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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-590SG Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-590SG
Kenwood TS-590SG Reviews: 74 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1759.00
Description: HF/50MHz TRANSCEIIVER
Product is in production.
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KG4FET Rating: 4/5 Sep 17, 2017 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Does a Good Job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As you go through these reviews IGNORE any that were written by someone who borrowed the radio for a few days. It takes a a while to learn the rig, get all the settings right ect...This is the highest end rig I have ever owned BTW.

Typical of Kenwood the TX audio is great ONCE you get it set. The USER setting in MENU 36 can be adjusted through Kenwoods free CAT (590G) software and saved in the radio. I won't give my settings because EVERYONE's voice is different. I use 3 different mics (TenTen Dynamic, Kenwood HM43, and a Heil HC 5 in a after market head set) and they are all pretty close with the edge going to the hand mic and the TT I use 90% of the time.

The receiver could be the best of any rig, but 2 both TenTec's, I have ever owned and I have owned/used a bunch. As far as actual RX the edge goes to the 590SG over the TenTec Jupiter, but, and this is a biggie for me as an NCS on a couple HF Nets, The receiver in the Jupiter is quieter. I just can't get the 590's as quiet as the JUP without signal loss. NR1 above 4 adds a watery sound to RX that I just don't like NR2 is worse. Beat cancel (BC1/2) Notch, Auto Notch, and the NB 1/2 are very effective in fighting noise. The 590 does not have an IF Shift BUT it does have an A/B DSP filter. I set one a little tight (400/2400) and the other at my normal listening levels (300/2800) lo/high cut. RX tone can also be tailored in MENU 36 (adding highs, lows, flat).

USB connection allowing BOTH CAT and Sound Card Digital operation at the same time is great. CAT is easy to set up, SC Digital takes some playing with trough the USB. All of these things take some playing with.

A brief word on the misuse of the term panadapter regarding the 590SG. The 590SG's I.F. CANNOT BE TAPPED. Buying a 160.00 receiver isn't needed when a 24.00 will do. I bought the RTL-SDR single hook up bundle that included the antennas and a mag mount. Cut the coax about 2 inches from the Mag and soldered an RCA male plug for the DRV port on the 590 and a female RCA on the pigtail Nothing lost in that case. the Dongle works stand alone and on the 590 and NO 15 or 20 "special" adapter needed. Great thing with the cheap dongle is that when used with HDSDR and not slaved to the radio via CAT the dongle makes a great second receiver.

Overall the 590SG is excellent but is still noisier then the Ten/Tec rigs I have used and currently have. There is a steep learning curve that cannot be figured out sitting at the radio for a few minutes much less a few days. Want to ask me a question emails good on QRZ
73 de KG4FET
W0DKM Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2017 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Pleased as Punch  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I grabbed a TS590SG 70th anniversary. I have or had a bunch of Kenwood's. Everything works as it should.
Is it better or worse then other rigs? To each his own on that. It has a great receiver and the noise reduction is very good.
It looks very close to the standard 590. Maybe a shade darker. There is metal flake in the bezel.
It comes with extras, And if its from HRO like mine. They threw in a Heil Mike and cable, Cant beat that.
I will have to save it as a collector!

Is worth the extra money over the standard. Well it was for me.

I never complain about rigs or equipment, I if works for what I need, I keep it, If it don't, I Dump it.

