Saturday, October 14, 2017

Yaesu FT-891 Mic Settings

FT-891 Mic Setting Tips

The Yaesu MH-31 hand mic, which comes with various radios including the FT-891, doesn't impress most people.  I find that some EQ'ing can turn the sound into a very pleasing one.

My reports are excellent, so I'm passing this on. Your adjustments may differ slightly in the mid settings, depending on your voice (I have a mid-trebly voice).  I made these adjustments while listening to myself over another radio, then by listening with a remote station.

First, even before EQ'ing, it's very important that your ALC is set to peak at 1/4 to never much higher than 1/2, for clear audio (the FT-891 gets wacky above 1/2).  You'll want to adjust the ALC after EQ-ing, and watch it between band changes, as my levels change.  I have not installed the most recent Yaesu FT-891 update, per this writing, so I cannot say if this has changed.

Next, I prefer Menu 11-09 TX bandwidth set to the stock setting of 300-2700 for DX, or for rag chew, set to that or 200-2800.  There isn't a lot of difference, but the 2nd choice adds a bit more bass and clarity for those rag chews with better machines on the other end.

As for EQ, notice that Yaesu gives you 2 EQ lists.  One is for compression when on (menu 15-10), and the other when off (15-04).  I roll-off all lows below 300Hz. This is very important Also, I leave Compression (PRC in quick menu, set to my preference, between 25 to 50) on all of the time. I find that for DX, I want the compression around 10 to 15%, max.  For local stuff, around 5-10% (or less) is fine.  These settings ONLY work if you are using compression (PRC highlighted)

Next, we're looking at the longform menu P-EQ1 settings, starting with Menu 15-10 (settings for compression ON):

P-EQ1 FREQ 300  (adjust the low bass freq center point in Hz)
P-EQ1 Level -15    (adjust how much you add/subtract from low bass setting)
P-EQ1 BWTH 8     (adjust the bandwidth area covered by low bass frequency peak)
P-EQ2 FREQ 1300 (adjust mids frequency center point in Hz)
P-EQ2 Level 8        (adjust how much you add/subtract from the mid setting)
P-EQ2 BWTH 8     (adjust the bandwidth covered by mids frequency peak)
P-EQ3 FREQ 2300 (adjust the highs freq center point in Hz)
P-EQ3 LEVEL 10  (adjust how much you add/subtract from the highs setting)
P-EQ3 BWTH 8     (adjust the bandwidth covered by the high freq peak)

I set the switch on the hand mic to 1 for local rag chew, and 2 for DX.

AGAIN:  Please note, if you do not like to use compression, you must make the same settings beginning with menu 15-04 (settings for compression OFF), which is the same EQ list, but only affect when not using compression.  Yaesu gives you 2 EQ lists.  There is a group of setting for both compression on and compression off.  The compression menu items begin with a P (15-10, as noted above).

I hope these settings provide some guidance.  Here is a sample of audio between YB0AJZ using these mic settings, and KL7HRN on another rig (as recorded by myself HL1ZIX, in between in November 2018).  As it happened, I caught YB0AJZ in a QSO and heard he had just used the settings for his FT-891, which I had suggested here.  I had just handed back to him, and recorded his audio with KL7HRN.  The audio was recorded with my Icom 7300, and the filtering was set wide open on RX at 3.4 (although I may have been using the Notch to trim a smidge of noise off of the top).  I believe YB0AJZ was TX'ing with a bandwidth of 200-2800 on the FT-891.  This should give a really good indicator of how the above settings sound on-air.  He was on mic setting 2, at the back of the mic: