So, Pete....would you consider the HDB8X a 'best buy' for the price?
Yes, No & Maybe! See my next post. Just depends on your individual situation.
50 years ago when I worked in a TV shop (as a kid) 8-Bayís were very popular for the limited number of UHF stations. Like then, I think Yagi vs Bow-Tie has been debated ever since. With my limited testing capability Iím not seeing a significant UHF performance difference between my 40 year old Channel Master 8-Bay and this new HDB8X. Thatís not meant as a slam; last summer I didnít see much difference between my 40 year old Channel Master 8-Bay & my brand new 91XG when mounted in the same location.
Whether intentional or by accident Iím seeing a lot of HDB8X design features that I really like. The construction seems very robust. When I read in other posts that it was a cheap knock-off I envisioned tinfoil elements & pop-rivetsí. The elements are thick aluminum, all the hardware is plated carriage bolts, the plated wing-nuts are big and the brackets have square holes to facilitate tightening. The mast clamp bolts are long and one side of each clamp bracket is slotted so you donít have to remove the wing-nuts to install the antenna. This is really handy when youíre standing on top of a ladder holding the antenna in place with one hand and trying to juggle all the pieces and snug everything down with the other hand. Every bolt had a rubber ďOĒ ring installed to prevent the wing-nut from spinning off the end. As I mentioned previously, the elements and BALUMís are removable so you should be able to clean the contact points if needed.
As far as I know, the laws of Physics havenít changed recently, so I donít like seeing the exaggerated gain claims. If you buy it expecting a miracle antenna youíll be disappointed. If you buy it expecting a competitive 8-Bay design, I think you will be more than satisfied.
Iíll try to report back in 40 years and let everyone know if it held up as well as my old Channel Master!