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Topband: K3 vs. FTdx9000MP -- Informal comparison

Subject: Topband: K3 vs. FTdx9000MP -- Informal comparison
Date: Sun, 11 May 2008 10:44:40 -0400
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Hello Top-Banders,

I live in a location that is "RX Challenged" with high QRN 
and little space for high performance 160 m directional 
antennas. Although I have installed a couple of pennants, 
a low dipole and a EWE, all kinds of filters, pre-amps and 
phasing gear, there were still many stations I could not 
copy that nearby top-banders were working.

Over the years I went through a number of rigs: FT1000D, 
FT1000MP, ICOM 756 III PRO, 746 PRO. Eventually I got an 
FTdx9000MP. I thought that such an expensive rig must be 
as good as can be. In comparison test with my FT1000D and 
FT1000MP (unmodified), the FT9000 was indeed better; on 
MDS by almost 10 dB. Still, while I could hear more with 
the 9000, I often had trouble copying weak signals. The 
narrower I set the IF filter, the harder the signal was to 
copy! The DSP seemed to "mix" the noise with the signal, 
reducing its clarity.

Last week, after a long wait (very long), I received my 
K3. I did some perfunctory comparison tests with my 
FT9000. On MDS the K3 was marginally better -- maybe 2 dB. 
On the air, however, the difference was substantial: I 
could copy signals on the K3 that were not readable on the 

Please note that this is purely a subjective comparison. 
Still, many times during the past week I've been able to 
copy stations on my K3 which were not readable (but often 
detectable) on the FT. I am sure others with the right 
equipment will do some formal testing to explain the 
difference. For me, being able to hear is enough for now.



Disclaimer: I am not associated with Elecraft in any 
manner. Also note that the FT9000 has original firmware 
(May 2006). It was never upgraded.

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