Quality of Received Audio?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I am thinking of buying a Flex 6400 or 6600.  Since I can't find a demo site at a store, I wanted info from actual owners of either new model.

What is your impression of the quality of the received audio?
One person on a forum thought it was a little tiring or harsh after several hours,
but each person has different hearing.

For those who have the new 6400 or 6600, and have used it for several hours at once,
do you like the feel of the audio right out of the box or did you add adjustments, processing,


Neal   N6YFM
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Posted 2 years ago

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David Salomon

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Neal -

I use mine all day, every day.  The internal speaker is tinny.  It has enough volume, just not full sounding.  I now use an external speaker instead.  If you do a lot of DX work, less bass usually improves signal readability, and tinny may actually be better.
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James Del Principe

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Neal, I have a 6500 and not a 6400 or 6600 but consider that the audio sound can be tailored by an 8 channel equalizer.   Also, the speaker or headphones have a great effect....... cheap computer speakers may not be ideal for hours of listening.   You can really make it what you like.     73, Jim   KD1I
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While I have several things about Flex that I simply can not understand why they make some of the choices they make I have to say the receive audio is fine and there separate eq for rec and transmit audio.

I owned a 6300 for several years and now a 6600.

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Duane, AC5AA

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Audio from my 6600 is clear and free of audio chain noise of any kind.  Remember, you have an equalizer so you can set that to match your likes combined with your speakers or headphones.  This is one of the best rigs I've owned for clean, clear audio.  (as was the 6500 before it!).
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Mark WS7M

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I think it would do Flex a lot of good to have a Flex6400 setup with a remote account.  People wanting to demo it could download SSDR and signup for access.  When provided they could connect in and play out.

It would not be terribly hard for Flex to disable transmit on the radio.   But it would allow people about to spend $3k a chance to see what it is like.
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Elliot Skultin

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With the equalizer and variety of headphones and speakers it’s pretty much anything you like. Hooking it up remotely defeats the purpose of a local sound check. It’s simply phenomenal.
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Mark WS7M

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Agreed... But the ability to twiddle the knobs so to speak is also something I seen mentioned a few times here.
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Duane, AC5AA

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There is a generous return policy if you're not happy with it.  Like any other radio, go try a friend's, if one is nearby.  
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If  the internal speaker isn't too your liking, there are several high grade external powered speakers available.  I use Audioengine 5 speakers which sound fantastic.  And as mentioned above, the audio response can be adjusted to your liking via the 8-band audio equalizer.  
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Hi Neal. Well everyone will start with the internal speaker which will let you get the feel of the radio. When it came down to operating the radio I use the Heil Pro7 headset for cw. It serves two fold for me anyway, allows me to hear better and when operating split you can set them up for his signal and who he is listening to. Now for ssb I went I bought a Pyle 2x75w amp and some bookshelf speakers the computer speakers I had just did not have enough output. The bass and treble controls on the amp plus the EQ in the 6400M allow me the best of both worlds.
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Rick WN2C

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Neal, you will get a lot of different answers here but what most use is either the Bose Companion 2 or the Klipsch speakers. They are a powered speaker and the radio will sound great with either. You will have to set the receive EQ and with it you can make the receive audio what you want it to sound like.
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Gary w8vi

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The only time It might be a little harsh is when I have the AGC-T turned up too high (adjusted past 60%) on a noisy band or when using a cheap set of PC speakers.

I now have a pair of Yamaha MSP3 monitor speakers and the audio is outstanding. On the headset side I use a Heil Pro 7 and the receive audio is excellent. 
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Neal, I have used every type of radio including those made for WW2. The secret is as most have said, use a good external speaker system or a Heil headset. I have never had the same comfort for contesting than with Heil but it is a matter of choice. Your Flex audio will be great .
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Robert Lonn

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I have used mine now for about 3 hours of testing, just one day old.. My testing so far is with the internal speaker,, You definitely need an external speaker, but for me I will hook up a Harmon Cardon Glass Bubble speaker.. The audio was compared against my Icom IC-R8600 receiver. This radio got a very good rating on Bob Sherwoods site, so I wanted to see how it compares.. Simply stated, the Flex can recover audio on very weak stations better then the ICOM.. The Flex can definitely pull stations out of the noise and make the SSB audio readable.. The Icom is quite good, but if I gave the 6600M a 10, the Icom would be a 9, but keep in mind that the Icom is only a full SDR radio below 30 MHz, above that it resorts back to more traditional operation.. This is just basic receive only with no real filtration or other things engaged like preamps or NB, DNR etc. 

The Flex looks real nice on my 4K HDR, LG 50" TV set..

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Duane, AC5AA

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The orig poster didn't mention the "M" models, so I don't think "internal speakers" are what he was asking about.  I could be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time today!
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My previous radio was a K3, but I felt the audio was too harsh on that radio.  Compare to my 6400M which has the best receive audio in memory when used with a good pair of speakers.  I've had excellent results using the 6400M with the (Heil-recommended) JBL Control 2P speakers.
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Steven Linley

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The internal speaker on the Maestro is pretty small but it is fine for use if you are in front of the Maestro.  And that's the way I use it with friends.  It was a little less adequate for demonstrating the Maestro to a large group and there a several plug-in speaker options .  I prefer to use headset/mic when operating solo.
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Ken - NM9P

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The audio in the flex or any other rig can be tiring if you run the AGC wide open all the time.

If you find the sweet-spot on AGC-T, where the background noise just begins to quiet, then this rig is a beautiful thing.

Also, if you use MID or SLOW on SSB, it is a lot nicer.