DSM Labs

R 390A, R 390, R 392



Formerly DSM, Definitive Sound Makers, we are now a multi-tier business, offering support to include Products and Service for the High-End Audiophile as well as to the Communications Enthusiast.


During the last 5 years, DSM Labs has become more involved with the Repair ofR 390A, R 390 and now R 392 Receivers. Presently, we have a large inventory of 390Aís that will be refurbished and sold. We are not in the parts business since it is our plan to restore our inventory as opposed to part it out. We also repair, Drake, Hammarlund, Some Heathkit and other Radio related items. Please let us know what your needs are and we will try to help if time permits.


DSM Labs is always interested in purchasing R 390, R 390A, R 392 receivers, parts and assemblies. We are also interested in Hammarlund HQ 180 and Drake C Lines. Other quality receivers may be of interest as well.


Should you have one of these receivers, R 390a, R 390, R 392 that need to be repaired or refurbished, contact us for scheduling. Presently, our backlog is about 7 to 8 weeks. We will not take the unit in until we are close to being able to put your unit on a workbench. This protects your investment and keeps our space more manageable.

Once we receive you unit, a thorough inspection will be made to make sure no shipping damage occurred. PLEASE READ OUR SHIPPING NOTES BELOW!


Here is how your unit will be processed.

1)      A basic static evaluation will be made to see if the unit powers up, if so, how well it performs and a determination of what will be needed to get your unit running. You will be given a basic estimate before any work is done. However, if other unforeseen issues are discovered later, you will be notified and the price will be adjusted accordingly. We try to catch every thing during the first stage of evaluation but keep in mind these are complex receivers with lots of mechanical and electrical parts, not to mention many of them or around 50 years old.

2)      We will do a complete cleaning of the gear train, modules, chassis, switches, connectors and pots before doing any major repairs. Often problems are resolved by doing these steps. We do this to all units NO EXCEPTIONS.As mentioned, many problems and general degradation of performance can be traced to poor and bad electrical connections. Beyond that, we are not interested in bringing filthy equipment into our Electronics Lab. We have very nice HP, Fluke and Tektronix equipment and keep this area very clean.

3)      After step 2, you will be contacted once more to provide our recommendations on what we believe your unit will need. Some customers opt for a complete restoration including front panel with mechanical and electrical restorations. Others my just want their unit repaired and aligned. Itís your radio; you let us know what you want us to do.

4)      All repairs, mechanical and electrical as well as a complete alignment are performed. Next the receiver goes to the burn-in bench where it cooks for 24 hours. After that time, the alignments are rechecked and receiver specifications are documented.

5)      If cosmetic concerns are to be addressed the front panel is removed, repaired and painted during step 4. We have done many front panels and all of our customers have been very pleased with the outcome.


In many cases, Customers have never used an R 390A that is working well and are usually very pleased with our repairs and alignment. Beyond that, we can do a number of reversible modifications including AGC, Audio and product detector improvements. These modifications enhance the performance of these receivers and are worth doing but in our opinion do not make stellar differences in performance. The R 390A in particular is a great receiver by just getting it back to where it was designed to be in terms of performance.


Keep in mind, these receivers are time consuming to repair and we donít do rush jobs. Often, several repairs are exercised simultaneously to allow better time management of the repair cycle.

We keep a time sheet on each unit and log actual shop time to allow us to bill our time accurately and to allow for even more accurate estimates.


A WORD ABOUT SHIPPING: The R 390 series in particular, are heavy receivers. We have several large double-boxed containers that we can ship to our customers if needed. These consist of a large, heavy box in a box with Styrofoam panels that go between the boxes and others that go around the receiver. Last time I shipped one of these to the West Coast, the shipping cost was $90 one way, my cost.

I know this is expensive but your unit will not be damaged if you chose to have us ship you a container for return shippment. However, you are welcome to use your own container but PLEASE, package your unit well.

Unfortunately, freight is not always handled carefully and you should assume the worse and plan for it.

We had one customer ship his 390A wrapped in four large shipping blankets in a large, heavy box. Others, double boxed with heavy foam panels and both methods worked great.

I attend a number of Ham fest in the South East, US each year and will be happy to meet with you and take your unit back to our shop myself.


Whatever you do, DONíT set your receiver in a box of shipping peanuts. An item that weighs nearly 100 pounds will pulverize the peanuts into little pieces of debris that will offer no protection of your equipment at all. Additionally, this makes one huge mess and takes lots of time to clean up; we bill accordingly.


We had a customer recently who did just that, After requesting that he not ship with shipping peanuts, picked up a cheap box filled half way up with shipping peanuts, dropped the receiver in and filled it up with more peanuts. The peanuts were everywhere, the front panel was damaged, the handles were bent and a meter was broken. We opened the box and had the courier return it to the customer damaged. PLEASE, PLEASE, DO NOT PUT a 100-POUND RECEIVER IN A BOX OF SHIPPING PEANUTS. The peanuts were NEVER meant to protect these loads and stresses.


Please feel free to ask any questions regarding repairs. If you have plans to visit us at DSM Labs, please notify me in advance. My goal is to return all equipment to our customers as soon as possible. We can only accomplish this by keeping busy working for all of our customers.



Glenn Scott WA4AOS

DSM Labs

341 Colonial Acres Road

Laurens, SC 29360


864 684 2956