Not new as in brand-new, but a new one to me.
When I got back into Amateur Radio in 1995, there were four new radios considered "Top of the Line", and they were all way out of my price range.
The Big Boys were the Kenwood TS-950SDX ($4600), The Icom IC-775DSP ($4800), the Ten-Tec Omni VI+ ($2600), and the Yaesu FT-1000D ($4000).
The following photos are courtesy of RigPix.com
The Ten-Tec was punching way above it's "price weight" performance-wise, but Ten-Tec always did that. Those radios didn't appeal to me because the fit-and-finish on them wasn't what you expected in a serious radio, and they were always built a bit flimsy. It weighed 16 pounds.
The Icom has a reputation of being a very good radio, but several of my friends had problems at the time with a variety of brand-new, right-outta-the-box, high-end, Icom radios either being DOA, or failing spectacularly in the first few months, so I tended to shy away from certain Icom radios of that time period. It weighed 37 pounds.
The Kenwood was (and still is) a spectacular radio. I have one and love it. With addition of a narrow Inrad "Roofing Filter", it can hold it's own against newer radios costing thousands of dollars. Very smooth, sweet "Kenwood Audio", and you can listen to it for hours. Even though it was sold as part of the Kenwood 950-series radios, it was a completely different design architecture than the other three 950-radios. When QST magazine reviewed it, they said it was so different than the others that they were surprised that Kenwood didn't call it the TS-960S. It weighed 51 pounds.
The Yaesu was the heavy-weight champ. These radios weigh in at 52 pounds. They will NOT slide around on your desk when you plug in your headphones! Yaesu also extensively supported all the DXpeditions of the time, supplying these radios to teams of Hams who dragged them all over the world to extremely remote locations, and ran them 24/7 for days while their operation took place. From "Arctic Cold to Tropical Heat", these radios got the snot beat out of them, and took it. Definitely a SOLID radio!
So even though I'd really like a new Flex Radio 6xxx series, or a new Kenwood TS-890, or (drooool) a Yaesu FTdx-5000, I really don't think I can justify spending $4k or more on a new radio and connect it to the compromise antennas I'm stuck with (BTW...got a 'quickie' antenna project brewing) at this location.
I already have a TS-950SDX, so why not look for a good used FT-1000D to go with it? I have comparable rigs from Hallicrafters and Drake, dating to the mid 1960's, so why not get the other 'book-end' to the Kenwood and fill out my mid 1990's collection?
Took a couple of months, but I found this one, and it's a honey.
The "CQ WW WPX SSB" contest is this weekend, so even though solar activity is bottomed-out, a major contest like this brings out all the Big Gun stations, and the bands get crowded with strong signals.
First impressions are....WoW, what a receiver! I'd forgotten what a difference it made to have IF Width and Shift controls available to zero in on a signal with. My little Elecraft K2 is quite a competent radio, but this thing just blows it in the weeds. True, they're completely different categories of radio, designed to different cost and performance parameters, so I shouldn't be surprised, but it's been so long since I've driven a truly high-end radio that I forgot how good they are at digging out a single, weak, signal when there's a much stronger signal close to it in frequency. Or in the case of a contest, an S9+ signal on either side of an S3 signal.
And keep in mind that this is an entirely ANALOG radio. It has a digital readout, digital controls, and uses Direct Digital Synthesis to generate the Local Oscillators and VFO's, but the entire signal path, from the antenna to the speaker, is analog.
No DSP (Digital Signal Processing) either Radio Frequency ("RF"), Intermediate Frequency("IF"), or Audio Frequency("AF") is used. This is where my Kenwood "cheats" a bit, by having some very good DSP at a "Low IF" point in the radio. The Kenwood also uses the DSP to detect and recover the audio, and process the transmit audio. The Yaesu is nothing but filters, oscillators, amplifiers, mixers. At no point in the signal chain does the signal get digitized, fiddled with, and then reconstituted back into analog, resulting in a different sound.
Kinda like playing a vinyl album on a turntable connected to a good amplifier and speakers vs playing a CD on a new stereo. They can both sound "good", but they also "different".
It's a classic design, done right, with quality parts, and careful attention paid to details like proper filtering, gain distribution, mixer drive levels, and low-noise oscillators.
Anyway...it's nice having a "real" radio again, even if I'm stuck with my BuddiStick for now.......