A Review of the Radio Shack 12-795 Multiband Radio Receiver

So, in order to satisfy all involved parties, I hereby declare that I do not own the featured image on this page and I give credit to whomever credit is due. I cropped it out of the Radio Shack Catalog.

I had truly been fascinated by radio electronics since toddlerhood. However, my fascination became very strong at the age of fourteen and a half, in the Summer of 2001.

In the Spring of 2004, at age seventeen, I discovered the Radio Shack 12-795, which is a higher-end multi-band radio receiver.

Though I greatly wanted one, I could not justify the brand new price of $99.99+tax and even when it went on clearance, I still had other financial consumer priorities. Around that time that I wanted one, I was hoping to live in Schriever, Louisiana when I grew up and use that radio to tune in to Air Traffic and Railroad Traffic amongst other things. Now I do live in Schriever and keep reading because I also now own one of these radios.

I found one in fairly decent condition on eBay earlier this year and that is what this piece will be a review thereof.

I was able to secure the funds for one of these. It was second-hand and not in the best of condition. There are indeed a few scratches and one of the handles is broken, but receiver performance is up to par. It takes a few seconds to start up but once everything is ready, it pulls in most signals exceptionally well.

Below is a list of the RF bands it is capable of receiving:
Medium Wave AM Band 530 kHz-1710 kHz
FM Broadcast Band 88 MHz-108 MHz
Shortwave World Band 1 4 MHz-6 MHz
Shortwave World Band 2 7 MHz-12MHz
Class D Citizen’s Band 26.96 MHz-27.4 MHz
VHF TV Band 1 59 MHz-88 MHz (Channels 2-6)
VHF TV Band 2 178 MHz-216.5 MHz (Channels 7-13)

The two VHF television bands are now obsolete and I wish they would be repurposed for something else, especially since real estate in the radio spectrum is a very hot commodity these days.

On Airband, performance is more sensitive than that of a handheld scanner and maybe even some base scanners!

I haven’t used it much for the VHF High Band, although I would one day like to take it with me when watching boats since it could probably pull in several VHF Marine channels at the same time. A squelch circuit would have been very appropriate for this, but I digress.

Class D Citizen’s Band is questionable since I am a few feet from the main highway with lots of truck traffic and I barely hear anything on there. I’m not ready to completely write off CB receiving performance as of yet, because for two reasons: 1) I live inside a camper which hinders receptions considerably. 2) CB traffic even from truckers isn’t what it used to be.

Medium Wave AM performs very well, dare I say almost as well as my GE Superadio 3! It even has a turnable purpose-built antenna for finding the direction of the broadcast signal.

I was able to tune in FM broadcast and some signals came in better than on the stereo system that came preinstalled in my camper!

On shortwave, AKA world band is where this radio is a real winner, albeit this model only gets the lower portions of that band. Even though like Class D CB, shortwave broadcasting is on the decline, I can get a fairly decent amount of shortwave broadcasts and they come booming in nicely. For that reason, I keep this radio on my table (as my recent YouTube videos suggest) so I can listen in on Christian but also foreign and fringe broadcasts.

Weather Band comes in very nicely even though I am approximately 24 miles from the transmitter I listen to (KIH23.)

Other features include:
A microphone jack for use as a portable public address system.

A selectable Automatic Frequency Control circuit for pulling in those weaker FM stations.

A Fine Tuning knob in addition to the main tuning knob.

An External Antenna Jack.

A Tone Control Knob.

A Signal and Battery Power Meter.

It can be run on 120 Volt 50/60 Hz AC mains, DC vehicle power, or 4 D sized batteries.

The dimensions are:
14.6 inches (372 mm) wide 10.2 inches (260 mm) tall and 5.2 inches (132 mm) thick

There is a telescopic rod antenna for FM, Shortwave, and VHF Air and High Band reception.

As previously mentioned there is also a turnable antenna for AM reception which can be used for signal direction finding or just for better reception.

I think this device would have performed well on a boat, or out in the field, at least back in the day. However, in 2022 I am still finding a good bit of use for it and I don’t regret my purchase. I mean I waited eighteen years before owning one.

If it were 1999-2004, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I am taking off half a point because of the high price it had back then because it would have cost between $152.18 and $172.55 +tax in 2022 dollars.

I would also give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars in 2022 because I wish it would have been constructed of more sturdy materials like its predecessor model was. There’s also the lack of a squelch circuit which can make listening between two-way transmissions very annoying to those around me.

However, as for audio quality, numerous features, and tuning sensitivity, this radio is a solid performer.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Radio Shack 12-795 Multiband Receiver.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

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