I will save this one for my kids to sell!!
VA3AQB Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2017 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have always been a Yaesu guy but after getting the TS590SG used. I'm mostly doing digital and find the TS590SG is the radio I will use all the time for these modes. I feel that the radio can handle what ever you throw at it. RX is great and don't see much or none difference at all to my FTDX3000. I had a FT991 & a Icom 7300 but the TS590SG is a much better work horse. These radios just sat there collecting dust but the 590 is on every time I do digital. For SSB work I do use the FTDX3000.
Next step is to add a pan-adapter to compete with my FTDX3000.
K3EY Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2017 11:16 Send this review to a friend
BEST BUY BEST RADIO BEST RECEIVER  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having owned three different TS590SG’s since they came out I feel I am qualified to make a realistic review. I also owned two different IC7300 and many other high-end HF radios. I still own a TS590SG and IC7300. The TS590SG has a receiver that can not be touched at it’s price. You can hear NDB’s below 500Hz with the 590SG where the Icom is deaf. The noise blanker at my QTH is useless on the Icom where the 590SG noise blanker kills any and all noise. I can hear weak stations just about equal with both the Kenwood and Icom except when there is a strong near frequency station, that is where the 590SG excels and the Icom falls apart. You can add a SDRPlay to the 590SG and mimic the 7300 screen, only a much bigger screen. The new SDR 7300 is a marvel and why it sells but Kenwood’s old fashion technology with it’s raw performance outshines the 7300 “starter rig”. You need to up it a few thousand dollars more to really compete with the TS590SG and then dollar for dollar it would only be a “small” return on your money. If a fancy touch screen makes you gaga then go for the 7300, if superb powerful performance in you receiver is important, then the 590SG is a no-brainer. Don’t believe me, that’s ok it’s just my opinion which is worth whatever you believe it is.
WY4J Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 17:59 Send this review to a friend
No Complaints  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am not the easiest person to please and many a time I will have a very different point of view from the dozens of review pages. This is not one of those times.

I got my ticket when the Collins KWM-2 was the rig everyone dreamed about owning. Now they call it a boat anchor.

Not sure what transceiver some reviewers have been rating but it must not be a Kenwood TS-590SG. This is my second TS-590. I had the TS-590S from the onset and replaced with the SG model so I could have a pan adapter. Paired up with the SDRplay and I could not be happier. I have this model for three years and it's a wonderful CW/JT65/SSB rig. The DSP does its job and the CW filtering works perfect even when narrowed to 50 Hz. There is just enough state of the art for this rig to be up to date but it still has the buttons and feel of an older transceiver. Is a very user friendly piece of equipment. I just cannot find any of these insurmountable problems described by some folks on this web site. This Kenwood TS-590SG is the second best radio I have ever owned with my 36 year old Kenwood TS-830S that I purchased new in 1981 taking the top spot. Hopefully I will be a ham for another 41 years so I can be buried with my 77 year old TS-830 and my 44 year old TS-590SG.

Now, this is only my humble opinion but you need to use and learn all the little things and quirks of a piece of equipment before you can write about it as I have read negative reviews emanating from the reviewer perusal of a picture, specs out of a magazine or others playing with a piece of borrowed equipment for a few minutes. Some will write a review from listening to it while at the ham store or at their buddy's house. While others just cannot be please but thankfully these folks are in the minority.
W8RMV Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Best Value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very EZ to use. PF buttons are awesome and configurable. I own the radio & just did not borrow it for a few days. Like a recent reviewer, I found the 590 much quieter than the Icom IC-7300. Background noise on the 7300 is terrible so I sold it. You'll see noise complaints about the 7300 on the FTdx-3000 reviews also. I get great audio reports on phone using an HM-12 Heil mic. It also has a great auto-tuner. Tunes beyond 3:1 & very fast. Lastly, I have a SDR connected to the DRV port & I get great a panadapter using SDR Console SW. Still the best buy out there.-73 Bob
N4UE Rating: 1/5 Jul 24, 2017 16:25 Send this review to a friend
Poor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I borrowed a friends 590SG, I compared it to my:

Icom 761

In all cases, it was much too noisy. The background noise level got on my nerves very quickly.

BTW, the antenna is a Mosley CL-33 at 95' fed with hardline. Not some longwire.



N8FVJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 05:53 Send this review to a friend
TS-590SG vs IC-7300  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just a follow up. Sorry if this should not be here, but another ham stated are equal radios.

