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Reviews For: Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3)

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Ten-Tec Omni VI (Opt. 3)
Reviews: 17MSRP: 2585.00
Factory upgrade of the Omni VI to VI+
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K5MO Rating: 2021-07-29
Best of the best Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned many rigs, and there's nothing in the category that the OmniVI is in. While I'm mostly a CW op these days, this is a fantastic rig in any mode. Mine has a full compliment of roofing filters, and when the going gets rough, the Omni will pull out the other station if its there at all. Brick wall filtering, tight integration with the Centurion amp make this rig a real pleasure to operate.

Clearly one of the best bargains in used radios.

EDIT: 7-29-2021 - Many thousands of contacts later, the Omni VI is still my go-to radio (with the Centurion amp). Absolutely my best buy in radio. Completely intuitive and absent all the eye candy that is distracting and failure prone, of new radios.
KB0GLN Rating: 2017-06-10
Love it!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Assembled a full omni 6 station. Alaways wanted one. consisting of the omni VI with option 3. matching speaker/pwr supply, a 238 tuner and the titan II amplifier. Receiver is both sensitive and quiet. the auto notch is a blessing to weed out qrm. Good audio/signal reports when operating on hf nets. Did have a dsp failure with this rig Which was easily bypassed by switching board to board jumpers. replaced dsp chip found for $4.00.
which for its age was not unexpected. This is my primary hf rig enjoy it every time i turn it on...
DF2AR Rating: 2015-10-21
Best Rig for CW ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had really a lot of RIGs during the last 20 years, Kwd's, Yaesu's, Icom's, Alinco's and other. Now I exchanged a TS-480SAT for an OMNI 6 with all filters and TCXO and I must say, I never had a better Rig for CW than this one. It has ufb QSK and a crystal-clear cw-pitch. It's a really fun to work CW with the OMNI. The mechanical quality is not good as Kenwood or ICOM, but thats no problem for me... it works ;-)I will never sell this rig and hope, it will do it's job still for a long time.....
K5RCR Rating: 2012-09-16
Still great after 20 years Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently got the opportunity to obtain an Omni 6 v 3 as an ebay purchase. It had recently been to the factory for alignment and is essentially a brand new, 20 year old radio. I have read a number of reviews and comparisons of this rig to others, most notably the most recent ON4UN Low Band DXing book and the Sherwood evaluations. The receiver still receives high praise even in comparison to the K2/K3 rigs widely believed to be the best.

To cut to the chase, this is the best reciever I have used in 40+ years of hamming. CW signals are crisp, even very weak signals. The DSP noise reduction [NR] seems to work like magic. After about ~ half a second of pushing the button, the noise just melts away and the signal pops out. Brilliant!

I added a 250 Hz cw filter to the 6 MHz band pass..couldn't help but notice that this is one of the best built radios I have ever owned. Really good metal work and it looks like it can take a punch if it had to. By current standards it is a big radio, but as a result very easy to use.

Transmit side seems to work well, but I have not yet rewired the Heil Pro Set to the Omni plugs, but have managed to get past a minor pile up with VP8LP today and made contact on the first try.

The Omni easily interfaces with my little Ameritron AL-811 AMP.

Summary - wish I had the radio 20 years ago!
KJ4XX Rating: 2012-09-02
Still Awesome Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought the regular Omni VI from a friend mainly to make sure I would have it if he passed. He is at this writing still ticking and very funny, but not able to operate radio. He had issues with this radio and sent it back three times and whatever the issue was he didn't feel they corrected it. When I bought it I sent it to Ten-Tec and I was too late for option 1 and 2 but they did the Option 3. I've owned, if only for a short time, about 40 HF rigs, but without really good antennas most of the time. When I received the Omni VI Opt. 3 back it was like a new radio. Sitting next to Yaesu Mk 5 and 775 DSP it eventually became my DX radio. On a 4 ele. beam I now could tell the difference easily. What takes one or two turns to get rid of adjacent noise on the Omni while working DX takes about 20 minutes on the 775 or Mark 5. I did work Peter I on the 765s but I worked Yemen and Somalia in the first 30 minutes with the Omni. The receiver is great. I'm not happy with the drive and if I were using a high drive amp that would be an issue, however I'm using an 8877 amp and so drive is not that important. After my relocation I plan to add an automatic tuner on the Omni just for a little protection. The Mk 5 is gone and the 775DSP is used on 75 and 40, no longer for DX, just rag chewing. So on the used market today for the prices I am seeing, it is a great radio. Don't forget this is the last ham band only radio, which I believe is one reason there is so little internally generated noise. If I could only change the clock :-)

