Which is the best? Sony ICF-2001D/2010 or ICF-SW77?


Hi there, subscribers to my YouTube channel Oxford Shortwave Log  will be aware that I currently operate both of these wonderful vintage portables. I purchased the ICF-2001D only 18 months ago from eBay, based largely on its reputation as one of the best performing portables ever made. Previously I had been using my excellent ICF-SW55 as the mainstay receiver for my numerous DXpeditions, coupled with irregular appearances from my Sangean ATS-803A and the excellent value-for-money Tecsun PL-360. The ICF-2001D proved to be a revelation in terms of sensitivity, selectivity and contrary to popular belief, with careful planning (to avoid crowded bands), is able to cope pretty well with very large antennas. As regards audio bandwidth filtering, SSB and synchronous detection, in my experience, the ICF-2001D is as good as it gets in a portable – or a vintage portable at least. I have lost count of the number of personal-firsts I’ve achieved using this wonderful receiver and as someone who likes to push the envelope a little, I soon started to wonder whether it’s replacement, the ICF-SW77 might prove to be an even better performer. Subsequent online research  confirmed there was no absolute consensus on this issue, with followers of these two great receivers firmly placed in both camps.

Sometime later, a good friend of mine, fellow radio hobbyist and subscriber to Oxford Shortwave Log very kindly offered to send me his cherished ICF-SW77 on long-term loan. Like me, he was intrigued to know how it compared to it’s venerable predecessor and thus the deal was done! Upon it’s arrival in July, I started planning a back-to-back series of comparison tests at the very quiet wood in Oxfordshire I used for my DX’peditions, using the same antenna for both recievers – the excellent Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop. In total, I made fourteen reception videos comparing the ICF-2001D and ICF-SW77 and posted them to Oxford Shortwave Log. Both receivers performed very well, delivering excellent reception on the Tropical Band and elsewhere on the shortwave spectrum from Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, amongst others. At the halfway stage, I generated a video to summarise the results to-date and this will follow in my next post to swling.com.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the first half of the reception videos; which follow below:

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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11 thoughts on “Which is the best? Sony ICF-2001D/2010 or ICF-SW77?

  1. Barry Griffiths

    Hi.my name is Barry. I retired from the British Army in 1983 after 25 years went on to become a member of the emergency planning team in West Sussex. I purchased a Sony pll synthesised receiver ice 200 I’d round about 1986.cost approx £300 to keep abreast world affairs.The radio was hardly used.In 2000 I retired to Spain. Recently I was digging through some packing boxes in the pool well house when low and behold I discovered the radio in its original box and packing in virtually mint condition.lcannot find the power source cable. What are the best batteries to use ?
    .can anyone help, best wishes Baz

  2. jeff

    i got one that was about to be binned,i like that sw77, little cleaning and it was working after i fixed the psu plug and battery terminals. jeffrey

  3. Patrick

    Hi mates !

    I’m the proud owner of a Sony 2001-D, but it hasn’t been working for a few days …
    The main display only shows ERROR 3 (time is OK). I checked the manuel to see what this means, but I’m still unable to make it work again. I installed fresh batteries (polarity is OK), MAIN POWER is switched to ON as usual, and no AC adapter is used. Hence, the ERROR 3 message shoudn’t appear …
    Any suggestion is welcome.

    1. Clint Gouveia Post author

      Hi Patrick, I hope you manage to get your 2001-D fixed. The batteries are a bit loose in mine and I often get the ‘error 3’ message displayed, but a quick squeeze or shake and it usually goes. Check all the batteries are making contact, particularly the 2 x AA cells for the memory. Cheers

    2. Mike Travis

      Remove the rear cover carefully and hard wire the D cell battery connectors to the PCB. Solder them. The springs are an unreliable system. Good radio otherwise. 2 more things that are unconnected with this problem. Blocked AM = Q34. No 12V rail = Q701 or 702 (oscillator) Good luck. I have had and rectified these faults on several of the 2001D radios but a long time ago.

    1. Clint Gouveia

      Thank you Robert!

      My goodness it sold for $1,535.00!

      Says a lot about it’s reputation as one of the best portables ever made.



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