Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Sony SRF-T615
Hello Gary, Tim and Rob,
The Sony SRF-T615 is a Japanese-market AM-DX portable with stunning sensitivity and nulling ability for its very compact size. Unfortunately, it has always had a pretty stunning price, especially now, after a stampede of North American orders following the January 2008 Shootout review (partly my fault).
Ordered by me from Audio Cubes 2 in December ($89 plus shipping) in a search for excellent digital Ultralight portables, the tiny model has always seemed ultra-sensitive for its size. Full details are contained in the January 2008 Shootout posted on dxer.ca, in which is was declared the top digital Ultralight model (despite the fact that it was one of the smallest). The review prompted a run of SRF-T615 orders from Audio Cubes 2, causing shipping delays of up to a month. Those Ultralight DXers with some pocket money couldn't resist it. An eBay vendor, "joynetcafe," apparently saw the stampede in SRF-T615 orders to Audio Cubes 2 and started offering it themselves, at a similar price ($95 plus shipping). Around March and April, both suppliers were shipping tremendous numbers of SRF-T615's to our enthusiast group, including 12 units that I personally know of.
The compact size and ultra-sensitivity of the SRF-T615 made it ideal as my DXpedition stock Ultralight, and it never disappointed, receiving 8 TP's (and 1 UnID DU) during one morning in Grayland, WA (April 20th). I have never heard anyone say a negative word about it, and every purchaser has apparently been completely satisfied, despite the high price.
Until the testing of the new Sangean DT-400W, no digital Ultralight could match its wide-band sensitivity. Audio Cubes 2 raised up the price to an astonishing $165, before lowering it to the current $149 (plus shipping). The eBay vendor "joynetcafe" also raised its price, but only to a current $115 (plus $20 shipping). I have ordered units from both exporters, and the service is comparable (both very good).
So now that the new Sangean DT-400W can slightly exceed the SRF-T615 in wide-band sensitivity (at least my three review units), what are the superior points of the SRF-T615? Quite a few, actually. The nulling ability is phenomenal, every bit as good as an SRF-59. The DT-400W cannot match it. The AGC and audio quality are unsurpassed. The compact size is unbelievable for such sensitive performance. And although I have heard reports from Richard that his DT-400W is not as sensitive as my review units, I have never heard from anyone that was disappointed in the SRF-T615 sensitivity. This is after about 25 estimated orders by our enthusiast group!
In summary, if you can afford one, the Sony SRF-T615 will almost certainly thrill you. It is a unique combination of extreme performance in an extremely tiny package, and that's really the essence of Ultralight Radio DXing.
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