I am running the latest software. All 3 units are tied to the same receive antenna via a powered HF splitter. When using the FTDX3000 with its NR set to 4 the background noise falls to a comfortable level that makes listening to long rag chews very nice. It is even better using the NR on a SDRPlay SDR. Using the NR on the 6500 I cannot find a setting to get as clean or as much noise reduction without distorting the audio. Also when listening to very weak signals the FTDX3000 with NR makes the station readable where nothing I tried on the 6500 would pull the station out. This is very frustrating since I expected much more.
I researched all the reviews and played with the the FLEX at all of the hamfests. I finally made the decision to purchase, but it has not been a great experience.
Am I doing something wrong? Can anyone suggest any settings to try? I do not want to return the unit since I do love SDR.
The noise reduction on the 1500, 3000, 5000 is nothing to write home about either. Also, that of the 6500 is about the same in my experience. I think the other rigs use chips dedicated to noise reduction. Perhaps it is much more difficult to write firmware to compete with these chips.
Here are 3 ideas that address the issue including the other good suggestions above.
Automate the AGC-T setting
Check them out and add your votes and comments if you agree.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 - V 1.10.8
I'll do all the normal stuff with AGC-T and a bit of NR and some APF (100 Hz and above only). Then I'll bring up the RF Gain to +10 or more even on 40 or 80 meters (where the winter hunts occur). Bang... the fox pops out of his hole. It is generally the last thing I try but it often makes the most difference.
Because we are using our ears to do the comparison and not test equipment I would expect your results to be mostly even across the three receivers. I think the differences in most good receivers today are a bit beyond what our (my) hearing can discriminate. If the Flex is not performing as well in your ears and something isn't broken (antenna port, coax, front end, whatever) then I suspect adjusting some of the receiver's parameters will make the difference. Being able to test all three receivers side-by-side gives you the opportunity to really get an understanding of the adjustments.
For me, NR's weakness is not its inability to reduce noise. It seems to do a fine job of that. Where I have the problem is the distortion it adds to CW making it rather unpleasant to listen to. Reduce NR to a point where there's no distortion and NR pretty much isn't doing anything. Try that RF gain.
hmmm.... I've had a 6700 and have been A/B testing it for months against the 3000's bigger brother the 5000.... and to date I've not found a single case where the 5000 received better than the 6700 - AND the inverse as well - where the 6700 received better than the 5000. I can manage in all cases to adjust them to match the ease of listening and weak signal capability of both radios. So I wonder if you're not doing something with the 6500.
One thing I find frustrating is that the NR and APF levels seem to always reset to 0. I am constantly having to go in and change them (this is using the Maestro). Likewise the TX and RX EQ's. Oh and the TX Delay for the relay out - always resets to 0. No matter how many times I've hit "SAVE" on the Global, TX, MIC profiles these NEVER get saved. My point is is it possible you haven't adjusted the level of the NR and/or NB? (and APF also does this if I remember correctly - resets to 0)
I own both and overall find the Flex superior for my uses and operating style. I did however need to adjust my operating procedures when switching between radios. I was reminded of this a few weekends ago when I operated at a field event using a FT-450D.
When faced with a weak signal on the Yaesu or any mixer radio I crank down the passband or width depending on the features available. And often times need a bit of IF shift and audio conture to enhance the voice frequencies. The main problem with the 3k is the big gap between the 3khz roofing filter and the 500hz CW filter. Below 3k DSP is employed to narrow the passband which is a compromise.
As the Flex has an infinitely adjustable passband which is in the RF side of the RX not the audio chain like a mixer RX. I crank down the passband, adjust the AGC-T if needed and the RX audio EQ if needed.
While I can get to a similar result with either radio, IMHO the Flex edges out the 3k while presenting an easier to use interface than a knob radio.
I guess my message is this, try narrowing the bandwidth run a small amount of NR. Mine is normally set at less than 10 and also have your AGC-T setup properly. I normally run in the 35-40 range.
I almost forgot this, try the Binaural audio setting on the RX tab in the radio setup dialog. I use a set of powered computer speakers and I find the effect quite beneficial with speakers or headphone use.
73, Jay N0IAI
I also use the receive Equalizer to cut out any white noise and low rumbles that my Ears don't like and bring up what they like to hear because this is usually just garbage anyway, along with the AGC-T I very rarely use any NR.
If your using the S meter to say one radio receives better then the other remember the FLEX S meter doesn't change when a Pre-amp or Attenuater is used and MOST other radio's the S Meter change levels so you aren't really getting a true comparison because it is not calibrated.
Signal to noise is by far much more important comparison from one radio to another and most Amateurs don't have the equipment to check this so we have to rely on our our ears and we all hear things differently.
There is no comparison to noise OR noise blanking... the FTDX is hands down superior.. I had them side by side for a while and noise that could not be blanked out by the Flex was gone with the FTDX...
In general the FTDX has a more pleasant sound/audio out of the box. However the Flex is far superior is every other way. It just takes time to adjust the AGC, volume, etc. etc.
Once you tweak the settings enough it starts to surpass the audio of the FTDX. Couple that with all the functional capabilities you start to see the light. I almost dumped the Flex because of this frustration but once i gave it time I learned to love it. You will learn to love it once you have figured out the right combination of settings.
I would suggest to flex however to have pre-sets or suggested starting parameters that tune the radio right out of the box - even to the demise of performance. Its discouraging when you turn it on and it seems no where near your ancient radios performance.