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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Best HF transceivers and makers

Dave Gomberg (KG6IBW) on January 12, 2002
View comments about this article!

Which are the best radios and makers?

Arguments may rage about which manufacturers and radios are "best", but there is one data source that is familar to all who visit eham, the hardware review ratings. This article uses data as of 12/9/01.

Being a statistican by training, I decided to mine the data in the ratings to answer two questions:

Which are the best transcievers?

To determine this, I used a formula that weighted the number of raters and the average rating. I fiddled with the weights until I felt that the order of the results was the order I would have picked looking only at raters and rating, based on common sense. If you think there are any violations of this principle in the table below, please let me know by email to gomberg at wcf dot com
(spam reducing format). Here are the top 30 HF transcievers:

Model Raters Rating
Icom IC-746 98 4.8
Kenwood TS-570D(G) 38 4.8
Elecraft K2 36 4.8
Icom IC-765 16 5.0
Icom IC-756PRO 72 4.6
Icom IC-751A 22 4.9
Yaesu FT-990 14 5.0
Icom IC-718 18 4.9
Icom IC-781 12 5.0
Yaesu FT-1000(D) 25 4.8
Yaesu FT-817 46 4.6
Icom IC-735 27 4.7
Ten-Tec Jupiter 26 4.7
Ten-Tec Pegasus 23 4.7
Icom IC-775DSP 23 4.7
Yaesu FT-900CAT 22 4.7
Ten-Tec Corsair II 10 4.9
Kenwood TS-570S(G) 9 4.9
Icom IC-730 9 4.9
Icom IC-761 6 5.0
Yaesu FT-102 6 5.0
Kenwood TS-950SDX 6 5.0
Icom 756PRO2 6 5.0
Yaesu FT-1000MP 41 4.5
Icom IC-706 91 4.3
Drake C-line 12 4.8
Kenwood TS-830S 11 4.8
Icom IC-736 5 5.0
Ten-Tec Omni V 7 4.9




Then I asked the question, based on all ratings of HF transceiver products from each manufacturer,

Which maker is best?

And the results:
Maker (>=25 ratings)RatersPointsAverage
Icom 500 2298.8 4.60
Yaesu 467 1952.4 4.18
Kenwood 334 1492.6 4.47
Ten-Tec 150 684.1 4.56
RadioShack 63 258.3 4.10
Alinco 61 272.9 4.47
Elecraft 37 177.8 4.81
Drake 34 156.8 4.61
Heathkit 31 126.0 4.06
Interesting, no?

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W2IHY on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I often read E-Ham reviews. The analysis done here is an analysis of responses by readers relative to the radio's that a particular reviewer has used or owns. There are no guidlines for ratings other than the reviewers own personl feelings/ perspectives. In many cases users are moving up from 2 and 3 generation old radio's and comparing them with the radio they just got. In some cases people have more modern gear and are rating the radio based upon currently produced radio's. You often read "This is the best radio I have ever owned" and the radio is rated a 5 out of 5. When I see what they are comparing it against I often say no wonder the person is saying what they are saying. I believe the list presented here is what the readers have said the problem I have is I do not know what to do with the data or understand what conclusion can be drawn.... Julius ...W2IHY
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by HB9DRD on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While I agree with the previous poster about their not being a standard rating system that guarantees the reliability of individuals scores, I would say that given a big enough sample size, this would become less of an issue. In essence you would then get a figure for an average reviewer, the overly favourable reviews would be balanced by the number of overly poor reviews.

My only complaint about this survey is that the second table should have been in rating order (the last column I think). It would be more interesting then.

Jonathan
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by HB9DRD on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While I agree with the previous poster about their not being a standard rating system that guarantees the reliability of individuals scores, I would say that given a big enough sample size, this would become less of an issue. In essence you would then get a figure for an average reviewer, the overly favourable reviews would be balanced by the number of overly poor reviews.

My only complaint about this survey is that the second table should have been in rating order (the last column I think). It would be more interesting then.

Jonathan
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W8OB on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I agree the reviews on this site are very misleading, an example "I rate this radio a 5 as the first hour
on the air I worked so and so and a dozen more with only a wet string. This has nothing to do
what so ever with the performance of the radio only personal feelings. I have tried out several top
of the line radios in the past year and like to base my feelings on the receivers performance, that is
how long could I play this thing before listener fatique sets in and I feel like pulling the hair out of
my head! I also like to take er for a drive during a major contest to see how she handles herself
with a weak one sandwiched in between two big-uns.This people is what its all about , not my xyl
was impressed with the looks and on and on. If you look at it from this angle the list is going to
change pecking order in a hurry. Also as stated you really can't compare say a hw101 to a ic746
and say the 746 is the best radio, It is but only in that respect.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by LA1SJA on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
It is tough to comment when a statistician presents results.
I have a feeling though that what we see here is very interesting a socio-demographic expression of what the average radio amateur can afford as his main radio in the shack,so its a "best in a given market".
(Two exceptions from that are K2 and FT817 that each have their own reasons for climbing the ladder.)
This tells me that the three first radios really have hit the market well in terms of price/performance.
You would however probably not see the first two very often at major DX-expeditions.
If you look at
http://www.elecraft.com/K2_perf.htm
you will find a list that matches better with what DXers would choose based on pure technical performance.
Then again, no. 2 to 4 on that list are among the most expensive radios.
Having gone through the reviews again of the so popular and widely used IC706 I also feel that the chosen criteria used must have punished this radio for some reason.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by JIMBOB on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
they all have there good and bad points yaesu,icom,kenwood,alinco etc so we will never really know,heres an example: one station says the yeasu --- is a great radio in all aspects then you go through the band and 10 mins later you hear another station saying the same radio is the biggest load of rubbish hes brought and used,the product reviews show this on e ham just click on a radio and see how many love that radio and scroll down abit further to see how many operators hate the same radio.....tough topic this one..
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by AA4PB on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
It think there are too many variables in the reviews to simply average the numbers together and come up with anything meaningful. Individual reviews are excellent as *one* input to make a purchase decision but you have to be careful. Quite often you will see one reviewer who didn't like the rig at all and gives it a very low score followed by another who thinks its the best rig on the market and gives it a 5.0. There are a number of possible reasons for this. One rig might be defective or there could be an operator problem or it might just be that different people like or require different features. You also have to consider the date of the review. Sometimes there will be a number of people having problems and then the mfg makes a change. Later reports reflect a much higher score as the result.

What I look for in the review is a trend like many reviewers reporting the same defects or shortcomings *and* the trend continues to the most recent reviews. Numerous reports like "the thing jumps frequency" or "it intermitantly locks up" are red flags that indicate that's one I may want to stay away from.

Other information that is not available may include such things as the amount of time the reviewer spend using the rig (he may have owned it over a year but have only a few hours on the air with it), how does he use it (a contester's requirements will be different from a casual user), and what his personal experience level is (this may be the first HF rig he has ever used so his assertion that "the filters are great" may be more a result of having nothing to compare it to).
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KU4AB on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Hams pick the radio they buy for many differing reasons
IE: I can't afford but one so I'll buy an Allband rig
or..I want the best so I can make a statement..or
I want the best because I need everything it has to
offer (bells and whistles).. Sometimes all the buttons
or menus can "buffalo" one ham while fascinating
another.. The survey above does give a good idea of
"owner satisfaction " However some of the companys
have not made ham rigs in years and can't compare
with a modern digital Dsp rig(Heath+Drake) So is this
survey about durability or performance..I don't think
any one of us that has operated a Drake or Collins
would argue about them being "All time Greats" but I'd
say the all around award would be ....The rig you're
happy with"!!!!!!! 73'S PHIL
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WA8TZG on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I am reminded of Mark Twain's comment: "There are three kinds of lies in the world, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics."
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
"Interesting, no?"

NO!

Mean, median, mode, range, confidence interval, standard deviation, one tailed, two tailed, "T" tests, Chi squared test, etc are interesting when applied to data with relevance and coherence (I could mention hetro and homo skedacity, but I don't know how to spell them, and don't remember what they measure other than time).

With few notable exceptions, the "reviews" on web sites, have no sight, especially insight (‘course I could have astigmatic concepts?).

Have FUN
Bob




 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N9KWW on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The only thing that this proves is that the owner is happy with the purchase or they are not. Overall most of the time your satisfaction is based upon what you use it for. As a mars member, i look for different fetures than the average ham. The rig i like the best must have some very demanding criteria, so i look at the purchase of a rig based on these criterium and not just the bells and other looks. I think the only way to have a true evaluation is to run the rig into the dirt, see how it stands up under time. The other is user interfase, i have had some rigs that worked forever but what a pain to program, you almost need a degree in programing to make it work. This is not my idea of a " better" rig.
so all in all it is subjective to the user and if it works out of the box of if it has to go back for repair.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KA0W on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Many of the reviews are specific to one mode. There can be a huge difference in performance on CW and performance on SSB. Might be best to use the reviews as a source of possible contact for more information. If possible, contact the reviewer to get your questions cleared up. Do not rely on a 99% SSB op to give a accurate report (opinion) on a rigs CW performance. Vice-versa as well.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N0AH on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
How about most reliable per $$$ spent, in which, Icom wins hands down and Yaesu loses- I don't see the Icom756ProII being THAT low on the list-
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W7DAM on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think the study is valid for showing how the ham population as a whole feels about their equipment. Perhaps the categories would've been better titled "what are the best liked transceivers" and "what are the best liked manufacturers".

In terms of absolutes, raw performance, sensitivity, selectivity, etc., the QST hardware evaluations can reveal that.

If someone is evaluating a modern rig, having previously used something several generations older, his rating might seem inflated to some of us - but it is still a valid evaluation when observed by the ham population as a whole (a population which has varying levels of experience and expertise). Similarly, a sophisticated user who gives a less than stellar rating to the same rig is equally valid.

