It seems that there are some important differences emerging between PL-880 firmware versions.
You may have noted that the PL-880 I reviewed yesterday has a firmware version of 8820. I purchased my PL-880 through eBay seller, Anon-Co. As far as I can tell, most, if not all of the units Anon-Co has sold have the same (i.e. latest) firmware version: 8820.
Several readers have contacted me with concern about units they’ve purchased from Kaito Electronics and from their Amazon.com vendor account Electronnix which have firmware version 8819. (Not sure what firmware version you have? Click here to discover.)
It seems that firmware version 8819 lacks a few features that I mentioned in the review I posted yesterday:
- The muting threshold cannot be properly adjusted as I describe in this post. To be clear, this would lead to a very annoying and constant shift in audio level while listening to all but the strongest of AM/SW signals. I would recommend returning your PL-880 if the muting threshold cannot be adjusted.
- Bandwidth cannot be adjusted using the tuning or fine tuning controls. You can only cycle through filters by continuously press the AM BW button.
It also seems that Kaito’s PL-880s are not shipping with the same carrying case Anon-Co ships.
On a side note, I don’t think Kaito is to blame for this as they probably had no idea there were different versions of the PL-880 firmware. I’m sure they will work with their customers to correct this.
If we found that the PL-880 firmware could be updated by users it would eliminate this problem. So far, I have not heard that this is the case.
Please comment if you notice other differences in firmware versions and I will amend the list above.