Tecsun S2000 First Impressions

Got my new Tecsun S2000 in the mail today and we’re going to lay out our first impressions.  Probably won’t find one of these guys on Amazon and I picked mine up from eBay but it really came from anon-co.

It’s just a little bit scary to order stuff from eBay that you know comes from Hong Kong however after doing the requisite research the consensus in the Ham community was this:

“You should not hesitate for one second to order from anon-co”.

So I ordered one.  Almost immediately I began getting emails from them telling me exactly what to expect, how they were shipping (Fed Ex) and then cordially reminded me to ensure my phone number was up to date so Fed Ex could communicate delivery instructions to me and all other manner of useful information.  These are clearly people who gave a darn I bought something from them and helped me to make it as smooth as possible.  The emails i got clearly were NOT form mails either.  It was a pleasure to do business with people like that.

Even though the radio came from Hong Kong it showed in just 3 or 4 days.  Also I’m told by the masses in the Ham community that if something goes wrong that anon-co is awesome at fixing problems.  All good news.

So here are my first impressions.

The radio is a little smaller than I thought however that matters not to me.  Just from pics I imagined something larger.  I assure you that is just me.

The next thing I noticed was that this thing really appeals to the man in you.

This is kind of what radios looked like when I was a kid.  Big old tuning knob, military type appearance with rack handles and a VU looking signal meter.

Wow, this thing really pegs the nostalgia meter.  What’s not to like?

 

 

It is a very likable radio, that’s for sure.   One of the first things I like to do with a new radio is see if I can figure it out WITHOUT the manual.  Some radios are crazy with some settings.  “Point the radio to the east at sunset and push the 9 button 16 times to activate slow tuning”.  Yeah, okay, I made that up but all of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about regarding intuitiveness.

For the most part, it was no trouble to figure out things and nothing that made me scratch my head was noteworthy enough to capture here in this blog.

Now, I can’t say this is a bad thing but it has two external hookups for an FM and a SW antenna. No that’s not the bad thing…………..but they are female BNC connectors.   I haven’t seen a BNC connector in a lot of years.  Again I’m not saying this is a bad thing I just found it odd.   However inside the box in the manual bag are 2 male BNC connectors that you can solder a 50 or 75 ohm coax cable to so that’s pretty decent of them.

However, again, I have a hole punched in my wall and run one antenna cable into the bedroom with an F connector (like cable TV) faceplate.  So I don’t really want to strip down a cable that I use for other radios sometimes so the thing to do is to get a BNC adapter like this.  Although Amazon has them I ran up to a local Radio and TV repair shop where the guy is a Ham and an SWL’er and picked one up from him.

So I’m good now.  Hooked to my di-pole now.  It’s the middle of the day here and I tuned to some stuff on the 19 meter band that I can get all day everyday with virtually any radio I have.  Sure enough SW reception is working.  I’ll have to amend this “First Impressions” report later once I’ve had a chance to listen to some SW and MW at night.   I can say FM works great.  I have flipped all the switches, and pushed all the buttons, and spun all the knobs and everything appears to be doing what it is supposed to be doing.

There is one thing I noticed and that is when I do a scan when the scan stops on a channel there is a delay before the sound comes up.  Not a horrible delay, but feels a little longer than it should since it, you know, locked onto the channel.  It goes from real low volume to normal volume.  Just seems like the volume should come up quicker after the channel locks in.  Look and listen at the delay when it locks into 9565.  It goes silent at 1 second into the video and no voice pops out until 3 seconds in.  2 second delay.  Is it the end of the world?  No.  Just an observation.  Fortunately, I’m the patient type.

At this point I can say dealing with anon-co was AWESOME, the radio showed up and is working properly (best I can tell) and I love the form factor and nostalgic looks of the Tecsun S2000.  I’ll put some comparative stuff up later when I’ve had a chance to so some DX-ing.

