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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
WX3K Rating: 2016-07-30
Disappointed with timeliness of repair from YAESU Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I am posting this here because my FT991 is still under warranty and Yaesu is struggling with the poor AM modulation issues.

The "supposed" AM TX carrier level fix that everyone claims is the fix is also lame as this does not address proper power output calibration and AM issues on the higher(50MHz and above) bands. Try your rig on 6 meter AM on 50.400, without audio EQ and verify that the power output metering tracks correctly on the meter when tinkering with the AM TX carrier level.

Yaesu is struggling with this issue. I sent my FT991 back in January of this year. They performed an alignment and the rig still had AM ALC issues on 6 meters and above.

A properly modulated AM rig will display upwards power peaks on your power output meter. The FT991 in AM mode has DOWNWARD power output on modulation peaks. You should be able to accomplish a fully modulated AM signal WITHOUT audio EQ with a carrier level of 25 watts(160-6meters). Other manufacturers such as KENWOOD and ICOM easily demonstrate this.

Why is Yaesu struggling with such a basic form of modulation ?

In early June I sent my FT991 back to YAESU service in Cypress, CA after extensive conversation with Wes Grey (Service Manager) and Tim Factor (Service Tech) at the Dayton Hamvention. I had emailed Wes numerous times and did not receive any responses from him about this issue. They finally acknowledged that my statement that the FT991 has an issue with poor AM on the higher bands was verified. They agree with me. They still have my FT991 as of today(7/30). So far this year since I bought the FT991, the RIG has back in the CYPRESS service center for a cumulative total 10 weeks excluding shipment time of 1 week each way from the east coast. If you include shipment time, I have been without my FT991 for 3 months total now.

I have been calling Wes Grey on a regular basis and I have yet to hear feedback from him about when Yaesu is going to address this issue properly.

The AM issue has existed since 2015. Why is Yaesu struggling with this issue ? It seems all related to ALC. I understand there are extensive PA issues on this rig. What is up with the design of this rig ?

I think the FT991 is a good rig otherwise. It functioned well while I had it in the shack. Now it is probably sitting on a shelf in the service center collecting dust at this point. $1200 of my hard earned money just sitting there waiting for someone at YAESU to resolve this. I also got the $100 rebate when I bought it which was immediately burned up when I shipped the unit back to the CYPRESS service center.

Will Yaesu come through on resolving this issue soon ? We all need to be more vocal about this issue with YAESU. We need to let them know we need a proper resolution on this issue. Call YAESU and push the issue. I am certainly pushing the issue with them but I need support from the rest of the FT991 owner community.

Stephanie WX3K
KB0VVK Rating: 2016-07-29
dose a lot Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
IM very happy
but instructions to upgrade are to overdone example upgrad firmwere press
txw and split while you turn in power supply
why cant you have the power supply on then press txw and split got to mske it a pain
jonkb0vvk@gmail.com if there is a easey some one show me that's the only thing I don't like
M0KZX Rating: 2016-07-24
Brilliant radio, wipes the floor with my FT-2000 Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I've had my FT991 for 4 months now. Since it arrived in the shack I've not used the FT2000. The DSP/DNR on this radio is stunning. I can pull stations out of the noise that the FT2000 cant even come close to.

OK, the menu driven controls are a pain in the neck, but like anything you soon get used to it. It's easy to program and all reports have been first class.

VHF and UHF / digital are also a dream to use with great reports received.

For the money this radio is a no-brainer.
WA4RX Rating: 2016-07-19
I found this to be a great rig for the price. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This has been an excellent addition to my shack. It is a very versatile rig and has a lot to offer. It's receiving HF signals were what sold me on the unit. They are crystal clear when compared to other rigs that I own and tested against. The 2 meter digital is icing on the cake with the clear CF4M signals. We have a local fusion repeater and it is great being able to talk to others through out the world with clear signals.
I have used PSK 31 and had the clearest signals compared to my Kenwood 480.
The only drawback I have is going through the menu settings which can be a pain and having to change them when doing different things such as psk. My biggest complaint is trying to bring up memory channels. It should be a lot easier in my estimation.
I like the rig so well that I am going to purchase another one to be used as a mobile unit.
K8DXX Rating: 2016-06-04
Sold Mine in 11 Months Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This is my second review of the '991 which I no longer own... by choice. Purchased in May, 2015. Did not experience any of the documented hardware failures. It worked more or less as advertised. It was convenient having V/UHF SSB and a shack in a box.

Then, I took it as my only rig on a 2 month vacation in Florida. Keep in mind that my home station is based around a Flex 6300 SDR which I find excellent in every respect. In day to day use, I became very dissatisfied with the '991's noisy receiver on HF. It's just fatiguing to listen to. The selectivity is also quite poor. The FT-991 IMHO is the stereotypical 1918 Edwin Armstrong superhet with digital afterthoughts.

Can't we do better these days? The answer may be yes. After selling the FT-991 at a loss, I picked up an IC-7300, a $1400 direct sampling SDR. What a difference! So far, quiet, selective and has a real time panadaptor, far more useful than the "snapshot" produced on the '991.