Now - where is MFJ :-)

-Dave
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N5XM on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I'm afraid I'm a little skeptical about this one, folks. The very nice gentleman describes himself as someone who uses statistics in his work, but he cannot spell statistician. Then he speaks about "fiddling" with the "weights", but he does not describe his methods. A good statistician ALWAYS describes his methods, and he does so at the very beginning, and in plain sight. I am not going to be too hard on the man, because he does have a very interesting idea, and hey, we're all interested in stuff like this. If our gear wasn't important to us, we wouldn't be here. Let me put it this way. Seven Icoms are ranked ahead of the first Ten Tec, and the first Ten Tec ranked is the Jupiter. The Jupiter, Pegasus, and Corsair II are ALL ranked ahead of the Omni V, and the Omni VI is not even ranked! There are 28 radios ranked higher than the Omni V. I take extreme offense to this, hi. There might be ten, new, high-dollar rigs that are better than my Omni V's, but I'll make a bonfire out of my entire station if there are 28 radios better than the Omni V. I didn't come here to write a commercial for Ten Tec, although I'd love to. Dat ain't the point. The point is anybody can throw some numbers together, but they'd better be darn well-thought out, or they're about meaningless, and I apologize for fracturing the King's English, but I do so for emphasis and effect, moreso than out and out ignorance. If you use this kind of logic, the Maserati is one of the crummiest cars in the world, as is the Ferrari, because nobody owns them, relatively speaking. Very little of this is scientific. I am only beginning to get a handle on what some of the technical numbers mean, as far as comparing things like reciever performance, etc, but as Jerry Lee Lewis says, "Oh baby, I know what I like", and that is what communications grade radio is about. It's about what you like! If your rig does what you want it to do, it's good enough. Friend, if you think the Omni V is the 29th best radio, I would advise you to go check and see if you didn't drop a decimal point somewhere. You obviously aren't a CW operator.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WB6MYL on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting topic, article, and follow-up comments. I am a senior Guugenheim fellow at the Hughes Medical Institute, and I statistically analyze data for research vectors for alzheimer's disease. This does not provide any greater creditability than anyone else adding a comment, but this is a venue that I am familiar of and does spark an interest.
The author is very imaginative to do such an analysis. But a true statistician does not "fiddle with the weights" or add "common sense". Statistics is the means be where raw data is analyzed for specific reasons and interpreted without the means of common sense.
I have the same synopsis on the title of this article as W7DAM; The article is entitled "The Best Rigs", but it is actually a measure of satisfaction that these rigs give their respective owners. By the author's analysis, the Icom 746 is a better radio than the Yaesu 1000D. I do not beleive that is actually the case. However, that withstanding, these numbers do show who is the most satisfied with their equipment; what is considered "best" is quite arbitrary, but satisfaction of one's equipment can be considered a criteria but with price a factor, I am confident that many of us would be "more satisfied" with a 781 than a 746 if we could afford it.
Statistical analysis has two criteria: validity and reliability; validity questions, "does the outcome measure what it is suppose to measure"; reliability is defined as the consistency of the data. No this is not a valid study of rigs as the "best" is not really uncovered here. However, the sample size and rating totals are high enough that the analysis of manufacurers is statistically significant. Validity and reliability increases as sample size increases and such high numbers factor out extraniuous or chance factors (such as a initial bad production run of a line). Satisfaction of equipment can be interpreted in regards to manufacturers as a condition of being "best" and only by that criteria it can be said that Icom makes "better" equipment than Yaesu who makes "better" equipment than Kenwood (as a whole).
Lastly, when 98 reviews of people give a 4.8 average review for the Icom 746 and a large number of people give a 3.8 for the Yaesu 1000MP mark V, does it indicate that the former is a better radio than the latter? No; but it indicates more people are satisfied with their 746 and there are some serious issues to consider with the Mark V. Interesting fodder for discussion. Thank you. Phillip W. Harris, PhD.P.C.

 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KM5EW on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree with N5XM on this article. The criteria used for this "judgemental article" is mostly vague. I have also noticed that most of the top 20 or so rigs are also either the most expensive or the most advertised. Advertising does influence the purchasing of anything; it doesn't matter if the product is amateur equipment, gasoline, or trash bags.

What it really does come down to (and I noticed many posters saying the same thing) is that hams buy what they feel they need for their individual purposes. It just depends on how you want to operate.

For example, I own an Alinco DX-70TH. Yes, I realize that the noise blanker stinks, but I don't have a pressing need for a serious noise blanker. I was looking for size and ease of installation and use in most any situation (not QRP). I use the DX-70 for base use, but it's nice to have the capability to take it with me to the lake and set it up on a picnic table with batteries to use for power and operate leisurely. Furthermore, I can use it at Field Day or other event that requires ease of installation or other simliar use. The DX-70 works for me for my purposes only.

Everyone has his or her favorite radio, that is certain. But it depends on the operating conditions that might be encountered for which the radio is bought. Surveys may reveal which types of equipment work better under different conditions, but a survey like we are discussing here is VERY subjective and is really not very scientific.

One question here that's bothering me: What "weights" were used for this survey, really? There's no way to tell, for this was not explained at all. A little clarification is needed here, as well as half the survey on how it was compiled.

What do I ultimately do? I rely on fellow hams whose opinions really matter, read the specs, figure how what I will actually use the equipment for, and test the equipment myself to see how well it stands up. To me, an unscientific survey like the one here from someone who can't spell "statistician" is questionable at best. Ignored is more likely, at least by me after this post. Of course, it's only just one opinion.

Enjoy the hobby everyone, and best wishes for 2002 to all.

73 de Warren Rowe / KM5EW
Florence, Texas
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KB9YAC on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Easy Bob!
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K1VV on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
You have to evaluate the evaluator ... you hear one ham say it is the best radio he ever owned ..5.0 .. then you find out his previous radio was an FT-101EE that he had for 30 years ... and the only band he works
is 75 phone to talk to his friends 200 miles away.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W1HZ on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Statistics are like a bikini. There's enough to get you interested, but it covers up the essential facts!
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG6AMW on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
One interesting fact is the newer rigs from the four major manufacturers (Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood, Ten Tec) basically fall into the 4.4 to 5.0 category which tells me people like their rigs. I think those who purchase rigs do so for the following reasons. 1) Receiver performance, 2) DSP availability, 3) Rig physical features/creature comforts, 4) Price, 5) A friend’s recommendation and 6) Brand loyalty. Right now, it looks like the ICOM 746/756 rigs are the
current darlings based upon DSP performance and the big screen.

When I look at the reviews, I look for weaknesses in performance or reliability issues. The ratings given are in fact quite subjective and can’t be relied upon too much. Although, lots of 5’s tells me the person is happy in general.

One final point regarding reliability. I was recently in the market for new mid-priced rig. I was considering purchasing either a Yaesu 920, ICOM 746 or a Kenwood 570. I contacted a major service department and asked if they saw one model for service issues more than another. The response was no one particular model was seen for servicing more often than another. Perhaps they didn’t want to disparage a particular manufacturer, but I had the feeling the person was leveling with me. By the way, I selected the 920 because it was easy to use, had good receiver performance, was the lowest in price and I liked the way it looked.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W4RK on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I applaud Dave, KB6IBW for this innovative idea and also I applaud those making comments which were very insightful and thought provoking. Even the critics were reasoned in their criticism.

Just a few of comments of my own.

I read Product Reviews daily and contribute when I have something to say about equipment I have owned or used. My observation is that there are mostly 5's or 1's and 2's with very few middle ground ratings. Maybe the statisticians among us can think of a rational way to account for this.

This has already been mentioned, but my feeling is that the real value of the reviews is to highlight strengths and weaknesses. I can generally evaluate the objectivity of the reviewer through their style of writing. A great review tells WHY the reviewer either likes or dislikes a given feature. A statement like "lousy CW performance" doesn't help much and I tend to discount such comments. I sometimes send direct e-mails to such authors for clarification if it is a rig I'm considering purchasing.

At the risk of complicating the review structure, maybe an individual rating of PERFORMANCE, RELIABILITY, and MANUFACTURER SUPPORT would tend to regularize the responses.

Finally a big THANK YOU to eHam.net for hosting this facility. It really affects my purchases.

73 to all,
Bill
W4RK
Nashville, TN
USA
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K1XV on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with Julius W2IHY that any individual report should be taken with a grain of salt...particularly if the reviewer has owned the unit for less than six months. The reviewer may just be overwhelmed, either positively or negatively, by the new technology available. However, the analysis presented is of all transceivers, regardless of length of time owned, and represents an average of each model reviewed. Assuming there is a statistically valid number of reviews of each model, there should be little or no bias introduced if we merely compare the averages. All in all, I suspect that owners of a rig with a 4.8 average are happier than owners of a rig with a 4.1 average.

Ray K1XV
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KU4QD on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The nature of this sort of statistical analysis means that rigs that aren't widely owned but are highly rated don't get counted as superior. Case in point: my Tokyo Hy-Power HT-750. Three reviews, all a 5. I owned the newer, fancier, and more capable FT-817 and still prefer the HT-750 for my day hikes and backpacking. I also own several of their series 100 monobanders, which I like a lot. Still Tokyo Hy-Power will never show up because not enough people buy their rigs. The same can be said for Mizuho.

