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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Ten-Tec Orion II Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Orion II
Ten-Tec Orion II Reviews: 77 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $4295.00 With Internal Tuner
Description: Premium High-End HF Transceiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://radio.tentec.com/
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VK6VZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2015 04:13 Send this review to a friend
Sounds gorgeous  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Without doubt the Orion II is the best sounding radio I have used in 44 years as a radio amateur.

Its strong signal performance and variable selectivity is superb and equal to my previous main radio, a relatively early serial number Elecraft K3. However, I enjoy the sound and tonal quality of Orion II audio more than that of its admirable predecessor.

I would class the Orion II audio as being good as the best of the previous generation of non-DSP radios, such as the Yaesu FT-1000, Icom IC-751A and Ten Tec Corsair.

In fact, my Orion II has given me back some faith that radios with DSP back-ends can sound as good as their analogue predecessors (although the rest of radios in the shack here are still currently old, non-DSP radios).

The Orion 2 hardware noise blanker is excellent and works well on general electrical noise, whilst the DSP noise blanker and noise reduction work on some types of electrical and atmospheric noise but not on others - in common with most DSP radios that I've used over the last decade or so.

The menu system has a simple, clear structure and is intuitive, which makes it a cut above any other menu system I've used in recent memory.

The Orion II came fitted with version 2 firmware, but has been upgraded with the current version 3.044xd.

Initially I spent a lot of time tinkering with the AGC threshold, but ended up setting it about 2.5uV for general use and following the KG6TT/N1EU recommendations in regard to setting RF and AF gain levels - see the 'Operating Tips and Hints' section on the Orion II pages on the Ten Tec wiki.

After setting the AF gain using this process (which ends up at a relatively high level), the preamp is left on all the time and the RF gain is used as the 'volume control'. I used a similar method on the K3, which also worked very well on that radio.

Greatly enjoy the cleverly-lit analogue 'S' meter and the bright colours of the screen/digital read-out on the Orion II.

In conclusion, it is sad that Ten Tec no longer makes this radio, which to use is like sitting in a very comfortable lounge chair designed by someone who really understands what an lounge armchair does and should feel like.

As radio is something we do in our spare time to make us happy, I reckon all radios should feel like this.
 
WA4FOM Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2014 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Eh, just look at my review of the original Orion  Time owned: more than 12 months
I did not notice a huge difference between the
Orion I and II other than the pretty color
display. I liked the rig so much I wanted to
get a second one from Ten-Tec, but they had *JUST*
sold the last one. Thank the Old Man for eBay.

If you can find one, BUY IT.
 
IZ0GPP Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2014 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Astonishing...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I knew very well i was buying an "old" radio and what i traded off for that was something really "tradable" BUT i'm astonished for what this O2 is capable of and my experience is based on top radios : FT9kD, Elecraft KX3, TR7, IC7k, IC756Pro3 and some others.
I really enjoy the TT flagship since i'm only CW and DX oriented; i'm measuring everyday this radio with A/B switching tests among all the radios and it's always the winner. I could tell more in the next future.
 
N1EU Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2013 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Top performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using the Orion II with optional RX366 subreceiver with all filter slots filled in both. It's an amazing versatile transceiver and does all things superbly: intense contesting, topband dx'ing with phase-locked diversity reception, ESSB/AM hifi audio, etc etc. Exceptional audio quality in receive and transmit. Very easy to use and quick to navigate front panel. Big color display with all the info you need in front of you, all the time. Big beautiful analog s-meter with full scale action even at reduced RF Gain. The v3 firmware release by Ten-Tec was a great enhancement.
 
W0PR Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2013 15:03 Send this review to a friend
Still Loyal  Time owned: more than 12 months
With the unfortunate news of TT dropping production of the Orion II, I'm saddened, but not forlorn. TT will continue to support this wonderful radio...the best I've ever owned.

With the enhanced second receiver, it's still at the top of Sherwood's receiver specs, much better in many ways than the much more expensive, highly touted JA rigs out there.

This is not meant to be a critical analysis, just one user's great experience with a phenomenal performing radio. Contesting, DXing or just rag chewing, it's a tough act to follow.
 
G3KMG Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2013 02:14 Send this review to a friend
After 6 Years...   Time owned: more than 12 months
In 59 years on air, my Orion (with ATU) has given me the best ever operating experience. Just as important has been reliability. Not one hardware or software problem.
What more can I say?
 
