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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
K3XI Rating: 2009-04-14
Outstanding! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had many rigs over the past 35 years. I must say the Ten-Tec Omni 7 is by far the best I have had. The Performance Of this radio does not come close to my other rigs. I certainly got my moneys worth. If I were to buy a second rig it would be another Omni 7
W7TEA Rating: 2009-03-23
still great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Mine is a very early O7 and I've never had an issue or a problem. I am fortunate to also have a K3 and love that rig as well. The Omni VII is so simple, direct and intuitive. For CW DXing (I don't contest) I believe the 300 hz Collins filter is also necessary. The CW filters act as bandpass filters as well as roofing filters because the DSP is filtering is somewhat broad--and that may be why this rig sound so good. In any case, this is a rig I love dearly.

Gary W7TEA
K9NZ Rating: 2009-02-22
Good Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have had the opportunity to have a Omni VII with the 500 hrz. roofing filter and newest firmware in the shack for a little while and have put it though the paces in the ARRL DX contest. This is my findings so far, The Omni VII is very easy to use and has a great front panel lay out, the menu is very easy to use and there is no dsp ring in the filters. I like the radio, but have found that it is not a contest radio or a radio that I would want to try and dig out a weak signals on 160 meters. In the presence of strong signals, say s-8 or better within a Khz. or so I just could not get rid of the Qrm. I ran a A/b with my Elecraft K3, also with the 500 hrz. filter the K3 alway came away the winner. I find only a few of the calls of the many reveiws on this fine radio in DX-pedition logs and then SSB. The Omni has very good audio and a fun radio to use, If you are a net operator or a casual HF'er and want great audio and a very nice radio, you will not go wrong with this radio. But for serious Cw and contest work I think the K3 is more in line with what I expect in a radio.
NK8A Rating: 2008-12-22
Excellent radio for this price class Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had my Omni 7 since february,2008 and I have been able to feel comfortable using all it's features.It has been easy to operate and a pleasure. At first I was A/B testing the omni with my other brand transciever,which did a good job for me also. Over time I have found, how great the reciever performs, and also the extra features the omni has, which greatly help me as a cw operator. If a ham wants a quality radio that is user friendly, and has all the features that you will need,(in my opinion), the price of the Omni 7 is worth it.
K4RWW Rating: 2008-11-19
Best desirable features Time Owned: more than 12 months.
If you like to diddle, twiddle and fiddle, get the K3. If you prefer ease of use, good audio and superb receiver performance without navigating multiple menus and dual use buttons, get the Omni VII. Both transceivers set the standard for mid-priced state of the art ham radio technology. Both have learning curves, one considerably steeper than the other. Both have easy upgradeability and unequaled made-in-USA customer support. It is incredibly satisfying to call Ten Tec and speak to a knowledgeable technician in a minute or two. Don't try that with the other brands. There is no one transceiver that excels in all the characteristics preferred by the multifaceted ham community. Specs, reviews and test results are important but don't always tell the whole story. Test numbers and rankings are often biased toward a particular operating style such as contesting or cw. Based on using many different ham transceivers over the years, considering ssb, cw and digital modes, I believe the Omni VII represents the best set of desirable features and the fewest shortcomings of any in its price class.
KZ3DX Rating: 2008-11-11
The only HF Radio you will ever need Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This radio is magnificent. It is the Collins KWM-2A of the 21st Century.

All of the comments and videos are nice, but they are not a substitute for operating it yourself.

Like all of it's products, TenTec is so sure you will like this radio that they will let you try it at your QTH for 30 days. (Have you ever wondered why the other manufactures don't let you do the same?)

This radio is an investment that will give you many happy years of great service and enjoyment.

TOPPER Rating: 2008-10-30
Solid Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This my 5th Ten-Tec, they continue refine & define what a good mid priced tranciever should be. The many cw features are wonderful. I do not find the band-scope useful, & Noise Reduction introduces some distortion. Many features to play with & yet very straight forward operation with a sensitive & selective reciever. N7AG
G0MLY Rating: 2008-10-25
Fulfils its Design Brief to a T Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The design brief is this radio is clear from TenTec's own documentation.

1. Be easy for the average Amateur to operate
2. Have features expected from top-line radios
3. Have a remote Ethernet facility
4. Include General Coverage and 6m on tx/rx.

This review simply asks, have they done what they promised? The answer is unequivocally "Yes".

If you want more detail, read on...

1. The O7 has got to be one of the easiest radios I have ever used, and I had a few going back to IC-735. For a Ham with large fingers, there are large knobs and finger-friendly buttons. It makes my TS-2000 (another great radio!) look designed for children's fingers. There is a large screen with buttons labelled around it, yet the radio's footprint is not that large. There is ONE menu only, not nests of them, though this could arguably be ordered more logically than at present. Alphabetical or by mode would be better than the current firmware's random setup, in my opinion. In any case, the most used menu items are still controllable from the Front Panel.

