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Author Topic: FT 2000 or Icom 7600  (Read 13290 times)
VE7CKZ
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« on: April 03, 2010, 12:49:20 AM »

I am considering upgrading my HF rig from a Yaesu FT 920 to either a Yaesu FT 2000 or an Icom 7600.  Anyone have experience with both or use either rig?  Thanks, Todd.
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G0CVL
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 01:25:59 AM »

Having owned an FT950 (notice past tense !!)which is superior to the FT2000 (no if filter fudge) and having used FT2000, all I cn say is that I am back in the land of Icom.
Despite the software ugrades, the Yaesu's, still aren't "there" yet.
There are some remnants from the FT1000 series faults (owned several), such as high freq hiss,left over still, and the receiver performance is pretty poor for close in big sig rejection (take a look at several tests)
Some of the ergonomics of the rig are not great, and the NB and DSP, aren't brilliant, BUT, there IS a big price difference between the two.
The Yeasu isn't a BAD rig, it's OK. The Icom however, does have virtually the same receiver as the IC7700, which is very good.
Ergonomics are a personal thing, but I do find Icom's quite intuitive.
If ultimate receive is what turns you on, then the Elecraft K3 is the big boy, but although SUPERB on recieve re rejection interference etc, I find the ergonomics on them to painful for me !
Just my personal exerience.

73

Spike - G0CVL
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TANAKASAN
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 03:02:30 AM »

Nice timing, I sat down at a dealers two weeks ago and spent about thirty minutes each with the FT2000 and the IC7600. Here are my observations:

1: The ergonomics are MUCH better on the 7600, that display right in the middle of the rig is beautiful and displays all the information you need. In its favor the small display next to the frequency readout on the FT2000 which shows filters, attenuators etc is a good idea but the Icom solution is better.

2) The audio on the Icom is very clean and there are no unexpected pops or clicks from the DSP system. The same cannot be said of the FT2000 which, here in Europe, seemed to have some problems coping with the high signal levels encountered on 80m.

3) I know that they are adjustable but I prefer the action and size of the tuning knob on the FT2000. I also prefer the frequency display on the FT2000 and I wish that Icom would give the users the ability to increase the size of the frequency display on the IC7600 screen.

4) The external preselector system for the Yaesu rigs (they call it u-Tuning) works well on 80m and 160m. The front end of the 7600 is so good that it doesn't need an external preselector.

5) Both Icom and Yaesu appeared to have learned from their mistakes with the bigger rigs and made the newer smaller rigs state of the art.

Tanakasan
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WE1X
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 04:21:10 AM »

Having owned the FT-2000D and many Icoms (including the 7800 and 756 Pro series) but not the 7600 I can say with confidence the following:

1. As others have said the 7600 is rather intuitive. You will probably learn 80% of its functionality within a relatively short period of time.  The FT-2000 is the exact opposite. The radio offers tremendous flexibility allowing you to tailor the radio to your needs at any given time. Admittedly, many of the FT-2000's menu settings are set-and-forget, but it takes time to experiment what settings are best for you. For some of us this is fun...learning is a significant part of the hobby. For others it's quite frustrating.  You will be studying the FT-2000 manual for some time.

2. The FT-2000 had a lousy reputation for the first 18 months of its release. The rig was not ready when brought to the market. However, Yaesu made a significant commitment to improve the radio through successive firmware upgrades.  The FT-2000D I had when I eventually sold did not resemble the FT-2000D I purchased.  Icom does firmware upgrades with the IC-7800 and IC-7700..not sure if that's the case with the IC-7600.

3. Yes, a number of ops have commented on the FT-2000's poor 3kHz roofing filter. Yes, there is every reason to believe it wasn't designed properly. However, for 99% of the ops out there it really doesn't matter. Why? Roofing filters only offer significant improvement under very specific conditions such as exceptionally crowded bands (aka contests). The Mother of All Roofing Filter Vendors (INRAD) said the same when they came out with their aftermarket roofing filters. Further, I would wager that the vast majority of hams don't know how to effectively engage the rig's selectivity. In other words, unless you're a contester or avid DX'er with the requisite antennas don't obsess about roofing filters.

