Update: Sangean ATS-405 initial review

Sangean-ATS-405After publishing my initial review of the Sangean ATS-405, I received feedback from several ATS-405 owners (via comments and email–thank you!) who do not have the internally-generated DSP “birdies” that plague my receiver on 800 and 1600 kHz AM. I strongly suspect my ATS-405 has a manufacturing defect of some sort.

Sangean is kindly sending me another ATS-405 review sample for comparison purposes. I will post an update to the initial review as soon as I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the new sample.

Follow the tag ATS-405 for updates.

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5 thoughts on “Update: Sangean ATS-405 initial review

  1. Paul S. in CT

    I have updated my initial comments about thee ATS405 in the original thread.
    Briefly, there are birdies, but on my set 1605, 1204, and 802/3 kHz.
    Multiples of 200.6kHz (8x, 6x, and4x base) This would presume one at 602kHz, (3x) but I have a local there at 600kHz. No birdies at 5x and 7x Nothing on SW. This presumes ferite bar antenna as being suseptible, whip antenna not suscepitble. Hopefully more data from others will confirm/enlighten.

    Paul S. in CT

  2. mike c

    I can understand the need for such ‘important issues’ to be addressed in a review… but in a simple comment and opinion, no one’s really obliged to address anything more “I just don’t like it.”

    Given that his earlier, fuller review does address many important points of performance for most SWLs, I fail to see how his simple, subjective comment here is ‘deflecting’ anyone away from anything, let alone any ‘common denominator’ of performance.

    One might as well feel deflected away from satisfaction because Gone With The Wind isn’t a science fiction film, or Jaws isn’t a romance.

    What were you expecting from anyone’s opinions in the comments area? It reads as if you expect a more detailed review, and the comments area is not the place for that for the most part.

    I am not trying to cause any trouble or put anyone down, I assure you; I just don’t see why anyone should expect more from a simple opinion/comment than just an opinion and comment.

    As well, asking someone to ‘get over’ their opinion of anything is rather illogical — how exactly does one do that?

  3. Paul


    Please try to get over the look and feel of the radio; I understand you personally do not like it, but I don’t mind it at all. By constantly criticizing the look and feel you are deflecting possible concerns about the common denominator for all of us, which is performance. For example, in the two samples you have, do you also have birdies at 800 and 1600 kHz? Have you played with the selectable soft mute and AGC and what do you think of these innovations in a portable? Can the sensitivity be improved via a simple wire attached to the antenna? How is the selectivity in your opinion? These are the important issues … Yes I agree Sangean could have spent some effort in redesigning the case and at least adding a tuning knob. But I don’t fault them on that.


    1. Keith Perron

      I do fault them for that. If it looks awful why would anyone buy it. If they spent little attention on the design of the radio it shows that spent little time on the inside.

      When I see this radio I think of the Alfa Romeo Arna. It was a joint venture between Alfa Romeo and Nissan. Now that could have been a good car. But what did they do? They had it designed in Japan by Nissan and had it built in Italy. It was ugly and had no soul of the designer and you got typical Alfa Romeo build quality. Good for a few weeks. Then it stops being a car.

      My problem with shortwave radios on the whole except for a few. Is ugly design. Many times when I attend conferences on design. I’m very interested in technology design. I have only ever seen one shortwave radio at any of these. The Braun T1000 that was designed by Dieter Rams. You have other electronics from Bang & Olafsen, SONY, Panasonic and a few others. But not one shortwave radio.

      Look at the mobile phone industry and how it changed. NOKIA and Motorola were the world leaders. Then entered Apple, Samsung and LG with better designs. Look what happened. Both Nokia and Motorola flopped.

      Shortwave I’ve see it as the same. If they could spend a bit more time on how the radios looks then perhaps the medium would have attracted more young people. But the content on shortwave and the poor designs of radios like the ATS405 show it to being nothing more than a legacy system.

  4. Keith Perron

    On Sunday I picked up another ATS-405 at the Changi Airport in Singapore as I was passing. Played with it yesterday. Still awful.

    I still can’t get over the poor design of the radio. When the ATS909X was introduced as a replacement for the ATS909. It was totally changed.

    This one seems like a science project. Two people sitting around saying they have some spare parts and just put them inside a housing that was also lying around.


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