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Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ

from VE3FMC Along With Bob Heil on January 30, 2011
View comments about this article!

Yesterday I had a nice QSO with Bob Heil, K9EID. We discussed the built in EQ on the FT-950. Bob helped Yaseu design the parameters for that rig, and others.

One thing Bob said that makes a lot of sense. "Why use an outboard audio EQ with that rig when there is a damn good EQ built tight in?"

Yet some insist on using an outboard EQ.

Bob was kind enough to send me this info, so I am passing it along to the owners of FT-950's.

YAESU PARAMETRIC EQ
Bob Heil, K9EID

INITIAL SETTING OF THE FT 950 and HEIL PR microphone
First, you need to set the transmit bandwidth. I would try 200 - 2800 first. This will roll off some of the extreme low frequency response. You may be able to adjust to 100 as long as it doesn't overload and sound too bassy.

Press the Menu and rotate the SELECT knob so it reads "TX BPF" (Transmit Band Pass Filter). Turn the Clarify/VFO knob to set this bandwidth of 2-28 (200-2800). ALWAYS remember to hold the MENU button for about 3 seconds to save any of these needed items.

Now we move onto the Parametric. You can follow this on Page 61 of the FT 950 manual. A Parametric EQ is just as the term implies. You can adjust the parameters of the microphone audio. You do not need 8, 10 15, or for heavens sake a 31 band EQ when we are only dealing with a 3,000 Hz wide signal ! A Parametric EQ usually has only 3 filters. If you have more that three frequencies which need 'attention' you have more problems than an equalizer is going to fix! Wrong microphone, not addressing (speaking into) the microphone correctly, too far away from the microphone, too much room echo and a host of other situations. You can adjust the frequency, the bandwidth and tell those parameters to either notch (-) or boost (+).

The first thing to set is the frequency that you need to affect. There will be three important frequencies to attend to. Low end, Mid Range and Highs. For SSB you will want to 'massage' that low end. For most, roll off the low end by setting the first filter at 200 Hz. You then will tell the filter to roll that off or notch that 200 Hz. You want some big boomy low end? Boost it with that adjustment. The second adjustment is the Bandwidth which is set in the traditional audio nomenclature of octaves. In the amateur radio field we aren't dealing with music material but the adjustment affects voice the same way. If you set this first filter frequency to 200Hz. and have the parametric 'Bandwidth' control set to a wider setting (say 10), the filter will encompass the audio frequencies from about 100 Hz to 400 Hz. If you set the Bandwidth control of the Parametric to 1 or 2, the notch or boost you have set will only affect about 150 to 250 Hz. If affects just a small 'slice' of the audio if the bandwidth is set to a narrow number or setting. You would want to start by keeping that bandwidth to the half way point. The third control of the filter is either - or +. Notch or Boost. If you want to cut some low end, you notch -20 dB at 100 Hz. You want to boost that frequency, you adjust it to + 10dB. We have explained one filter. There are three and that is all you will need to make your transmitter sound terrific. You simply select the needed frequency, boost or notch that frequency and set the bandwidth as to how wide you need to affect. You can listen through headphones through the monitor but I have always found it better to listen through headphones through a second receiver while transmitting into a dummy load. You then know exactly how you sound to the outside world.

Let's get started !

Press the (PROC) button momentarily so MIC EQ shows up in the display. This HAS to be shown as it turns the parametric EQ on. There are three audio filters that you can change their PARAMETERS (thus 'Parametric' EQ) . You set the frequency of the filter. You then set the Bandwidth of that filter and finally you tell the filter if is notches (cuts, reduces) or boosts that filter frequency.

Using the Heil Sound wide frequency range microphones such as the PR 781, PR 30 or PR 40 you will want to roll off the low end as the pre amp of the 950 does not handle a lot of bass response. You will perhaps want to change the frequencies of the first two filters if you are using an HC 4 or HC 5 element which is much narrower in response than the above microphones but start hear and see how this affects your transmitted signal. Again YOU have to make the final decision by listening to your own signal. Now one else can make the adjustments. You.

Set filter one to 200 Hz. Menu 091 Frequency
CUT that filter -15 dB Menu 092 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth of 5 Menu 093 Bandwidth

Second Filter 400 Hz Menu 094 Frequency
CUT -6 dB Menu 095 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth Q 5 Menu 096 Bandwidth

Third filter 2400 Hz Menu 097 Frequency
BOOST + 8 dB Menu 098 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth 5 Menu 099 Bandwidth

NOW - DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE these by holding the menu button for 3 seconds. If you don't do that, all of these settings go back to zero. Save your settings each time.

