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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-991/991A

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-991/991A
Reviews: 169MSRP: 1699.95
Description:
The FT-991 is the next generation in all mode, all band MF/HF/VHF/UHF
transceiver with C4FM (System Fusion) Digital capability. The FT-991
includes multi-mode operation on CW, AM, FM, SSB, and Digital Modes
(Packet, PSK31, RTTY and C4FM), with 100 Watts of HF/50mhz Capability
(50 Watts VHF/UHF). High-resolution full color 3.5" TFT Touch panel for
superior operability and visibility, High Speed Spectrum scope with ASC
(Automatic Spectrum-scope control) built right in. Internal High Speed
Automatic Antenna Tuner included in the package.
Product is in production
More Info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=D24F60F33816ED8BE5568D7E2B5E2131&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
54.41694
IW5EKI Rating: 2019-11-08
Good radio but lot of firmware bugs Time Owned: more than 12 months.
With the last firmware download and installed on the FT991A the vfo 'A' indicator remain to 'A' even if I go to vfo 'B'. The indicator vfo 'B' don't want turn on. Also some minor bugs....
KB9FMV Rating: 2019-09-19
NOT FAIR TO LUMP 2 RIGS TOGETHER STUPID Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own the FT 991 not A model don't understand why this site cant get it straight ! 2different radios but anyway bet digital rig I have owned plus HF is outstanding ! Tuner is flawless and receiver is OUTSTANDING ! Had to roll back DNR setting but other than that WOW great rig and GREAT DIGITAL FOR FUSION/C4FM PLUS WIRES X and FM DIGITAL NARROW!

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Earlier 5-star review posted by KB9FMV on 2018-12-01

Well after just about a year with this rig must say GREAT ALL AROUND RIG! It pulls out the HF weak signals and once you learn how to set it up thru the menus great receiver and NO DOUBT GREAT TRANSMITTER! I worked this rig through the paces working DX for 3 day straight and no problems also used it so much on FUSION AMAZING RESULTS! This rig is the 991 that went back to Yaesu to set the bias correctly ! I bought it from MTC with a 2 year warranty would highly recommend them good staff! I would say if you could get either the A model or just the plain 991 for all around shack in the box this is it! I had the Kenwood TS 2000 and the receive on HF was not as good as the Yaesu course the Yaesu is newer technology!
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Earlier 5-star review posted by KB9FMV on 2018-03-12

Well after posting in January still going strong and what a delight ! HF OUTSTANDING AND FUSION OUTSTANDING HIGHLY RECOMMENED! AAAAAA ++++++++ GREAT RIG !

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Earlier 5-star review posted by KB9FMV on 2018-01-10

I just bought this rig from MTC Radio in Paris Tx and a great bargin! Its a refurb unit from Yaesu with 90 day and 3 year warranty! I must say a great performer all modes and all bands ! I have not experience any problems and the tuner will tune a coat hanger! I must say I thought the receive was going to be somewhat less desirable than my other rigs (Yaesu FT 1000 MKV 200WATTS and Icom IC7410 but almost as good on hf !The noise blanker and receiver on the ICOM 7410 is better than all of them! Now lest look at digital this rig with C4FM and Fusion is a HANDS DOWN THE BEST MODE I have experienced! The C4FM Wires is like no other mode I have ever experienced with the exception of PCM ON a TRC 24 when I was in the US Army! Well if you get the chance try FUSION THIS IS LIKE speaking to someone on the telephone! I spoke to people in the Philippines , Japan, Germany and what an amazing experience ! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! GREAT RIG GREAT PRICE !
WQ7F Rating: 2019-07-31
Yaesu FT-991A: Solid Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.

I liked my Kenwood TS-140s but wanted an updated rig. The Yaesu FT-991A fits the bill: reasonable cost, DSP, spectral display, and all-mode coverage of MF-UHF. After one month of use, I really like it. While some reviews have described the menu scheme as confusing, I haven't found it so; nor have I needed to utilize it much. When there has been need, it's been more or less easy to wade through, especially with the well-produced user's manual. The digital noise reduction features of the rig are outstanding, far beyond the rigs of yesteryear; the DNR feature makes contacts that would have been impossible due to QRN now easy. The display is bright and easy to see at different viewing angles.

I haven't used the 991A enough on VHF or UHF to comment, but on HF I've found it to be a nice rig to operate. Selectivity is user-selectable and variable, performing well on SSB and adequately on CW. The notch filtering is very helpful. Sensitivity of the radio on HF is excellent. The audio is pleasing and volume loud. The built-in keyer is easy to adjust, and it is easy to select between a paddle or straight key. Clear audio has been described in signal reports.

