View Full Version : Yeasu FT2800M low audio depth?
05-01-2008, 12:11 PM
I am planning to purchase a new FT2800M VHF.( My first rig)
One of my friends told me that this equipment in particular and Yeasu rigs in general are having low audio strength and quality in transmission. ICOM rigs have good depth audio, so he says.
Any truth in that ?
05-01-2008, 01:12 PM
I have two of them and have had no complaints about my audio.
05-01-2008, 01:28 PM
Some years ago there was a Yaesu mobile mic (MH-27) that had a tendancy to experience capacitor failure and low x-mit audio. I don't think those same issues are present in the mics on the new units. I have an FT-1802, with a MH-46(?) and a recent hamfest bargain FT-2400 with the "failure-prone" MH-27 mic that I get fine audio reports from, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Just out of curiosity, why are you looking at the 2800 over the 1802?
Your question risks opening a can of worms ...
However, to try to give the most direct answer: All mass-produced rigs compromise on the audio quality and sensitivity.
There is no difference in "depth" of the audio/modulation, because if we are talking SSB the power output is directly proportional to the audio input level. If the audio were low, so would be the output power.
Most rigs include some level of audio compression to keep the power levels up, but in general only apply a little AUDIO compression and often give no control over it, instead opting for RF compression.
(This is where the works start to squiggle)
Hams in particular have a fixation on limiting audio to 300 to ~3,300Hz, having been taught that this is where intelligibility lies, and that audio outside this range is both wasteful and evil. This frequency range is the result of work done a long time ago by telephone engineers interested in squeezing the most connections possible down a single piece of wire. In addition, it was done by English speaking engineers.
Most ham radio gear follow this principle, and limit audio to something close to those ranges. What is not particularly consistent is the shaping of this audio pass-band. Pre-emphasis of higher audio frequencies tends to enhance intelligibility under poor conditions - it also makes the audio somewhat unpleasant to listen to under better conditions. So manufacturers choose different default settings and so sound a little different.
Another problem is that for non English speakers different frequency ranges carry more or less information. So that 300-3,300Hz business may be optimum for English speakers, but maybe not for other languages, and certainly the audio shaping (tone control, if you like) may need to be different.
The choice of microphone is different for different manufacturers. This too plays a role in shaping the audio independent of the rig settings.
Even amongst English speakers, people have different voices. Ham rigs are engineered for a median voice. If yours is not median (and few are) the off the shelf settings will not be a perfect match. The settings of one manufacturer may be a better (off the shelf) match to your voice than another.
So - different people get along better with different manufacturers. What works for your friend may not work for you.
In reality, the differences (unless you have a very far from the norm voice) are likely to be small.
Virtually ANY rig will benefit from adapting its audio to match your voice. Mostly this can be achieved by playing with the limited options that the manufacturers provide, but often the best approach is to start with a good quality microphone, and some external audio processing. If you have a naturally quiet voice, more aggressive audio compression may well help intelligibility, similarly adjusting the upper and lower frequency gain to match your voice to the rig's audio passband will probably help.
If you do on-air testing with a (good) observer feeding back information on both audio quality and intelligibility you may find that for you, maximum intelligibility requires slightly modified audio range, maybe some lower frequencies, or maybe slightly higher -- or if you have that median voice, you may even be able to bring both lower and upper frequencies in, which will help with "talk power".
Any of the well known manufacturers' rigs will give acceptable results to the majority of users, but the majority of users can also probably do better, and if they take the time and have the equipment will generally end up with (at least) two audio settings, one for "easiest" listening under good conditions, and another for "maximum talk power/intelligibility" for poor conditions or contest work.
The choice between Yaesu and Icom should not be determined by audio in general, but by much more technical considerations, and your preferences for the operating ease of each.
05-01-2008, 10:09 PM
He's talking about a mobile 2 meter FM rig.
