Rob Sherwood Ranks Yaesu FTdx-101 as the New Number One!

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Rob Sherwood has just ranked the new Yaesu FTdx-101 into First Place amongst all receivers on planet Earth, above the Flex 6700, and even higher on his rankings list than the $15,000 Icom IC-7850!

At Yaesu’s remarkably low price point for this transceiver, what “magic” did Yaesu discover and leverage that allows it’s product to perform better than any and all other radios, that cost oh, so much more $’s than the FTdx-101?

BTW, my understanding is that Mr. Sherwood’s receiver tests and subsequent competitive rankings are widely considered to be the industry’s absolute gold standard, so I take his top ranking of this Yaesu radio as a fact.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Rob explained that he had to pick something to rank them by so he picked close in dynamic range. 

As far as what they have that Flex doesn't? I don't know that but I do know there were two samples of flex 6700 tested and Rob has said that the 6700 is really a 99dB radio. The chart topping dynamic range narrow spaced was with the preamp on, but later software versions eliminated the performance difference.

What do you want in a flex anyway? Anything above 90dB is simply a numbers game with no difference to normal ears in normal conditions on planet earth. I enjoy the integration and networking features paired with pretty decent performance.
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Ria,
Agree Rob also says anything of 90-95+  is good. 

Here is a snapshot of the review with the footnote explaining that the 6700 test showing 108 is no longer valid in the current software.   If you miss the footnote you may not realize that.

I believe Rob left the 6700 in the #2 position anyway because that is what he measured at the time back in 2014. 

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

This shows the 2014 test, the 2017 test and the 6600 test as well as the footnote Y.



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Larry - WA7LZO

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I think the footnote is perhaps slicing some fine hairs. The fact is, Yaesu is currently King of Sherwood Hill!

Perhaps more importantly, I will ask again:

What “magic” does Yaesu have that places their $4,000 radio above a $7,000 radio? Bang for the buck is extremely important, to those of us not quite as rich as Bill Gates.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Larry,
The FT101D is a hybrid rig. Superhet then SDR from the IF freq. Here is my understanding of the differences and pros & cons.

A superhet down conversion stage before the analog to digital conversion stage can provide better dynamic range than a plain direct conversion SDR.

The downside is that it does not sample the full spectrum like a direct sample SDR radio.

BTW, the new K4 offers both direct sample models and a hybrid model, the K4HD.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Joe Conover

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101D is best of Japanese radios made.,

Flex is best of American Made radios, 

After this attack by Chinese's  Monkey Brain Virus .

I am going American Made Flex 6400M once again 

icom 7300 as back up but mostly sell to Jap-a nes-e friend,,
  
(Edited)
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FISHULA X

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 I gotta tell ya, I have owned many radios. Three Flex 5000A radios. and I own a 6300 now. I live in a very noisy area with limited yard space. I gotta say this for the Flex 6000 series. The WTB AKA wide band noise blanker is a life saver. Non of my radios could achieve the RX so well as the 6300. I have tried all sorts of units to cancel the noise. Nothing could get better results then using the WTB. As long as Flex continues to have this feature, I will be a Flex owner for life, I just loved the 5000a and I must admit I do miss some of the features however, This is the best yet for me. So If you are troubled with noise that you just can't seem to get rid of and it is interfering with your hobby, Look into the WTB It is the cat's Meow, Seriously. Thank you Flex radio for helping me enjoy my hobby. 73 all.
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Mark - WS7M

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I live close to Rob.  I've seen his setup and he has a wonderful location.

I am a software engineer by trade and as such I've been involved with computers since their availability to the public.  Yes I started selling Z80 CP/M systems.  Later programming them until Apple and IBM came around.

Being in this for so long I can't help but meet people or have family members ask me what computer they should buy.  It is always a tough question to answer because it really depends upon your needs and your desires.

