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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 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:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
GW4DVB Rating: 2017-05-07
Nice Rig !!! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had my FT-991 for 8 months and decided to upgrade to 991A - Expensive upgrade but I am very pleased with the results. Generally the rig performs well and has a better (easier to use) Noise Reduction system than my Elecraft K3. The integrated digi-mode capability enable even the most unadventurous to play with these modes very easily.Recently the rig has developed an internal ATU fault which has meant a trip back to Yaesu for repair. Overall a nice rig.
K9AFB Rating: 2017-04-29
Like it but.. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
How do you get the MD-100A8X Desk Mic working with it? and it aint that reserves cord thing...everyone said it worked on the 991, but I have the 991A
W6CAW Rating: 2017-04-13
Good thing I waited Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Good thing I waited till the "A" model? Working great in all ways. Replaced my FT-897D
G4RNI Rating: 2017-04-01
Getting better BUT Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I’ve reviewed the FT-991 before and rated it a 3 but since a few improvements I am now prepared to rate it a 4. These include it talking to FTRESTORE and associating memory tags with the memory contents.

If the following niggles could be ironed out, I’d even consider rating it a FIVE!

That damned MT mode!!! I select a memory then select MCH on the screen and I can channel hop memories. GREAT! If however, I inadvertently touch almost anything and haven’t remembered to first press LOCK, the thing leaps into MT (memory tune) mode. Touching the clicky knob without realising my earlier, accidental, feather touch of say the tuning knob now presents me with the memory list in the bottom half of the screen.
I now have to either wait for the (seemingly useless as you can’t seem to select an actual memory from it and do anything useful except accidentally ERASE it) memory list to vanish again or press V/M then scroll through the screen until I find MCH again, then as I press it, if I accidentally touch the main tuning knob, off we go again in MT mode!!!
So, can YAESU please come up with a firmware mod that will do the following??
1) Have the memories locked by default so they cannot be “tuned” unless “MT” is enabled in a menu. That way, I could listen to a memory, say a beacon, try a different mode, say USB instead of CW and not be annoyed that it has decided I want to come out of memory operation and have to button press all over the front to get back again!

2) Have a M>V function enabled so that the memory contents can be transferred to the VFO. One can then play with the frequency, bandwidth all manner of things without the thing leaping into that horrible MT mode. To date, I can’t find any way of transferring the memory details to VFO and MT mode is just not my bag.
If they’d do those things I’d be a happy lad but as it stands, the 991 still has these “overly helpful annoyances” that spoil what should be and could be a BIG FIVE!!!
VK3ZAZ Rating: 2017-03-19
Jury is out Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Radio just back from Yaesu Japan after the upgrade at Au$600.
Packing Good.
Screen and display plastic protection.
New plastic packing bag.
Main V01-08 26th Feb not done why not?
No new handbook had to download the files to supplement my old book, one would think for the cost we would score a new handbook.
LCD V01-01 in.
Initial Impressions
Spectrum scope in Auto Mode very low in gain like the display on the DMU200 even on 40M had to turn amp on the lift tiny display above base line.
I am so over the lack of spectral display in Yaesu products this past five years like pulling teeth out to get any sort of decent display.
Main V01-08 easy as per instructions.
Software menu not so easy.
Now starts the issue of communicating with the 991A as per the 991 a bit tricky until you know how to do it, and it was so tricky last time it took ages, so I haven't uploaded my saved configuration files yet.
Initial reaction at $600 on top of the $1200 radio buy a 991A or don't bother.
Save your money.
Quite a few FT991 models coming up for sale in VK between $1000 and $1200.
If I change my mind will be first to admit.
Early days yet.

KC4BW Rating: 2017-03-03
No problems with my unit Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is my 2nd review of the FT-991. I have had no problems in the first 6 months. I use the radio mainly on 17m, 6m, and 2m.
I am still rating the unit at 4 due to the reasons I gave in my first review, otherwise the radio works fine. I don't have any complaints.
I have heard since Yaesu put the "A" model on the market the resale value of the 991 has dropped quite a bit. That doesn't bother me because I didn't buy the radio to sell it. I bought it to keep it and use it. It makes no difference to me if the value goes up or down. So there you have it.
73, Ted
N0USR Rating: 2017-01-22
Impressed Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
We have the FT-991A. Purchased from HRO in November of 2016.

