||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|Can't ask for a better sounding transceiver both RX and TX. The front speaker offers crystal clear audio that is outstanding! |
You get a complete 200W rig with 2 built-in receivers which is a first for me and is very useful!
Crystal clear LCD display and controls that doesn't depend on a PC! The extra outer tuning ring is a nice added touch too.
Thanks Yaesu for a great transceiver and I am looking forward to future firmware upgrades to make it even better!
I now also own a Yaesu FTDX10, another beauty with an excellent receiver that is similar to the 101. You cannot ask for better audio!
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|High Standards, Have Mostly high end radios FTdx5000, TS990s, FTDX9000MP and a Yaesu FTdx10 all great radios with top notch receives, this radio is right up there on receive with these radios, the radio is easy to operate for a person that has used Yaesu radios in the past, personally I added a Vertex 100 speaker on the second external speaker outlet because my hearing high frequencies are not up to par these days. Over all this is another VERY GOOD radio from Yaesu at a fair price in todays HF Radio market!|
|Yes, this radio has the best receiver
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I've been a ham for a long time, and over the years I've passed along of a number of radios that had poor receiver tone. All the test numbers are one thing, but what's missing from the data is how the receiver "sounds". The receiver in the FTDX-101MP sounds fantastic, very nice tone from the external speaker and it's just amazingly quiet. Sherwood has it rated at number one for good reason. Highly recommended.|
|An very impressive radio
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|The FTDX101MP opens a new era in HF transceivers performances, and its selectivity is quite high.|
There's no doubt that Icom / Kenwood ergonomics are better than Yaesu, and the Yaesu firmware still has a few quirks - though not as serious as some will state these.
The FTDX-101MP is an excellent radio, but there is still an few issues to complain about.
The FTDX-101MP’s MPVD ring surrounding the main tuning knob is quite useful, as well as that multi-function knob,
and most functions can be set to use either of them.
The new VCT pre-selector works far better than most would think,
and can be used to reduce any interference, quite effectively.
as does the digital noise reduction filter.
There are MANY different, contradictory “recommended” setting for the new Automatic Mic Control (AMC), which can be adjusted,
as there is numerous videos on how to set this,
plus, the same can be done with the inbuilt equalizer settings,
The SSM-75G hand-held mike is okay, but do get one of the alternative Desk Mike as an supplement, too.
It would be really nice if Yaesu would update that Zin function,
so that it works as it was intended to be, otherwise it's an disaster as it currently is.
As always, there is some nice functions on the latest Icom / Kenwood radio's, and you could always be comparing these other functions with your Yaesu FTdx-101MP, as each radio has it's own place in your shack.
|Rig with a Great Receiver but Inexplicable Flaws
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|I'm an experienced, technically inclined Extra Class ham, licensed in 1964. I own three Yaesu rigs and have operated five others, so I'm very familiar with their operation. When I wanted to upgrade from my FTdx3000 (IMHO a best buy for its time) I decided to treat myself to a FTdx101MP. There have been many extensive comments on this radio, so I will try and be succinct. This is *not* a plug and play radio, and considerable time and care is needed to properly set it up. The online forum offered some help but was unexpectedly rife with misinformation and trolls, but I did glean some useful information before leaving. |
The receiver is extraordinary. I rarely use the VC-Tune because the front end is bomb-proof and the DSP and filters excellent. Among my interests are CW contesting and I can regularly pick out stations right at the noise. The controls are logically laid out and spaced for normal fingers, although illuminating them would be nice.
While I'm not fond of touchscreens, the display is bright, clear, responsive and the buttons are large and easy to identify. Once set up, I rarely have to use it. The band scope is large, clear and easy to adjust for both width and sensitivity. I can't find any value in the 3D display that Yaesu makes such a fuss about, but that's my personal opinion, not a flaw.
Now, for the not so good part- the manual is poorly written compared to the manuals for my FTdx3000 and FT897 and I had to purchase the ZL3DW book in order to set up the rig, particularly the AMC and compression settings. It's a must-own if you plan to integrate software with the radio and also addresses errors in the manual. The supplied junk speaker belongs in a $10 transistor radio, and I replaced it with an Visaton RS-10S which uses the same mounting holes.
Unlike every Yaesu rig I've owned and used, this radio has no simple low power tuning option. On my 3000, a firmware update enabled the user to make a simple adapter and select a low power output without changing modes. According to Yaesu, there are no plans to include this in a future firmware update.