If you have unlimited money then of course you should buy the top rated, best thing you can buy.but be prepared that your new purchase, while it might be the hottest thing on the market may not be what you like or want to use.  This happens more often than not!

So when relatives, friends and others ask me what computer to buy I always say the same thing:

1) Do not try to buy cutting edge.   You might have the hottest thing out there but you might not really like it very well either as in the computer field sometimes things need a chance to catch up.
2) Buy the most able you can afford.  Buy a good solid machine, with enough RAM and DISK to do what you want to do.
3) Be prepared that you may need to upgrade in a few years.

Now all of that being said, the most difficult thing is to decide what you need.  This is true of Hams as well as computer users.  Sure that extra dB or two is desired, but do you need it?  What are your operating habits?  If you hang out on 75 and do the nets it is unlikely that you need the hottest receiver on the block.

If you are searching rare DX and have a HUGE tower and beam then probably yes that extra hot receiver will do you some good.

BUT keep in mind that you don't get to buy the sensitive receiver alone. You have to buy the entire box and you might not like the rest of the box!

It is a balancing act.

While Robs report is fun to read does it mean your 6700 is now a horrible receiver compared to the FT?  Absolutely not.   You are just now in good company instead of being the leader.

Just my take on things.  My 6600 hears more than all of my friends on a crummy little 80m loop antenna that is not very high.  I wish I could do it justice and give it a massive beam at 400 feet but I just can't.   But I don't think my radio is angry with me.  It seems to find plenty of RF to chew on.

Sure it might have preferred to be on the space station working the world but I think it has accepted that it will be my radio and do the best it can do with the meager antennas I can feed it.

Mark - WS7M
(Edited)
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Bob Needleman

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I also know Rob and have communicated with him personally. He will tell you, and has gone on record, as saying that there likely is going to be very little difference in performance in the top 10 radios in his Sherwood Rcvr List. The RMDR ratings would only apply for conditions of very close-in QRM, like for contesting, etc. For most amateur communications, you won't notice any difference in receiver performance between #1 and #10 (maybe even lower). AS far as the new FT-101D, while I have heard its DNR capability is excellent the ergonomics and lack of certain features (no Tx Tune feature, No Averaging for the bandscope) is a deal breaker for me - I would never own one and much prefer the Flex line or TS-890, hands down. Likewise, my K3S is always in the top 5, but frankly given the small front panel layout with 'multiknob' design, having to constantly push and double push knobs in, make it less user friendly to me, although it has a superb receiver. So if you don't accept my comment, drop Rob a line and ask him yourself. He'll likely tell you exactly what I just layed out. BTW - if you want the best receiver performance, you do what the military and commercial (marine, avionics, etc) radio equipment manufacturers have done which is to go complete CHANNELIZED (no VFO). That is not terribly suitable for amateur use, but that is the solution to all this RMDR 'stuff'. 

Bob K3AC
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FISHULA X

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 I gotta tell ya, I have owned many radios. Three Flex 5000A radios. and I own a 6300 now. I live in a very noisy area with limited yard space. I gotta say this for the Flex 6000 series. The WNB AKA wide band noise blanker is a life saver. None of my radios could achieve the RX so well as the 6300 and actually drops my noise floor. It's increadable . I have tried all sorts of units to cancel the noise. Nothing could get better results then using the WNB. As long as Flex continues to have this feature, I will be a Flex owner for life, I just loved the 5000a and I must admit I do miss some of the features of Power SDR however, This is the best yet for me. So If you are troubled with noise that you just can't seem to get rid of and it is interfering with your hobby, Look into the WNB It is the cat's Meow, Seriously. Thank you Flex radio for helping me enjoy my hobby. 73 all.
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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Most people look at Rob's Chart rankings as something seriously significant. 

Question: What operational difference is there between a 99 db receiver and a 110 db receiver?  Rob himself will tell you there's not much in the way of operational performance in any of the receivers,  90db and above.  The main difference is just lab numbers. 

