Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Yaesu FT-920

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-920
Reviews: 162MSRP: 2299
Yaesu FT 920 HF/6M Transceiver
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K5TVC Rating: 2023-01-22
Great look Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got to be one of the best looking transceiver ever built.
SP2AND Rating: 2020-12-30
Good , after getting a bit of service... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I tested this radio for about 2 months. It was given to me with the LCD CFL Back-Light problem and blinking characters issues. I fixed the Back-Light, which was repaired with the LED Service Kit made by myself (see bitstork MOD920LED on or on my page). After I fixed the LCD's Back-Light -I started to use the radio. After heating-up (1- 2 hours of work) - digits on the display started to blink. I identified the problem with the 60.7700 MHz local oscillator's crystal (I think it gets damaged after some time, because it is located very close to the Very Hot DSP unit!!!). This part is not available from YAESU any more. I ordered a production of those crystals (some pieces are still available as of Dec.2020) and could repair the radio. I made a few QSO on this rig and could compare it with FT1000xxx. Its audio sounds quite similar to other "big" YAESU radios, which are my favorite. Filters/options are limited, however, which is the drawback, I think.
vy73! de SP2AND
N4UE Rating: 2020-06-19
Wonderful 'old school' radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
OK, I'll admit it. I'm an official OF, being a ham for 58 years. Gosh.
While I was fortunate to have a great education (thank you Uncle Sam!), and a great career, I've always had a attraction for older radios I couldn't afford when I was a Novice. I have accumulated a LOT of older radios through the years, of every Mfg. I have an affinity for Drake and Collins.
However, at the present time I have a full compliment of modern Radios.....
An Icom 756PRO (purchased in Tokyo the week it was announced), a 7610, a 7300, a 9700 and a Kenwood TS-890. These radios are actually pretty much alike, but I like the scope of the old 756PRO the best. Go figure.
Anyway, the comments that the Icom 7300 has destroyed the used radio market is pretty close to fact.

For many years, I've read how great the Yaesu FT-920's receiver was on 6M (my favorite band).

I found a very nice 920 on eBay for a great price. It was mint, except for a few dirty knobs. Full output. Yaesu CW filter.

Although the 6M E-skip season has not started yet, I've been playing with the 920 on HF. It seems to be just fine. However, once you are used to using a band-scope, you will never go back!
I have also acquired 3 Inrad filters (1 CW, 250 Hz) and 2 SSB filters. 1.8 and 2,1 KHz, along with a new Inrad switching board for the SSB filters.

The preamp (normally in) seems to work perfectly.
The only issue I have encountered so far, is the 'birdies' on 6M.
Coming from a 'modern' radio, these birdies are a PITA but not a deal breaker.
Once I get the 3 Inrad filters installed (and the switch board), I'll update this early review.

For now, you cannot beat the quality of the 920 for the going price!!


Just a quick update concerning the NB function of the 920....
I live in a VERY small, OLD town here in North Florida. Every year, (about this time, Es season), I have horrible powerline noise issues. Always to my NW, (natch!) I've been through this BEFORE the Internet and any books on powerline noise. My Utility Co. RFI Investigator is an awesome Extra ham.
He has a work order in place for next week for a pole or two to be 'reworked'. After his 'magic', I have ZERO noise....
I just checked the noise on 6M, on the 920. It was a solid S9. No scope, but the other scoped radios show a noise that looks like a comb with the teeth facing up.

I turned on the 920 NB and instantly had S0!
I hope not to contaminate the review numbers with these updates.
I will be installing the 3 Inrad filters this week, so I'll post one more time....


OK, today I spent several hours installing the Inrad 250Hz CW filter and the Inrad SSB board. Amazing how well it hears now!
I installed the 1.8 KHz and 2.1 KHz SSB filters on the Inrad board, although there are other options you could configure.
(I have reviewed the Inrad board in a separate review, since this is about the radio, not Inrad).

