Sorry folks, but the tuning dial is on the TERK for a reason - to be used. First dial in your Radio - then dial in your antenna, that is the process. (NOTE: The dial is an approximate, like old radios - before digital) Yes, if you live in a Metro area, or near a AM transmitter(s) - some stations will come through regardless of the antenna being mis-tuned. OK, that was the first Antenna Tuning step - the tuning dial. STEP TWO - is very similar to the "magnetic coupling" I described above, think of it as turning it on a Lazy-Susanne (as a matter of fact you SHOULD get a Lazy-Susanne, or a similar turntable for this toy). AM Radio signals" are directional, and when the "wider" side of the antenna faces the incoming signal, you'll get the best reception. Because of this directionality, as you rotate the antenna, you will probably find that as one station fades out - another will fade in because you've now "turned" into it. Once you feel this Physical tuning has been done, re-tune the dial on the TERK - you'll be surprise as to how much improvement a minuscule retuning can accomplish. This dial controls a circuit that provides a very sharp 'peak' in the signal strength - it is done this way so that you might be able to pull in a weak station next to a strong one by peaking the weak signal, which weakness the strong signal. Huh! Yeah, re-read. But that iz what it doz.

IF you are going to use this antenna for LOCAL stations, then tuning the TERK's dial will probably be more important, than the 'physical' tuning. However, if you are trying to: pull in stations at a distance (DXing), or untangle a couple of locals, or untangle a local and a distant - well then you have to do BOTH tuning step for satisfactory results. Sorry, I know this is the "on-my-butt" generation, but they don't make these toys with a remote.

If you become interested in picking up distant stations - basic tip: MOST EXCELLENT Times - Sunrise and Sunset, then Night, Daytime sometime. For NY'ers, you should be able to pick-up WTOP - Wash, DC @ 1500 very easily; so easy that on many days, you can pick them up during THE day. For more info, search for "AM DXing" or "AM DX", also sites that include "Short Wave Listening" (SWL), usually include info on AM DXing.

The TERK like similar passive AM Antennas are excellent toys, IF they meet you purpose, and IF the are used correctly - which require a bit of effort.

Hope this helps :)

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on July 7, 2003
This antenna is a best AM antenna for the baseball, news, George
Noory(Coast to Coast AM) listener. Its also used by many AM radio DXers, beginner and experienced, and it also uses no power
The TERK AM antenna is a best designed antenna, and TERK did it right this time, lets see if they can conquer the same with FM someday. I have had mine since 1999 , and does wonders for my AM on my Sony stereo system. I also use with it with the ATS-909 shortwave receiver for directional station listening, and get this if you are good at rotating antennas, you can carefully null out the local station, and bring
in the other stations you can't receive before. Its similar to the other type called the select-A-tenna. It also covers 510 kHz to 1720 kHz, for dail tuners it takes patience to null and
peak, and to digital tuners its easy to peak up the currently received station. I hope you like this one, its better than
the AM stereo antenna that was supplied with the stereo, and it
increases selectivity on your current tuner and other radios.
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on January 5, 2008
I'll admit to [1]: Being a more-frequent than average AM station listener; [2]: Owning a plethora of radios [high-performance, specialty, and simple utility] while being a stickler for reception and audio performance - AM band NOT excluded; and [3] on my way to owning FOUR of these AM loop antennas - obviously, I'm a satisfied REPEAT customer!

Many reviewers here have well-described the operation of this product, and elaborated on how-well it works - or doesn't work. In many cases, this antenna will be interfaced in a non-wired [inductively-coupled] mode - that's tech-speak for "you don't have to hook it up". Actually, this is a preferable scenario in most [BUT NOT ALL] cases. SOME radios are difficult to interface in this manner... The culprit IS NOT THE TERK ANTENNA - rather it is likely the internal electrical design of the radio's AM antenna and circuitry. Sorry, it's simply a "hit 'n miss" proposition; so save your receipt if your intention is to assist but one defiant radio!

EVERY portable and "boom-box" I own benefited at varied degrees - many substantially. The three top contenders in the premium table radio class - the Boston Acoustics Receptor; Sangean WR-2; and Tivoli Model One exhibited a noticeable to dramatic leap in AM reception with the addition of this antenna. The first two are no slouches on the AM band to begin with, but were well-assisted by this accessory... Generally, the greatest improvement will occur on a less-sensitive receiver. The analog-tuned Tivoli literally morphed from "near-deaf" to a superlative DX-class radio with exceptional audio quality by merely setting the Terk atop its wood cabinet [see my review of the Model One here at Amazon]. Generally, high-powered home-audio center and surround-sound components, whose metal cabinets and noise-generating digital audio processor chips mandate an external wired loop antenna, are trickier propositions. In this case, Terk provides a second option...