It would be helpful to be able to display the spectral waterfall in the entire screen, versus the small strip of the bottom 1/3 of the display. Also, the automatic tuner, for understandable reasons, is somewhat wimpy, so in some applications an external tuner is needed. Neither of these are fatal flaws of the radio.

All in all, this is a great little radio. I'm pleased with the purchase.
KE7MU Rating: 2019-07-07
2nd review comparison Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I compared my ft897, came out in 2002, with my ft450, came out in 2007, with my ft891, came out in 2016 and my ft991A came out 2017, here are the results.

Easy to use ft450, least menus

Best DSP, all have draw backs

Ft897 & ft450 good but some noise

Ft891 good but doesn't reduce noise when station isn't present, blanker distorts SSB

Ft991 best but requires external audio amp to hear

Lowest cost ft891 $599 Sale

Highest cost ft991a $1199 Sale

Largest footprint tie Ft897 and ft991a, also both uhf and vhf.

After almost 20 years, I would have expected more and better performance differences rather than repackaging mediocre performing designs. After listening to ft1200 and ft3000, the have more knobs but same mediocre performance.

I understand if you spend more money you would expect better performance and defend your choices, but it is what it is!




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Earlier 3-star review posted by KE7MU on 2019-06-06

Good

Great noise control DSP, touch screen is nice too. It operates as advertised.

Not so good

Menu system is not great, keep the manual near by.

If you use the DSP noise reduction, the volume is so low you need an amplified external speaker, and no I don't need hearing aids.

Note: If you want to use C4FM make sure you have a C4FM repeater within range, I had to purchase a FT 70D just to make sure it works. Then a node to use it, as it isn't too popular in a town of 1 million people.

I should have bought an IC7300 and saved $200.
WQ2H Rating: 2019-06-06
Great all around radio ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have had the 991 a few years now, and it's been everywhere: in the field, in a backpack, in the car, and in the shack. I use it for mostly HF with a variety of different antennas. It's an excellent value, portable, with a decent menu system, and has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from Yeasu. The new model (991A) is a little pricey, but I'm guessing that's the price of quality.
N2DTS Rating: 2019-04-29
meh! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What I like:

It does all bands, hf to uhf so thats good.

It has very good audio output, they don't chop the low frequency off like the 7300 does.

The antenna tuner works well, better then the 7300 by far.

The radio is small and light, and the fan is quiet.

What I don't like:

Two tuning speeds, fast and faster, no way to tune by a KHz.

The nasty menu system, 150 things to wade through.

AM modulation is poor.

The spectrum scope might as well not be there, its resolution is very poor, really strong signals show up but not much else.


Not a user friendly radio.
It works ok for the most part, but it takes work.
PY2RAF Rating: 2019-04-16
Learned to love it. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
== CONTEXT ==
I had my station boxed for the last 15 years, when I lived in Brasilia and moved to Sao Paulo, where I had no antenna due to... HOA.
So after this 15 years hiatus, daughter grown up, with more time in my hands and greased relationship with HOA, I decided it was time to make a comeback.
My first HF station was a venerable FT-840 (I still own it, though now in the rural QTH) and while the sturdy and constant FT-840 delivered well what it promised, the operation is definitely not comfortable: No DSP, no filters; it is tiring a day-long operation with the 840.

The first time I operated the 991A in HF, it was *refreshing*. The DSP (while tends to be bubbly/waterish as you increase the DSP program number) shovels off a good lot of the background QRM, ensuring a very comfortable operation. It scored a big one.

Also, after operating for nearly 6 months using a VX-8 as a VHF/UHF transceiver (with a external antenna), it was great to kerchunk repeaters that I was never able to establish QSO with.

So, in Oct 2018 I made a comeback to the radio with full power and I wanted a good and comfortable station, without consuming much space and working on all bands: HF/VHF/UHF.
My first contenders were the FT-857D and IC-7100.

After consulting my company's internal ham radio list, I was really leaning toward the IC-7100. However, after pondering that with more $300 I could buy a FT-991A, and being very well aware of the horror stories of blown finals in FT-991 (and a LOT of eHam reading), I stuck to FT-991A.

The IC-7300 was not considered because it lacks VHF/UHF coverage. And I was sorta bummed for Icom using RD70HHF instead of RD100HHF like the 991A does.

== WHAT I LOVE ==
* ZOMG, the USB port. Both CAT and Virtual Sound Card in the same port is just GREAT: It is a breeze for digital modes, or if you want to save bucks and have your computer to equalize your audio instead of buying 3rd party gear to do your sound effects.
* The CAT command set: It got virtually all the functions of the radio covered by CAT commands. Gives plenty of headroom to hack and interface with the radio!
* The RX: When comparing with my FT-840, the 991A was able to get some signals that were slightly faint on 840 with more clarity (without using DSPs or amplifiers).
* VERY EASY to tap the IF stage (all it takes is pulling a U.FL connector)
* Backlit buttons - A breeze to operate in dark rooms / night operation.

