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FT-450D vs IC-7200

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by K6SLR, Mar 21, 2011.

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  1. K6SLR

    K6SLR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all,

    I'm in search mode, looking for my next radio, and the ones that have come to the top of the boiling pot so far are (listed in no particular order of preference):

    Yaesu FT-450D (the D model is what is available at the moment, although I've seen one AT unit available for about $150 less).

    Icom IC-7200. Sells for about $400 retail more than the 450D (HRO pricing).

    I've also considered the FT-857D and IC-7000 but I already have a 2m/440 rig that I'm satisfied with and I think having a dedicated rig for HF/6m is likely going to net me a better radio overall for what I can spend at the moment than either of those do-everything radios, as well as have more of the features up front rather than buried in menus.

    The Icom is more expensive than the Yaesu (no surprise there), but is it a better radio for the price? Why?

    I have played with the FT-450D and I like the filtering, and it appears as though the 450D has added 300Hz in addition to the 500Hz CW filter already in the pre-D rigs. It also has some great RF filtering that seems to be quite robust. The IC-7200 has similar filtering but also has all-mode capability, whereas the 450D limits modes based upon band selection.

    The IC-7200 inherits the IC-756 front end, whereas the FT-450 is basically an FT-2000 with fewer buttons (and more menu-driving), according to a Yaesu rep I spoke with.

    So, maybe sparing the Icom-centric and Yaesu-centric devotee commentary, has anyone really tested these radios side-by-side and can offer some info that can help me get closer to a decision? I'd like some real-world experiences that people have had with these (I've read the reviews here and on eHam...looking for real-world comparisons). I know it might be difficult, but we all face these decisions in these times of such competitive availability! Looking to my ham brethren for some thoughts.

    Thanks and 73's!

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Given those choices, I'd go with a Kenwood TS-480S(AT).:)
  3. WS4E

    WS4E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Outside of FM being restricted to only the bands its allowed (above 29Mhz, aka 10M and 6M), I don't think there are any restrictions at all.

    I have a 450, and I think it is the best buy for the money. Its a very modern radio with a SDR design inside, and I am quite pleased with its performance for the money myself.

    There are a bunch more radios that I would chose from if I going to spend more. Not just the IC-7200, but also the FT-950, and the TS-480(although it does not have IF-DSP, only AF-DSP) would get look as well. But, frankly for the money around what I wanted to spend on a HF radio myself, the 450 is the best deal available right now.

    Especially if you can find one of the original models cheaper. The ONLY difference between the 450 and 450D is that 300hz filter for CW and the lights on the dial. Frankly I find the 500Hz + IF Shift works fine for CW, and you can throw on a notch filter as well if you need to. A original model FT-450 (minus the autotuner if you can find one cheaper) plus a good external tuner like an LDG would be a great setup for the money. People dumping their original 450's are creating some good deals out there for people needing a new HF radio.

    Also, I would stay away from the FT-897/857(I had a 897 until I got the 45) and any other radio that does not have IF-DSP, they just are not worth it...the difference an IF-DSP makes in your listening pleasure is just not something to pass up.

    Another thing to think of is if an 'all-band' rig is worth it or not. I use to have an 'all band' FT-897, but I sold it and got the FT-450 and actually had enough money left over to buy a separate cheap dual-band mobile for the shack. I am much happier myself having a separate radio and being able to have both on at the same time. Having a single all band radio seems kind of limiting to me now. You might want to consider the same thing of saving the money not buying an all-mode and spending the difference on a used VHF/UHF mobile to sit in the shack as well.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  4. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm with Steve on this one. While the IC-7200 is a decent radio for what bands it covers, it isn't a bit better than the FT-450, even the latest D model. I just can't get past the microphone gain setup Yaesu straddled it with! It is about as idiotic as they come.

    The Kenwood TS-480 will run circles around both of them, even though the Kenwood uses an AF based DSP. If you're desire is to run mobile, the HX model with 200 watts out is the way to go. It is, as I describe, a poor man's amplifier.

    If the Kenwood has any drawbacks, it is the dongles it uses for the antenna connections. And... you just can't get by with using CAT 5 cables for the microphone extension, regardless of what you read on-line.
  5. WS4E

    WS4E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Doesn't it seem like its way past time for Yaesu to replace the FT-817/857/897 with newer models? I would love a FT-817 or FT-857 that was a newer design and had IF-DSP.

  6. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, as much as my installation is pretty much based entirely on your sites recommendations I disagree completely. I've used CAT5 to make up a mike extension cable and a head cable. Both are approximately 20ft long. They are working absolutely fine and I've had "good audio" reports whilst driving down the motorway at 70MPH using nothing more than the stock fit mike, mic gain set at 40 and no compression. There has been no problem with RF to the head unit either. When I used it as a base radio, I made up a head cable out of a scrap CAT6 patch lead and it worked fine there too. I can't understand why you come to that conclusion.

    Then again, I've got a hole drilled in the roof for an antenna mount so maybe that coupled with the generally higher standard of build quality of European cars is why it works.
  7. MM0XXW

    MM0XXW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For what it's worth if I really had to choose between them I'd drop on the side of the IC-7200 which I think just has the edge over the FT-450.

    No I haven't used the 7200 however I do know the 450, both very similar radios but for me the PC connection via the on-board usb port on the 7200 would simply be enough to sway my decision!

    Oops, sorry forgot to add >>>>> it's an Icom (nuff said)
  8. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have played with both radios and the choice would be the FT-450D or if going with a mobile type rig it would be the IC-7000. I Have 2 of them used over 4 yrs one used in shack for digital modes the one in shack is used in heavy duty cycles mostly RTTY and JT65HF is does get quite warm so I have a cpu fan on it to address that the other used on SSB no problem.

    One thing the IC-7000 has is a very good receiver and audio. The IC-7200 has a very cheap feel to it as does the FT-450 but at a lot more money. The Kenwood TS590s seems to have the same problem and several are showing up for sale every week it seems to be a quality feel to the radio is what most of those are saying.

    As with all things radios have to meet certain price points to be competitive in the market so thing's must be cut in places to do that.

    I'm sure you will make a good decision try to play with what ever radios to get the feel of them and see what you like that's the most important thing once you have narrowed the field. After all this is just all of our opinions based on what we have used or prefer.

    Just get on the air and make contacts that's what counts.
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