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!