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Sangean ATS-909X AM/FM/LW/SW World Band Receiver
|Price:||CDN$ 394.43 & FREE Shipping. Details|
- PLL Synthesized Digital Tuning
- 415 Programmable Memories
- New, enlarged LCD with Backlight
- Squelch Control
- 3 Programmable wake timers
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Amazon.ca Product Description
Digital AM/FM/Lwith SW Receiver with 415 Presets, PLL Tuning.
From the Manufacturer
The Sangean ATS-909X is the flagship of the Sangean line of AM/FM/SW Portable Radios. It provides performance and features generally found in more expensive table top communication receivers and combines it all into a very compact and stylish package. Coverage includes all long wave, medium wave, short wave, and AM and FM stereo frequencies. (FM Stereo through headphone jack) It's a clear step up from Sangean's previous ATS-909 model in terms of construction, output power, and signal range.
Compared to the previous ATS-909 model, the ATS-909X boasts a larger LCD with a brighter backlight for easier reading. With over three times the output power of the ATS-909 (1W vs. 0.3W) and a more rigid cabinet, the ATS-909X offers superior sound quality and reliability. An additional AM RF preamplifier, DSP decode IC, and a longer telescopic antenna compared to the ATS-909 enhances the short-wave reception for improved signal fidelity. A "Squelch" setting allows you to set the sensitivity rating for radio reception, rejecting residual noise and reducing scans to faulty stations. And all these features of the ATS-909X come in a package that's smaller than the original.
The ATS-909X features a rechargeable battery and an LED light that indicates the charging status.
Multiple Tuning Methods
Short wave performance is enhanced with a wide-narrow bandwidth switch and selectable upper and lower single side band performance (SSB tuning to 40 Hz steps). Five tuning methods are featured: direct keypad entry, manual tuning, auto scan, manual up-down tuning, and memory recall.
406 Total Presets
The alpha-numeric memory system lets you store 406 presets (351 short wave, 18 AM, 27 FM and 9 long wave plus 1 priority). Three programmable wake timers are available. The clock displays even when the radio is tuning and has 42 world city times stored. The large LCD display also features a signal strength and battery life indicator. The ATS-909X will also display RDS - PS, PTY, RT and CT for station name and clock time in areas where service is available.
Listen via Speaker or Headphones with Tone Control
The built-in 3" speaker lets you conveniently listen anywhere, and is great for a small room or office environment. You can also listen to the ATS-909X using the 3.5mm headphone jack and the included earbuds. While you're listening to your favorite radio programming and information via speaker or earphones, customize your listening experience with a sliding tone control.
Line-In for Other Sources
An AUX input allows you to connect other sources to the ATS-909X for playback via the built-in speaker or included earbuds.
The Sangean ATS-909X offers an alarm function with 3 timers for Snooze and Sleep features. Wake up to a conventional buzzer or one of your favorite radio presets. There's even a nap timer to catch a brief nap during the day.
In addition to the ADPATS-808 6V DC Adapter, the ATS-909X also includes a ANT-60 shortwave antenna, carrying pouch, and earbuds.
- Speaker: 3" Driver
- Presets: 406 (27 FM / 9 LW / 18 MW / 351 SW + 1 Priority Preset)
- Five Tuning Methods: Direct Frequency Tuning, Auto Scan, Manual Tuning, Memory Recall and Rotary Tuning
- ATS (Auto Tuning System) Auto Scan and Preset Priority Signal Strength in FM / MW / LW Bands
- FM RDS / RBDS with PS, PTY, RT and CT Features
- DSP IF Decoder
- Display: LCD Screen (3.2 x 1.7") with Bright White LED Backlight
- Automatically Searches for Strongest Signal Station within SW Station Pages
- Alarm: Radio or HWS (Humane Wake System) Buzzer
- Clock: Built-In 42 World Time & D.S.T. Device with 2 Editable City Names
- AM Wide / Narrow filter
- FM Mono / Stereo Selector Switch
- SSB (Single Side Band): USB / LSB 40Hz / Set on Fine Tuning
- Audio Quality: 1W Amp Output Power
- Outputs: Line-Out, Earphones (3.5mm)
- Power Sources: Battery (Main Power, 4x AA) or DC-in (9V DC 700mA) or AC-in (AC 9V 0.7A)
- 12 Segment High Resolution Signal Indicator compared to 7 Segment from the ATS-909 Predecessor
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 200 x 133 x 38.2mm
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Top Customer Reviews
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Just to mention some other things that make this portable shine are the alpha-numeric page memory system, world time in many cities which sync automatically after you set your local home time, and the many ways that you can tune stations. The 909X even has a squelch control in addition to an effective RF Gain control. Due to the very low background noise level of the 909X, I have yet to use the squelch control even when seeking for weak shortwave signals
So, in conclusion, with just using the radio's long provided whip, and better, the reel-in antenna acompanying the radio, the 909X serves as an excellent portable to carry on trips, and carry around in its nice case. I can't overemphasize the great signal-to-noise ratio of this radio. Yes, the 909X is rather large and expensive compared to other portables. But, what you get in this larger package is a high-quality speaker and a great built-in audio amplifier of very large tonal range.