The FH-2 keypad, a cheap membrane pad necessary to use the built in DVK that was included with my 3000, is now $100 extra. I purchased a much higher quality one online for $17.
I use a Microham Digikeyer II, which draws less than 100 milliamperes and powered it from the rear power jack, as recommended. It worked fine for 6 months and then lost power. A measurement revealed no voltage at the rear power jack.
I contacted Tim Factor at Yaesu and discussed the issue with him at length. While he was very nice, he informed me that I must have exceeded the 200 milliampere rating and blew the internal fuse, and as such wouldn't be covered under the warranty even after I emailed him a photo showing a 97 milliampere reading on my DMM. Not a big deal, but I expected better.
I researched this purchase after carefully reading the reviews of both the 101 and 101MP in QST, where none of these obvious issues were mentioned. This will be my last purchase from Yaesu, a company who used to be responsive to its customers. There is no excuse for cutting so many corners on a "Flagship" radio. Caveat Emptor, prospective buyers.
|An Outstanding Radio
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|UPDATED 4/2/2023: Previously I reported that the original FTDX-101MP arrived with a “dead” narrowband sub-receiver after options were added by the Yaesu/Cyprus service center. That saga has now been moved to the “Yaesu Factory Service” review thread and plays no part in this updated review for the FTDX-101MP, which is based on a second, fully optioned and fully functional radio.|
EXPERIENCE WITH FTDX-101MP AND OTHER (REFERENCE) RADIOS
As of April 2, 2023, I’ve had the opportunity to make about 5,000 QSOs in mixed SSB and FT8 modes from 80-10M on the Yaesu FTDX-101MP/MAX (fully loaded -all filters + VCTs), which is enough for an informed initial opinion of its performance, ergonomics and features. Note that I operate mainly SSB and digital modes, am not an avid contester, live in a dense urban neighborhood and that this review is colored by that style and circumstances.
My HF radio experience runs from old tube Heathkits (last one was a HW-101 I modified to run RTTY and AMTOR) through the early solid state “boom era” (still have my complete and working Kenwood TS440S/AT station), to early hybrid analog/DSP (Software Defined Radio) radios, like the Yaesu FTDX-5000 (ARRL station), -3000, -1200 and FT-991, to full DSP/SDR radios such as the Icom IC-7300 and Flex 6600, via friends stations. My own career has been in the field of digital comms and DSP/SDR systems for spacecraft and ground stations.
FTDX-101MP SUMMARY AND ERGONOMICS COMMENTS
The FTDX-101MP is an excellent radio with little to complain about. With all of the key features (and more) of the FTDX-9000, and -5000, including vastly improved pre-selectors and receivers, it’s a fraction of the size/mass of previous Yaesu flagships. Ergonomically, the FTDX-101MP (and D) takes advantage of a relatively large, legible and colorful touch screen – with the option to be wireless mouse driven – to fit its many controls and readouts onto a smaller chassis/front panel. Thoughtful addition of dual physical knob controls for main and sub-receivers, plus a programmable VFO-knob-concentric MPVD ring that can be configured to act as the VFO control for the sub-receiver helps a great deal. Positioning of buttons around the VFO is very similar to previous desktop Yaesu radios.
The The FTDX-101MP’s MPVD ring surrounding the main tuning knob is quite useful. If you have large, stubby fingers or are seriously dexterity challenged and keep hitting the main tuning knob instead of the MPVD ring, Yaesu has thoughtfully included a LOCK button right next to the main tuning knob. Tap LOCK, play with the MPVD ring. Tap LOCK again and you’re good to go no matter how much you bump the main knob. Since I browse a lot on SUB RX using the MPVD ring while operating FT8 on MAIN RX and drinking coffee, this is quite handy.
Very significantly, Yaesu solicited input on and LISTENED to criticism of its previous, obtuse menu systems and control layout, releasing sample radios into the community before offering the FTDX-101D/MP for sale and then incorporating feedback – including moving main receiver physical controls BELOW duplicate sub receiver controls.
Coming from an FTDX-3000 + MTUs + R75 search receiver (with some FTDX-5000 use, too), I found this radio easy to use, with just a few things to look up. And the menu system made sense. Bravo!
