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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-990 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-990
Yaesu FT-990 Reviews: 139 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1995 ac 1795 dc
Description: Yaesu FT-990
Product is not in production.
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DL6ZB Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2016 04:13 Send this review to a friend
A masterpiece from YAESU  Time owned: more than 12 months
AF hiss might be a drawback for some users of a YAESU FT-990.

The 3rd IF chain of this transceiver is broadband. This is the reason for the AF hiss.

The 3rd IF is 455 kHz. It should be filtered with a simple ceramic filter at the input of T3001(transformer on the AF UNIT pcb). The transformer is followed by a quad Schottky diode product detector ND487-C1.

Anyway, that quarter century transceiver is one of the best until today when that modification has been done.

Some users of the FT-990 will certainly miss a CW sidetone knob on the front panel.

The RX ANT front panel switch of the FT-990 offers a surprising feature in conjunction with the RX IN and RX OUT connectors on the rear. When a simple broadband wilkinson divider is connected with its input at the RX OUT and one output at the RX IN, there's one output port of the divider left for connecting a SDR or a second receiver. The loss is only 3 dB which is neglectable. This is much better solution for DXers than a second built-in receiver (as the FT-1000MP offers). It makes the FT-990 a modern rig with SDR capabilities.

The transceiver's antenna tuner is very well designed. It tunes most impedances quick and accurate.

The full-bk feature of the FT-990 is superior compared to many other transceivers. No "overshoot" was observed when connected to a linear amplifier.

SSB modulation quality depends on the microphone. I use a MH-31 hand held and a MD-100 desk mic. All AF filters of the MD-100 should be switched off for best results.

I installed an Inrad 125 Hz CW filter instead of a YAESU 250 Hz filter. This really makes the difference. The Inrad 125 Hz CW filter is extremly narrow, although no ringing has been observed. It is a MUST for the serious DXer as a replacement for modern digital filters.

The FT-990 is one of the best transceivers from the analog era. I tested the FT-1000MP, FT-2000, Kenwood TS-950 and others. The FT-990 is my favorite after I modified it properly. Yes, of course, there's a little work to do.

If you are interested in a FT-990, I strongly recommend that you check for a V1.3 version of the firmware. The 1.2 version is very buggy and cannot be used with most available CAT software. The FT-990's firmware is a ROM version which is fixed programmed in the microprocessor. There's no update option except to change the micro. There are no more microprocessors of this type available on the market. Therefore an update from V1.2 to V1.3 is impossible today.

If you are looking for a small budget first class transceiver then I recommend the FT-990.
KG4GGG Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2015 15:52 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I love my FT-990. I've owned it now for about 6 months and its by far my favorite radio. Yes, its a few years old and does not have all the bells and whistles but it does the job and I can work almost any station I hear!

I just had it aligned and it has a 100 watt power output. It tunes just about anything I've put up antenna wise.

I also have a newer Icom but it sits on the shelf as a spare as this is THE radio for me.
W5JCS Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2015 09:29 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding rig even compared to todays newer rigs  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this Yaesu FT-990 at Dayton 2015. I am delighted with this radio. It really is a step up from the newer mid-priced rigs I have been running. I was surprised and overjoyed with the antenna tuner. It is a real matching network that can match almost anything unlike many of the newer rigs that can only handle 3:1 SWR. The audio reports coming back to me are excellent. It has been a long time since others have commented on my audio without requesting. Excellent audio reports are common. I hear NO hiss as some reviewers have mentioned in this outstanding receiver. Maybe I have a newer model and Yaesu handled that situation. It has beautiful receive audio. I am running the audio out into a JBL Control 2P speaker. Tuning is extremely smooth. The filters are wonderful. This is an excellent buy at a fraction of the original price. I use this rig on CW and the Bandwidth buttons, shift control and Digital Filter really handles adjacent interference. Highly recommend this Yaesu FT-990.
WC0L Rating: 3/5 Apr 21, 2015 20:30 Send this review to a friend
Agree with HB9PJT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a new FY-990DC back in 1993 and kept it until 2000. HB9PJT is exactly correct. There was a well documented receive audio hiss that was evident on my rig and most others back in the day. I put INRAD filters in it and tried various audio filters to try to cover up the hiss, but it still bothered me. Transmit audio was completely mediocre as well. I was happy to trade this rig on a new Kenwood TS-2000.
HB9PJT Rating: 3/5 Apr 20, 2015 08:53 Send this review to a friend
Noisy and uncomfortable RX audio  Time owned: more than 12 months
We have a FT-990 and two TS-2000 in our club for contesting. I don't like the RX sound of the FT-990. It is not as transparent as the TS-2000 and listening makes a lot more tired than the TS-2000. Also the audio of the TS-990 is noisy from the AF amp. With the SC filter switched in the AF amp noise goes away but the audio quality then is degraded once more.
KC0NQY Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2015 22:30 Send this review to a friend
one of the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had several radios, 570DG and TS2000. I sold the 570 to get the 990. I currently have both the 990 and 2000. I can honestly say the 990 is a better tranciever. The recieve is great and has a nice tone. The smooth dial and real meter are a plus.Audio is fantastic with a Re320.
K4FY Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2015 11:50 Send this review to a friend
I'll keep it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
A little update seems appropriate. I have owned the FT-990 for over a year now. In my opinion, the FT-990 is an exceptional radio. I recently had the radio gone through and realigned to new condition. That made it even better. Power output is 110 watts on all bands, the antenna tuner is amazing and handles an SWR of 5.0:1. The radio is smooth to operate and the lack of menus is a plus.

I donít know how the 990 could be any better on CW break-in. The ďspotĒ feature is better than nothing but no great shakes. Audio reports with a D-104, Yaesu hand mike, and the Yaesu desk mike have been very good. The audio DSP filter is very effective, especially on CW and doesnít ring on tight settings.

I recently acquired a Yaesu FTdx 1200 new. Itís a bit of apples and oranges by comparison. The 1200 is a very fine radio with a ton of features and capability. One can stay entertained just going through the up-front menu and experimenting. I like the 1200 a lot.

I love the 990. Iíll keep it.
K4IIE Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2014 18:40 Send this review to a friend
Great oldie  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the finest rigs I've owned.Been a ham for 55 years and have had them all.Bought used in mint condition and looks new.WorKs perfectly and has all filters.Since it doesn't have built-in dsp,use a WMR CLRdsp.Matches my other Yaesus(FT1000D and FT1000 Mk5 Field).Always get fantastic audio reports with the Heil 780 mic.Receiver is exceptional.Easy to use and NO menus.A keeper,look for a nice one and you won't be disappointed.K4IIE
VA3MLV Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2014 12:01 Send this review to a friend
Update   Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok update review. Same Transceiver as before "FT990AC" with all optional filters installed. Yaesu MD100A8X desktop mic & now the W2IHY 8 Band EQ + Noise Gate was added. The TX audio is alot richer & fuller now with versatile options for DX or Rag chewing. W2IHY gear is a great addition for the FT990 or any transceiver. Also very help full is a external RX EQ i use which eliminates & enhances what I need or don't want to hear. Overall even without all the additions I did this Transceiver was used all by itself for a long time & was still a great performer but with these additions is even better.
K5VSH Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2013 17:09 Send this review to a friend
a good old unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the FT-990 from HRO, just as they were being dis-continued. That was about 16 years ago. It's been a trouper. I've operated it with and without a linear. I will be putting in my recently purchased RV. Never had it worked on.
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