that after a new model is relaesed that the mfr will quietly make engineering evaluations and upgrades based on the first field reports, and never make public the changes, so I will assume that the early reports were based on the Beta radios.
My first impression of the 909X out of the box was that the build quality was very good, with a nice feel in my hands. The first order of business was to read the English portion of the operation manual, then after installing 4 AA alkaline cells and setting the battery charge switch to the correct setting it was time to power up and "walk through" the functions. After I verified the 909X was 100% it was time to put it through it's paces.
My first interest is AM MW DXing, so I tuned the 909X to 1360,and proceeded to pick up KWDJ operating with only 1000 Watts 100 miles away. At my location I am 2 miles from KOSS 1380 with 1000 watts. Picking up the signal from KWDJ 1360 100 Miles away with a measured field strength of only 400 Microvolts and with a 60 Millivolt signal only 2 channels away is quite a chore for any radio, the 909X with it's DSP IF amp easily seperated the two signals with no problems and no bleed-over.
Another challenge was on low end of the AM dial. KMJ 580 from Fresno,200 Miles away
has a measured filed strength at my location of 350 Microvolts and KAVL 610 2 Miles from me operates with 5000 Watts and has a measured Field strength of 100 Millivolts. The 909X easily picked KMJ and much to my surprise also received KTIE at 590 from San Bernardino, 100 miles away operating with 2500 Watts and with a measured signal strength of 400 Microvolts at my location!
The 909X pulled in signals from AM stations all along the dial with ease.
On FM the 909X displayed excellent selectivity and sensitivity,example: KPFK 90.7 Los Angeles operates with 110,000 Watts and has a signal at my location of more than 1 Millivolt (60DBU) and KGZO 90.9 Shater,CA is over 100 miles away and has a very weak signal at my location of less than 90 Microvolts!To receive the KGZO signal in full stereo is nealy impossible, however the 909X easily received the signal,full quieted and in solid stereo!
By the way the 909X through all the tests, AM and FM used ONLY the built in FM rod antenna and built in Ferrite rod antenna
with no external help whatsoever!
I was also impressed by the great audio quality from the built in speaker.
Another item was battery life. The original 909 was a HOG when using batery power,however all the tests I performed used one set of 4-AA Procell Alkaline batteries and after the tests, and listening with a moderate volume,the battery indicator in the LCD display never changed! Quite an improvement over the original!
On SW the 909X copied many stations with equal sensitivity from the low to high.
On SW I used my RF2200 as a standard to gauge the signals on SW.
All the memories and alarms worked as advertised, the RDS was a nice bonus when listening to stations that transmitted information about the content of the programming.
I am very happy with my 909X. FYI,I purchased this out my own pocket with no ties to any MFR or retailer, and no special prices or incentives to have a favorable review.
My recommendations are few, a sync detector would be nice,also a carry handle. It would nice to have the direct entry without having to hit the F key,frequency,and than enter.I did notice the keys on the touch pad required "extra" effort.
All in all looks like a winner for Sangean.
May 8, 2011
January 2, 2014
I bought this direct from Taipei because of detailed and impressive advance notice, though the price here is now far better. Okay, that information was PR, but in the case of this complete re-design of the ATS-909 it was pretty close to how the product performs.