NOTE:  I sent anon-co an email to let them know I got the radio and “Thanks”.  So this morning I check my email and she replied and told me that the radio was set to 9kHz steps and told me how to change to 10 kHz steps.  What is funny about this is that I had just woke up and had tested the MW and was slightly unimpressed.  I switched over to 10 kHz steps and MW performance is pretty great now.  Yeah, I’d have eventually figured it out as I only had an hour or two of use with the radio previously but this just demonstrates the good customer service of anon-co.   I don’t mind that the radio is defaulted to 9kHz as that is what is used on the side of the world that it came from.  Makes sense the default would be set to that.  I’m happy.

As the owner of MANY short wave radios I can state this:  “I’m glad I bought it”.  And it caused me to clean off my dresser and set up a little DX display with a couple of laptops that are SDR devices.

Finally, one of my very favorite features on a Short Wave Radio (or any radio for that matter) is a dedicated Line Out.  This allows you to capture audio directly to a recording device, or in my case a computer using Audacity software.  Below is a quick demonstration of how it is done.

And this gives you a better look at the software settings for doing Line Out recording.

11 thoughts on “Tecsun S2000 First Impressions

  1. JayBee

    Nice to see a recent review on this portable beast. Can you confirm the big tuning knob is stable? Earlier version were wiggling. My main interest goes to Medium Wave DX, field work and so on. So please give that a try too.

    Warm Blessing from Amsterdam.

    Reply
  2. John Hagensieker Post author

    JayBee……I would say that my tuning knob is ……not perfect. A little bit of wobble but it doesn’t really bother me but it is noticeable.

    In contrast I just got an S-8800 and the tuning knob is similar and very stable.

    John

    Reply
    1. JayBee

      Thanks for the quick reply. I know a little wobble from my FT450D … ok. Your Blog is a fav now in my browser, checking regularly your updates. Good job what u do!!

      My status now: (grand)kids in Texas and MW BC DX in Amsterdam with Sony ICF-SW7600GR and 100-longwire focused on MW stations in your great country 🙂

      JayBee

      Reply
    2. mark

      Hi John,greetings from Australia.I have a zenith trans atlantic radio that’s seen better days.I like to go camping in very remote locations,central Aus.Cape york,or east coast islands you get the idea.The radio is a huge part of my relax time.Ive received transmissions from American,Asian and others from..?It’s my radio when at home.I’d like to expand my listening range,maybe Europe and anywhere on the Globe.How do you reckon the tescun 2000 would go?Any other radios you’d recommend?I need something tough.Thanks for your time.Mark

      Reply
  3. Magnit

    Lovely “looking” radio but what about what’s under the hood in terms of performance sensitivity/selectivity etc on it’s AM bar/whip antenna? How does it compare with say the Tecsun S-8800?

    73s

    Reply
  4. Jeff

    Is the Tecsun s2000 a current in production model?
    I ask this since I thought it was the brother to the Grundig Satelli 750 which was discontinued.

    Thanks Jeff

    Reply
  5. Darryl

    Is the sensitivity good ?, SSB ?
    For the price, it would be nice if it was pc interfacable.
    It seems like a radio of the 80’s without it, other brands have offered this for years now.
    I think this will limit its sales for serious listeners.
    I also think a metal backed case should have been done.

    Reply
  6. Richard Tedesco

    Can only afford one radio. S-2000 or S-8800, which, technically spec wise, is better. Portability not an issue. I am interested in SSB performance and Ham bands. I own a Tecsun 880. SSB audio is 8 out of 10 on it. Tnx.