I do not consider the IC-7300 the equal of the TS-590GS. Perhaps I got a bad new IC-7300, but doubt it. First, the IC-7300 had this odd phase shifty artifact that sounds artificial. Even background static is not real sounding. The Kenwood sounds normal in every aspect. But, this may not bother most ham radio operators. It does bother me after 50 years of listening on the ham & shortwave bands,

The IC-7300 has a noisy receiver. I have to set the IC-7300 noise reduction to level four to equal the Kenwood without any noise reduction on weak signals. I also can decipher very weak signals when the IC-7300 does not.

The IC-7300 does have a better sounding NR system. Voices do not change. The Kenwood becomes watery sounding at settings of five & higher on NR1. I use the Kenwood at NR1 setting four. It still reduces static and background noise a fair amount.

So, there you have it. I been operating ham radios for over 50 years- no operator error here. Buy the Kenwood TS-590SG. It is the best value available & less expensive vs the IC-7300.
N4THC Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2017 10:04 Send this review to a friend
Great all around HF radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my TS-590SG new in March 2016. What mainly brought my decision to this rig was the built in USB connection. I had gotten into JT65 and PSK31 using my FT-450D but didn't want to tie up my computer sound card. I've used my 590 on voice and have no complaints about it's reception and transmission capabilities on that mode. On CW, the width and shift adjustments work great to bring out the weak ones. Also, I've recently gotten an S9 pulse noise here (from an electric fence?) The NB2 got rid of it completely on all bands. This has also been the first rig that I've owned where the Notch filter made an enormous difference.

My only complaint is when trying 6 meter JT65, my signal drifted greatly. I bought a TXCO and that fixed it. However, with a built in USB interface, a rig like this should have a TXCO standard.
KA5DOB Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2017 05:01 Send this review to a friend
Improve your 590's audio right here   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my 590SG now for 15 months. This radio is fantastic in my opinion. Not only does it sound great on transmit, but the receiver is also outstanding.

Here is a few steps to improve your transmit and receive audio. This is only for the SG model. The 590-S settings are different and are given near the bottom of this page.

You can monitor your own transmit voice by using headphones. Press in the PWR button to see 100 watts on the screen. Press and hold it in to see MIC MON = OFF. Turn the multi knob up to a comfortable level. This way you can hear the audio improvement as you make these changes. Be sure to turn Multi knob to Off the monitor feature, once your done.

Press Menu, turn the Multi knob now lit with the red led to menu-31 on the readout screen. Press the down arrow (scan) down-button a few times till it reads 10.

Turn the multi knob to menu 32, set this to 3000 by pressing ( up-button.
Menu 35=Hard
Menu 36=Off use HB2 only if you use a aftermarket microphone. Press Menu once when your done.

The best sounding two mikes I have found is the Heil Pro-Set 6 headset with the HC6 cartridge boom mike. It's he one with the phasing switch on the right side earphone. The other is also by Bob Heil, the PR-40 has a little crisper sound and a little more bass. I use the Xmt Equalizer set to HB2 for either of the mikes. That's Menu 36 for the SG and Menu 30 for the S model.

Receive improvement for both models, These knobs are located just to the left of your volume control. Set the plastic knob, Hi-Shift to 2800 hz and the metal knob, Lo Width to 0 for your best audio. If you hear any splatter change the 2800 to 2600 or 2400 hz to eliminate or reduce it. Remember to use 2800 and 0 for normal reception. Try cutting back on the RF Gain on stronger stations to eliminate any QRM in the signal, then you will hear amazing audio, especially if you are using headphones.

It's best to use the Processor all time on both models.

590S Menu settings.

Menu 25=10
Menu 26-3000
Menu 29=Hard (default)
Menu 30=Off or HB2 with a aftermarket mike.

The Receive settings I mention on the SG is the same as the S model.

If you have any problems email me using my QRZ page address.

Jim KA5DOB New Mexico
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