4. The IC-7600 is 50% more than the FT-2000. That is not a trivial amount of money. How is your antenna system?

5. I believe the IC-7600 uses dual-watch (2nd receiver only for same band as main receiver).  The FT-2000 does not have a true 2nd receiver either, however, I seem to recall the FT-2000's 2nd receiver would work on bands adjacent to the rig's main receiver.

Hope this helps...

Harry WE1X
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N4NYY
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 06:41:38 AM »

I have a Yaesu FT-950 that replaced an Icom 746. I am striclty talking about customer service and customer relations. Stay away from Icom. I have had several of the issues associated with the 746, and Icom was close to being the worst customer service I had ever had experienced with consumer products. If I treated my customers, the way they treated me, I would have been fired.

Secondly, Icom has virtually abandoned the low end tranceiver market, like the $1,500 range. Most of their radios are big bucks, starting at $3,000.
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WD4MBE
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 07:14:20 AM »

Todd,

I, like you, use a FT-920. Good radio except for the filter leakage or blow-by. I am not going to go the Inrad filter route with this radio so I, too, am looking.

I am not a contester or dxer anymore but do operate on the upper part of 75 ssb. That part of the band can be horrible with splatter and qrm. I want a radio that does have the roofing filters that really work.

I was almost ready to buy the IC-7600. Then I saw the FT-5000 and checked the specs on this rig.  It is more radio than I need or want especially with the 2nd receiver. However, the close in numbers appear to be very, very good from the owners that I have heard from so far. Also, there are knobs and buttons instead of being menu intensive for things I need on a daily basis.

If your choice is between the FT-2000 or IC-7600 I would probably go with the Icom. I would consider the FT-5000 if the price would fit in your budget. It would, price wise, be a strech for me, but I may go for it after I see what QST has to say about it when it appears in their product review.

Anyway, good luck with your purchase!

73's,

Larry-WD4MBE
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WE1X
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 07:41:44 AM »

Just a follow-up to N4NYY and the previous posts.

I had been a loyal Icom fan for many years. I began to sour on Icom after experiencing an equipment failure with a 2-week old IC-7800. The rig had to be returned to Icom for servicing...on my dime (ooops..sorry on my $150). Given Icom had a history of PA failures across a swath of 7800 production dates and serial numbers and no convincing solution I decided to sell the rig. Then came the Icom IC-746PRO. Very nice rig and value for the money. However, the back light failure and repeated IC-151 failures among a significant number of owners raised concern of design issues..but again, not according to Icom.  Then reported issues with Icom 756Pro IIIs suffering from repeated ESD-related failures. In short, I have the sinking feeling Icom is becoming the Toyota of ham radio. Once well-known for quality product, I'm beginning to wonder if the company is suffering from design and manufacturing challenges.  Note this is NOT unique to Icom. Believe me, Yaesu has its share as does Elecraft (I have a K3). However, I believe Icom's drop in quality has been far more significant than Yaesu's (maybe my expectations were higher). Note I recently purchased an Icom IC-7200 as a backup and portable rig and believe it's a good performer for its price class. Time will tell if there are any serious issues. So I guess I have some "love" left for Icom.

If I were to spend $2400 to $4000 for a new rig I probably would go with an Elecraft K3 (which I eventually did). Yes, the ergonomics take some getting used to (but I didn't find it all that challenging or awkward), and the K3 is not as glamorous as some other rigs, but you can build (or have the rig built) the way you want and add new features later. Support from Elecraft and the Elecraft community is simply outstanding.

Going back to the original question...consider your operating style, antenna system and where you would like to make improvements to your station as key criteria for identifying possible rigs.

