Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Yaesu FT-450

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-450
Reviews: 215MSRP: aprox 999.00 new
The FT-450 is a rugged, innovative multi-band, multimode portable transceiver for the amateur radio HF & 6M bands. Providing coverage of the 160-10 meter bands plus the 6 m, the FT-450 includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM, and Digital modes, yielding the most comprehensive performance package available for field operation.

Designed for use from an external DC power source, the FT-450 provides 100 watts of power output from a 13.8-Volt external power supply, 160 - 6 meter coverage
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KE7MU Rating: 2019-07-07
Ok for small cheap radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I compared my ft897, came out in 2002, with my ft450, came out in 2007, with my ft891, came out in 2016 and my ft991A came out 2017, here are the results.

Easy to use ft450, least menus

Best DSP, all have draw backs

Ft897 & ft450 good but some noise

Ft891 good but doesn't reduce noise when station isn't present, blanker distorts SSB

Ft991 best but requires external audio amp to hear

Lowest cost ft891 $599 Sale

Highest cost ft991a $1199 Sale

Largest footprint tie Ft897 and ft991a, also both uhf and vhf.

After almost 20 years, I would have expected more and better performance differences rather than repackaging mediocre performing designs. After listening to ft1200 and ft3000, the have more knobs but same mediocre performance.

I understand if you spend more money you would expect better performance and defend your choices, but it is what it is!

Earlier 4-star review posted by KE7MU on 2008-12-21

First let me say, I do not ridicule the radio because it has a small tuning dial, it's monochrome display, different power connector etc. In fact I do not have a problem with anything I could evaluate before the purchase. Hams that give radios a poor review on such things baffle me. Here are the


1. DSP Filters are nice and work great.
2. DNR Dynamic Noise Reduction works great.
3. Mic EQ works good.
4. $635 delivered.


1. Noise blanker doesn't seem to work at all.
2. Not being able to use the tuning dial in AM mode is inconvenient.
3. SWR meter goes to max with an SWR of 2:1 as indicated on an external meter.
4. I couldn't get the notch filter to notch out hetrodynes on 40m.
5. Not being able to reprogram useless front panel buttons such as NB and Keyer should be addressed in future software upgrades.

So why did I give it a 4, it's all about features per $ invested. A hi-tech HF rig for a weeks pay, not bad. Of course if I could get an Orion, SDR5000 or K3 for a weeks pay, that is what I would have chosen.
N7HO Rating: 2019-02-18
My Favorite Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got mine from a trade. I bought a FT-897D new and although it did everything it was supposed to, it was just the most boring radio I've ever owned. So an opportunity came up to trade with a friend for his used FT-450 (non-D/AT) + accessories, I jumped on the deal, and haven't regretted it a bit. I won't jump into details that are already covered here, but I will mention that I own a TS-940S/AT, an IC-781, and two IC-7200's, but this is the radio I prefer on my desk. The Icoms are good radios and I have no desire to part with them, but the little 450 is just fun to operate, and holds it's own against the 7200's. If you want an excellent "beginner" radio, I suggest the FT-450(D).
ZR1PJA Rating: 2017-04-27
Great Practical Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The FT450 has proved itself over and over again. It has travelled in my hand luggage on many flights.

I have combined it with the LDG AT100 and works well together.

I have been able to setup a station quickly and easily in various locations with some very basic antenna systems that fit the location.

ThE DSP works well and able to isolate a signal very well.

Great display with large charaters and easy to use.

Changing the display colour is a bonus as I am partially colour blind.

The 450D has the advantage of the more visable fonts on the keys which is a big plus.

Highly recommended.

W1WM Rating: 2017-03-07
Tremendous Value Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my FT-450AT for over 8 years and I have to say that I am still amazed as to what a great value it is. IF DSP in a radio of this price class is incredible. There are numerous features to eliminate QRM. Many choices are "stepped" rather than continuously adjustable (like the speech processor) but it doesn't deter from practical operation. Yaesu even provided the file for updating the 60M band. This has to be one of their best efforts yet...So much performance for so little money!
W5TD Rating: 2016-10-24
Great value! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
If you look around on the used market, you should be able to find one of these in the $400-450 price range, and it is an incredible radio for that price. People are asking that much for a used Yaesu FT840 or Kenwood TS140, and this radio comes with so much more.

Look at what you get as standard with this radio:'
1. IF DSP noise reduction
2. Narrow DSP based CW and SSB filters
4. Manual IF notch filter-much better than AF auto notch filters
5. CW memory keyer
6. Voice keyer
7. Voice synthesizer
8. Transmit audio equalizer
9. Transmit audio monitor

#2, #3, and #7 would run you a couple of hundred dollars for the Icom 718, and you still wouldn't have 6 meters on it, nor the voice keyer or CW memory keyer-the 718 does have a built in keyer but no memories with it.