Now, I am not telling you that this is the end all. Since I can't actually HEAR your transmitted signal, these are just starting points. We have notched some low end out by setting the transmit bandwidth in the beginning then with the EQ, we reduced some low end (menu 091) and this is always a major problem. Sometimes, you will have too much low end audio from the microphone that actually overloads the mic pre amp and 'sounds' like RF but it may not be. It is clipping the mic pre amp.

The first low frequency filter removes all of that low end bass that destroys so many signals. They have lots of bass, no mids, no articulate highs so they end up sounding like mush. The mid frequency is very important. There is usually some craziness that happens around 400 Hz. That is usually notched a bit but there are voices that need some energy around 1000Hz attended to and your just have to make that decision by listening and select the mid range parameters. The all important issue is the third filter where you achieve speech articulation. SO SO important and this + 8 dB boost at 2400 3000 HZ is the good starting point for that.

Yaesu has recently had several reports that the 950 is VERY sensitive to RF. No apparent reason but it is true. Many calls a day come through the Heil Sound facility with RF issues. We have recently come up with the perfect 'fix' for that. Use one of our PR series professional balanced output microphones with the 3 pin XLR. All of the new Yaesu series 9000, 5000,2000 and the FT 950 have a balanced audio input on the audio board but they do not use it. They unbalance that 8 pin round mic connector input with their typical Pin 8, pin 7 connections. Sad. Our new cable CC-1 XLR-BAL (with an ORANGE, not traditional Yellow boot) connects our balanced output microphone into the balanced input and has solved 100% of the RF issue for so many FT 950 as well as other new model Yaesu users.

Don't give up on this incredible piece of technology. Once you learn how to adjust and use a parametric equalizer you will never go on the air without properly adjusting.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by VA7CPC on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for getting this into an 'Article'. There are parametric EQ's in several Yaesu rigs, and it's great to have a good explanation of how they work, and how they should be set up for "communications audio".

I'll have to write-up my Behringer VX2496 settings next, even though that box is obsolete.

Charles
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by KA2DDX on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
dumb question as audio is not my real bag - but, does any of this pertain to my usage of the Yaesu md100 mic?
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by K3AN on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Yaesu has recently had several reports that the 950 is VERY sensitive to RF. No apparent reason but it is true. Many calls a day come through the Heil Sound facility with RF issues."

I had an RF feedback problem with my old TS-850 when using a Heil BM-10 mic. I ultimately traced it to the headset's mic cable having inadequate shielding (spiral-wrapped fine stranded wire that provided perhaps 70% coverage instead of a braided or aluminized mylar shield). The other contributor was the so-called Pin 1 problem (Google it). I swapped out the mic cable with RG-174 and connected the mic cable's braid to the 8-pin connector's shell instead of the mic ground pin. Problem solved. This was written up in the Technical Correspondence column in the April 1997 QST.

All of my homebrew mic adapters connect both the mic cable shield and the footswitch ground lead to the shell of the 8-pin connector instead of the mic ground and PTT ground pins. I don't know why the well-known commercial adapter maker doesn't do this.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by K0BG on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Oddly, the word gain doesn't appear in the text. And I dare say, microphone gain is the one control on modern transceivers, almost no one gets right! Further, nothing is said about how to use the microphone, which is another issue almost no one gets right.

Alan, KBG
www.k0bg.com
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by KG4TGP on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Good info, also if you have the free Yaesu PCC-950 rig control software you can setup and save the EQ settings in graph format. Just rename each file configuration when saving (DX, low cut, high cut etc.) for different settings and have multiple transmit profiles for quick access. Again, nice article.

Mike
KG4TGP
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by N0YXB on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Great article. Well written and thank you for sharing.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by VE3FMC on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
With my Heil GM-5 I has the mic gain on the FT-950 set at 14 percent.

I never use the processor and if I do I have it set at 10 percent.

Also I have not experienced any RF issues with my FT-950 and Heil mic and I run an AL-80A on SSB.

To answer the question about the Yaesu desk mic, yes it pertains to that mic too. If you are using it on the FT-950.

I have heard some very very good audio from that rig if the EQ is set right. I have also heard some terrible audio from a station running a so called "Studio Mic" and an outboard EQ. No need for that outboard EQ when Heil and Yaesu designed a very good EQ right in the radio.

