SWLing Post reader, Tom Ally, writes to say that the Tecsun PL-600 is currently on sale at Amazon.com for $74.99, shipping included. While this is not a deep discount, he notes that it is a lot of radio for the price. I still have a PL-600 and tend to agree with Tom. In fact, I was using my PL-600 this morning, comparing it to the new Sangean ATS-405. In many respects, the PL-600 reminds me of the Grundig G5.
You’re better off getting the PL-660 from Anon Co for about $10 more.
The PL-660 does offer sync–something the PL-600 lacks. To me, the PL-660 is still the best bargain for a full-function SW portable radio on the market.
Question: Since reading this post, I have convinced myself to upgrade my portable SW radio from the fun but not impressive Grundig Reporter G2 to something better – I’m interested in SSB and SW reception, and looking for a portable to take on trips. As a licensed ham, I have several wonderful radios at home, what I want is something small I can just ‘grab and go’ with.
As for budget, I recently turned 17 pounds of accumulated spare change into an Amazon gift card worth $203.96, and I’ve decided that is my budget for a new radio.
At $75 the PL-600 looks like a good value, but it has some compromises.
At $100 the PL-660 looks to be a better radio in many ways.
At $150 the PL-880 looks to have the best sound, but struggles to justify it’s price premium over the PL-660.
So, my question is this – is the above correct, in you opinion? Is the PL-660 the best radio (for the money) of the three I mentioned? Is there a radio I’ve missed I should consider, given my budget ($203.96) and interests (SSB and SW broadcast)? This is the impression I get scanning your website and assorted reviews.
Thanks in advance.
Upgrading from the G2, you’re going to be very pleased with any of these radios since tuning is in finer increments, there are more options for filter widths, gain and a proper, responsive, tuning wheel. And you’ll be able to listen to SSB.
Since your budget is flexible, I’d go with either the PL-660 or the PL-880. I think the PL-660 is the best value and, quite frankly, hard to beat. Check out our comparison last year: http://wp.me/pn3uc-2Di
You’re right: the PL-880 audio (via internal speaker) is the best of the bunch. I would reach for the PL-660 if sensitivity is a must, though.
I have all three radios and can say that I use the PL-660 more than the others.
The PL-660 is $99 ($83 for radio, $13 for shipping) vs $75 for PL-600.
It may be worth the difference, but the difference is about 33% more than the PL-600.
Forgot to add anon link:
Interesting radio, I may pick one up for an upcoming vacation to the mountains next month.
For those curious, the PL-600 is very well regarded on eHam, but there appears to have been issues a year or two ago impacting SSB reception… Anyone know if those a issues are resolved or do they remIn?