If you want a DC to daylight shack in a box, I suppose the FT-991 is OK. I can not recommend it as a primary HF rig for even casual use.
M5AED Rating: 2016-06-01
over done ! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After many years away from radio I returned and purchased the FT991, and it does work well. After a few weeks I also purchased the FT817 plus the Collins 10 pole SSB filter, now the FT991 is not getting much use !

I think the FT991 was an excessive buy for me, how much extra are we paying for the ridiculous waterfall gimmick ? I never use it and it stops some of the other functions being seen when it is selected. We find signals by listening around the bands, not looking at a screen with spikey lines. I am not that keen on touchscreens.

The FT991 works well but for me it has too many gimmicks. I now think I would have preferred the far lower cost FT857. It seems that the FT857 controls are mainly the same as my FT817 which I cannot fault. We live and learn, albeit at a price !
W7SAO Rating: 2016-05-31
great radio n small box Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Have had radio 1 week plus. Observations/experience below.
This review compares the 991 to Yaesu FTDX-3000 and Icom 7000.Has a fantastic receiver. The DNR is far superior to both my 3000 and 7000. Even using settings of 1-3 signals just pop our of background if you back down the RF gain a bit. It allows you to hear signals not copyable on either the 3000 or 7000.
Menu system its very unique but easy to use and navigate quickly.Sensitivity on 6 M is as good or better than the 3000 and icon 7000.
CW is a real piece of cake and peaking feature is again easier to use and better than the 3000..
One outstanding feature is when you use a heil goldmine mic and the internal EQ in the radio. The resulting audio is absolutely OUTSTANDING WITH LOT OF PUNCH AND CLARITY.
ForNegatives,My radio only has maximum power out of 50-60 watts. Did master reset and still only 50-60 W out.Radios currently at Yaesu for repair.
Internal tuner is bit noisy but does eventually tune antenna.
Worst item is the supplied hand mic which has too much bass with few highs and is mushy and hard to understand.

Bottom line Yaesu is just like Nikon Camera as they BUILD-SHIP AND LET CUSTOMERS FIND PROBLEMS.

STILL ONE HECK OF A RADIO FOR THE PRICE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING IT BACK AND IN USE.
N3SCP Rating: 2016-04-28
Best HF/VHF/UHF mobile rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned a lot of radios over the years, base stations and mobiles. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, especially when it is a totally new design. Yes, the FT-991 has had some minor problems at first. But now it’s the best mobile all band rig out there. Don’t expect to be able to maneuver through the menus while driving down the road. Set the radio up and save the settings. Believe me, if you can use the Icom 706 or the Yeasu 857 then you will love this radio. There are only so many knobs you should put on a mobile rig. Know your radio, The FT-991 has a lot of great filters that will help bring in even the weakest signals. Oh, by the way as a bonus, this radio has Digital C4FM/FM that will probably become the main digital mode because of its ability to share digital and analog on the same repeater.
Happy DXing
KG7WUU Rating: 2016-04-22
Are you ready for a long story? Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I am a new ham. Though I tinkered with radios for quite a while. I did my "Commercial Radio Operator License" in 1981 and then went to the dark side, you know, computers. I had worked on audio and RF amps as well as music effects and laser equipment.

Finally got my ham ticket in October, 2015 and picked up a new spiffy Yaesu FT-991. I do have other Yaesu radios from way back used as SW receivers. On to the review.

I took my tech then thought I'd try general as I did well on the tech exam. I went to HRO immediately after passing my General and picked up the new FT-991. I had read up on it on Yaesu's website and it looked good. It fits my desk, has a lot of features and looks great. I also picked up a 2m/70cm antenna just to listen and learn etiquette.

The radio went on the bench hooked to my 25 Amp power supply. I went through the manual and to YouTube and other sites to learn the menu. It was great fun. I put the mag mount 2m antenna on a file cabinet and listened to a couple nets. This is going to be so much fun! Now I need an HF antenna. I read up on several designs and found one that my HOA wouldn't scream about. I built my OCFD and was able to test it at a local event. Set up the OCFD on the roof connected to a 60' length of mil-spec RG-213, USA made, and made sure I had low SWR on 20m where I wanted to try PSK31 that I had read about.

This was so easy. Downloaded HRD and hooked up a Universal Serial Bus cable and fiddled with settings and baddabing. Wow...It worked great. I was able to hear HI and South America. I tried a few times and made a TX contact with PSK31. I had low SWR (1.4:1) and was happy with contacts made with only 30 watts.

Now on to HF Phone regions. I listened for a while and found QSOs happening on 14.255 and thought I'd give it a try. Found a quiet spot at 14.257 and hit the ATU button on the radio as SWR was 1.8:1 there.....listened to it go through the tuning and tried 5 watt carrier on AM. The SWR was through the roof. I re-read the manual section on ATU and I did it again. All fine now. I must have done something wrong the first time. Let's try a CQ.... Though SWR was low, I could only get 30 watts out on USB. I tried Mic Level, Power out, and other controls. Only 30 watts PEAK out. I called Yeasu and they said send it in. They didn't tell me they'd send a call tag so I sent it via USPS for $30. I made sure they had received it via tracking. I didn't hear from them for a week so started calling to get status. I was told it would be looked at next week.

