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Author Topic: Kenwood TS-870S vs FT-1000MP  (Read 9266 times)

Posts: 4

« on: August 28, 2000, 10:07:19 PM »

I am returning to active hamming after an absence of about 15 years.  The last radio I bought was a Kenwood TS-180S in 1981!  I would appreciate comments regarding the TS870 and the FT-1000MP.  They both look like great radios. Also, 756PRO can also be had for almost the same money (is that the way to go?).  Boy, this can get confusing!  I will be using it as a home base station for 80 & 40 rag chewing and DXing on 20 and 10 when the bands are open.  Money is a factor, but having as good a radio as possible is more important at this stage of my life.  Any and all input will be appreciated.  Thanks,
John, W7JDA

« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2000, 10:34:43 PM »

Save your money the hobby is full of jerks.  Its sad but grows truer with every passing day.  It's my opinion and take it for what it is worth.

Posts: 117

« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2000, 11:04:35 PM »

Unlike our "annon." friend, I'll try to give you my point rather than whine.  I too had a 180S.  It was my first rig.  Great one, but it developed a drift until warmed up.  Then I bought an FT-920.  Nice rig, but AF DSP???....cmon'.  Then I bought a used 870S.  It was a fantastic difference!!  Excellent transmit and receive audio.  Optional recording unit (DRU-2 I think) was awesome.  Then, I tried an FT-1000MP (where I am now).  I feel it does not have the audio response that the 870S had, but it's compairing apples and oranges in a way.  The rigs are designed a bit differently as far as options.  The MP has dual receiver, 870 not.  MP (can be) AC rig, 870 not.  MP has crystal filters (which can be replaced), 870 is 24 bit ALL digital (which really can be a good thing) and you cannot change firmware, etc. as far as I know.
    So, i.e., I am not dogging the 870S.  It's a terrific rig.  But when it came right down to it all, I just don't like the look and feel of the 870.  It seems to small to me.  I don't like the display.  These are just my personal preferences and I'm sure others will disagree with what I have stated.  But that's what makes us different.  Either way you go, they are about the same base price.  I don't think you could go wrong with either.  Hopefully others will share their feelings as well.

Posts: 1000

« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2000, 01:33:28 AM »

Tough question.  After four TS-850's and a 950SDX, I bought a 1000MP.  I would have preferred the 870, but no dual receive and no crystal filtering.  DSP is great but does NOT replace real filters if you're a CW op.  Unlike the previous poster, I prefer Kenwood's ergonomics and look.  The 1000MP was foreign to me.  Now I have acclimated, but miss the RX sensitivity, audio quality and QSK of the Kenwoods.  On the other hand, the menu system and operating conveniences of the Yaesu can't be beat.  Unfortunately I found the DSP to be rather lame.  The Kenwood DSP runs circles around Yaesu's.  Good thing though, since the Kenwood has no filters to back up its DSP system.  All in all, I would rather have my old, somewhat antiquated TS-950SDX back.  Kenwood refuses to build a contemporary, state of the art, top of the line radio.  More profit in selling bucket loads of 570's than a few high dollar flagship units.  Too bad.  In Japan that's known as loosing face.

Posts: 343

« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2000, 01:46:26 PM »

John, I own 2 of the 3 rigs you mentioned.  Don't own the 870 and all I know about it is the transmitter sure sounds good on both ssb and cw.  Oh, there is one thing about it that kept me from seriously considering one:  In cw mode, the widest available receiver passband is 1.0 kHz. This was not satisfactory because I like to listen to cw with wider filters when the qrm is not bad.  I've had the 1000MP for 3 years and it has been 100% reliable. The promise of DSP that would blow me away was a big motivator in buying it.  I never felt that it delivered on the claims and agree with K0RS that it's pretty lame. I ended up running it in full analog with exception of the auto notch. I am a rag chewer and pay a lot of attention to audio quality, both receive and transmit.  I eventually found settings that I liked for ssb transmit. (Some of my buddies joked that with enough time and patience you can make the MP transmitter sound almost as good as a Kenwood).  But, I could never get comfortable with the sound of the receiver, regardless of filter or DSP settings.  When Texas Towers advertised the MP they said something to the effect it excells in digital modes. There was so much advertising hype, that didn't sink in until I already bought it.  Now I think they described it accurately.  I'd absolutely love it if I never had to listen to it.  I've been running a 756PRO for several months now. In the things I consider important,it fit me like an old shoe from the very first day.  I can listen to the receiver for hours without the fatigue I'd get from the MP.  The audio reproduction is squeaky-clean with that "sweetness" made famous by Kenwood.  Similarly, the transmit audio sounds tremendous when operated on the 2.9 kHz transmit filter.  I also run the PRO on cw. The transmitted cw signal is clean in semi-break in, with user choice of waveform shaping.  The QSK keying is choppy but can be made to work by compensating for the clipped keying with an outboard keyer. Overall, though, the PRO has become my main rig and I enjoy it tremendously.  Hope some of these opinions are helpful.


