Why so few eHam reviews?

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  • Updated 10 months ago
  • (Edited)
Every now and then I'd go to the Reviews section of eHam to see what others are writing about. What strikes me as very unusual is how few reviews there are on the Flex family of rigs. Further, not a single review on SSDR v2.0. Even within the Flex universe, there is a distinct drop of reviews from the legacy radios to the new. For example, the entire 6x00 series combined has as many reviews as the Flex 5000 alone.

Why is that? One possible explanation is market share, but I find it hard to believe that, for example, the market share of the Icom 7851 (a $17K radio!!!) is the same as the Flex 6700. It feels really odd.

To be clear, I am not comparing ratings score or what the actual reviews say, just the number of reviews.
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Varistor

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Posted 10 months ago

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KF4HR

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Just a guess but perhaps Flex 6x00 owners are too busy having fun on the air, to stop and write reviews? 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Don't underestimate the 7851. I know several people with one. It may not sell like the 7300 but I think it sells. I know a ham who just got a used 7800 and he told me he feels like he's piloting an aircraft. This is the radio for the knobs and buttons lovers. 

The other radios have been around a long time. The K3 is old - 10+ years now. I remember when VP6DX team did the talk at Dayton DX Dinner about it. They are coming up in the 2nd sale (used) market now. 
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mikeatthebeach .

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Sold my K3
Waiting for my Flex6600M

I agree that the IC7851 is an impressive rig as well !
(Edited)
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David Salomon

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Sold my IC-7800 a few weeks ago, also waiting for my 6600M.  This will be my first Flex.

73 - David, AG4F
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Mike Steiner, K7QDX

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I just posted a review on the 6300 I had. And I have to say that eHam was one place I did look at when I was looking at getting a Anan or Flex. But unit you placed posted, I haven't done a review of the 6300 I had. I guess Ralph was right, we are all too busy playing radio than writing reviews. Of course now we are all waiting for our new radios have the time. 
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Larry Williamson

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There is a group of guys on eHam that hates anyone or anything that has to do with Flex Radio-----On one of the forums I mentioned flex radio and boy did I get the run around, it turned into a bar brawl.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I really only seriously follow the DXing forum. The rest of it is trash. I sometimes stir the pot in the SDR forum but I don’t really regard it as an authoritative source. There are one or two in there who seem like they are rooting for Flex’s failure. What a shame. One less radio manufacturer is bad for the hobby. I want Flex and everyone else to succeed.
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Varistor

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The reason there are many negative responses ON THE FORUMS is often due to misrepresenting the facts. Even this thread is a perfect example where the original points was on REVIEWS, but the topic shifted to FORUMS. Is it that hard to stay on topic?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Out of curiosity, what’s your callsign?
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N9VC

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You refer to misrepresenting the facts. I see HRO sells the IC-7851 for $12,500.
Yet your opening post lists it at $17,000. I see, all too often, that posts on EHAM
are from people who do not bother to read the manuals. I have read reviews of
radios, made by a person who did not even own the radio. Some of your past posts
seem to pick at FLEX. Why is that? I feel this is another attempt to do that.
If I post a review on EHAM and praise FLEX, what will the response be? Will it
matter to others? Maybe, maybe not. I feel a lot of useful info can be gleaned from the forum here. Tim enlightened me to the benefits of a surge arrestor from Array Solutions. Thanks to him for a eye-opener.
I see as I type this that the 6300 has 50 reviews, 6500-41, and the 6700-16.
How many would you feel should be up there? I'm happy with the past performance
of the different models of Flex radios I have owned. And it's their performance
and not reviews on EHAM that a 6700 sits in this shack.
My wife, who is a ham, hates computers (former job) But now likes the prestige of
operating the 6700. She calls it the Lamborghini of amateur radio.
Now you just read my review of the Flex 6700.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I tend to agree here. I see a lot of personal swipes and other stuff, from someone who essentially is anonymous. I think this person will be the very first to be added to my ignore list. 
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Bill Roberts

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My theory is that generally, Flex owners are happy and are well supported.  So, they may have a niggle here and there but they aren't moved to complain.  I notice the reverse is true with MFJ.  I've had great luck with almost all MFJ products I've purchased and I've purchased a half dozen in the last 3 years.  They've all worked perfectly or near perfectly and support was fine.  However, look at the reviews....  they're generally terrible.  When people feel stung, they want to let everyone know.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Why bother posting on eHam?

Unlike other vendors, Flex operates this vendor supported and Moderated user community. Everything you need or want to know about Flex can be found here. Questions are answered intelligently and quickly without too many trolls.

So I ask again —why Bother with eHam.?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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EHam is supposedly independent. That is why.
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Varistor

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Because people's feedback matters to other potential buyers and to the manufacturers.
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Not so really independent as eham exists to monetarize clicks into revenue. If the ham Community is fairly and well served that is a bonus. The eham business model requires they meet their financial goals as their primary objective.

They have squandered any impression of trust in that process.

While we rationally see the eham funding mechanism as unsupportive to objectivity in moderation it does operate in a bit of a vacuum.

The eham team is laggard in adopting the modicum of self-policing and the corrective techniques other reviewing online systems adopted years ago.

Circling back to FlexRadio we all could do a bit better on posting reviews, including links for this community.

As the radio is in flux, improving every release, that may make sense as someone interested would be steered towards the radio and Software available now, rather than making decisions on a review of an older Software release.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Sometimes I think I would like to go back to writing reviews. I used to write for a small audio file magazine called The Toronto Audiofile. No longer publishing. Companies sent me products to listen to, I would have them for a couple weeks.
I wish I could do it again but for amature radio products. But I just can not afford to purchase radios for reviewing. But the itch is there sometimes.

