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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-450D

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-450D
Reviews: 165MSRP: $899.00
160-6 Meter Base/Mobile/Portable Transceiver.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WY1P Rating: 2023-07-08
More features than perfoemance and GREAT service from Yaesu. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I only use this for FT8. It has a very easy to use digital interface. Excellent features for digital modes. I have two issues with this radio. With the stock MH-31 mic, people tell me it sounds "terrible". That's the exact word they use, most of them. I was making repairs to my usual radio, TenTec Jupiter. People told me to hurry (seriously and literally) and get my Jupiter finished up. I've tried the mic EQ settings and I have the best one selected. I don't much care because I use it for FT8. But the receiver is worse. The notch filter takes so long to find a carrier that it will be gone by the time I can find it, rendering it useless. Filtering and noise reduction aren't great either. Can be difficult to hear weak stations in a crowded band. But this radio is loaded with many features not found on some high end radios. Before I got the Jupiter, my FT-450D was my only radio. I bought it lightly used from HRO. A few months later I sent it to Yaesu for repair. It was making 150 watts and the ALC was acting oddly. But only intermittently (the hardest to troubleshoot). For several days, Yaesu techs couldn't get it to act up. About a week later the service manager called me and he was all excited. They found the problem and fixed it. A surface mount resistor had no solder on one end. It was only touching the solder pad. And then it wasn't! Great service from Yaesu: Even though the
radio was long off warranty AND I wasn't the original purchaser, Yaesu said it was a factory defect and did the repair and return shipping all for free. Awesome service from Yaesu.
KD2ZYW Rating: 2022-12-31
Great radio ! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
My first HF rig - bought it used.
Just the right balance of features so as to not be overwhelming.
Running 50 to 60 watts with a 10M horizontal dipole in the loft, I have been able to reach Germany and numerous states in the first few days of using this radio.
Very solid build and feels rugged.
ON6KE Rating: 2022-05-14
Shortcut to change RFPower and CWSpeed setting Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
We all know that Kenwood's DSP - have a TS-590SG - leaves to be desired but hate to admit that I today found out that my FT-450D's DSP has better NR and is better at isolating a CW signal in a busy contest..

In a few reviews here I saw people stating that changing RFPower and CWSpeed on the 450D is a hassle. I found myself a brand new 450D today, read the manual front to back and found that the DSP/SEL button can have a 2nd function, direct access to the RFPower and CWSpeed buttons being an option. A decent little rig excellent for taking with you on vacation, impossible to not like it. :-)
K2WPM Rating: 2021-04-25
Great radio fixed or portable Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I love the 450D. I have used it as my fixed station radio, as well as for portable activations. The best feature is the internal antenna tuning unit, which easily matches anything from 3:1. I actually think it matches even more than that. It's great when setting up portable, not to have to worry about bringing a tuner. Even after I got an Icom IC-7300, I have continued to use the two radios almost interchangeably. But the IC has the cutsie waterfall, slightly better audio and the screen is more readable. (That's the only "con" of the 450D, I find it hard to see the screen in bright sunlight.)
W8NOR Rating: 2021-01-19
Great for FT8 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I still love this radio but it has been discontinued (as of last July even though still on the Yaesu website). I hope for an updated version with more current technology. If you find it on the used market it's still a great buy.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W8NOR on 2017-10-03

I bought this rig specifically as a backup to my FT-DX1200 and to be used on vacation or in the back yard. Most reviewers agree that there are a few flaws, but for the price you can hardly do much better. The relays and fan are noisy, the controls are not what I'm used to from the bigger sibling, and the speaker isn't great. The tuning knob is small and the tuning not as smooth as in the 1200. But this little guy/gal performs very well and is doing what I wanted in a 2nd rig. The receiver performs very close to the FT-DX1200 and the DSP works very well.

I have used it primarily on FT8 over the last few weeks and it works great. Transmit audio appears to be good and the interface to my laptop and Signalink is solid. I have decided to use this in my shack as the primary digital transceiver and use the FT-DX1200 for CW.

The FT-450D works well on CW but the relay is too noisy for QSK and access to CW speed control is a little awkward but adequate. I suggest an external keyer if you work mostly CW. And an external speaker or headphones are helpful.

This a great product with Yaesu quality and performance but be aware of the flaws if you want this to be anything other than a starter rig or a backup. I hope that Yaesu will update firmware with improvements such as reducing the intermittent annoying fan noise. On the hardware side they need to have a quieter transmit relay. Still, this rig deserves a 5.
AC5XP Rating: 2020-09-26
Probably the best transceiver on the market for this price! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this radio about 3 years ago from HRO, as quick second radio (make that tenth radio, probably closer to the truth ????). It was on sale, I paid only $600 for it (after mail-in rebate) during a Black Friday promotion, which included shipping.
It arrived quickly and well packed.