Earlier 0-star review posted by KJ4XX on 2006-07-22

I bought this radio from a friend for one reason, he was old and I wanted one of his radio's. He bought this Omni VI new and had sent it back to Ten-Tec for the same problem twice. The clock and other functions never worked right and it would never read the right frequency. On one area in 75 meters it might only be off 170 KHz and on 20 Meters it could be 1,800 KHz off. The rep at hamfest says they just use a different kind of frequency control than the japanese and thats to be expected. So after 5 emails they say mine is broken and they can fix it, for more money!! Why didn't they fix it the first two times? Also, I always wondered why they sold a $2,400 radio with a $10 CB meter?.. The feel of the knobs are cheap also..again, look at what you get for that kind of money, side by side, quality for quality. Then I had two friends by the first Orion...transmit and receive frequency was off, they both returned them for good. For another $100 worth of quality parts (off their profit) they could have had a top notch radio. A larger more professional meter would have really helped. A more stable and accurate frequency readout would have really helped, and fixing the radio the first time it was sent would have realy, realy helped. I think if they put out a better product American hams would have bought so many Ten-Tecs they wouldn't be able to keep them on the shelves. Until then, please stay away from used Omni VI unless you get free shipping to Tennessee, and also look at the other fine on frequency radio's before you buy an Orion. And me? I have owned over 24 HF rigs and have test twice that, compared side by side. I've been a ham for 22 years and do know what I'm talking about...
K2JF Rating: 2010-01-06
Totally Enjoyable Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm mostly a CW op - maybe 80% of the time and heard so much about the Ten Tec "legendary" QSK that I picked up a Scout to use for portable QRP operation. Using the QSK just once turned my head around. I've had great rigs before, the Omni VI opt3 is not the first, but the full break-in is like nothing else I've used. What else do I like about the rig? I found it to be among the least intimidating in terms of opening it up and getting inside. The noise reduction works great; the tune function button is convenient. I don't miss the menu driven rig I sold to get this one - I like the simplicity and versatility. I bought this from Ten Tec and was pleased dealing with them. Besides all this it just feels good to buy American once again!
W2DWL Rating: 2009-01-24
Awesome Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I, like some other owners of Ten Tec gear didn't think I could find a better radio than my Corsair II, but I was wrong. The Omni VI (opt3) is one great radio with the filtering and dsp that really does work. As it is a great CW rig I also get unsolicited audio reports, and the radio is stll being supported by Ten Tec

Earlier 5-star review posted by W2DWL on 2008-04-10

Well I have heard a lot about this radio and thought I give it a try, and to my surprise it is the best radio I have ever had the pleasure to use. The receive is by far the best and has no equal. I get excellent audio reports just using the 705 desk mic. I compared it to my Pro, and TS-2000 and I will tell you that I no longer own the Pro nor the TS-2000.
W4HT Rating: 2008-12-24
Perhaps the best CW rig I've ever used Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Like the previous poster I thought nothing would ever replace my Corsair II for day to day operation but it looks like the Omni VI Option 3 will. I have used a variety of HF rigs over the last 40+ years as a ham but this them all beat. The receiver is excetionally sensitive and selective. The DSP really does work as advertised and makes CW signals literally leap out of the background noise. The receiver is nearly "crunch proof" from strong adjacent signals. I have a full compliment of filters and am able to separate very close CW sgnals very well. The LP function does add a touch of bass to the receiver audio when my aging ears need it. I do operate some SSB and am given unsolicited great aduio reports there too. At the current price point the rig is an exellent value and is still fully supported by Ten Tec. This was a winner when it came out in the early 90's and the upgrade to Option 3 makes it sweeter in my book. I will keep my Corsair II but this rig is now front and center at my operating position. If you find one, buy it and enjoy.
WA2SOC Rating: 2008-12-24
Really sweet Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I thought nothing would replace my trusty Corsair but the OMNI VI/3 has done it. It was obviously something like a dozen years old when I bought it a few months ago so it needed a little work, but it was well worth it. I replaced the (failing) crystal oven with a new TCXO and I recommend the change.

Mine has every possible filter and with the 250Hz filters on in both positions and the DSP noise reduction and LP filter on, the receiver is pretty much "single signal". If you have ever tried to copy W1AW code practice through all the junk that usually surrounds it you know what a mess that can be. With the filters and PBT set right, W1AW sounds like a practice tape. As with the Corsair, if you think the receiver is noisy, turn down the RF gain to a sensible value.

I used it for a week before I even looked at the manual and operation for me was intuitive. The only thing I needed the manual for was setting the clock; that I never would have figured out. It is really easy to operate with my left hand while I send with the right, important for NCS duty.

The only problem is that I was sort of excited about the idea of buying a new radio someday, but now I can't think of a good excuse. I guess I'll have to put up a tower instead.
WR3KI Rating: 2008-11-02
Well kept secret Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have the Omni VI opt 3, with the inrad roofing filter & audio mod. I picked this rig up here on a whim, (on eham) & could not believe the performance. I've had the rig about 2 years now. Soon after purchase, I sold off the venerable Icom 781 & a 765. This rig hears them, where they were mere whispers on the other rigs. The Sherwood measurements tell it all. Of course you need good antennas, (maybe the fellas below didn't?). I do however have a good location & antennas. Quiet location on an island, Chesapeake bay of Md. K9AY loop, & full sized 1/4 verticals for 75, 40 et al. All mounted on our pier in the Bay. This is a straight forward rig & does not have all of the fancy dancy features of the ja rigs. Just good raw performance. I recommend the rig, for dx & rag chewing, as I have it configured with the inrad mods. A real bargain, at current price levels on the used market. All the best from Kent Island, MD. WR3KI