2. The performance features in the radio, for it's price, do indeed rival top-line radios. Sherwood rates it in his top 10, IP3 performance is excellent, but more than the figures, it's the sound and "feel" of it in use that makes it so great to use. In general use, I get great audio reports and in contests, for the first time, I can actually hear weak stations in between the loud ones - astonishing what is there, when you can hear it! You do have to learn to work the radio, though. With the O7, you have to use the RF gain, the roofing filters and PBT a lot more "creatively" than with a Far Eastern radio.

3. It has a remote Ethernet facility - end of! I know a few folk have had problems making the complete package work, but if you hit issues, it will still work remotely like the TS-2000 or TS-480 via HRD and some kind of audio and VPN client software. Hang loose, folks, it's a hobby, remember!

4. It has a General Coverage Receiver and transceives on 6m - enough said!

In conclusion, I cannot see how, at the price, anyone can really complain about this radio. It knocks my previous HF radios into a cocked hat performance-wise and that's really what matters. Yes I'd like a scope like on the IC-7700, yes it would be nice to have more memory control, yes I'd like a lot more bells and whistles like a clock on the display and maybe an analogue meter, but hey, that starts to take the radio OUTSIDE of its design brief, to be SIMPLE to operate.

What you pay for with the O7, and get, is top notch performance, ergonomic ease of use, and a footprint in the shack that even the most spatially challenged can use.

Add to this, the best customer service I have ever experienced in Ham Radio, from both the USA and the UK sides (hats off to AOR), and the only reasonable conclusion can be that it fulfils its design brief perfectly - and despite folks' niggles, it is a well-rounded 5!

Now I've cut my teeth on one TT rig, I wonder if I am ready to take on the Orion II? :)

W9ZX Rating: 2008-09-02
Excellent performance Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I am very impressed with this radio. I also own an Orion II and an Icom Pro III. I don't think the Tentec has the "quality feel" of a Yaesu, Icom, or Kenwood but the receiver performance is better in my opinion. The quietness and selectivity of the Omni VII is quite impressive. The Pro III does have the best scope but, having said that, I have barely used my Pro III since purchasing the Tentec. The Omni VII is a pleasure to use and to listen to. I much prefer the noise reduction and receive audio on the Tentec to the Icom.

Comparing the Omni VII to the Orion II in a bit like comparing a Chevy to a Cadillac. Both will get you from point A to point B comfortably but the Caddy is more refined. If I could only keep one radio it would certainly be the Orion II. Only you can decide if the refinements are worth the difference in price.
LA4AMA Rating: 2008-08-18
Good and simple radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is a good and very user friendly transceiver. I have compared it to the IC-756proIII which I also have.
The Omni VII performs excellent, but there is certainly room for improvements.
-DSP filters are very sharp and extremely versatile, SSB bandwidth are from 200Hz-12kHz which is very good. The filters are even better and sharper than the filters on the IC-756proIII.
-TX SSB filters are adjustable all the way up to 4kHz which is excellent. Very good ! The TX audio are excellent with all types of microphones. In this area the TEN-TEC Omni VII outperforms any Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood transceiver.
-Speech processor works excellent.
-Auto notch and Manual Notch works good, although Manual Notch could be deeper and as wide as the maximum value says (300Hz), the width is more like 100Hz on my audio spectrum scope. Noise reduction (NR) works fairly good but are a bit too aggressive on the lowest level.
-Excellent automatic antenna tuner, but unfortunately it does not work on 50MHz.
-No adjustable AGC time, only Slow, Mid and Fast with fixed values.
-One have to turn down the RF-gain on the lower bands, I adjust mine for 35% RF gain on 160m and 80m, and 50% for 40m, but move it to 90% for the other bands. If not the AGC acts to "nervous" I think.
-TX and RX equalizer are more of a "tone" control with big limitations, it should have been separate Bass and Treble EQ for both RX and TX. Audio response on RX lacks a bit of low end.
-TX Monitor function have too low volume even at 100% and does surprisingly NOT monitor the sound after the TX-filter or the speech processor. No change are noticed in the monitor when changing TX-filter, lowcut or speech processor. In other words it is virtually useless !
-The LCD-screen are really disappointing with little information displayed. The lack of a decent real-time spectrum scope and only SWR or RF-power (not both at the same time) are light-years behind the IC-756proIII and a huge disappointment !!
-Plastic knobs on the front panel are rough and wobbly and have sharp plastic edges with excessive plastic from moulding. Looks like cheap China-made knobs from a toy. Not good !
-Rear panel cooling fan has no temperature-control and only one speed, it runs all the time at are a bit too noisy.
-Rear panel lacks ALC input (for power-amplifiers), IF-out and band-data output connectors. According to TEN-TEC service department there are no plans of adding these functions in the future. Disappointing !

Based on these facts, the IC-756proIII are a much better overall choice, especially because the Omni VII has no real-time spectrum scope and also because the Omni VII are too expensive.