Best 2m SSB TX audio radio?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KE7RUX, Jan 27, 2021.

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  1. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm interested in what radios you would recommend for an amazing sounding SSB for 2m transmit.
    I'm aware that there are some transceivers that use a wide emission bandwidth (2.9KHz or higher), which is likely what I'm looking for the most, among other things (good mic; etc etc)
    I'm not necessarily referring to ESSB, since, from what I understand, you need to have an ESSB station on the other side to receive everything you're sending out! (I'm also not looking to drop $10K for a rack of stereo equipment.)
    Basically, I would like to upgrade from my 1.9KHz "tin can" transmit bandwidth and invest in something nice!
    Thanks & 73
  2. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    You may be new to the hobby and not familiar with many of the rigs for 2 meter SSB. Plenty of information available by doing a search including manuals with specs. This site may be of some help.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    What radio do you have now that has only 1.9 kHz SSB TX bandwidth?

    Any modern DSP transceiver can adjust this, usually to whatever you wish.

    A big rack of external audio gear won't help if the transmitter modulation bandwidth is limited by the transmitter.
  4. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Take a look at radios' specs for transmit bandwidth.
    Decide which one you want.
    Get a wide band mike that has a response over that bandwidth of +/- 3db.
    A $20 mike is available to fill that slot such as a Behringer xm8500 or similar and a stand to hold it.
    Make a PTT arrangement to key the radio separately.
    Then you fill that bandwidth with the audio you want to hear. Use a set of good head phones and listen to yourself in the radio's audio monitor function as you adjust EQ.
    If the chosen radio does not have enough EQ control, use an outboard EQ unit to shape the audio you want.
    I guarantee a big difference between 1900 and 3000 hertz audio.
    If you want something different, you have to make it happen.
    God luck.
  5. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    It will likelly be easier to find an HF rig that meets your specs & use a transverter.

  6. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The IC 9700 opens up to 2.9Khz..enough?
    You can also custom tailor the EQ somewhat.
  7. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    And no one has asked why: "amazing sounding SSB for 2m transmit"
    If you want great audio quality, use FM
    Not quite as good, use AM
    Most multinode 2 meter rigs give you at least 2.1 or 2.4 KHz on transmit. As mentioned, some even go to 2.9 KHz.

    Although SSB doesn't seem to be as popular as years ago, except for contests (and then we don't care about audio quality - we just need the point :) ) , wide bandwidth SSB audio on 2 meters doesn't really get me excited.
    ZL4HSV likes this.
  8. W7HV

    W7HV Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's great audio quality, sounding like a TV announcer or the best intelligibility? Two diff things.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    2 meters is a wide enough band, where a few hundred kHz are available for SSB-AM operation and at any given moment, even during a major contest or band opening, it would be rare for more than 30-40 stations using it at the same time in any area.

    So, it is very possible to open stuff up to sound like an FM broadcaster if you want to and it's unlikely that would bother anybody!:p However, the other station's receiver would need to "open up" in a similar way to take advantage of that.

    Intelligibility is mostly boosted by the higher frequencies, though: The lower ones can sound more "natural" and add some power to the transmitted signal, but don't do much for weak-signal work. Signals that are "bassy" are difficult to copy when signals are weak. And 2m SSB is very much a "weak signal" mode. I think 90% of the stations I work on 2m SSB are in the S0 to S2 signal strength area, because they're hundreds of miles away.
  10. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't bank on FM being the best mode in amateur radio.
    Some are restricted with filters in the audio input stage, especially mobile units.
    Some employ pre-emphasis/de-emphasis.
    One radio may have one of these audio control circuits the other may not so you hear what you hear or your fine audio is lost on the Rx end. .
    Very often it is hard to even EQ FM mode to a worthwhile effort on amateur radio equipment.
    Accessing repeaters when their band width is restricted is still another.
    Our limit by rule is 5k deviation of which most all amateur FM radio are is set up to less than that deviation to stay legally marketable in the original design.
    Most good non mobile medium to high end cost radios are out to 2.9 to 3k SSB/AM audio and even more.
    A lot better audio can be attained on SSB at 3k if good Eq. is done and a little outboard compression along with downward expansion is applied with knowledge and understanding.
    Don't forget good 'diction' into the mic. No slobering, no talk level trail off, no shouting, no moving away from the mic etc.
    If working SSB weak signal, fine audio gets lost in the background noise. Only help for this is some compression to raise the average Tx signal level.
    On the average, unless the Rx signal is strong enough to shut down the Rx stage gain making the noise level unheard, good audio is often degraded in the noise. Here is where outboard compression will help with higher average signal strength to cause additional Rx quieting.
    Tx compression plays with the other end's Rx performance.
    Compression in the the radios often attenuate the low end audio for more DX clarity in difficult contacts and is done for a different reason than just to wide band improve audio. Attenuates the low end and compresses the signal for a bit more average power.
    This is the case for out board audio processing.
    Many newest radios are sounding better right from the factory.
    Some of it is marketing competition driven.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021

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