What is a realistic price to buy an Eico 753 for?

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by SP4IT, Nov 15, 2021.

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  1. SP4IT

    SP4IT Ham Member QRZ Page

    So an Eico 753 showed up on everyone's favourite auction site on the same continent as I am. Unfortunately it is untested and no PSU. Visually looks like it hasn't been "dropped". That's all I know.

    The seller wants $180 (160eur) including shipping. It seems a bit steep for an untested radio of unknown quality. For what I know it may be an empty box inside... I'm inclined to pass on it, but I'm curious what others think. On the other hand I'm tempted, but I'm not the kind of person that likes to overspend. So I guess my question is: is it a reasonable price he is asking for?
     
  2. W1GCI

    W1GCI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just sold one - complete but not working - at a flea market - for $20 and I had to twist the buyer's arm to haul it away. Save your money for a nice NCX-3. :)
     
  3. SP4IT

    SP4IT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will, thanks :)
     
  4. W7UUU

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

    Lots of unknowns with an Eico 753. They were mostly sold as kits. The very first release of the 753, the VFO was "user assembled" and tube-based. Very few of the VFOs ever got built with any reasonable stability. Even those that were of poor design and VERY prone to drift. Some were kits, some factory built - there's no obvious way to tell until you open it up and see.

    A year or so after the release of the first version, the second version came with a preassembled solid-state VFO - this is the far better version of the 753. It's easy to verify: does the VFO have tubes or not? :) (The solid state version of the VFO was not sold in kit-form). It could still be a poorly built kit transceiver or factory built - again not easy to tell without opening it up.

    On SSB the 753 (solid state VFO version) is a decent performer as long as your QSOs are fairly short (10-20 minutes) but inevitably drift will keep moving you slowly up the band. (The early versions with tube VFO will drift up the band FAST!).

    I owned a 753 for 2 years (2018-2020) and managed to work all 50 US states on SSB, as well as 20 or so DX entities (I'm on the West Coast USA so DX is much more rare from my QTH than the East Coast US stations can work). I received great audio reports - crisp and punchy audio. The receiver was super sensitive and had a really nice tone to it. I liked how it turned - the dial has a "fast/slow" two-speed vernier that works well and is unique to the 753 I believe.

    But note that it's awful on CW - it's a royal pain to use. Like several early SSB rigs with CW as an option, there is no built-in CW offset so you have to use the RIT to tune the receiver, with the VFO tuning the transmitter. Whereas the much-better Henry Radio TempoONE transceiver has a well-marked RIT dial to make CW easier, the Eico does not. Unless you mark the knob with a pencil, it's very tricky to dial in a proper CW offset to answer anyone calling CQ. It does work - just not well and you'll often get complaints about being off frequency because the CW offset will likely be out of the passband of the other station. Back when the 753 was new, hams were more familiar with "tuning around" than today - so it was probably no big deal back then.

    All in all, the 753 is a decent transceiver that is much maligned. $180 IMO would be a fair price for one fully restored, with fresh tubes and fresh alignment. For an unknown rig that's way too high. I'd offer no more than $100 max for one that is working but not refreshed. If condition is completely unknown, and I really wanted it, I'd pay no more than $50

    I hope this helps

    Dave
    W7UUU

    753 QSL.JPG
     
    W9JEF, G0CIQ, W1TRY and 3 others like this.
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Prices seem to be up because of parts swappers. :rolleyes:
     
    W1BR likes this.
  6. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    From what I remember about this transceiver, it always seemed like it was a work-in-process throughout its life cycle. When it was finally put out to pasture, the number of service bulletin and addenda pages came close or exceeded the page count for the original manual.
    This was a dog that seemed to be on life support throughout its life cycle :)
     
  7. W7UUU

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

    Note that the very worst comments you'll ever hear about an Eico 753 come from those who never owned one and used it extensively on the air ;)

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  8. W7UUU

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

    VFO swappers for sure!! :D:D

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    KA9JLM likes this.
  9. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the 90's through an estate auction, I came home with 3 Eico 753's and 1 Eico 751 power supply along with a bunch of other stuff. 2 were basically parts units as stuff was ripped out of both of them. The 3rd was labeled as "working". They should have labeled it as "working sort of" :)
    Did get it on the air on 80 and 40 SSB, but as noted, it drifted all over the place. 20 meters was very touchy on tune up and put out less power then 80 and 40 meters. The AM mode didn't work on any band. Diddled with it for several weeks and eventually took all 3 to Dayton and dumped them all for $30 including the power supply.

    The National NCX-3 tri-bander which I also had at the same time, even with some of its inherent design faults, ran rings around the Eico 753. The 753's are now long gone, don't miss them, it was definitely an annoyance-type rig but I still have and use the same National NCX-3 transceiver. Also own the National NCX-5 which is another transceiver favorite of mine.

    The National NCX-3 is a sharp looking rig. Here's Mike, KE0ZU, sharp looking National NCX-3 with the NCX-A Power Supply/Speaker:

    [​IMG]
     
    W7UUU likes this.
  10. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Please contact me via an email as I have one.

    Pheel
     
    W7UUU likes this.

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