When the radio arrived we found it to be a little larger than expected, we were thinking it was going to be a little closer in size to the IC-7000. This wasn't a problem for us at all though. The size in fact is very similar to my first HF radio back in the day, the Yaesu FT-747GX. It makes perfect sense since the FT-991A is newest member of that lineage and indeed operating the FT-991A has brought back many a found memory operating my old FT-747GX.

As we'd learned reading the manual both the physical and the soft (on screen) controls are indeed very thoughtfully laid out and very easy navigate which became even more evident as we started using it. An example of this came just the other night when we went to check into one of our favorite evening nets. The band conditions were terrible on 75 meters, stations that are normally 5-9 +30 were impossible to read. In such situations one reaches for the radios various filtering functions. Myself personally, I'm not very good when it comes to adjusting filters, notches, etc… and don't usually get very good results, at least that can be said our past rigs. To start, most of the filters are located on a single screen of soft keys. You tap the filter you want to enable it then use the "Multi" knob to adjust it.

The first thing I reached for was the DSP (DNR). On many rigs I find the DSP setting is way too aggressive and nearly unusable for my tastes. The FT-991A is still pretty aggressive but not so much that I couldn't use it at its lower values. I was pleased. Next I enabled the notch filter and adjusted it, then adjusted the SSB Width, and the RF Gain. I was already amazed that we were now pulling in most of the stations enough to make solid copies. To put the icing on the cake I tried the Contour control, something new to me, and once again the signals were another step cleaner and somehow easier on the ears. I was honestly thrilled, we went from pulling a single person with a +20 signal to pulling nearly everyone else out of "the weeds". As my spouse will tell you I'm not easily impressed but the FT-991A not only impressed me but impressed me very much. The one aspect we didn't touch at this time was the audio out settings such as bass and treble which are buried in the radio's setup menu.

The stock microphone that comes with the FT-991A is the same as the one that comes with the FT-817ND which never really thrilled either of us. We had replaced the microphone element in that mic with a Heil element which made a significant difference. For the FT-991A we didn't really want a hand mic. We briefly looked at Heil and at the Yaesu MD-200A8X however the size of these units made them impractical for portable use. The cost was also a bit too steep for a radio that may spend a lot of its time in a Pelican Case. The MD-200A8X less expensive cousin the MD-100A8X looked rather cheap and flimsy via the images online however the end user reviews paint a very different picture with many people rating it 5/5 with tales of excellent audio quality reports.

Our MD-100A8X arrived with our FT-991A, we never gave the included hand mic a chance so we can't give a report on its performance. Before making our first QSO's with the new rig we ran thru the easy to follow instructions on the radio's manual for setting the mic gain, compression, and mic equalizer. It pays to note that while we tried tuning the mic equalizer in the end we found we liked the default settings for the EQ best and left them as such. The settings on the mic itself can be useful as well. In particular the "High Emphasis" switch can really help bring out a softer voice and give it a little more "punch". Our on the air reports of the rig/mic combination are quite good with many reporting that our audio is very clear and of good quality. To contrast this with the Heil PR10 on our IC-7600 the Heil and the Icom frequently get unsolicited reports of incredible or even stunningly good sound quality. We had hoped for as much with the FT-991A and MD-100A8X but didn't expect it from the mic since its less than half the cost of the Heil.
KB9WVK Rating: 2017-01-17
Still Impressed :) Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Based on the s/n it looks like I have a 991 of late mfg. Best I can tell 6J330*** indicates an Aug 2016 date. I purchased from HRO in Oct 2016. With the HRO store coupon and the Yaesu rebate the rig was under $900 out the door.

Before purchase I read all the reviews re: blown finals but decided to give it a try anyway. With a 1 year warranty I figured if the finals were faulty they'd reveal fault before 365 days passed. So far so good :)

First impressions were fantastic and 3mos later I am still impressed.

I've had the rig powered on almost 24/7 since purchase. I use the radio daily on HF and several times a week on VHF/UHF. I haven't used 6m yet. ATU is good enough although I use it infrequently. It's a little touch and go on 80m but I kind of expected that.

Setup was simple. Firmware update was a breeze. The large touchscreen is nifty and being somewhat visually impaired a very attractive feature to be sure. The manual is what you'd expect from Yaesu. It's clear and easy to follow in some respects and somewhat lacking in others.

