[CQ-Contest] Best radio for SSB
k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Tue Nov 20 13:45:25 EST 2018
I strongly agree. I've encountered Heil mics/headsets only when another
op brought them to a contest station where I was invited to operate, and
found them uncomfortable and even subject to RFI. On the air I don't
like their sound. More to the point, they are wildly overpriced for what
they are. In the world of pro audio, from which I retired, we described
a similar company, Bose, as "better sound through marketing."
Almost ten years ago, W6XU, an NCCC member who also works in pro audio,
introduced us to the Yamaha CM500 boom mic headset, and arranged a group
purchase. I've used nothing else since. The two 1/8-in plugs go straight
into the rear panel of my K3, and the TXEQ makes them sound great on the
My recommended settings for most mics are to severely roll off the low
end and slightly boost the high end. For the K3, that means maximum cut
of the three lowest bands (50, 100, and 200 Hz) and 6 dB cut of the 400
Hz band) with 3-6 dB boost of the two highest bands (2.5 and 3.2 kHz).
If the mic has built-in high peaking, like some Heil mics and the Shure
444/440, don't do the high boost.
Before I bought a pair of K3s ten years ago, I used FT1000MPs for a few
years. It was my experience that there was only one audio processing
setting that made the radio sound good, it was tricky to adjust, and
that it did sound quite good once you got there. But all other settings
ARRL Lab tests, summarized on my website, show Yaesu and ICOM radios to
be dirty on CW, generating much wider signals than necessary. Using one
of them can make you a very bad neighbor to fellow contesters. Those
tests showed the TS590S, K3, and KX3 to be much cleaner. Early versions
of Flex radios and software were also pretty dirty on CW, but after ARRL
Lab tests, Flex issued new software/firmware that made them a lot cleaner.
My analysis of ARRL Lab results is here. http://k9yc.com/TXNoise.pdf
My own measurements of selected rigs is here.
While I've never seen the radio, reports from other highly regarded
contesters and ARRL Lab tests say that the Kenwood TS590S is a real
73, Jim K9YC
On 11/20/2018 9:14 AM, David Gilbert wrote:
> I've never understood the appeal of using an expensive, and reputedly
> not very mechanically robust, Heil microphone if you have a rig with a
> good equalizer. I've used inexpensive computer headsets for years with
> my K3 and the basic electret microphone in them can be tailored to make
> me sound anyway I want.
More information about the CQ-Contest