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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
The FT-991 is the next generation in all mode, all band

transceiver with C4FM (System Fusion) Digital capability. The FT-991

includes multi-mode operation on CW, AM, FM, SSB, and Digital

(Packet, PSK31, RTTY and C4FM), with 100 Watts of HF/50mhz

(50 Watts VHF/UHF). High-resolution full color 3.5" TFT Touch panel

superior operability and visibility, High Speed Spectrum scope with

(Automatic Spectrum-scope control) built right in. Internal High Speed

Automatic Antenna Tuner included in the package.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
AB3MO Rating: 2019-01-30
991A Better Choice Than 991!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Used a 991 during Field Day 2016 and the same 991 upgraded to a 991A during Field Day 2017. Almost no comparison between the two in the sense that the 991A is so much better -- almost comparable to a Kenwood TS-590S. The difference between the two mainly lies in the 590S being better at strong adjacent signal rejection, a narrower pass band, and more readily accessible filter shift and bandwidth controls without entering a menu! The 991A does have the advantage of being an almost universal HF/VHF/UHF transceiver! This is a good starter rig. Both the 590S AND 991/991A travel well!!
K7LZR Rating: 2019-01-30
Very good all-around radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a brand-new FT-991A and I'm quite pleased with it. First, its drop-dead gorgeous! Afterall, looks are everything you know ;). Second, it really is a very good performing all-around radio for those who want all bands & modes in one box.

On HF, I find the receiver to be quiet and sensitive. I use it regularly with 3 different antennas - a small magnetic loop, an 80m double-bazooka at 35ft and a 50ft. random wire. On all antennas, the receiver really shines compared to past rigs in terms of quietness and fatigue free listening.

It did take me a bit to get used to using the touch screen. I have such screens on my cell phone & tablet computer of course but they operate differently because they use moving graphics whereas the FT-991A display shows only static buttons and scrolling lists of options. It also can be somewhat awkward to use because some of the virtual buttons are close together. Some of the FT-991A options are not logically grouped together and so it might be necessary to jump across several screens in order to set certain items.

The built-in panadapter & waterfall are useful and do work well as-is but would be even more useful if the visual gains could be adjusted.

I do feel that way too many options are devoted to adjusting the transmitted audio, and also too many contest-oriented features.

These are just my personal small nits and none are deal breakers on an otherwise awesome radio.

I also bought & tried an FT-891 but quickly found problems (for me) with it. Most glaring was the dumbed down interface and feature set with its clunky mode select and no LSB/USB selection without having to reset the BFO in a menu. And unlike others, I didn't really care for the DSP nor overall receive audio.

The FT-991A overcomes these things nicely. Like the FT-891, the FT-991A also has 15 DSP algorithms available but they all seem to sound MUCH better and less aggressive than those of the FT-891.

Another thing of note is that the FT-991A has (2) CAT ports. One of them is pure old school RS232 and that is simply a GREAT feature vs USB because it requires no drivers with their associated problems. It also means that if so desired, a simple old DOS computer with a terminal program and macros could fully control this radio. And for the one-cable USB data & audio digimode fans, the FT-991A can do that too. Way to go Yaesu!

I think that Yaesu has done a good job of overcoming the early teething problems of the FT-991 and has produced a fine all-band, all-mode radio.
N4MQ Rating: 2019-01-03
Connectors are a pain and not standard Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The Yaesu 991A's 8 pin connector on the rear is not standard in that the #4 pin is off set from typical 8 pin mini din plugs. I found what I needed by searching EBAY. Woody

Earlier 3-star review posted by N4MQ on 2019-01-02

Just bought this radio, works well BUT the rig does not come with connectors for the rear panel, and the 8 pin mic cable is awkward to use. How do you add your own mic? Factory desk mics are listed at 400+$ and 700+$= stupid. The mini din connectors to connect to MY AMP are not provided and I have to figure out how to interface pins and there is NO SCHEMATIC to id the pins - I had to meter pins to see what was what and be sure with a new rig. This suprised me, my FTDX3000 was not this way. Pinouts should show specs and ratings V and I etc. WOODY
KD2OAM Rating: 2018-12-17
FT-991A sent in for Repair 3 times now Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had the Ft-991A for a year now and have had to send it back 3 times for repair. The first time the finals went, the second time the motherboard had a short, and the third time the PA Unit was replaced.

Maybe I just got a lemon, not sure. Comparing this 991A to my 450D, the 450D has a better receiver and just works better all around. Only lacks the spectrum scope. Granted the 991A has more bells and whistles.

When I sent it in for the third time I purchased an Icom-7300 based on a lot of the ham operators who own one. No comparison of the 7300 to the 991A.

Comparing the 991A to the Icom-7300 is like comparing the flicker of a fire fly's butt to the blustering rays of the noonday sun.

