One of the great things about sheltering at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, is I have time to complete some projects that would have otherwise waited until much later this year.
Lately, I’ve been making a serious effort to have our firewood cut, split and stacked so that it’ll have time to cure and dry before winter.
I’ve got a load of wood in my truck to process today so decided to take the Panasonic RF-2200 outside and do a little AM BC listening to make the splitting session pass a little faster.
The Panny ‘2200 is ideally suited for this task: it has robust sound and is one of the best AM DX portables ever made. I knew it would easily lock on to WTZQ 1600 kHz (some 25 miles away).
But as I sat the ‘2200 on the tailgate of my truck, I noticed that the power switch was already on!
My heart sank. The last time I had the RF-2200 out was well over a week ago and I was certain I had no D cells charged and ready to replace these.
But then I turned up the volume and there was static. I tuned to WTZQ and it sounded like it was one mile down the road. I turned up the volume a bit more when I heard Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel.
Turns out, there was a lot of battery life left. The Panny ‘2200 never let’s me down.
The Panasonic RF-2200 is a Holy Grail Radio. Plain and simple.
Though I own a number of portables that have better performance specs and ergonomics, I still gravitate to my ICF-SW7600GR.
Most recently, I received correspondence from Golan Klinger who has been bitten by the radio bug (he calls it “radioitis”). He has been acquiring portables and comparing them, seeking his favorite overall.
Golan had an epiphany he recently shared with me:
Thomas, in your “Mega Review” [summarizing your radio preferences] you wrote:
“But this is my personal choice; you might have a completely different answer. I guess that’s the point I made earlier–it all depends on the listener.”
Of all the valuable advice I’ve gleaned from your website, that might be the most important.
Every radio seems to have its own personality and one can read and watch all the reviews in the world but there’s no substitute for sitting down and actually listening to a radio.
I just had an epiphany — there can be no perfect radio and even if there were, finding it wouldn’t be half as much fun as the search for it.
That’s why everyone has multiple radios and when asked which is their favourite they lean back and say, “Well…”
What a wonderful hobby this is turning out to be!
You nailed it, Golan.
Indeed, with most every review I post I receive both praise and criticism later from readers. To some, sensitivity is everything–to others, it’s audio fidelity. Some listeners seek optimal reception on particular bands: longwave, mediumwave, the 31 meter band, FM, etc. There are even some who place a great deal of importance on the design and aesthetics of the radio. When I write a review, I do my best to walk in the shoes of all of these folks. It’s not an easy task.
When I’m not writing a review and am only concerned with what I value in a radio, it’s a balance of performance, flexibility and ergonomics I seek.
But as you say, there is no “perfect radio” out there that could satisfy everyone. I doubt there ever will be. Each listener has their own set of preferences–the checklist that matters to them most.
I’ll admit that part of what drives me to do radio reviews is my curiosity and the hope that each upcoming model might be a step closer to the elusive “Holy Grail” radio; for me and for you. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt!
Thanks for sharing, Golan!
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