In the following video, I compare single side band reception between the Tecsun PL-880 and PL-660. On 80 meters, in SSB mode, you can hear that the PL-660 has a slightly lower noise floor than the PL-880. Note again, however, that I mistakenly had the tone control of the PL-880 set to “bass.” I’ll try to make another video later with the tone control set to the “treble” position.
In the following video, I have tuned both the Tecsun PL-880 and the PL-660 to a relatively local AM station (880 kHz). Note that I had the tone control switch set to “bass” on the PL-880 (it would have been better on “treble”):
For normal AM radio listening, I believe the PL-880 produces better audio fidelity than the PL-660. I will try to record a weak medium wave station this evening, if time allows.
In this video, I’ve tuned both the Tecsun PL-880 and PL-660 to All India Radio on 9,445 kHz (transmitted from Bengaluru, India, some 8,800 miles away).
Thanks to an image of a (prototype?) PL-880 keypad posted on the Tecsun PL-880 Yahoo Group–an excellent group you should join, by the way–I’ve discovered that if you press and hold the number 6 on the PL-880 keypad, it engages the hidden DNR function. I assume DNR is an acronym for “digital noise reduction.”
I engage the PL-880 DNR feature in this video and compare with the PL-660 audio. Again, apologies for quality as this was made using my iPhone.
Once again, I ventured out to my truck tailgate to make a few videos of the Tecsun PL-880. In this video, I’ve tuned the PL-880 and PL-660 to Deutsche Welle’s English language service on 9,800 kHz (transmitted from Kigali, Rwanda, some 7,600 miles away).
I made this video with my iPhone, so apologies for the low quality:
Note that when I first turn on the PL-660 it is in sync mode by accident. After changing the bandwidth on the PL-660, I then turn off sync.
I’ve noted that the PL-660’s sync detector locks better than that of the PL-880. However, using the PL-880’s SSB mode to zero-beat the AM carrier (see article on ECR), produces great (and stable) results.
Sensitivity-wise, these radios are quite similar. While I personally prefer the audio of the PL-880, the PL-660 makes vocals pop out of the noise a bit better.