By Michael Stevenson
|Now having the Sangean ATS-909 with mods, this was a really terrific receiver and was as good as the Kenwood R-1000 as far as performance goes and much better because of all the convenient features of preset tuning and direct frequency entry so I decided to sell the R-1000 which I did and was then left with only one receiver. I really did need two radios so I looked at the new Sangean ATS-505 which had received a good review in the WRTH as well as other magazines, I would have loved the new Sony 7600 GR but it was and is expensive at around $500 Aus, I also liked the look of the Grundig YB-400 but could not find a place that carried it, the Sangean 505 was only $229 Aus and seemed like a good bet so I bought one.
The 505 is only a little smaller and lighter to the 909 but is much lighter on as far as convenience features are concerned. The build quality and feel of the buttons and switches are not as good as the 909 probably due to the fact that my 909 is made in Taiwan and the 505 is made in the PR of China. It seems to work very well though and is almost as good as the 909 for sensitivity but not as good for selectivity because it has only one AM filter with no narrow and wide like the 909 although the choice of filter is fairly good and with careful tuning one can almost eliminate most sideband splash QRM. The 505 has stepped tuning with choice of 5 or 1 kHz with either direct frequency entry, up/down button tuning or rotary dial tuning which is still stepped but has no detent feel which is better than the 909 (unless you modify the 909), there is also memory presets of 18 for shortwave (45 overall for FM< MW and LW).
The 505 buttons feel flimsy and hard to operate and one must really press them and sometimes hold them for them to be activated which is a bit of a pain in comparison to the 909's quick push type buttons that feel better and more positive. The 505 has a large tuning display and you must press a clock button to see the clock, there are two clocks and alarms as well as a timer.
|It has a two position attenuator switch but the -20 dB reduction is far too much so this feature is useless in comparison to the fully variable rotary RF gain control of the 909. The 505 tends to overload more easily than the 909 and so sometimes it is required to be able to reduce it's gain slightly. The performance of the 505 though is generally very good and one can use the built in timer to activate a dictating type cassette player with a voice operated relay through the 505's headphone socket and this is how I used it.
The 505 has served me well and has been reliable, it is also a little less heavy on batteries than the 909 but is far less sensitive when using the built in telescopic antenna which is virtually useless unless you are using it to clip on an external antenna, the 505 also has an external antenna socket but it is no good for MW DXing, it only works on SW and the 505 is not very sensitive on MW using the inbuilt rod antenna so MW DXers should forget the 505, the 909 is really great for MW but then the 909 is really great for all bands, the 505 is good on FM but it is best on SW and it is a very good radio for this purpose as a second receiver or for those new to shortwave and want a good cheap digital tune radio, by the way, both the 5050 and 909 are dual conversion receivers like the Sony 7600 and Grundig YB-400.
The Sangean ATS-505 has served me well for its purpose as a very good second radio, however, I was still yearning for a good table-top receiver with a large rotary tuning knob that could also be tuned very quickly if required (the Kenwood R-1000 was far too slow to be able to tune quickly enough for me). Once again I was looking for another radio that would not cost me too much money and I managed to find two of them, one after the other which will be the subject of my 11th and final receiver installment.
In the meantime, good listening and best wishes!
Chapter 6| Chapter 7| Chapter 8| Chapter 9A| Chapter 9B| Chapter 10| Chapter 11|
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