Jerry spots a rare Sony CRF-1 on eBay


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jerry (WWØE), who shares a link to this rare Sony CRF-1 on eBay.


Here’s an excerpt from Bigapple59’s (the Seller) description:

This Ebay listing is for a Sony CRF-1 “portable” radio manufactured in Japan from 1981- 1986 and selling for a new price of around $1,795 not including the power supply. When using the CPI inflation calculator, the price when adjusted for 2016 dollars would be over $4,600! As you can determine, this radio was a premium portable that would outside the price range of anyone except the wealthy who desired the absolute best radio and had the money to purchase it. The time of this manufacture was also a time when Sony reached a height in worldwide respectability with it’s manufacture of Walk*man cassette players. From what we can determine gleaned from various sources, this radio was used by well-heeled buyers and by various media personnel who wanted a good shortwave radio to tune to the BBC, Voice of America, and other stations when they traveled internationally and to remote locations. Indeed, information related to this radio mentions that it can be tucked under the airline seat.

The CRF-1 is very scarce and is sought after by collectors. We have sold hundreds of radios and receivers here on Ebay, but do not commonly have a CRF-1 to offer for sale. Not only is this a scarce unit, but it is in nice overall cosmetic and operational condition. There are a couple of minor marks on the radio, but these can be considered as acceptable for the age of this unit and for it’s relative scarcity. Please note that there is a modification of extra inputs on the rear panel which are believed to be for external antenna and ground, but untested to verify.

Operationally, the radio works wonderfully with no known issues or problems. The front panel lights all illuminate and give off a nice green glow in a darkened room, but which are hard to see during daylight and do not show in my pictures. The included power supply can be adjusted to accommodate voltages ranging from 100 – 240 volts AC. Beneath the power supply is a battery harness clip that is used when you install D cell batteries for operation.

This CRF-1 comes with it’s AC power cord, a copy of the user manual, receiver reviews, copy of the service manual, a Theory of Operation document (not shown), and a CD that has many of the aforementioned documents on it. The unit has the battery holder at the bottom of the battery compartment. This is removed and then snapped on top of the batteries to secure them when the power supply is not being used. This CRF-1 also comes with it’s internal ACP-122W power supply which is not always present and can sell for a handsome sum of money when located for sale. One of these ACP-122W’s sold awhile back in Germany for nearly $300.

I’m sure SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, will know all about the CRF-1 and can, perhaps, comment.

The BuyItNow price for the CRF-1 is $1,695.00 US–a hefty sum and well out of my budget. For what it’s worth, Bigapple59 has a very good reputation on eBay and seems to specialize in the sale of rare solid-state receivers.

Regardless if you’re a Sony collector or not, it’s still mighty fun to take a close look at these benchmark receivers of yesteryear. Hey–one can dream!

Click here to view on eBay. 

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7 thoughts on “Jerry spots a rare Sony CRF-1 on eBay

  1. Andres

    para la fecha de su fabricacion este CRF-1 de la SONY me sigue dando muchas satisfacciones ,lo adquire de un amigo Radioaficionado no funcionaba lo mande a reparar y hasta hoy sigue funcionando tanto con antena externa como la antena interna le puse una toma de tierra,vi los precios es increible .saludos de Andy YV5DR

  2. Pingback: eBay sighting: The Sony CRF-1 | The SWLing Post

  3. Guy Atkins

    This CRF-1 for auction has extra inputs on the rear panel, installed by a previous owner presumably for another antenna and ground. For such a collectible and rare receiver, wouldn’t this put a good sized dent in the value?

  4. Dan Robinson

    Thanks Tom for the invitation to comment. For high-level collectors and users of SONY’s great lineup of receivers, yes the CRF-1 is right up there at the top and still sought after, though a bit less so than in previous years. The reasons for that involves certain issues related to aging, one major characteristic of the radio that is well known and made it a bit of a pain to use, as well as cosmetic issues of concern to the collector. First, this receiver was indeed built like a tank and reminds one of the amazing design and construction of the CRF-320/330 receivers. The antenna is huge – really long. The receiver has a power power supply that inserts in the top of the radio, an amazing piece of design. Unfortunately, there are original lamps in the radio that can go out and replacing them is a chore. The rubber around the main tuning knob can dry out and peel off. The main complaint, of course, about the CRF-1 is the SONY design that forces one to PUSH/PULL the main tuning knob for fine tuning mode every to move to the next 100 khz segment — the only receiver to my knowledge built by anyone that has such a feature. Many CRF-1s are in poor cosmetic condition. The ones that are not are increasingly rare, as are units with the original box and manual. I saw one of these a few years ago on the sidelines of a SWL meeting and almost bought it, but having owned a CRF-1 many years ago I did not want to re-visit the issue of the PUSH/PULL tuning. Anyway, my thoughts on this CRF-1 and hope all of this helps…

    1. J Damian McSorley

      I have one for sale, great condition
      with power pack etc, I’ve haven’t used it for some
      time since getting a 7300.

      (If I’m allowed to post in here, if not please remove)


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