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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: 78 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1759.00
Description: HF/50MHz TRANSCEIIVER
Product is in production.
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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
WA2FZB Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2017 05:25 Send this review to a friend
Great performance and value.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

I have had my TS-590SG for a little over 3 months, and now feel that I have enough knowledge of the radio to offer a fairly comprensive review, for the benefit of anyone who is considering the purchase of this excellent and affordable transceiver. Let me first say that I have only been back on the air for about one year, after a very long absence from the hobby. I have always been very fond of Kenwood transceivers, ever since I first used a friend's brand new TS-520 during Field Day almost 40 years ago. When I recently became active again I was using a 25 year old TS-850s, which I still have, and I feel was one of the finest transceivers that Kenwood ever produced. As much as I love my old 850, I havent even turned it on since getting my new 590sg. I have given this radio a rating of 5 as as kudos to Kenwood for the incredible value that it represents for a very competitive price.

While there are many fine radios on the market now, none offered me the performance and flexibility of the 590sg for anywhere close to the price that I paid for this rig. I set a budget of $1500 for my new rig, ordered from HRO, and got the radio, the optional Voice Guide and Storage module, and a new Alinco DM-330MV power supply, and stayed within my budget. The performance of this radio and the ease of operation make this rig a pleasure to use. Interfacing the 590sg to a computer is as easy as plugging in a single USB cable, but if you want to use a traditional serial port, Kenwood has included one of those too, and they can be used simultaneously. I am currently using N1MM, DX Lab Suite, and FLDigi software through that single USB cable with no issues. Audio and PTT via the USB interface are a breeze.

The front panel has 55 buttons, many of which have dual functions, and several of these may be custom programmed. This means that you will not be digging into menus during normal operation of the rig. In addition to the buttons there are three dual concentric knobs and three single knobs, including the highly flexible MULTI/CH knob, which also has a push-on feature built in which is user-programmable. The user interface is very well designed and very convenient to use, which is often not the case with a compact transceiver. The display is large, bright, and clear, and may be adjusted for backlight color in ten steps from amber to yellow to green. The rig has a clean, functional appearance, and it has a carry handle on the right side panel.

The rear panel offers a lot a versatility as well. There are two antenna jacks, which may be configured per band, as well as a separate RX-Only antenna jack, which is selectable from the front panel. A DRV Out jack offers low power transmitter output (0 dBm) for driving transverters and such, or may be switched to become an Antenna Out jack for connecting a second receiver or SDR, the latter being an excellent option for a real time band scope, if one has the need for such capability. One of the best improvements over my old 850 is the availability of separate jacks for a CW key line and a paddle for the rig's internal keyer. I use both of these, with the straight key line connected to a K1EL WinKey USB keyer, for computer generated CW. For manual keying I prefer to use the internal keyer, which also allows me to keep my speed setting lower than what the computer is set to.

Driving almost any amplifier is easy with the 590sg, as it offers five different keying options, including 12v, GND, relay, and solid state keying. It also has an adjustable TX delay to prevent hot-switching the amplifier's TR relay. Full QSK and semi break-in are selectable, and the amplifier keying relay in the rig shuts off in QSK mode for very quiet keying. Semi break-in delay is adjustable from the front panel. The re-designed ALC circuit is free from any overshoot issues, and the power level is easy to control. The TX tune function is handy for tuning amplifiers and checking SWR. Contrary to what I have read in several online reviews, the TX tune power is adjustable without actually transmitting any power to the output. Simply press the PWR button before selecting TX tune, and the power level can be set without any signal being transmitted. While there is no dedicated button for TX tune, I have programmed one of the two PF keys for this function, as I use it often. The PF button may be configured for the TX tune function as either a momentary push button or as a push-on/push-off button.

One common element among the rig's many features is the ability to do things two or three different ways. A great example of this is split frequency operation. There are at least three different ways to go split using the A and B VFO's, one of which is the new "express" split feature. Simply press and hold the SPLIT button until the indicator begins to flash, then press the appropriate key on the numerical keypad. For example, you would press 2 for UP 2 kHz, or 02 for DOWN 2 kHz. If you dont know the split, press and hold the SPLIT button until the indicator begins to flash, then tune the main tuning knob until you find the frequency on which other stations are calling. Then press SPLIT again. Easy as can be.

The Kenwood control software is availble as a download from Kenwood's web page, and it is free of charge. The ARCP-590G software includes computer control of every front panel control and every menu setting, plus a few really nice extras, like an 18 band graphic equalizer, for both transmit and receive, so that you can optimize the already excellent Kenwood audio to suit your choice of microphones and speakers. The transmit monitor feature gives a real time indiction of what the equalizer settings are doing when you speak into the microphone while wearing a good set of headphones. I always thought that my 850 had excellent audio, but when I switched to the 590 and used the equalizer, some friends on the air agreed that the 590 sounded even better.