I have always liked Yaesu. In fact, my first HF radio was a Yaesu, an FT-707S, many years ago. And I have owned many Yaesu radios since. I do believe Icom has surpassed them as the number-one ham radio manufacturer (just my opinion, I could be wrong), but Yaesu is still an excellent ham radio brand, no doubt about that.

Back to the FT-450D. Excellent receiver, perfect modulation (ALSO in AM and FM!) and so many features it is too much to list it here. And covers 50 MHz as well for this $600!
Remember the days where we had to shell out hundred of dollars for additional crystal filters after a radio purchase? Those days are over. The FT-450D does it all in the digital domain. And the filter sharpness that you get with this radio’s IF DSP is much better than any crystal filter ever could offer.

Another nice feat: Very easy to modify for MARS/CAP (I like to be able to use my ham radios as a signal generator when I service vintage receivers/transceivers).
One would think such a low-priced radio cannot be built properly. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This radio is built like a battleship in a diecast alloy frame, one tough little bugger the FT-450D is. High quality PCBs throughout, and very sturdy bezel and controls. And an excellent readable LCD display. And made in Japan, not China.

Just for fun, I compared this radio against a top-of-the-line transceiver from the Nineties: the FT-1000(D) which I also have owned in the past. That transceiver set me back thousands of dollars in the day. Worth every penny then though, it was (is) an excellent transceiver. Even up to this day. But just for fun, take the QST test reports for the FT-1000D and the FT-450D, and do some comparing.

20 kHz blocking gain compression for the FT-450D: 137dB. For the FT-1000D: 143dB (both best case)

Third order receiver IMD at 20 kHz: FT-450D: 101dB. FT-1000D: 98 dB (both best case)

Minimum discernable signal (noise floor): FT-450D: -137dBm FT-1000D: -137dBm (both best case)

Transmitter composite noise away from the carrier: FT-450D: -120 dBc/Hz. FT-1000D: -110dBc/Hz

As you see, the FT-450D performs perfectly on par with a top-of-the-line transceiver from the Nineties that cost more than 10 times as much in the day (taking inflation into account). And on top of that, the FT-450D gives you six meters as well.

Ham radio an expensive hobby? Nonsense. It is cheaper than ever these days to buy first class transceivers….

WB4TJH Rating: 2020-08-15
Best buy and easy to use. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
No radio is perfect, but this little unit works well for general amateur use. I had the original model FT450 for a couple of years, sold it to a friend, and bought the upgraded FT450D and it was well worth the upgrade. The DSP works well, the menue is easy to navigate, and the radio in general is very easy to use. I have owned dozens of HF radios over the decades but this is one of my favorites. I also have an FT950 which has more features, but really like using the FT450D because it is more simple to use. This is a good radio for the money, and probably the best out there for the features and price. It is also compact enough for mobile and portable use and the tuner works well. After about several years of use, I will say I have no complaints about it and it has had no problems .I don't think you can buy a better or more practical radio in its price class.

Earlier 5-star review posted by WB4TJH on 2016-06-28

I owned the original FT450, minus the tuner, for several years and was quite happy with it. I sold that radio to a friend, and then acquired an FT-450D several years ago. I also own an FT-950. The FT-950 has more adjustments, and offers more adjustable parameters than does the FT-450D, but I find myself using the FT-450D more and more because of its simplicity of use and its outstanding performance for 90% of my day to day operation. I'm not a DX hound, and abhor the confusion and bedlam of contests, and don't need the "contest" quality, $3000 radios. For general ragchewing, casual CW, and ease of use, including portable, I find the FT-450D very close to an ideal radio for me. I'm even considering trading my perfect FT-950 for one of the soon to be available Yaesu FT-891 mobile radios. In the meantime, after 45 years on HF and having owned dozens of HF transceivers of all brands, the small, portable FT-450D with the 300hz CW filter, and other enhancements over the original FT-450, fits my needs very, very well. Both of my FT-450 models have been totally trouble free for the past 5 years. It's a darn good little radio.
Earlier 4-star review posted by WB4TJH on 2015-07-28

I bought one of the original FT450s minus the tuner new and got good service out of it for a couple of years. I sold it to a friend and then bought an FT-950. After my 950 developed a problem, I bought an almost new FT-450D and I must say, the improvements made to it over the original are very welcome. The lighted buttons and the 300Hz CW filter really make this little radio shine. I'm going to get the FT950 repaired and will be keeping the FT-450D which will make a handy radio for portable and maybe even mobile use. I gave it a 4 rating, but I really rate it a 4.5 overall. It's a good radio for a new ham or an old one who wants a good, solid, functional all around radio without having to hock your soul to buy one.
Earlier 5-star review posted by WB4TJH on 2014-11-20

