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Reviews For: Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions)

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions)
Reviews: 146MSRP: 5750 (D version)
The FT dx 5000 Series HF/50 MHz 200 Watt Transceivers are a new Premium Class of Yaesu radios with 2 Independent Receivers plus many unique options and accessories designed to meet the Performance Requirements of even the most demanding serious Amateur Radio operator.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WA8UEG Rating: 2015-10-28
Great, Great Rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been using the FT1000MP with all the filters and the Inrad roofing filter & CW mod for around 10 years. I did not think the 5000 would be all that big of an improvement, I was wrong! I purchased the FTdx5000LT which is the MP version without the display, the FH-2 is included and works great. It is superior to the 1000MP in every respect and a pure pleasure to use. Manual is excellent. If your looking for a serious radio the 5000LT is a great one.

N4QT Rating: 2015-10-01
Great engineering Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a new ftdx5000mp with the sm5000 station monitor. I owned the FTdx3000d for the last nine months. I reviewed this rig on eham and gave it high marks. The 50000mp price has dropped recently. I missed two separate receivers and the big rig feel. After years with tiny buttons and multi level menus it was time to get back to my roots of large rigs with most functions at your finger tips. Much has been written about this rig over the past five years. It's simply the Best Buy in a high end rig on the market today. After five years any bugs it might have had have been addressed by Yaesu and resolved including the OLED issues.. The rumor mill indicates Yaesu will soon replace this radio with a new one. Now is a great time to purchase a great high end rig at a reasonable price.. Kenwood and icom don't come close with there high end rig prices. This is simply a great engineering marvel. With the best receiver I have used in over 56 years of ham radio.
PA1EC Rating: 2015-08-13
Great transceiver Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I own the 5000 since oktober 2014 and made a lot of QSO's. This rig is great. The DNR function is also very good. 200 watt rf power is more then enough for me. No problems with oleds or other things. Yaesu did a good job with this rig!!
K6USN Rating: 2015-08-06
OLED Problems still exist Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I debated writing this review. The FTdx5000 is a superb radio in many ways and a pleasure to operate. It deserves a 5 for performance and a 0 for customer service and support.

My FTdx5000 was purchased new in late 2013 - by then the OLED 'issue' was well known. I thought I had waited long enough and that the problem had been corrected, but I guessed wrong.

The OLED failure is unsightly and unacceptable in a radio at this price point. Shipping this large and heavy radio back for repair is difficult and expensive. From other postings I can expect to spend $500 to replace the OLED's on a radio that continued to be marketed with a known flaw that does not usually appear until it is out of warranty.

I am disappointed in Yaesu's decision to let the buyer eat the expenses. Like many others, I will remember this next time I am in the market for a new rig.

KQ4YA Rating: 2015-06-07
Exceeded my expectations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My main transceiver had been the Kenwood TS-590S. It has been an excellent transceiver, fine audio on transmit and receive, and trouble free. So when I added the FTDX-5000MP to my station I hoped - but wasn't sure I would get - a transceiver that was markedly better. I needn't have worried. The 5000 exceeded my expectations because (1) the receiver is dead quiet, even without the noise reduction - and when you press the button to add that in, well the noise just goes away. It doesn't distort even at relatively high levels (2) multiple controls make it almost trivial to get rid of interfering close-in stations and (3) the quality of the build is outstanding.

Then, subjectively, the 13-year-old kid trapped inside my bald head loves the idea of a big box radio with a panel filled with knobs, switches and readouts. I know that's silly but it's been great fun.

The downsides of the radio include the lack of a USB port on the radio, a super convoluted system for making firmware updates and the OLED problems (they haven't appeared for me but there are so many reports of this problem that, even without their appearance, just the awareness that the potential for this lurks mars some of my enjoyment), and the knowledge that if I ever need to ship this thing off for Yaesu repair it's going to be both expensive plus a hassle lugging the 46 pound radio around. The SM-5000 station monitor's scope is less than adequate. And I had heard raves about the SM-5000 speakers - they are OK but not as good as the center speaker from a surround sound system that I had been using. Also the fact that the radio was designed and introduced a fairly long time ago made me hesitate.

I'm glad I didn't hesitate. I've had no buyer's remorse at all. I expected a lot given that the transceiver costs more than I have ever spent on a radio. It's exceeded all expectations. All the negatives fade when weighed against the performance of the radio. One last thing, and it's just subjective, some transceivers seem to just feel right when you use them. This one does that in spades.
W6GX Rating: 2015-02-26
A workhorse, no OLED problem in five years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is my first review. I've owned this very early production unit since 2010. It has worked flawlessly for almost five years. My OLEDs still work fine.

This radio has very good DSP functions. There are very little artifacts added by DSP. The DNR is very good and better than Icom. Pulse-triggered AGC issue can be mitigated 100% by turning on NB. I also like the Yaesu ergonomics. All in all I'm very happy with this rig and I'm not looking for an upgrade anytime soon.
VE3OP Rating: 2015-01-18
OLED Problems Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First, if you look at the ratings, 2 means "Needs help". Yaesu certainly does.