Harry WE1X
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WE1X
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 07:50:07 AM »

Unless you have the dollars and patience of Job I would never purchase a new rig just introduced to the market...regardless of the manufacturer. Give it a year to 18 months for production and design issues to be identified and hopefully resolved. This is particularly true with some of the higher-end rigs due to their complexity. Witness what Yaesu went through with the FT-2000 and FT-9000 series, Icom with the IC-7800, Ten Tec with the original Orion and Elecraft with first runs of the K3. All very nice radios, but time needed to get the bugs out.

Harry WE1X
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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 08:41:25 AM »

I have had my Icom IC-7600 for almost a year. Haven't had one single thing to complain about. The factory default settings for just about everything really don't need to be changed, unless you just have to mess with them.

When I first turned it on, I though it was broken! It wasn't; it's just that much quieter than my previous Icom.

The one feature I can't comment on is the speech processor, as I never use one. I haven't even had it turned on. Ever!


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WD4MBE
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 10:01:50 AM »

Todd,

I just remembered that Icom is coming out with a new rig soon, the IC-9100.  It covers 1.8 to 432mhz with an option for 1200mhz.  Also, there is an option for  6 and 3 mhz roofing filters.  I don't know the price but it is replacing the 746 Pro. I am expecting the new rig with options to be close to a FT-2000 in price.

Good luck with your decision!

73's,

Larry-WD4MBE
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WD4MBE
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 10:07:01 AM »

Todd...I meant 3 & 6 khz roofing filters and not mhz for the IC-9100.  It's been a long day already! 73's de Larry
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N5XO
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 10:41:43 AM »

In my shack I have a Icom 756 Pro II, a pro III and a 7600.....I like the features and the bandscopes built into the Icoms.

I have an FT 920, 2 FT 2000D's and will be going after a FT 5000 some time later this year.

I personally would go with the FT 2000 over the Icom. The Yaesu are better built rigs, I have had more failures over the years with Icoms from the displays going out, RF coming in from other antennas {seperated by over 20ft} damaging an Icom 746. The Icoms are not built as tough in my opinion as the Yaesu's.

I have been using Yaesu's for over 15 years and todate have NEVER had one fail. Not that the next five minutes one could fail.

Most of the grips people have about the FT 2000 is pure and simple because they want to pull it out of the box turn it on and use it, and do not bother to read up and program properly for the use they put it through. Set up a Ft 2000 properly by going through the menu's and you will have a rig that will blow you away.

The 7600 is nice, and it has a lot of great bells and whistles, am I sorry I purchased it, NO. But it will prob be my last Icom....I'm just not that thrilled with them.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2010, 10:42:30 AM »

"2. The FT-2000 had a lousy reputation for the first 18 months of its release. The rig was not ready when brought to the market. However, Yaesu made a significant commitment to improve the radio through successive firmware upgrades. The FT-2000D I had when I eventually sold did not resemble the FT-2000D I purchased. Icom does firmware upgrades with the IC-7800 and IC-7700..not sure if that's the case with the IC-7600."


While the above statement is true, it is not relegated solely to Yaesu. Icom had constant problems with the 746pro series, and never got it right, even after 18 months. Late in the production life, Icom completely redesigned the PA part of the 746pro. The jury is still out on the later rev 746pros. But they made many years worth of distastrous 746pros.

BTW, the moniker that Icom is the "Toyota of ham radio" , is very true as far as I am concerned.
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N5XO
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2010, 10:46:43 AM »

Quote:

Believe me, Yaesu has its share as does Elecraft (I have a K3). However, I believe Icom's drop in quality has been far more significant than Yaesu's (maybe my expectations were higher). Note I recently purchased an Icom IC-7200 as a backup and portable rig and believe it's a good performer for its price class. Time will tell if there are any serious issues. So I guess I have some "love" left for Icom.

End of Quote:===============================

With the quality issues I and others have had with Icom the past 4 to 5 years, we around here joke that MFJ must have bought them out.
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VE7CKZ
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 11:39:31 AM »

Thanks for all the input from everyone.  It's still a tough decision.  I have had an Icom 735 years ago, and it was great.  I presently like the FT 920, but want to update a bit.
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