I've used a variety of portables over the years, including the brilliant, but rather heavy, Sony ICF-2010, and its successor, the fine 7600GR. I've also tried a few of the new Chinese shortwave competitors, including the Degen 1103, probably the best cheap shortwave radio ever made.
Sangean, however, is not competing against Degen or Kaito. Established for a very long time as a maker of superb portables, they took some heat for the ATS-909. I can't comment on that model, as I have never tried one. The ATS-909X, however, is to my mind the successor to Sony's 7600GR as the best portable for its broad range of reception, which includes FM, LW, MW, and SW. The AM range is 150-29999. (note: the ATS909X does not have synchronous detection, using DSP and digital bandpass instead to clarify weak signals, but that's not a bad thing, just a different way of handling the same problems). The MW can be set for either 9Khz steps or 10, with corresponding ranges for different parts of the world.
Issues of interest to regular listeners and DXers: a) sensitivity -- it's as good or better than the 7600GR on SW, excellent on FM, and better than Sangean's CCRadio Plus on MW. Enhancing this on FM is a simple solution, a switch for mono FM, important if a signal is faint or erratic in stereo. b) selectivity -- the 3-way tone control, Wide/Narrow filter's skirts, digital bandpass, and DSP all contribute to cleaning up and separating adjacent signals well; I heard what I tuned. c) The ATS-909X is happy on either the built-in aerial or with a Kaito tunable loop (I prefer the latter, an inexpensive but marvelous tunable loop). d) The DSP IC's tricks work fine with weak signals, almost as well as the Sony 7600GR's synchronous detection. e) the sound quality on any filter setting is (to my ear) as good as the 7600GR and far better than the Degen 1103, which shows distortion if not slightly detuned. It also has noticeably more audio output than the Sony 7600GR. f) squelch. Yes, the ATS-909X resurrects an old method for keeping the racket down between stations. Most scanners have this feature and, if you use it carefully, it can make exploring noisy AM bands easier on the ears. (Tune to the weakest station you can still understand; then, adjust squelch to just slightly above where the weak station blanks out. Then, anything that's below that threshold will be silent.) g) RF gain -- it's rare for these to be on a portable any more. They're often not on desktop models. However, if you've got a really hot station you listen to regularly, it's nice to be able to back off on RF amplification. Judicious use of this gain control is also useful in picking apart stations that are extremely close together or where you can use a combination of antenna tuning and fiddling with RF gain to pull one station out front and put the other behind.
A few notes on FM: You don't get better FM on a small radio than this unless you include HD Radio circuitry. I don't know why Sangean didn't do that -- maybe a future model. Even so, you can plug this radio into a set of powered PC speakers and get sensational audio, or it sounds fine as is. Selectivity is excellent. Signal to noise almost sounds like HD radio. Of course I live in NYC, so signals tend to be very good. The images that plague cheap radios don't exist on the ATS-909X. It's happy with strong signals or weak. RDS mode, if in use by broadcaster, will show items like call letters, program title, and sometimes what's playing.
Further on MW. Believe it, it's better than a Sangean's own CCRadio Plus for sensitivity, selectivity, and, to my ear, audio quality. I can easily pick up stations from Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Charlotte, Boston, upstate and western New York, and that without the assistance of an external loop or Crane's twin coil external. If you've got stations on top of each other, not uncommon, using the USB/LSB control can separate one from the other, a trick unavailable on a CCRadio Plus (though you can detune the latter slightly for similar effects).
SW -- even on cheap radios, DSP can give startlingly good results on SW. When you can afford a little more effort in deploying this American IC, and higher quality components to interface with it, as Sangean clearly has, the consequence is an ease of tuning that's disconcerting. On my old FRG-7, for instance, first you did the preset on the antenna side, then the megahertz setting, then the kiloherz knob, hand fiddling with preset and KHz knob until you got a satisfactory signal. The old Wadley loop circuit worked well, but it took a while to get there. With DSP, digital bandpass, and PLL, none of that's required. Sangean's implementation of these new electronic elements is as good or better than any similar radio I have ever tried, including the ICF-2010, and the 7600GR. To be fair, neither of the latter employ DSP.
Memories -- here's how they're described in the manual.