The FTDX-101MP’s similar plethora of I/O and compact size made it a pretty easy “drop-in” replacement for the FTDX-3000/MTUs/R75– it fit perfectly into limited space. It took a bit of thought and experimentation to find out that the TX Inhibit and ALC radio outputs were no longer directly compatible with my KAT500/KPA500 tuner/amplifier and I had to disconnect lines for those functions – but TX control and direct band selection still worked fine. All other connections were uneventful.
FTDX-101MP RECEIVER COMMENTS
As received from the factory, the FTDX-101MP appears to have an emphasized low frequency response, compared to the FTDX-3000, on SSB. I can make FTDX-3000 RX sound pretty similar to the FTDX-101MP by using the CONTOUR control to nudge low frequency response upwards. This enhanced LF response on RX appears to contribute to the radio’s pleasant listening experience.
The DNR is much improved and still works well with the cascaded external CLRdsp units I had used previously with the FTDX-3000 and R75. Curiously, the new DNR is programmed to “back off” (at almost ANY setting) if only a VERY weak (or no signal) is present. On SSB, this means that QSOs can be nearly noise free if the other station is coming in at S2 and above. Below that, the DNR seems to relax and let the noise background float upwards, presumably to allow our natural hearing ability to filter out difficult contacts without typical DNR distortion. And it works, partly because the FTDX-101MP receiver is so quiet and non-fatiguing to begin with. But if the noise at very low/no signal levels bothers me, I just flip on the external CLRdsp units I have and trade some distortion for less low-level noise.
The new variable-capacitor centric VCT pre-selector works far better and on more bands than the old, optional (and usually external) variable-inductor MTU pre-selector units. Q appears much higher and they really are useful for in band interference rejection, where the old MTUs were mainly useful for out of band interference issues. One irony here is that I’ve found the FTDX-101MP receiver is so linear and selective across its pass-band, even with very large adjacent signals, that the VCT is rarely needed.
SSB RX audio setup was pretty easy and is nothing short of superb. Let me say that again: SUPERB. A buddy whose main radio is a FLEX-6600 and backup is an IC-7300 was “blown away” by the RX performance and sound quality
CW RX is excellent, too, though be prepared to use semi-break in as TX/RX switching is a little slow and via relays rather than PIN diodes. Not a big problem for me.
Dual receive mode (both receivers/VFO locked and tracking to the same frequency) using two speakers, one for each receiver, placed on an opposite sides of the radio, results in a phenomenal and very “clean” 3D-like sound quality, similar to some audio phase-change switchable Heil headphones.
On FT8, the RX bandwidth is obviously wider than the FTDX-3000 (on DATA mode) and my distinct but unscientific impression is that the -101MP receiver works better, too. It certainly works well, period – but so did the FTDX-3000, though the -3000 required some adjustment of IF shift, AMP and ATT controls during a QSO much more often to pull out marginal signals. The FTDX-101MP rarely requires ANY tweaking to perform as well (or better).
FTDX-101MP TRANSMITTER COMMENTS
There are MANY different, contradictory “recommended” setting for the new Automatic Mic Control (AMC), which can be adjusted but is always ON. Counter-intuitively, turning UP AMC to a higher number “backs off” its impact (to a degree). After experimenting with it, the behavior and purpose of AMC became pretty obvious: Its MAIN job is to make sure the radio does not generate splatter on TX regardless of user control settings. If you’re an “All Knobs to the RIGHT!” type of operator, with high mic gain and compression settings, AMC is going to grab those controls and quietly back them off. And before you complain about this, remember that Rob Sherwood and others have made very strong protests regarding abusive users and splatter. Again, Yaesu listened – and built in a “Nanny” – AMC. Personally, I like it and just set it as recommended in the manual. Adjusting microphone gain, compression and equalization was then pretty easy - maybe because I’m NOT a fan of incredibly shrill and obnoxious “contest voices”. My usual contacts seem to like the results. Oddly enough, so do members of my HF radio groups that are hard core contesters, who report good results with their FTDX-101 (MP and D models) as well.
TX power control on the FTDX-101MP operates via an ALC circuit, just as it does on the FTDX-3000 and earlier radios. But unlike those radios, it’s setting is rock-steady from initial cold startup through hours of heavy use. This is especially important with modes like FT8, where ALC has to be set to just slight ALC indicator deflection on TX for better TX signal quality. With earlier Yaesu radios, ALC level would drop significantly and need to be adjusted upwards as the radio warmed up. No adjustment needed with the FTDX-101MP.