I'd like to see Rob's Chart include audio files (of set standard SSB and CW signal strength) for each rig so people can actually hear the difference between the rigs.  Odds are, no one would be able to hear any difference between a FTdx-101E and a Flex-3000.

If Rob's Chart numbers make you feel good about your buying decision.  Enjoy.


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Michael Walker, Employee

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I want to pass on something that Rob posted on the 7610 reflector.  I would also not be surprised if he is also part of this community.  Unless you really understand all the parameters, the number 1 is dependant on how the list is sorted.  Not all units are created equal and there are trade offs in all areas.

------------

Hi, 

 

RMDR and dynamic range (DR3) are separate measurements. If the phase noise is significantly better than the DR3 measurement, then the two measurements don’t interact.  If the LO noise is about the same or higher than the third-order intermodulation product, then that reciprocal-mixing “noise” interferes with the measurement.  My table is sorted on close-in (usually 2 kHz) DR3 measurements, not RMDR. 

 

I don’t have an RMDR column because RMDR was only defined by the ARRL in 2012, and my test data goes back to the mid 1970s.  I do have an LO Noise measurement that really should have a minus sign before the number.  Ignoring that for now, if you take the LO Noise value for the TS-890S of 155 dB and subtract 27 dB for a measurement in a 500 Hz bandwidth instead of 1 Hz, then you get an RMDR value of 128 dB.  The FTdx-101D has an RMDR value of 127 dB. 

 

On 40m the difference is 2 dB, (Kenwood 2 dB better) which is also insignificant from a “who’s radio is better” consideration. Both radios are top notch in that respect. 

 

Unlike in the past when synthesized radios came out, we now have radios from all five major OEMs that have excellent RMDR, and also excellent dynamic range (DR3). 

 

The buyer has lots of choices of fine transceivers that will rarely limit his ability to copy weak signals in the present of lots of very strong QRM.  There may be limits by SSB splatter (IMD) or key clicks on CW, but that is a whole different subject.

 

73, Rob Sherwood, NC0B

===========

Part 2 on my comment is today I received a call from a customer who purchased the FTdx-101.   Here are his exact comments:

  • The 3D display was cool - for about 5 minutes.  Then, it got so annoying to look at, he covered it with cardboard since it was like watching a video game.  I asked him if he was kidding, and he said, no, he was dead serious on the cardboard part.
  • He thought the receiver was OK, but it was not as quiet at the Flex radio he had a year ago.  The 101 was somewhat hard to listen to.
  • The transmitted audio was terrible and it was only 3.2 khz wide - max (maybe he said 3khz)
  • He sent it back for a refund and even took the 15% restocking charge as there was no way he was going to use it.
Then, he surprised me by ordering a new 6700.  :) 


Mike
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Mike,
Yes there is a lot more to consider thar the DR3 numbers. What you do with the digital data ( i.e. DSP) as well all of the other software features, the ergonomics of the user interface, etc.

All of the receivers with DR3 numbers above 90 are a good place to start, not finish your evaluation.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Steve

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"All of the receivers with DR3 numbers above 90 are a good place to start, not finish your evaluation"  Obviously a quote from NN4ZZ.  He has summed it all up VERY well.  There really is nothing else that needs to be said.  73's
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N9VC

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I have a hard time believing the cardboard comment. I don't doubt he said it
to you, but, all he had to do was change to 2D Waterfall/Panadaptor mode. I
think the novelty of the 3D display wore off fast and an impulse purchase
of the radio was made in haste. At least he did the right thing and rather
than keep the radio, made it right to himself and got one he had really
wanted in the first place. Hats off to him for buying a Flex.

