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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3) Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3)
Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3) Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $2585.00
Description: Factory upgrade of the Omni VI to VI+
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3).

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K5RCR Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2012 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Still great after 20 years  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently got the opportunity to obtain an Omni 6 v 3 as an ebay purchase. It had recently been to the factory for alignment and is essentially a brand new, 20 year old radio. I have read a number of reviews and comparisons of this rig to others, most notably the most recent ON4UN Low Band DXing book and the Sherwood evaluations. The receiver still receives high praise even in comparison to the K2/K3 rigs widely believed to be the best.

To cut to the chase, this is the best reciever I have used in 40+ years of hamming. CW signals are crisp, even very weak signals. The DSP noise reduction [NR] seems to work like magic. After about ~ half a second of pushing the button, the noise just melts away and the signal pops out. Brilliant!

I added a 250 Hz cw filter to the 6 MHz band pass..couldn't help but notice that this is one of the best built radios I have ever owned. Really good metal work and it looks like it can take a punch if it had to. By current standards it is a big radio, but as a result very easy to use.

Transmit side seems to work well, but I have not yet rewired the Heil Pro Set to the Omni plugs, but have managed to get past a minor pile up with VP8LP today and made contact on the first try.

The Omni easily interfaces with my little Ameritron AL-811 AMP.

Summary - wish I had the radio 20 years ago!
 
KJ4XX Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2012 09:32 Send this review to a friend
Still Awesome  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the regular Omni VI from a friend mainly to make sure I would have it if he passed. He is at this writing still ticking and very funny, but not able to operate radio. He had issues with this radio and sent it back three times and whatever the issue was he didn't feel they corrected it. When I bought it I sent it to Ten-Tec and I was too late for option 1 and 2 but they did the Option 3. I've owned, if only for a short time, about 40 HF rigs, but without really good antennas most of the time. When I received the Omni VI Opt. 3 back it was like a new radio. Sitting next to Yaesu Mk 5 and 775 DSP it eventually became my DX radio. On a 4 ele. beam I now could tell the difference easily. What takes one or two turns to get rid of adjacent noise on the Omni while working DX takes about 20 minutes on the 775 or Mark 5. I did work Peter I on the 765s but I worked Yemen and Somalia in the first 30 minutes with the Omni. The receiver is great. I'm not happy with the drive and if I were using a high drive amp that would be an issue, however I'm using an 8877 amp and so drive is not that important. After my relocation I plan to add an automatic tuner on the Omni just for a little protection. The Mk 5 is gone and the 775DSP is used on 75 and 40, no longer for DX, just rag chewing. So on the used market today for the prices I am seeing, it is a great radio. Don't forget this is the last ham band only radio, which I believe is one reason there is so little internally generated noise. If I could only change the clock :-)
 
K2JF Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2010 10:07 Send this review to a friend
Totally Enjoyable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm mostly a CW op - maybe 80% of the time and heard so much about the Ten Tec "legendary" QSK that I picked up a Scout to use for portable QRP operation. Using the QSK just once turned my head around. I've had great rigs before, the Omni VI opt3 is not the first, but the full break-in is like nothing else I've used. What else do I like about the rig? I found it to be among the least intimidating in terms of opening it up and getting inside. The noise reduction works great; the tune function button is convenient. I don't miss the menu driven rig I sold to get this one - I like the simplicity and versatility. I bought this from Ten Tec and was pleased dealing with them. Besides all this it just feels good to buy American once again!
 
W2DWL Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2009 19:37 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I, like some other owners of Ten Tec gear didn't think I could find a better radio than my Corsair II, but I was wrong. The Omni VI (opt3) is one great radio with the filtering and dsp that really does work. As it is a great CW rig I also get unsolicited audio reports, and the radio is stll being supported by Ten Tec
 
W4HT Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2008 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Perhaps the best CW rig I've ever used  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Like the previous poster I thought nothing would ever replace my Corsair II for day to day operation but it looks like the Omni VI Option 3 will. I have used a variety of HF rigs over the last 40+ years as a ham but this them all beat. The receiver is excetionally sensitive and selective. The DSP really does work as advertised and makes CW signals literally leap out of the background noise. The receiver is nearly "crunch proof" from strong adjacent signals. I have a full compliment of filters and am able to separate very close CW sgnals very well. The LP function does add a touch of bass to the receiver audio when my aging ears need it. I do operate some SSB and am given unsolicited great aduio reports there too. At the current price point the rig is an exellent value and is still fully supported by Ten Tec. This was a winner when it came out in the early 90's and the upgrade to Option 3 makes it sweeter in my book. I will keep my Corsair II but this rig is now front and center at my operating position. If you find one, buy it and enjoy.
 
WA2SOC Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2008 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Really sweet  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I thought nothing would replace my trusty Corsair but the OMNI VI/3 has done it. It was obviously something like a dozen years old when I bought it a few months ago so it needed a little work, but it was well worth it. I replaced the (failing) crystal oven with a new TCXO and I recommend the change.

