18 December 2011

checking in on redsun

When the Redsun RP2100 radio arrived on the analog radio receiver market, it quickly became a widely-regarded product among radio fans. It was readily available on eBay, got an overall positive review on RadioIntel, and was an impressive entry into the market for a new Chinese radio manufacturer. At the time, I hoped that the product's success meant that the anticipated RP3000/RP3100 would soon follow.

But the rumored RP3000/RP3100 hasn't materialized. At one point, I emailed the company to ask about the RP3000/RP3100. They stated that they were focused on the RP2100 at that time, which was eventually sold under the C.Crane and Kaito brands. Visitors to Redsun's website see a graphic displaying four radios, the fourth of which resembles the RP3000. Why do they tease us like this?!

The current crop of Redsun radios seems to closely follow the offerings of fellow Chinese radio manufacturer Tecsun. Among the many products created by the two companies, there's a pocket-sized multi-band radio (Tecsun R-911 and Redsun RF-1201), a larger multi-band radio (Tecsun R-9700DX and Redsun RF-1210), and a jumbo radio covering the full shortwave spectrum (Tecsun BCL-2000/BCL-3000 and Redsun RP2100).

I purchased two Redsun radios listed above: the RF-1201 and the RF-1210. While my RF-1210 has a loose tuning knob issue, these two radios are otherwise impressive for their price range and feature set. I still haven't purchased an RP2100, mostly because I already own a Tecsun BCL-2000. Sometimes, close competition can spur companies to improve quality and produce new, innovative products. Tecsun's route lately seems to be the use of DSP chips in inexpensive portable products like the PL-300wt, PL-310, and PL-380. Redsun's route? We're still waiting to find out.

While browsing Redsun's product lineup on their website, I found that the camouflaged RP007 was their most expensive product. The RP007 covers the full frequency range for FM, MW, and SW. It received mediocre rating in this review from dxer.ca [pdf]. And if Redsun were trying to evoke James Bond with the product name, watching a movie or two in the film series (with 22 films to date) would reveal that James is a classy dresser who does not do camouflage. But I digress.

I sent Redsun several questions about their products and analog radio broadcasting in general, but did not get a response by the time this article was published.

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