In order to do a full review one needs to do a lot of research and talking to the company to clear up understandings and get important info. It takes many hours to write a detailed review. Starting with a comment on the design and layout and company goals.
Then talking about the technology used and how things work.
Moving on to user use, ease of control and navagation, well thought out menu's. or not.
Listing features and performance.

After saying all this, I think I know why I stopped, other then a young family at the time. It just takes time, and lots of it.
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FrankP

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I think eHam is fine for reviews.

73
Frank WA3RSL
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Mark - WS7M

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"Flex haters"... LOL I actually have a QSO roundtable almost every saturday morning with a bunch of Flex haters.  Once they got to know me they actually like me and I don't hear the "Flex is crap" much any more.  With a little work I now get reports of great audio and I always hear far better than any of them.

As we talk during the morning people start to break in.  I usually hear everyone breaking in when many of the "old gear users" can't hear the guy.  One is my neighbor like 6 miles away.  If I can hear him then you would think he could and he has a better antenna.  The problem is that his ancient Kenwood TS-580S he is in love with is slowly going deaf.

I also think checking in with them remote and having full control of my station while sitting at Starbucks in Denver with a friend cause some of the "haters" reconsider and say, well thats just pretty darned cool.

I have looked at eHam but I never thought to post a review there.  But ya, this forum and the fact that us flex users are on the air rather than posting reviews might be the reason!
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Gary L. Robinson

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I was very active with my Flex 6300 on SSB and digital modes.  I never ever got any bad reports unless it was operator error or something else besides the radio causing problems. I am waiting for my 6400 and expect that I will not be disappointed.

I can't count how many times I have been asked to "review" my radio on the air while ragchewing (my favorite modus operandi).  If Flex had paid me a commission for all the Flex radios I have sold via QSO's and folks who heard my QSO's and emailed me for more info - I could buy a second house in Florida hihi 

OK, I confess there is a wee bit of exaggeration going on here BUT on the air "reviews" are possibly just as effective - maybe more so - than reviews on a web site.  Of course, new or prospective hams aren't covered by in-QSO advertising hihi

Also, MOST hams are NOT writers.  And to do a really good review it takes considerable effort and skill to do it right.  Especially with a complicated product like the Flex line of radios.  So, I suspect most Flex radio users would rather spend more time using their radio than with a keyboard writing about it.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Is this a call for all content FLEX-6000 owners to flood e-ham with their reviews ;-)
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FrankP

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Sounds like a great idea Tim.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Now, let's make sure that I am in no way what so ever sanctioning or encouraging anyone to post to eham.  I am not.

It was just an observation that a post about the lack of FLEX-6000 reviews might be an availed attempt to bring to everyone's attention of the perceived deficiency and corrective actions might be needed. :-)
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Varistor

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Well, study after study show that peer created content consistently has higher perceived credibility than “sanctioned” content. In plain English, assuming hams behave similarly to the general population, they pay a lot more attention to eHam reviews than official FRS publications.

How to use this data point is up to FRS.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I guess you missed the emoji.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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From my personal experience owning and using many different brands and types of ham gear, I have found eHam reviews many times to be misleading and sometimes just plainly wrong My negative opinion of eHam reviews is further exasperated by the severe presence of trolls and the visible lack of technical understanding by many reviewers.

Bottom Line: I so mistrust eHam reviews that I no longer read them when considering new purchases and I recommend that potentials buyers get their information elsewhere

So I stick by my comment. Why Bother.
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Bob G W1GLV

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E-ham is flooded with trolls, therefore the reviews are not accurate.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Even the reviews. I have seen reviews that just seemed vindictive against certain companies and products. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I plan to write about my time so far with the Flex 6500, just need the time...
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Here is mine on the 6700 from the early days in 2014.  That was after having it for a year. 

http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/129517

It was positive also and the average for all 16 reviews of the 6700 is 5.0.    So it's not all bad on eHam.   But I also agree with Howard and others that take any reviews with a grain of salt for various reasons.

Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.11.12
Win10
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David Salomon

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I want all the input I can get prior to making any significant purchase.  I read all the reviews I can find and consider the source when reading each review.
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Gary L. Robinson

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I agree fully.  When researching my first 2 Flex radios, I read everything I could find and ALL reviews.  And listened for them on the air too!.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Here are my Flex-6000 reviews as on eham:

https://www.eham.net/reviews/review/131990  Flex-6300 review from 2014

https://www.eham.net/reviews/review/123109  Flex-6700 review from 2013

I've made a request to the eham reviews manager to add product review slots for the Flex-6600M and Power Genius XL.  Previously I'd suggested that they separate reviews of SDR Software even if hardware specific, as the experience/capabilities differs.  That was over a year ago, so I will make a new request and suggest they also add the Flex-6400, Flex-6400M and Flex-6600 or some combination.

73

Steve K9ZW


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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Here is my Flex-6600M review: http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/15...

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Burch - K4QXX

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I was on eham today replying to question about the NB/NR on the Flex radios.  I answered honestly and got called a "Flex Fanboy".  I guess I will take that as a compliment.  There are a few people over there that just stir the pot and make the forums almost useless.   Lots of trolls with nothing to do I guess.

Burch
K4QXX
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Bill -VA3WTB

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That is why I posted a review here an hour ago,,safer..lol