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Lowe HF-225 Europa


Thanks to Finnish DXers, the HF-225 changed into the "Europa" version. These DXers were not completely satisfied with the receiving qualities of the HF-225 and started to modify the HF-225. This modified version proved to be so good that Lowe agreed to produce it in series. Originally, this receiver was called "Finlandia" and later changed its name to HF-225 Europa. Unfortunately, only a small number was manufactured and so this receiver is rather rare.

The modification improved the large signal immunity and the selectivity by using narrower and better band width filters. In contrast to the normal HF-225, the "Europa" version came with a AMS/FM mother board and an external frequency keyboard. Additionally, there is a nice VFO made of black anodized aluminum. For my HF-225 Europa I also had a display and S-meter illumination added and a modified audio amplifier. This is supposed to improve the sound even more. Because I have owned the original version of the HF-225 several times, I can easily tell the differences between the normal version and the HF-225E.

Of course, I also compared the HF-225E with other receivers including the top notch Icom IC-R9500. Of course, you have to take into account that the HF-225E has been on the market for a couple of years but it does not have to shy away from modern receiving technology.  Using a cross loop antenna, the HF-225 was able to handle strong active antennas, whereas the normal HF-225 handled them with difficulty and  overload effects occurred repeatedly. The band width filters are narrower than those in the normal version. Their widths is 2.2 KHz, 3.5 KHz, 4.5KHz and 7 KHz, respectively. These filters improve the DX properties of the radio but the sound range is diminished somewhat. All of this can be compensated by the very effective tone control. The Kiwa-audio modification further improves the sound which becomes even clearer and more intelligible with a wider bass range. The sound of the HF-225 Europe is superior to the IC-9500 as long as there are no interferences. Except for the synchronous detector, which can eliminate fading and the typical AM crackling sound, the HF-225E (just like the HF-225) has no features to fight interferences. The sidebands cannot be selected and the detector loses synchronization rather quickly. This problem can be solved by using external audio filters. Regarding sensitivity, the HF-225E is on par with its competitors , especially on long- and medium wave and even is a little more sensitive than the IC-R9500.

In conclusion it can be said that the HF-225E is better than the HF-225. It can handle my active antennas without any problems. With the narrower filters, selectivity is noticeably better. Thanks to the Kiwa-modification, the HF-225E sounds even better and gives the listener a great deal of pleasure. A great radio, indeed.



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