Sangean DT-400W Excellent for DX Recordings... E100 Can Be Tricky
One point in the DT-400W vs E100 discussion that was not covered in the Summertime Shootout was the comparison in audio recording ease, and recording quality. Although perhaps not so important for casual DXers, for ocean beach fanatics, it can have serious implications.
As known by many E100 owners, the model has a common tuning quirk in which the actual received frequency can differ by as much as 1 kHz from the displayed frequency, forcing the user to dial in "529" or "531" if reception is desired on 530 kHz. Failure to do this may cause distortion in the received signal, which will actually be 1 kHz higher or lower than the desired station's actual frequency. Of course, such distortion would be reproduced in any audio recording, to the detriment of intelligibility.
As long as the E100's tuning quirk is exactly 1 kHz high or low and the user knows how to compensate for this, all is well and good-- the user can ultimately receive perfect audio. But what if the tuning quirk offsets 500 hz, or 1.5 kHz? Obviously, there would be a problem both in audio reception quality and recording quality. Depending on the individual unit, it may be negligible or serious, but when recording DX signals thousands of miles distant, any radio-generated audio distortion is the last thing you need.
Before making any audio recordings, E100 owners are advised to very carefully check their units for any tuning quirk, and find the optimum frequency offset, if any, for the best audio quality. The time to do this is before you head for your DXpedition, and receive your first Africa, Asia or Australia DX station :>)
The Sangean DT-400W has no such tuning quirk, and made crystal-clear mp3's of VOA Thailand-1575 and HLAZ-1566 at Grayland, WA for me last Friday. Its compatibility with audio recording devices seems great. With QSL's becoming tougher and tougher to coax out of reluctant stations, its always nice to have a clear mp3 recording as proof of your Ultralight DXing success.
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