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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-990S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-990S
Kenwood TS-990S Reviews: 71 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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ON6KE Rating: 2/5 Sep 13, 2014 13:05 Send this review to a friend
ATU  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The TS-990S ATU can't tune the 16,5m long wire with 9:1 balun I have on 160m, the KX3 however has ZERO problem tuning the wire to 1:1, HA!!!!
VK2BJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2014 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my TS-990S since March 2013. I operate mainly CW but also plenty of SSB. I also have a K3 which I have used for over five years. The TS-990S is my rig of choice. It is very smooth and easy to operate with every required control readily to hand on the front panel.

The CW facilities including selectivity, audio filter and sidetone are all excellent. The full break in (QSK) is also very good although the K3 is a little better in that regard.

On SSB, sent and received audio are typical high quality Kenwood and a particular surprise is the inbuilt voice keyer which provides high quality play back and is ideal for contest use (with a simple to build external keypad.

Generally sensitivity, selectivity and immunity to overload are all well up to the standard expected for a rig in this price range. The bandscope is wonderful (I have never had one before) and the colour display is very easy on the eye.

I have operated in many contests with the 990 and it never gets more than slightly warm after very prolonged use.

There has been a lot of criticism of the noise blanker. I find it quite adequate for my location but I would welcome some improvement if that can be done.

I have carried out each firmware update without any problem and some of these have been significant improvements, such as the early QSK fix and the recent reduction in pre-amp sensitivity.

Having used the TS-990S almost on a daily basis over the past 18 months for serious DXing, contests and rag chewing, I have to say that it is the best all round rig I have ever owned and operated. Furthermore, I have not experienced one glitch, malfunction or fault.

This rig is definitely in my shack for the long haul.
WA4CAX Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2014 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio and Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my 990 April 2013. Initial impression of the rig is quite positive. The menus are intuitive. The radio receiver and transmitter audio lives up to the Kenwood standard. Performance is world-class. In July my shack was struck by lightning and the Kenwood 990 was damaged. The radio was unplugged but lightning made its way to the mike key line. I was devastated by this occurrence. My fear was a huge repair bill. I contacted Kenwood service and was well pleased with the service personnel (Carol and Chuck) and the process. I shipped the radio to Kenwood and the repair was done quickly and professionally. The radio was returned in pristine order. Kenwood repaired the radio FREE of charge. I did have to pay shipping charges. I now know I made the right choice. Kenwood definitely stands behind their product.

THANK YOU Kenwood....
VK6WB Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2014 04:42 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT RADIO  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've my Kenwood TS-990s for about 5 days with firmware v1.06 from Factory S/N : B470xxxx010
this Kenwood far superior to my FT-2000D with NS filter(AC0C) add in.also FTDX-1200. The Kenwood NR worked fantastic.
The yaesu it sound ... like you under the water.The filtering is as good as I expected from a well-designed receiver front end
and transmit & receive is great, I use two Sp-2000 to receive audio and it sound very nice. pic at
You can tweak the TX-audio for your own taste , a very good equalizer is availible on the TS990 and works outstanding.
I use NAdy SCM-800 MIC with Symetrix 528E for the MIC pre amp.I get excellent audio report and i don't have to ask.
thinking to get another one of Kenwood ... will see hi hi.I was going to buy IC-7800 but that is Old technology.
in my thinking why should I get Old Technology and cost me more , so i when and buy NEW Kenwood. and I am Glad...
I just don't understand the mentality . why people give a bad reviews when actualy don't have the radio
more to come...cheers de VK6WB
K7FU Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2014 13:17 Send this review to a friend
One Month In  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned this radio now for one Month. I can honestly say it is the best I have ever owned and operated. I am a cw op and have no Mic, so cannot comment on that ... yet. For casual cw ops. Excellent, For contesting on cw even better. My scores jumped due to the ease of separating the signals and the ability to copy each and every signal like we had the band to ourselves. I am looking forward now to SS and some others.
Ray - K7FU
NK9N Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2014 06:48 Send this review to a friend
Best rig for this decade!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my 990 over a year... without rehashing all the praise, I feel confident saying that it is simply the best rig on the market today. For the past 6 months I've had it side-by-side with my FT-5000MP and my Flex 6500. After extensive A/B comparisons, I have just sold both and ordered a second 990 for my mountain house QTH. As others have stated, no radio is perfect, but with a few tweaks in upcoming updates, the 990 is about as good as gets (today)!!
WD8DAS Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2014 10:25 Send this review to a friend
I love this rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Yes it is expensive, but given how big a role ham radio has in my life I decided to go for it. And I'm very pleased.