The AM-1000 Advantage may be WIRED DIRECTLY to a receiver's external AM antenna terminals [if provided], but I have had mixed results - and maintaining correct polarity IS ESSENTIAL. In the cases of my costly ICOM R71a AM/shortwave receiver [with no internal AM antenna], Carver TX-11b with "hi-fi" audio-bandwidth AM stereo, and Denon TU-660 designed for quality AM audio - the results were satisfactory; yet connection to my Sony home theater receiver yielded less-impressive results - the provided Sony loop antenna in some cases worked better! Again, you're mileage will vary.

Aside from an increase in AM signal focused on the radio, there are TWO additional seldom-discussed improvements offered by this external antenna... In an electrically-hostile environment, the loop may be oriented to "trap noise" and decouple it from your radio's internal antenna - thus lowering the offending interference. Additionally, this antenna's built-in selective tuning may be slightly-varied on stronger stations - changing inductance and tricking the tuner's audio bandpass filter into yielding increased bandwidth - and thus audio quality... The Terk AM-1000 can actually make a stronger AM station SOUND BETTER than your radio's internal circuitry was optimized to allow!

There are only two competitive products that offer an increase in ability to grab and focus very-weak AM signals... The $70 Select-A-Tenna has slightly-higher performance [at nearly TWICE the price] and is downright UGLY! The $100 TCF AM antenna from C Crane offers the ultimate in performance and flexibility, but has a constant appetite for 9-volt batteries [or a noise-inducing AC power source] and is complicated and cumbersome. I'll give the Terk AM-1000 Advantage my well deserved five-star rating for its utility, simplicity, attractive aesthetics, and value.
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on August 7, 2006
I love this thing and am thinking of getting another for my cabin. I've had powered/amplified antennas in the past that don't work as well as the TERK does. it really pulls in the a.m stations and the ability to tune the antenna to the station helps temendously.
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on April 24, 2004
I purchased this product from a local electronics chain store thinking I'd have to return it. However, help was needed! I recently purchased a "bookshelf" stereo system which came with the typical "foldable" antenna, and the AM sounded AWFUL! Once I hooked up the Terk Advantage, I noticed an immediate and dramatic improvement in the strength and static level for all of the AM stations I listen to. However, just to make sure, I also ordered a "Select-a-tenna", which had been mentioned by other reviewers of the Terk. In my situation, the TERK worked much better! My only regrets on this product...I could have saved a few bucks orderering from Amazon. The other reviewers were correct on the abilities of this product. Reviews go just so far. After all, there is only one real way to know if something like this works...try it out!
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on March 30, 2006
I have a Sangeon ATS-909 and a CCrane CCRadioPlus. Both have a marked improvement in reception with this device.

With the bigger CCRadioPlus, a station at 1070khz that was at S6, maxed out the S meter with the AM-1000. This radio has direct wire AM antenna connections but did better without the direct connections from the AM-1000.

The Sangean ATS-909 actually did better and was easier to use with the AM-1000 than the CCRadioPlus. I'm guessing that the Sangean has more RF gain. A station at 540 khz that did not register on the S meter came up to a S5 with this device on the Sangean. Again, I did not use the direct wire connection.

You will need to experiment a little with placement and orientation of both the radio and AM-1000 to get good results. This is not something that you just set next to a radio. You need to find the best location and orientation.

The add says 'pin and dot' tuning. I almost did not buy this because I had no idea what that was. There is a nice knob at the base's center used for tuning. It has a dial on it but I found it easier to just 'tune by sound'. Place it next to your radio and adjust the dial for a signal/sound peak.

I am an electronice tech and have been interested in AM radio since my first two transistor model back in 1969. This is by far the next best thing to stringing up a 100 foot long wire antenna that I have ever came across.

Well worth the money.

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on December 6, 2005
I am pretty disappointed. I read the other reviews that raved about the antenna and was hopeful that I could finally hear AM radio loud and clear. It has improved my reception, but not by that much. Also, whenever I change stations, I have to change the setting on the antenna and move the antenna around. So its a pain to change stations. At night time there are certain stations I can't get. I suppose the performance is going to depend on your particular sitution. So its probably worth trying based on what the other reviews say.
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on August 8, 2005
when i ordered this, i really did not know if it would help me.....i was going to order a cc radio plus,but after reading the reviews of the GE superradio 3, i decided to save money and go with the GE and the TERK....i am so glad that i did.... now,i can listen to the all sports station in birmingham, in my home, or outside and it really comes in loud and clear as a bell....i own several radios and none of them did the job.....the automobile radio was really the only choice that i had when i wanted to listen to this station....not anymore....this antenna is for real and so is the GE radio....don't spend all of that money for a cc radio....this combo goes way beyond my expectations
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