The ONLY issue I had was with those Yaesu 'ribbon cables'. They have to be inserted into their connectors PERFECTLY or you will have 'issues'. Don't ask me how I know!!! I can now disassemble the radio in < a minute! ha ha

K4SUE Rating: 2020-03-20
Good performer Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Picked this one up via the classifieds and have been evaluating it for the past few months. Came with the AM 'pass thru' board and the FM board.
I was immediately impressed with aesthetics and ergonomic design, very easy to operate with the 'needed' controls conveniently located on the front panel. The frequency display is large enough to be read at a reasonable distance distance while not too large that it crowds out display of operating parameters. It's a nice looking rig.
Power output on all bands meets spec, and I get good audio reports with both the stock hand mike and the Heil HM-10. Digital interface was near plug and play with my SignaLink USB. I've used it for FT8, FT4, and Olivia with no issues.
I was very impressed with the stock receiver. Audio output is clean and clear even without an external speaker. The 920 is located on a shelf with a shelf above it (2" clearance) which channels the audio from the internal speaker out the front. I don't have a CW filter in it, as yet, but using the stock SSB filter in CW with the DSP provides some pretty impressive copy.
The only mod I've made to the 920 is to add the INRAD roofing filter, which makes the receiver a real solid performer.
I've rated it great, keeping in mind that it's a little long in the tooth technology wise, but still a good performer that, in my opinion, can't be beat for the price.
Update 3/20/2020 -
Just installed the INRAD 701A 400 hz CW filter and am very pleased with results. IF selectivity pared with variable DSP makes this rig an impressive CW performer.
VK2LEE Rating: 2020-02-07
I'll never part with this great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'm an SSB only operator [licensed for 28 years] and I've owned this Great Transceiver for around 10 years. I bought it New for $2995 and its still a pleasure to Use. I use most of its SSB features which include DSP. I find I can hear most Contest stations even though some are on the same frequency. The processor works great with the headset I use, and I receive "good audio" reports from DX stations. I also just love the orange digital readout display. Its Very easy on these old eyes, and very easy to read. This radio has a quality feel about it and its very heavy. I had to reinforce My Shelving to handle the weight. I would recommend this radio to anyone looking for a great 2nd hand Radio with quality features. I'd give it a 6 out of 6.. I am using it daily now on 10 meters SSB & FM....

GW4JPC Rating: 2020-01-26
A Good Performer If You Take Time to Set It Up Right Time Owned: more than 12 months.
We have an FT-920 in our club shack. The first time I used it I realised there was something not quite right. Without the DSP switched in the Rx audio quality is a bit dull, lacking in top even on normal SSB bandwidths.Then I discovered the multitude of menu settings for changing the Rx and Tx audio characteristics. What a difference!You can set up this rig for optimum audio for rag chewing, contests or DXing through the many menu settings. This takes a bit of experimentation to get the best for your own ears, speaker, microphone and voice chacteristics, but well worth the effort. The internal speaker is pretty decent, although it fires upwards, which isn't ideal in our shack with gear stacked on top, but with an external speaker plugged in it comes in to its' own.The built in auto tuner is slow by today's standards and has very limited range, but this is quite an old design now. Controls feel solid and of good quality, especially the two VFO tuning knobs. Heil Sound published a list of settings for optimum audio on Tx and Rx for this radio. Take a look at this:
If I had seen this advice before I would have had this rig set up to my satisfaction a lot earlier. Thank you Heil Sound!
KC7MF Rating: 2018-05-31
A Surprisingly Good Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I gave this radio a 5. I did so because of the value it represents these days. Is it the equal of a FT-5000? Of course not. But for someone with a limited budget it is a great choice compared to some of the modestly priced new radios.

This is a big radio and mostly analog. Everything you need is right in front of you. As the previous reviewer said, you will want to study the manual and practice with this rig to get the most out of it.

Comparing it to the FT-1000D it fares pretty well. It is not quite as quiet but darned close. It does have DSP and it is easy to use and useful which is more than I can say for some versions of DSP out there. The listening experience with this radio is similar to my ProIII. Pleasant. I should note here that I never review a receiver with it built in speaker. I always recommend a high quality external speaker. Currently it is backing up the Icom IC-756proIII but not because its receiver is any "worse". I am simply used to the extended feature set on the ProIII.

I disagree with the previous reviewer on one minor point. I think this would be a wonderful first rig. It will give the new operator the opportunity to learn about what all of the features do while not being so technical that they get lost in the details.

So rather than go over old ground so well covered by other reviewers I would simply say that I would recommend this radio for anyone with any level of ability and experience. It is a very good radio available now at a great price. I think I will keep it for awhile.
2E0HVC Rating: 2018-03-19
Superb rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
OK so I am a relative newcomer to Ham Radio (14 months) and I started HF with a Kenwood TS570DG. Perhaps I upgraded a little too early but have never regretted buying the FT920. Now I have got my head out of the manual it is a real pleasure to use and never ceases to amaze me when the frequency is crowded. Good audio reports even at low signal levels. Too complicated for a beginner? well probably, but well worth getting to know this rig. Definitely a keeper.
FT920 vs TS570DG, the Kenwood is an excellent first rig, the FT920 may be too complicated as a first rig, unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time reading the manual and practising, or have good support from your local club.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed this rig and helped me make this excellent purchase.
W0BKR Rating: 2018-03-15
Great Performer..PERIOD! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Sold my new radio, decided to use/keep my FT-920. Nuff said!

