Receiver sensitivity is the least of your problems. I am amused that you "perceive" with your ear that there is a sensitivity difference. You may be just hearing phase or white noise. Not a very scientific way of doing a comparison.
Modern receivers have sufficient sensitivity even the deaf ones. The factor that limits our ability to hear is man made noise. If you plug your antenna into the radio and the noise goes up you have sufficient sensitivity. Almost all radios pass the test with the preamp off.
I would be more concerned about dynamic range numbers, RX Inband IMD, audio HISS and transmitter IMD if I was choosing between radios. Frankly there is not much to choose between a FT950 and a IC7000, they bottom end radios. If you wanted some kind of decent performance you would look at something like the TS590S or Elecraft K3.
The FT950 has a noisy audio amplifier. Yaesu uses tricks to make you believe that its not noisy. Read the W9AC review of the FT950 on Eham.
The good thing about the FT950 is its ergonomics and front panel layout. Its an excellent home station radio. The Transmitter IMD is also very good. It is a very clean transmitter according to the QST review.
I was hoping that Yaesu would release a down conversion FT950 thats based on the FT5000 receiver. Now that would be some radio if Yaesu does not put in a noisy audio amplifer into it. I hate listening to audio hiss and the FT950 is certainly hissy. The Icom 7000 does not have this severe hiss problem like the FT950.
Yaesu could have a real winner if the produced a FT950 with the FT5000's receiver in it, and also put in a very clean PA. The ergonomics of a single receiver FT950 based on the FT5000's receiver would make this imaginary radio a all time best seller.
The downside to the FT950 is that it really has a crap receiver. Any radio with a IMD dynamic range of 60 to 70 db is a crap receiver these days. When radios like the K3 and the TS590 are hitting 90 to 100db, the FT950 stinks.
The IC7000's receiver is no better and is not really a home station radio. Its receiver performance as well as its poor transmitter IMD makes its less ideal for home station use.
Choosing a radio is tough these because most of them have sub standard receivers and transmitters.
The TS590S, K3, Orion and Ten Tec eagle are the only radios that offer decent receiver performance. Its just unfortunate their transmitter IMD is not all that great. If I had the cash, I would buy the FT5000 it meets my requirement of having both a good receiver and transmitter. Its just too expensive for my taste. If the Ten Tec Eagle had a cleaner transmitter I would have bought 2 of them.
I dont blame you for liking the FT950, its sexy and well layed out. Makes radios like the K3 and Eagle look like CB radios.
I'm hoping someone has had some direct comparison experience between the receivers on the FT950 and the IC7000.
I've got a 7000 and have always had the feeling that it's a bit deaf on HF when compared to a FT857 and even a FT450 I had for a short time.
I'm thinking of getting a FT950 and would be interested in anyone's comments and if the change from the 7000 to the FT950 would be a significant/noticable upgrade in receivers.
Thanks in advance. Yours,