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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-950 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-950
Yaesu FT-950 Reviews: 285 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1840
Description: The Yaesu FT-950 is an HF/6m transceiver which features IF DSP as well as 3 kHz, 6 kHz and 15 kHz roofing filters. The transceiver can be interfaced with the DMU-2000 to add additional functions such Band Scope, Audio Scope, X-Y Oscilloscope, World Clock, Rotator Control, and extensive transceiver status displays, in addition to station logging capability. The optional RF µTuning Kits may be connected via the rear panel, providing improved selectivity to protect the receiver from close-in interference on a crowded band.
Product is in production.
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KV4AN Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2009 04:38 Send this review to a friend
PLENTY OF CONTROLS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
XYL got me an FT-950 for Christmas and it is a very nice rig. Plenty of knobs, buttons, and menus to keep even the most hard-core ham happy. I love to fiddle with the controls while I operate and this radio has them with excellent visual feedback on the display so you don't feel like you are in a sensory deprivation chamber.

The receive filters are SUPERB and the filters work on digital modes perfectly. I run packet on 30 meter APRS and I no longer hear the nearby Pactor robots (set menu 055 to 1700 for KAM 300 baud and use 500 Hz filter).

The only thing I don't like is the Digital Noise Reduction. It works fine on SSB, but attenuates a CW signal if you turn it up much past 4. I thought there was something wrong with the audio amplifier because I had the volume almost all the way up and was having trouble hearing the CW station. Keep the DNR down and the radio works fine on CW. The CW zero-beat meters is a wonderful visual aid. It's hard to tell from the manual, but you don't need the optional DVS-6 to use the CW contest keyer memories.

Here are my equalizer settings: 091:300 092:-4 093:3 094:1000 095:3 096:3 097:2700 098:8 099:3 (same for PE menus) 064:3-27 for stair-step general purpose communications quality audio as shown on the PCC-950 software equalizer graph.

Bottom line is a very nice good quality radio that lets you sample everything HF/6 has to offer and a great digital modes radio.
K9ROD Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2009 19:02 Send this review to a friend
What a Radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I first saw this radio at HRO Denver. I knew that I had to hae one as soon as I saw it. I have really enjoyed all the features (and there are many) this radio has to offer. I'm looking forward to some software projects with the DMU-2000 that goes with it. So far the only things I don't like are limited use of the keyboard with the DMU-2000 unit and the Automatic Antenna Tunner. The ATU needs to be retunned all the time. Even on the same band. But these are small thing compared to all it has to offer.
G0KYX Rating: 4/5 Dec 18, 2009 15:28 Send this review to a friend
Early Days  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Early days yet, but initially I am very impressed with the rig, and as I get used to using it, I'm sure I will be even more impressed. However, I find the in-build atu very limiting. In a retirement complex, I'm limited in my choice of antenna and have a Sandpiper MV6+3. At resonance on 80 and 40 it is impossible to use the whole band without an external atu. This surprised me, as the auto atu on my old TS 450SAT would "tune" for the whole band in each case. Not an insurmountable problem, but a disappointment. More comments later!! de G0KYX
N1TX Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2009 13:33 Send this review to a friend
Best value and better after PEP updates  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an update to my original post from 12/24/2007. I bought the FT950 two years ago to replace another high-end (but middle-age) Yaesu rig, and I've never looked back. Budget and performance both factored heavily into my decision, and I confess to have been on the fence for several weeks while I considered other top performers in the $2000-2500 range. I am not normally one to run out and purchase the "latest and greatest" of anything, preferring to see how things pan out in the market. I've had enough pain as a beta-tester. In this case, though, I just had to try the FT-950.

Two years later, the rig has been through the wringer and reliably provided 13,000+ contacts in CW, SSB, and RTTY contests. You can see I have some basis for highly recommending this moderately-priced rig.

The DSP-heavy rig required some learning curve, since its analog cousins are much more forgiving of mis-adjustment and sloppy operation. Powerful IF filtering and signal enhancement combinations are a true blessing, but you have to know under what conditions they perform best. Once I gained a couple of months experience with the FT-950, I became quite comfortable making it do what I wanted it to do every time.

