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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-990S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-990S
Kenwood TS-990S Reviews: 100 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $7999
Description: Kenwood FLAGSHIP TS-990S has arrived. Kenwoods sets a new preformance and operating standard for the ultimate Amateur Transceiver. Advanced KENWOOD technologies deliver a Top-End receive and transmitt experience on Amateur Bands 160 Mtr to 6 Mtrs. Kenwood proudly adds the 990S to its trendsetting TS series!
Product is in production.
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WA2ZSB Rating: 4/5 Feb 13, 2018 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Overkill for the average ham  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had to try this rig, one week after I had it realized it was way more than I needed. For most hams this radio is overkill, for the price I did not feel it was warranted. On the plus side it is not that intimidating to operate and the versatility is amazing if you need it. For me the receiver was not noticeable better than my Orion II or even my 590SG. But I am not into contests and I am sure that it would shine there. My advice is to make sure you need the bells and whistles before you spend, I sold and was able to buy two radios to replace it!
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2018 15:46 Send this review to a friend
UPDATE again TS990s  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have used this radio for 2 1/2 years. am still very happy with it, WHY, I just do SSB 10m 17m 20m 40m 75m & 160m mostly the last lower 3 bands, using 200w or less, but do use a ACOM 1500 on 160m in the mornings, always seem to get me through to other stations. Use a cheap $45 condenser mike brough off of eBay, its small enough to set by the radio on the night stand, just use the radio's speaker, that works for me, sometimes I use headphones when there's QRN, but don't have to if I don't want to. Have owned lots of radios, before the TS990s. A TS590sg, TS590s, A Yaesu FT9000D (3) FT5000s a FT3000D a FT1200 an (3) FT950 an some ICOM radios the IC7600 a IC756PRO3 a ICOM 756PRO and (2) FT920 a Kenwood 430 all these radios served me well an liked them all. Liked the TS590s
an the Yeasu FT5000s best, behind the TS990s because I kept them longest, also liked liked the FT9000D a great deal, but sold it
because of a back problem, could not sit in a chair for over 3+ months, did not know If I would ever be able to again, an that radio was a lots of GREEN STAMPS so I sold it but a great radio no less in its own right. Can tune the TS990s with my 6 wire antennas I use to hear any station great the radio will hear well most anytime, weather the band is in or out. This time of year in AZ is a very good time for long shot DX on 40-80-160m with TS990S, you never know for sure but hope this radio is in my shack for many more years. Am Very HAPPY.......kb6hrt
M0VPL Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2018 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After having this radio some 6 months I can compare only to what i have had before it, IC-7800mk2 IC-7700 Kenwood 950 FT-2000 IC-pro3 and more. this is one outstanding transceiver, but as with all things and radio's of the modern age you have to learn to drive it first, read than manual then read it again. this can do many things to make your use of the TS-990s much more enjoyable if you know how to use it. The layout was strange coming from the well layed out front panel of the IC-7800mk2 but after the initial getting used to it phase i now like the layout. everything is at hand and you can tailor the filters to suit your needs. the audio from it is outstanding, Kenwood quality like rigs of old. this is my best radio experience by far and i cant see the IC-7851 being twice the price better. well done Kenwood you have a very good radio in the TS-990s
M0KZX Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2017 10:07 Send this review to a friend
Stunning radio that offers great value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had my 990 approximately 6 months now and have only been extremely impressed with its ease of use and performance.
I could spend pages and pages describing how amazing the receivers and filtering are. I could yak on bout the performance of the dsp/dnr, and I could tell you that the transmit audio is spot on.

Although not a cheap radio when you weigh up the performance V cost compared to other radios it offers very good value. I spent a long time looking at radios in this price bracket and quickly found the Kenwood wins hands down.
OH2KW Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2017 11:17 Send this review to a friend
5/5  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this now more than three years.
Very good radio, no failures and works fine.

I am surprised e.g. VE3GZB comments of the RTTY
reception. In my tests TS-990 decoder is the best! Better than MMTTY and 2TONE!

Of course there are some features that I would like to be added from Kenwood:
- TX tune signal (for solid state linear tuning)
- CW decoder (as its already in TS-590SG)
- IF out to DRV (as in TS-590SG, but might need HW mods?)
- better NR functiosn (now quite as in TS-2000 so rather old algorithms with "watering effect")

73 de Arto, OH2KW
PA7M Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2017 05:17 Send this review to a friend
value for the money  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hello fellow amateurs I have the Kenwood now about 1 year in my possession.
I can tell that I am very happy with it and it's a fantastic radio to work with
I'm not going to tell you that it's an easy radio is but I still learn something every time and that bored my total not
It is best to search for the correct settings but that make the fun
of course there are for every radio have to find things that could be better but that will always remain so, I fear
but 1 thing I know for sure you do get value for money
I have had a lot of radios over the years but this is still high on my list with a good reception and look just a showpiece in the radio room.
W4MSW Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2017 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Piece of cake for Kenwood Owners  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
So, this beauty replaced a TS-870 and a TS-590, that vaporized, along with my house, in the Gatlinburg wildfire (28NOV2016) Since the second radio in the 990 is a TS-590 clone and I have much less space now, I opted for just one box. The 990 is a superior performer and at $6700 is a bargain. Yes it has a hundred knobs and buttons, however if you are at all familiar with Kenwood radios (like my 870 and 590) you will be instantly at home and operating with no difficulty. Only the more esoteric features not found in other radios, will require a trip to the manual. Everyday operation is intuitive.
M0MCX Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2017 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Completely Solid Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having 2 years under my belt, I can honestly say that the TS-990s have given me more pleasure than any other radio. I compare against FT100MP with Inrad roofing filters (good), TS590 and TS590SG, K3s and also a TS2000. But it's hardly a competition.

