Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K5FRH, Feb 4, 2019.

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  1. K5FRH

    K5FRH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello. Thank you in advance for your advice. I have a chance to pick up a set of Yaesu Twins from a retiring ham. I also want to eventually assemble a Drake C Line.

    My question is how do the Yaesu Twins "stack up" against the C-Line.

    Obviously the Drakes have a much greater following, and I can't find as much interest on the web regarding the Yaesu's.

    The Yaesu Twins would cost be about $ 500.00 - not much cheaper than a C Line, so hence my asking this question.

    Thank You.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Yaesu twins are pretty, lots of color, while the Drake C line has all of the style of a toaster. The Drake R4C will out perform a Yaesu FR-101 hands down, there is just no comparison, especially if you get one that has the Sherwood mods done to it. If you are looking for decoration, go with the Yaesu, if you are looking for performance, go with the Drakes. I have a very mint B Line that I still use occasionally, and the R4B audio has to be heard to be appreciated. And FWIW, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a really nice set of Drake twins look good, to me anyway.:)
    K4AGO and W1TRY like this.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Between the two, I would go with the Drake. There is a LOT more information available on the Drake equipment.

    There are those who say the Drake R-4B is better than the Drake R-4C. I have worked on all of the Drake equipment but have never really operated with Drake equipment. I am much more familiar with the Collins A-Line and S-Line, the Heath SB-Line, and the Eldico T-102 / R-104. Having used the S-Line and SB-Line for over 5-decades, I do prefer how that equipment operates in comparison to how the Drake 4-Line operates.

    I did own a set of the Yaesu twins a while back (got in a trade deal) and traded them off soon thereafter. Did not like how they operated!

    Glen, K9STH
    KY5U, K4AGO and KA4DPO like this.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Bite your tongue! :) "Style of a toaster" sheesh :)

    The Drake B-line and C-line are some of the most iconic ham radio gear ever designed IMO!

    I'd go with the Drake twins - ANY flavor of Drake twins (the non-letter, the A, the B, or the C) before I'd ever jump on the Yaesu rigs. I have owned a LOT of Drake gear over the years - and currently have a fully restored R4C in the lineup that I pair with various transmitters. Wonderful piece of ham history there.

    K4AGO, NL7W, KA4DPO and 1 other person like this.
  5. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agree - for the hundredth time I wish I hadn't sold the nice C-line I had in the 90s.

    The only place I fault them is the sweep tube finals in the transmitter, though that was more understandable at the time.
    K4AGO likes this.
  6. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can understand the preference for how the Collins sets operate, I think it's a matter of what you are used to. As you know I sold a KWM-2 and bought a TR4CW, which I greatly preferred over the Collins radio because the KWM-2 was not really designed as a CW rig. In terms of receive performance I would have to say it was a toss up, I did like the Drakes audio better though. I guess I am pretty comfortable with either, but both are capable of respectable performance considering they are over 40 years old.
    K4AGO likes this.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    The KWM-2- series is definitely a problem child where CW is concerned, just like the 32S-1 / 32S-2 transmitters. The only reason that I have a KWM-2A is that a very early example was sent to me for repair / upgrading and then the owner did not want to go ahead after getting the estimate. He didn't want the unit returned and said to "just keep it"! I have gradually worked on it and gotten it working OK. For SSB, the KWM-2- series works fine, but one should NEVER use one on CW because of the multiple signals caused by the side-tone CW generation.

    The Heath SB-100 and, especially, the Heath SB-101, are, by far, a better rig than any KWM-2- series. The Heath SB-300 and SB-301 are definitely better than the Collins 75S-1 and 75S-2 receivers and the Heath SB-400 and SB-401 are definitely better than the Collins 32S-1 and 32S-2 transmitters. The Heath equipment is not quite as good as the Collins S-3 equipment, but I have found that, in 9-times out of 10, the Heath equipment performs equally as well. The Heath SB-303, for any number of reasons, is worse than the 75S-1 / 75S-2 and because a lot of the SB-102 units do not have TRW LMOs (the calibration is all over the place), I rate the SB-102 lower than the KWM-2- series.

    Glen, K9STH
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  8. K0MB

    K0MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I always thot of Drake as "Elegant Homebrew" with i'ts flat cut front panels even after Japan had gone to die cast. Knobs always felt cheaper, too. But having used both, and still owning the Yaesus, get the the Drake.
    K4AGO likes this.
  9. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, I wish they would have gone with 6146's but you remember how cheap sweep tubes were back then. I think a matched set of three Sylvania 6JB6's from Drake, for my TR4CW was only about eighteen dollars. I have a schematic around here somewhere for converting the T4XB to 6146B tubes but I have never really given it much thought. Like you, I wish I had kept my TR4CW, that was a sweet rig, definitely the best single conversion receiver I ever had.
    K4AGO likes this.
  10. W8IXI

    W8IXI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The question brought back some great memories.

    As a newly licensed novice 50 years ago, our school club had a brand new pair of Drake "B"'s.

    They looked good to me! Here they are with John, our club president at the controls:


    As a novice I was limited to the R4B, but what a difference from my HR-10 at home! I was spoiled for years to come, until I could find and afford anything as good as that R4B.
    K4AGO, W3ATV, NL7W and 2 others like this.

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