73, Jim N9VC

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Robert Lonn

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Spent the last hour comparing, Once Again, my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver to my Flex 6600M.. Per Bob chart, the Icom is right near the top... But once again, when on 20 or 40 meters, the Flex just HEARS BETTER and Clearer then the ICOM..  SO for normal in shack use, I will stay with the Flex... The 8600 is my DStar radio, RTTY decoder, and OTHER stuff from DC-3GHz.. I am not a big YouTube video person, busy at work, even at age 71,,, but tempted to make a video... BTW, the Icom NR is not that great, average at best compared to the Flex.. AND!!!! I dont think I could live with any radio that does not have HD HDMI output feeding into my 4K  LG TV set...

Robert

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Robert Lonn

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Photo of Zack Schindler - N8FNR

Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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OT: how do you like the LP-700?
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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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I also have an LP-700.  Happy to discuss with you outside of this thread.
Bob. WK2Y
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Robert Lonn

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Sure, just got a VHF unit for it,, so now 3, One before and after the linear, and one for my Yaesu FT-991.. Even though it is 2 meters it still works on UHF.. Only off by a few watts.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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More research into your desired platform and the measurements involved would probably be wiser than taking that top ranking as "fact".
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Lets see, does anyone know how old the 6700 is?  How old is the  FTdx-101  don't you think the 6700 will fall off that meaningles chart at some point? some year?

Amazing the 6700 is still near the top I think. that is just how darn good the 6700 is.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Bill,
Even if you ignore the invalid test that has the 6700 at #2, the 6700 is still in the top 10%. (With a DR3 of 99, it is about number 14 out of 140+ tests).

Many of the rigs tested go back to the 1970’s 1980’s etc. So the 6700 is not likely to drop off or even drop down too much in ranking for a long, long time. Same for the other Flex models that are at about the ranking.

There will likely be more receivers join the top tier . New models will probably also have a DR3 rating in the 95+ range. But in the big picture they will all be fine, and it will be the other aspects of their feature set that are more important than the DR3 ranking.

So yes the Flex line can still be on or near the top from an overall performance standpoint, it’s more about the software and other features. And that’s why it is important to keep making improvements there.

So I’d say Rob’s chart is a valuable tool and his work testing over the years has been a valuable contribution that has helped us get better radios.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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Rank ordering of complex things that are fairly similar is a losing proposition.  Which is the best college? The ordering (who is #1, #2, etc.) depends critically on what "figure of merit" you choose.  Is it Nobel laureates, student/faculty ratio, football standings, or what? 

There are many parameters in the radio ratings charts, and there are many factors that aren't in those charts.  In these days of near-perfect HF ratings (for top radios), one of the biggest factors for me is UX - the user experience.  Display quality, knob arrangements (if any!), computer interaction (OS support), remote options, user support, and on and on.  

We Flex users enjoyed being #1 -- according to the lists.   There was a certain amount of crowing about that.  I'm sure it sold a lot of radios. Now the cards have been shuffled again, and we are "in the top 10" -- until the next product round, maybe.

Don't worry, be happy!

73 Martin AA6E

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Pat N6PAT

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I would never buy another Yaesu radio again no matter where it placed on any lists. I had so many problems with my FT 450D that I actually threw it in the garbage.  That's right, I tossed a radio that I bought new for almost $1,000 right in the garbage.

BTW...still waiting for Yaesu customer service to call me back. It's only been three years but I'm hoping I'll  hear from them soon.


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Doug

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I am mostly a ssb guy and it is my understanding that Sheerwood test on CW. I don't doubt his rankings however on K9CRT's desktop his numbers don't hold up. I have or had many of  the radio's tested lately and this is what I am using for my opinion. This includes a FTDX5000D that I still have. Again it's rankings in my shack on SSB don't hold up to Rob's and it just sits on my shelf after buying my Flex 6400M a year and a half ago. I can afford any radio on the market today but I am not a buyer for the new Yaesu.
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Rich McCabe

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Having a multitude of radios over the years that are on "the list" I can assure you that anything on the top 30 of that list has good potential. The specs mean nothing. 

