OK. FINALLY got the lil' bugger up and running. I am not as spry as I use to be, so it takes me a little longer to go through all of the antenna installation steps. What use to take 24 to 48 hours now takes four or five days.
In head to head competition between the new Sirio Gain Master and the Sirio Skylab (similar to the old Star Duster and Golden Hawk in design), the Skylab is still winning locally on CB - hands down. At least by a couple of S units. I attribute this to the Gain Master's lower installation height. The base of the Gain Master is at 16 feet while the Skylab is at 25 feet.
I also believe that this antenna was designed for DX work, which has been the general discussion on the Internet and the reason why I purchased the antenna. The antenna advertises a lower take off angle, which favors DX contacts and not so much the local contacts.
I tried it out on ten meters this morning. It is very apparent that the Gain Master antenna was designed for ten meter operation. My transmit reports are much better, and my receive is also better. I am receiving stations on this antenna that I am not picking up with my more sensitive transceivers and the Skylab. 20+ S-9 in Brazil. I also worked a couple of Floridians, who I have been unable to contact in the past, but was able to do with ease today.
I don't notice this huge reduction in signal-to-noise, as others have reported on YouTube reviews. Same signal-to-noise as the Skylab.
12 meters loads up, but SWR is 2 to 1 and power output is about 80 watts. This is as advertised.
The next big question, is it worth $189? For me, yes. First of all, I do have it lower in height than any antenna on my property. That takes away from local signals. Other then that, the broadband nature of the antenna, coupled with the concept of not having to raise and lower a ten meter antenna just to adjust rings, or gamma matches or any other SWR decreasing mechanism is a BIG PLUS for me. Just raise the Gain Master up into the air and plug and play! No tuning required!
I also want to see how this antenna holds up during a wicked Great Lakes winter before I raise the antenna height.
BTW, assembly of this antenna took less than an hour. A breeze....