406 radio station presets
FM 3 pages: 27 presets
LW 1 page: 9 presets
MW 2 pages: 18 presets
SW 39 pages: 351 presets + 1 priority preset)
Okay, it's not got 1000 memories or more, but the way they're distributed makes a very good fit with each band. I challenge anyone who claims to have more than 27 listenable FM stations in their area. There's a lot of stuff pre-set, which has never been particularly useful for me. Further, these pre-sets are not, as far as I can tell, going to be updated by Sangean (as they used to be by Sony and ICOM). However, you can create your own preset mixes for each page as a substitute for what's provided. The way they do it is a good model. They've put 9 pre-sets for a major outlet, such as DW, on one page. Select that page, and DSP hunts for the one that has a readable signal. Neat.
Another tuning tool is ATS, which is fabulous for the traveler. It's been around for a few years. You go to LW, MW or FM, press one button, and all of the readable signals are put into temporary memory. Get off the plane, tune into the new city, done in a few seconds. Not unique to Sangean, but a marvelous addition. (On some setups, such as the Degen 380, ATS works on SW bands, but not on the Sangean.)
The clock, once set to local time, will show the correct time at the touch of a button in 42 other cities. It's a useful feature.
The package I received included two adapters, one for Asia and one for the US (this may not be true in some packages). The US power supply is perfect; it puts out no detectable RF noise. On batteries, the radio will run quite a while though, to be honest, I haven't measured its endurance exactly.
The included long wire aerial is nice to have for SW, but Kaito's tuned loop is such a nice antenna, despite its tiny controls, that it's a better choice, and not very expensive.
The faux leather case is quite nice and strong enough to protect the radio when your bag is being tossed about the airport's luggage handling area.
For design, I find the ATS-909X one of the most satisfying portables I've ever tried. It's just solid enough to not fall over when you tune it, but it's not heavy. The finish quality is excellent. You can tune it in five different ways, without spending a lot of time with the manual. It has fewer memories than some, but the distribution of memory pages to FM, MW, LW and SW is well considered, not to mention amazingly easy to use. It's also beautiful to look at, and has the most readable LCD display I've ever seen on a portable. Add that to its exemplary radio performance and you have a great and advanced alternative to several older standbys like the Sony ICF-2010 or Sony 7600GR. You also don't need to buy two radios to get both very high quality SW and MW!
My only issue was that there was no English manual, but I addressed that, finding a multi-language manual on Sangean's US Web site. To be honest, it doesn't really need a manual, as most functions are easy to find and use. But Sangean will have a finished English manual by April. I'm not quite convinced the DSP is a better solution than synchronous detection, but this seems to be the way Asian radio designers and manufacturers are going, and this manifestation of DSP is by far the best I've heard.
Get one now before they raise the price! And a note to Sangean, for the ATS-909X Model 2, include HD to this great radio.
First, the pros: the design and construction quality are first-rate. Yes, there are some design-freak quibbles that can be raised (for example the spinning-disc tuning knob, the use of an LCD segment layout for the RDS that is poorly suited to alphanumeric display, the "narrow" filter being still too wide) but overall the positives outweigh the negatives. It looks, feels, and sounds great. There are very nice design touches (like a continuous RF gain control that works on MW as well as SW, for instance).
In the end, though, I found that on MW/SW/FM it was lacking in sensitivity when using the built-in antennas. An inexpensive DSP-based radio like the Tecsun PL-310 or PL-390 "hears" much more, especially daytime MWDX, than this radio costing several times as much. Even on FM with a shorter antenna, the Tecsun models were hotter. I realize that I can always add an external antenna, and of course that is the usual technique for SW listening, but I was not going to fiddle with an external loop antenna just to bring MW reception up to par. In the end, I reluctantly sent it back. Perhaps a later production run will get it right; but for me right now, at this price point, I couldn't justify keeping it.
UPDATE JUNE 2013:
Sorry to say, but the radio hardly hold up for 20 years: it went dead shortly after the 12-month warranty period. Sangean has offered no explanation for my problem and they will replace only at an almost retail price.
I hope my poor durability experience is simply a rare occurrence for Sangean ATS-909X owners. But I will probably not buy Sangean again...very disappointed with my experience with this expensive (for my budget) radio. I am back to using my 10-year old Grundig Yacht Boy radio, which keeps chugging along, though lacking in features and sound quality relative to the Sangean ATS-909X, while the Sangean worked...