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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-530SP Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-530SP
Kenwood TS-530SP Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $639.95
Description: 160-10 Meter, MF/HF transceiver includes the WARC bands. 6146 tube finals, speech processor built-in, 100 watts out. CW/SSB modes
Product is not in production.
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G8LIK Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2005 09:32 Send this review to a friend
Built like a tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got one of the last production TS530SP's sold under the Trio brand name rather than Kenwood in those days-in the UK.Used it extensively on Ascension Island for 2 years and even now, 21 years on it works fine, sounds great and looks brand spanking new. Same tubes as when bought though only used occasionaly fired up these days. The only problem I had was a metering resistor changed value, such a minor niggle and replaced myself. If I could buy another of these new for the same price I would! Japanese manufacturing was really regarded as the best in that era! So now am hooked on Kenwood for life!
K1DWZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2005 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Nice reliable rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was the first factory built HF rig I purchased, after having built many Heathkit rigs.
I purchased it in 1984 and for the first 12 years I only put about 20 hours operating time on it. Finally I had time to use it more and it performed flawlessly. It still is my main rig.
Don't think I will part with it anytime soon.
DL9LH Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2004 00:41 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best  Time owned: more than 12 months

I have my Kenwood TS-530SP since 1989 and he deserves the verdict: He delivers !

My usage is SSB and RTTY on 15m and 20m and sometimes 40m .... in the past I used him for transverter operation with 144Mhz too.

In all cases he deliveres, his Notch filter (NF or not) is nice and his modulation good. No memories or computers - no fuzz ! Straight forward handling. I love it.

Who is searching for a rigid rig equipped with all you need and a rx with the capability "What I can hear with 53 I can work" will be right with the machine - it can be still fixed with basic electronic tools too.

Of course this is just my very enthusiastic subjective view of this great machine.

73 to everybody

Lutz, DD1ZH
K4CMD Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2003 15:06 Send this review to a friend
I really miss mine!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first "new" rig was a TS-530SP. To correct the last reviewer's age estimate, the rig came out in 1983 to replace the TS-530S that replaced the TS-520SE in 1981. So the rig can't be more than 20 years old.

I bought mine August 30, 1984 (a ham remembers the date he bought his first new rig, no?) and used it extensively on CW for the first few years, then moving over to SSB when I attained the appropriate license status. Tuning without a transmatch into a multitude of dipoles and verticals (including a Hustler 5BTV and Butternut HF6V) and using it several times at Field Day, the rig never failed to impress. They just don't build 'em like they used to, with big easy-to-use knobs, gear-driven VFOs, absolutely silent cooling fan, built-in power supply and the Kenwood-famous zinc front panel!

I later acquired the VFO-230 remote VFO, which I found to be even more stable than the already-stable VFO in the radio ... so I frequently used the remote VFO to control transmit and receive functions. It was fun to play with.

I also purchased the $17.95 KB-1 VFO knob for the radio. Solid metal with a spinning finger hole, it gave the VFO a very smooth feel. I still have that knob (nice paperweight), and I've seen it's become somewhat of a collector's item. Hmmm, I may take bids ...

If you have a TS-530SP now, I envy you. You've got a great radio. I've come close to buying the rig again when I've seen it at hamfests. It's truly a classic that even this ham who went on to a TS-440S, TS-850S and TS-570S still misses sorely. Hang onto it!


Meade K4CMD
G0VQW Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2003 13:21 Send this review to a friend
A very solid rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 530sp secondhand about 6 years ago.It had a hard life by the previous owner.I knew him.It was run flatout all the time and he is a very active CW op.So,it wasn't surprising I had to change the final tubes.An easy process taking about 15 minutes.
The old tubes looked to be original.I believe the rig to be an early one,which makes it about 24 years old?It still looks brand new and works like new.I use it mainly for cw.It runs qrp 2 watts to around an indicated 120 watts out on 160.I can get an indicated 100w out on 10.
No split function on the vfo and not very quick to qsy.The tuning process is easy to master,but I have lost some nice DX when other stations have beat me there.On ssb reports are mostly complimentary,but my voice has a low register.It takes a few minutes to warm up from switch on in a cold shack,but after 5 minutes is very stable with no drift.CW note is always a T9 and the side tone is nice with an adjustable volume.Wish it had qsk tho!
Nice large knobs,and good solid switches.I think she will last another 24 years.Yes,it is a very nice rig.
One other thing I should add is how robust the PA is.On several occasions I have inadvertantly operated into very bad mismatches.On one occasion I even forgot to plug and antenna into the back,thinking the dummy load was in it's place.It wasn't.And those same tubes are still as good as new!It will be for sale one day,-over my dead body!
G4VGO Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2002 01:35 Send this review to a friend
Well Wowrth It!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have them all, the FT1000D, TS950S, PatComm 16000A and they all have their pluses. But, this simple, honest-to-goodness dead simple little rig is a GEM!

Likes its big brother the TS830, it just keeps making contacts, has a great receiver (I have the 1.8 and 500 filters) a very clean transmitter (no Yaesu key clicks), it is stable, it runs cool, and is simple to operate. All the functions are on the front, aside from the tuning rate that takes a bit of getting used to it is a first rate radio for CW and the audio on SSB is also quite good. The 830 has an RF speech processor, and this one is only audio, but it does have punch.

It is my standby rig, and I also use it for QRP.

Good value for money, forgiving, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for value for money.
V73GOD Rating: 4/5 Feb 9, 2001 22:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Work Horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
For those who can tune radios, dip the plate, max the load, tote that barge, lift that bale, the TS-530SP is a forgiving radio that absorbs abuse and keeps transmitting. You just can't flip through the bands but once you're in a great spot, you can sure pump out some contacts. The fan keeps it cool and it stays on frequency for hours. The lack of a second VFO has prohibitted working "splits" from DX locations but a rather wide ranging RIT made a difference. It's all-in-one package made it a plug and play in numerous locations. The built-in power supply is very nice when having to pack light and space is a premium. The 530SP was the last of the line in tube rigs but it was a great SWAN song, if you'll excuse the pun.
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