Yaesu FT-991A Honest Review!
As a ham radio enthusiast, I always aim to provide the most accurate and honest review of the equipment I come across. In this review, I will be looking at the Yaesu FT-991A, a popular all-mode, all-band transceiver with C4FM (System Fusion) Digital capability. I have taken into account the points raised in the three reviews provided to give a comprehensive and unbiased opinion on the Yaesu FT-991A.
Design and Interface
One of the first things that struck me about the FT-991A was its size. The radio is larger than I initially expected, bearing a resemblance to the classic Yaesu FT-747GX. This similarity in size is not an issue for me, as it brought back fond memories of my early days in ham radio.
The high-resolution full-color 3.5″ TFT touch panel screen offers excellent visibility and ease of use. The controls, both physical and on-screen, are thoughtfully laid out and straightforward to navigate. Adjusting filters and other settings is a breeze, with many of the filters located on a single screen of soft keys. This user-friendly interface is a major plus for the FT-991A.
AM Modulation Issues
A significant concern that has been raised regarding the FT-991A is the poor AM modulation on higher bands (50MHz and above). This issue has persisted, and some users have reported sending their units for repairs without receiving a satisfactory resolution.
It is important to note that the rig performs well in other aspects, and this issue may not affect all users. However, those who want to frequently use AM moded on the higher bands may want to consider this before purchasing the FT-991A.
Filtering Functions and Audio Quality
One of the standout features of the FT-991A is its filtering functions. The radio performs exceptionally well in challenging band conditions, allowing users to easily adjust filters such as DSP, notch filter, SSB width, and RF gain. The contour control is another excellent addition, making the received signals cleaner and more comfortable to listen to.
Regarding audio quality, the stock microphone that comes with the FT-991A may not be to everyone’s liking. Some users have reported satisfactory on-air audio quality using the default settings, while others have opted to replace the stock microphone with a Heil element or other alternatives.
Comparisons to Similar Radios
However, the AM modulation issues on higher bands may give some users pause, as this is an area where competitors like Kenwood and Icom have demonstrated better performance.
Pros and Cons
- Intuitive interface and layout
- Excellent filtering capabilities
- Good overall performance
- AM modulation issues on higher bands
- Stock microphone may not meet everyone’s expectations
Final Verdict: Who Should Buy the Yaesu FT-991A, and Who Shouldn’t?
The Yaesu FT-991A is an excellent all-mode, all-band transceiver for users who value an intuitive interface, exceptional filtering capabilities, and overall good performance. However, those who primarily operate on higher bands for AM mode may want to consider other options due to the ongoing modulation issues.
If you are looking for a reliable and user-friendly transceiver for regular use and do not heavily rely on AM mode on higher bands, the Yaesu FT-991A is a solid choice. On the other hand, if your primary interest is AM operation on 6 meters and above, you may want to explore alternatives like the Icom IC-7300 or the Kenwood TS-890S, which have demonstrated better performance in this area.
In conclusion, the Yaesu FT-991A is a versatile and user-friendly transceiver that offers great filtering capabilities and solid overall performance. The full-color touch panel screen and intuitive layout make it easy for both beginners and experienced operators to navigate and adjust settings.
However, the AM modulation issues on higher bands are a significant drawback for those who frequently use these modes. It is essential to consider your needs and preferences when deciding whether the FT-991A is the right fit for your ham radio operations.
As with any piece of equipment, it is important to research and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. The Yaesu FT-991A has many strengths that make it an attractive option for a wide range of users, but it is crucial to take the AM modulation concerns into account.
In the end, the Yaesu FT-991A is a solid transceiver with a few shortcomings that may or may not affect your specific needs as a ham radio operator. If you decide to purchase the FT-991A, I recommend thoroughly testing the unit and working with Yaesu support if you encounter any issues. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your investment and enjoy many hours of fulfilling communication on the airwaves.