I can only figure I bought a lemon.
GM0ELP Rating: 2018-12-08
DO NOT BUY IF YOU ARE A CW OP Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio is currently incapable of PTT using RTS in CW mode! You can only use break-in and an associated delay. This renders the radio useless for any serious cw operations involving contest logging software (eg Wintest, N1MM etc).
I have contacted Tim Factor, KT7F of Yaesu Amateur Radio Technical Support to report the fault who answered "I am sorry the circuit does not operate as your particular supplication requires".
Please do not fall into the same trap as I did, what a waste of money!
K4IIY Rating: 2018-12-01
solid rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Three years on line with the FT-991 and going strong. Very nice for digital modes. Once I learned the menu system operation was a breeze. Has been used for field day ops with very good success.
N8NN Rating: 2018-11-25
Good Radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My Yaesu FT-900/AT died after 24 years of faithful service as a portable and back-up rig. I replaced it with an FT-991A. I am not disappointed! The 991A receiver is excellent and the filtering works well as expected. This weekend I worked 42 countries on 40 and 20 meters CW barefoot using a portable vertical antenna. With a computer it works well on PSK, RTTY (true FSK or AFSK) and FT8. CW QSK break-in works well. The interface to my Yaesu Quadra amp at home is flawless.

I'm not crazy about the menus, but with a small radio there isn't enough room to install a dozen or more dedicated knobs. It's unfair to compare this small radio to a full-sized base station radio. It is intended to give you HF/VHF/UHF in a small portable box. For the price, it delivers a lot of performance.

It's a modern radio with three COM ports (RS-232 and two USB) to interface with all your ham software. You seldom seldom need the Menu once you're setup. There are dedicated buttons to bring up the Band, Mode, and Function screens with a single push.

I recommend this radio for those needing a full function 100 watt portable radio. At home it does everything you would expect of a base station radio.
K6IOU Rating: 2018-08-06
PLEASE FIX the DNR Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My 991A has the latest firmware updates.

Yaesu touts the "15 algorithms" available with the Digital Noise Reduction {DNR]. However, they are all [to my ears] to aggressive.

Most give the "under water" warble sound. Only one setting [#9 on my rig] is even close to acceptable on SSB. The other 14 are useless.

I wish Yaesu would have one of the 15 settings programmed that would make the level of DNR variable by turning the Multi knob.

I really like the radio so I'm still giving it a 4.

Earlier 5-star review posted by K6IOU on 2017-02-11

I purchased my 991A mid-December 2016 from HRO. I was initially impressed with the look and feel of the rig.

However, I soon began to regret the purchase because the receive audio [to my ears] sounded awful. However, after studying the various settings available in the "MENU" I began to fine-tune things and soon had great receive audio.

I still don't understand why the default settings from Yaesu were what they were.

For example, the CONTOUR control had a large dip in audio response right where I thought it should be peaked. So from the default [-10db IIRC] I boosted it to a +10db @ 600 Hz. This is #114 in the MENU.

Also set #025 NB LEVEL to "0".

These two adjustments alone improved the receive audio to what I now consider ideal.

Overall a great little rig!

As always, YMMV

KG6TR Rating: 2018-07-10
does the job Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Purchased an FT-991A a few months ago as a first "base" station radio. While I often find that products that try to do everything well fall short, this radio hits the mark, at least for my needs. I have non-permanent antenna installs at home, with a Buddipole set up as a 20m vertical (full size) and a Comet VHF/UHF vertical. I don't contest, but do try to work DX when I can. In addition I listen to air bands as well due to my proximity to local airports.

I think the typical competitor for this is the IC-7300. From my messing around a bit with that radio, it does have a better/more flexible spectrum display. I can't speak to HF RX or TX performance on the 7300. I can say that I've been able to work stations in EU and AUS on the 991A (on 20m) and signal reports are positive.

I've A/B'd the 991A with my KX2 and find the receivers to be comparable. I do like the UI/UX with the Elecraft, but the touch screen on the 991A is functional (I just prefer dedicated buttons - I want a radio, not a computer/smartphone). On TX, the 100W of the 991A of course trumps the 12W of the KX2. No surprise there.

So for those looking at 7300 vs 991A, it really is a simple question - do you want/need VHF/UHF along with HF in one rig. If so, 991A is hard to beat - has real-time waterfall, decent DSP, and covers most everything. The 7300 will give you a bigger/nicer display, not sure there is night/day difference in RX/TX performance though. If you want VHF/UHF though, you'd have to get a second radio. Which isn't too expensive these days, but depends on what you want in your shack. As they say, YMMV.
W0LD Rating: 2018-05-22
Great DXpedition Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The 991A is a great DXpedition radio. It has the right power, 100 watts, a very good receiver, CW and voice memories and it is easy to operate. I travel with a 991A and a small linear amplifier and this is the absolutely best DXpedition solution.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W0LD on 2016-12-13

I owned a FT-991 and used it on a Dxpedition to PJ4. Recently traded up to the FT-991A. The spectrum scope and waterfall are a nice addition. I have been impressed with the transmit audio and the receiver. I must say that it is not as good as my K3 but for half the money it performs almost as well. In fact it is more sensitive on 6 meters than the K3, even with the preamp engaged on the K3. If you are looking for a portable radio that does everything well, this is the radio for you.