My latest radio purchase: Eton Executive Satellit

A couple of weeks ago, I opened up Facebook Marketplace, which I do from time to time although I had never bought anything on it and one of the suggested items surprised me. In hindsight, it shouldn't have because Facebook obviously knows more about me than I know about myself. It was a shortwave radio and I do love radios. This particular radio is one I had been curious about for a while and the price was insanely low and the seller was just about sixty miles away.

The radio, which I picked up last weekend, is an Eton Executive Satellit. It was being sold as new in box for the insanely low price of $25. That's right, a radio that typically sells for around $110 new, for $25. It seemed too good to be true.

The pictures were of the radio in the box. I asked if it had been tested. It had. The seller had multiple good reviews. I went for it.

And, I'm glad I did. It ended up being exactly as described.

I did place a piece of Dim It Light Dimming Sheet over the display because the display was just too bright for my liking. Since I took this picture early last week, I trimmed the sheet down to the correct size so it's hard to tell it's even there now.

The reviews of this model are a mixed bag so here are a few of my observations:
  • As many of the reviews I read noted, it does mute while tuning, unlike my analog Tecsun PL-660. This results in an almost unpleasant "pop" with every step of the dial (except when fine tuning single sideband). I found it quite annoying at first but oddly enough, I've sort of gotten used to it over the last week and now I barely notice it at all.
  • Compared to my Tecsun PL-660, the noise floor on the Satellit on MW and SW seems lower so it's just more pleasant to listen to. 
  • Scanning shortwave on the Eton Satellit seems more sensitive and is faster than the scan function on my PL-660.
  • Sensitivity on shortwave seems better on the Eton while selectivity is a bit better on the Tecsun IMHO.
  • Switching between slow and fast tuning is easier on the Eton Satellit than on the PL-660 because you just press in the knob on the Satellit to swap back and forth. 
  • The Eton Satellit is on frequency. My Tecsun PL-660 has become misaligned on the airband and FM and my PL-660 has an older firmware that predates the ability to correct this problem. 
  • Aside from the misalignment on the PL-660, airband performance seems equal between both radios although the Satellit has a squelch function which I have not used since the noise floor is so low on it. 
  • On FM, the Satellit is much better than the PL-660. The Satellit even beats my Sangean PR-D4W on FM.
  • The Satellit does have RDS on FM. I turned off the function to set the time using RDS because we have a station here that seems to be transmitting the wrong time via RDS!
  • On MW, the PL-660 is barely edged out by the Eton because of the Eton's lower noise floor. Aside from that, they seem about equal. Neither radio is as good as my Sangean PR-D4W on MW, of course, but all three radios are impressive on MW. The PR-D4W is just at another level. It's an amazing MW radio, the best I've ever owned.
  • Single sideband is sort of a pain on the Eton. I feel like I can find and then fine tune stations faster on the PL-660 although, just like the muting while tuning, I have gotten used to the tuning system on the Eton fairly quickly.
  • The cover that comes with the Executive version of this radio is sort of odd. The antenna has to slip through a hole on the cover. You can't really leave the cover on while using it. The antenna is at an odd angle if you do. I believe the pouch from the non-Executive model would have been more practical but what do I know. 
  • With all of this in mind, I now keep the Eton on the table beside my chair in the living room. It's become my preferred all-around radio.
And, what a bargain I got! It's easily the best radio bargain I have even gotten. 

So, would I have paid full price for the Eton Satellit knowing what I know now? No. 

If I hadn't gotten this deal and instead I had to buy a radio for full price, I would buy a new PL-660 with the latest firmware which allows you to align the radio yourself. Performance between the radios is quite close and the PL-660 is simpler to use overall plus the charging system on it is better. The Eton Satellit is still using the same charging system as the old Eton E5 (Grundig G5) I had that finally stopped working. 

But, the misalignment, which appears to be a common problem with the PL-660, is a real letdown. Luckily, it's just on FM and the airband so I will keep using my PL-660 some for shortwave and the Eton Satellit will be my main, all-around radio with my Sangean PR-D4W being used when I am serious about listening to MW which is usually just about every night!