6400 vs 6500

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
Hello all, newbie here.  I am interested in the 6400 and have seen the specs on the Flex website.  I see that there was a previous model, the 6500, that was apparently discontinued.  I guess I am confused about why a newer model has a lower number designation, and what the difference in features are.  I have found a spec sheet on the 6500 but it is hard to compare the two models because the different spec sheets list different specs and there is no place where they are compared side-by-side.  I see where they are offering a refurbished 6500 for $1000 more than the 6400.  Is this a pretty good deal or is there something about the 6500 that makes it obsolete or soon to be obsolete?
Photo of Bill - W7DOC

Bill - W7DOC

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Ken - VE5KC

Ken - VE5KC

  • 63 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
I had a Flex-6500 for a couple of years until some things changed in my life. Health problems, hospital time etc. left me down and negative. Add to this Flex discontinued the 6500 meaning immediate faster devaluation.  Without fully thinking things through I sold my 6500. I figured I would get what I could out of it, while I could, before the new models were available. I figures an Icom IC-7300 would be enough for me and less complicated to operate.

Several month later, my health improved a lot and I was doing good with adapting to my new life situation/ disability. Big surprise, I started missing my Flex 6500..  I used my Flex 1500 a bit but QRP can be very difficult from my part of the world. PowerSDR has some neat features but it's not SmartSDR. I decided to buy another Flex 6000 series rig but what model. I thought that maybe I could settle for a used 6300 but really what I wanted was a rig as good as the 6500.

I asked some of the people from Flex and read some posts from testers. I was told that the 6400 would be as good as the 6500. all it would lack is the two extra slices. As to the 6300, it lacked the preformance and specs of the 6400 had. The 6400 has better specs and is not much more expensive than a referbished 6300. So I decided to buy a Flex-6400. At first I thought the  6400M would be the radio for me and order one.  After more consideration I realized the "M" was a waste of money for me. I would not use the front panel very much after playing with it the sirst while. In my shack I have two computers that can both run my Flex.. Someday both at the same time. Also, when I had the 6500 I really didn't operate from in the shack very much. That is one of the things I missed, one of the big advantages of these radios is not being tied to the ham shack. Final decision made, I canceled the order fof a 6400M and changed it to a 6400.

Now I have my 6400 and it works great. It was easy install and setup for me, having previously owned a 6500. Bottom line with the 6400, I see no difference in preformance. The only difference is in it only having 2 slices instead of the 4 that the 6500 has. I admit that once, I did find myself trying to open more than 2 slices. It wasn't important or something I would normally want to do.

The bottom line, as I see it from my experiance, get a 6400 instead of a used 6300 or 6500. Get the 6400 instead of the 6400M unless you plan on spending a lot of time setting infront of your radio. Enjoy your new rig and the ability of not being tied to the ham shack.

Ok, so much for my story.. Hi..