 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by AD7WB on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article.

As mentioned in the Yahoo FT-950 group the 094 EQ 2 Freq does not go below 700Hz on my and other's FT-950's. So this parameter can't actually be used as published. Maybe older firmware had different EQ freqs?
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by VE3FMC on January 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No you are correct. That was a misprint which I failed to correct.

 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by W3DBB on January 31, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It's a difficult subject to broach without someone feeling as if it is their toes that are being stepped on, but here goes. In the course of listening over the past 30 years the quality of SSB transmitted audio on the amateur bands has deteriorated. The 'all controls set to 70% of maximum' mentality has been there all along, but the changeover from v.t. to solid-state driver & final amplifiers changed the nature of the distortion to that of hard clipping. Transmitter IMD specifications on most amateur transceivers were never all that great. Add an improperly adjusted amplifier & a big mess is up and down the band. In the 1990's, when the equalizer rigs started to appear, it became apparent many SSB signals could be copied on the diode (AM) detector. Many of them are transmitting low frequencies close enough to DC to act as a carrier & demodulate the signal. Sounds terrible on the product detector as well. With the trend to ever-smaller living spaces RF feedback rears it's ugly head. Vertical antennas and indoor horizontal antennas in close proximity to poorly shielded modern amateur transceivers. Some nasty-sounding stuff, not to mention the deleterious tissue-heating effects on everyone so exposed.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by WB4TJH on January 31, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If you experience RF getting into the radio thru the microphone, try adding a clamp-around ferrite choke or two to the mike cord where it goes into the radio. I had a very bad problem with my Kenwood TS-570SG and MC-60A mike and RF. The ferrite choke solved the problem completely, and I never expereienced it again. There's no reason it wouldn't work with the Yaesu FT-950,or any other radio, as well.
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by KD8PGB on February 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

Interesting and well written article. I am a new owner of an FT-950 and found that the stock MH-31 mic with no processing and no EQ (only because I have not gotten that far yet) has been getting unsolicited audio reports of "excellent, great, outstanding" etc. and questions regarding my mic and rig because it sounds so good. I run the gain at 12 o clock, and the switch on the back of the mic to the right when looking at the back of the mic.

I don't particularly care for using the hand held mike and have ordered an MD-100a8x so these settings might help with that mic, but as my grandfather always said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, so I will be leaving the EQ and Processing off until I need to refer to this article for setting up the EQ when I get complaints instead of compliments on my audio.



 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by EI2GFB on February 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
i will be getting my 950 this weekend and already have a heil handi mic with HC-4 element bought, these settings are a great starting point but i was wondering what is the most common settings to change to suit an individuals voice, for example my voice would be quiet bassy naturally
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by VE3FMC on February 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The Heil HC-4 cartridge should add some highs to your audio by the nature of the design of the cartridge.

If you still need additional highs in your audio go to Menu # 64 and that that at 3-27 and go from there.

Again your mileage may vary. You really need to find someone close by that knows your voice and go through the EQ parameters while talking to them.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by VE3FMC on February 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I also agree with W3DBB in regards to some of the modern day audio.

Too many amateurs want to sound like a Broadcast station instead of a communications station.

Clipping is common in a lot of audio you hear on the air these days. Too much compression, too much bass.

It is all about communication and if your audio is not pleasant to listen too for others you will not be doing much communicating will you?

I have a deep voice to begin with. So adding extra bass is not required for me.

If someone tells you that your audio is clipping etc etc please do not take offense. Take it as constructive advice and try to fix the problem. In the long run you will be further ahead.
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by N5TGL on February 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Set filter one to 200 Hz. Menu 091 Frequency
CUT that filter -15 dB Menu 092 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth of 5 Menu 093 Bandwidth

Second Filter 400 Hz Menu 094 Frequency
CUT -6 dB Menu 095 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth Q 5 Menu 096 Bandwidth

Third filter 2400 Hz Menu 097 Frequency
BOOST + 8 dB Menu 098 Notch or Boost
Bandwidth 5 Menu 099 Bandwidth"

Well, being a former sound engineer, I have problems with these settings. :)

Firstly, a 15 dB boost or cut is HUGE. Big enough that it could also cut the second filter, even with a Q of 5. I would shift that down to 100hz, and then only do a 10 dB cut.