FTDX-101 MP VS. FTDX-101D OBSERVATIONS
Looking at the schematics and chassis drawings of the two very similar radios, the main differences seem to be in the power supplies (Yaesu supplied external 50 VDC on MP vs. user supplied 13.8 VDC on D), final transistor heat-sinking (much more heavy duty on the 200 Watt MP version) and antenna tuner (more heavily built on MP).
For those that like margin, the FTDX-101MP can be operated at 100 Watts with little heat, voltage or current stress to the finals and tuner, compared to the “D” version, at the same power output level.
The main penalty is that the “MP” has an external 120 VAC to 50 VDC power supply and cannot be powered directly from a 12 VDC battery. But the Yaesu 50 VDC supply includes a pretty good sounding speaker as well, though it’s cord is a short 3 feet. Note that Yaesu supplies guidance regarding extending the cord if needed.
Oddly enough, on-line ARRL test results for both the MP and D models show the lower voltage finals “D” version has cleaner TX output than the 50V finals MP version. But both models are more than sufficiently “clean” on TX, IMHO.
One other consideration is that lack of 12 VDC operating capability makes the “MP” version harder to power from some solar/backup systems. But those that can supply it with 120 VAC/720 VA on TX will benefit from it’s 200 Watt RF power output (no external amp needed) – even my tiny 29-lb. Honda EU-1000is generator can do that. But my 120 VAC/300 VA + 13.8 VDC/30A solar backup system requires dialing power WAY back (likely to LESS than 100 Watts out) whereas at 13.8 VDC it can easily deliver 30A to a traditional 13.8 VDC HF radio operating at full power (100 Watts), like the “D” version.
Which one is “best” (MP or D) is purely a personal choice.
Brian - K6BRN
|Has Met and Exceeded All Expectations
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|As a long time SWL'er I have used many Ham rigs over the years (60+) primarily as receivers. So I do appreciate the "ears" that a receiver has and totally understand the tools that most receivers bring to the table.|
The Yeasu FTdx101MP has joined my shack and the Icom IC-R8600 (which was my primary receiver) has left (at this time the best receiver ICOM makes). The Yaesu FTdx101MP is by far the most selective and sensitive receiver on the market that I have had the pleasure to use and throughly enjoy. The rig's DNR, digital noise reduction is utterly amazing. Signals "float" out of the QRN/QRM. The ability to Notch and Contour the signal interference is a wonderful set of tools. Of course shifting and narrowing are knob controlled and very handy. I tend to not use the Amplifier setting on receive so I cannot comment on their effectivity.
The 101MP can put out 1 to 200 watts PEP and I can tell you that I have done some experiments with the Reverse Beacon Network and CW which clearly shows me that 200 watts can make a huge difference to your signal's propagation.
I have the Electrovoice RE27ND Microphone which along with my audio settings, are constantly garnering unsolicited positive comments. Seasoned Hams have constantly asked..."What are you using for a Microphone?". That pretty much says it all.
I have not had any issues with firmware or any computer interface. In fact I use Windows 11 on a PC and WIN4YAESU software for control and Ham Radio Deluxe as my primary logging software.
When I was setting up my station this time the fact that the 101MP comes with a power supply and a few more front end filters made it a no brainer.
As Forrest Gump said..."Its Like a Box of Chocolates" and the 101MP just never ceases to amaze me. There is lots to learn and explore with the radio. Which after all is more than half the fun of a good rig.
I am using a FLEX Tuner Genius XL antenna tuner with the 101MP does matching chores for my big Horizontal SKYloop. A RFKITS RF2K-S amplifier is there if needed.
The fan on the MP is quiet... and not on too often I might add. The fan on the MP's power supply has to my knowledge never been heard. The manual is good and complete but Andrew Barron's book on the FTDX101D should be considered mandatory reading.
In summary, a great sounding transmitter that is joined at the hip with currently the world's best receiver. You cannot work what you cannot hear.
|Really very, very good
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|This is my 2nd week of ownership so it's an early report but even so...|
Firstly, yes there are some niggles with this rig...why doesnt it do this, and that and the other...some ergonomics are a bit, well, alternative (why is the sub vfo above the main vfo in all areas of operation?? odd but not bad per se)[edit 15th March 2023. Ive just watched a Martin Lynch video and Steve says that the main AUDIO gain is below the sub audio gain because they had a lot of customer reports from the preproduction model they had on demo. On this model the main audio gain was ABOVE the sub audio gain but customers felt they were knocking the main VFO and losing signals as they played with the audio pots. Fare enough...now we know]. The main thing is that the rig operates like silk...its gorgeous. I am comparing this radio to my last rig, the Tentec Orion 2, which is the best radio I have met in 45 years, so thats my bench mark.
