Which Radio would you choose and why???

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N0MIO, Jun 19, 2011.


Which Radio would you pick

  1. Yaesu FT-857D

  2. Yaesu FT-450D

  3. Icom 7000

  4. Icom 706MKIIG

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. WB8JDX

    WB8JDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I WOULD VOTE FOR A KENWOOD TS-480HX it is in a league by itself for mobile use with a good receiver, and 200 Watts of rf power, but it requires two power supplies when used as a base. Since buying this rig, 10-meters has opened up, and it is easy to work through the pile-ups with a Telrex 3-element beam at 35-feet. The 200 Watts makes a difference! I owned a Kenwood TS-940-SAT during the last sunspot cycle, and got 10-METER DXCC before the old rig went completely south, so I had to do much research before buying another Kenwood, but I am glad I did!

    73, WB8JDX
  2. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Elecraft K3 with all the toys. Maybe a higher rated TenTec. None of those listed in the poll would make my top three list.
  3. W2TXB

    W2TXB Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few years ago, I bought the IC-7000 to use as a "base" radio, and have not been disappointed. The other radios I considered included the FT-950, the FT-450 (did not make the short list), and the FT-857, all with a tentative plan to eventually go mobile/portable. The IC-7000 came fully loaded, although I added the carrying handle ;) and had the Bob Nagy mic mod done, and has been a fantastic radio for the price. I still have the 7000, although I use the Flex almost all the time now. Not sure if the 7000 will ever go into the Jeep, but it would serve well if I do take it outside. With the Heil ProSet, the 7000 is even better.
  4. KD5SPX

    KD5SPX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I voted Kenwood since I had a TS-480SAT and I thought it was great ... NOW I KNOW BETTER! .. The FT-950 by Yaesu with its triple conversion ... Its like night & day compared to the kenwood or any other I have heard so far. The first time I turned it on ... it was SOOOO QUIET on the same antennas the Kenwood was connected to .... so many more receiver tweaks ... Its now a pleasure to listen all day long instead of a chore! ... Save your money ... If I would have know I would have NEVER bought any other and its way less money than a top of the line KW or Icom also and it beats them all!!!!
  5. W3DO

    W3DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't vote, and I will tell you why.

    If I was clairvoyant, I would guess that you are afraid of reaching into your left hip pocket and spending big bucks on a first radio and these are the only ones within your price range.

    As far as desk top radios goes - even the Kenwood TS 480 SAT - is a mobile radio, and is a lot more bang for the buck then any of the radios that you have chose and is still within your price range.

    The sad truth is that most if not all of them do not offer DSP and filters - such as what you would expect from even a bottom of the line Base Station radio. This is the reason why I did not waste my money on any of those radios as a good first radio.

    The most important one - besides the 480 is the TS 590S - because that was what I bought and that is probably what you are looking for - once you get past the $1900.00 price tag.
    I say $1900 = because you probably don't have a good power supply and you probably need some sort of antenna and the radio was about $1700 if my memory serves me right - so $100 for a used power supply or $150 for a new Astron 35A power supply is right in the ball park of about $1900 by the time you are done and over with it.

    I will put it like this - since most people do not understand radios or antenna's or their performance in the real world.
    You can cheat on most anything else in the world, a sub standard house to live in, a second hand beater automobile, used clothes from the GoodWill store - but you can't cheat when it comes to antenna or radio performance. Either it works or it dont.

    After using many other peoples radios - including a couple of hybrid radios at field days that did not work worth a hoot, I made up my mind that I would work a little harder and save every dollar that I could get my hands on and even sell some of my less important possessions so that when the time came - I could afford to buy one good - brand new radio / with a warranty.

    At the bottom of the list of Sherwoods highest rated radios was the TS 590S - which was rated both 9 and 10 on the list because of it's DSP integrated technology. That says a lot of a $1700 radio, compared to a $14,000 radio at the top of the list or a Elecraft K3 which is probably $5000 by the time you buy all the add on's and upgrades to the basic kit.

    Don't waste your money on a mobile radio for a good first radio.
    Nothing kills a hobby quicker then having crappy equipment and not enjoying what you are doing.
    Spend your money once and spend it right and you will never be sorry.

    Just look at the pictures of older hams ham shacks, all the radios that they bought over the years, then figure if they had available to them the Kenwood TS 590 in the 1960's - 70's or 80's - they never would have bought the crap that they did and they wouldn't have been stuck buying a new radio every couple of years when a better model came out.

    You just can't compete with todays technology.
    Even the radios you have on your list is very outdated in their design.
    You might buy it today and the manufacturer might drop it tomorrow and come out with something different and then you will have wished that you had waited a little longer for the next latest and greatest thing since sliced bread.
  6. KD5SPX

    KD5SPX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I totally agree AB3NK ... I wish I had never bought that TS-480 SAT ... I wish I had purchased the FT-950 1st ... It has soooo many receiver features that I am still discovering some of which I found today in the menu's! My receiver is so quiet ... I enjoy listening all the time now ... I have worked stations that I did'nt even try with the TS-480 since it was so noisy and hard to hear them .... with the 950 its a joy ... they may be weak but when I am done tweaking the receiver even though they are weak with headphones I hear them clearly with little noise and QRM ... even the jammer tuners can't stop me from working them since the receiver just tweaks them out almost totally and I can work them all with 100 watts! I was so thinking about an AMP instead of a more expensive receiver ... was I ever wrong! You don't need an amp just a great receiver and 100 watts and patience setting all the settings correctly and spending time in the manual .... The 950 has a learning curve but it is well worth every penny for it ... I am sure the FT-2000 and FT-5000 are even better but thats for people with high $$$ to spend! The DMU unit provides great analysis for signals and audio ... I can't say enough about this receiver ... I don't even think I could tolerate the TS-480 as a mobile now that I have heard the best ... I will never look at the rest! The triple superhet outshines them all ... Great job Yaesu you made me a lifetime customer!
  7. W6TMV

    W6TMV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I second AB3NK - after researching performance, price and my particular needs and operating practices, I chose the TS590 and have never looked back. What a dream to operate. I have turned my previous TS440SAT into a standby now after 21 years of service. It is my not so humble opinion that when it comes to price/performance that the TS590 would be hard to beat. Since I only purchase a new radio on the average of every 20 years or so, price is not such a factor and my recommendation is to get a great radio and very good antenna from the get go...why pay and be disappointed in your ham experience?
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