The results aren't "Best HF", but rather "Best of the extremely popular". Popularity does not always equal best quality.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N5XM on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I would like to see folks try for extreme precision when they rate a product, but this is going to take some thought. Most of us just throw up some mud and wait to see if it sticks. For, example, instead of giving a particular rig a 4 or a 5, or even a 2 or a 3, why couldn't we start trying to split hairs to the degree that we give a rig a 4.85 if we love it but there is some little thing or two that we don't like? We then could give a product a 3.95, or whatever number we thought appropriate, if we didn't really like it, but it was really OK. We're not talking about using calculus to figure out the totals, so maybe if we carried out our evaluations a couple more decimal places, they might have more meaning. For example, if an otherwise perfect rig had two little things that you didn't care for, even if it were cosmetics, control placement, or whatever, if you wanted to give it a 4.91, well heck, it would go into the overall average of all people who rated that rig. It would all depend on how much thought we were willing to put into things, and on how truly unbiased we could be in rating an item. Then, the averages might actually mean something. Of course, the good folks at eHam would have to see this as acceptable.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K6YE on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Phil, WB6MYL, has given the response that I have read. I have been an avid contester, DXer, and rag-chewer for over thirty-eight years. Although I have had the pleasure of owning a fair amount of equipment (and tinkering with the equipment of others) my selections are pursuant to my needs and what I am willing to pay.

Personally, I consult peers whose opinions I trust. I then consult forums and product reviews on the web. Finally, I find somebody who has the equipment and arrange for some real "hands-on" time. At this point, I am now armed with enough information to make or decline that selection. Good luck and enjoy the hobby!

Tommy, K6YE
 
RE: eHam Reviews- They Are Useful  
by N8FVJ on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I find the eHam reviews very useful, however one must study many radios targeting the same market and establish some guidelines. For example, a $1200 radio rated a '4.7' is unlikely to outperform a $3000 radio rated a '4.5'. The eHam reviews usually have enough data available to identify a 'weak' area that may be important to one operator and not important to another. Reviewing the information on eHam and then comparing it to QST 'Reviews' and Sherwood Engineering 'Receiver Test Data' works well for me. For the most part, I find QST & Sherwood test data 'shows up' on eHam ratings. How does this relate to the authors information? I am not sure, however my response is more directed to the replies to this article.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K6SDW on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Knowing all reviews in eHam.net are very subjective, but still of value, I used the list of reviewers (I'm considering buying a new HF rig) to write personal emails to and ask them very specific questions about the rig they had reviewed and got back anywhere from one-sentence grunts to multiple paragraphs of opinions from these guys.

Not really trusting the "glowing" reviews I found on the rig of my choice, I was especially interested in those that rated the rig as average or worse so I wrote these reviewers asking them if they wouldn't mind expanding their experiences and I got in return some interesting, worthwhile responses detailing their opinion about the problems/shortcomings of the rig they reviewed!

73 all......and good dx hunting.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W6EZ on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While I must confess that I am pleased to see a rig I own listed among the “best” , I can see a few areas where I would shy away from using this as a final result among rating lists.

Not that I find fault with the method, rather I find fault in the fact that the source for the data is limited by the fact that it from only one source.

For example, on one of the user reflectors, the question of what was the best, all time rig ever built by that manufacturer. A certain rig won , hands down and rather overwhelmingly, yet it is not even listed here. Another rig is considered the best by that manufacturer on this list, and based on the data available here, it probably does win. Still, one of the user groups rate another rig by that manufacturer to be the best. It is possible that there are even more user groups for that brand that have their own list of the ‘bests’.

All I am trying to say is while this list, or any list, is interesting it is only useful as a tool and a source of information. Ultimately each of use will make a choice, pay our money, and take a chance on the rig we buy. Prehaps this list and other like it can help in making a choice, but I wouldn’t buy a radio with out trying it first.

Good job on this rating list, I will use it for reference along with other lists that may or may not have different results.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N8SNG on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think there are many things that set the standard for some. For me it starts with how well it preforms. I guess price might play a part. How well it holds up for you is another. Another is how friendly your dealer is and what all he or she might do for you. And finally how the maker takes care of a problem with the rig while under warranty and other wise. These are the things that impress me and feel what and who are best.The bonus is what the makers do to help improve the hobby!
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KU3S on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
There is an old saying that goes something like "the most beautiful woman in the world is the one that loves me"; the best rig is the one that is on my desk and is working properly......don't take it all too seriously...Steve, KU3S
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KA8OCN on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think its something like this,

The Best Rig is the one I have, if I did not like it I would get rid of it and get another....

I have 2 HF rigs, ICOM 735 and the ICOM 706 I like the 735 the best.

My first HF rig was a Kenwood TS-520, I used it when I was a Novice and if I ever see one for a great price on eBay I will own another one!

73's
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KE4MOB on January 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think you left out a factor in the "weighting" process: time of ownership. I would give more weight to the opinions of those who own the radio the longest.

That being said, I think this is an attempt at quantifying the unquantifiable. For example, my transceiver is a Kenwood TS-450S, which right now sits at 4.2 on the rating scale with over 15 reviews. But read all the opinions everywhere else on eHam...it's a dog with fleas.

Most of my shack consists of equipment that has been lambasted, maligned, and cursed as being inferior, second rate, cheap, and/or defective here on eHam. A MFJ 1278B TNC, a MFJ 989C tuner, and a Kenwood 450S. Read the reviews...the tuner and the TNC are junk, and most everybody agrees the radio has one of the worst recievers Kenwood has come out with. I've been on the air for 6 years now with this setup, and see no real reason to change.

So what are my points?

A) There's no way you can accurately quantify "the best" by using a subjective measure (one which is prone to ballot-stuffing--how many times has one person posted multiple reviews on a product?)

B) Anybody (myself included) who rates a piece of equipment a "5" just hasn't seen the next level yet. For example, does a Ten-Tec Omni-V (which might be given a 5) rank equally with a Elecraft K2 (which might be given a 5 as well)? No.

C) Don't get fooled by the "magic rating number". It's somebodys opinion. And opinions are like elbows...

It's like the kids used to do on American Bandstand: "Gee, Dick I think that song was really cool and had a good beat, so I'll give it a five!" And we want to try to quantify the same thing when dealing with radio equipment?!

Steve, KE4MOB
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W7DAM on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
In reply to W4RK's question as to why you mostly see 5's and 1's and fewer responses in the middle ground, the answer is that the people who are most likely to review a product are those who feel most strongly about it.

People who are very happy or very disappointed are the ones most likely to make the effort of typing in a product review, hence the 5's and 1's.

This phenomenon is also present in "surveys" you see presented on TV or on other web sites on a number of different subjects. Those who have no strong feelings one way or the other are less inclined to participate.

regards, Dave W7DAM
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
"People who are very happy or very disappointed are the ones most likely to make the effort of typing in a product review, hence the 5's and 1's."

Which is why one has to ascertain if the sample is representative of the whole. A good place to start is to see if there is any bias. The effect of only those in the extremes replying is well documented, thus insuring the data does not reflect the whole (at least, that is the rumor I heard).

The other rumor I remember hearing is that there is a test to see if the difference between two averages (means) is significant (large enough to consider that there is a real difference between the two). The test uses either one tail, or two tails, and is probably much too tall of a tail for here.

But if the publisher of the data results won't wag his tail for you, be skeptical of the results.

Have FUN
Bob
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NJ6F on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
FT100D should be in this review!
You have the Icom 706 but not the new FT100D in your rundown which has enough features to easily come close or beat this parallel competition.
I am not sure if this list shows mostly repeat brand loyal buyers vs the newest, latest, greatest radios in a spec for spec, feature for feature weighting.
We need to weed out questionable installations where they forget to ground the antenna or are too fixed in their ways to know how to use menu's etc... I know it is a hard call.
It would be interesting if you reference age groups to radio models which is accessable via license data...maybe we can weed out the complainers that way :-)
Good info ..thanks..just brainstorming for your next review.
 
It sure is interesting.  
by JA7UDE on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I am interested not in the ratings but in the number of raters of each gear. I guess it reflects the number of ACTIVE hams using the gear.

73 de JA7UDE Oba
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
Anonymous post on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The numerical ratings like 4 out of 5 mean nothing. However, when someone states facts (at least it is personal info) like "receive is more sensitive" than another radio the writer owns or the writer says he "sent every radio he bought back to the same manufacturere for warranty service", I listen. People who rate things should give facts not opinions, facts let the reader decide and are much more useful..
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W5GI on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Dave, thank you for collecting and posting the data. From a statistical stand point the data is less than useful; however, it generated a lot of interesting comments.
I've owned over 1400 rigs. For what it's worth my list of "best" rigs is as follows [in priority order]:
JRC JST 245
Icom 781, 751A, 761,756 PRO,
Kenwood 850 w/dsp100, 870, 950sdx,
Yaesu 1000MP MkV, 1000MP, 1000D, 990,
Kachina

The second best category: in priority order by manufacturer
Icom 765, 730, 775, 756
Kenwood 930, 940, 830, 850, 950,
Yaesu 902, 980, 102
Ten Tec CorsaiR II [haven't had many BECAUSE POOR DOLLAR VALUE]
Cubic Astro 103
Drake C-Line, TR7, TR5, TR4C
Collins equipment
Signal One
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K3AN on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Putting radios like the IC-730 and FT-102 on the list, while leaving out the TS-850, tells me this is an classic example of "garbage in, garbage out."

In other words, the author's analysis may not be flawed, but the raw data he is using sure is flawed.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KB3CDF on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
We have stumbled into marketing and sales analysis. The facets of HAM radio hobby continue to sparkle.

Interesting use of ratings. I seriously regard Eham as a valuable source when considering new items or new used items. I look at the number of comments ( the number of people who bought the item and commented), the rating, and all of the negative comments made. Something with a 5.0 scares me. Nothing is perfact. Something below 3.0 sends up a flag as well. I think information about things people don't like valuable. If there is an item that has "multiple and trended complaints" about the lack of a good volume knob, I can decide if that's something that will bother me in comparison to the rest of the otherwise good product. In short, I evaluate both quantitively as well as qualitatively.

