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Author Topic: Yaesu FT-920 VS Kenwood TS-940  (Read 5234 times)

Posts: 1

« on: October 26, 2004, 05:18:21 AM »

I have the opportunity to purchase a Yaesu FT-920 for $650 and a Kenwood TS-940 for $900.  The Yaesu fits my budget better.  My question is this.  I know the Kenwood is Quad conversion and has slope tuning of the IF, but is this radio that much better than the Yaesu?  The Kenwood is 25 years old now, parts are hard to find.  Have we made Engineering improvements in 25 years that allow a modern double conversion rig to perform as good as a 25 year old Quad?  How about the known problems with the Kenwood?  It's a very long list.  Opinions please?

Posts: 21764

« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2004, 08:01:56 AM »

A TS-940S for $900 isn't a good value.  I see them all the time for far less than that, and when I sold my TS-940S in excellent condition with two extra filters I sold it for $950 about seven years ago.  I wouldn't spend $900 for one today; as you say, it's now officially "old" and many parts are no longer available.

The FT-920 is far more modern if not quite as deLuxe.  For $650, it is a good value.

The number of mixers (and conversions) isn't as important as how they're used, and why.  An advantage of more I.F.s is more opportunities to install filters; a disadvantage is more (unwanted) mixing products which require more filtering, and more stuff to go wrong.

The TS-940S has an internal AC power supply and higher voltage PA transistors, probably has somewhat better transmitter IMD performance.  And that saves you the cost of an outboard 25A power supply.  However, this can be a drawback, too, depending upon how you use the rig.  For Field Day or other portable, battery-powered operations, having an "AC only" rig like the TS-940S can be a drawback.  It's also heavier.

Faced with exactly the choice you outline, I'd go for the $650 FT-920.


Posts: 47


« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2004, 10:01:08 AM »

Hi Will, i agree with Steve, a 940, in any configuration is not worth $900.00. I sold my 940S in near perfect condition, loaded with filters two years ago for $750.00. If the price difference between the 920 and 940 had been closer, I would have to push you for more details. Is it a 940S. or 940SAT? The "AT" model with the auto tuner adds value in most folks eyes. What about extra filters? They each add to the price too. If you're any kind of a CW operator, you're gonna want at least one filter in the rig, or you're gonna have to buy one. If you don't care for CW, but the rig comes with one or a pair of CW filters, you can pull them out and sell them; a pair can get you about $200.00, figure $75.00-$90.00 for a single one. Is there a SSB filter in the rig?  Research serial numbers. Both of these radios were (are) in production for quite a long time. Usually, any design flaws show up in early production units and have been corrected as the production progresses. Also, I would rather have a 20 year old model of a radio over a 25 year old one. This is not taken into account by that many buyers or sellers, it should be. Cosmetics are important. A beatup radio on the outside is a sign to me that it's a beatup radio on the inside too. A most definite influance on price. Was the previous owner(s) a smoker? You really have to ask this up front. I once bought a Kenwood 930. Beautiful on the outside, not a scratch. But, as told to me by the seller, a bit low on receive. I opened the thing up and was amazed that everything inside was totally, thickly coated with cigarette residue. (Tar, or nicotine, whatever it is.) I closed it back up and got my money back. Since it was a friend I bought it from, this was no hassle. A stranger might not be so nice. So you see, it's not as easy as just comparing price. Besides the points that Steve and I made, you have to ask yourself the most important question. "What do I want this radio to do for me? Am I into hardcore DXing and contesting?" Then you're on the right track looking at these two radios. Are you more of a  ragchewer, working DX and contesting as the mood hits? You would be just as happy with a rig in the $300.00-$400.00 range. Save the money for something else; perhaps a new dual bander for the vehicle, a better antenna system, etc. Just something to think about.
                               73, Bob

Posts: 172

« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2004, 12:30:21 PM »

Opinion - get the FT920 as I believe it will give excellent service and keep its value.


Posts: 634

« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2004, 01:09:01 PM »

Buy the FT920, an excellent rig, the 940 is an old rig and some of the spares you may require at some time are now impossible to obtain

Posts: 90


« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 07:18:47 PM »

Hi.  Well its four years too late, but after reading this thread, I just had to add a note for any other late reader.  I have owned and operated (ssb only) both an FT-920 and a TS-940, each for more than a year.  In my experience, the FT-920 was a little more sensitive (brought in weak signals a little better, was less inclined to front end overload, and had dsp, more memories, a recorder, and many menu options including mic equalization choices.  If I were going to do fast paced dxing, I would have to consider the 920 with inrad filter upgrades.  As it is, however, I am old, deaf, easily confused, and like to rag chew and sometimes listen to cw.    Placed side by side and listening to the same ssb (or cw) signal at same volume, there is no comparison in signal intelligibility (listenability).  The 940 wins hands down.  To my old ears, although I can hear more signals on the 920, I can understand more signals on the 940.  The difference is huge, so if you have trouble hearing check it out.  Sold the 920.  The slope control on the 940 acts similarly to the dsp on the 920, except without that bottom of the well sound.  73.  Doug
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