Luke considers the Panasonic RF-9000 an investment and solid performer


In response to our post about a Panasonic RF-9000 being offered on eBay for $20,000(!), SWLing Post reader, Luke, comments:

I actually just bought a RF-9000 from a Spanish Ebay seller. It might show up in the ‘completed auctions’, not sure. I made an offer of 2,000 Euros and he accepted. Of course I am like most of you who might have seen one in a magazine or book for over 20 years, but never dreamed of actually owning one.

My unit had a few imperfections like a couple of dings and the grille was not 100% with some slight discoloration but I cleaned it up nicely and got some Testors paint to fill in the dings. It came with the cover but with no documentation. Everything works perfectly and there are no dirty or inoperable switches or buttons. Even the lights all work which is a relief.

I can only really compare it to the Sony ICF-2010 and the Satellit 700, both of which I have owned at one time. I still have the Sony. The Panasonic is on a much different level as far as ease of use. And the tuning is super fast with absolutely no audio lag between channels if that is the right description. It is really smooth sailing all the way across the dial and you can go straight from FM into the LW band which is pretty cool.

Another nice feature is the band selection buttons actually have the corresponding frequencies also so there is no guesswork. The odd thing about the unit is that all of those cool buttons that you see pertain mainly to the clock and timer functions.

The shortwave side is fairly stripped down with just a 3-way bandwidth selector, a switch for a noise blanker, a RF gain knob, and a 4 position switch for USB, LSB, etc. That is pretty much it for tuning and knob twiddling and I would had preferred to have a few more knobs for antenna trim and other features to eek out faint signals. I guess I was expecting more I don’t know?

I personally find it to be the best radio I have ever used as far as audio and ease of use. I did some side by side tests against the ICF-2010 for sensitivity and it is about a wash. But for 1/10 the price the Sony wins all day long and you cant beat the sync detector! I find myself amazed that I would ever own a RF-9000 and consider it a great investment. I think this seller is dreaming if he thinks he can get that price for it though.

Thanks for sharing your review of the RF-9000! You certainly have a rare and classy receiver that actually performs–a keeper for sure. If I recall correctly, even the tuning knob feels perfectly weighted on the ‘9000.

Based on what these sell for, I don’t think you overpaid for your ‘9000–indeed, you got it at a bit of a discount.

Click here to search eBay for the Panasonic RF-9000.

Click here to view the RF-9000 at Universal Radio.

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14 thoughts on “Luke considers the Panasonic RF-9000 an investment and solid performer

  1. Edward

    The platinum standard to compare with all other SW receivers. Like the SP 600 but without the heft and weight, size and tubes and can run on batteries!

  2. Al

    Hi Luke,

    I have a mint RF-9000 I would like to sell. What would be fair value with box and instruction manual.

    Thank you,


  3. Luke Perry

    I made a YouTube video of the RF-9000 along with a matching Panasonic Antenna Coupler which works great with the longwire antenna that came with it. Here is the link for anyone interested in viewing it:

  4. Chuck Ermatinger

    I was once offered an RF-9000 for $250, and never followed through on buying it. I wonder how honest an offer that was? I’ll never know. I could easily deal with a little bagpiping from such a beautiful work of art.

  5. Luke Perry

    I did some rearranging and found a permanent home for the RF-9000. I am lucky that it’s new home is right next to the door that leads to the outer deck so I have lots of options for the antenna. Right now I just have a random wire that runs along the wood frame of the sliding door, but there is a coax pass through for the defunct Dish TV that I could use for a outdoor antenna if I want to go that route.

    The radio so far has surpassed my expectations and seems to do a good job on DX. It looks pretty good also which doesn’t hurt. Here is a picture I took tonight after I got it set up in it’s new location:

  6. Luke Perry

    Hey thanks for putting up my review! You know, considering how coveted this radio is there is very little online about it. Another thing I noticed about mine and some of the others I have seen like the one on EBay now, is that mine does not have the raised border around the group of preset buttons. Maybe mine was one of the earlier ones?

    Here is the auction link for mine. The unit is actually nicer than it would appear here, especially after I detailed it and fixed the ‘dings’.

    1. Dan

      The raised border around the memory buttons is a magnetic panel that attaches to the radio. This panel came with the radio as new, and no doubt is frequently lost over the years.

  7. Dan Robinson

    Another characteristic of the RF-9000, which has been noted on a number of units so it appears to have been part of the early PLL design on this radio, is pretty significant bagpiping artifacts as you tune from frequency to frequency. This is most noticeable obviously on shortwave frequencies and can be annoying. It reduces the thrill of using a RF-9000 somewhat, but as I have observed in the past, using one of these radios is like driving a Lamborghini.

  8. Edward

    What baffles me is the “clock” function that is put in a lot of radios. Even the old hammarlunds. They could have invested the efforts into the RF end of the design. I always relied on clock on the wall for the time.


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