ANOTHER method... If one looks at EBAY and there are 35 of the same item up for auction, this is a good indication that people are trying to "dump the item", or something "newer & better" was recently released. If you can't find an auction for a certain product, one can infer that folks are hanging on to the item because the "like it"; however, this is not "failsafe". There is the unlikely case that no one bought the item ...ever, and no one is selling it. This is subjective to individual cases but could be included in the overall evaluation.

A good ARRL evaluation based on pure, engineering analysis of advertised specifications vs. what ARRL measured. It bugs me when a Company says their product will do something it clearly can't when measured. This is not "failsafe" as well. This is not an independant study like a "Consumer Reports" type evaluation.

Hands on trials are golden but hard to do when the "mom and pop" Ham Stores are disapearing. It is becoming similar to buying a car without a test drive.

All methods of research combined have helped me to "avoid" lemons. I wouldn't suggest using one single method.

73, John KB3CDF
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W3GEO on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While this is an interesting way to display the data it should be noted that most all reviews in eHam are subjective. Objective reviews based on actual measured performance parameters are rare here. Also, older equipment sometimes gets downgraded in eHam reviews due to the reviewer attempting to compare say a Kenwood 520 with the modern rigs. A 520 does very well at what it was designed to do, but it is not a FT 1000MP and should not be compared to it. Perhaps there should be a utility rating to go along with the overall rating.

On the other hand, eHam reviews are valuable to me simply because they are subjective and I can learn things that do not show up in the typical QST measured performance review. I also learn whether or not the manufacturer is having problems with a certain line of products or are upgrading already produced products and selling them as a new product (the Yaesu FT 100 situation is a good axample and as a result of what I read in eHam I did not purchase one although I was planning to do so)

Antenna reviews are probably the most problematical of all the eHam reviews as many times the reviewer simply states that he had no luck with it, or it is of poor design, when he probably did not understand the set up or how to use it. There are a myriad of variables concerning antenna installations and they are tough to evaluate even by the people in the ARRL lab.

The article is appreciated as it sparked a good deal of informed comment.

73
George
W3GEO
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WB2WIK on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting? Enough that I read it. Not enough to draw any conclusions. Unlike most people, I start out with the opinion that everything's a piece of crap until proven otherwise -- this has saved me from much disappointment in life.

WB2WIK/6
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WB6MMV on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Like others,I think the title of this topic is interesting, but from a statistical standpoint, absolutely nothing can be deduced from the data presented. There are so many weaknesses in the raw data's objectivity to make this difficult to even attempt. An eyeball look at the mean and standard deviation of the results should illustrate how subjective this is. Using semiarbitrary weights confounds the analysis even further.

If one is trying to decide which transceivers are best, this ain't gonna get the job done.

 
Garbage in, garbage out...  
by NB6Z on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The methodology for statistics is fine, but how would you rate the raters? ;-)
 
RE: Garbage in, garbage out...  
by WB2WIK on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
NB6Z et al: Rating the raters is just as difficult, since I don't know most of them.

But as W2IHY said, the statements about "this is the best rig (mike, antenna, pondscum, etc.) I've ever used" should mostly be taken with not only the grain of salt, but the whole shaker full. And as I've often said, and posted here on eham.net, when someone says "it works great," the only reply can be, "compared to what?"

Also, memories are frequently better than experiences. I see a lot of reviews from "previous owners." Like ex-girlfriends, ex-rigs can be well thought of...but then, why are they "ex?"

My favorite reviews are ones that totally trash the equipment, and then realistically state why. If they are believable, these are great reviews. One must be honest if to admit he made a horrible mistake.

WB2WIK/6
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NR1SS on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is an excellent topic and thanks for the data crunching. Seems most of the salient points have been covered in previous reviews. The product reviews are worthwhile but a statistical analysis is meaningless. Decide which features in a rig (or any ham gear) are important and assign them a weighting factor. Distill each review and update your data table after 'filtering' what the reviewer wrote. Do the math on these data and in the end you will reach a technical compromise. However, buy the rig YOU want. What works 4.0 for someone else is no assurance that it works for you. An Elecraft K2 may score a 5.0 for RX performance but if you want it do 100W output, it will score Zero. That's the kind of 'weighting' factors I'm talking about.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N9DG on January 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While this is an interesting exercise to try and put numbers to a topic we all want an answer to; it is fraught with peril. As many of the previous comments have pointed out the raw data is highly suspect at best.

I have my own set of “analysis” criteria for “data mining” the reviews, and I don’t apply one bit of mathematical statistics either. When I read through the reviews I systematically discount ALL the reviews that are only a 10 or so word sentence rant or rave about a piece of equipment. Those reviews really don’t tell me anything about the piece of equipment itself at all, as such have no real value to me. I like the reviews that specifically touch on all of the things the reviewer likes or doesn’t, frequently what they think is a bad feature or behavior is something I actually would like. In other cases what a reviewer may think is a great feature I may think is lousy. Either way I learn more about the piece of equipment, and that is what's important to me. I will also suspend any serious belief of the reviews that were written on the same day the radio arrived. There’s no way anyone could really offer a truly meaningful review after just opening the box and turning on the power. Also as others have mentioned, I too key in on the definite trends that frequently develop in some of the equipment reviews.

One practice that I find troubling is the occurrence of multiple reviews of the same piece of gear from the same reviewer, sometimes as many as 3 or 4 times. This generally comes across as an effort to artificially “pump up” (or down) the rating of a particular piece of equipment. However, that said, there really should be a mechanism where reviewers could come back and update their own reviews. Perhaps this feature should be limited to only being able to add new comments, not erase them. This would also help mitigate the shortcomings of reviewing a piece of gear after only a week or so worth of use. In fact I think it would improve the general quality and value of most of the reviews over time, as they would take on a logbook like quality for those who occasionally updated their own review.

Another eHam review system improvement would be to have more than one single rating value, have at least 3 categories, each with their own rating scale. Some examples I can think of are, Value (bang for $), Reliability (really only workable if reviewers could comeback and update), Raw performance (pretty much always subjective without test gear), Ratio of really neat feature/functions against annoying ones. Also mandate some kind of comment for each one of those rating categories. In the end a multi-tier rating system won’t solve many of the problems of a mostly subjective rating system like eHam’s, but it will hopefully entice (force?) reviewers to provide more thoughts and comments for the review readers to digest.

One final area that could use improvement is rating current production rigs against older ones. There is simply no way to do that with the current system other than specific reviewer comments. In many cases a particular piece of gear would rate reasonably equal to its same aged peers but will look artificially poor (or good) for its age because it is being rated against current models and one reviewer factors age in and another doesn’t. In the end neither review is truly accurate even though both reviewers did put a good faith effort into being accurate. Perhaps an “age differential” category in the overall rating scale would help, in other words to be able to say “this rig would rate a “3” against today’s standards”. Make this age differential category only available for out of productions models.

In the end we all have to do own analysis of all the data we can find on eHam reviews and elsewhere, sometimes we do good and other times not so good.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KC4IWO on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
forget the rating,
the responce to each radio should say something,
looks like the 746 and 706 radios are the most popular.

 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NI0C on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think the methodology is flawed, and biased in favor of older transceivers. Even among the older transceivers there are glaring omissions. Certainly a list of the top thirty would necessarily include the Kenwood Models 520S, 440S, and 850S, all of which were immensely popular and reliable radios.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W0AKR on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Can't say I agree with the ratings. The scale of 1-5 doesn't really specify a "real" review score to me. I go by the comments and QST reviews, factual measured parameters. Also, the ratings as shown, aren't accurate, i.e. a TS-850 is rated higher than the IC-706 yet isn't shown.

I think to be truly subjective, you MUST review an actual technical review as measured in a lab to get the factual numbers, as to ergonomics, user feedback, the eHam reviews are somewhat usefull if used with measured performance. One must keep in mind that someone "upgrading" from an FT-101 to say the Ten-Tec Jupiter will think it is one heck of a step forward, and to be sure, probably is. But to review the actual measured numbers, it has been rated as an entry grade receiver performance, something I wouldn't spend $1200 to obtain for instance.

All in all, the listing to me is skewed, with individuals who voluntarily participate in providing feedback, vs. a contester magazine getting higher "tech" inputs from those who really know receivers inside and out.

 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W0AKR on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
One other thing I failed to mention. Just looking at the IC-756PRO with 72 reviews and the 756PROII with 6 reviews. How does that stack up ? In my opinion, you can't take a relatively new model and then compare to one out there 1-2 years. The useable feedback just isn't there yet. Of course, most will like the brand new model, until it has been out there about 1 year for usefull feedback. (Not to slight the 756PROII, it is a fine radio).

I would rather compare radios within similar classes, perhaps by dollars (i.e. 1000-1500), 1500-2500), etc. and see how they stack up. Just looking over the list, I can see some radios that from personal experience are not listed that surpass many of the units you list. But then again, it is hard to tell how this list was generated. There should have been a formula or calculation to average weight all units against a known benchmark.

 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N2DY on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The article should have been about how satisfied operators are with their rigs. Obviously comparing rigs in different categories requires a different methodology. An Icom 706MKIIG that receives a 5 is not as good as an Icom 756PROII that also receives a 5 but the author's methodology would imply that. It just means that both operators were very happy with their purchases. The radios lived up to the expectations that they had for the radio.

I use the eHam ratings to identify problem radios or equipment. Most people who are happy with their radio will give it a 5 out of 5. Thoughtful raters will give a real analysis of the likes and dislikes of the equipment. Simply saying, "great radio" or "best radio I ever owned" is useless information. But when a radio or other piece of gear has a chronic problem, that will show up in some of the ratings. That's what eHam ratings are great for.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah...

This is such an Open Forum type of Review Section/Page-I'm referring to eHam Reviews as well as articles such as these, and I think that is fantastic. Freedom of Speech. Excellent.

This is where many of the ratings are subjective and based on personal experiences.

However, this kind of data is important when choosing a radio.