3 weeks from the date of send I received the radio back. Mr. Power Amp was unhappy and had to be repaired. Now 100 watts USB in the same place worked previously. Redo all the settings and memories again. I hit the ATU and called CQ. Playing with the different meter settings, I noticed that SWR was over 5:1 indicated on the radio. How could that be??? I just tuned it to 1:1. I turned power way down and went to AM hit the tuner and 1:1 whew. Called CQ again and everything looked great. Received a reply and talked to a gentleman in WA state that said everything was great. YAY!

The next morning after yardwork, I thought I'd see if I could make other SSB contacts. Turn on the rig and turn the power down. Find a dead spot on 20m. Hit the ATU and listen to the tune. Turn the power up and key on AM. CRAZY high SWR again! Checked grounds, PL259 tighness and settings again. Retune. Normal SWR again. This went on for a few days and I found that If I moved the radio WHILE it was tuning it worked until I turned it off again. I tried to tune another station and while spinning the knob, it locked up. I tried the tension ring thinking I may have spun it...Nope! No matter what I did, the main tuning knob was so hard to tune, you really had to crank it to go anywhere.

I went to YouTube and searched for FT-991 ATU and I wasn't the only one that had this issue. I didn't find anything on the tuning knob though.

Called Yeasu again. The tech there, Tim was great. Told me several things to check. I checked them and called back with the same issue. I also found low output on 10m AM and asked they check it. They asked me to send it back. Sent it back again this time with a DVD of the issue and workaround of hitting the top of the radio while tuning. This time I whined about having to pay to send it back again. I asked for the rig to be replaced. They offered to send a call tag but not replace. I boxed it and sent it again.

This went on another time as well. Each time they told me either it was fixed or they couldn't find the issue I relayed to them. I posted a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSTgZmBJvoI so they could see what I went through. Still they couldn't find the problem and sent it back to me.

The ATU issue was still there when I received it! If I banged on the top while tuning, it tuned. Now it had less than 2 watts out on 10m AM. Not that I use 10m AM but still. FM output was 100 watts great, but AM not so much. SO.......Called, emailed and whined big time! I asked that the radio be replaced. FINALLY they agreed. After another 2 weeks, the replacement arrived. It went back on the bench in the spot the old one came out of. No changes other than the radio and EVERYTHING WORKS as it should.

I quickly made contacts in Mexico, Washington state and PSK31 contacts too. Tested 2m FM and 70cm with locals I had met and received great reports. I also tested C4FM and was impressed by the great audio quality.

I really like the radio. It is much more configurable than my FT757GXII which don't get me wrong, is a great rig but the FT-991 just does so much more. I really like the 991 and give it a 4/5. If it lasts, it will be on the bench for a LONG time.

Now the digs. After sending the original rig back 4 times and over 2 months of travel and repair time, I felt the Yaesu service department should have done something to ensure the replacement does last. Their customer service intake people were GREAT. Communication from service left something to be desired. I may be too demanding but I work in a service environment and if I treated my customers the way I felt I was, I wouldn't have been able to afford a $1400 rig.

Now I have a new rig with a 6 month warranty. I didn't even get a new box with the replacement. For the customer service I received from Yaesu, when speaking to them I felt like I was being insulted a couple times. I felt they implied that either I didn't know how to opperate, there was a problem with my setup or a combination of both when they know the FT-991s have the intermittent ATU issue as they've received reports both foreign and domenstic regarding the issue. There are many YouTube videos, web reports and so on about the ATU. For the Yaesu service department 2/5. If it weren't for the intake ladies being so nice, it would have been lower.

Would I buy another FT-991? I don't think so. I'll look for an Icom maybe. Would I send this rig to Yaesu for repair? Probably not if it is out of warranty. Do I think the FT-991 is a good rig? 4/5 as it does what a newbie like me needs and is fun, quiet, configurable and compact.

73,
Vince
KJ4EOZ Rating: 2016-04-09
A great little rig ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Some guys have had issues with this rig when it 1st came out . Take a look at your SN# if it starts with a N4 stay away . Anything N5 SN# or newer your good to go . I have a N5 SN . Been great . I have it as a back up HF and I replaced my FT847 with it . Most of the time it stays on 2 meters FM / SSB and boy it works well . And C4FM is great so much better then D-star ! And you can use C4FM on HF . You get a lot of radio for the Money . Same EQ TX as theFTdx1200 ,FT 3000 , FT 5000 can't tell on TX . I'm Selling my TS2000 so I can buy one for my truck . My wife has the FTDM400 in her car and we use C4FM all the time . Just make sure if you buy a FT991 Check the SN#
N4 is 2014 N5 is 2015 . N5 or newer is what you want . Even new ask before you buy ! SN# .