Photo of the new Tecsun PL-330, PL-990, and H-501

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lee, who writes:

Hi Thomas, I just found this photo [above] on Reddit of three new radios from Tecsun: the PL-330, the PL-990, and the H-501. I knew about the PL-990, but I didn’t realize there was a PL-330 or H-501. Any inside info? 73, Lee

Thanks for your message, Lee. I had not seen the photo of the PL-330 until you sent this one.

The PL-330, I assume, is the latest in the PL-3XX line which has primarily been DSP-based ultralight broadcast receivers. I believe only one model, the PL-365/CountyComm GP5-SSB, had SSB capabilities. The PL-330 appears to have dedicated LSB and USB mode buttons on the front panel (lower right in photo below).

Since both the Digitech AR-1780 and XHDATA D-808 both have selectable sideband, I’m not surprised the new PL-330 does as well. I’m very curious if the PL-990 will be priced competitively like PL-3XX models have been in the past–perhaps below $80 US.

The PL-330 certainly appears to have taken design cues from the PL-990 in terms of overall control layout.

The Tecsun H-501 is a new model that was previously referred to as the Tecsun S-9900.  I believe a pilot run has been made of the PL-990 and H-501–possibly the PL-330 as well.

I will be reviewing each of these radios as soon as they’re available here in the US.

Thanks for the tip, Lee!

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10 thoughts on “Photo of the new Tecsun PL-330, PL-990, and H-501

  1. oscar

    Tecsun Customer Service from Hong Kong just sent me an email stating the H501 will be available for export after the Chinese New Year (20 January 2020)

    Reply
  2. Roger Fitzharris

    Some random thoughts on the Tecsun PL-330.
    I for one certainly hope that Tecsun follows through with the production of this model.
    Of course, the devil is always in the details; but, if the PL-330 features the same sensitivity and selectivity as the PL-380, plus full SW band coverage – along with its SSB mode – it could be a viable alternative to the “pricey” C Crane Skywave SSB.
    One would have to do without the Skywave’s Weather band channels, its VHF Aviation bands, and its slightly smaller footprint; but, one could end up with a compact SW radio with many of the features that are found on the C Crane Skywave SSB for about ½ the price.
    In the end, one will have to compare the C Crane Skywave SSB to the newly introduced Tecsun PL-330 to see whether or not the C Crane Skywave SSB is worth its excessively high price.

    Reply
    1. RonF

      Worth remembering though that “weather band” coverage is irrelevant to potential buyers in the vast majority of the world – outside NA it’s just a few annoyingly-restricted channels in one of the general-use/ maritime/aero/fixed mobile bands.

      Reply
      1. Roger Fitzharris

        The XHDATA D-808 is an alternative to the C Crane Skywave SSB, but not a viable one for what I’m looking for. Take the dimensions, for example: Width x Height x Depth (in.)
        CC Skywave : 4.8 x 3.3 x 1.0
        XHDATA D-808: 6.2 x 3.6 x 1.3
        Tecsun PL-330 (est.): 5.3 x 3.3 x 1.4
        Another consideration would be price and availability. Currently, the XHDATA can only be shipped to the U. S. via Israel, to circumvent some export issues. The cost is currently $99.85 + $5.49 (shipping) for a total of $105.34. BTW, the time frame for shipping is 4-6 weeks.
        I would anticipate that the PL-330 would be priced less than $ 100 (even with shipping); and, based on my experiences with Anon-Co, you would have that” bad boy” in your hands in less than 10 days.
        Finally, I would expect Tecsun’s new offering (the PL-330) to outperform the XHDATA, based on the current eHam ratings for the Tecsun PL-380 and theXHDATA: 4.8 and 4.0, respectively.
        But that’s what “Shootouts” are for — to settle those kind of differences. All I’m looking for is a price and perfrmance alternative (w/o Airband) to the C Crane Skywave SSB.

        Reply
  3. Max

    Talking about these radios just looking to the functions and the keys is like talking about cars without looking what engine is under the hood.
    If this is fully understandable for the common user of consumer electronics it is not for the radio and swl enthusiast.
    Manufacturers will not tell you what DSP ic is used and or other details about the circuits. Everybody is invited to share details and photos of the circuits avaialable when talking about a radio and if these details and photos are not avaialble to open the plastic box he purchased and take pictures to share.

    Reply
    1. Richard Brown

      Like the look of this fleet. Old school design – let’s hope their performances match the likes of the Grundigs, Panasonic etc.

      Reply
  4. Mike Bennett

    ..do any of these radios have an AIR BAND?….(Longwave, Medium, FM, would be nice!). Do you think with today’s technology, they can manufacture radios that have DX’ing for Medium Wave (AM), just as good as the Panasonic RF-2200!…?

    Reply
    1. Max

      You can just digit “Panasonic RF-2200 vs” on youtube and see several comparison tests. However the test will not tell you if the merit comes from the circuits or from the antenna.
      MW Dxing involves the use of external antennas that could be a passively coupled loop. The comparison test should be made using the same external antenna or you risk to confuse a better antenna with a better radio.

      Reply
    2. Joe

      The C Crane CC Radio EP Pro is a currently manufactured MW DX’er right out of the box. It is well made and seems to be worth the $90.

      The newest version of the Handrongda HRD-1032 is a decent bargain basement priced. MW DX’er. Given the low cost ($14 or so), your mileage may vary on this one as the unit to unit quality control varies. I have two, and the first one I purchased outshines the second one. No SSB on this one, but it does have 76 – 108 on FM, 520 – 1710 on MW (with 9/10 K user selectable), and 2.3 to 26.1 on SW. FM is really good. SW is ok (quite usable), but the radio seems to overload pretty easily with an external random wire attached.

      I have heard some good things about MW capabilities of the recently released Retekess TR-103. It is around $25 currently. It even has a Micro SD (TF) card reader which allows for a 64 GB card. It seems really good for a shirt pocket sized unit.

      Out of these three, the C Crane is going to come closest to the venerable Panasonic.

      Reply

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