Out of the box transmit audio on SSB is not quite right. It's a bass heavy and muddy audio. Thankfully adjusting the 'MIC-EQ' settings will resolve this and once adjusted the tx audio on SSB is nothing short of fantastic. I know that there are complaints re: AM audio but I've yet to use AM.

Initially I had to contact Yaesu about how the 60m channels/freq's are listed in the locked pre- programmed memory. For example USB Channel 1 should be 5330.5 USB. Instead Yaesu 60M Channel/freq 1 shows as 5332.00 rx and tx. The short of it is that the frequencies displayed for 60m are just memory tags showing the center freq and not the actual freq after mode is applied.

So even when you rx or tx the freq for 60m Channel 1 still shows 5332.00 but it is actually tx'ng and receiving on 5330.5 USB. Strange way to do this since everywhere else on the radio the freq display adjusts when modes are changed. Not on 60M though. Center frequencies are used as memory tags regardless of mode and are not actual tx/rx freq's after mode is applied. It's on the right freq's but it just doesn't display it quite that way.

The only complaint that I currently have is regarding lockout of features during tx. If for instance prior to tx you select 'PROC' while keyed you'll be able to change settings for the processor, turn it on/off, but unless you unkey you cannot then select and make changes to 'MIC GAIN' or 'RF PWR'. If you have selected 'RF PWR' prior to tx you can select 'PROC' during tx but then cannot go back to 'RF PWR' or 'MIC GAIN'. Not the end of the world but sort of irritating.

Other than that I have little else to complain about. So far I have found it to be a nice rig with outstanding features for the price point.

4 stars only because few things are actually 'Great!' and so I am hesitant to attribute greatness in this regard as well.

Even though perhaps not great it is still an impressive, well built, fairly intuitive solid rig, with a good receiver. The digital noise filtering is useful and appreciated and the rig has outstanding Yaesu tx audio and plenty of "punch" once adjusted.

I say buy one. You won't be disappointed.

W8NIC Rating: 2016-12-17
FINALS FINALS FINALS! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased this radio brand new from DX engineering in Feb. 2016. Three months later of casual use is when the nightmare began. Low output. Since it was under warranty, I did not send it in right away since I have 2 other HF radios in the shack, namely an ic-775dsp and ft-900. September I decided to send it to Yaesu in Cypress, Ca. Wes was the manager at that time. Very nice fellow, responded to me email in a very timely fashion.
15 days or so later, radio was on its way back to me. WOW! 15 days??? I was expecting them to keep if for at least a month, so another positive mark for Wes.
Upon receiving the radio, I started using it on HF CW ( I'm 99% CW). 4 days later of casual use, low power output again. Called Wes, no reply, emailed him, no reply. As it turned out, Wes quit. So now,Brad Foche is the new manager. I talked to. Brad, asked me to send radio back for repairs AGAIN.
Another 15 days later, radio again on its way back to me. COOL! Maybe this time is really fixed. Replaced final again.
I received radio 3 days ago and was doing 100 watts accross the HF bands. This afternoon, low power output again FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!!!! I tried ever so hard to see if I'm causing the final to go bad but everything in the shack is good. I now have an ic-7700 and a ts-870s, I use the same power supply, same antennas and same tuner. Only this 991 is having problems.
I have never, prior to this 991 ever had a final go bad on me.
I will be returning this radio to Yaesu and will demand a full refund of the purchase price. I no longer have confidence with this radio. Well they accept my demand? Chances are no, but I will make sure that my experience with Yaesu is heard and hopefully many hams if not all is made aware of this scenario.
I'm done buying Yaesu radios.
KC3VO Rating: 2016-12-06
Engineer setting up the spectrum display must NOT be a HAM! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My FT-991A, purchased 01 Dec. 2016, has a Glaring ERROR on FT-991A spectrum display! This has been noted on my NEW radio! The tuned frequency, in USB, is shown (on the spectrum scope) as 1.5 Khz LOWER than actual, while LSB signals display 1.5 Khz HIGHER than actual! (This makes it seem that the received station has no opposite sideband suppession)--If WWV (AM) is tuned in while receiving in SIDEBAND mode, using the 50 Khz sweep, this becomes readily evident, as the WWV carrier will be visibly OFFSET from center!---CW and FM/AM seem OK, probably whoever designed/set it up is NOT very active as a ham? Can this be corrected/re-set??--73, (Seems OK otherwise, just starting to check it out!)