For the serious shopper, go with a QST review, or other similar review where the data has been acquired via extensive scientific test methods, and those methods are stated in the Laboratory Study.

Serious shoppers would want several kinds of data, objective, scientific evidence, and of course,
opinions based upon experiences.

Subjective information.

If it's a significant cash outlay people are probably going to play with it first, at a dealer or at a friends, or even drive hundreds of miles to the seriously considered manufacturer, as in- driving to Tennessee!

Some radios might perform better in a lab, but just not feel right, or some other human interface aspect like knobs being too close together or radio being too big for ones needs, may just over-ride the technical differences in a statistically "poorer" my slim margin, radio.
I'm sure hams have chosen radios because they excelled in their favorite modes of operation. Difficult to make a radio excel in every aspect hi hi. Some people must have DSP, some are okay with out it for example.

So I'm very appreciative of eHam and for the information posted there, good/bad and somewhere in between.
eHam is wonderful, whether it's because of user Product Reviews and or any other article. It's well organized, easy to navigate quickly and intuitively, informative and entertaining!

however anyone wants to rate a radio is fine with me, I'm sure I have my own biases toward Ten Tec, and have very little expierience with a wide assortment of different makes and models of radios.

I'll rave on forever about how great my basic Corsair was, but I've only ever used an SX99/T-150A, KWM2A, and FT-7 the 20W input first edition, and an FT-817. I used to want every bell and whistle known to man- but now all I want is for the radio to do what I need it to do WELL, without fan-faire and certainly without need for a mini-quick reference manual for which I do not have the time.

Because of this, I rather find my VX-5 rather more of a hassle than a pleasure [and I spend all my operating time on that archaic mode called CW]. hi hi. Once again, no one should seriously consider what I might have to say about a VX-5 without knowing why I bought a pair in the first place.

It's hard to take MY review seriously... unless you LOVE CW and want SIMPLE, inexpensive, but HIGHLY EFFECTIVE, and aren't participating in serious contesting. ha. Even then, I've got no Lab Measurments to back up why I like that radio so much, all I have is, she did everything I asked of her- with ease and without protest- until she lost her voice.

73,

Darin.

 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W5HTW on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
There are Fords and Chevys and Dodges ... All of them have been around the block long enough to know how to build a truck that is dependable, comfortable, and useful. And all of them can build - and do build - an occasional lemon.

But ask any rancher, and he'll swear by or at his Ford/Dodge/Chevy. And he'll "never have another one" or "never buy anything but."

So be it with radios. They all know how to make them. What gets most of us topick one is not the radio, but the advertising copywriter. Frequently budget is a major factor, of course, but in every truck there is a bottom line model, and in every radio there is the same thing. So unless specifications and performance of like models is compared, and then factor in the users' contentment/discontent, we are still left with "Ford/Dodge/Chevy men."

73
Ed W5HTW
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Laugh Out Loud!

Okay, so...but then... Chevy/Ford/Dodge...would that be like- Ahem...uh... Collins, Drake, Swan? No- wait-

Like, Ten-Tec, uhm... well darn it all, nothing else comes to mind in a Big Three except

Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood! hi hi.
[Toyota/Nissan/Honda ?!?]

;)

Is it really true? Is Sevierville the last bastion of American Ham? Surely I'm forgetting other key makers here...

I have it-- the legendary K2.

[Whew!]

Tnx, Ed...

Indeed- I must admit being afraid to step into HRO for fear of the 756 enchanting me to hand my credit card over to the gentlemen behind the counter. I'm not a rancher, I sure wish I were...and so, perhaps me being all stuck on It Was Made Just Up Yonder is as close as I can get!

 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WA2E on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting? Yes.

Dave is only presenting what "we" have supplied.
Subjective? Sure but don't many come here to get
that info? Let's be honest most of us judge rigs
by hearing them on air, what our buddies like
or what we can afford. Maybe it should have said
"Best dollar value HF transceivers" then I don't
have much complaint with the list.
 
RE: It sure is interesting.  
by IW0GXY on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think that more users means more valuable radio.
 
RE: It sure is interesting.  
by KG4PYM on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, more users doesn't have much to do with more valuable...and again, more valuable is subjective, more valuable based upone what? Virtually every review has a different definition of VALUE.

Not too many reviews on something like an Icom 775, but it's valuable- but if you are in the look for a mobil rig, it's not valuable based on that.

Ultra-High End rigs won't have many reviews- as they don't have very many out there owning them compared to the moderate high end radios like 756 PROs, 1000MPs...

 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WA6BPE on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
W0AKR wrote:
>One must keep in mind that someone "upgrading" from >an FT-101 to say the Ten-Tec Jupiter will think it is >one heck of a step forward, and to be sure, probably >is. But to review the actual measured numbers, it has >been rated as an entry grade receiver performance, >something I wouldn't spend $1200 to obtain for >instance.

The lesson here is - beware of SUBJECTIVE claims
about OBJECTIVE statistics like this statement
above. Just because someone says it's so on
eHam.net means nothing. CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF.

Interesting - I bought a Ten-Tec Jupiter the week the
radio was released for sale, before any magazine
reviews or Internet data was available. Out of
curiosity, when I read this 'claim' this morning,
I went and read the ARRL Product Review for the
Jupiter, the IC746, and the TS570S. All three of
these transceivers have virtually identical receiver
performance, according to the League, for actual
measured performance. And to call any of the three
of those rigs 'entry-level' is utterly ridiculous.

Subjectively, my TS570S I bought two years ago hasn't
been turned on since I bought a Jupiter. I need to
get off my lazy butt and sell it.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by VE7BGP on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I have been reading the reviews on this web site for about 2 years now and I agree with the list a lot. You take some reviews with a grain of salt but I think most reviews are honest reflections on the rigs and other's that write reviews are very picky and no rig made in the past or will be made will please them. The IC-751A is my favorite of all the rigs I have owned, I bought it after reading reviews my first used rig purchase since my starter rig Heathkit DX-40/VF-1. It's the bigger brother to my last rig the 735, and my first Icom rig was a 730 Icom's first Small Wonder which kept me buying Icom's. I also presently have an IC-706MKIIG in the shack Icom's present Small Wonder A great V/UHF rig with HF performace similiar the older 730.
Other rigs I have played around with at friends shacks and used in contests. Ones I liked FT-990, FT-920 the clubs TS-430, early solid state SB-303 rx. Rigs I didn't like very much TS-850 not very user friendly that one had a lot of trouble and was replaced by the FT-920 a year ago. FT 707 had no cw filter rx overloaded very easy. TS-140 they work and that's about all I can say about those rigs can you say RX OVERLOAD. I see this topic is very popular. Enjoy your rig. I don't need to trade too often. See you on the bands.
73
Gerry
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N4GI on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Huh?? The 930 didn't even make the list?? Hmmm...

A radio shack 10m SSB rig is a "5 out of 5" on this website, but a 930 can't make the top 30??

"Fiddling with weighting.....based on common sense..."

Fuzzy math indeed.

Blake N4GI
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W0AKR on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Well to respond which I don't think this is the place to do it, responding to WA6BPE's comments, The "lesson here is - beware of SUBJECTIVE claims about OBJECTIVE statistics like this statement
above. Just because someone says it's so on eHam.net means nothing. CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF. "

By all means, buy a radio, then check it out. Good luck on getting your full refund. To clarify, I DID check it out by posting a want for feedback. I got none. That post was one 3 websites, and was posted for 2 weeks. I read QST's review and it said nothing more than the Jupiter was a boxed version of the Pegasus. So, I looked at the Pegasus review. Didn't tell me much.

I went ahead and bought the Jupiter to have as a second radio. If someone says the one they bought was a dog, then by the rational editorialized above, they guy is a liar and his comments carry no weight. Only accept those that are affirmative. Well, sorry. I can't be that naive about a technical review/user feedback. After I posted my initial review, I received over a dozen e-mails (when then vs before I don't know) from users who were sorry they bought the Jupiter. Many were "stuck" with their's because of the warranty period expiration. I wish they had posted info prior to my purchase, all this would be moot.

I spoke personally with the technical department at ARRL asking to clarify some measurement parameters and NO the Jupiter isn't on par with the IC-746 and others. To be sure, just look at features alone. The Receiver was rated an Entry Level Receiver, the 746 and the others mentioned, were not. That is the info from the Technical Department, not just me.

When I go to buy a radio, I don't like to buy one that just came out yesterday. I like to wait a bit. Also, I solicit feedback before the purchase (in this case, I got none until afterwards). I read the Product Reviews by ARRL and if I don't understand a measurement parameter, I call, I ask, I learn.

Then, I try to look at the features of a particular radio, it's intended useage (i.e. contesting, CW, SSB, etc.). I look at the price, is it a reasonable expectation to pay that price for what you are getting, do you need those bells and whistles, etc.

All in all, you MUST utilize many avenues of information, technical reviews, actual user feedback, sales info (is the price reduced for special pricing; ALERT: upgraded model emminent). I don't slam anyone' s feedback unless they are attempting to address mine with not factual information or understand of my needs. Someone can praise a particular radio and by all means, it may meet their expectations, but perhaps not mine.

A review is a review. I like the radio. Why...state the reasons. It's DSP is great ! Compared to what ?
It is easy to use. What aspect ? I was specific in my feedback and I also, if you read far enough, posted positives on the radio. It was a dog, I didn't like it, I sent it back and I am happy to get my money back. Period.

In closing, a review is a subjective arena not with the same specifics or standards from one informal poster to another. You must get as much info as you can !
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K1RFD on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Just a point about QST reviews. I may be mistaken, but I believe QST does not publish a "review" if the review is largely unfavorable. So if a major product has been in the market for a year or so, and not been reviewed in QST, take that as a sign!
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W9LVC on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
For those who think that raw numbers do not represent a reasonable measurement remember that what you view on TV is because of 1200 polled individuals.

