Stephan’s replacement Sangean ATS-909X2 has a few issues

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Stephan, who shares a follow-up report after receiving a replacement Sangean AT-909X2 from Sangean Europe. Click here to read Stephan’s initial report along with Sangean America’s comments.

Stephan shares the following update:

Below are some of my observations on my recently arrived ATS-909×2. I spent two week-ends to carefully test this radio. Unfortunately, the radio that I received is not much improved, and it’s even worse in some aspects. This device has the latest firmware, VER. 073.

The bug related to sensitivity loss after switching bands is fixed, but the receiving performance is too bad to keep this radio in my collection.

This unit has better sensitivity on medium wave and long wave, but also it has lots of birdies on these bands. On long wave there are 14 strong birdies and dead carriers, on medium wave there are over 20 tones. The meowing sound while tuning is also still present. If somebody is interested, I can record audio demonstrations.

For these unpardonable issues, I consider this device a very expensive toy, but not a radio, at least not for listening to medium wave stations. It’s unbelievable that my 5 times cheaper Tecsun PL-398 is so much better on medium wave than this expensive receiver.

Another interesting issue which I discovered is a loud popping sound that occurs if I turn the tuning wheel a bit faster than usual. That pop gives you the impression that you just passed over a strong signal.

Sometimes, pushing the bandwith button puts the radio in SSB mode. It happened at least 5 times. I know that I am blind, but the keys are easily discernable.

Very low volume on SSB mode, but this is a known issue.

That’s all for now. This device goes back to Sangean Europe and I’ll not try again soon.

I really hope that only my particular unit is affected by these issues, but this is the second problematic device here. Might be I should buy from Sangean America… I simply can’t understand why a radio is not verified before shipping. I prefer to get a tested device with the original box opened, instead of exchanging multiple products. Such an expensive radio should be tested before shipping, because sometimes there are significant unit to unit variations. Or, even better, devices should be checked at the factory location with professional tools. Testing is needed, because there are many situations when a birdie is audible only if it’s mixed with another signal.

Thanks for reading!

Thank you for sharing this, Stephan. It sounds like the unit you received does have some quality control issues. Other than the low SSB volume level, my ATS-909X2 unit (from Sangean America) hasn’t had these issues.

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12 thoughts on “Stephan’s replacement Sangean ATS-909X2 has a few issues

  1. Mitja

    Hi there, I bought mine at the end of June, from Condrad (they ship from Sangean Europe)

    It has a manufactory date of 10/2020
    And FW ver 073 and it also has a poping sound when tunning fast as well as interference from LCD on SW

    MW and LW is allright on mine (at least I think it is)

    LW: https://youtu.be/PddHDMSs6MU
    MW: https://youtu.be/fdgfHF6-qSw

    It also overloads like crazy if near a strong transmitter: https://youtu.be/AkO4Qlsg9dk

    The old 909X (ver 1.29), doesnt do that

    So…

    But FM is good: https://youtu.be/_z-ZCy4zEFc
    If only using it for FM then its better then the old one, if using it for the rest, then its not

    I wrote to sangean describing my issues but recieved no reply yet, hope they reply soon 🙂

    Reply
  2. iGreg

    About a month ago I bought the 909 X2 (with the 073 firmware) from Amazon. I was generally happy with it, though I am not a shortwave expert. HOWEVER, I recently noticed that all the Medium Wave AM stations were off by 4 kHz, so I returned it and am getting a different radio delivered tomorrow (Tecsun 680).

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Tom,

      I’m writing up a review for The Spectrum Monitor right now. Guessing it might be published in July or August.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

      Reply
  3. Ron

    Just got mine yesterday, wow, glad mine was a good production run! I waited to make sure I got the VER073
    confirmed by entering the ENTER tab with the radio off. It will make a good travel radio for me.
    Tecsun 501x should arrive Thursday and , since larger, will make it my house/ patio radio. Reminds
    Me of the old Grundig styled radios, Overall, satisfied with my newly arrived Sangean 909×2 from Anon.

    Reply
  4. DanH

    I’m sorry to read about Stephan’s bad luck with his radio. My 909X2 keeps cooking along. As I write now at 15:11 UTC I’m listening to Voice of Korea (North Korea) in English with the 909X2 on the horizontal loop. Happy listening!

    Reply
    1. stefan

      Could you tell us the production date of your radio? Mine was manufactured in December 2020, with serial number 13726. Maybe just another preproduction unit sold to Europe…?

      Reply
  5. Anthony G.

    Thank you for your update!

    I bought the 909×2 two months ago. It was a V070 so I sent it to Sangean in Santa Fe for firmware update. I got it back last week and I am very pleased with it overall.

    I have been able to catch far away AM stations at nighttime and Shortwave stations day and night. I have not compared it side by side with another radio and I am fairly new at all of this.

    I plan on getting an external antenna to do further testing. I was thinking an active loop but if anyone has a suggestion for me, I will be very happy to receive it.

    My only issue is one that was stated many times over : the sound level between SSB and « normal » listening. It is not much of an issue once you get use to it but a perfect machine would not have this flaw.

    Reply
    1. Ron C

      Hello Anthony, when I downsized from 3 acres to a postage stamp lot with a small house, the loop was my best option. I do miss my mini beverage antennas! I went to a deed restricted senior community after my wife passed away and my health took a turn south. I have to keep my loop PORTABLE to safely use it in this community. Control Committee agrees they can’t do nothing about it since it is not a fixed antenna but really portable. Your “ other half “ and lot size are main factors to consider in your decisions. I luv my Wellbrook Loop. Know your situation and explore the many options available to you. Enjoy exploring your options.

      Reply
  6. Dan

    Some good observations — Sangean we hope will do some work and perhaps make some changes, but I am not optimistic

    Reply

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