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Old 26th Sep 2005, 9:52 pm   #1
howard
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Default Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hello,

Sometimes one acquires something which is really special, that was inexpensive to buy but after some work on it, becomes a lot more valuable, that is old yet absolutely perfect in all respects, cos a previous owner has bought it and then simply put it in a cupboard and forgotten about it so it has remained essentially as new. This is such a rewarding item.

I bought this Hacker Hunter from eBay some time ago for around 15 including postage. It had never been used so was totally unmarked but had been neglected cos the chrome handle ends were rusty so I put an ad on the forum for a replacement handle but sadly noone had one So I went hunting for a new handle for it. I considered buying another Hunter but theyre quite expensive (and much too nice) radios to break for spares and then I spotted one, not on a Hunter but on a cheap scruffy old Hacker Autocrat which has the very same handle. The handle was mint so I acquired the Autocrat for a couple of quid and then did a quick exchange of handles and at long last I had completed my Hunter.

Apart from a clean and a polish I didnt have to do anything else to this radio.
It looks brand new and as for its sound quality, well I have no other radio apart from maybe my Hacker Sovereign which sounds as good and this is a much nicer looking radio. Even my R900 which is the best sounding Roberts I have doesnt sound as good. I can play the Hunter really loud and it sounds more like a good sized mains radio than a portable, with clear treble and midrange and decent extended bass with just a hint of bloom.... an amazing performance for a compact set. And it is beautifully built as well, very robust and makes Roberts sets look flimsy in comparison.

So heres a pic of my mint Hacker Hunter RP38A, not a lot of restoration work to report but one absolutely fabulous radio to write about. Its the best radio I have and it deserves to be a classic. If you havent got a Hunter yourself, get one now while theyre still sensibly priced !

Howard
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 3:41 pm   #2
Andrew c
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hello Howard I agree the Hacker is possibly the best sounding transistor radio ever made this is cos thay were made to a very high standard and used indipendent power for the IF and amp boards. but the downside to this was the need to have 2 PP9 batteries and this can get expensive if you enjoy using it but the good news is the hunter will run from the mains as well as batteries. I'm thinking of treating myself to one
Andy
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 5:51 pm   #3
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hi Howard,
You got a good deal there. 15 for a Hunter including postage is very good indeed. Prices seem to fluctuate widely on eBay and I get the impression that the summertime is best for buyers and worst for sellers. I fell for Hackers some time ago and now have a number of different models from the Mini Herald up to the Super Sovereign. They all sound good, but I have to agree with you and the Hunter RP38A is also my favourite. I also think the build quality is better than Roberts, though this did go down hill in the later years of production when they became Hacker Sound. For more information, have a look at Paul King's Hacker Radio Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hackerradiogroup/.
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 6:07 pm   #4
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew c
the good news is the hunter will run from the mains as well as batteries. I'm thinking of treating myself to one
They are certainly nice sets, but there wasn't a mains/battery version, so an 18 volt power supply is needed for mains operation - later production Hunters do at least have an 18 volt input socket.

And, thanks, John, for a spot of publicity I'd never thought 53 members would find their way to a specialist Hacker group with so little effort on my part.

Paul
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 6:41 pm   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hi,

I bought a lovely Hacker Hunter from Graham Gosling East Coast Wireless at the NEC. It is a very good radio and rates right up there with my Beolits and my VHF Herald. Hackers are very good indeed, not as pretty as the Roberts line, but better built and sounding. I keep the Roberts for display and the Hackers and Beolits for listening.

These are super radios.

Avro on the German frontier
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 7:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hello John, Paul, Andy, Avro, all,
The prices of Hackers do fluctuate (one on eBay right now has a buy it now price of 55), but Ive been lucky I think. I bought another earlier Hunter for 15 including P&P from eBay but that wasnt such a nice one, so I sold it on at Harpenden just like that for 20 so I did OK
The chap I bought the Aristocrat from also sold me .... a second Hacker Hunter fm-am RP38A for 10, identical to my mint one above and this one is near mint as well, its only fault is two tiny marks on the grille ! He has another one he wishes to sell as well, a Hunter VHF model which Im seriously thinking of buying, its very good too but is a little worn and is missing its three little feet.
Both my Hunters have an 18v power socket, I would like to get a mains transformer for them, can anyone advise where I can get one ?
Apart from the Hunters, I have 3 black Sovereign IIs, (one Im holding for Nickthedentist), an Autocrat (now with a rusty handle) and a Democrat in mid restoration. The Sovereigns sound just about as good as the Hunters, but the bass is a bit boomy compared with the tight bass of the Hunter, theyre also very well built but not very appealing to look at. I hope to eventually acquire nice examples of the later and much nicer Sovereigns as well and Id also like a Herald VHF.
Ive just joined the Hacker Group on Yahoo cos its obvious Im now hooked on Hackers They really are super radios, arguably the Best British made portable radios of all time ?

