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Author Topic: What to buy Kenwood TS-2000 or Yaesu FT-950  (Read 13830 times)
N7BBC
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« on: July 25, 2012, 09:14:53 AM »

I have been back into ham radio for about 3 years now after taking a long break from the hobby. Since then I have been working with my old trusty Kenwood TS-450 with good results.

Recently I have decided to buy a brand new radio and because budget and features I have narrowed it down to either a Kenwood TS-2000 or a Yaesu FT-950. I am not the person that will be having a radio for a few months and change to a different one soon. I want to keep my radio for several years.

The ability to have 440 MHz to HF on the TS-2000 seams interesting but it is not a mayor priority for me. I understand that Kenwood came out with this radio more than 10 years ago.

The FT-950 looks a more robust transceiver and newer design. I like how Yaesu does firmware upgrades. The ergonomics of the FT-950 seam well designed.

Not sure how they compare when it comes to filters. I mostly do SSB.
 
I have had Yaesu as well as Kenwood radios mostly HT and mobile but never had a Yaesu HF. I like both brands and have been happy with both.

Let me pick your brain elmers. What would you recommend?

 
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KG4NEL
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 09:18:03 AM »

Welcome to Eham!

If you're not going to get much use out of the '2000 above 50MHz (VHF/UHF multimode, tracking VFOs for satellites, etc)...I'd get the Yaesu. That kind of DSP just wasn't there in the Kenwood's era.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »

Disclaimer: I've never used the 9000.  But I bought a 950 a few months ago, and IMO it's a great radio for the money.  The DSP and filtering are vastly better than anything I've owned before.  I find it simple to use, but I have several other Yaesus so I'm used to the menu system.  And it has some COMPLEX features--some time spent with the manual is definitely indicated!  Smiley   Again, I can't compare it to the 9000, but the 950 has been a big hit--incredible "bang for the bucks" and a great performer IMO.
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K0CWO
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 09:40:47 AM »

I've owned both for quite a while.  For HF the FT-950 has a nicer receiver but for casual rag chewing both are fine.  If I could only have one radio it would be the TS-2000.  I've had mine since 2001, never had a problem with it, and it does just about anything but wash the dishes.  These radios are a good value for the money!
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W8GP
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 10:23:59 AM »

I've been using an FT-950 for 4 years and have been more than happy with it. I operate 90% SSB and frequently get unsolicited audio complements.It took a while to get it set up but most of the menu items are set-it-and-forget-it.It's more than acceptable for casual CW and contesting.You'll probably enjoy either rig, but my vote is for the Yaesu.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 10:48:32 AM »

The TS2000 is a fairly old radio now. I would question for how long it will be supported in terms not only of Kenwood support in service, but in availability of parts.
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 11:29:47 AM »

The TS2000 is a fairly old radio now. I would question for how long it will be supported in terms not only of Kenwood support in service, but in availability of parts.

A new TS 2000 is not a wise buy. Parts for it are hard to come by and it is a mediocre HF rig at best. Its IF DSP is VERY primitive. I would actually place your TS-450 receiver about it. Fpr sam money you can get a TS-590 which is WAY ahead of 2000 and ahead of FT-950 too. Does not have 2m or 440 but you trade that for superb HF performance. Even TS-480 has a much cleaner/better receiver than 2000 does.
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KB3FFH
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 04:10:09 PM »

Yaesu is about to release thier new radio, the FT DX-3000.
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K6AER
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 09:15:29 PM »

TS-2000 parts are hard to come by?Huh The radio is still in production. The receiver is as good and any on the market. The filtering is average and about 78 dB on selectivity. This is about as good as 98% of the radios out there.

Buy one used for $700 and take the rest of the money and buy a used A3S beam, rotor and 50 feet of Rohn tower. You will do much better than a $2500 radio and a dipole.

I have worked on many TS-2000 radios and they are a very well built and well supported design with superior transmit audio as well. In addition you get a free 100 watt 2 meter and 30 watt UHF radio as well.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 11:52:31 PM »

I agree with the statement that "If I could only have but one radio, It would be the Kenwood TS2000"    The TS2000 IS the radio that can "do it all" Including cross band repeat, VHF/UHF AND HF!   A really neat feature!
The TS 2000 is found good used in the 900 dollar range all the time.

But like all Jacks of all trades, There are better rigs for certain things ..........       My suggestion is to get a good used TS2000, Enjoy it, And IF you later want better performance in a rig, Upgrade to something more specialized and KEEP the TS2000 for the great cross band back up rig it is.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 04:50:05 AM »

TS-2000 parts are hard to come by?Huh The radio is still in production. The receiver is as good and any on the market. The filtering is average and about 78 dB on selectivity. This is about as good as 98% of the radios out there.

Kenwood is having trouble with getting some of the dated discreet components and has had to alter design and firmware somewhat in recent years to keep it viable. As far as selectivity, while 78 db might seem average, the shape factor of the filtering and its skirts are not good and mixer is not clean noise wise either. I actually considered getting one of the black anniversary editions over 3 years ago but after spending some time using one a few times I found it lacking compared to analog IF TS-480.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 05:43:58 AM »

ANY radio these days that uses any custom parts can have maintenance problems down stream. Or even some 'standard' parts that are no longer being manufactured when needed for maintenance. Plus the fact that in the world of analogue integrated circuits, second sources more generally aren't than are! You only have to look at what happens with RF power transistors coming and going, and the range of ICs that have disappeared.

So in maybe as little as 5 years from introduction, a radio can need a part made from 'unobtainium'. Sometimes, things can be cobbled together,  but that is mainly for older, physically larger radios.

This means that for a 'keeper' radio, you want one that has been introduced about a year ago to give them time to get the bugs out. You also probably want to get some spare PA transistors too.

It does seem strange that it is probably easier from a spares or substitution viewpoint to keep an old Heathkit HW101 going than a very much more modern rig.
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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 06:33:41 AM »

If Kenwood saw fit to create say a updated TS 2100 based on new DSP technology it would be a much better rig. While analog IF is very mature and still viable today with good design, IF DSP is still evolving and the 2000 while a interesting concept is very primitive in DSP design and implementation.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2012, 07:12:19 AM »

If you are going to buy a HF only radio, forget the FT950 and get the TS590. Both from receiver performance and more importantly, usabillity point of view, it runs rings around the FT950. Also it has a USB port so you can do data,CAT control and firmware updates over USB.
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M5AEO
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2012, 01:38:12 PM »

I had a TS-2000 some years ago and I thought it was a lovely radio.  I also think the build quality is better than Yaesu.  It is quite a complicated piece of kit, but I soon got used to it.  I only sold it because I was taking a break from the hobby for a while, but now I wish I'd kept it!  If you can find one at a good price I would recommend you grab it!

Jonathan, M5AEO, London.

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