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Author Topic: Icom 718 v. Yaesu 450  (Read 2844 times)
NJ2H
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« on: February 07, 2008, 09:27:49 AM »

I'm returning to ham radio after a twenty year absence, so I'm starting over and I want to keep the costs down. I've narrowed it down to these two rigs, and I've read the posts about each, but has anyone run the two side by side or have any reasons why one is a better choice that the other? QST didn't seem to think much of the Yaesu, but the 718 is getting a bit long in the tooth. I can't put up a beam, so I've got a multiband vertical and dipole ready to go. Thanks.
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AI4NS
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2008, 03:22:45 PM »

They are within a $100 of each other new, so they are fair match there. The Yaesu does 60M and 6M, while the 718 does not. The 718 has been around for a few years, and has the bugs worked out. The 718 has an optional AF DSP unit for $140, no filters, while the 450 has IF DSP. By the time you added the optional stuff to the 718 to match the 450, you would have more money in it. Support for most all Japanese rigs is spotty after a few years, with parts becoming obsolete. If it was me, I think I would go for the Yaesu. Once you get your feet wet again and decide what you want to do, you can sell it and buy something else if you want. I got back in after being out for 25 years, and do CW mostly, so my requirements are a bit different than yours may be. I picked up used non-working equipment and have repaired it, and am using that. I currently have a TS-430, a Elecraft K2 (new), a TS-180S, and some other stuff.

Mike
AI4NS
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AB8XA
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 06:06:06 PM »

> The 718 has an optional AF DSP unit for $140, no filters,

For over a year now, the IC-718 has shipped with the "free" AF DSP preinstalled at the factory for $550 after $50 rebate.  HRO sells the FT-450 w/o tuner for $750 after $250 coupon.  That's a $200 difference, enough to buy a nice CW filter for $155 with money left over to put towards a key.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 01:44:48 AM »

    I have used both of them side by side, and I'd definitely give the nod to the 718.  It's simply a better performing rig, with a bigger bang for the buck.  Just check out the multitude of positive eham reviews on it.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 08:59:54 AM »

I don't think the 718 is a "better performing rig," either.

Not owning either of them, I spent 2-3 hours with them side-by-side at HRO Burbank (connected to real antennas, making contacts, working stations), along with the TS-2000, TS-480SX, IC-756PROIII and FT-897D all connected to a coax switch.

That's not as good as two or three hundred hours, but I've used a lot of stuff in almost 43 years as a ham, and have four HF rigs at home, myself, so I get impressions pretty quickly.

I thought the FT-450 blew away the IC-718 in pretty much every respect except, perhaps, user friendliness.  The 718 has a bigger panel and a front-facing speaker, which are two plusses.  The 450 can dig a weak signal out of the noise better, can separate a weak signal amongst strong ones better, and of course with the optional tuner can produce full output power into a mismatch, which the IC-718 cannot do at all.  Six meter coverage is a bonus.

I didn't like the FT-450 control panel labeling and menu fussiness; I imagine after a month or two, I'd get used to it.

WB2WIK/6
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W7MJM
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 03:06:23 PM »

I owned an IC-718 for several years and loved its simplicity of operation and reliability. It worked well for me, especially paired with an AH-4 antenna tuner feeding an 88 foot doublet via ladder line. You'll definitely want to install an IF filter in the 718 if you operate CW, I used an Inrad 400 Hz CW filter on mine and was very pleased with it.

I haven't tried the FT-450, but WB2WIK's impressions sound right, given the specs and from what I've read about the rig.

Bottom line - try 'em both and see which one you like the most for the type of operating you do. In fact, you've piqued my curiousity; I may have to swing by HRO in Portland, OR to check out this latest Yaesu offering!

Good luck with your decision. I look forward to meeting you on the air, whichever rig you buy.

73,
Martin
W7MJM
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W7MJM
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2008, 03:11:46 PM »

Just noticed you said you were returning to ham radio after a 20 year absence. That was essentially my situation when I bought my IC-718 back in 2003. The only reason I let mine go was because a used TS-950SDX fell into my lap. My IC-718 is now used by KE7PKP, a newly licensed ham. He tells me he likes it.

But I'm sure the FT-450 would be a good choice as well, especially given the latest prices I'm seeing, in the neighborhood of $750 including the internal antenna tuner. Not a bad deal.

Again, try them both out and see which one you like best.

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ONAIR
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 05:57:56 PM »

   My experience with both rigs was that the 718 was much easier to use, and seemed to hear signals better than the 450.  
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KI6CFW
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 05:49:53 PM »

Performance aside - operating simplicity and operating ergonomics are differences between the two you need to experience firsthand before making a final decision.
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NJ2H
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 08:02:40 AM »

Thanks everyone for the advice. I looked at both Saturday and decided on the FT-450, but either seems to be a great choice. Overall I rated them about the same, with Yaesu ahead on technology, and Icom ahead on simple operation. The Yaesu just seemed to be a better value, though that little tuning knob may take some getting used to. I'm already thinking how I can modify it.
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W6GF
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2008, 11:15:26 AM »

I own both.  The 718 for 4 years and the 450 for 4 months.  This is a very close call.  But the 450 does have the internal antenna tuner as an option which is very handy.  In my opinion and using the two radios side by side there is not a great deal of performance difference.  The 718 may be slightly broader, but has excellennt tx audio.  

This decision comes down to personal wishes and likes as much as anything

George, W6GF
email for further info.
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DAVIDVD59
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2008, 07:08:49 PM »

I have HAD both. Side by side the quality of the audio of the FT 450 blows away the Icom 718. There are so many dsp options with the 450 to help the receive signal, however the lack of an automatic notch filter does hurt the 450. The 718 is a very basic rig, 450 harder to use out of the box because of the menu driven protocol. I paid $600 for the 718 and Icom has not in six months paid me my rebate yet. I paid $650 for the 450. The Icom was sold and the 450 retained.

When I had Kenwood and Icom radios side by side, Kenwoods receiver beat hands down weak station reception over Icom. Unfortunately after 2 years Kenwood radios cost me large repair bills.

So if no operational problems show up on the 450, my next rig will also be a Yaesu.

73's
Dave AB9PM
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N5EAT
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Posts: 175




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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 10:00:18 AM »

I will take slight issue with the comment that the DSP noise reduction in the 718 is useless.  It's simple, but it does increase the readability of most signals unless you turn it all the way up.

I don't have a 450, but it's one of the few hf radios yaesu has made that i don't/didn't own.  The reliability of the new set of yaesu gear is very good.  I own the ft-2000 and it appears to be quite rugged.  It's 'children' also seem to be very sturdy.

I have an 857 and 897 and those rigs are really great mobile/portable performers.

Having said all that - I own and still use my icom 718.
I have it equipped with an Inrad 300hz cw filter and it does quite well in that mode.  
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