That said we all still check out the list for fun. And if I am being fair with myself I feel let down when my radio (6600 currently) does not make it as high as I would like :)

There are radios on that list that you could not give me for free.  My new operating style has been formed around Flex. And unless they really screw something up, I dont see myself switching brands anytime soon
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Roger, W6VZV

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A totally meaningless statistic.  Yawn.
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Robert Lonn

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At first I was excited about a 3D waterfall, neat and different,,, but the more Videos I watch of it, the less impressed I am, for me that is.. The best way to describe it is "It does not appear natural".. The way the brain works, it seems more complex and more confusing then a regular linear waterfall.. I have the ability to change the GPS in my car from 2D to 3D, decided many years ago 2D made more sense from a quick glance perspective.. 2D just look, 3D  need to think for a second what you are seeing..  NOTE! I have a 3D Blue-Ray player, a Sony 3D TV set and about 35 3D movies.. I Love It..  But that is a Movie, your watching for entertainment value with a Beer in your right hand and popcorn in the left... But as a waterfall,,,, no thank you... Glad Yaesu gives you the ability to choose what you want...
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Craig Williams

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My fallback radio.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Keeping in mind the list is a very limited resource for deciding on a radio.

A radio may have great specs but the radio could be a dog to use. The screen could have low res, the buttons are to close so I fumble around trying to get a finger on one. The menue system is all over the place and hard to work. The audio tires me out. Oh, but the SPECS!!

I have already talked to people ready to buy a radio based on the list alone, disregarding everything that makes a radio really nice to operate.
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Erika - KØDD

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Rob's tests pretty much lay everything out and present what's going on with each rig.  It's NICE that in the past when a radio had a performance issue or limitation he was able to determine WHAT was causing the issue and where. Once his reputation grew to the point the manufacturers actually listened to what he had to say they started correcting problems.

Just because a radio costs a LOT OF MONEY doesn't mean it's the best thing out there.  At our station at one time we had "the latest and greatest radios out there" and "Money was no object" when it came to selecting our station's rig...

FOR INSTANCE...  The Kenwood TS-930 early serial numbers QRM'ed themselves.  We received a brand shiny new top dollar IC-781...  Well it had the ALC overshoot issue that would blow up linear amplifiers.

IC-756 Pro II  our station had two of those at one time (Bought together) and BOTH of those radios came out of the box with weird oscillations on 6 meters...  Ordered a 756 Pro III but that radio right out of the box wouldn't turn on. 

Then we had the 7800...  OMG what a nightmare that thing was.

You sure couldn't tell another owner 7800 had some issues we'd all paid $10000 for those radios and heaven forbid the sun would come up in the morning if ones 7800 was not sent by the high and mighty himself.

My point here is its been far too long since the last radio war...  The Move is all towards SDR so everybody hopefully going to come out with VERY serious and competitive radios. 

Due to past history Brand Loyalty around here anyway is going to become a thing of the past...  My loyalty needs to be earned and is a continuous process.

I will state this... It's always best to place as much selectivity as possible as close to the antenna as possible.  (tracking Preselectors are very good)  devices that cannot be overloaded no matter what are good. We operate a lot of weak signal VHF and UHF stuff.  Low noise figures and quiet IF's are imperative.  PURE AUDIO amplification is good.  Your LO's need to perfectly clean and pure... 

I'm all for whatever company is raising the bar.  Just don't keep raising the prices... I'm no longer impressed with spending $$$$ and ownership ego... 

The one thing I'm not impressed by is the background noise on this widdle 1500 it is NOT band noise.  If you take the antenna off I hear a roar... That sort of noise exhausts your ears during contesting. You need to be able to hear a pin drop out there and when the band is hot even on 80 or 160 the band is silent and the weak ones appear out of the vapor and can be worked.