The receiver on the FT450 is very good for its price range. It isn't in the same class as the FT1000 or Icom 756PRO series receivers, but then it didn't cost near as much either. It's receiver is better than entry level radios. The noise blanker is pretty good at taking out the power line noise I am getting at my QTH that the power company is in the process of fixing.

Also, this radio does have a menu system, but most of those are set and forget things. You can do all of the basic functions from the front panel.

The only downside to the non-D model of the FT450 is that you can't use the narrow CW filter on the digital modes for RTTY contesting. You can use it if you run split and use CW for receive.

If you need a dedicated RF power knob, or CW speed knob, you can program the MULTI knob to service as one. I use mine to change CW keyer speed.

Get the MH-31 hand mic with the UP/DOWN/FAST buttons (standard with the FT450D) as you can program those buttons to control different radio functions. I use the DOWN button to send voice keyer message #1 and the UP button to control voice keyer message #2.

Another nice function of this radio is that they call the SWR function. I program the C.S button to control that, so when I push in the button it switches the meter to SWR, and sends out a 10 watt carrier. Great for using the external antenna tuner. This is just another function which shows how well thought out the design of this radio is.
K9NZ Rating: 2014-10-28
what's not to like Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What can I say it's leaps a head of a IC 718 and many other starter rigs. I have had a couple in the shack as back up to a K3. It is great radio in the $450 to $550 price range. A very good receiver, good filtering and I get great audio reports with a $20. radio shack microphone and its very nice CW rig. A lot of neat stuff in a small package. Again whats not to like.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K9NZ on 2013-06-02

I have had the FT450 for about a month. In my opinion it a great little rig for the money. I get great audio reports and the receiver is good
the dsp works fine . The tuner is great I can tune a 135 foot zep using a 4:1 balun and the internal tuner on all bands but 40 meters not bad
for a $600- rig. I have a Elecraft K3, is the FT450 in its class no! But it cost less than the second receiver in the K3. I am a CW operator and the 450 does a good job on CW better than most entry level radio's, dont buy this radio expecting a high preformance contest radio. I like it even with the shortcomings. To me its a very good casual radio.
KC9WQR Rating: 2014-09-12
Outstanding Rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought my FT450AT used from a local SK estate. I honestly believe that this is one of the best kept secrets out there. I wish someone would've told me earlier how great these rigs are. I've owned an ICOM 718 dsp and still own a Yaesu FT-817nd. I like my FT450AT for it's purpose of a base. I wouldn't hesitate to take it portable or mobile either. I gave it the marks I did due to it's all around versatility and function.
NW8Z Rating: 2014-04-17
Wonderful Transceiver!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the Yaesu FT-450 now more than once. For all the features that you get for the cost, it's a ton of radio. I have owned the Icom Pro II, Yaesu FT-950, Kenwood TS 570s, Kenwood TS-590s and many others and still love the FT-450's feature set.

It's easy to get into the menu and do any adjusting that you need to do. I always get great reports all over the world. Only thing that I wish there was available would be direct frequency entry. I was told that John from QSYer may take it on to make a QSYer that would work for the FT-450, but that it would require a different programming altogether.

I love the Posinegative screen myself and have one of the newer AT models right before the D model came out. Meaning that I can't change the Color of the Display. I learned quickly that one can still change the color with Gel filters that they use in lighting in Hollywood and the movies.

I love my FT-450 and plan on keeping it for years to come. It's all I need to hear Shortwave, SSB, CW and most all of the Digital modes.

26JLH Rating: 2013-12-29
total vomet Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
i have had this radio for 4 weeks recieve audio
sounds crap i just cant understand what people are saying its that bad.
please dont waste your money get an icom i got a pro
for what i gave for this pile of poo.

jeff ..

Earlier 4-star review posted by 26JLH on 2013-11-20

works well fan blows fast and strong i thought it was going to fly out of the window.
radio works well out of the box,i had to get a tilt bale and a case handle should be on it from new.
got this used and it in nice shape.
also has the atu as for the dsp it works ok but it will never get rid of the noise to zero but its a good tool in a town qth like mine.
looks a little ugly but i dont care for looks it makes me feel i need to get my old vhs tapes out.
cw filter ok for my use but not stellar.
tnx jeff
KA3RCS Rating: 2013-12-26
Excellent field/backup/etc. rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I remember when the FT-450 was announced, the first thing which struck me was the beautiful display. I already had an FT-857 in the mobile and an FT-817 for portable use, so I never really planned to get one. However, when I found a great deal at a hamfest last year (a nearly mint FT-450AT for < $500), I couldn't resist, and have not regretted picking it up for a second!