Mine has every possible filter and with the 250Hz filters on in both positions and the DSP noise reduction and LP filter on, the receiver is pretty much "single signal". If you have ever tried to copy W1AW code practice through all the junk that usually surrounds it you know what a mess that can be. With the filters and PBT set right, W1AW sounds like a practice tape. As with the Corsair, if you think the receiver is noisy, turn down the RF gain to a sensible value.

I used it for a week before I even looked at the manual and operation for me was intuitive. The only thing I needed the manual for was setting the clock; that I never would have figured out. It is really easy to operate with my left hand while I send with the right, important for NCS duty.

The only problem is that I was sort of excited about the idea of buying a new radio someday, but now I can't think of a good excuse. I guess I'll have to put up a tower instead.
 
K5MO Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2008 05:52 Send this review to a friend
Best of the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned many rigs, and there's nothing in the category that the OmniVI is in. While I'm mostly a CW op these days, this is a fantastic rig in any mode. Mine has a full compliment of roofing filters, and when the going gets rough, the Omni will pull out the other station if its there at all. Brick wall filtering, tight integration with the Centurion amp make this rig a real pleasure to operate.

Clearly one of the best bargains in used radios.
 
WR3KI Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2008 04:16 Send this review to a friend
Well kept secret  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the Omni VI opt 3, with the inrad roofing filter & audio mod. I picked this rig up here on a whim, (on eham) & could not believe the performance. I've had the rig about 2 years now. Soon after purchase, I sold off the venerable Icom 781 & a 765. This rig hears them, where they were mere whispers on the other rigs. The Sherwood measurements tell it all. Of course you need good antennas, (maybe the fellas below didn't?). I do however have a good location & antennas. Quiet location on an island, Chesapeake bay of Md. K9AY loop, & full sized 1/4 verticals for 75, 40 et al. All mounted on our pier in the Bay. This is a straight forward rig & does not have all of the fancy dancy features of the ja rigs. Just good raw performance. I recommend the rig, for dx & rag chewing, as I have it configured with the inrad mods. A real bargain, at current price levels on the used market. All the best from Kent Island, MD. WR3KI
 
N3JBH Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2008 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Best i had so far.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using 2 Jupiter’s an Icom 746 many yaesu’s etc, I never has a radio that pulled in the weak ones like this Omni VI Opt 3 … I do not hear all the birdies like some have stated, The audio on SSB is tight but then so is the filtering, But then that what I wanted.
The processor works great well heck every thing works great.

I had my fling with the fancy DSP stuff and found that real filters worked best for me.
The notch filters is really deep and best I ever seen, And the stupid noise blanker on the jupe was a joke. Man they sure made a great one on the Omni VI.

I am afraid it will be a cold day in h#ll before I loose this radio,
 
W8GP Rating: 4/5 May 10, 2008 10:24 Send this review to a friend
Over rated, over priced, featureless radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I kind of regret having to write this review because I had high hopes for this radio(perhaps that's the problem, my hopes were too high).And let me qualify this review by saying it is aimed at SSB performance, the CW performance with a 500hz filter was more than adequate for me. I am a casual DXer and contester on the low bands and I was looking for something that would outperform my older radios,a Yaesu FT-107 and Icom IC-735,but the performance I expected just wasn't there. During extensive A-B testing, the receiver was no better than the older rigs during normal (non-contest) conditions, and at no time could I hear a signal on one rig that was not audible on the others.A serious problem is the muddy sounding audio which makes it very hard to pull weak signals out from the noise, the '735 was much better in this regard.A call to Ten-tec revealed that this is the nature of the beast and than if I wanted good SSB audio, then I should buy a Paragon.I installed the Inrad audio mod but the difference was very slight. Also, the background noise was very high and although it probably doesn't hurt performance on the low bands, it was rather fatiguing to listen to after several hours. The receiver is full of birdies and one at 3791 was especially annoying.Again Ten-tec said there was nothing that could be done,and I didn't want to take the the time to shield everything myself, as was suggested on several web sites.At times I could hear what sounded like phantom splatter, but when I tuned up and down the band, I could not find the signal that might be causing it. The filter skirts were pretty good, but the optional 1.8khz first IF and 2.1khz second IF filters were not as effective as I hoped.
As for contesting, I used it during the CQWW phone and CW tests and it was OK but not exceptional. Realistically, the CW performance was probably better than the '107 and '735 but SSB was only mediocre, again due to the poor audio quality.It was just too tiresome to listen to for an entire contest weekend and this masked any benefit of having better ultimate dynamics.

Bottom line, I was disappointed in the rig and sold it after 7 months. I replaced it with a Yaesu FT-950 and although my experience with the new radio is still limited, I don't miss the Omni at all.
Summary
Pros:
Simple to operate
Convenient band changes and frequency control
Tight filter skirts
Excellent transmit audio
Switchable receive-only antenna
DSP notch filter very nice
Cons:
POOR RECEIVE AUDIO!
High background noise
DSP noise reduction marginal
VOX unusable with non-Ten
-tec mike( not enough mike amplifier gain to avoid drop-outs)
Birdies
Poor isolation of receive antenna
 
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