I won't repeat all of the wonderful features and capabilities of this radio - that has been covered in spades. This radio is still in the Top 5 hottest ham receivers ever tested, by Sherwood engineering, which is why I bought it in the first place. I generally rate the radio 10 out of 5.

Rather I will focus my review on the radio's display and Yaesu product support, particularly in support of the almighty, dreaded, certain-to-happen OLED problem.

My radio, like hundreds of others, finally succumbed to OLED failures. So far 2 out of 3. They don't affect performance, but they are sure annoying on a $7,000 radio system including all accessories.

First to credit Yaesu, a little bit. Even though technically my radio is out of warranty, they are prepared to replace any OLED that fails at no cost (value is $45 with their profit). Thank you. The first problem is with this approach, I will have to ship my beloved radio over 10,000 km return on a bouncing UPS truck. The second problem, and the same for all non-US hams, I will have to fill out a lot of customs paperwork sending and receiving. The third problem is that it will cost me over $300 to do so. The 4th problem, is that I will have to repeat problems 1-3 every time an OLED fails, because Yaesu refuses to replace all 3 at once - only the failed one(s) each time. That could mean an eventual 30,000 km trip in the back of a UPS truck, 6 border crossings, and a $900 shipping bill. To me, that suggested option belies all logic.

Apparently, the vendor I bought the radio from in Canada (Radio World) is either incapable of doing said repair work, or Yaesu won't let them.

The second option is that Yaesu will ship you an OLED free if you take photos of your failed OLED and send it to them. You can then replace it yourself. The problem with this option is that it takes 2 hours to fully disassemble the radio (following these instructions: if you are capable. And again, Yaesu will not give you all three at once, thus requiring you to spend up to 6 hours taking your radio apart and putting it back together.

This overall approach to the OLED problem is truly unfortunate. It ignores what Yaesu's higher paying customers are asking for. I also did the math. This approach is costing Yaesu more (in administrative and repair costs, let alone lost sales and brand damage costs) than if they just repaired all 3 at once or gave each owner 3 OLEDs (or charged for all 3 at cost).

In the end Yaesu provided me with one free OLED. I had no choice but to pay for the other two (total cost of $120). I will do the swap out myself.

Yaesu did a masterful job handling early FT9000 product issues with a field recall program. Makes me wonder why they are handling this flagship radio so differently.

I still recommend that you hand over $5,000 in your hard earned dollars to Yaesu. Just make sure you have an OLED replacement strategy in mind, if they have not been fixed already.

N1TX Rating: 2014-12-30
Worthy among top contenders Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
We built the KL2R contest shack on a foundation of Yaesu FT-950s, one of which which has been in service for over half a dozen years. While the Elecraft vs ICOM transceiver debate raged among contesters, we quietly chipped away at building the rest of the shack infrastructure before deciding to invest again in new radios. That time has now come.

I've had a fair amount of personal experience with a variety of mid-range and high-end rigs in challenging and casual settings in the past several years. I'm not going to knock any one of them. The $1500-3000 range has some really nice choices. However, none really made me feel any change was going to net a significant step up from the FT-950. Also, since we've tried to "standardize" things in our multi-2 shack, there was more to consider beyond the basic radio features and performance. Cables, software, etc. all would require some re-work, and the contest operators would go through some learning curve. As chief engineer and bottle washer at KL2R, I strongly believe ease of integration and maintenance on the equipment are big evaluation criteria for anything new coming into the shack.

Enter the FTdx5000MP. A friend loaned the radio for testing while I considered his offer to sell it. Our first intensive experience with the new transceiver was in October during the W1AW/KL7 operations. Pileups were unbelieveable. Run, run, run, day and night, which was no sweat for the beast doing mostly CW and RTTY work during that week-long event. The 200 watts was helpful, because one of our amps was down. One could even argue the FTdx5000MP pushed some parts of our station to the limits and then some. A toasted outboard 40m bandpass filter resulted when the antenna VSWR exceeded the specification (200W ICAS @ VSWR less than 1.5:1). The W1AW portable operation was a good start with the radio. After a few more weeks of evaluations, including CQWW and ARRL Sweepstakes, I became much more familiar with the features and custom settings.

I like buttons and knobs. While the radio's front panel is intimidating, it's actually well-labelled. Take time to learn the layout, which has controls more-or-less clustered by functional group. If you do not have experience with one of its siblings, the FTdx5000MP will take a bit longer to master in terms of figuring out where things are. Ergonomics are a mixed bag here, though. Buttons and knobs both are good for large hands. The smaller three knobs to the right of the main tuning knob were initially confusing, but within five minutes of reading the manual and pressing a few buttons, I had no more concern. (One tunes VFO B, and the other two configure A and B filter settings.) My biggest ergonomic peeve is that the volume knobs for VFO A and B seem to be reversed; i.e., why do I have to turn the left knob to adjust volume in my right ear? I still get it mixed up at times.