K3UR Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2013 18:01 Send this review to a friend
THE INCOMPARABLE ORION II  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After owning 19 HF radios in the past 36 years, I have found that my Orion II ranks at the top. To make a point, I sold my Yaesu FTdx5000MP that cost much more money.

As Net Control for the TEN-TEC 40 meter and 20 meter SSB Nets, I have checked in hundreths of Orion II radios and everyone has sounded excellent and all were completly satisfied with the all around performance of these radios.

The Orion II has an excellent close-in dynamic range and with the programable AGC, I can hear many of the weak stations that check into our nets.

The second receiver and the ability to use 3 antennas, makes the Orion II a DX'ers dream. The menus are very easy to set up and can be tailored to a persons preference.

I have been the Setup Specialist for the W2IHY Audio Gear for many years and the Orion II exceeds all expectations for mellifluous transmit audio. It is easy to EQ amd the receiver is fantastic. The headphones monitor circuit is outstanding and allows all of the lows, mids and highs to be heard. It also has the option of listening in stereo.

The autotuner is fast and quiet and upgrading to the latest version is quick and easy via the internet.

When anyone searches all of the various groups that sell used radios, you will seldom see an Orion II for sale.

The Orion II has exceeded all of my expectations and is the best all around HF radio in its orice class. In many ways it outperforms some of the higher price radios.

You can see my Orion II set up in my ham shack on QRZ http:www.qrz.com/db/k3ur and other pictures of it on the TEN-TEC Radio Net Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ten_tec_radio_net

Among the many advantages of owning a TEN-TEC product is they are made in America, near the Smokey Mountains in Sevierville, TN. I have been to the TEN-TEC production facility and have been given a complete tour of the production plant and have see these radios being built from start to finish.

The TEN-TEC staff are some of the friendliest down to earth people and truly care about their customers. They are also very knowledgeable and are Amateur Radio Operators just like us.

As a TEN-TEC Ambassador and Net Control of the TEN-TEC 20 meter and 40 meter SSB nets, I can give both the Orion II and the TEN-TEC company my highest ratings.

Come join us each Sunday afternoon on the TEN=TEC SSB Nets. The 40 meter net starts at 19:00 UTC (3 PM Eastern Time)on 7.261 and the 20 meter net follows at 20:00 UTC (4 PM Eastern Time) on 14.325. Thank you.

John Occhipinti, K3UR
Net Control, TEN-TEC SSB Nets

 
WA1SEO Rating: 3/5 Feb 22, 2013 05:49 Send this review to a friend
5 Year Wrap-up...Sold  Time owned: more than 12 months
In my previous review of the Orion 2, I gave it a 5. After 5 years of ownership, I am revising it down to a 3 for the following reasons: The firmware updates have taken forever. After they are released, there have been some bugs that take even longer to be resolved and some still are not. Most of the bugs are not caught by the "beta testers" and I've had to expend too much energy to devise tests to demonstrate the issues. The radio needs an internal fan to keep the electronics cooler. Performance wise, the radio is excellent but if you demand the performance AND support that should come with the price, the Orion 2 is just OK.

After dealing with the frustration of not getting simple and easy to fix quirks resolved, I sold it.
 
IZ5DKJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2013 09:11 Send this review to a friend
A true radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had many of the best radio on my desk,
of different brands and different models but the Ten Tec ORION II
It is certainly the most interesting machine to perform activities contest/dx.
It has many things in favor compared to the JAP, for example:
High selectivity, never felt in other radio.
Ease of use and ease of understanding of the menus.
Optimal ergonomics.
Sensitivity and low noise really impressive.

Just learn to use it to understand that we are in front of a transceiver
as a philosophy and as a really functioning at peak performance,
I can certainly advise you to those who want to make radio activity to the highest level.

There are also aspects that could improve, for example would be useful
also have six metres, it would be useful to include a bar graph for the cw tune
How have the yaesu.


Long live the Ten Tec!

73 Simone IZ5DKJ
 
AC5DF Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2012 20:02 Send this review to a friend
Wonderfull Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Ten Tec Orion 2 is a fantastic radio here in my shack. In comparison to other top end rigs I have owned, the Orion 2 is a hard core excellent working radio that makes me wonder where do they go from here. The nostalgic sounding modern receivers are my greatest pleasure with this rig let alone the modern features it has that satisfies my desires in a radio. It is truly a beautiful rig in its own way. Just installed Version 3.033xa firmware into it and it just keeps on getting better. With out being long winded I want you all to know I highly recommend the Ten Tec Orion 2 Radio. Terry AC5DF.
 
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