With next week's temperatures predicted to be 100+ (40's C) for several days, and summer only beginning, I've been trying to justify the purchase and build of an Elecraft K2 that will keep me indoors in my near-fanatical appreciation of the magic of freon.
The problem is, I already have a KX2; therefore, the justification requires a careful comparison. Both rigs have so many of the same functions that are important to me: dual VFO's, configurable AGC settings, built-in keyer, CW memories, etc.
Unfortunately, only a general comparison is possible when basing it on the reviews in QST. This is due to the fact that the ARRL reviews for each transceiver are 17 years apart and during that time, some of the characteristics that are measured and how they're measured, has changed.
For the K2, most receiver tests are performed with a bandwidth of 700 Hz; for the KX2, they're performed at a bandwidth of 500 Hz. And an identical series of tests are not performed on each transceiver.
Sherwood's consistency makes it a bit easier to make an apples-to-apples comparison even though the two rigs were tested by him 13 years apart.
|Footnotes: b - pre-amp on; f - measurement was noise limited|
The price of each rig, similarly outfitted, is $1243 for the K2 and $790 for the KX2. This is with the base K2 ($863 with noise blanker) configured for SSB ($180) and the audio filter ($100) to roughly correspond with the KX2's APF function, and the 60m K60XV ($100). Unavailable on the K2 is general coverage receive and RTTY/PSK operation.
Going through the price vs. features comparison, I realize that it makes me appreciate the KX2 all the more. In fact, it does the opposite of what I'm trying to do in justifying the purchase of a K2.
As I go through this info and engage in the process of consolidating it here, I realize (again) that I wish I'd bought a K2 "back in the day". But back then, the price of a K2 and my own financial priorities prevented me from doing so.
So, receiver specs and dollars aside, the one reason - the only reason - to buy a K2 today is for the pleasure of the build, and that is certainly a worthwhile reason. It'll cost a $500 premium for the pleasure and will result in a rig inferior to the KX2 in almost every way. But there are no other transceiver kits available (and probably never will be) that result in the performance of the K2.
There is something - even after building so many kits over the decades - that is greatly satisfying about having an operational piece of equipment that performs well, and knowing that you put in every single component, would every coil and performed every alignment involved in its "bags-of-parts to radio" transformation.
But I'll keep my $ for other (and future) products.