Manufactured by Sony, Tokyo.
At the end of 1988, Sony introduced the successor to the analogue double conversion radio ICF-7600A. Considering the format and the black plastic cabinet, it is evident, that the Sony ICF-7601 is a part of the 7600 family, respectively it contributes to the confusion between the type numbers. The number of spread shortwave bands has been increased to 9.
- ICF - 7601, international version, covering tropical bands 120 - 75 m
- ICF - 7601L, European version with longwave coverage
- 120 x 185 x 32 mm, weight 0.6 kg
With its 120 x 185 x 32 mm, the Sony ICF-7601 has almost the same dimensions as its predecessors, and the plastic cabinet is also finished in black. Instead of mechanical push-buttons for selecting the frequency ranges, electronically switched buttons are used, but there is still an OFF button to switch the set off.
The left half of the front is taken up by the loudspeaker, which is just under 7 cm in diameter. Most of the right half of the front panel is taken up by the dial window with the vertically arranged band spread dials for the 60, 49, 41, 31, 25, 21, 19, 16 and 13 m shortwave bands. On the far left is the longwave dial with the pointer visible in a slot; in the international version, this range covers the 120 - 75 m tropical bands. In the slit-shaped dial on the far right, you can see the pointer for medium and FM broadcast band. For this and for deciphering the meter band markings printed in pale light blue on a grey background, you need good daylight.
At the bottom right are the round band selector buttons for FM, MW, SW1-9 and LW, pressing the band button switches the receiver on, a small red dot marks the active range. The desired shortwave band is selected with the slide switch, a pale blue mark in the small window below the frequency scales, which you can also detect only at second glance, indicates the active shortwave band. Pressing the turquoise OFF button switches the ICF-7601 off, the LOCK slide switch to the left of the long-wave button locks the buttons and prevents the ICF-7601 from being switched on unintentionally in your luggage… The small red LED, typical in this segment, serves as a rudimentary field strength indicator.
The volume control, which is unfortunately a technically rather fragile sliding control, and the switchable tone control are located at the right-hand face of the unit. The tuning knob allows pleasantly tuning without backlash, the frequency marks are 50 kHz apart.
On the left face are the sockets for earphones (no recorder line out is provided) and a centre-negative 6V power supply. Alternatively, the ICF-7601 can be powered by 4 UM-3 or AA batteries.
In terms of operation, the small Sony is uncompicated: the set is designed for customers who appreciate a set that is easy to operate. It is switched on with the range key, for example SW1-9, the slide switch on 2 activates the 49 m band, search for station and set the volume to the optimum level. With the analogue receiver, a station must be identified by the programme and spoken identification, or, in the old-fashioned way, with its interval signal.
The set is not capable to receive single sideband or CW transmissions e.g. from radio amateurs, several off-band frequencies cannot be tuned. I personally prefer a set with PLL synthesizer and digital frequency display, i.e. a set like the ICF-7600D or ICF-SW7600, especially since their dimensions and weight are almost identical. With the ICF-7601L, Sony explicitly addressed the friends of simple operation. In this respect, the ICF-7601L is a high end double conversion analogue set. Many similar sets with a similar aspect with analogue dials, from the Chinese copies to the Grundig sets of the last generation - only rudimentarily copied the reception performance of the Sony.
Double conversion, analogue dial.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.