I got a "new" truck in April, and rather than pull all my gear out of my old truck, I've set about getting it "outfitted" to my needs, which included a new CB.
I had a Radio Shack TRC-493 which was 10-12 years old, so I went down to the local Pilot truck stop and bought a Cobra 29 LTD Night Watch, a new antenna and coax.
After installing it I tuned the whip, first with the internal SWR meter, and then with an external unit, and got it down to 1.2 - 1.4.
Over the next few days I began to wonder about the unit...I could rarely hear anyone talking. My shop is on a hill, and it's pretty much line-of-sight to two truck stops, I-24, and about 100 big warehouses, and I rarely heard a single trucker chatting on 19.
I ever plugged the TRC--493 into the new cable and listened for a while, but couldn't tell much difference in reception.
On a couple of 500+ mile road trips it was better, but it still seemed like truckers could hear me fine, but I could barely hear them answering me.
Then one day I noticed that the SS meter wasn't moving in response to incoming signals or when I keyed the mike, so I bought a new mike, but that didn't help, so I took the unit back to a Pilot and exchanged it for a new one.
Man what a difference in the new one!!!!!!!!!!!! Reception is way, way better, and I think it's transmitting more clearly, too.
Anyway, if anyone is considering buying a new CB, and wonders if they should pay a shop like Spark's to do a "Peak & Tune", this experience is a strong argument for it.
I'll probably send the cobra in to them during the winter when I won't be travelling much.