I purchased the DMU-2000 at the same time, which is a very nice, if expensive, accessory. Besides the obvious bandscope and audio scope niceties, the DMU provides explicit, in-depth information about the radio settings, and it makes menu navigation a snap.

Along came some software updates from Yaesu about a year ago, which seemed to make the audio somewhat more harsh, and I think the update was a step backward in noise reduction. However, the latest PEP updates have greatly improved things. The display functionality has become more human-friendly, too. I am extremely happy to see Yaesu supporting the rig with sensible upgrades.

I'm now shopping for a second FT-950 to use in the KL2R contest shack. That's how much confidence I have in it.
OE4VIE Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2009 03:57 Send this review to a friend
Unbeatable for price  Time owned: more than 12 months
Unbeatable for price Time owned: more than 12 months
I am using this rig more than 12 months now. Still works perfectly, and has been improved or updated with firmware updates when available. The receiver sensitivity and audio quality is outstanding.
CW functions are great. Also I use this rig together with an 2m transverter and they performed very well, it is nice to use the FT-950 functions on 2m too.....great stuff!
This rig has to be one of the best buys for the money.
KT0DD Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2009 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Surprised me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I sold a Ten Tec Orion II due to financial hardship and was looking for a bang-for-the-buck rig to replace it. I listened to the 950 at HRO in Denver and the receive audio caught my attention. It sounded alot like the old Kenwood audio which I like. So I decided to try one.

While this is NOT an Orion II class rig, I was mildly surprised at how many features & flexibility the FT950 offers. You can adjust everything from DC to daylight, and it has a TX equalizer that puts the OII TX tone control to shame. I was probably wasting a great CW rig with the Orion as I dont do CW. I think the FT950 will be in this house a long time as it meets all my basic needs. 73
OE4VIE Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2009 10:42 Send this review to a friend
Unbeatable for price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am using this rig more than 12 months now. Still works perfectly, and has been improved or updated with firmware updates when available. The receiver sensitivity and audio quality is outstanding.
CW functions are great. Also I use this rig together with an 2m transverter and they performed very well, it is nice to use the FT-950 functions on 2m too.....great stuff!
This rig has to be one of the best buys for the money.
G3XOV Rating: 4/5 Nov 30, 2009 06:16 Send this review to a friend
Good choice for me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I use cw 100% and am quite pleased wih the 950
in this mode. Previously owned an Ft2000,Ft450,
Pro3,7400 and Ic7200 but like the 950 enough to
have added the DMU to the station primarily for
the bandscope function.The radio is easy to
operate and everything does what I expect it to
do apart from the noise reduction which is just
unusable. It will take out the noise but it also
takes out the wanted signal and no ammount of
tweaking will stop this happening.This is my
reason for the 4/5 rating.Otherwise very pleased
with it.
K4TB Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2009 17:04 Send this review to a friend
FT-950 or IC-756 Pro 3  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the FT-950 about 2 weeks ago and am also fortunate to own the Icom 756 Pro 3, so I thought some hams might be interested in my comparisons of the two. I also purchased the MTU 80/40 and 30/20 microtuner units for the FT-950.

First, I can say both are super rigs. The FT-950 is every bit a match for the Pro 3 in many ways but each has something over the other. It’s sort of like comparing a PC to a Mac, or an Acura to a Lexus. Here are some detailed comparisons:

- FT-950 has more adjustable audio response for both TX and RX. You can enhance the RX audio to make it sound like (almost) studio quality, or tighten it up for good communications quality. The Icom has just plain solid communications quality audio which is optimum for digging out the weak ones. The FT-950 can do just as well but may require more adjustment, since there are more adjustments. I found I could make the two rigs sound about the same on any given signal, once I found the right adjustments.

- The audio contour control on the FT-950 is amazing and the Icom doesn't have anything that quite matches it. I found that setting the contour control level for peaking (+ gain) rather than leaving it at the default level (- gain) significantly enhanced received SSB voice, while the CW peaking mode greatly enhanced CW reception.

- The Icom DNR is definitely easier to adjust and perhaps more effective than the FT-950 DNR, although the FT-950 DNR works well too.

