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Sony ICF-SW77

 

The Sony ICF-SW77 was the last large world receiver built by Sony, which is really too bad. As the direct successor of the Sony ICF-2001D, the SW77 had to face many comparative tests. Sometimes, the SW77 was better, sometimes the 2001D. The SW77's range is from 150kHz to 30'000 kHz in AM, AM synchronous and SSB. There is also FM from 87,5 MHz to 108 MHz, in stereo when using headphones. When tuning shortwave frequencies manually, step widths from 1kHz to 50Hz are available. The radio has 162 alphanumeric memories. On the side, there is a jack for external antennas and a line-out.  Of course, there is a timer, alarm clock, and other features.  The constructional quality is acceptable. In this respect, its small brother, the SW55, is better. The case is not really stable.  There is a noticeable creaky noise. The telescopic antenna is not very stable, either.  If it is collapsed, it is easy to bend it. The SW 77 has so many buttons and controls, that it is almost impossible to operate the radio without consulting the manual, i.e., very complicated.  Now, what about the main thing? How is reception?  All in all, it is very good.  I compared the SW77 to the Redsun RP2100, which has about the same size.  Pricewise, they are worlds apart.  The SW 77 costs eight times as much as the RP2100.  The SW77 is a little more sensitive than the RP2100. There is less noise. What you will notice right away, is the tinny sound of the SW77 compared to the RP2100. The tone controls are not really effective.  In this respect, the RP2100 with its fuller audio is far better. The SW77 has two selectable bandwidths, just like the RP2100. Unfortunately, the filters of the SW77 are not designed ideally. They are selective, but the sound is muffled.  Here, the RP2100 is better, too.  On densely used bands, the wide filter of the RP2100 lets pass through whistling sounds caused by interferences, but the smaller filter is really superb. If activated, the interferences disappear, but the audio does not change.   The SW77ís narrow filter is very muffled and almost not usable for AM-reception. On the other hand, the large signal immunity of the SW77 is very good when using the telescopic antenna.  Across the whole shortwave band, I could not detect any large signal effects, which occurred with the RP2100, also during daytime reception. For a manual scan of the bands, the SW77 is not really suited. Why? Simply because of its annoying tuning noises. Further down, you will find an audio/video sample.  The receiver is suitable for DXing, but the noise and the interruptions when tuning the radio make scanning a real test of nerves. I cannot understand why Sony did not take care of this problem with this otherwise good radio.  When the SW77 became available, noise-free tuning was technically feasible. The "cheap" receiver Redsun RP2100 offers a far more pleasant tuning without almost any noise.

But in conclusion, the SW 77 is a very good world band receiver with many features, and not least because of its synchronous detector, it is a super receiver.

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