Gary regrets getting his refurbished Sangean PR-D4W

You might recall this previous post regarding a limited number of refurbished Sangean PR-D4W units on Gary notes that he regrets making this purchase:

“Sadly, my refurbished PR-D4W only worked well for a little over one day. Now, medium strength and weaker AM stations have a greatly reduced audio level. Before, they sounded fine. It seems like the AGC is faulty.”

Read his full reply on the Herculodge blog.

And sadly this is the issue with refurbished products.

I spoke with a radio manufacturer once about their process of refurbishing radios. They have a very specific check list, testing and burn-in period after addressing the reported issue. More often than not, refurbished radios come from an inventory of “open box” units where the customer took delivery, opened the box, but returned the unit without reason during the warranty period. Some radios, however, have reported issues and the technician addresses the issue, tests the radio, cleans it, then repackages it. On occasion, some issues slip through because the problem doesn’t show up during the burn in period.

This likely could be the case with your unit, Gary, and you did the right thing to solve it: return it to the retailer!

Thank you for sharing the follow-up!

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7 thoughts on “Gary regrets getting his refurbished Sangean PR-D4W

  1. Gary

    I sent back the refurb PR-D4W and purchased a new one directly from Amazon, which arrived today. The refurb, before it failed, could pick up my local TIS station on 530 kHz as well as my two PR-D5 units. On the new one it’s way down in the noise and barely audible. The same lower sensitivity is seen with other weak stations on the lower part of the AM band. This PR-D4W is definitely not a 4-1/2 star performer as was the one Jay Allen tested.

    This sample to sample variation is very disappointing. I’ll send the new PR-D4W back and pass on this model.

  2. Mario

    I’ve seen “refurbs” both on Amazon and EBay. Gary’s post provides valuable information and I appreciate hearing about his experience because radio hobbyists are continually buying and selling equipment. Any positive or negative encounters are useful to the readers and this is the perfect venue for it.

    Thanks Gary and Thomas.

  3. Iona

    Being completely frank, do we care? Most of us subscribe to this blog for interesting/useful/fun news and information about radio.

    The fact that one guy bought a dud radio and returned it hardly counts as novel or interesting info.

    1. Thomas Post author

      I hear ya. I think the reason I posted this was to make a point a refurbished products. Even if it comes from the manufacturer, the buyer should still be prepared to check it out thoroughly upon delivery.


    2. Fabien

      Funny you say that. I was just opening up a comment to say thank you. This morning, I almost bought a ‘refurbished’ item {okay, it was a toy…don’t judge me} on Blinq. I read this post and gave it a second though. Did a little searching. Turns out a brand new one from a reputable seller whose name begins with an “A” was only a whopping $7 more!

      I need to remind myself that refurbs aren’t always a good deal either.

      Thanks for the post. Love the SWLing site!


  4. Mike S

    It is always helpful to know the circumstances of a refurb being offered for resale. The worst is the eBay category “seller refurbished” which may indicate nothing more than throwing the piece into a box and labelling it.

    The fact that the manufacturer is doing the refurb, gives one a small measure of comfort but it seems in this case, perhaps not. For instance, factory refurb cameras from Canon and others are pretty much “as new” … sometimes better as they may have updated firmware etc.

    The glossy finish on Sangean portables – which many have railed about to no avail – makes cosmetics a big issue even with day-to-day use. Time to get out that suite of Novus plastic polishes….

    1. Thomas Post author

      Very good point, Mike. I find “Seller Refurbished” to be a nearly useless designation unless the seller is a professional repair technician (and almost none of them are, it seems). Frankly, I only grab manufacturer refurbished if I know there’s a good return policy and warranty (with free returns) to back it up. In addition, I always set aside time to throughoughly check it and do a “burn in” period myself.

      No doubt, though, one of the reasons I never buy refurbs is because I do radio reviews and would never base one on a refurb unless it’s out of production.

      Thanks for the comment!


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