At every turn I am impressed by the performance of this transceiver. I love the big front panel, easy access knobs and switches, and the transmit and receiver performance beats all other rigs I've used over 35 years.

The TS-990S has been clearly been designed by hams - the controls and features "make sense" and are easy to use. Nothing seems "oddball", or left over from military or commercial applications.

Nothing is perfect, of course, so I have made three suggestions to Kenwood for a few improvements to make it even better.

1. Built-in RTTY and PSK modes have direct transmission from an attached USB keyboard - but CW mode can only have memories filled by keyboard entry. The next firmware upgrade should go all the way and offer direct CW transmission from keyboard.

2. In AM mode the RF/IF filter bandwidth is considerably greater than the max audio bandwidth setting. This unnecessarily limits the maximum effective audio response in AM operation.

3. It would be nice to have the ability to transmit audio that has just been recorded from one of the receivers. You can do this by looping back one of the receive audio outputs to one of the transmit inputs (optical or accessory jacks as easiest), and using the voice memories as a "scratchpad" memory. But it would be more elegant to have the ability to route the audio internally, specifically for this purpose.

K7FD Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2014 08:14 Send this review to a friend
Ultimate CW rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's been over a year since I purchased the 990S; as a CW operator, I can only give it the highest of marks...out-doing my old Orion II by leaps and bounds. Listening to CW on the 990S is pure pleasure. The ability to customize ALL phases of the radio surpasses anything I have owned up to today. And the ability to 'see' the changes made to the receiver on the built-in audio scope as you make them is icing on the cake.

Being able to customize all controls...BW shift/width filters, Band Elimination filter, Noise Reduction, AGC, APF, etc. has allowed me to achieve, well...I'd say a luxurious hi-fi sound on CW void of any fatiguing noise floor. With the 990S I have the ability to 'leave some' noise floor in there (so it sounds like actually I'm listening to something, hi)...or with NR, I can completely remove the background noise so only CW signals are heard. The Noise Reduction NR1 on CW is more than excellent.

The QSK is totally transparent. My sending with the built-in keyer sounds just like another signal on the band. No relay clicks, pops, hiccups, burps, or what-have-you. It's the best QSK I have used and I don't know how it could be improved.

So, from a CW operator view, I'd give the 990S a solid five stars! It's no slouch on SSB either, but I'll leave that review to someone who uses phone more than I do...

73 John K7FD

W6KM Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2014 17:24 Send this review to a friend
It really is a Flagship Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
On May 10th, I will have owned my TS-990S for one year.
I agree with every positive past review,so no need to repeat them again.
I have had no issues and find it the best rig I have ever owned, and I have had my share.
There have been many fine suggestions to further customize some of the operating features and we hope that Kenwood would consider them in future firmware updates,I agree that they would be welcome.
I am so sorry to see, with so many #5 reviews that the system still allows the old negitive ratings to even weight in on the current reports.Almost all the negitive reports are by non-owners that either sat at a friends shack or turned a few knobs at a radio store. Those of us that own and use the TS-990S know the truth.
The old saying that "one size fits all" does not apply to Ham Radio rigs.
I wish I could post a higher then 5 rating because that is how I feel about the TS-990S.

73 es GUD DX.....Dick
OE1TRB Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2014 23:33 Send this review to a friend
1 year great performance   Time owned: more than 12 months
I run my TS-990 1 year now, it worked and works fine with me. Every firmware update is easy to handle. My wish is to get an analog S-Meter enhancement for the 2nd receiver in one of the next firmware updates which would be a great benefit for me and other operators. I had a lot of nice QSOs (see my around the world.
All in all the TS990 is a strong performer compared to my IC-7700 with its DSP and filter possibilites.
73 de Thomas
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