Who could argue with that.

The eham product reviews do offer to us a varity of thoughts on our favorite equipment.

 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 16, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
BACK TO N5XM'S POST DATED JANUARY 13.
BACK TO N5XM'S POST DATED JANUARY 13.

(i'm afraid I only just now read it).

Bravo.

Well done, sir.



 
Highly flawed statistics  
by N0TONE on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
One of the first things a legitimate statistician does when performing such a study is to examine the sources of bias in the data. In this case, the biases are so extraordinary that no legitimate statitician would have even offered that there was information to be had in the study.

When reading a statistical report, just like reading a company's annual report, you read the foot notes first, because that's where the meat of the information is - it's where you learn what aspects of the study might prevent it from being valid data.

For instance, for this sort of study to be useful, you would want to re-calibrate every user's grading system. If a ham posted "grades" only from, say, 3 to 5, then you'd re-calibrate them from 1 to 5. If a ham posted only 5s, then his input is thrown out. But you still have far too many sources of bias. Perhaps hams only place review data on rigs they loved, and they don't talk about the rigs they hated. What that means is that for any given rig, you only have data from the hams who loved it.

So what you are actually comparing is how liberally hams who own Yaesu vs Kenwood vs Icom grade things. That's all.

Rig selection is not simple. You have to determine what uses you want to put the rig to, then determine what measurable specs contribute to good performance in that area, then find a source of those specs. Only after you've narrowed the choices down to the rigs that will technically satisfy you, then it's worth asking hams wha they thought of those rigs and why.

For instance, in my case, for my 160 meter DX work, the very best receiver I have found is an old boat anchor with tubes. No solid state rig, including the much-sought-after FT-1000, can handle the dynamic range that topband requires. And, since topband is the gentleman's band, there's never been a need for full QSK, as everybody's more or less casual.

On the other hand, when I'm chasing DX on higher frequencies, I need a rig that can QSY quickly without re-tuning, and since signals don't cover the same dynamic range as on 160 meters, the rig's receiver need not be too good. So a cheap solid-state rig is good enough for those bands. Even the Kenwood TS-2000, which has turned in some of the worst receiver performance figures ever in the ARRL lab tests, would work fine on 20 meters, where working DX is like shooting fish in a barrel.

So, as a fellow statistician (epidemiology is statistics, you know...) I'd say this particular study was a complete waste of time, and nobody should draw any conclusions about what rig to buy on the basis of it.

AM
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N5XM on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
No honest discussion is a waste of time, it's just that not all "statistics" are "meaningful", for any of several reasons. This has been a very interesting thread, and in that sense it has been worthwhile, if for no other reason than to make us think. In my opinion, and I will be the first to say OPINION, this kind of thing is nearly impossible to quantify because of of the diversity and subjectivity of the Ham population. Furthermore, there are so many good radios out there that we end up splitting hairs between more or less equal pieces of equipment for purely personal reasons. So what? How else are we going to evaluate something except within our personal experience? You don't have to be a statistician to know what you like. Where we get into trouble is when we start seeing our opinions as fact. Sure, there are lab numbers that are objectively meaningful, but most of this kind of thing is more or less just for the "sake of discussion", and stands on its own merit.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W2CSH on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
What you didn't say speaks volumes about analysis such as this. Where did the data come from? QST or CQ magazine or comments posted to this and other web sites where subjective opinions far outweigh technical measurements. How was your data quantified? What constitutes "Best Manufacturer"? Initial quality, measurable performance, long term support, customer service? If customer service and factory support for older radios constitutes "Best Manufacturer" then Ten Tec wins hands down. They still repair every radio they ever built whereas YeaComWood says if the rig is three years old we don't support it any more. This effort had great entertainment value, got us all talking, elicited plenty of comments and was fun. Kind of like the Peoples Choice Awards of HAM radio.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KC0IOX on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting thread. I read the reviews on this site, and I do consider them when shopping for a rig. However, I also looked at QST, and I also talked to other hams and picked their brain. The user reviews are just another facet of the site, and certainly not scientific, but I think it does give one a "pulse" of what most people are buying and their likes, etc.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KC0IOX on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting thread. I read the reviews on this site, and I do consider them when shopping for a rig. However, I also looked at QST, and I also talked to other hams and picked their brains. The user reviews are just another facet of the site, and certainly not scientific, but I think it does give one a "pulse" of what most people are buying and their likes, etc. They are just one more thing I consider. I figure the more input and the more ideas that are out there, the better off we are. That being said, the results are rather subjective, and I much more value the user comments in the reviews than the score they give the rig.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KI4RO on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate the time and effort of the author.

I sense that a lot of folks' radios didn't make the list or show up where expected. Oh well. The author stated from the beginning that it wasn't totally scientific. My rig did show up (TS570D/G) by the way but even if it had not I still find the results interesting and fascinating. Let's face it most rigs today are fairly equal and it is the esthetics that interest us and the extra bells and whistles. But, if most owners are feeling warm and fuzzy over their purchase(s) then that certainly is something for the rest of us to bear in mind before plunking down our hard earned dollars.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NW7U on January 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I just looked through several thousand words complaining about the methodology and statistical validity of this survey and the radio reviews. Two comments:

1) I don't recall anyone ever saying this survey was scientific

2) I think you're missing the real value of the reviews.

Here's where the value comes in. I'm considering two different radios for my next purchase (BTW, these are real radios, and my real impressions from the real reviews).

Radio 1 has all the meaningless, glowing reviews you'd expect.

Radio 2 has similiar glowing reviews, but half the reviews also include reports of peculiar failures, knock-down-drag-outs with customer service, and 10 week turn-around time on repairs.

So let's see --- people who own radio 1 like it and get to use it. People who own radio 2 like it but haven't seen it in 2 months.

In my case these reviews have served a valuable purpose.

Scott NW7U

 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think resonable peolpe might ask what the point of a non-valid (unscientific) survey is?

Its a bit like building an AM rig for 10 Mcs.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
ah think it wuz abbot ree-oh world purformince based up on sub jectiv op in uns frum peeple who have used the rigs of rating- I'm just kidding- trying to shine some humor on the subject, hear!
tah tah for now.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WB2WIK on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I'll give the article a "5," for anyone who takes the time to do this and write about it deserves a good grade.

Then, I'll give the comment thread a 4.12973, just because I like that number.

WB2WIK/6
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WO6T on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
NEEDS TO BE RE-DONE IT MAKES NO SENCE
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by VE4HST on January 19, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I just bought a brand new Kenwood TS570SG. It's the best I could buy. It has all the bells and whistles I will every need. Maybe someday I will buy a Cadilac.

Glad to see its rated high on the list. Its a fine radio!!

VE4HST
Harry
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N8FVJ on January 19, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Just some 'fun' numbers- I do not believe this article was ever created to be a serious review.......like my articles! Only kidding, my new 'best vs price' article should be on eham soon.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N0TONE on January 20, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
There are some amazingly un-educated comments on this thread.

For those who claim that all radios have performance figures so close to each other that they're irrelevant, I'd say you need to go back to Radio 101. Not only are there quantum differences (40 - 50 dB differences in the most important specs) between various radios you can buy today, but almost NONE of them measure as good as the mainstay rigs of 1970.

To the ham who's going to connect his rig to a wire antenna in his attic, and then only ragchew on 40, or DX on 20, you can go back to a Heathkit HW-7 and not know the difference.

But if you're going to put some copper in the air 40 feet or more, and attempt to try DXing or contesting on any frequency below 14 MHz, there are precious few radios that will do the job at all.

And it's a shame that some of them aren't even in the top 10 on this list!

I stand by my statement that the study is not worth considering. I like the eham.net reviews - they're great. But - the numerical values mean nothing useful at all. You have to understand what your operating habits require, then look for the individual's comments on that aspect. If you want to freeband, then you'll be most interested in rigs that can be "opened up", and those that can't be "opened up" are worthless to you, even if they garner an average of "5".

On the other hand, if you're a 160 meter DX chaser, you need to zero in on exactly ONE performance spec - close-in dynamic range on the receiver. You don't give two hoots about how well the speech processor works, and you'll be happy to take a rig that averages "3" as long as the receiver has good dynamic range.

There may be some value to the original article - for instance, it got people discussing the subject. However, from the prospect of statistics, it was badly done, because the numerical values from the eham reviews are meaningless in terms of what they say about the rigs involved.

I think the most defendable comment so far in this thread comes from WB2WIK: "I'll give the comment thread a 4.12973, just because I like that number." Steve put more thought into his selection of the number than most raters put into their selection.

Also, to the ham who said "You don't have to be a statistician to know what you like." You are right, in theory, but in practice you are dead wrong. For those of us who live a long distance from any ham radio store, and who have very few hams living within a half day's drive, we are FORCED to make our selections based on test reports and user reviews. I own some equipment, and none of it is completely satisfactory. I could order up a snazzy new rig from one of the Big Five, but when I read the technical reviews in QST, nothing built today is as good, numbers-wise, as the tube gear sitting on my homebrew desk. So why buy anything?

If I don't make my selections via some form of statistical assessment of what's out there, what should I base my choice on? How does one go about knowing what one likes, when one can only use what one has already sunk precious funds into?

There are two rigs on the list that are adjacent to each other that clearly show the inaccuracies of this study. The Icom IC-781 and IC-718 are right on top of each other on the list. In every category except price, one of these rigs is the best Icom has ever produced, and one of them is the worst. Why did they end up next to each other in the list? Because this list is based on no valid data.