== WHAT I LIKE ==
* Decent real estate inside the radio to mess around.
* No provisions for FM broadcast - This in my opinion is a great design choice, because the bandpass filters just shapes out the FM BC range, resulting in a quieter operation in VHF band.
* The Scope - While first I sort of frowned at the spectrum analyzer, this is actually very useful: Works real good and have a maximum 1 MHz BW, 500 kHz to each side from the center frequency. Awesome to tell to that friend of yours that they're xmitting a few kHz off the center frequency
* The overall radio project - I have reviewed the schematics (I'm working on a Panadapter project) and so far I have not found any component that is out of production - This is a recent and well thought PCB & component selection project.
* The Antenna Tuner: Works fine, works good!
* The SWR meter: Also works for 2M and 70 cm! GOOD to know and keep your radio in a safe operative envelope.
* The reports: Ham radio operators have this ONLY vanity, actually what makes us spend the gross of our QSJ: They want to be well heard and hear back complimentary reports. I have got a lot ;-)
* Yaesu Support: I was answered on every question that I sent them. /me tips his hat at Rodger.

== WHAT I MISS ==
* Dual watch. My tiny VX-8 can do it, puzzled how hard it could be to implement in a large and more powerful radio.
* Configurable Needle display - Hey cmon, it would not be that hard to implement. The bargraph is great, but the being able to select the software-needle meter would be heck of a classy touch.
* A TX timer - It would be a useful feature, especially when using repeaters - So you could monitor for how long have you been on the air and avoid the long TXs and sudden find out that the repeater went TOT and you lost half of your QSO :-P
* No FM equalizer - The Equalizer works only for SSB and AM
* No VHF/UHF attenuator
* A general temperature monitor
* Configurable Touch Buttons - While you can configure the bottom-low row of buttons, well, these are 4 buttons: It would not cost a limb to make a menu screen with the 6 configurable buttons.
* APO - Auto Power Off after some time idle
* Password-protect
* 220 MHz - Though RD70HUF2 is not suited for 220 MHz, we could provide lower power output (like other radios does) for this band.

== WHAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE BETTER ==
* The power cable - My FT-840 power cable is bonded together as parallel cable. This goddamn 991A power cable is not bonded and it entangles very easily. Cmon Yaesu, you have been CHEAP here. Not nice. Tackled it by adding isolant tape after some spacing and keeps the cables together.
* The touch panel - This is a membrane touch, not the real deal like your cellphone
* The rear antenna connectors - It seems that Yaesu sources the connectors in some other manufacturer, it is definitely not a AMP connector. Mine had quality issues as it was poorly machined and I could not attach my antenna. Had to go to maintenance right away after I got the radio.

== WHAT I LOATHE ==
* WHAT THE F THAT VFO B. It is a weird implementation and while in the schematics there's VFO B RX LED, you never enter RX VFO B. It is a weird and very poorly implemented solution; Yaesu could have emulated a VFO B by software and this is just. plain. ugly. badly. thought. and. badly. implemented.
You could have done it better, developer.
* Memories:
- 100 memories - WHAAAAT?!! My VX-8 is capable of 999 memories!
- No TX power config on memory entry: I would like to be able to configure the TX power on individual frequencies (hint: VX-8 does it)

== CLOSING REMARKS ==
There are a few items that could surely have been done better or well thought.
However, it barely scratch the radio experience at all, thus I'm keeping 5/5. Very satisfied with the equipment after a few months of operation.
KB5CEJ Rating: 2019-04-04
A first look at my 991A Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
4-stars for now, but I wanted to mention a few things, should you happen to be considering a purchase.(I'm comparing my experience with a less-than-3-months old 991A vs. my TS-2000):

1. The 991A allows monitoring of one band at a time only.I've been spoiled by the Ts-2000's ability to monitor the sub-band(VHF or UHF), while using HF on the main VFO.

2. Even though I was aware of the dimensions, I was still surprised at the small footprint (nothing wrong with that. My brain knew the dimensions, but my eyes expected more)

3. The internal speaker is terrible. Besides the tinny sound, it doesn't really handle a lot of audio. If you don't have one now, plan on buying a good external speaker (NOT the SP-10! I would suggest the SP-20 instead).