The FT-450 is a superb communications transceiver. It is very rugged and reliable. It's also very stable, thanks in part to the TCXO which is included as a standard feature. I adjusted the TCXO while tuned to WWV to obtain precisely the same tone frequency on USB and LSB as well as AM, and subsequently it has never drifted perceptibly regardless of temperature.

I often run it with the 80 meter horizontal loop at our club site (fed with open wire line and tuned with an LDG tuner and balun; covers 160-6), and am regularly amazed at the signal reports I receive as well as the pileups which I can break through with just the stock microphone and 100 watts. I even worked Europe on 75M SSB in August with said setup, which I would not have thought possible.

The construction and appearance of the radio are top-notch. The display is simply gorgeous! One of the few points which I would change on the nearly perfect FT-817 and FT-857 would be to use a similar reverse LCD with a dark background like that of the FT-450.

The MH-67A8J mic included with the FT-450 is actually the stock mic for some Vertex commercial radios. It is a proper condenser mic, and offers far better audio quality than the atrocious MH-31A8J dynamic mic which sadly and mysteriously ships with (and degrades) many radios, including the FT-450D. It also does not exhibit the RFI susceptibility of the DTMF and remote control mics (MH-36E8J and MH-59A8J), which otherwise offer the superior audio of condenser elements. Best TX audio with the MH-67 appears to result from setting the mic EQ to 0 and mic gain to normal or high. The fact that the speech processor is automatically active in the two highest mic gain settings seems a bit odd at first, but in practice seems to work well.

One pleasant surprise is that the receiver tunes down to 30 kHz, and actually receives signals, whereas many other Yaesu models only tune down to 100 kHz. It is often possible to hear the amplitude keying of WWVB on 60 kHz (as well as many NDBs and so on) with an HF antenna which is far from optimum at LF. Unfortunately, the front end is not optimized for these frequencies, and the attenuator is permanently enabled below 1.7 MHz, so the sensitivity is not as good as it could be.

The FT-450 appears to have a similarly efficient final stage to that of the FT-857 and similar radios. It seems to be a well-kept secret, but some radios (such as the IC-706 and IC-7000) will not develop full transmit power if the DC input voltage drops much below 13.8 volts. They also draw considerably more current even at much lower power levels. Ironically, this makes them unsuitable for reasonable operation from a battery unless a 13.8 volt charging system is active. The DC system at our club site maxes out at 13.2 volts, and drops to around 12 when many loads are active. The FT-450, just like the FT-857, has no problem working at full power in this environment. An IC-7000 which was once connected to the same system only managed to squeeze out 60 watts or so.

The FT-450 does have a few negative points, but they do not detract sufficiently from the overall package for me to reduce my rating. I would probably give it a 4.5, but as such is not an option, I rounded it to a 5. These points are:

- The maximum receive audio bandwidth is not as wide as it should be. This is an excellent communications radio, which offers communications audio...period. The audio is very clean, but is not high fidelity by any stretch. The FT-817, FT-857, and FTdx3000 (for example) all offer considerably better low and high end frequency response. I've run the above models on the same external speaker at the same site, which I believe makes it a fair comparison. Wider audio is definitely more pleasant under good conditions (strong signals, minimal QRM and QRN) on SSB as well as AM. However, for Field Day, DXing, contesting, emergency communications, and so on (i.e. the target use cases of this radio), the FT-450's audio is quite adequate.

- The DSP functions often really help under bad conditions, though more/finer adjustments and a second notch filter would be welcome.

- The menu offers many useful functions, but only one of them may be assigned to the C.S. key. There really should be a bank of programmable buttons to accommodate more of these functions simultaneously, and/or the ability to reassign other currently dedicated keys to different functions.

- The radio really needs some kind of tilt bail. They figured this out on the FT-450D, and there are apparently several options available. I put two stacks of rubber feet on mine as an interim workaround until I obtain something more appropriate. Note that the tuning knob works great with the radio elevated a bit; I totally don't understand the complaints about it being too small (but then again, even the FT-817 tuning knob is great for the size of that radio).

- It would be nice if the buttons were backlit as they are on the FT-450D, but it isn't a deal breaker by any means.

- The LCD backlight PWM signal tends to couple into the mic audio. With the backlight set to off or full brightness, no signal is coupled. At any interim brightness setting, an audio buzz may be heard in the TX audio. Mine was quite low already, but I knocked it down to almost nothing by adding a ground wire between the front panel PCB and the main chassis. I was able to accomplish this with ring terminals under existing screws, so no permanent changes were necessary.

In summary, the FT-450 is a rock-solid HF/6M transceiver which should provide reliable communications under just about any conditions. Other radios offer more bands and better audio, but at a good used price point, it's really hard to beat. At the new price (of the FT-450D, which is almost identical), I would buy an FT-857 instead.