Does anyone have any experience with this radio. I have a very limited budget (about $650) and wish to get back on HF before contest season fires up again. I have had a few bad experiences with used equipment, and have decided that this way I can get some warranty on both a radio and LDG Z100 Tuner. I realize you get what you pay for, but what I can afford right now limits me to either this NEW radio and new tuner, or a old used radio with no promises. I'm just looking for others experience's with the radio
The Alinco products vary from very good to pure crap. The simple fact is the DX-SR8T is a very low cost unit that will get you on the air. It's performance will not be that of the more expensive rigs but you don't have one of the expensive rigs to compare it to. So that's not a problem. There have not been a lot of those unit sold and as a result there isn't much history of any short comings. The exception to that comes from the CW side. The receive on CW is a problem because it has to wide of a filter.
There have been review by QST in the June 2011 issue. In short it says the rig is basic and fine for the casual operator. Interpretation; it's no where near being a contest radio or a DX rig. If you just want to make random or scheduled contacts during good conditions this is the radio for you. There is nothing else that low in cost except used equipment. Some are very good and can be obtained at very reasonable prices. A basic rig that actually does well is the TS-50S but finding a good one can be a problem. They are aged as most equipment you would be able to obtain would be. You can get the IC-718 used for a good price. Quite a few have been sold and those operators are moving to greener pastures. Another possibility is the FT-450. They are okay rigs and both of them got better reviews than the DX-SR8T.
If you can try to buy used from a dealer. They often have some type of warranty and they are tested for proper performance. Do not buy from eBay unless you can go to the sellers home and test the rig first. If you can buy local.