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Reviews For: Ten-Tec Omni-VII

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

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Review Summary For : Ten-Tec Omni-VII
Reviews: 110MSRP: 2850
Ten-Tec Omni-VII Model 588AT (with Autotuner) 160 thru 6 meter Transceiver
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W6GF Rating: 2011-03-01
Who needs a manual Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
From box to set-up to QSOs in 1/4 of an hour. Guys with better test equipment than I have already tested the O7 and the results are all over the net.

I just use the old easy is it to use and on the air comparisons. Luckily, I have a budget and a wife that allow me to have an extension collection of radio gear. I have all the latest from Japan and the U.S. except I have no Flex radios.

The O7 holds up with the best of them and the set-up is so easy,,,,(yes the old caveman story).

The added benefit is working with a company like Ten-Tec

A truly outstanding ham radio value and a model American Company

George, W6GF
NA1A Rating: 2010-10-17
Just great! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is my second time around with the Omni VII. I had one about two years ago then let it go to try out some other radios. I tried out the Orion II, FTDX-9000, Flex 5000A just to name a few. To me the Omni VII is the best performer, simple to operate (very little menu change needed to suit my operating style) and doesn't break the piggy bank.
Its tranmit audio is bar none the best. I operate mostly ESSB and sometimes get involve into DX pile-ups. I set up the audio input from the audio rack system with two cables to the rig. One to the MIC jack in the front, one to the LINE level input on the back. For ESSB, I use the MIC input. For DX and pile up buster, I use the LINE level input. Both give me the type of sound that I'm looking for.
The receiver of the Omni VII is by far the best. I use my neighboring ham up the street as a "receiver tester". He is only five houses up the street from me and operates 75M AM frequently. With all the high ticket rigs that I've had in the past, none could tolerate his AM carrrier once he keyed down (via a Bauer 707 commercial AM broadcast transmitter). My receiver became "numb" from the fundamental overload. When I had the FTDX-9000, I had to be at least 200KC away from him to start hearing any signal. With the Orion II, I had to be about 70KC away. With the Flex 5000A, it didn't matter, I could be way down on the bottom of the CW portion of the band and still could not hear anything at all. With the Omni VII, I now can be as close to his AM carrier as 25KC away and able to copy the station whom I'm in QSO with.
Ergonomically, I must say Ten-Tec still need to improve a bit. Performance wise, it can't be beat. Like all the past and present radios that I have used, none is a "perfect" radio. However, dollar for dollar and high performance, the Omni VII earns a five rating from me.

Earlier 5-star review posted by NA1A on 2008-11-24

By the time you're reading this, you must have read about how great this transceiver is from other reviewers. This article is strickly geared toward the use of this radio for Hi-Fi SSB or else know as ESSB or VooDoo Audio...
This is by far the best HF transceiver on the market today if you want to use it at this extreme level. The receiver is flat from 20 to 6KC (you do need to adjust the PBT to get this) and the monitor audio is just like what comes straight out from the audio rack. The transmitter is also very flat, which makes it very easy to EQ for best quality audio.
At one time, I also had the Orion II (see my other review). I prefer the Omni VII for its simplicity, superb receiver performance and transmitter accuracy.
N4ST Rating: 2010-08-19
Worth it! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first impression of the Omni-VII was that the knobs seemed mighty cheesy for a $3,000 radio. Even kit radios I built as a kid didn't have shafts that wobbled. However, after one year of use the knobs haven't fallen off ;-) and I love my Omni VII. It cost twice what I had ever spent on a rig before, but it is definitely worth it. I still smile every time I flip the power switch, it is so great to use. You can read the other reviews for technical details, but just put me down as one happy owner.
AB9M Rating: 2010-07-24
Excellent performer! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I've operated Ten-Tec radios for thirty years, the OMNI VII is the best of the best. Previous TT radios I've purchased new are, Omni B (with ext VFO), Corsair II w/ ext VFO (still on the desk), Paragon (used for MARS), and the OMNI VI+ (586). I have also owned two Japanese transceivers.

