Manufactured by Sony, Tokyo.
The 7600 model family of Sony receivers was initially after the anncestor ICF-7600D continued in 1987 with the ICF-7600DS resp. ICF 2003, besides minor technical improvements, the set was given a new anthracite grey colour with colour accents and the price was reduced by about 30%.
In the early nineties, Sony improved the set as ICF-SW7600 with trendy round, partly recessed buttons and a dark colour. The technology with 5 kHz tuning steps and only 10 station presets remained the same, but the time could no longer be read at the same time as the operation frequency on this set, and the timer functions also remained unchanged. A technological advance was the ICF-SW7600G with smaller tuning steps, double number of memories and above all the synchronous detector for automated ECSS reception, which was integrated for the first time in a portable travel receiver. A price reduction made this model, released in 1995, even more attractive.
- 184 x 118 x 32 mm, weight 0.615 kg
The dimensions of the anthracite coloured cabinet of the ICF-SW7600G have not been altered compared to the previous models, but a flap at the back of the set helps to set it up at an angle for easier operation. The 615 g weight of the set, which is powered by four UM-3 batteries, makes it easy to take along on holiday trips.
The loudspeaker is located behind the left side of the front panel; its 400 mW output is sufficient to supply a room, and when headphones are used, the 7600G also provides stereo reception on FM. The main switch on the top right of the front panel can be pushed into a lock position to prevent the receiver from being switched on accidentally in the luggage, and right next to it is the sleep timer button.
The numeric keypad with the key „5“ marked for the visually impaired can be used to enter a frequency directly; the AM/FM key is used to preselect the corresponding Operation mode AM or FM first. The key sequence DIRECT - 6 - 1 - 5 - 5 - EXEC calls up Radio Oesterreich International from Vienna. The frequency stored by pressing Enter and a number key at the same time can be called up later simply by pressing the corresponding number key.
From a frequency recalled from memory, the receiver can also be tuned manually; two up and two down keys, arranged in a crescent shape, increase or decrease the reception frequency in steps of 1 and 5 kHz. Unfortunately, a rotary knob for tuning was (consequently) omitted. Pressing the AM band button together with the up/down buttons allows the receiver to jump from one broadcast band to the next. The key protect button deactivates all buttons and is intended to prevent unwanted activation of a function, while the standby memory A/B buttons assign the stations to be activated in timer mode.
The LCD display, which can be illuminated by pressing the light button on the top of the cabinet, shows either the operation frequency with an accuracy of 1 kHz or the time during operation. Furthermore, the number of the activated station memory channel, the activation of timer-sleep mode, the keypad lock and the imminent battery exhaustion are also signalled. Small LEDs above the display indicate red when a sufficiently strong signal is received and green when the synchronous detector is engaged in ECSS mode.
On the right face of the unit, the volume control, the tone control, the mode switch for normal AM reception, AM with synchro detector and SSB reception, the switch for selecting the sideband and the knurled knob for +/- 1.5 kHz fine tuning in ECSS and SSB mode are arranged one above the other. The antenna socket, the input attenuator and the jacks for headphones and cassette recorder as well as the power supply socket for the mains adapter are located on the left face of the ICF-SW7600G.
The set's reception performance is above average for a travel receiver. Thanks to the tuning steps, which have been reduced to 1 kHz, it is possible to avoid interfering adjacent channel stations in AM reception. In case of stronger interference and fading, the synchronous detector performs best. For automatic ECSS reception, it locks onto the carrier of a station even at low signal strength. Afterwards, if reception is disturbed, the sideband selector switch can be used to selectively select the less affected upper or lower sideband to be demodulated, this improves intelligibility a great deal. The synchronous detector seems more effective than in various tabletop receivers, but for me it does not quite reach the quality of the circuit in Sony's ICF-2001D.
Thanks to the small tuning steps, the additional memory channels, the illuminated display and, above all, the sync detector, the ICF-SW7600G has earned itself a top position among travel receivers. Personally, I would only prefer Sony's miniature receivers if it really is a matter of saving a few centimetres or grams in the luggage, which has to be paid for with a sacrifice in sound quality and intelligibility.
Double conversion, digital frequency processing using a PLL synthesiser, synchronous detector.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.