This is one of the best shortwave receivers ever built by Sony, but it was not widely in use, which is probably due to its price. When it reached the markets, it was about 3000 CHF. This elaborately built receiver was mainly sold in Switzerland and the Netherlands. In Germany, it was not officially approved by the authorities. The case is completely made of aluminum pressure die-casting and guarantees high stability and shielding. Only the upper lid and the front are made of plastic. Although the CRF-1 was designed as portable receiver, probably only a few people used it as such, because it weighs 6.5 Kg!. The radio receives 10 kHz - 30 MHz continuously in AM, USB, LSB and CW. Unfortunately, operation is complex and difficult. The whole frequency range is divided in 100 kHz segments. When you have reached the end of the segment of a frequency range, you have to go back, pull out the tuning knob and have to select the next 100 kHz segment. Then you can continue fine tuning. Compared with the tuning of the current radio generation, this is very tiresome. The Drake R7 has a similar tuning method. But that is not all! If you want to tune the receiver exactly to the desired frequency, you also have to tune the preselector. But luckily, this can be bypassed.
For a couple of days, I compared the CRF-1 with my other radios, which of course are more modern. When tuned correctly, the CRF-1 was on par with the other radios. It is obvious that you cannot think in clear-cut terms when making these comparisons. The CRF-1 has very wide AM filters and thus produces whistling noises caused by interference on busy bands. Also the narrow 4.4 kHz AM filter could not always guarantee sharp selectivity. For SSB, the results were better because of a 2.0 kHz band width. Sensitivity was as good as for the other receivers. Despite correct tuning, the CRF-1 produced overloads in the evening hours when connected to a 35m long wire antenna. But these flaws can be overlooked. If you want to go "station hunting" you need the necessary time and some patience, anyway. Otherwise, you will not enjoy your CRF-1.
It is a wonderful radio, but not quite on par with modern receivers,; especially when DXing, you have to make compromises.
Please notice: if you buy such a radio, the seller should guarantee you perfect functioning. Seldom, these receiver s have defective electrolytic condensators or need alignment, all which can result in a big repair bill.
Best thanks to Franz for making the CRF-1 available.