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Super 909 Reviews and Testimonials
Below are Reviews and Testimonials on the RadioLabs Super 909 Modification
  1. Review # 1 from Guy Davis (Below)
  2. Next Review

Page #2 ............. continued.......

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SSB
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Next, I went to the 3.800 MHz area to tune in some SSB. At first, it was a little unusual, because I could hear the signals much sooner, and it required several more turns of the fine-tuner to get them. That's right -- you will now use coarse tuning to get close and fine tuning for perfection. The fine-tuning seems "finer" than before. I don't know if this is because of the better IF Filters or what. It could be that the sound is just so much cleaner that it "feels" like the sweet spot is much
wider.

The sensitivity increase does bring in a many more SSB signals, so you will find yourself using the newly-modified "AM RF GAIN" to drop the noise floor of off-frequency signals in overcrowded SSB areas, to isolate a single “net.” This takes a little practice, but makes the radio a lot of fun to use.

I use SSB a lot more to zero-beat signals than I do to hear hams. The new filters and the better "NARR AM" setting make for less need to zero-beat than, so I set it to "WIDE" and pulled a few stations in as a test. It worked flawlessly as a tuning aid.

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Longwave
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I still don't hear anything I'm really interested in on Longwave. There are some curious "beeps and boops" (presumably navigational aids), but I'm just not enough of a radio geek to get excited about them. However, you do hear more of them -- A lot more.
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Medium-wave
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I've already mentioned how the modified antenna gain helps you find (or null) signals for medium-wave (Domestic broadcast AM radio).

There's more -- the sensitivity improvements really pull in more signals. I found myself wishing my CCRadio Plus had the same antenna gain control as my Super ATS-909, because you can decrease the "floor level" of all signals and effectively blank weaker stations heard in the background of stronger ones -- very handy. It makes the Super 909 the more listenable of the two in some ways. The 909 is still not as directional as the CCRadio Plus, and it does not “null” signals as well by turning the radio, due to a shorter internal ferrite rod antenna.

I moved my Justice AM Antenna to the Super ATS-909 just for grins -- and it makes for a real DX combination. You can bring in a really marginal frequency using the CCAMA, then attenuate it on the 909 to pull one station out of the jumble, if that's your thing.

I just like being able to listen to my favorite nighttime 50 KW's with much less fading than before.

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FM
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I wish I could say that I've hooked up an external antenna to the new RCA plug for FM/SW, but I haven't. It is much the same as before, except with a much better sound from the speaker, especially on "MUSIC." Headphones are much the same as before, only with improved tone.

The “RDS” function (which displays information such as station names, slogans, artists, and songs on RDS-enabled FM radio stations) is not modified and functions as before.
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Sound
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Basically -- night and day. First, the new speaker is crisp and clear, but more importantly it sounds FULL. I have found that I can keep the "TONE" switch on "MUSIC" and still understand spoken words from even marginal signals. The other settings are very good as well, and I have found them to be very useful when propagation conditions deteriorate. Still, I have really enjoyed actually hearing a little "bottom" on shortwave lately.

To give you an idea of the sound quality, many stronger Shortwave stations will remind you of "FM-ish" clarity.
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Quality
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My radio came back in great condition. Frankly, I think they polished it -- the display was really clean, etc. -- nary a sign that it had been on someone's "bench."

Also, my radio was a bit unusual, because I bought it from another company with the tuning detent mod already done (their "Deluxe ATS-909). I was really surprised to see that RadioLabs even tweaked that. I guess it wasn't up to their standards, because the tuning knob now turns easily with one finger on the face of the knob -- something it did not do before, and a very welcome improvement.
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Price
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You can go two ways -- get a new Super ATS-909 for $299.95 or send them your own to modify for $109.95. As I mentioned in my review, I sent them a previously modified "Deluxe ATS-909" for modifications, so they adjusted the price for the tuning detent/anti-chuffing mod for that radio (around $30 as I recall) since it was already done. Now that it’s back, I actually think I should have paid them more, because of the obvious work they did on that tuning knob.
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Summary
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This is one radio that will never be on Ebay. It's a keeper.

Guy Davis
Picayune, MS
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Disclaimer
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I am not affiliated in any way with Sangean or RadioLabs and I was not compensated in any way for this review. In fact, I paid good money for these modifications -- and I'm very glad that I did.

Guy

(Published with permission from guy)

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