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Thread: Astro Spectra vs Spectra Plus

  1. #1
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

    Default Astro Spectra vs Spectra Plus

    Sorry in advance if this is posted in the wrong section Astro vs Astro25, and Mars/Admins please retab it to the correct area in case I screwed this up.



    I understand that people generally prefer the Astro Spectra Plus over the Astro Spectra, but what are the advantages that would cause someone to upgrade to such a model.

    I know some of the hardware differences 4/8MB Vocon board vs 512KB/1MB, and the ability to use more features of 9600 Baud trunking. Plus the Astro25 CPS maintaining commonality with the other equipment XTL series, and potentially ditching the DB-9 port, RS-232 protocol based RIB for a direct USB connection.

    However what else is different, and why could it justify the cost to upgrade?


  2. #2
    TheWizard No Longer Registered

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    You're basically getting an XTL5000 in an Astro Spectra package, that's a bonus, and aside from the trunking options you mention, you also can have the better DSPs, I believe additional channel capacity and a much faster GUI, things are snappier and in many ways put the basic astro spectra to shame.

  3. #3
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Thanks!

    How much clearer is the DSP on the AS+? Comparable to the uplift on DSP6/7 to DSP8 on the Astro Sabers?

    Also this is for a VHF unit or two for CAP members and potentially one for USCG Aux if it matters...

  4. #4
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    Are there other features that the AS+ is capable of? ADP? QCII?

  5. #5
    TheWizard No Longer Registered

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    The radio can do ADP, indeed and alias the IDs with a call list, but for whatever reason, I think the AS+ is only for 800Mhz. I'd say it can do about anything an XTL5000 W7 (or whatever head you've got) can do, aside from the 700Mhz segment.

    As for audio, the DSPs between the Astro and Astro25 radios, no matter what version are different sounding. DSP8 on an XTS3000 still sounded worse than DSP2 on a beta XTS2500. I hear less popping of the speaker during RX (which is typically blamed on old capacitors with the AS+). I've been running two (one mobile one small base) for about 6 years or so now and couldn't be more pleased with it.

  6. #6
    Alpha's Avatar
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    AS+'s are available in any band the Astro Spectra is, since it uses the exact same hardware, just a different VOCON. And yes, it is essentially the brains of an XTL in the body of an Astro Spectra, so it is limited to no 700 Mhz, narrower band splits, no O3-O5 head support, etc. compared to an XTL. On the plus side, you get 512 channels, QC-II support, and ID aliasing. On the negative side you LOSE SOFT ID. It can be hacked to send them and NO ASTRO25 MOBILE RECEIVES THEM!! That was a deal breaker for me since local hammies use soft ID a lot for call signs, but if you don't need Soft ID's in APCO mode, then that may not be a big issue for you.

    What TheWizard said about DSP's is correct, they do sound a bit different than the Astro Spectra DSP, but the AS+ supports the latest DSP code and options from the ASTRO25 line (currently 19.50.00), and have much better sounding audio accordingly.

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    I like my AS+'s. I am always looking for more, since the W7 head is more compact than any O head. I can cram more bang for my buck into a console. I'm waiting for some trade ins right now....

  8. #8
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Does anyone have an audio sample that I could compare?


    It would be good reference material for people wondering anything similar.....