Sony ICF-2001D/2010 vs ICF-SW77: The final result & next contender ~ The Eton E1

Hi there, after conducting a total of 14 reception tests comparing these two vintage – but excellent portable shortwave radios, there was a clear winner – the ICF-2001D. Interestingly, the second half of the testing identified yet another example of synchronous detection lock dropping out on the ICF-SW77 (during reception of Radio CANDIP, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 5066.4 kHz). Generally, however, and despite a fairly narrow performance margin, the ICF-2001D managed to deliver clearer audio across 5 of the remaining 6 reception tests, giving a final score of 9 to 3 in it’s favour. However, despite the clear win, there is no doubt in my mind at all that the ICF-SW77 is still a great portable receiver and in my humble opinion, remains one of the best ever made.

I believe this comparison test reveals the only likely remaining contender to the top-spot in portable shortwave receivers to be the Eton E1/E1XM. Originally to be marketed as the ‘Satellit 900’ (that never happened) and following a decade of development, involving RL Drake, it was finally introduced in 1995 – and then out of production within a few years. Fortunately, a couple of months ago, I managed to snag one in excellent condition on eBay, for a reasonable price. Now, these radios are not without issues, including, but not limited to; sticky rubber exterior casing, malfunctioning display, failing function keys and general all-round fragility. Not exactly what I would be looking for in a rugged, well-performing portable for my DXpeditions. However, as someone who is always exploring ways to ‘push the performance envelope’ and the obvious potential benefits of passband tuning, an allegedly superior synchronous detection circuit, 4 audio bandwidth filters and tuning resolution down to 10 Hz, the E1 was impossible for me to ignore. Thus, at some point in the near future, I will perform a similar comparison test with the Sony ICF-2001D and the Eton E1. Whichever camp you might be in, I hope you’ll enjoy the reception videos and find the results/conclusions informative.

For now, wishing you all excellent DX.

eton-e1l

The Eton E1; possibly the best portable shortwave receiver of all time?

 

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

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9 thoughts on “Sony ICF-2001D/2010 vs ICF-SW77: The final result & next contender ~ The Eton E1

  1. palcomp3.mus.br

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding
    this topic to be really one thing which I think I’d never understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I am taking a look ahead to your next publish, I will attempt to get the
    dangle of it!

    Reply
  2. Phil Ireland

    Hi Clint,
    I’d be very interested in your conclusion. I have both the 2001D and E1XM and in my experience, the E1 out performs the Sony. It’s a superb receiver!
    I removed the sticky covering and have 3 lines on the display out but apart from that, no problems.
    It would be interesting to see if any readers have managed to repair the display.
    Good luck with your investigation. All the best from Australia.
    Cheers……….Phil

    Reply
    1. Clint Gouveia Post author

      Hi Phil, thanks for your comments. It’s really interesting to hear that in your experience, the E1 outperforms Sony – that’s exactly what I’m hoping for, otherwise my investment in that rather fragile portable would have been a bit of a waste! All the best from Oxford, UK! 73, Clint

      Reply
    2. Guy Atkins

      Hi Phil,

      To my knowledge no one has successfully repaired a E1XM LCD screen. Evidently most failures involve irreparable damage to one of the sensitive driver ICs behind the LCD module. There is a grounding modification that can be done to the PBT control which is supposed to greatly reduce the chance of static electricity damaging the LCD display. I’ve done this mod to my current E1XM.

      BTW I enjoy your YouTube channel!

      73, Guy

      Reply
  3. Troy Riedel

    Hi,

    I am very much looking forward to your comparison versus the Eton E1. That’s one radio I wish that I owned, but when they’ve become available on eBay I’ve always flinched because of the poor quality control and have passed on it.

    Troy

    Reply
    1. James Townley

      I own both the Sony ICF-2010 and the Eton E1XM . Both radios are excellent, but I prefer the E1XM over the 2010. I feel the sync detector is works better on the E1XM, because it stays locked on weaker signals, and seems to sound better. The E1XM has three bandwidths 2, 4, and 7 kHz along with the past band tuning allow me to dig out signal and hear them more comfortably than on the 2010. Overall, I find the audio of E1XM to be superior to the 2010. I love the 2010, but I tend to use the E1XM more regularly.

      Reply
  4. Manuel Medina Martin

    It is difficult to make a comparison between these radios since the internal circuitry if not reviewed by a qualified technician is probably not 100% of its capacity

    Reply

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