This study is a buckshot test, at best.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by N2CTZ on January 20, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
icom makes the best equipment they dont fall apart and i have never had to sent them back for repairs.
i will never buy other brands again-i am using my icom 751A ,735 today-reliability and solid materials counrs-icom never change!
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KD7DPU on January 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
As an operator who is in the market for his first HF transciever, I was certainly interested in this article. The author indicates that this is just an analysis given by other reviewers, which, in turn, are merely qualitative reviews (I like this, I dont like this, etc.). Reviews which are very open ended and much based on "feel". Thus his review is merely qualitative which he does not claim otherwise (in defense of the author). Understanding this you can take the authors review for what it is worth. What it is "worth" is up to the reader. I certainly found it useful as I have NO HF rig (yet) and DO like to see what other hams think of equipment. I will compare actual specs and performance when I get closer to buying.

One thing I must say is that I do think that taking ALL HF rigs compares apples and oranges. Especially when comparing mobile to to base station rigs. I suspect operators buy mobiles for different features than they do base stations. Separating the two *might* give a little more "quantitative" feel to the analysis.

Robert
KD7DPU Anacortes, WA
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KE4JGG on January 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Well some of you nit pick to much on the high end radio and this will give the low rating.Who care"s if the volume cnt. is on the wrong side or if the display is not the right contrast,if the radio performs well that is the bottom line.Iam very happy with my ic746 for $1250.00 new 11 mo. ago.Add a $100.00 filter and it performs with the high end stuff.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG6JCO on January 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I can say because I own an IC-746, the data is 100% accurate.... But I'd be wrong. Any transceiver that is rated high over a large number of ratings is likely to be of good quality and transmit and receive w/o any problems. It may not be the perfect transciever for everyone, but it not likely a lemon either.

Intense hams are prone to buy a more expensive receiver with greater functionality; therfore, they are most likely going to apply strict standards thereby rating expensive equipment lower than a less intense ham. They are also less likely to report faults in lower priced receivers that hams on a budget rate highly because it meets their needs.

A more useful data set would include how well the transceiver performs at certain tasks such as QRP, Noise Rejection, DSP, built in filter usefulness etc. Ther can never be one true great transciever for everyone. The best transciever is the one that fits your needs and your budget.

Bottom line: The data, although not useful, is not entirely useless. If you bought a receiver that was highly rated, beam with pride. If you bought a receiver that was poorly rated, show off your log book, then beam with pride.

73
KG6JCO
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NN1I on January 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Some HF radios can not be compared in the same category. Example, Yaesu FT-1000D and Yaesu FT-817 (these two radios next to each other on the list.) It is like car and bike, so which one is better?

Strangely, Yaesu FT-100D even did not get on the list.

Author did a great job though. It is good overview of product reviews for HF rigs.

73 Igor NN1I
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W9SZ on January 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Very interesting.

I asked the contesting community on the CQ-CONTEST Internet discussion group about the best contesting radio a couple years ago. The three radios that were most recommended by the contesters I received a reply from were the Kenwood TS-850 and TS-940 and the Yaesu FT-1000MP.

These are the guys who use their radios a LOT. That must count for something!

73, Zack W9SZ
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WB7SWN on January 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This has been an interesting discussion. In my 25 years as an amateur radio operator, I have never lost sight of the reason I began this hobby in the first place - enjoyment! Any "user reviews" are just that - user reviews. Most people don't have the knowledge or equipment to complete full technical reviews (nor would they care to). They just enjoy the experience of operating ham radio. Some of the most fun I've had was operating a home-brew (hopefully we all remember that term) CW transmitter with a vintage WWII receiver. Some of the "fancy" equipment used by the appliance operators of the time may have made life easier but it sure wouldn't have increased my enjoyment of the hobby or my understanding of electronic principles.

The user opinions are valuable for what they are, opinions as to reliability and useability. They serve as a general guideline when doing initial product research. However, users are as varied as the equipment available. One person's Porsche may be another's Chevrolet. I don't know how the statistical analysis was completed on the above information and I don't care. To me, that has nothing to do with amateur radio.

And before you ask, I do have a late model HF transceiver, but I also still own and operate that first home-brew transmitter and vintage receiver.

As for owning 1400 radios as some have stated - I won't even get into that!
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K2JX on January 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!

I guess the 817 is the "one" to buy!
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I concur. This Article sure has been fun, too! So when we ask ourselves, Why do we do Radio at all, somewhere in there the main reason however it's stated, is For the Fun of It. Entertainment.

The Article sure has generated great response and been a brain-teaser too!

Yeah! The FT 817! The ONE TO BUY- and it's hard to knock 160-2m coverage.

So...QRP turns out to be,
THE WAY.
THE TAO.
THE SOUND...
The THUNDER-
of one hand clapping...
of fingers, snapping...
over the airwaves,
below the crackling,
or maybe not...
the sound of efficiency,
doing more with less
and sometimes
not at
all.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K0EJF on January 23, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
As they used to say on the old TV show "Laugh In", VERY INTERESTING - BUT DUMB!
How many of the respondents were qualified to rate all brands and all models of HF Tranceivers on the market today and in the past? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they still make Heathkits today, (I still like my SB-301/SB401 combo in tranceiver mode too)!
Every one thinks his favorite radio is the best. After all, he/she paid his/her hard earned money for it and could not possibably have been wrong about the selection even though they never even saw, let alone investigated or operated half of the other units that were available at the time.
All this list shows is how many of the brands/models are in use, not which ones are best. Or even which ones are being used to the best operating potential of each unit.
Please publish some real information we can use.
K0EJF, Jerry
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 23, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
How can a Best HF Rig according to ratings be established? It's easy to be critical of the attempted works of others...there's the Fundamental Attribution error.

Does anyone think this list was meant to be taken very seriously? If one is fairly bright, I'd say the answer must be self-evident.

It's already been stated, that-

Various radios perform well in specific functions.
And it's extrememly challenging to make a radio do EVERYTHING well.

It's fairly obvious you can't rate the FT 817 using the same criteria as you might use to rate a rig like the FT1000D.

Fairer to place QRP in QRP etc...
even then there are problems with direct comparisions.

The K2 rules for what it was designed to do... It's difficult to argue with it's Lab measured performance and the personal reviews given by K2 users out there. But does it have 2meter/6meter capability? And some people don't actually have the time to put it all together. Speaking for me, I'll be lucky when I find the time to throw together the most simple MFJ CW filter kit.

It is CLEAR and OBVIOUS that The Best HF Rig depends on many things, and will be different for different people who have different needs.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by W7MD on January 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Some very interesting comments....to this thought provoking article. My test of a good receiving rig is to listen to CW during a contest and see how easily I can copy weak signals close to the strong ones. If the radio allows me to do that well, it passes. On the transmitting side, it is a matter of ergonomics. I do not like tiny knobs and important functions buried in submenus.
My present main rigs: Yaesu 1000MP, Elecraft K2, Kenwood TS-850 for their filters and dynamic range. Icom 706Mk2 for traveling convenience (not so hot for listening in a CW contest and the menus suck). I have several classic old tube receivers which I use for shortwave listening and AM operation. The Collins 75A4 is the best of those which I keep. For ragchewing under stable signal conditions, most any modern rig is fine. Under weak signal conditions, contest conditions and noise problems, a better receiver makes a significant difference in reducing the pain and suffering.
73 to all,
Damon W7MD
Tucson, AZ
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KA4AQM on January 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
What the real shame here is that most of these rigs are not made is USA...
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K0QEC on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Agree with comments below. For new equipment buyers the best advice I can give is do your homework. First decide what you want the rig to do. Then find leading manufactures that make radios meeting your needs. Then study the manufactures specifications. Go to a shop that has them on display and play with them. If they are a leading manufacture and you like what it does and how it does it - then all the users comments in the world should not matter to you. Also, please be aware that the top of the line equipment with hundreds of features and menu selections are fantastic but if you have it set up incorrectly it will disappoint you. I read many users comments and can tell you many have never read their operations manual and have incorrect menu settings. They complain about something that they have caused themselves. So make your choice, study the operator’s manual, and enjoy this GREAT hobby. You can be the best judge of what is best for your interests. http://www.101science.com
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by AC6V on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Well interesting. First there is what people bought -- which has nothing to do with which is best.
Brand loyality, PRICE, looks, elmer recommendation, succumbing to full page brag ads, all enter into what people bought.

Next is the best performance. Unless some one takes the various rigs and has an extensive bench of test equipment -- it becomes somewhat subjective. Example - take a TS-870 and compare the performance to an FT-1000D. One of our local test gurus did just this and the FT-1000D won hands down. QST does extensive testing -- but you have to read it thoroughly (maybe between the lines) and they do not rank them. There used to be a transceiver rating subscription service and man did they lay it on the line, unfortunately no longer published. ON4UN used to list ratings in his older "Low Band DXing"

Next there is what is best for DXers, Contesters, -- Dynamic range, front end crunchabiltty, selectivity, are of paramount importance here and I doubt many dedicated DXers or contesters opt for many of the rigs in the list.

What is best for general all around use and what people bought (sans rigorous use and relative performance) seems to be what the list reflected. And few will bad mouth their $1200 purchase!!

IHMO
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by AC6V on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I did a similar survey amongst DXers and Contesters and here is what those folks bought not necessarily "the best"

Yaesu FT-1000MP, FT-1000D, FT-990, FT-1000MP-MKV, FT-920, FT-1000
Kenwood TS-850, TS-940, TS-950's, TS-570D, TS-870, TS-830, TS-440, TS-450
ICOM IC-706 MKII, IC-756PRO, IC-735, IC-751A, IC-706, IC-756, IC-738, IC-775DSP
Ten-Tec Omni Series - particularly for CW.

Contesters choices are Yaesu FT-1000MP, FT-1000MP, MKV, FT-1000D, Kenwood TS-850,
TS-940, ICOM IC-756PRO, IC-775DSP, IC-765, Ten-Tec OMNI VI+

Strongly suspect this group were looking for the best performance for the buck
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WD0CT on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
What----no Swans on this list?? What's wrong with you guys? I have owned many of the radios on the list and none are without warts. Eham reviews do have some entertainment value.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah! Swans have wonderful transmit audio, possess that warm glowing feel for a nice chat, lots of power, have a cool name, boy on side band they do sound great, at least this is what heard. I had a mint 350 in early 1980 but only did CW.

