Dan’s thoughts on a Panasonic RF-9000 up for auction

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Appearing on the Japanese Buyee website is this RF-9000, which was the “King of Radios” of the heavy multiband “portable” era.

In recent years, RF-9000s in excellent to LNIB condition have sold for $10,000 or more.

A tour d’force of technology in its day, the 9000 featured room-filling main speakers and PLL technology that was advanced for its time.

The shortwave receiver section of the 9000 was plagued by PLL artifacts which prevented the radio from achieving what it could have had this problem not been solved in advance by Panasonic engineers.

A LNIB RF-9000 that I purchased for near $5,000 sold to a Hong Kong collector for $10,000 a few years ago. While I do miss its amazing FM quality and looks, the receiver ultimately lagged behind others, such as the SONY CRF-330K and 320 in performance.

The asking price for this 9000, which appears to have cosmetic issues, is in my view high.

Click here to view the RF-9000 auction.

Thank you for your insights, Dan!

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5 thoughts on “Dan’s thoughts on a Panasonic RF-9000 up for auction

  1. Jack Dully

    It reminds me of my Zenith Trans Oceanic that I bought around the mid sixties.The Zenith Royal D-7000-Y which was new around that time.,I believe. You could use it as anchor if you were drifting out to sea. I wonder how they would match up head to head on performance and features. The zenith also had a great sound to it and the radio was mighty hefty and rugged. My Zenith still works well but can’t compare with the more sophisticated and refined radios of today like the 880,Eton E-1,Sony 7600 etc.

    Reply
    1. Ron F

      The Zenith is a tiddler compared to the Panasonic – the latter is about 1/2 as wide & tall *again* (in fact, the Panasonic is taller than the Zenith is *wide*), and weighs over twice as much! It really is a monster of a ‘portable’ radio

      Reply
  2. Ron F

    A few years after the RF-9000 was released, I worked at a ham/swl shop where we had one on display. Don’t know how they’d ended up with it – afaik they’d never been a Panasonic agent – but it was in immaculate condition and only pulled out of its locked display cabinet and demonstrated on rare occasions to satisfy the curiosity of very special customers. Absolute tank of a unit too – something like 20kg *without* batteries; batteries would’ve added another kilo or two – and we had to be very careful taking it down off the shelf.

    I remember it being outstanding on FM, and very sensitive on the LW/MW/SW bands. But, as Dan notes, absolutely riddled with PLL noise & birdies all the way from LW to SW. I always thought of it as a very special radio in the same way that Karl Benz’s 3-wheeler was a very special car – utterly impractical, plagued with faults and issues, but very much a taste of things to come…

    Amazing-looking radio; pity about its issues. It *did* however have one of the best and most intuitive world time maps I’ve ever seen in the front cover.

    Reply

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