05-01-2008, 11:07 PM
Several in use around here. No audio problems reported. I have it's big brother the FT-8800R and in fact have had compliments on the audio quality since all the lows do not sound as though they've been rolled off. (The comment was made while on simplex..NOT through a repeater) As you have surely noted folks have their preferences for a variety of reasons. I've had and have both ICOM and YAESU 2M gear and have found both to be trouble free. Good luck
I worry more about having nice smooth make/break of the keying even at the higher WPM rates. MY microfones are stuck in a drawer somewhere.
I have a FT-7800 with the same mic. It has a plastic disk stuck between the element and the mic housing. I popped the mic open and pulled the disk out, and it helps the TX audio much more. It takes about 5 minutes to do it.
HOWEVER the FT-2800m has another issue, which is a over powering tone, you can year the tone on the TX. The subaudible tone that is.. it is not subaudible. Everyone that has one locally has the same problem, a few have shipped them back because of it. For about the same bucks a IC-2200 sounds a lot better audio wise.
05-02-2008, 03:03 PM
Several guys in my local club including myself run the FT2800. I like it and get great audio reports. However, there is a distinct "ping" when you key up quite often. Every 2800 I have ever heard does this. It's no biggy, but guys will tell you about it so don't sweat that. I like the rig myself. Huge display, runs cool, all around good.
HOWEVER, a lot of guys in the club also run the FT1802. That to me, is one of the best sounding two meter rigs I have ever heard. The audio sounds fantastic on this little thing. The drawback, they run HOT. You can fry eggs on them. A buddy of mine has one he calls "the waffle iron" LOL. But the sound quality is fantastic. Plus it has a CW trainer :D
For a technitians first rig, I really like the FT7800. It's two meter and 440, audio is great, and it's just an all around nice rig. I have used one for two years in the shack and love it.
My Yeasu rigs are as follows. FT2800 in the truck, FT60 hand held, and FT7800 for the shack. Love them all. Go figure that I use Kenwood for HF LOL
05-02-2008, 03:24 PM
Several guys in my local club including myself run the FT2800. I like it and get great audio reports.
HOWEVER, a lot of guys in the club also run the FT1802. That to me, is one of the best sounding two meter rigs I have ever heard. The audio sounds fantastic on this little thing.
Just make sure you guys are not judging the quality of which stock hand microphone sounds better than the other, instead of the radios.
I can take any two models of radios and make either one (your choice) sound better than the other.
Some of those hand mics with the tiny pinholes for the condenser element mic can sound completely different depending on who is using the mic. If you don't talk into them just right, you either get too low audio, or too much popping and unwanted mouth wind. And this is not the fault of the radios themselves.
They put the money into the radio and give you a cheap mic, the same way as good cameras come with lower quality starter lenses, to keep the price of the camera down. Knowing those that have better mics and lenses, don't want to pay much for those things, they just want the money to go into the design of the radio or camera.
05-02-2008, 03:27 PM
I've never had any issues with it (and its been on 24/7/365 in excess of 2 years now) however mine is in permenant 2m packet service.
Thus, I'm not using a mike and cannot report on the audio it creates, but I've never had a problem with it connecting with packet audio to other stations in range.
Course, computers aren't usually audiophiles either.
But its a solid radio, huge heatsink, and has never even got warm in the slightest with heavy packet usage.
So I won't speak for the audio, but the radio overall, at least for me, has been very satisfactory for what I paid for it :)
05-03-2008, 08:13 AM
Thanks a lot friends for the detailed and informative responses. Now I have got a good idea about what to look for or what to ignore.
Regarding the choice of rig - In my country at least the agent or distributor whom I contacted didn't give me much options. may be this is the rig which is fast moving here where VHF activity is limited.
Here we are not having HAM outlets or nothing. The same distributors who supply the Govt agencies will supply rigs to HAMs on showing a valid license.
Here actually I paid Indian Rupees equivalent to $215 (USD). That is the prize tag.
i will get the rig today and am getting ready to operate my first VHF base. :)
Thanks again for all the info and clearing my confusion.
05-03-2008, 03:28 PM
I have used one of thse rigs (FT2800) since they were first introduced, never had an adverse comment about audio quality, in fact, quite the opposite in my experience.
They are very robust, simple to operate and travel well, I would not hesitate to recommend them.