CCRadio-SW Review

A few quick notes about my brief time with the C Crane CCRadio-SW. As a reminder, after a couple weeks of use, the audio disappeared on all AM bands and I returned it, opting to try out a Sangean ATS-909X instead of just getting a replacement.

In the brief time I had the SW, I very much enjoyed it. I specifically chose it for its old school look on top of a new school product. The big tuning knob that dominated the buttons and dials on the radio’s front. The huge speaker, reminiscent of the radio my grandfather carted around with him on weekends. The total lack of digital buttons. I just loved the look.

In practice, it worked out well. While the lack of direct frequency entry could be troublesome when attempting to check parallel frequencies, it was not a deal-breaker for me. In fact, it reminded me of the first radio I ever monitored the bands with, a Panasonic boom box that had two shortwave bands. To get from the low end to the high end of a band on it, you had to manually chug through everything in between. As I was restarting my interest in the hobby, there was a nice symetry there.

The audio was fantastic. That big speaker isn’t just window dressing. It pumps out room-filling sound. With all but the weakest signals, I could sit back and monitor just the speaker output.

I can’t make a technical assessment of the radio’s sensitivity. I only used the bult-in whip antenna and monitored from inside my noisy home. I never came aross any true DX signals, so it’s tough to say whether this radio can dig out the weak ones when connected to a decent external wire.

While the radio is on the big end of the portable spectrum, I don’t think it’s too big for comfortable use. Flip the carrying handle up and you can easily take it wherever you want to do your monitoring from. It may be more difficult to pack for a trip, but for around-the-house listening, it was fine.

Who is this radio for? At its reasonable price, with its terrific audio and ease of use, I see it as the perfect entry radio. It’s not some cheap little portable on which you’ll be lucky to hear signals from even Sackville or Havana. While I’ve been more impressed by the performance of the ATS-909X, that radio also checks in at roughly twice the cost of the SW.

The C Crane Radio-SW is no bargain bin junker. It’s a solid performaing, easy to listen to radio that is fine for anyone who wants to scan the bands or lsiten to programs and doesn’t need bells and whistles to hunt for rare DX.