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Old October 1st 03, 03:49 AM
Paul Clay
 
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Default Used Drake R8 or New Icom R-75?

I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale). Any thoughts about which one should get the nod?
Comparative benefits/features? I've read that some inexpensive mods to
the Icom R-75 can make it quite a contender but that, on the other hand,
it comes without the filters that would be standard in the Drake R8?

Thanks!


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Old October 1st 03, 04:40 AM
Michael
 
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Hiya...

I have used both radios. Both are great radios. Currently, I own the R-75.
For my uses, I favor the R-75. The R-75 is a better SSB and utility rig
then the Drake. I also think the R-75 is a better DX'ing rig then the
Drake. I find that most DX'ing of very weak and messy signals are best done
in SSB using ecss method. AM sync is almost a non-issue for DX'ing and the
R-75, with it's SSB capabilities is a supreme ecss rig. The R-75's twin pbt
set up is a tremendous plus. Also... Filters... The R-75 uses two filters
in series, and, although you don't really need additional filters, there is
the option to add.

The Drake has better audio and an effective AM sync out of the box, but for
a few dollars, you can get the Kiwa mods for the AM sync and audio section
for the R-75. I have those mods on my R-75 and it's such an improvement,
I'd say that the audio quality and AM sync function of the R-75 is now as
good as the Drake's. With the mods, and a nice external speaker, my R-75 is
a full sounding AM radio that can be listened too comfortably for hours :-)

So... The R-75 can do what the Drake can including sound just as good as an
AM radio with a simple, inexpensive and fully reversible mod, but the Drake
can't do what the R-75 can.

I guess if you wanna get a radio mostly for AM broadcast, I'd get the Drake.
If you want to get into serious DX'ing and utility, go with the R-75.

--
Respectfully,

Michael

Home Page: http://md_dxing.tripod.com/
Northern NJ
R75 w/DSP, Kiwa agc/sync & audio mods
G5RV & 200ft longwire w/ICE-180
MFJ-1048 preselector
SoundBlstr Live PC card w/five piece Cambridge
speakers & full software mixer/eq.

"Paul Clay" wrote in message
...
I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale). Any thoughts about which one should get the nod?
Comparative benefits/features? I've read that some inexpensive mods to
the Icom R-75 can make it quite a contender but that, on the other hand,
it comes without the filters that would be standard in the Drake R8?

Thanks!



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Old October 1st 03, 04:51 AM
Paul Clay
 
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Michael wrote:


good as the Drake's. With the mods, and a nice external speaker, my R-75 is
a full sounding AM radio that can be listened too comfortably for hours :-)

So... The R-75 can do what the Drake can including sound just as good as an
AM radio with a simple, inexpensive and fully reversible mod, but the Drake
can't do what the R-75 can.


Did you install the mods yourself, or did you send your R-75 to Kiwa mods
yourself? If you sent the unit off to Kiwa, how long did it take to get it
back?

Thanks,
Paul
(formerly from Sussex Co. NJ)

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Old October 1st 03, 05:56 AM
starman
 
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Paul Clay wrote:

I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale). Any thoughts about which one should get the nod?
Comparative benefits/features? I've read that some inexpensive mods to
the Icom R-75 can make it quite a contender but that, on the other hand,
it comes without the filters that would be standard in the Drake R8?

Thanks!


That's a hard choice. I would probably get the R8 since I'm mainly a
program listener. I think you could do better than $500 for an R8 if
you're not in a hurry and can shop around some more. If you are a mainly
a utility and SSB listener the R-75 has a slight edge.


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Old October 1st 03, 10:41 AM
Geoffrey S. Mendelson
 
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Default

In article , Paul Clay wrote:
I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale).


It depends upon your choice of egnomics. I don't know the R-75, but I
can comment on the R8. The R8 inside is a wonderful radio. It has lots
of features and works well.

What I don't like about it is the "user interface". The R8 is designed by
the same people who designed consumer sattelite equipment. Almost all the
functions are done with buttons. This is good if you like that interface,
and it allows a memory to hold many settings it could not if things were
done with knobs.

I'm an "knob twiddler". I prefer to have every function I can get on
controled by a knob, I can move with my fingers, not a button I have to
push or via remote control.