Someone care to comment about WHY all of these Seriously Intense "Best" Contest and weak signal rigs are all not made in the US?

If there's anyone in government reading who could tip some business back here- think of the added tax revenue generated in principle, I don't know- will we be ashamed if our one remaining radio manufacturer folds under the weight of the Big Three?

i know, i know... you goto HRO or AES and play with the knobs and the feel of the VFO knob says SOLID and then the specs are way up there, and everyone wants the best they can afford, so patriotism takes a back seat- here we see the true American Spirit- hey- we want the best and if we're not the ones making the best we don't care- we want it all now- and it is not like America cannot make the best too- it's that unless the government drops millions on it, it won't be the best- look at the military, we have the best there, eh? Or do we? The US makes the best by throwing money at the problem until it's the best.

If Americans had to depend on it's citizens to support products so thant they would eventually be the best, then- well that's what it is, a consumer driven free-market, and I wouldn't change it- so

My best regards to Ten Tec who I will support to the best of what my tiny budget will allow- at least until I'm in the market to spend 3 grand on a radio- then- uhm- man- that band-scope on the PRO II sure is enticing. But I'll make that decision when I get there.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by NC4RT on January 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
It's all been said already,and well, and then said again ;-)

But wasn't it The Big Bopper, not Jerry Lee Lewis?
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG6AMW on January 30, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I like TenTec Products, but your logic here isn't correct. You support a company because it puts out the best products around for the price. To buy a product from a company because its American promotes mediocrity and lost jobs here. The simple fact is, Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom will eat their lunch it they don't cut it and vice-versa. Its the way of the world.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KC2IQO on January 30, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Unless each person submitting a rating shares a foundation of what the scale means, the comparisons in this manner can easily be flawed. To loosen it up some to a 1 to 10 scale away from the tighter 5 scale may be a way to get a more representative guide. However the content text is what matters the most and can give the reader a feel for the review, and not just a number.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG6AMW on February 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not sure I agree with your logic here. The best way to help Ten Tec is to buy the best products on the market for the money. If Ten Tec's products are not up to Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom standards, they will eat their lunch, as it should be. Substituting a companies competitiveness with misplaced patriotism is a formula for disaster. I think Ten Tec can cut without any help.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by YB1BUL on February 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I believe it would be more useful if the rating is based on the ratio, such as: price-to-features-ratio, reliability/MTBF, price-to-performance-ratio, etc.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on February 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
For KG6AMW and others listening in...

I want the ONE company to cut it with out any "help" and who wants to be chosen out of sympathy...while American Patriotism means also two things to me- it means on the one hand- you sink or you rise-strictly on merit alone. The American Way [?], on the other hand it means you support your country and make sacrifices in order to become better.
I don't think over-seas makers consider it misplaced patriotism when they do business the way they do business. And if you think they do it the American way which has been do it in a way that yields the highest profit margin in the quickest way possible for the sake of immediate return on investment, I think you may be a bit idealistic compared to the reality of how the Industrial Complex of a country like Japan operates.
They have a completely different paradigm and philosophy when it comes to doing things. I'll be the first to concede that the US does not necessarily make the best stuff out there...look at these ratings, look at what high performance operators have in their shacks, look on highways and biways, turn on your TVs-If another country makes the best stuff, it came with initial sacrifice or government intervention, probably BOTH- come on if you don't remember the problems the US has had with trade embargos.

The trade "battle" has even come down to RICE! I love RICE, and given the choice between CalRose and Japanese Import I'll take the import-WHAT, RICE YOU SAY? Yes rice even there there is a difference and it is a significant difference. But if OUR Rice growers could promise me that if I take the inferior rice NOW and in a few years I'll be able to get rice GROWN HERE that is just as good or better [long shot there] and pay less for it, I'll do my considered sacrificial [Patriotic?] duty and take the domestic rice given the choice.

Assuming we had rice that was just as good, do you think we'd be allowed to sell it to those who Once Were the Superior Rice Growers? I understand the all-mighty idea of you stand on your own merit...and if you honestly think A Country's Industry should be able to live completely without "help" as you say, and you think back to the days of when the World Pinnacle rigs were Collins and Drake, when was that(?) were we having a war or something, and why would a war have anything to do with making superior products, right? (war is competition taken to the nth degree).

We work very hard for our dollars, and we are fortunate that we have the choices that we do, believe that. That is a wonderful aspect to the Freedom that IS America.

The sad truth in all this about Patriotism is that it has become exceedingly difficult to be Patriotic and not appear to be ignorant, deluded, or both.

So give me my Sony, I want a Landcruiser, and if I could afford these things call me stubborn, but I'm gonna buy a truck made here- a TV made else-where, and a couple of Omni 6's- and be completely stoked to connect them to a Yagi way high up there which was made here, on a rotor made elsewhere. Blame SERVICE AT THE FACTORY as the reasoning behind the Over-taxed Tennessee purchases. But don't call me a Patriot, lest I appear ignorant amongst the citizenry. If I say I'm buying the rigs because it's the best for the price, is it really?
Much pride comes from being able to say I made the rig myself, it's home-brew. Well, I can't so I guess I'll only be able to say, I didn't make it myself, it's an excellent radio, wasn't cheap, but it was created and put together up the road a ways. I often happen to root for the underdogs, and sometimes even the home team, and I don't mind being called stubborn.

So...you'll be able to say with pride you have the best, and it perhaps was not made here- I concede- I'll take misplaced Patriotism then. I may have misplaced mine, and- just WHERE have you placed YOURS?

(Sounds like I should have a .wav file of Lee Greenwood playing- but I'd just as soon choose RUSH- oh but wait- they're Canadian ;)

Friendly 73 to you and all.
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by KG4PYM on February 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I hope I haven't offended any potential friends and brethren out there by anything I have written here.
Over the years I've hosted people from all over the world, I've lived with people of a plethora of varying nationalities, and I've loved them all.

The best radio is the one you have now, or the one you will soon be getting, I sincerely do hope.

I did misplace my Patriotism, and in Amateur Radio, Patriotism is an inappropriate topic. People are who they personally are, and people are most certainly not their governments.

So having said this anyone reading this especially from overseas- please know, when I send DR for Dear and your name I sincerely to mean that. As a ham on this Earth you are dear to me. More so as a CW op on this Earth.

So now, I'm going to be more careful in responding to these forums because invariably I say things that can be interpreted as offensive, and that is the last thing I ever intended to do to anyone in the Amateur World-wide community.

Being ignored on the air, or snubbed because of something I may have written when I did not intend to personally offend anyone, is more than I can bear.

73 to All.
 
Comments on comments  
by KG6IBW on February 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
First, let me apologize for misspelling statistician. I really are one. And I neglected to make explicit that the file is about HF transcievers only.

Second, I make no claims about the quality of the raw data. That is for you to judge.

Third, popularity does matter in this study. See below.

Last, the point of this exercise was to try to merge rating and number of raters in such a way as to reflect the relative reliability and quality of the rankings. I would guess that a radio with a 4.8 rating by 500 raters is likely better than a radio with a 5.0 based on 6 raters. You may disagree. But we are trying to refine the methodology of blending rating and rater count to rank contestants. How well you like a particular rig belongs in the rating report for that rig, not here.

I still welcome comments, especially if you disagree with the rankings BASED SOLELY ON THE DATA ABOVE. 73s
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K2VI on March 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
hey julius,it seems like the pro with the ihy box going to the back of the radio gives off a hum when keyed up.if i touch the rig it lessens.do you think i should hook up the shield to the mic pin which would be the red wire from your jumper to the back of the rig.what do you think.also can i get those din plugs at rat shack?

tony k2vi
 
RE: Best HF transceivers and makers  
by WA2JJH on September 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
You are right on the money!!! The So called best transceivers arttical is totally subjective!

For example in my early novice days, I owned an eicokit 753. I would put it on my top ten list because it was my first real rig. Some one gave it to me for free, broken of course. Worked about 30 states in 2 months.

I just have found memeories of it. As a modern trnansceiver it was horrible. The VFO drifted. It was known for that all over the world.

The artical if rewritten maybe should be divided by performance, and sentimental value.
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K6ATT on February 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Best HF trasceivers and makers" is a great article. Not perfect, as many have indicated by their comments, but still very helpful. I think we need an update; the article is over 2 years old. Have things changed since '02 as far as availability of radios? Let's have an update...
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by K6ATT on February 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We need another review of the reviews that is like this one, since this one is 2 years old. How about it, Dave (or anyone else)?
 
Best HF transceivers and makers  
by VO1AAC on March 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I could talk for hours on this topic and if you filter through all of the responses you will agree and disagree with many things said. I think the first step to narrowing down the confusion on what radio or radio manufacture is "best" or “most popular” is to improve the rating system currently in place. For example... instead of rating on a very ROUGH scale of 1 to 5 (that does not give you a great deal of flexibility when you have a huge number of ratings) perhaps the rating system should be changed to something that enables the person rating to FINE TUNE his response. Many times I have seen a low rating on a transceiver because the person rating basis his/her rating on the radios age, condition, or if they got one in the mail and it was broken. YOU DO NOT FAIL A RADIO RATING BASED ON ITS AGE, POOR PHYSICAL CONDITION, OR BECAUSE IT WAS BROKEN WHEN YOU GOT IT!!! BUT RATHER ON ITS PREFORMANCE IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER! OR IF THERE WAS SOME INHERANT PROBLEM WITH OPERATION! With that said I understand that it would be very difficult to change the rating system with so many transceivers ratings already in place but we have got to start some where!
 
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