Congratulations. Your opinions sound much more logical when supported. I don’t agree with some of your points, but at least now you provided some reasoned arguments.
was referring to the human ability to hear what is received. Getting lower MDS levels is great for a lab environment, but the practical limitation of human ears to pull out the weakest signal against the lowest receive noise is either here or very close to being here.
Still makes no sense. A great radio will provide output that is intelligible where an inferior one won’t. The technology that allows this to happen continues to improve. The radio is the limiting factor not the human ear. Perhaps it's semantics.
The ergonomic issues are what I don't like about that radio. It just isn't a sleek, polished radio like the big-three. Its performance is superb. I've A/B'd it with my trusty Mark V and to me there's no denying the significant improvements.
No argument from me there. As I said, the technology continues to improve. Your ears are the same. I have a Mark V as well and I surely don’t consider it a benchmark radio. In fact, in most respects, it’s inferior to old my 1000D. It does have some convenience features that are nice. Unfortunately, I’m probably screwed if either one breaks, short of finding parts donors.
I just think the 990 is a solution in search of a problem at this point.
That remains to be seen. I think to simply assume that is the case is premature. Companies have sold lots of radios to people who didn’t know they had a problem until a manufacturer showed them there was room for improvement.
It's a radio that needed to have been released around the time of the IC-7800, and I believe Kenwood has fallen off the radar screen of a lot of the serious DXers/contesters.
Yes, that would have been nice. Kenwood apparently feels they can reclaim some of that market. The name isn’t exactly unknown and many hams have fond memories of when Kenwood dominated the market. I think it’s not necessarily mandatory that Kenwood needed to building radios all that time (although that is what I would have preferred) in order to build a competitve radio. They have the benefit of existing targets and the technology to match what’s out there. And it would have been available much sooner if it hadn't been for the tsunami.
(Insert resume here)is proof that a $5-10k radio isn't needed to excel. Put that money in the stack of aluminum and you can squeeze an awful lot out of an inferior transceiver.
Every DXer worth his salt knows that. There are lots of folks that can do both. It isn’t an either/or proposition. I cruise “ham hill” east of Denver and marvel at the number of hams that dump extravagant resources into their stations. Hams with big stacks in the backyard seldom have old Drake TR-3s sitting on the desk.
I'm far from a Kenwood hater. ..but a massive, heavy knob-laden radio in the $7000-9000 range (from what was being bandied about at Dayton) is probably not going to appeal to those who are after performance over form factor. It's a Bently-vs-Ferrari situation.
Again, that’s premature. Hams, if nothing else, are weird. Look at the guys who bitch when a rig doesn’t have an analog S-meter, of all things. Whether this box is a big, softly spring Bentley remains to be seen. You may be right, but Kenwood is committing suicide in the market if it doesn’t play well. It will be picked apart, guaranteed. Anyway, hams like knobs.
If they'd introduced this 10 years ago and improved upon it in the intervening years, I think it would be a firm player. Who knows, it may yet be, but I've talked at length to a number of big station owners who've opted for K3s, FT-5000s and various ICOMs in the interim, as roofing filters were introduced and became mainstream. These guys moved from 781s, FT-990s, TS-950s/SDXs, IC-756s and various permutations of the FT-1000 (D, MP, Mk. V) to these newer radios as they became proven reliable performers. I cannot see the big guns selling these relatively-young radios off to re-equip with a new, untested ultra-high-end Kenwood. At least not yet...
I can. All it takes is performance. Elecraft did it with the K3. Ten-Tec did it with the O2. You don’t think Kenwood has at least the resources of those companies?
and what could it possibly do that the newer generation of Icoms, Yaesus, Orions and K3s can't?
You’re saying, then, that it would be OK to have just one brand of radio, as long as worked well?
They needed to bring in a high-performance transceiver in the mid-2000s, even as late as about 2007. They let the prime market of high-end contest and DX stations pass them by. What's left for them now is the luxury end and the Kenwood-or-nothing owners, Hi-Fi audiophiles and the like.
Just looking at the 590 it should be obvious that Kenwood can still pull the rabbit out of the hat when they want to.
Sure, they'll sell a good number of 'em but I doubt they'll recoup their investment anytime soon…
They will never sell enough to be profitable. That’s not what these flagship radios are all about. They are for company image. Any loss on the production will be amortized as advertising.
Enough. It will will be available soon enough and we will know whether the cycnicism or optimism was warranted. I won’t, contrary to K9IUQ’s advice, be in the market for one until they start showing up second hand. Let someone else eat the depreciation! By then we will know what the shortcomings or long suits are.