    Reply
  7. Julian Stargardt

    Hi Richard

    I own the following Tecsuns
    S 2000
    660
    880
    8800
    Grundig 800 / aka Tecsun Ham 2000
    As well as a few Degens – from the same stable as Tecsun
    I’m considering the 990x which reportedly has better SSB reception than the 880
    I’m also curious about the H 501 which has yet to be released Internationally – you can buy the PRC market H501 from online sellers BUT even if money were no object – they sell the H501 for the price of a 2nd hand Drake R8 or Grundig 800 – I’d wait for the international version which I’m told should have the bugs ironed out…

    The S2000 – also sold previously as the Grundig 750 – is still available from Tecsun and Anon so either it is still in production or there is current guaranteed stock available.
    The S2000 looks like a communications receiver.
    And it is one.
    For AM / MW Dx-ing it has an included rotatable ferrite rod mounted on the top of the cabinet
    Of course one can obtain the same result by rotating any ferrite rod equipped receiver – but who wants that hassle? – and it is a cool and useful feature
    The S2000 is a slightly older design. It’s a dual conversion. There is a lot of urban mythology about multiple conversion for radios. Dual conversion, triple conversion, single conversion: multiple conversion isn’t necessarily better than single conversion. It’s all a matter of how it’s applied in the overall design of the receiving circuit.
    I like the S2000.
    With its supplied rod antenna and ferrite bar it performs well. Hooked up to a good external antenna it can perform very well.
    SSB reception on the S2000 is different from the 880 and 8800.
    Like the 660, the S2000 uses a BFO – best frequency oscillator – to fine tune SSB. In addition the S2000 has an Antenna Attenuator, RF adjustment and squelch as well as volume and tone controls to help you squeeze the best listening from your receiver.

    Here are my impressions of the other Tecsuns I have
    Best of the lot
    Grundig 800 / Tecsun Ham 2000 (out of production but available 2nd hand. If you buy 2nd hand buy from a reputable seller like BigApple58 on eBay) – this beast is the size of a small suitcase but is technically portable and can operate on batteries. The Grundig 800 / Tecsun Ham 2000 is actually a Drake SW8, but manufactured by Tecsun for Eton (who own the “Grundig” radio brand now – the rest of Grundig is owned by a Turkish conglomerate). The SW8 is a fraction of the size and is metal cased but costs much more 2nd hand than the 800. The large size of the 800 means everything is easily accessible and allows room for a good speaker.
    Form factor of the 800 is hard to beat. Imagine the S 2000 but about double the size.
    But the 800 is NOT a Radio you’re going to take on holiday with you, too big, too heavy.

    Next best / better from some perspectives, in no particular order:
    8800
    880
    660
    8800 – lunch box sized revamped 880. Comes with a do-it-all remote. Very good audio. On SSB tunes at 10hz, as does the 880 and 990/990x.
    Who has heard of an affordable portable consumer wideband receiver that offers 10hz tuning steps?
    So far as I know ONLY Tecsun offers this.
    Triple conversion – first 2 stages are PLL / analogue, 3rd stage is DSP
    Good SW and SSB reception
    Very good audio

    880 – this is a gem of a radio. For its size superb audio. Feature filled. Use with a MW / AM Loop antenna – Tecsun offers an excellent value for money AM loop – the Tecsun AN200 costs about US$34 – and you enhance the good MW reception from the internal ferrite rod to get excellent MW reception.

    660 – I sometimes find it easier to pick out signals with the 660 once I do that I can then find them on the 880.
    I live in a central business district with truly awful reception conditions that I can receive anything at all on any of these radios is a tribute to their excellence.

    You already have the 880, the 8800 is a similar receiver in terms of functionality and reception. It’s bigger, with a bigger speaker so even more of the excellent audio quality as the 880. I like the turret tuning knob on the 8800 with the top knob being the fine tuning knob – something I’m used to from my time messing about with old communications receivers in the 1970s…. which brings me back to the S2000, its form factor also looks familiar in a pleasing way to someone used to older communications receivers. If you are able to connect your S2000 to a suitable external antenna I expect you would have a lot of fun using it for DX-ing and it would be a compare and contrast with your PL880.
    Checking on the Internet I see from the Tecsun Australia website that the S2000 has been updated, to my mind that implies it’s still in production. You can also find the S2000 manual available to download on the Tecsun Australia website – that should give you more information.

    I hope my input is helpful 🙂

    Reply

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