I was thinking of selling the ftdx but I think its a keeper as a backup.
What really surprised me was how low on the list the 6600M was ranked several under the analog ftdx5000. It will be intresting to see where the 6400M lands when it is ranked.
Wayne - remember that the "Sherwood Numbers" are mostly single-sample.
There are recent discussions where Rob Sherwood speaks to significant variations between units of the same make and model, ADC variations, and even variations in doing a second sampling set of tests on the same radio.
What does that all mean?
To use Rob Sherwood's own words:
"Don’t have a coronary over a few dB here and there. If you have a radio with a dynamic range of 90 dB vs. one that is 100 dB, I doubt you will ever know the difference. When all we had were “up-conversion” radios for 20+ years, (TR-7 through the IC-756 Pro III for instance), all we had were 75 dB radios. 73, Rob Sherwood, NC0B"
For simpler minds like mine, that basically mean "If a Radio's Tests are in the Top Couple Dozen Listings in the Sherwood Chart you Have a High Performance Radio."
And I'd offer a further comment that "If your Radio's Tests are Listed anywhere in the Sherwood Chart you likely Have a Great Radio, so go make some contacts!"
Maybe it is how the numbers read to us that gets us advocating lab differentials, rather than on the air differentials?
I think next we should start doing the measurements in hundredths of a dB. ;>)
Besides test numbers, what I'd like to see (hear) are actual recorded receiver comparisons, comparing receiver differences with lab created weak signals and adjacent interference.
Another issue that has been pointed out is, even given the exact same brand and model, test numbers can and do vary from unit to unit. So the average ham has no way of really knowing whether their particular rig is worst, better, or meets Rob's chart numbers.
Like apple used to say.. Think different! I choose the flex 6600 as my contest rig of choice, and it, combined with the PGXL has put me in the winners circle.. up against competitors that needed 2 radios and amps to keep up, and that was during the alpha test phase.
In all likelihood the R.S. list has been made obsolete by SDR. it just doesnt make sense anymore. A new performance metric would probably be most useful.
The 6700 tested in 2014 and rated #1 with 108 db and another 6700 was tested in 2017 and was rated #18 with 96 db on 10 meters. If you have a 6700 do you really know where your receiver rates and could you ever tell the difference between the two?
The newly released IC-R8600 is rated #2 with 107 db. A second sample of the R8600 was rated #16 with 98 db. So if you own a top level receiver what is your IMD DR3? Do you really know and could you tell the difference 10 db's one way or the other?
Prior to my Flex 6300 and 6600 I had a IC-7800 that is rated #31 on the list with 80db. For me it was an excellent contest and DX rig with many positive features other than IMD DR3.
What I could do in pulling out a weak signal on my Flex, I could not do with the Icom.. This Real World test tells me that the Flex will provide many more hours of enjoyable listening then my ICOM.. The ICOM is a Full SDR radio below 30 MHz, traditional conversion above that all the way out to 3GHz.. So every radio has its place in the ham shack..
My Icom IC-9100 is my Satellite radio,, my Yaesu FT-1000mp Mark V is my 200 watt barefoot radio or Class A to drive my linear at 80 watts! My Yaesu FT-991 is my mobile/portable remote radio when out looking at the Stars and Zero cell service or WiFi.. BTW, I did power on the FT-991 to do some comparison to my Flex just to see how it performed.. I did no realize that the Yaesu Audio was that bad now that I have a Flex to compare it to..
I ran HRD software with the FT-991 as it was my first radio with a USB input.. WOW, HRD and FT-991, I was excited 2 years ago,, but SmartSDR puts that all to shame.. But hey,,, I am not telling you something most of you already know!!! HEY, 6 Meters is open!!
What sets apart Flex for me is the whole ecosystem -
Ethernet control. Few offer it and none do it as well as Flex does.
Remote operation. Few offer it, and nobody does it turn key like Flex does.
So many built in extras in a Flex that are just an afterthought with most radios. For example a simple thing like an interlock. One op at a top contest station using a competitor's new model radio quietly told me he wishes it had an interlock input, and that he hated having to rig something up. I told him Flex has it... and smiled. Even DAX. How many fight with sound card interfaces? I've had four. Three of them were absolute garbage. One had a strange hum that raised my noise floor about 5-6dB. I have none of that with DAX. I don't have to even pay for a third party license (virtual audio cable).
Ability to customize your way of operating. While some may disagree with this and say that you have to "keep it simple" I think that customization is good. Flex offers plenty of this, plenty more than the competitition. The demand is clearly there based on proliferation of third party apps.
So many ways to operate - knobs or no knobs, boom mic, headset, put the radio in a barn near the tower, keep on your desk, etc. PC, Mac, iOS, Maestro.
Power Genius XL "no compromises" amplifier with easy plug and play setup. When you can dual CQ on RTTY with a single amp, then you can even talk about being in the same class. Otherwise, forget it.
I got one because I wanted a good performing radio WITH tight integration into my station. I get all of that in my Flex-6700.