Posts: 4

« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2000, 08:51:18 PM »

Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions. I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me intelligent opinions.  Now that I have your input, I'll go to HRO and sit in front of some of the rigs and do some comparative listening.  Thanks again, and in about a month you'll be hearing me on the bands.  73,

Posts: 29


« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2000, 10:18:49 AM »



Posts: 4464

« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2000, 11:16:38 AM »

Like you need another opinion, but here's my two cents.....

I bought an IC-756 within a few months after it first came out and was not alone. Very popular radio. Other rigs are better by a dB or two in some regards, and we can compare spec's all day long among the 'Big Three' brands, but I doubt you'd be dissapointed with any of the three you're looking at. As a purely subjective observation, the IC-756 series offers an excellent balance of overall performance, flexibility and useabilty. Mine gets used. Often. For everything. And, I haven't lusted for anything 'better' since I bought it. Which saves money. A lot of money.

So... I'd take a good look at the IC-756 PRO.

There's a local net I frequent with eight or nine regulars in attendence and two of them have bought 756 PRO's within the past month. I don't think that's a coincidence. I made a lasting impression a couple of years ago when I dragged the '756 out to Field Day and no matter who was on the key, every fourth or fifth Q included the question "What's the radio there? Really good audio...".

Among the three: I'll say the Yaesu probably has the better analog design while the Kenwood offers a nice balance between the analog and digital sections. The Icom is a nice computer with a nifty radio up front. You're looking at three stages in the evolution from analog to digital and it reminds me of the mid 80's when CD players first came out.

Audio purists debated the effects of A/D conversion artifacts against the 'sonic purity' of vinyl while the market voted for no clicks, pops, or scratches. Now the purists argue over bit rates and oversampling techniques.

None of the three radios will turn a pileup into armchair copy or pull DX out of a dead band, but ten years down the road I suspect the IC-756 PRO won't seem as 'old' as the other two. Plus, it has the advantage of Six Meters. Which can be a very 'fun' band.

And that's why I'm in the hobby.

The end of the world will occur on April 23, 2018 ( the day after Earth Day. Go Figure ).  If you're reading this on April 24th look for updates coming soon.  If you're reading this after June first, fuhgedaboudit.....

Posts: 21

« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2000, 07:49:56 PM »

This is a most interesting topic.

I bought the '870 about 3 years ago because of the QST review and because it seemed like a more forward thinking design.  I also tried the 870/MP side by side.  I got the 870 and have never regretted it!

Now, with the original MP being "on sale," I decided to try and buy.  I would agree about the comments on both rigs.  The Kenwood 870 is easier to operate, has a quieter receiver, better DSP, etc.  I have a new MP but only with stock filters.  The MP is awesome doing the split frequency thing on 40 SSB.  The receive is not "bad" but more fatiguing than the 870.  I did a comparison on 20. Tuned in the same signal with an interfering heterodyne on both radios sharing the same antenna.  One click of the upper badnpass control of the 870 took the heterodyne out.  The MP wasn't so easy.  I was surprised!

The 756 PRO sounds like the 870, next generation.  I do hear a lot of CW ops say that DSP doesn't deliver quite as well though, on really tight CW.  Oh well...  I just thankful to have two nice rigs!

Bill - K8DXX
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