There are so many features designed into this little rig that I am still finding new ones after more than three months of daily operation. The operating manual is about 85 pages long and I really think they could have expanded it on a few things. But don't take that as meaning that the TS-590sg is complicated to operate, quite the contrary. The learning curve for this rig is not steep at all, and you can take it out of the box and get on the air with it right away. Getting it set up for multiple modes and tailoring it to suit your particular tastes may take a couple of weeks, but it will not be a difficult process. For an example of this, I have always felt that the reciever in my old TS-850 offered excellent performance, but learning how to adjust that receiver to get the most out of it was a long and studious process, taking many months of trial and error settings under a variety of conditions. The receiver in the TS-590sg, which is equal or better in every peformance parameter, took only an hour or two to master. That ease of operation is typical, and is also the reason why my beloved old 850 has not been powered up since I got the 590.

If you are a contester, DXer, or just a general operator who likes to work a mix of SSB, CW, and Digital modes, you really cannot go wrong with the TS-590sg. About the only thing it lacks is a second reciever, but for the price you could buy two TS-590's for less than half what you might pay for a dual receiver rig. If you don't have deep pockets but still want performance, features, and ease of operation, the TS-590sg will not disappoint you. It is probably the best value in today's amateur radio market.

Tony Starr, WA2FZB
KA1TIU Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2017 15:34 Send this review to a friend
Works and sounds Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought my TS-590SG on a Christmas sale and am extremely happy I did. It took just a few days to get use to it as all my gear is Kenwood so the logic is similar. Also got the MC-90 desk mike, nothing but great audio reported. Next purchase is an amp to further the update process. I love my Kenwood equipment.
GM4JPZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 23, 2017 12:04 Send this review to a friend
Very good, but should be great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm not the first person to say it, but wish I could give this rig 4.5, as dropping by one point seems harsh. However, we deal with what we have.

First off, this is obviously an excellent design overall, the receiver seems to be top-notch, the USB out for computer control, and the ability to fit an external SDR receiver as a panadapter are superb additions, and I do not for a second regret buying this rig to complement my ageing TS2000.

However, the internal ATU does not do the job as well as the TS2000's, and doesn't even try on 6m. This is a straight comparison, using the same antennas that I use(d) with the 2000, and the 590SG comes in a clear second. There is a positive spinoff in that I am going to take down my 40m delta loop and make sure it is resonant before putting it back up, but the 2000 managed fine with it. Same goes for 6m, where the 2000 could tune the same delta loop for 6 and I've worked all over Europe on it, reaching OD5 and the East coast of America. The 590 ATU doesn't work at all on 6, so I'll have to erect a dedicated antenna now. Probably to my long-term gain, I admit, but still this needs saying.

Someone else commented on the loud relay on CW that makes full-BK acoustically difficult, and I even find it a minor annoyance when the VOX drops at the end of a CW transmission as well. Why they changed this from the 2000 is a mystery to me.

This all sounds more negative when written than it feels when operating, but these reviews have to contain the true assessment of rigs' capabilities or they are not worth reading. I'll come back after a few months' operating, but those are my first impressions and I felt obliged to pass them on.
K2VI Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2017 07:15 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT TRANSCEIVER  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Preformance is top notch. You can shell out 7k for the ts990 and never notice any difference but more bells and whistles. Superb in every way just remember to switch the fans in the right direction if your serial number is B57 or higher. Took me all of 10 min to do.
N4EEB Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2017 19:29 Send this review to a friend
A World Class HF Transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two TS-590SG rigs. My interests are diverse. I CW ragchew and CW contest, I also ragchew on SSB. I also use digital modes and RTTY. My prior two rigs were the IC-7600 and the IC-756 Pro III. Over my 39 years as a ham, I have owned and operated many different radios. (I have only operated a K-3 at guest stations, so I can't comment), but the TS-590SG is probably the best rig I've ever owned. It's certainly the best rig value vs. price currently on the market. The receiver and filtering are better than the IC-7600, which was my last rig. If I had one nit to pick, I would like the current filter setting to be continuously displayed, but it's not a big deal. If you're considering this rig, don't hesitate. It's really that good. I do admit that I somewhat miss the bandscope on my old 7600.
K9NZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2017 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off I have a K-3 to compare the TS-590SG too.
The 590 has a very good receiver and it does a great job of fighting qrm with the dsp filtering. I am mainly a cw operator, So with that said it is a joy to run CW on, filters are tight and sound good and the cw reader works really well. I've been playing with it on 80 meters cw dx'ing and have worked quite a few dx stations even with the noisy bands and weak signals.
I have received nothing but great audio reports
(its a Kenwood) from this rig with a old $10.00 R/S vocal mic. Audio is selectable 50 hrz to 3 K.
Filtering on ssb is good also, And I find my self on phone a lot more than normal. I really like the radio. It's not a K-3 but it half the price, it's a very good radio and a Kenwood seems to run for ever! from my experience. I am not going to get rid of the K-3 or the 590SG both have a place in my shack.For around $1,300 this a very good radio in my opinion.
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