I just bought this radio used from another ham, and am very pleased with it. I bought one of the original FT450s without an antenna tuner several years ago and was very pleased with its over all performance, but decided to sell it to a friend to finance a new FT-950. That original FT450 is still going strong. But I wanted a full featured, small radio for portable use and the FT950 is a bit large and heavy for portable use. I have a 10 watt Elecraft K2 for qrp, which can be turned into a 100 watter, but a used FT450D can be had for little more than what I needed for my K2. The FT450D offers the lighted buttons and has a new 300Hz CW filter in addition to the 500Hz of the older Ft450. That makes a big difference in a crowded CW band. Some reviewers have bad mouthed the built in tuner's limited 3:1 SWR tuning ability, but the fact is, only Ten Tec and Eecraft offer built in tuners with a wider range, 10:1. So the more limited range of the Yaesu tuner is right in league with radios offered by other makers, including Icom and Kenwood. My antenna systems consists of a tuned trap vertical, ground mounted with 1000 feet of buried radios, so I rarely need the tuner for that. I also have a 135 foot dipole up 50 feet, fed with balanced feed line. I use an external Palstar tuner for that, so the limited 3:1 capability of the FT450D is not an issue, and I usually keep it disengaged. I find the menu system easy to use and have the CS button programmed for a 10 watt signal so I can tune my Palstar. That is a very neat feature of the radio. No radio is perfect, but the little FT450D has a good receiver, tho not as selective as my Elecraft, but it has a good DSP system that is effective and easy to use. I get good reports on transmit audio quality with the stock hand mike, but also have a Yaesu desk mike that will probably get some use with it also. So for the money, the FT450D is a real bargain radio, and especially now that Yaesu has cut the price to $699. They undoubtedly are going to release a new radio to replace it, but I'm happy with the FT450D, especially for what I paid for it. I'm sure what ever replaces it will be a nice unit too, but that will cost a lot more money, After 45 years on HF, I pretty well know what I need, and the little FT-450D has some nice improvements over the original model and takes care of my needs. I'm primarily just a rag chewer. It's a good, solid little radio, and there is nothing else to buy to take advantage of what the radio can do. For that and its ease of operation, I rate it a 5. Though I have only had this radio a short time, I did use the original FT450 for several years, so I feel I have had enough experience to give it an honest appraisal of the newer FT450D.
KI5IHU Rating: 2020-06-28
Solid radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This radio is a great little rig. Its only down side is the built-in tuner should go to maybe 5:1 instead of three. But it receives and transmits with a good signal, The speaker could also be better but I usually have headphones on anyway so that isn't a big deal with me. For my first HF rig I don't think I could have done any better with the money
I had. I have received stations from the east coast and have transmitted to Florida with a EFRW. Now have a vertical that I am tuning and will be adding a 600w amp soon. This is a solid radio without a lot of frills, and is fairly easy to operate.
SM6TKG Rating: 2020-06-10
Nice simple little rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Used the 450D as a vacation and spare rig.
Nice compact size rig

+Easy to use
+ All functions you need in a compact size
+ Build in ATU that works with all antennas worth using (less than 1:3 SWR)
+ Large numbers on display
+ CW peak filter and other digital filters
+ Price
- Awkward selection of filters
- Display works poorly in sunligt
- No USB for digital modes
- Digital filters perform better and sounds better on newer rigs

Receiver peroformance is good enough except for most demandig users i.e. contests and very very weak signals
You will not make many more DX contacts with a more expensive rig
WD0BCT Rating: 2019-12-27
Actually better than I originally thought! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up an FT-450D new as my returning to amateur radio rig. It satisfied for about a year , but it had been 20years since I was on the air! With nothing directly to compare it too I was happy. I then picked up an FT-817ND for a portable QRP rig. I loved the 817ND from the start...and unfortunately it pointed out deficiencies in my 450D. Espeicially in audio performance. I called Yaesu and they responded that the audio on the 450D should be equal to the 817D. They suggested I return it for an evaluation. It cost me to return it to Yaesu and the results were less than impressive. Their diagnosis: The rig was within specification! I used it a few months but really was upset that the 817ND outperformed it. So....I traded it on an FT-891. I enjoyed a base rig that I could go portable with after picking up the 817ND. Results....the 891 audio is equal to the 817ND. However, until picking up a second rig I was totally happy with the 450D.
NOW...after operating from my shack I now realize the shortcomings go the FT-817ND and the FT-891! Fine field rigs but controls are too small for the shack! And the addition of the ATU and better (IMO) DNR of the 450D makes me prefer the 450D. So I bought another 450D. The 891 and 817ND are still on my shelf but only used in the field....
The ergonomics of the FT450D have changed my mind about the 450D from OK to GREAT. I don't need anything more than my 450D in my shack!