The radio is my 3rd reasonably high end Yaesu (ftdx 3000 and ftdx 5000MP ltd previously) and it is nicer than them by far. The radio has been run at full power now since I had it - not because i need to, but to test it. It runs cool all the time, fans silent if they're on at all. The screen is easy on the eye and easy to manipulate to a display I like.
Settings are intuitive, by and large, and the audio is nice. I am a cw operator, very rarely on ssb and have only had one ssb qso on this new rig so far and thats probably all I will have unless I get some 4m qso.
What dont I like? Well, the 60m band is a bit hidden which is a shame...I have a licence Yaesu...trust me to be a good boy please and give me full access.
The ATU is a trimmer not the hugely capable ATU of say the Orion 2 or LDG (or even my Elecraft KX2!), but thats the way it is.
The manual is rubbish...very much a 'manual lite'
I think for the price it could have come with a dust cover - thats something Ive had to buy now to protect my kids inheritance.
I do like the split audio (Main vfo via PSU, sub via the internal speaker). 200 watts. 3 antenna outputs, lovely display, silky VFO knob. I also like the look of this rig and that matters to me.
Some folks have said the relays are noisy - but they really arent that bad. Yes one can hear them but then theyre relays! Why Yaesu didnt go for diodes or something I don't know but neither do I care much, as it is it's fine. The relay on my old beloved T1154 were noisy ha ha...this baby is quiet (not silent, but quiet). Some folks say the ZIN/SPOT doesnt work, and thats almost right...if you arent very close indeed then the ZIN just loses the signal so be careful, some folks say the decoder doesnt work well...well, few do! I use my brain the read cw instead. The decoder does work, but no, it's not amazingly good. Mind you, the SSB reader doesnt work at all so cant really moan. (joke...there is no SSB reader!)
I could probably have got as much satisfaction from the ftdx10 to be honest, except the satisfaction of owning this flagship and for that I made a choice. I REALLY like the twin meters and how they can be configured and I REALLY enjoy haveing two S meters and two waterfalls which enables me to easily compare different aerials on the same signal...it's a fantastic feature. I have no external displays and have no need or desire for one...the rig does it all.
The rig is not too big and certainly a lot smaller and MASSIVELY lighter than the 5k! The ftdx101mp does what Yaesu claim in a way I like. All in all, no regrets with splashing the huge cash for this radio.
|Lasted 2 weeks before it failed
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|To say I was gutted is an understatement. |
I paid a lot of money for the 101MP and an additional speaker, so it had one either side. As i was on the spend, I also bought a Heil mic and associated boom etc. I figured I’d get all my ‘goal’ items in one go.
Here’s where Yaesu got it wrong…
The PSU/speaker doesn’t have an LED indicator to say it was on or off. So one day I walk in the shack, hit the ‘on’ button on the radio and nothing happens, I’d forgot to turn on the PSU… turn it on and the radio came on… no audio, no received signals…. So after a factory reset did nothing to fix it, I packed it in the box and returned it to the dealer.
I replaced it with a Kenwood TS-890s… it has less ‘glitter’ than the 101…. But I know it’s going to work.. every time!
I still have my FT-2000 and FT-707 ‘stack’.
|Not the rig i hoped to buy
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I own an FTDX9000MP , a small FTDX1200 and I purchased an FTDX101MP, intrigued by all the good reviews i readed. |
what i like : DNR , absolutely wonderful, if well used is astonishing how well it works
USB connection to the PC , no interface is needed
what i dislike: Ergonomics.. is a nightmare if i compare it to the 9k, the coaxial ring used for all the funcions like clarifier, vctune etc ends up always to an unwanted rolling of the vfo
dnf... totally unusable in ssb , it puts a distortion in audio ( it works perfectly in 1200 and in 9k)
Audio.. too underpowered, lack of all the frequencies i hear with 9k and also 1200.
VC Tune... overrated and overstimated not effective like the three micro tuners i have installed in my 9k
lack of canon ( xlr) mic input, thing that i have in 9k
no class a... well if i have to say something 9000MP is still my favourite, this 101 hasn't touched my heart.