I prefer the Kenwood R5000 because just about everything must (or can
depending upon your point of view) be adjusted by turning a knob.

The best thing to do is to try both if you can.

Geoff.

--
Geoffrey S. Mendelson 972-54-608-069
Icq/AIM Uin: 2661079 MSN IM:
(Not for email)
Carp are bottom feeders, koi are too, and not surprisingly are ferrets.



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Old October 1st 03, 12:42 PM
N8KDV
 
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Paul Clay wrote:

I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale). Any thoughts about which one should get the nod?
Comparative benefits/features? I've read that some inexpensive mods to
the Icom R-75 can make it quite a contender but that, on the other hand,
it comes without the filters that would be standard in the Drake R8?

Thanks!


The Drake wins hands down.

Steve
Holland, MI

Drake R7, R8, R8B and Yaesu FRG-7700


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Old October 1st 03, 05:28 PM
Stephan Grossklass
 
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Default

Paul Clay schrieb:

I'm looking to pick up a table top shortwave receiver and have narrowed
my choices to a used Drake R8 (about $500) or a new Icom R-75 (currently
$450 on sale). Any thoughts about which one should get the nod?


Which version of the R8 are you considering? Read up about the
differences, say, with Radio Netherlands. I'd say the Icom is a nice rig
for ham/ute work (and extreme broadcast DX) with its twin PBT, optional
DSP and all, while the Drake seems to favor broadcast listening more
(also, its coil filters even if at a low 2nd IF aren't quite as steep as
good crystal or ceramic ones, but can be designed to give very little
passband ripple). Be aware that the sync prior to the R8B is not
sideband selectable, but apparently fiddling with the PBT helps (similar
to the AR7030). I'd prefer the R8A to the older R8 because it apparently
contains a number of non-negligible improvements in every respect (RF
performance as well as operation). The current R8B should be a class
above the IC-R75.

Stephan
--
Home: http://stephan.win31.de/ | Webm.: http://www.i24.com/
PC#6: i440LX, 2xCel300A, 448 MB, 18 GB, ATI AGP 32 MB, 110W
This is a SCSI-inside, Legacy-plus, TCPA-free computer
Reply to newsgroup only. | See home page for working e-mail address.
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Old October 1st 03, 11:42 PM
Michael
 
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Default

Hiya...

I attempted the sync mod myself but I wound up breaking a pin off of the
stock Motorola chip that is part of the R-75's sync circuit. So, I sent it
to Kiwa. Since I had to send them the radio, I asked them to do the audio
upgrade for me also. Remarkably, they had the radio back to me in a week.

--
Respectfully,

Michael

Home Page: http://md_dxing.tripod.com/
Northern NJ
R75 w/DSP, Kiwa agc/sync & audio mods
G5RV & 200ft longwire w/ICE-180
MFJ-1048 preselector
SoundBlstr Live PC card w/five piece Cambridge
speakers & full software mixer/eq.

"Paul Clay" wrote in message
...
Michael wrote:


good as the Drake's. With the mods, and a nice external speaker, my

R-75 is
a full sounding AM radio that can be listened too comfortably for hours

:-)

So... The R-75 can do what the Drake can including sound just as good as

an
AM radio with a simple, inexpensive and fully reversible mod, but the

Drake
can't do what the R-75 can.


Did you install the mods yourself, or did you send your R-75 to Kiwa mods
yourself? If you sent the unit off to Kiwa, how long did it take to get

it
back?

Thanks,
Paul
(formerly from Sussex Co. NJ)



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Old October 2nd 03, 02:56 AM
Paul Clay
 
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Default

RHF wrote:


FWIW: My ranking of those that were mentioned:

#10 = Drake R8B

#8 = Drake R8A

#6 = Icom R75

#4 = Drake R8
#3 = Kenwood R-5000

#1 = Yaesu FRG-7700

~ RHF
.


How about if I throw a Palstar 30 into the mix? I just came across that radio in my research. At $525
the price is right, although it seems to offer nary a bell or whistle, only good, basic performance.

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Old October 2nd 03, 05:14 AM
Telamon
 
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Default

In article ,
"Michael" wrote:

Ahhh.... SSB selectable sync :-) That must be sweet for program listening.


snip

The R8B pass band control and the selectable sync are the best thing to
ever happen to program listening.

--
Telamon
Ventura, California


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