Dan’s Overview of the Stampfl Stressless Receiver Kit

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares this review of the new Stampfl Stressless receiver:

The Stampfl “Stressless”

by Dan Robinson

Stampfl based in Switzerland is well known as a manufacturer of excellent antennas, morse keys, and other equipment for amateur radio operators and SWLs. Now, Stampfl is offering what it calls the “Stressless” HF receiver. Housed in a beautiful heavy metal cabinet, one would think that there would be more to this than there is actually is — it’s a very basic receiver made, as the name implies, for those who want a minimum of stress in their HF listening.

Note: All photos have been sourced from Stampfl.

It is intended as an assembly kit, with some minimal soldering required. Heinz Stampfl notes that the VFO and RX board are fully assembled and tested. Total construction time is estimated a 1-2 hours. Star of the show on the Stressless is the large color display which enables changing of colors, tuning step, VFO A/B, attenuation, and memories. The single bandwidth has been well chosen — I had no problems listening to Voz Missionaria in Brazil on 9,665 khz though any stations requiring separation will be a challenge for this receiver since there is no SSB and that one bandwidth. The receiver tunes from 100 kHz to 30 MHz.

One would hope that firmware might be upgradeable, but Stampfl states that this is not possible, which is a bit of a puzzle. The receiver runs on 11-15V DC — the only other thing on the back of the cabinet is the BNC antenna input.

I’ll have more thoughts on the “Stressless” after I complete additional testing. So far, it has appeal as a very simple receiver with high sensitivity and a beautiful front interface. It might be a good choice for beginning SWLs, as many of them as there are out there, but the price/feature ratio is a bit of steep climb against the background of Tecsun portables with multi-bandwidth and SSB capabilities, not to mention the recently released Choyong LC90 which combines good SW, AM, and FM with Internet radio.

The “Stressless” — for those who can afford the price — would be good as an easy-to-use main listening receiver for stations not requiring much DXing skill or tools to separate. These days with the SW bands populated by fewer stations, this receiver might be fun to have around and it is certainly a good way to teach the radio hobby to newcomers.

The “Stressless” I am testing arrived well-packed in a clam-shell style inner box — it was already assembled by Stampfl for which I am grateful. The company also makes the X One Active Dipole antenna, which I am also testing at the moment and will have more on at a later date.

Click here to check out and order the Stampfl Stressless.


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7 thoughts on “Dan’s Overview of the Stampfl Stressless Receiver Kit

  1. Alan

    For those who see everyone mention the price: 555 CHF (Swiss Francs).
    If that puts you off, don’t bother clicking the link to the product page.

    1. Dennis Moore

      No SSB…..where on this earth would that make sense. There’s more ham radio activity,than there is SW broadcast stations,AND 99% (my guesstimate) of ham radio voice activity is SSB.
      Why build a SW receiver,from a great company pedigree then handicap it from the start ?
      Dennis w2gli

  2. Andy

    Hmm. A nice-looking, well finished receiver, but I think at the price it should have SSB reception with suitable filtering. I agre with the comment about the tuning knob too, it looks too small and badly-positioned on the panel.

  3. adi

    I’m sorry, but for that price I think twice as large tuning knob is a must and should be more to the left.
    The volume knob also looks cheap.
    Even at the golden era it was stressful to listen to SW , that was most of the fun, I don’t see how these days SW can be stressless.


  4. Dean Bianco

    I don’t understand why extra bandwidths and SSB capability couldn’t have been included. I don’t think the inclusion of these basic receiver features would make the Stressless stressful. Too, the price is more than too high. It’s a deal breaker for me, despite the quality build and boutique pedigree.

    1. Daniel A Robinson

      Yes, that is the big question with this receiver. As Dean notes, including multiple bandwidths and SSB would seem to be must haves, though the single bandwidth does very well. Providing at least a NAR/WIDE option, such as seen on Palstar receivers, along with SSB would seem to be easy to accomplish and would certainly boost sales of the “Stressless”

  5. Thomas Post author

    Thank you for this, Dan! Stampfl’s designs are always beautiful. I love how the Stressless smacks of the Lowe RF-line of long ago. There’s something about that level of simplicity in a broadcast receiver.

    Stampfl’s products are not inexpensive, but I must say that it’s all very high quality.

    Thank you for sharing this Dan and I look forward to your notes moving forward.



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