My first HF radio was a FT-950. It was sufficient to learn with, and the price is comparable to other brands with similar features. Overall, it is OK for an "all round" use, beginners radio. It's definitely not a contester. Like all Yaesu HF radios, accessories are not standard or interchangeable with other brands on the market, and prices for Yaesu brand accessories and add-ons are extremely cost prohibitive. 3 months out of warranty, my 950 lost all receive audio and I had to send it to the Yaesu repair facility in Cypress, CA. About a month later the radio was returned to me and still no receive audio, plus it had a bent VFO shaft. I returned it the next day. The repairs were finally done on the second attempt and they notified me that it was being shipped out. Over a week later, when the package never came, I called and they found it was still there and had been just setting in a warehouse. Then they sent it to me by economy shipment and another week passed before it arrived! The radio failed again less than a year later, this time it had no RF power out. I sent it back to their service facility and after almost a month passed without hearing from them, I contacted them and they said USPS damaged the radio inbound to their facility. It had been pushed aside and they never notified me! You can forget getting a response from anyone with authority at Yaesu, even if you are lucky enough to find their contact information. Just the facts that the radio failed twice within 2 years, and Yaesu has poor service support, and terrible customer service, is enough to discourage anyone from purchasing a FT-950. The next radio I used was an Elecraft K3, and it was then that I realized just how deficient the FT-950 is in features and performance, and I learned what real customer support is all about.
this radio has it all and its sweet and will go to all the stars and yes the moon
This radio is simply the best value in its price class and has the look and feel of much more expensive radios. Ergonomics are excellent - you can jump right in and use this radio out of the box assuming you have experience with HF Amatuer radios. If you want to delve into the advanced features - they are there. For example, Digital Noise Reduction is available to enhance receive capabilities and has several different selections(algorithms) to choose from. Another example is micrphone eq settings - you can adjust a 3-band eq to fine-tune your microphone audio. Both of these features are very nice and useful - but not madatory to enjoying this rig. These are but 2 of many standard features and and avialable options for the FT-950. I enjoy this radio greatly and recommend it to all! One minor gripe: Yaesu - please include a USB CAT interface. Either drop the serial interface or include both a serial and USB for maximum flexibility!
This is the first "real" digital rig I have owned. Overall I am quite happy with the 950. The DSP filtering is nothing short of great! I have done 2 firmware upgrades since I have owned the rig and both upgrades really enhanced the DSP filtering functions.
I mostly use the digital and SSB modes. The 950 does an excellent job with both. I certainly appreciate the various microphone EQ settings the 950 offers. I normally use a Heil mic which sounds great by itself, but I also get very good reports using the stock hand mic after twiddling with various EQ settings.
My gripe is that many of settings you may wish to access are buried in menus and sub menus. Oh, I hate that! But I now use Ham Radio Deluxe for CAT rig control so this menu problem is now eliminated.
All in all, a great "upper middle class" radio!
Dave - KN7S