- The FT-950 can sound better than the Icom on moderate or strong SSB signals because of the ability to make more audio adjustments.

- The Icom may have a very, very slight edge over the FT-950 when listening to weak CW over a long period. You can hear weak CW just as well on each, but the Icom has a smoother background noise. Both receivers seem equally sensitive however.

- Icom does a better job of implementing both the manual and automatic notch filters. The FT-950 notches work well but it takes a little more adjustment with them than with the Icom.

- The NB is slightly better on the FT-950 but the Icom has a super NB too. The FT-950’s NB has two selectable widths - narrow or wide – each with its on level adjustment.

- The Icom has only a 15 KHz roofing filter while the FT-950 sports 15, 6 & 3 KHz. The more narrow filters do reduce band splatter noise a little better than the 15 KHz filters.

- The FT-950 has the optional outboard microtuning preselectors which provide an effect similar to the roofing filters, i.e. a slight reduction in band noise, especially from static crashes. They are an interesting reuse of technology seen back in earlier days of ham radio. Their effect is somewhat subtle so don’t expect these filters to perform miracles despite their cost. They should be very useful in providing immunity from interference by co-located stations at a multi-station site, like in Field Day.

- I found the FT-950’s implementation of the VFO B/Clarifier knob a little confusing, and wish the knob had a friction adjustment like the main tuning knob so it wasn’t too easy to turn. Nevertheless I could readily use it for split operation when desired. The Icom dual watch feature and clarifier implementation are definite benefits by comparison.

- I didn’t have a problem that the FT-950 has such an extensive menu selection. I like the fact that though the menu you can tailor so many things to suit your taste. Although some have complained about not having a power control on the front panel, I think that having it in a menu makes it less likely to change the power erroneously, as when using a transverter. Similarly I don’t use features like DNR or DNF so much that I need a knob. For knob lovers, there’s the higher-priced FT-2000 or FT-9000.

- Some of the other things I love on the FT-950 are the CW tuning and CW spot features, and the instant audio mute functions. Additionally the ability to do software upgrades is a plus for the FT-950 in my book. Yaesu’s new free PC control software for the FT-950 provides some nice extra tools also.

- Of course the Icom has the invaluable spectrum scope which I love. Coupling that with its dual-watch function, and the fact it is the only rig currently hooked up to my amplifier, it is still my contest go-getter. Those things notwithstanding, I find the FT-950 really fun to operate and will probably use it more than the Icom for the indefinite future. The FT-950 cannot be beaten for the price, and even if you add the DMU-2000 and a computer monitor for the band scope function like the Icom, the FT-950 still costs less.
OE5BFM Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2009 02:36 Send this review to a friend
Smply satisfied after one year  Time owned: more than 12 months
After owning my FT-950 now for one year, I write my neutral impressions. That means I am not a fan of one brand. My other rigs are the famous Kenwood TS-930 and the Kenwood TS-830, both with all CW-Filters in it.

I used the rig on the big antennas of our Club-station, also on fieldday-antennas, did SSB, CW and PSK and in summary there were no problems.

First, this rig seems to be very durable. I never heard or read in the net about frequently occuring problems. Also mine works fine without any troubles.

Normally I like radios which are simple to use, because I want make contacts and not "play" with radios, hi. But the menues of the FT-950 are really no problem to use, only one knob to reach them, choosing for the right one and adjusting it. I think, that couldn´t be easier.

This radio has a lot of possibilities to adjust the modulation.
The free software from the yaesu site PCC-950 has the facility to show the frequency-curve of your modulation-response. Really a great help! I adujsted it to the same curve as e.g. the famous astatic or shure microfones have and I get very fine reports!

One thing I noticed in CW-Mode. If using the narrow filters, eg. 400Hz or less, the hiss sounds a bit "harder" in comparison to my analog rigs. Maybe this will be a bit tiring for some hams when listening for hours. But on the other hand, the possiblilty to dig out weak CW-signals and bring them into the understandable range is really great and just as well as on my TS-930 /TS-830.

Of course it´s alway a question of your demands, and there are enough rigs available for more money which possible meet them, but I think my demands are not so little and even after one year I am satisfied. And don´t forget the price!
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