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Over-the-air test: Yaesu MD100A8X vs Stock MH-31A

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KE0EYJ, Mar 6, 2017.

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  1. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    MD100Yaesu.jpg VS. MH31.jpg

    Yaesu MD100A8X vs. Stock MH-31A

    There are a lot of ham radio microphone tests on Youtube, but I have often found them lacking, because they do not include over-the-air audio showing what the operator on the other end hears. For this test, I was lucky enough to encounter DV3XUK in the Philippines, and record several minutes from his Yaesu FT-450D, comparing various settings of his new MD100A8X microphone upgrade, to the stock MH-31A (back switch 1 only -- sorry, we forgot setting 2). I recorded the video using my Yaesu FT-950, at a typical DX receive bandwidth of 2400Hz. The distance between my station, in Seoul Korea, and his in the Philippines, was about 1600 miles (2573 km).

    As he felt with his Yaesu 450D, I believed the stock MD-31 microphone on my FT-950 did a pretty poor job of exploiting the rig’s excellent transmit sound capabilities. Although perfectly adequate for general voice communication, the MH-31 “hand grenade” microphone garners few positive over-the-air comments. If you own a newer Yaesu radio, such as the 450D, FTDX1200, or FTDX3000, you might notice the same, and consider upgrading the MH-31 to Yaesu’s MD100A8X, heard in this test.

    Per Yaesu specifications, the MD100A8X boasts a cardioid dynamic mic element, at 500 ohms unbalanced. It allows up/down tuning on compatible transceivers, a scan switch, PTT switch, and a lock feature. The bottom of the mic base features High Emphasis and Low Cut switches. Connections are made by a nifty reversible cable, which terminates to an 8-pin mic plug on one end, and a modular plug on the other. This cable allows you to simply flip the cable around to match your model of Yaesu radio (with the exception of some older models, like the FT-757GXII and 736R), with the other end of the plug fitting the proper choice of input on the back of the mic. Frequency response of the MD100 A8X ranges from 100 to 5000 Hz, with a sensitivity of -75db (0 db=1 V/0.1 Pascal). It tips the scales at 24 ounces (670 grams).
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
    K4TJ, KB9WVK, NL7W and 4 others like this.
  2. KN0DE

    KN0DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice video, really enjoyed it. That was surprising, they said in there ad that you can "Create your own voice" or something of that nature, thanks and 73's.
    P.S. I love the audio of heil sound mics they are superb.

    Luke Horning
  3. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think he just had the audio gain up pretty high, but I noticed that there was a lot of room noise in his audio.

    I will add that another, more inexpensive option, is the Behringer xm8500. That mic costs about $25, and sounds great with Yaesu rigs. Check out the reviews, and I concur. You will need an XLR adapter, and may desire a foot or hand switch. You will not have the scan feature buttons, unless you wire it up to buttons yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
    AB4D likes this.
  4. KM4RFI

    KM4RFI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, that is quite a difference!
    KE0EYJ likes this.
  5. KG5BJV

    KG5BJV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The hand microphone compared to the desk mike at both flat or neutral none adjusted settings,the desk mike was a little clearer but not by much. He should have had the tone switch set to 2 on the hand mike to make it sound clearer. The last combination of the radios equalizer and the high cut on the desk mike it sounded the best excellent and made his speech more intelligable.
  6. ZL4IV

    ZL4IV Ham Member QRZ Page

    My MH-31 sounds great on either my FT-9kd & FT-2kd once the the EQ is set to the operator voice. I am frequently asked what mic I am using and it astonishes people that I am using the stock mic. It must be set to '2' for European voices, Yaesu does advise this but I don't see many refer to this requirement. It took me a week and dozens of helpful contacts to get the FT2k correct then I just copied the settings to the FT9k. My settings would be unlikely to be of use to another ham. Remember, as hams get older the ear looses frequency response so the received audio is different for almost everybody over 30. Expensive mic's are only worth their money if you have no internal control on shaping your audio.

  7. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember hearing switch 1 vs. 2, and honestly, didn't hear a lot of difference. Generally, I preferred hearing 1.

    I personally like having a hand mic, most of the time. I have upgraded to an ICOM 7300, and find their hand mic is excellent. Of course, I cannot stop playing with different mics, so I have ordered an XLR patch cord for my 7300.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  8. K7JOE

    K7JOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice video. I'm picking up a few radio goodies on my trek across VR2 (hong kong) and BY (Shenzhen, Shanghia, Hefei, Qingdao and Beijing) as I type this. Take care and 73.
  9. MM6ECO

    MM6ECO Ham Member QRZ Page

    MH-31A gets you on air..just like a free rubber duck does on a handheld radio..
    MD100A8X allows your radio to perform.
    Hopefully the md200 does an even better job!
    If your MH-31A sounded 100% superb then you would not have yaesu selling much of it`s higher end microphones.
    Maybe the MH-31A is made to just get you on air.... no thrills
    N4VER likes this.
  10. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Surprisingly, the MD200 hasn't faired well for my friend. He felt the MD100 was better.

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