Look, most modern rigs sound pretty good on a quiet band so why do I really like this rig?

For starters, I can get really close to my neighbour and still QSO under very heavy contest QRM conditions.

I love the filtering and having the ability to select narrow, mid and sharp filers and that they are all configurable.

Having one USB cable between my computer and my rig which does CAT and sound-card in/out is a god-send. I play with digital modes and various experimenting. Having zillions of wires and cables used to annoy the heck out of me.

I love the fact it's so configurable. The remote control program is really handy for skipping through zillions of settings to set this girl up exactly how you want her.

The 200 Watts is real. Sure, I have an amplifier too for doing big RTTY but for 99% of the time, I can squirt 200 Watts should I wish without flicking on the big amp.

On AM, she's just fine too. Had my first QSO on AM just recently on 60m band. I can achieve a carrier of 50 Watts and voice peaks at 100 Watts to stay within my licence conditions in the UK. Can't do that on a small radio.

I love that the thing is HUGE. I am a *big* guy and I like *big* things, whether that's a Harley Davidson FatBoy or my Drum Kit. Give it to me big and heavy and I'm happier.

The 2 VFOs are fun to use. Plumb one aerial in Antenna 1 and another into Antenna 2 (or 3 or 4) and you can listen to your stations in both VFOs with different aerials (I do this with a vertical on one VFO and a horizontal on another). Just hit the "Tracking" button and you have an earful on vertical and another earful on horizontal. Good fun. (And of course, also configurable about how much audio you'd like in each year as regards balance. They've thought of everything).

4 Antenna ports are cool - but I have an outboard 6-way Array Solutions RatPak anyway. However if I wasn't into big power, this would suffice.

The band scope is cool. Apparently there are some outboard band-scopes on the market. I don't care. This is good enough for me. I can see in a moment that the big station 5 KHz up from me has slid down and I'd better be careful.

Transmit and Receive audio filters are cool too. Most owners would agree that on SSB, we all sound pretty good. It doesn't take a lot to make these 990s sound fabulous.

On CW, you can squeeze the filters right down. Same with digital. Under heavy QRM, you can tighten the old girls skirts and ignore the rest.

On-board voice keyer is perfect. Thankfully it's not an optional extra. And the ability to send audio to any of a multitude of ports depending on the source is great.

The latest firmware upgrade seems to have sorted out the internal ATU which I now find much more forgiving. I can now use non-resonant coax fed antennas for bands that I'm not supposed to. OK, I can't do that when I have the amp running. I've previously read about the internal ATU not performing. I can guarantee you it does. Better than my excellent internal ATU on my FT1000MP. Tunes stuff it really shouldn't. Quite amazing really.

And the list goes on. The nice thing about this radio is that it's a joy to use. I don't care what the specs say and that Jo Soap's new rig is apparently, technically better. You will not be able to tell. Modern rigs are now at such a high quality that we should only give a cursory glance at the specs. The bottom line is that after 2-years, I'm still enjoying this wonderful piece of engineering every day.

If you are reading this and on the fence with your decision making, let me tell you.. You only live once and you can't take it with you. Buy one of these and you'll still be happy in 25 years. That's a pretty good investment, certainly better than endlessly buying lesser rigs every couple of years and moving on. With this one, you will still be learning new tricks and new abilities that you never knew she had up her sleeve.

Don't regret it. Go for it now.

73, Callum
W8NWN Rating: 4/5 Dec 18, 2016 20:02 Send this review to a friend
Great, but not fantastic.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio is the heaviest boat anchor radio ever built.....Once you place it on your desk you will find it hard to move especially to get to the back. I think the heaviness comes form the built in power supply for the 200 watt transistors. Then when you add all the screens, buttons and switches it all adds up. Yeah,,,,,it is one fantastic radio that I will probably keep for a long time....Actually I can't HEAR any difference comparing it to my K3S, but maybe its just me. After I have owned it longer,,,I will give it another review.
WR0F Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2016 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Owner 2 1/2 years   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Kenwood TS 990S now since the June 14 2014 . I have been the owner of many radios over the years and this one is a high quality radio that we plan on keeping for many years.
We get awesome transmit audio reports using our Heil PR781g boom mic setup with the audio equalizer setup that is built into the radio .
The receiver on weak signals is right up with the best of them with the noise reduction options notch filters and a receiver equalizer as well.
This radio has a place for life in my radio room and is a keeper .
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