The manufacturers must remember these radios might be named SDR...  but are RADIOS FIRST.  Keep development going and provide improvement to the radio art...  Stop worrying about creating massive feature sets, Continue developing the SIGNAL portions of your radios to give us COMMAND PERFORMANCE... 

I will never again write the check for HUGE money to get a box that some consumer product manufacturer banged out.... from now on right up front it better be worth every cent...

Have a nice day everybody.

Erika DD

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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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Here is the link to Sherwood's test page: http://www.sherweng.com/table.html Interestingly he rated every Flex-xxxx rig higher than the TS-990s. The 1500 which came out in 2010 is just above the 990s.
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Do you purchase a radio because someone you never met says it's a good radio or because it has the features you really want?

If I put together a list that says 2 beer cans and a string work better than a TS 890S would you buy the beer cans and string? Why not? After all, the beer cans are at the top of my list so they must be better than the 890S

(Edited)
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Robert Lonn

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That will work Pat, but the beer cans must be FULL first, then you open them, drink a lot, then attach the string between the two cans.. I believe that the COORS cans are rated the best!! Probably has to do with the quality of the aluminum being used... :-)
Robert

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Joe Conover

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Lets go with No Kool-Aid Punch review-
I have 6400M again on borrow ,
I had Yaesu FTDX-101D ,101D has slight edge on receiver -pulling out weak signal + less band noise ,a lot better NR,NB ,Winner for yaesu if you like buttons and have the time get everything right,oh very hard get mic setting correct but it can be done!!

6400M less buttons ,easier use,very easy mic adjustment,Best water fall,Scope .I just get turned off with Kool-Aid Fan people here and some degrading comments main reason i sold my first 6400M,.

I have icom 7300 on loan coming I will be back give report on 7300.

The radio that i should never sold was Icom 7700 it is the best all round hf radio out there still today.
joe
(Edited)
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Bob Needleman

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Joe - that's interesting. I thought the IC-7700 had a  pretty mediocre receiver and didn't hang onto mine very long (and Rob Sherwood's results would confirm that). The IC-7610 beats the pants off it. If you want an incredible receiver experience try to get your hands on one of the Apache/Anan rigs - eg. 8000/7000dle running HPSDR. The AGC-T is amazing. You can achieve effortless FM-like reception on HF, barely hearing any background hiss. Signals just seem to 'pop out of the ether. 
I prefer the Flex SSDR platform, but the Anan line with their open source software has really set a high bar in terms of receiver performance (And Rob Sherwood agrees with me on that too!).
Bob K3AC 
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Joe Conover

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I talked Dx Engineering about 7610 or 7300 he reminded me of screen problems of 7610 ,he said all 7610 is is two 7300s in same box,
I went with 7300 mainly it been out long time and dependable going in my sailboat in Maryland-with icom M710 marine ssb,

I am going buy this loaner 6400M FOR our HAM CLUB to use with large antenna farm they have.    
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Pat - WH6HI

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The one thing that could be added to the Flex 6000 radios is audio DSP.   I currently use an bhi DSP with my 6500.  Makes a big difference in noise level, in most cases it completely can eliminate background noise for an almost FM kind of experience.  Well worth the money and a great addition.  
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ka7gzr

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You might also check the summary of the QST reviews here:
https://www.remeeus.eu/hamradio/pa1hr/productreview.pdf
I
own a IC-7850, Flex 6700 and a Yaesu FTdx101D among other radios. I can switch between the radios with a single switch. It allows a direct comparison of received audio.
I have my favorite receiver.
Jim

  
(Edited)
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Joe Conover

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ill Bite =drum roll ,drum roll =What one your favorite  receiver  
Joe
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Michael Walker, Employee

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For those that have communicated personally with Rob you know that there is no 1 good rating or number.  He is the first to say to not depend on 1 of the measurements in his documents.  

If you haven't watched his presentation in Contest University last week, I suggest you hunt it down in YouTube.  

We are also to the point where most of the readings are so insignificant that none of use can actually hear the difference in his top 20 list when it is sorted the way the default sort is now.  

