This is great performance at this price level. The PL-880 is also unusual in that it runs on a single 18650 Lithium Ion cell which recharges in the radio. Most of my usual stations came in just fine but I was able to dig out a few very weak signals on other radios that were just not there on the Sangean. The best designs will do both…generally they are the older analog designs, using a Tuned RF Stage which is an additional gain stage at the RF input.
The full review is now posted…read it here. The earlier series 755 LK-G-LK models have virtually the same RF sensitivity but just slightly more hiss on some medium strength signals and no tone switch. This radio offers decent AM performance and powerful audio sounding better than the two radios above. Also excellent FM. **** 1/2 – Four and 1/2 Star Radios Still excellent, Four and 1/2 Star radios are very close to the top radios except for very slightly more background hiss on weak to medium strength signals and sometimes a bit less selectivity. You use wider bandwidths when there is no interference for best clarity or crispness, and use narrower bandwidths when you need to block out an interfering signal right next to the one you want to listen to. For our purposes I’ll simply note how well the radios maintain decent volume on weaker signals.
Good FM reception is represetative of portable radios of its era with good sensitivity but average selectivity. The reality is that it has strengths and weaknesses compared with the earlier SR I (more correctly the SR…it was not called the SR I) and SR II models. They also have a swivel base which makes aiming for best reception very luxurious. Note: The Field 550 has been replaced by the Field BT which adds Bluetooth connectivity and has a greatly improved speaker. See capsule and full reports for more. GE P-780/783/784 Series**** GE’s 1958 tour de force design demonstrated how good transistor portables could be – a great radio! ITT-101/102/103**** Most powerful sounding audio anywhere near this size and super AM selectivity. Horrible. Eton should be embarrassed to allow such an otherwise nice radio to be marketed with what I deem to be a crippled AM section. No AM radio lover will like this. FM was not bad but reception was better when I off-tuned a bit indicating poor alignment.