4. The display is very good, and easy to read from across the room (unlike the TS-2000, which isn't)

5. Receive sensitivity seems very good (and better than the TS-2000 on HF & VHF)

6. The volume control has some "play" in it (electronically)where I have to turn the volume knob more than expected before the audio hits the speaker. Not a real issue, just a nuance.

7. There are only 2 antenna connections on the back of the rig. I would have preferred "3" (like the 2000), splitting the VHF and UHF. It's something I didn't even think about checking before purchase.

Admittedly I have a while to go before I can comment on other operations, but I would have liked to have seen more comments like this before I spent my $$$. I may have gone a whole different, albeit more expensive route (separate HF and VHF/UHF rigs). "May have" wouldn't immediately put a new rig on the desk though.

No "buyers remorse", just something for you to chew on while contemplating your purchase.
G0TVM Rating: 2019-02-19
Follow up from a previous review Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is follow up of a review I wrote earlier 9th Feb 2019, where I reported my two week old radio stopped transmitting on all bands.

The radio was sent back to Yaesu UK on Saturday, they received it on Monday and on Tuesday a NEW radio was dispatched and it arrived Wednesday. Now that's great service from Yaesu UK.

I use an external audio mixer and separate monitoring loudspeakers so each radio is heard on the same system. On RX compared to my ICOM 7300 the FT991A sounded a bit woolly lacking in HF, however using the contour menu I was able to make radio sound a little bit more crispier by adjusting the frequency to 2900hz and setting the level to 7. Surprisingly this didn't really increase the noise or hiss but did improve the audio quality.

using the MD100 microphone or the MH31, audio reports coming in suggested that the audio was not as good as the ICOM 7300 basically lacking in LF and HF, however using the Microphone Parametric Equaliser I was able to improve the TX audio, but this still didn't sound a smooth as the ICOM 7300.

I do not like the DNR, I cannot find a setting (1 to 15) I like, they all sound awful making it sound as though its under water. Therefore I tend to leave it off. What would be nice if Yaesu added the ability to adjust the amount of DNR level this way one can adjust the amount of noise reduction that takes place and possibly stop it sounding as thought your speaker is in a fish bowl.

Finally this is a great radio which covers 1.8Mhz to 440Mhz all from the one box, it can easily be used as a mobile in your car or motor home. in my opinion it doesn't put a big dent in your wallet either, you get a lot for the price you pay.

G0TVM
NW2M Rating: 2019-02-19
Outstanding radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just purchased my new FT-991A at the 2019 HamCation in FLA. I have only had this radio for a week, however, my comments are based upon knowing the Yaesu product line. I like the Yaesu products as I have a FT-857D, a FTdx-3000, a FTM-400XDR, and now a FT-991A. I did not buy this because of the System Fusion capability, but rather, the other outstanding features and performance. I needed a base unit with solid 2M and 440 all mode capability. This is a perfect fit for my needs. Discounts and promotions made the decision that much easier.

First, I was surprised about the relative small size. For an all-in-one radio, this is very compact. I am being critical here, as the compactness comes at a price. The controls and features must be moved to the screen or internal menus, as there is simply not enough real estate for buttons and controls on the front panel. The touch sensitive color display is easy to see and touch-navigation is a snap. As a contrast, my 875D is 95% menu driven and the 3000 is 5% menu driven. The 991A has a nice balance between menus and controls. The 991A's 3-deep band stacking keeps all of my previous setting for 3-different modes for each band. The tuner has no problem with slight mismatches. The 3-band parametric equalizer works very well. The local monitor MON function allows me to listen to my signals via over the ear cushioned earphones. Radio checks are almost a thing of the past. I also ordered the FH-2 control pad to record voice tracks and CW messages.

I operate the new digital modes by using a *single* USB cable. Data in/out and PPT are work seamlessly with HRD and WSJT-X. Always load the Yaesu USB drivers *before* you ever connect any radio! FT8 and PSK31 work great. I find that when the radio is cold the ALC really jumps requiring me to lower the drive. After 2-4 minutes I can go back to my normal settings. I have the same issue with my 3000. Frequency accuracy is very accurate. Menu #39 even allows you fine tune with calibrated equipment. No need to ever open the covers. On the high-side, 2M and 440 work very well. Menus allow you to easily adjust the microphone settings on FM. I have yet to make a Fusion contact, but that is next.

Overall this is a really great radio. I really like the sound and features of the 991A. I use a 6x9 external speaker. My FTdx-3000 is now set aside. It is unclear what I will do with my 857D and Y3k. My car already has the FTM-400XDR. Time will tell. After listening to a 991 to/from the Hamvention, I knew I wanted the updated 991A. I wish you all the best if you are considering buying a 991A. 73, Al - NW2M