The Omni VII does everything better than my previous TT radios. I chase DX; the O7's receiver has the ability to pull in weak signals with big signals nearby. The 100 W (out) TX with its adjustable TX bandwidth, TX equalization, and speech processing make breaking through pile-ups easier. WYSIWYG - single layer of menus. A SDR not requiring an additional computer. Computer control via the rear serial port or internet remote control via the rear ethernet port (no local computer required).
N8FXH Rating: 2010-07-23
Pleased as Punch Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The first week of operation has been fantastic. Most of the comments about the quiet receiver and features have been made. This was the easiest radio to get on the air I have ever owned. From unboxing to first QSO took 30 minutes and I spent 15 of that reading the manual. My radio came as part of Ten Tec's HF Now package. With the Regal Desk Mike, my audio as recorded on my first QSO sounded just like me on a tape recorder. The learning curve is in using the notch filters and I am getting it where I like it already. I will review things again in six months but for now I am as happy as a calf in a cornfield.
WD9CMD Rating: 2010-07-15
One Fine Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Designed and made in Sevierville Tn. Plus excellent service and support. Thats hard to beat. Those that suggest the front panel feels cheap, need to understand that all the knobs are encoders and not traditional "pots". And the three encoders on the left side are also pushbutton. So, the feel will be different. The display takes getting used to, but I'm now comfortable with it. Works great and great signal reports. Remote capability is also a plus, and I intend to make use of it soon. Like I said, one fine radio. A long term keeper for me. Also got the new 940 supply. A very good compliment.
KE5NYS Rating: 2010-07-14
VERY USER FRIENDLY Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was in the market to upgrade from a very basic HF rig, and seeking a new HF with 6 meter ability, along with spectrum scope, tuner, etc., and all within a mid-range price bracket if possible. After considerable research I settled on the TenTec Omni VII (588AT). The factors that sold me on this radio, in addition to it being a proven model, was the exceptional user friendly operation and design, including well spaced controls and keypad. Having Texas size fingers, I especially appreciate being able to push the keys without having to use the eraser end of a pencil! I'm also impressed with the outstanding audio quality rendered by this unit on both receiving and transmitting. I've proudly joined the TenTec Ambassador group accordingly. PS: Being American made is another major plus in my book, as well as their prompt phone tech service, decent warranty and unique trial purchase offer.
KV6X Rating: 2010-03-30
Could be great Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Nice receive and transmit audio. Spectrum scope not very useful. Poor noise blanker. Although there is a lot to like about this radio, the above combined with marginal front panel build quality makes less than great. Still, I enjoy it's good dynamic range and pleasant receiver.
KC4CP Rating: 2010-03-04
Super for ESSB Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It is quirky and looks like a kit radio ... BUT ... the RX and TX audio are superb! For those who enjoy ESSB, and MUST have knobs, this is the best bet.

I would give it a 5 if the appearance was not so cheap looking. But again, for ESSB or a great Rag Chew Rig, the OMNI 7 is wonderful.
W7NUW Rating: 2010-02-13
Indestructable & a great performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A joy to use. I like to experiment with wire antennas. I've run it shorted (antenna switch set to ground), open circuit, wrong antenna switched in, and everything bad in between. "Clunk", it shuts down and no harm is done. Never a smidgen of trouble.The autotune is fast and effective. Obsessing over 2.5:1 SWR, autotuned to 1.2 or 1.3 to 1, is pointless on the low bands with good quality coax on relatively short runs. The rig is rated to SWR 10:1 and I've gone well above that (20 meter dipole on 15 meters, for example). Of course I get away with this because the cable losses are pretty grim!

Controls are intuitive, silky smooth, and well organized. I can't comment on company support because I've never needed any. The best support is good initial design and competent production. Delivery was very prompt.

I run CW only and bought both 500 and 300 Hz filters. Never use the 500 so I would skip that.

Yes, I can hear the relay when keying, but at very modest levels. Some hams have re-mounted the relay on foam, substituted flexible leads -- and report total quiet after that. It's never bothered me enough to go to the trouble. I use an external speaker most of the time; headset occasionally. PC interface to Ham Radio Deluxe is easy and flawless. The QSK is very effective and I like the complete freedom to shape the keyer waveform.

The K3 certainly has a great reputation that's surely well deserved. Small is nice but the controls are too cramped for my taste. I'd buy another Omni VII in a heartbeat, but I see no reason I'll ever need another rig.

Full disclosure: I am on the air since December 2007 after 48 years QRT and my last receiver was a Heathkit AR-3, owned 50 years ago. There are no dealers in my area (Seattle) and I and not involved with the local ham community so I've never even seen another modern rig. I'd probably be impressed with all the new rigs!

Ken Lawson