When built correctly this is a decent little general coverage receiver. I've owned 3 of these. Its not especially sensitive -- Ten-Tec claims 2.5 uV in AM mode & 0.5 uV in SSB mode -- I say its more like 3 uV AM & 0.8 SSB. But regardless:
(a.) Its a quiet radio, no signal-burying noise like you'll get on the Kenwood R-1000.
(b.) Its mosly stable, SSB has a very slow drift, probably the slowest drift I've ever seen on a radio that does.
(c.) The audio is quite good.
For maximum enjoyment take a moderate length of wire & run it through a good preselector. I use the Yaesu FRT-7700. It lays nicely on top of the 1254 and gives a major boost to signals. Also, do the "Cholakian processor upgrade" -- its easy, just a matter of replacing Ten-Tec's chip with the Cholakian one, no soldering -- this will allow you tuning steps of 0.01, 0.1, 1, 5, 9, 10 and 100 kHz, and also makes the radio even quieter, somewhow.
This cute litle receiver (almost exactly the same size as the Lowe HF-150) is sometimes found on eBay, assembled, for around $200. I highly recommend that you buy one. I would not, however, suggest you purchase one at a price of $250 or more. No matter what kind of sales pitch is used.
Estimating the value of a rig can be challenging. We collect prices paid by real hams over the years to help you estimate the current value of the Ten-Tec 1254. Just bought or sold this model? Let us know what you traded it for and help other ham operators!
Based on historic data, today's value of the Ten-Tec 1254 might be around: