Grundig S-350 versus the CCrane radio

The Grundig 350 and CCrane Shoot out!

We put the Grundig S-350 portable up against the CCrane AM-FM radio and were quite surprised how quickly the Ccrane dispatched the Grundig. It wasn't that the Grundig lacked some attractive attributes because it didn't.

The Grundig was full of pep in the area of sensitivity, in fact, it seemed too sensitive for the pacific northwest, which is considered something of a fringe-area in world-band reception.

Under somewhat depressed ionospheric conditions we placed these 2 up against each other and had a Kenwood R2000 in the side lines as a professional point of reference.

{mosimage}The first observation was the number of strong birdies on the Grundig. They are all over the place. The other thing was the quality of the filters the grundig uses. Now having a wide and narrow filter can be a great idea in crowded band conditions, but for heavens sake, use better filters! We found when switching between the two filters there was a significant dial error each and every time. Example: when tuned to a local on 1070 and racking the unit between narrow and wide, the zero point on the dial jumped from 1070(in narrow) to 1073 in wide!

It is very apparent that the CCrane radio is in an entirely different league than the Grundig.

Although the Grundig is a radio that we all wish we had as a kid, (I had a DX150B as a kid) this radio has some weaknesses created by the engineers cheaping out on components that would have put this unit in an entirely different league.

For instance, you do not expect the dial calibration to be out by 2 or 3 khz when you shuttle between bandwidths. I would hazard a guess that the choice of a cheap wide filter and a sloppily designed IF strip has conrtibuted to some odd behavior. What I think I noticed was this:

-When you switch bandwidth setting from narrow to wide, the dial position when zeroing a station is 2 - 3 khz high! Truth be told, the BW choices are good for both. This is, as we have been told, an 'analog-digital' radio. That means, it has a standard mechanism for tuning from one end of the dial to the next...with good old coils and capacitors.. no synthesizers here friend. A simple frequency counter chip counts the local oscillator frequency and subtracts or adds the IF frequency to get the 'real' frequency.

Now this would have been a great option in 1979, but this is 2004! The image rejection on the Grundig is the pits. Images everywhere.

Yes, I am not talking about the Ccrane much. Why not? I did not find anything about this radio out of place or annoying. One bandwidth, well chosen and tonal quality that works. It is a good, no great Medium-Wave radio for the serious listener.