Earlier 5-star review posted by N9CM on 2017-03-16

I have owned and let some of the 920s go over the years and always regret it. I so enjoy using the radio and its excellent performance, I suppose I get blind sided by newer radios with more bells and whistles. Sad it was never "upgraded" to a D model or something but still, an excellent value today. Receiver performance is stellar even if no IF DSP (has AF DSP) which suits me fine. Easy to use, understand and likely never need the manual.
Earlier 5-star review posted by N9CM on 2015-04-16

I picked up a 920 a short while back after parting with the one I cherished. I know what I come back to this radio. It feels and operates like a base radio should. Each control is velvet smooth, radio is built like a tank, solid and a solid performer. No excessive menu crap to drive you nuts and hey look, an actual Power Control!! Wow. What an novel idea!! The display is so easy to use, lovely to read, and complete in every way. Separate Rcv Antenna port (sweet)! I use this radio on HRD and it runs quite well. I do wish it had additional filter slots but with a 400 hz CW Filter and use of the DSP Lo/Hi cut, you can tune anything out. I never have been a fan of NR, but I use it occassionally in the 920. The NB is absolutely the best I have ever used. It takes the noise out, PERIOD. My other radios which cost $$$ more, can't. PERIOD. Great on 6 meters, fun to use, it is a definite keeper for anyone with a decent shack and wanting either a base or back up radio. It does it all. You won't go wrong for under $1000. I bought a used DSP unit for the radio should mine ever fail (rarely) in order to keep it perking along. Haven't used it yet, probably never will either.

If you want a solid performer, quiet and sensitive receiver, great ergonomical lay out, etc. the 920 is the answer. A great manual too with it.
Earlier 5-star review posted by N9CM on 2013-05-15

Well, I have kicked myself in the butt over and over and over, each and every time I part with a 920 for something with flashiness only to wish and look for another. Why? The 920 has a very stellar receiver. Sure, not a contest radio but I don't contest on a continual basis. Very very quiet receiver, very easy to use, no funny business with goofy DSP filters that make it sound like you are listening in a shower, or muffled, or, you get the picture.

It may by some folks who love to spend $10K on radios, to be old, out of date, etc. but I can tell you, it hears and hears very well and have good reciever performance. For a radio under $1K, you cannot come close.

There is an allure with this radio, I have not quite figured it out. Either the wonderful recieve audio, looks, display, feel, don't know. But it is a great great radio.
Earlier 5-star review posted by N9CM on 2012-07-19

I have owned 920's off and on over the years and always find myself coming back to them. What is the allure?

Well, it is one of the most ergonomically well designed radios I have ever owned. The receive audio is wonderful to listen to, the display is easy to read, understand and all the pretinent data is right there. Menu options are mostly ones you set and never change so you don't have to go in and dink around looking for a power setting, etc.

Pros about the radio (IMHO)
1. Great Receive Audio
2. Ease in use
3. "Right" sized for base operation
4. Controls well laid out (RF Control is an actual knob!).
5. Sensitive receiver and great NB
6. Great Performance, built in keyer, Speech processor
7. Separate Rcv Antenna output for receiving

1. Wish it had an IF Out so I could run a band scope (SDR IF Stage) software off it (working on that).
2. Wish the MONITOR function had more audio punch/output (a bit hard to really hear yourself well to determine your output audio).
3. Wish it came with the antenna Tuner Optional (to reduce weight, cost and heat). Never use mine.
4. Wish the display could be multi colored (but the current "amber" color is awesome.
5. Only 1 filter (optional) slot; INRAD add on boards are a bit clumsy and expensive. Prefer a drop in slot.

All minor nits from someone that is spoiled with other radios.

Seems Yaesu hit a home run with it. Just wish it had more filter slots rather than the INRAD klunky arrangement, but to date, I have no trouble with the CW Filter and the tunable AF DSP.

A well rounded radio for any op.
N2MAQ Rating: 2016-11-09
Nice rig but Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First let me say I really like this rig. A problem
popped up last night. While talking on 10 meters to a local buddy I was trying a new mic. playing with speech proc. and power output settings when I noticed I could only turn power down and it was actually showing over 100 watts output no matter where the knob was set. This may or may not become a issue. Otherwise its a very nice rig.