Best Analog Shortwave / HF Receiver Ever?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4NSF, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    All of our recent talk about shortwave radio raised a question amongst my Radio Buddies the other day: What is the BEST EVER Analog Shortwave / HF Receiver ever made? One guy swears by the R-390.... and another buddy thinks the Kenwood R-5000 is the best. Personally, I like my R-808 but that is mainly because I've had it forever.

    To avoid any sort of rancorous discussion about analog vs digital, my question is only related to analog receivers. It's not that I'm opposed to SDR's, because I'm not. I've got two of 'em in my shack. But SDR's don't have the same feel as the analog receivers..... there is just something cool about tuning a dial that clicking a mouse button just can't match.

    Other than that, the field is wide open. It doesn't matter if you like Tube Radios, or Transistors.... or Dials, or digital displays, or military gear, or a little Regen that is the "Best" because it taught you all about radio. ALSO, the definition of BEST is wide open.... if it's best to you, then it works for me!

    SO.... to your way of thinking, what is the BEST Analog Receiver ever?
    W9RAC and WW2PT like this.
  2. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 6M version of Rick Campbell's R2 sounds great. It's a phasing receiver with a hetrodyne VFO for smooth tuning. 100 dB of two tone IMD dynamic range with a SSB bandwidth.
    No birdies. None.
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  3. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not including commercial equipment, the Drake R7 is an excellent receiver. I forget the source, but it was evaluated as the best SW receiver 30 years ago.
    WW2PT and KK4NSF like this.
  4. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    wow, cool. I've seen a 40m version of the R2, but never a 6m version. I'll have to look it up in my old ARRL Handbooks / QSTs. It was from the 1990's?
  5. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never published it. I used a pair of TAK-1H high level mixers for more dynamic range. A lossless feedback preamp. I think the RF bandpass filter had a 1MHz bandwidth, though it could have been narrower.
    Sort of like building a race car. Finding combinations of parts that work well together. And having the expertise that comes from building lots of stuff that works well. I cut the front panel with a milling machine--DRO readout but manually turned dials.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  6. N4DJC

    N4DJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I always thought the Drake R-4C was a great receiver. The R-7 was my dream rig in the day, but the R-4C audio is really nice.
    WW2PT, KP4SX and KK4NSF like this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    So if you're looking for "hardcore test data" go here... pretty much considered the source for determining "best receiver"

    Everything else beyond that really is just subjective and open to opinion.

    And I have a TON of opinions myself on what the "best receiver" is... it changes, based on what I am expecting from it at that moment. I have LOTS of "best receiver" choices over many years.

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    WW2PT, K7MH and KK4NSF like this.
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the Drake R7 is right up there. Just a very well balanced rig.
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  9. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    we all know the test data site.... but there is a lot more to a good receiver than just pure numbers. Things like ease of use, ergonomics, beautiful audio tone, beautiful design, history, nostalgic links to one's past, ... and a whole host of intangibles go into what makes anything "the best".
    KI3U likes this.
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    You quoted me during my edit... but that's exactly what my comment about being "subjective and open to opinion" means.....


    KK4NSF likes this.

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