Gear Review: C. Crane CCradio 3









Review: C. Crane CCRadio 3
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor,

For years, I’ve been a fan of Fortuna, California-headquartered C. Crane which, for more than 30 years, has offered some of the best AM and FM radios and accessories.

Some of my recent C. Crane reviews have included the company’s Ferrite Antenna, GOZO radio and most recently the outstanding CCRadio 2E. C. Crane has released its latest offering in the CCRadio line: the CCRadio 3, with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from C. Crane plus the addition of Bluetooth capability.

Fortuna, a small town in the wilds of Humboldt County, California is home of the world’s tallest trees. Fittingly, C. Crane holds itself accountable by setting the bar high and offering perhaps the very best in radio sound and reception. My original CCRadio is a workhorse of a receiver and still provides me with top-quality AM-FM reception.

Now, the CCRadio 3 allows for Bluetooth reception. In fact, this radio is just that: a Bluetooth receiver. Once paired, you can send Bluetooth audio from a Bluetooth device, such as your smartphone or tablet over to the radio and its 5-in. 4 Ohm, 6 watt speaker with professional sound.

The CCRadio 3 is, in my books, the best AM-FM radio available today – listen for yourself and I am sure you’ll agree. Despite my office’s rural setting and its surrounding forest (the trees are tall, but not as tall as the giant redwood trees in Fortuna), I am able to receive most of the AM stations in Southwestern Ontario and bordering U.S. states with outstanding clarity. When I need to pull in distant stations, I rely on my C. Crane Ferrite Antenna.

As a ham radio enthusiast, I’m glad C. Crane included 2-metre amateur radio in the design of the CCRadio 3. I am also able to receive 24/7 weather forecasts and alerts from Environment Canada.

Controls Galore

The front panel controls of the CCradio 3 remain unchanged when compared to the CCRadio 2E. The bass and treble knobs offer very fine tuning – no gimmicky adjustments here as other radios include. Up and down buttons provide manual tuning, or scan tuning (minus weather band). There’s a timer setting, in addition to alarm and clock set buttons, plus an option for the display to show either clock or frequency reading.

Power bars showing signal strength are a great feature of the CCRadio 3, as is the green LED backlit display with three brightness levels. When plugged into AC power, the radio will allow for the backlight to remain on indefinitely; when using batteries (4 D batteries), the light will remain on for two minutes.

The top panel of the CCRadio 3 includes an AM-FM-AUX button. Plug in a device, such as a portable CD player or MP3 player, into the AUX IN jack, located on the back of the radio. Turn the radio on, then hold down the AM/FM/AUX button for three seconds. The radio will beep and you will see the word AUX in the display.

Also on top of this radio is a Bluetooth/2-Metre/Weather button with a Weather Alert mode option. You can store up to five frequencies in each of the four bands offered by the CCRadio 3. The power and sleep button also sits at the top of this radio, as does the 22.5-in. telescopic antenna.

The CCRadio 3’s right panel has a lock switch which will avoid accidental powering up, plus disable all functions when the radio is on. There’s a stereo headphone jack, and a large combination tuning/squelch knob – the squelch feature is for 2-Metre ham band only.

The CCRadio 3’s rear panel houses the radio’s AUX IN jack defined above, and a Timer Activation Switch jack for use with a recorder that has a timer activated switch. The latter is used in conjunction with the Line Out jack which sits below the Timer Activation Switch jack, and is used when doing a timed recording.

If you’re a serious radio aficionado, then you may wish to use the CCRadio 3’s external antenna and ground connections, also at the rear panel. The battery component sits here, too, as does the power cord jack (power cord included).

A set of D Alkaline batteries rated at 21000 mAh will provide roughly 250 hours of runtime. This is based on AM band usage, and if the radio is played at a moderate volume level with the display light off.

The battery indicator will display the battery level for approximately two seconds when the radio is switched off. After removing dead batteries for replacement, you have approximately three minutes to replace the batteries before your clock and memory information will be lost (if the radio is not plugged in).

The CCRadio 3 is easily moved by using the indented handle at the top and rear of the radio. You can also purchase a custom-made carry case from C. Crane.

The CCRadio 2E improved the already great sound and reception offered by CCRadio 2. After much listening enjoyment in my office, I can state that the CCRadio 3 is the best radio ever offered by C. Crane. Its sound, reception, aesthetics and features make this a great investment ($199.99 US) for any serious radio listener.

As is human nature, I’m curious as to how C. Crane will be able to top the CCRadio 3. They’ve set the bar high with this radio. But never complacent, I am sure C. Crane’s development team is already thinking about how to continue to please their strong legion of fans.

The CCRadio 3 from C. Crane will make a great Christmas gift for the radio lover in your family. Visit for more information on this radio and all of C. Crane’s audio offerings.

Specifications, C. Crane CCRadio 3 AM/FM with Bluetooth, NOAA Weather, 2-Metre Ham

Input Power: Power Cord AC 120 Volts 60Hz
Batteries: (4) D size (not included)
Power Consumption: AC Power 8 Watts
Battery Power: 40-50 mA DC
Audio Output: 10% THD at output power @ 1.8 Watt AC typical, 10% THD at output power @ 0.9 Watt Battery
Speaker: 5″, 4 Ohm, 6 Watts
Frequency Coverage:
AM 520 – 1710 kHz
FM 87.5 – 108 MHz
Ham (VHF) 144 – 148 MHz
WX 1-7 CH
Weather Band:
Channel 1: 162.400 MHz
Channel 2: 162.425 MHz
Channel 3: 162.450 MHz
Channel 4: 162.475 MHz
Channel 5: 162.500 MHz
Channel 6: 162.525 MHz
Channel 7: 162.550 MHz
Rotary Tuning Knob Resolution: AM – 1 kHz, FM – 50 kHz, Ham (VHF) – 5 kHz, WX – 1 Channel
AM Tuning: 10 kHz
FM Tuning: 100 kHz
AM Antenna: Internal Ferrite Bar – 12mm x 203mm (8″) long with Twin Coil Ferrite technology
FM, Ham (VHF) and WX Antenna: Telescopic whip antenna – 22.5″
External Antenna:
Terminals: External AM antenna directly wired through filter network into RF front end
Headphone Jack: (3.5mm) Stereo
Aux in Jack: (3.5 mm) stereo, 300 – 1000mV RMS (line level) input from external audio source. Do not overload.
Line Out Jack: (3.5 mm) stereo, 300 – 1000mV RMS (line output)
Timer Activation Switch: Low impedance, transistor driven switch, used for operation of external recording devices
Presets: 5 per band
Lock Switch
Sleep Timer: 15-120 minutes
Clock: 12-hour system
Dimensions: 11″ W x 6.5″ H x 4″ D (at the base)
Weight: Approximately 3.8 pounds without batteries
Warranty: 1 year parts & labour
Included Accessories: Power Cord, Manual

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and Sports journalist since 1980.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!