last night during the Zombie shuffle. I am not a die hard contester; and as such, my approach to these sprints is ....... eclectic, perhaps?
I will hunt and pounce; but I will also sit on a frequency and call CQ. Last night, as I sat on a frequency and called "CQ BOO", I noticed that I had to make VERY liberal use of the RIT knob. Sometimes, someone would answer my CQ and seem to be as much as almost a kHz away. Now, if the station answering was rock bound (crystal controlled) I could understand that; but then I would hear said station working other runners on various frequencies. If I hadn't used my RIT function, I would have never heard them; and as it was, I hadn't tightened up on receive by kicking in any filters. I generally like to operate the sprints with the receiver "wide open".
Again, since this wasn't in all cases, I didn't think I had a rig problem. What I think it is, is that there are folks out there who either don't know or forget to zero beat. With modern rigs, it's not so hard. Tune in the station you want to work until their signal's note matches the note of your sidetone. That will generally do it. In the "Olden Days" of separate tranmitters and receivers, it was even easier.
In either case, zero beating is a good thing to do. Adjusting your receiver so that the station you want to call is the tone most pleasing to your ear will not necessarily put you in his receiving range!
73 de Larry W2LJ