Cutting 400 Hz 6dB is going to do a great job of making your audio sound "tubby". Most male vocal power is right in the 500 Hz range. This is going to reduce that significantly. For the ladies, peak vocal power occurs at 700 Hz. Cutting these frequencies will reduce intelligibility.

As for the suggestion of a 1000 Hz boost, seeing how male voices center around 500 Hz and females around 700 Hz, there's little to be gained there.

Boosting 2400 Hz 8 dB. Ehh. I guess that's not all that bad, but there is precious little information there, mainly sibilance.

 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by W0FM on February 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Nice to see this. Bob Heil introduced me to Parametric Equalizers back in the '70's when he built some custom concert sound racks for my band in his magic little factory in Marissa, IL. Once he taught me how it all worked, my main challenge was trying to explain to my bandmates where the dozens of "sliders" had gone from our Main and Monitor EQ feeds. Suddenly, there were just 3 pots! But we quickly found that our sound was more easily tweaked with the parametric approach than with the all the sound boards we had previously had. Good memories and thanks for the article.

73, Terry, WFM
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by AB2WI on February 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As a new owner of an FT-950, Thanks so much for a great article. It was a big help.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by WO2X on February 3, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well after reading the article it makes me scratch my head and ask myself WHY?

Why buy a PR series mic if you are going to restrict the bandwidth from 200-2800 then roll off all the lows? Why not just buy a Goldline series mic and use a GM5 element and save a ton of money?

Also, the FT-950 does not have an audio input on the rear and the FT series are not balanced inputs but rather unbalanced. The earlier FT series is actually electrically the same point as the front mic in. The FT-2000 bypasses the first mic preamp.

Last, Heil's cables contain a small jumper wire from mic shield pin of the connector to the shell of the mic. In almost all cases when a person using a newer radio had RF in his audio we were able to eliminate the RF by removing the jumper wire.

 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by W3DL on February 3, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have a microphone which has more output on the high frequency range than on the low end, so in order to make it sound balanced I needed to boost the 200 Hz range and cut the 2600 Hz range. The three band parametric EQ in the FT-950 TX audio stage makes using your favorite microphone much easier to interface. Just put the connector on, and set Mic gain, and tweak the EQ wearing phones and listening to the Moni channel. I have noticed on my FT-950 that the Q of the filters appears to correlate with the BW number. In other words, the lower number seems to have a lower Q, so the filter affects more frequencies. A higher BW number seems to have a higher Q, and the filter affects less frequencies around the center freq of the filter. At least that is how my radio works.I think the article explains it the other way.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by M6GOM on February 3, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I used my Yaesu FT950 with the MD-1 mic which I had set on position 2. I used a PROC level of 25 and the mic gain to the 11 o'clock position. Other than that, I left all the settings at the standard defaults which came with latest version of the firmware installed at the time. I spoke into the mike at a normal voice level from about 6 inches away.

During the CQ-WWW-SSB contest in October, I got several unsolicited "great audio" reports.

If you get a great audio report in the middle of a contest on an extremely crowded band then as far as I'm concerned that is the time to glue the controls in place and leave well alone.

So for my 2 penneth worth, I say the default parametric settings are the ones to use and just wind down the processing.
 
Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by N9AMI on February 7, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I would try 200 - 2800 first. ??? Thats getting the most from your rig? Try doing opening it all way up. Do you want to sound like a 2.4 khz Ten Tec from 1974? Also go out buy yourself a Audio Technica ATR-30 for 18 bucks on amazon. It will walk all over any 300 dollars heil over priced microphone. I like bob as a person but think his "professional ham gear" is outrageous.
 
RE: Setting Up The YAESU FT-950 TX EQ  
by AD7VH on March 2, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
N5TGL, I know that it may seem counterproductive to make a cut a 400Hz, but that is the way it seems to work with many SSB transceivers. Also, it almost always seems to be necessary to make the boost at around 1kHz. For instance, with my Kenwood TS-2000: it produces a lot of harmonics and sub-harmonics which, when you make a boost around 1kHz, it tends to also make a boost at 500Hz and 2kHz, and those frequencies are very conducive to SSB communications. I do, however, agree with not making that big of a cut at 200Hz; I would take the filter down to 100Hz, make an 8-10dB cut, and use the same Q of 5.

You just cannot use conventional wisdom in audio engineering when setting up an SSB transceiver. I tried using what is common knowledge in audio engineering to do so, and it just doesn't work. It can get you in the ball-park, but it is not as easy and straightforward.

73, John, NV6R
 
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