As others have cited, the audio is just brilliant and doesn't wear you out with harshness, whether through headphones or the Station Monitor speakers, especially on voice. DSP filters can often deliver unpleasant artifacts. The default settings of the IF filters were markedly cleaner-sounding than those on the FT-950. In fact, while you really need to engage the FT-950's peak filter for CW to clean up the audio, it is simply not needed under most circumstances with the FTdx5k. Even super-narrow filters like 100 and 50 Hz do not suffer from terribly notorious ringing. Also, the ability to tailor the filter rolloff characteristics on the new radio makes it exceptionally versatile for all operating conditions and personal preferences.

I love the dual-VFO tracking on CW. With both receivers tuned to the same frequency with left and right audio channels mixing in my head, very _slight_ differences in VFO settings really give a 3D quality to the sound making it easy for me to whittle down the pileups. The other operators found the new rig quite easy to move into from the FT-950s, at least when using the basic controls. A couple of non-CW ops decided the dual receive/VFO tracking was more of a distraction.

Several features on the FTdx5000MP suit our operating conditions exceptionally well. The four tx/rx and single rx antenna port make antenna diversity reception a real plug-and-play possibility. Here at our high latitude, receive paths often vary rapidly. Separate antennas on each receiver can make tremendous differences in reliably copying transmissions. Monitoring different bands simultaneously is dead easy as well. During an emergency communications exercise, I could continuously keep track of activity on both 40 and 80m with one transceiver and two mono-band antennas.

Another potent feature on the FTdx5000MP is the variable RF front-end filter (VRF). The VRF serves as a high-Q preselector prior to the normal bandpass filter in the receiver chain. During W1AW/KL7, the WARC station splattered occasionally into the non-WARC station due to lack of bandpass filters for the WARC frequencies. Engaging VRF significantly reduced the extra noise. VRF is also helpful for improving sensitivity from in-band interference. I have a neighbor literally 1000 meters away, who likes to DX and ragchew on 20m SSB. The KL2R tri-bander for North America is fix-pointed directly at his house. If he is transmitting, the noise level across the entire 20m band rises, which makes it difficult to work weak ones on CW. Turning on the VRF and tuning it down in frequency to make sure the pre-selector skirts attenuate my neighbor on phone, the noise drops dramatically, thus rendering CW usable again.

There are a couple of capabilities I really need to explore further. One is the sloped AGC function for dealing with pileups. When a pileup is wall-to-wall, a common technique is to turn RF gain down and AGC off. This allows the operator to pick out the loudest signals a bit more easily. As the pileup becomes more manageable, RF gain can be increased, etc. With the sloped AGC function (VFO-A only), the volume of the callers will vary slightly according to signal strength, and it theoretically becomes easier to discerne individual callsigns.

As if two receivers were not enough on the FTdx5k, the 9 MHz IF output makes for some intriguing possibilities with an outboard SDR receiver. On one of the FT-950s, I added an RF Space IF-2000 board, which brings out a 10.7 MHz IF signal and in turn feeds a FiFi SDR controlled by HDSDR. FiFi audio goes to a CW skimmer. I have plans to do a similar with with the FTdx5000MP, but no IF interface add-on is required. Operating SO2V with a skimmer makes for a very powerful tool for the CW or RTTY contester. Even for non-contesters, an outboard receiver and HDSDR software yields extraordinary high-resolution bandscope and waterfall displays. Point-and-click tuning is possible, whereas with the Station Monitor or even DMU-2000, it is not.

Finally, a few words about the SM5000 versus DMU-2000, since we have both. The DMU is most often used for an RF bandscope on one of the FT-950s. The DMU plugs directly into the Station Monitor, and it's a nice addition to the new transceiver, but it's also an expensive, redundant one for using it only as a bandscope. The SM5000 is adequate, although not the brightest or biggest display for anyone with visual impairments. I believe you would get more versatility with an outboard SDR on the 9 MHz IF as described above and a separate computer monitor.

It's safe to say the KL2R team all have come to feel the FTdx5000MP really, truly represents a major evolution forward for our contest station. My own enthusiasm for the rig goes well beyond contesting, though. DXing and net operations are especially well supported, and it would take a place of honor in just about any shack.
PA7M Rating: 2014-11-10
Great stuff Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am very impressed with this radio.
very well received good filters.
too good at receiver. couples
had before the ic-7700 but is quieter with his reception.
am very happy with it.

Henk 73'
2E0WPZ Rating: 2014-10-17
lots to learn but very good so far Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Certainly the best radio I have owned. Only had the rig for a week but am impressed at how well it hears weak stations. The menus and all the adjustments on the front will need a learning curve for sure but with this quality of performance it will certainly be well worth the time setting it up.