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Author Topic: K3 vs ts 990  (Read 6312 times)
W8JX
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2013, 11:44:20 AM »

The TS590 slaughters the K3 on SSB and that is coming a CW nut at my club who owns a K3 and swears by them so I expect the TS990 will do even more so. The K3 is just too damned harsh sounding on SSB to make using it on that mode for any length of time anything more than an endurance event.

If SSB is your main mode of operating then the K3 is the last radio you want to be considering.

The K3 is a excellent rig for CW and there are few equal or better rigs in that mode but it is a very bad choice for SSB. Many rigs do far better than it in this mode.

Can't believe people are suggesting the 7800. Its a 10 year old design with less performance, fewer features and is almost $2000 more than a TS990.

I agree, the technology the 7800 is built on is dated and a lot has changed and it cost less, not more than a 990 today.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2013, 11:31:36 AM »

I still say Orion.
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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2013, 04:09:14 PM »

I own a K3 and use it mainly for SSB. There certainly are better transceivers for sideband operation but the K3 has improved over the years. Furthermore, for SSB you don't necessarily need the best receiver especially when your not into contesting.
My advise, choose the one the you like best and look closely at ergonomics and how the rig sounds. Those two things are very subjective and only you can decide which one is best for you.
Personally, I like the ergonomics of my K3 but from time to time I still need to have a quick peak at manual. That also may have to do with the fact that my K3 often doesn't get any use for months in a row. I often operate at our contest station using either a IC-7700 or a FT 1000MP. Those rigs are already present at our contest station and therefore my K3 stays at home. The station is set-up for those two rigs and exchanging either one of the radios would mean we would have to change the band decoders and PC settings as well. That's why we prefer to use the rigs that are already in place. Personally on SSB I prefer the sound of a IC-7700 over a K3 most of the time except when the bands are extremely crowded like during a CQWW or a CQWPX but that's only 96 hours per year. 
There are also other things to consider. The customer support from Elecraft is fantastic. I have no experience with Kenwood customer support so I can't comment on that.
I also take my rig with me on holiday, fieldday and some contests like the IOTA contest so the light weight and the compact size of the K3 was very important to me. If my rig never left the home shack I couldn't have cared less about weight and size.

So, you see, there is no perfect answer to your question. It may not be what you want to hear but you need to figure this one out for yourself. Find out what is important to you and select a transceiver based upon those things. $8000,- is a lot of money and you usually can only spend it once. Make a list of things that are important to and place them in an order going form most important too least important. Then see what rig fits that list best. You will probably come up with a short list and then you need to find a way to play with all these rigs which are on your shortlist and determine which you like best.

Good luck and have fun in the process!
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W8JX
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2013, 05:51:50 PM »

Furthermore, for SSB you don't necessarily need the best receiver especially when your not into contesting.

Well suffice it to say that you do not want CW weighted rig for SSB operation if that is your major mode. Why compromise. If CW is your main mode the K3 is a solid rig but if SSB is, there are better choices.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2013, 06:46:01 PM »

Furthermore, for SSB you don't necessarily need the best receiver especially when your not into contesting.

Well suffice it to say that you do not want CW weighted rig for SSB operation if that is your major mode. Why compromise. If CW is your main mode the K3 is a solid rig but if SSB is, there are better choices.

Totally agree and also I thought that they had SSB contests Tongue
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2013, 06:58:09 PM »

So your are tell me that if I do ssb more than cw which
Is what I do indeed then the option is the 990 instead ok k3

It's not even fair to compare the two, these radios are not designed to compete against one another.  If you have the money the 990 is the clear winner!  Most people would be comparing a 590 to a K3 because price wise and feature wise they are much closer radios.
If your going to spend $8000 it's more of a choice between 990 vs 7800 vs ft5000 vs 7700.
Even though the 7800 is 10 years old it was way ahead of itself at the time of release and can still duke it out with more modern high end radios when looked at on all criteria.  If you really want to spend that much money you really need to go to HRO or AES and check out which one you prefer.
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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2013, 01:26:36 AM »

Furthermore, for SSB you don't necessarily need the best receiver especially when your not into contesting.

Well suffice it to say that you do not want CW weighted rig for SSB operation if that is your major mode. Why compromise. If CW is your main mode the K3 is a solid rig but if SSB is, there are better choices.

That's what I said:
There certainly are better transceivers for sideband operation but the K3 has improved over the years.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2013, 09:02:57 AM »

I've used the K3 a lot and only used a TS-990 at HRO and never in anyone's shack (yet) so for me this choice would be based mostly on ergonomics, including whether I intend to move the rig around.

The 990 is enormous and heavy!  For sitting on a desk at home and never moving, that's not a problem; for dragging it around for portable operations and such, it might be a really big problem: The K3 is much easier to move and carry, and would cost a lot less to ship it someplace if the need arose.

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K0CWO
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 10:28:57 AM »

$8000 for the 990?  For "only" $3000 more you can have both!

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W8JX
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« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2013, 01:20:31 PM »

$8000 for the 990?  For "only" $3000 more you can have both!

Or better yet a 990 and a new amp.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2013, 01:48:22 PM »

I'd rather have a 990 and better antennas.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2013, 04:35:42 PM »

I'd rather have a 990 and better antennas.
I'll settle for better antennas, period! Grin
73, Ken AD6KA
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W8JX
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Posts: 6060




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« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2013, 07:12:47 PM »

I'd rather have a 990 and better antennas.
I'll settle for better antennas, period! Grin
73, Ken AD6KA

Not me. Take better rig any day.
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PA5MW
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« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2013, 11:26:39 PM »

 

I also say ORION


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NO9E
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Posts: 417




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« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2013, 08:45:49 AM »

For me K3 has excellent ergonomics. I seldom touch the menu and pressing a button for a second does not tax my brain. On SSB it has excellent and easy to set up EQ and also powerful speech processor. No need for special mic connectors if one uses a computer headset. On RX it has easy to adjust EQ that makes those bassy signals tolerable. Also compensates for hearing loss for those over 50.

K3 had many corrections over the years so an early model with an early firmware and a late model with hardware corrections + new firmware sound almost like different radios.

Ignacy, NO9E
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