U

GRUNDIG
Satellit 700

 

 

 

I recently acquired a used Grundig Satellit 700 in excellent condition. These portable receivers were manufactured by Grundig from 1992- 1996.

This well regarded receiver is quickly becoming my overall favorite portable. The Sat 700 covers frequencies 150-353 kHz, 528 - 30000 kHz, 87.5 - 108.0 MHz. The radio weighs in at 4 lbs (without the 4 D cells) and measures 11.8" (L) x 6.7" (W) x 2.75" (D). A fold out handle makes it convenient to tote the radio from place to place. The supplied AC adapter from Grundig can power the radio at either 110 or 220 volts.

The Sat 700 delivers superb audio, a Grundig trademark. The 4" speaker and separate bass and treble controls provide excellent sound. This radio is a program listener's delight. Another unique feature of the Sat 700 is a manual gain control which can significantly improve the reception of SSB signals. I have not encountered other portables with this feature.

The receiver has awesome memory capacity. The Sat 700 comes equipped with one memory chip installed. The chip provides the listener with the ability to program 512 frequencies. They are arranged in "pages." You have 64 "pages" to load frequencies into. Each "page" will hold 8 frequencies (64 x 8 = 512). The Sat 700 has the capability of holding up to 4 memory chips. Do the math. That's 2084 possible slots! Mine came with all 4 chips installed. That's way more capacity than I'll ever need! You can enter Alpha-Numeric titles (up to 8 characters) to name each page. For example, I have a page called FM Faves where I have my 8 most favorite FM stations. Another is entitled Graveyrd, where I have entered the medium wave graveyard frequencies.

Actually entering and saving the frequencies into memory is not an intuitive process and you'll likely be often referring to the manual. It's actually a bit user-unfriendly, but once they're in...they're in.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Sat 700 is the filters. You can listen to both AM and SSB with either the wide (6.8 kHz) or narrow (4 kHz) filters. It is enjoyable to listen to sideband in the wide position when band conditions are not very crowded. To my ear, the filter selections are more appropriate in the Sat 700 vs. the Sony 2010. This, of course, is a matter of taste. Grundig provided an effective synch detector on the Sat 700, but it is not in the same league as the wonderful synch detector on the Sony 2010. Sideband listeners will be glad to know that the Sat 700 tunes in 100 kHz increments and has a clarifier control to precisely zero beat the signal.

I find the provided whip antenna (45") to be as effective as any portable I have used. It telescopes and collapses into the radio. It can either be positioned straight up or at a 45 degree swivel. I notice very little difference between the whip and a moderate length
external antenna.

The Sat 700 has great timer capability. The radio has two independent timers. The timers can be set with both variable on time and an off times. Hooray! All my other portables just have an on time and then they shut down after the pre-defined time period (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc). So, for example, with the Sat 700, you can set it to turn on at 7 a.m. and shutdown at 7 p.m. (or whenever). This is great for me, as I like to tape programs that can run longer than the typical portable's pre-defined timer period. What a super feature. All radios with timers should be like this.

Another interesting feature of the Sat 700 is a manual preselector. You tune in the desired frequency and then a combination of controls allows you to peak the received signal.


Minor Irritations

Like all radios, it's not perfect. Here are some "quirks" that I find annoying:

(1) The external antenna connector. It's a European PAL connector. A combination of three Radio Shack adapters was necessary for me to make connection to my external antenna.

(2) Muting. The radio mutes as you tune with the tuning knob. Not nearly as smooth and subtle as the Sony 2010.

(3) Small display. It is hard for my middle aged eyes to pick up all of the information crammed into the too-small display. It is especially difficult to see what mode you are in.

(4) No variable RF gain control. The Sat 700 has the DX/Local attenuator switch provided on many portables.

(5) Non intuitive procedure to store memories.

Why In The World Did They Design It That Way?

(A) Volume Control location. Grundig put the tuning knob and volume control on opposite sides of the radio. This makes the Sat 700 a "two handed radio" much of the time. I wish they had switched the positions of the volume control and the manual gain controls. This would be more convenient in the vast majority of situations.

(B) Sideband can be tuned only via the tuning knob. Grundig must have assumed that users would only want to tune very slowly in the sideband mode. If you are in sideband and hit the up/down select button, the radio switches back to AM mode. You can only tune in 1 kHz increments (via the tuning knob) in SSB. This makes it cumbersome to go from one end of the band to another in sideband mode. This is a real pain and represents my biggest complaint with the Sat 700.

(C) Up/down select button only works in pre-determined band segments. The up/down button moves you up/down 5 kHz as long as you are in a band segment. So, if you are cruising through the 41 meter band (7100-7300), the up/downs will move you through that segment. However, you can't go from 7305 to 7310 with the up button. Once you are out of a band segment, the up/down takes you to the next shortwave band. In this case, up to 31 meters.

Minor irritations and a few design complaints (in my view) aside, this is a wonderful radio and a real classic. The audio alone makes it worth owning. Sideband reception is outstanding.

Comparisons against the Sony 2010 are inevitable. A separate comparison review will be written in the near future to do that subject justice. Both radios are excellent. I have never really considered the 2010 to be a true portable, however. To me, it belongs in a stationary position on the radio table. It has no handle (just the goofy strap), is narrow and more easily knocked over. The Sat 700 is easily moved from point A to point B and is beefy enough to stand a little abuse. Neither the 2010 nor the Sat 700 qualifies, in my opinion, as being small enough to realistically be a travel portable.

Other Sat 700 features:

FM stereo reception via headphones / external speaker
RDS capability on FM
Mono / stereo switch on FM
MW can be tuned in 10 or 9 kHz increments (user selectable via menu)
Clock visible on display (user can switch between two clocks)
Sleep function (10-60 minutes, in 10 minute increments)

The Sat 700 does a superb job of receiving SW and FM signals with the whip antenna. MW reception is quite good as well. The phrase, "they don't make them like this anymore," certainly applies here. If you can find one in good condition, you will not be disappointed. I love my Sat 700!

(Note - this review describes the standard (USA) version of the Sat 700)

Best DX
Russ K3PI

 

   

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