I have been fortunate enough to play with a lot of radios and it is now getting hard to pick a favourite based on RF performance.  Now, it comes down to user interface and other creature comforts.

Mike
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Joe Conover

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Egos always want the best rated of anything lol  
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Michael N3LI

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I stopped worrying about that when i realized that somehow, these people are taking 1 single measurement, and extrapolating that a radio is number one based on 1 measurement. the best radio might not even transmit. 
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KD0RC

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You guys are exactly right.  Years ago I bought a TS 2000.  It (even then) did not have the best numbers, and would not be a good choice for a serious contester. For my generic ham use, it was a great choice.  Reasonable performance, easy to use, well laid out controls and a vast range - 160M thru 70cm (excluding 222MHz xmit...).  My recent choice of the Flex 6400 was driven partially by good RX performance, but mainly features and function (particularly a really great panadapter).  I spent a lot of time at the local ham store playing with the various ICOM and Kenwood rigs (they were out of demo Yaesu rigs).  Then I went to my buddy Dave's house and messed around with his Flex 6400 and Maestro.  For me, it won, hands down, and I have not regretted the purchase for a moment.  All the rigs I looked at are somewhere on the excellent side of Rob Sherwood's list, some with better numbers in some category or another than others, but nothing that a casual operator would notice.  Rob's list is sorted only on RMDR performance, which is just one aspect, so top of the list does not mean "best radio".
73,
Len, KD0RC
Photo of Bob Needleman

Bob Needleman

  • 73 Posts
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With all due respect to Rob Sherwood, his rating of amateur transceivers, based strictly on receiver RMDR results, is not terribly useful in deciding what radio to buy. Just like you wouldn't buy a new car based solely on MPG or HP rating, and always do a thorough test drive before making a decision, you shouldn't buy a transceiver based soley on Rob's rating system. I have owned most of the mid-priced Japanese transceivers from Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood in the past 20 years and some of my favorite ones rank fairly low on Sherwood's list, but gave me excellent performance and enjoyment without any regrets for buying it. That includes radios made in the 80's and 90's without fancy bandscopes, DSP, etc. One of my favorite ones is my trusty Kenwood TS-830S, which is over 35 years old and I still own. The lack of synthesizer noise makes the receiver a pleasure to listen to, and having the switchable 500Hz CW filter and VBT, doesn't make adjacent QRM on a crowded band much of an issue. All the current radios coming from Japan, including the current TS-890, IC-7610 and FT-101D, are excellent performers and will be able to handle any type of communications that the average amateur is going to need, not to mention that they all offer very useful bandscopes, waterfalls, DSP NR, DSP filtering, etc. However - they give very different user experiences - like the  difference between the driving experience of a Chevy Camaro vs. a Ford Mustang. Unless you get in front of one of these current model rigs, get your hands on the controls, listen to the receiver and go through the the menu's, try the filtering, etc, it's foolish to decide on what model to buy just based on Sherwood's ratings (and I think Rob would agree). You won't go wrong with any of those models, as well as the Flex radios, but each individual ham will feel a different comfort and enjoyment level based on the ergonomics, features, etc. So let's focus less on the Sherwood ratings, and focus more on the in-depth, independent  product reviews, like are published in QST (NOT Bob Allisons' reviews that never say anything critical about any radio since he's an ARRL employee and the league won't make any negative comments against any major amateur manufacturer since they receive financial support from them), the EU amateur mags, etc. And finally - take a test drive at your closest amateur dealer if possible - 'get behind the wheel' and take it for a spin. You'll be in a lot better position to make your decision vs. reading the Sherwood ratings.
Bob K3AC
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Robert Lonn

  • 475 Posts
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Oh Those Cars!!! I first said to myself that I wanted POOR MPG, then I told myself I wanted a LOT of HP.. The choice was easy then!!! :-)