Howard

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Old 27th Sep 2005, 7:46 pm   #7
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Quote:
Originally Posted by howard
Both my Hunters have an 18v power socket, I would like to get a mains transformer for them, can anyone advise where I can get one ?
An unregulated wall wart supply nominally rated at 12V will be closer to 18V off load. The voltage will drop as you draw more current, but it should be fine for everyday volume levels.

I'm a shameless scavenger of wall warts. I keep an eye open for them all the time. I usually manage to smuggle a few out of the computer recycling area of my local waste centre when disposing of old computer equipment, and I have a big shoebox full in the loft

Best regards, Paul
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 8:54 pm   #8
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hi all, Pete Roberts can supply 18v 400mA power supplies for Hacker radios - look half way down this page ...

http://hometown.aol.co.uk/oldradioparts/oddsnsods.htm

HTH
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Old 27th Sep 2005, 9:09 pm   #9
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_RK
They are certainly nice sets, but there wasn't a mains/battery version, so an 18 volt power supply is needed for mains operation - later production Hunters do at least have an 18 volt input socket.
Thanks paul I stand corrected
Andy
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Old 28th Sep 2005, 7:41 am   #10
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Thanks Paul, Colin,

I'll order a transformer from Pete Roberts, Ive bought stuff from him before and he is a very good reliable dealer.

Howard
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Old 28th Sep 2005, 11:05 am   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

That is good news about the transformer (I shall get a couple) but I checked the stats for the Hunter and the PP9s should be good for about 150 hours .

Avro
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Old 12th Nov 2005, 3:01 pm   #12
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hello Avro,

I got an 18v PSU from Pete Roberts and its a robust good quality one too, and the Hunters sound better than ever with this power supply .... so if you havent ordered yours yet go right ahead.

Howard
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Old 19th Oct 2006, 3:37 am   #13
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hi,

As things worked out, an RP38A 'Hunter VHF' has become my introducton to the sound of Hacker radios. I've occasionally heard various models years ago, but never owned one until very recently nor had the opportunity to listen to one critically. Of the recently acquired sets here this RP38A is the only one I found to be vaguely working. I've not done any work on it yet and it's rather tired and scruffy; the aerial has disappeared down its own orifice, the feet seem to have worn off and all switches and controls need cleaning for a start.

But... what a sound! This set clearly thinks it's much bigger, something this size has no right to sound this good. A quick tune around showed it coped admirably with two extremes of my eclectic tastes, classical (R3) and DnB (R1). DnB ('drum and bass') is particularly challenging with detailed and complex rhythms and very heavy electronic basslines. But, despite being designed over two decades before this genre emerged the Hunter performed remarkably well with no signs of distress even at fairly high volume.

Personally, I prefer the appearance of the earlier Hacker sets, particularly the RP18 Sovereign and RP30 Herald. As the RP38A isn't (in my opinion) one of the best-looking sets and this one is a little tired and unlikely ever to be immaculate again, it'll be tidied up then used as intended. It's clearly seen a lot of use already; well - it'll get even more. That's what it was built for...

Regards, Kat
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Old 19th Oct 2006, 7:20 am   #14
howard
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hello Kat,

I'm glad you agree with me about the sound quality of these Hunter radios. They sound leaner and less coloured than the Sovereigns and will comfortably play loud. If I was allowed to keep just one radio from my collection it would be one of these.

Howard
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Old 19th Oct 2006, 12:00 pm   #15
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by howard View Post
They sound leaner and less coloured than the Sovereigns and will comfortably play loud.
Yes, the sound was unexpectedly uncoloured; not what I expect from a small box with a single full-range driver in it. The bass response extended lower than I expected, too; but without exaggeration. This flattish response is what I think makes the set a good 'all-rounder', able to perform well whatever your taste in music.

I'll have to reserve judgement on Sovereigns until I've got one working, then see what genres it likes. I have a feeling they're a little more coloured but in a way which could work well with some genres.

Anyway, yes; to anyone who's not heard a Hacker Hunter, you'll be impressed. It's a battery portable which thinks it's a much bigger mains table radio. From memory, I'd swear it sounds better than my Mayflower II; I must compare them properly.

Regards, Kat
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Old 19th Oct 2006, 3:52 pm   #16
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Default Re: Hacker Hunter RP38A .... the best radio Ive bought to date in all respects

I agree with all the positive comments
I bought a Hunter Hunter on Fleabay a few months ago, and it has become my main everyday radio. I really can't fault the sound or build quality - exceptional in all respects
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