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Reviews Categories | Filters, Audio: (DSP and others) | Timewave DSP-599zx Help

Reviews Summary for Timewave DSP-599zx
Timewave DSP-599zx Reviews: 37 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $399
Description: DSP noise filter.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Timewave DSP-599zx.

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K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2006 09:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my first DSP-599zx 5 years ago, and was so impressed, I ordered a second one a year later for another receiver. It takes an older radio and almost brings it up to the modern standards many new receivers have. It is ideal while listening on 6 meters on the calling frequency of 50.125 MHz. With the noise reduction set at the minimum level, it totally quiets background noise yet does not produce aliasing or distortion like some DSP boxes. On CW, it is the "Cat's Meow!" Way to go Timewave!
K0CRX Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2006 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Works like magic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Using the RTTY function, I can copy RTTY sigs that are absolutely buried in QRM. The filter will pull sigs out of the mud that are absolutely not copyable (or, even hearable) without it. It is a magical piece of RTTY gear!
KE7GSK Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2006 22:50 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm doing something I normally don't do and that's write a review only a few weeks into owning the product.

I purchased this DSP-599zx for three specific reasons.

1. Turn my Icom R8500 into a DSP-AF rig. After owning two quality DSP rigs, I've been spoiled with their abiilty to significantly reduce background noise. The DSP-599zx has a very good Noise Reduction system.

2. To enhance the meager filter choices the R8500 has. This was done in spades. I have more filters now than I know what to do with.

3. To allow the R8500 to have the ability to decode CTCSS tones. Failed miserably. I obviously didn't read enough, even though I thought I had. Version 5 of the DSP-599zx no longer has CTCSS. Why they took it away I do not know.

Finally, other things I like about the DSP-599zx

1. A fantastic Heterodyne Eliminator, in fact better than my DSP transceivers.
2. Having the window to view what your doing is a very nice feature.

Overall, I'm very impressed with this Timewave product. Even my disappointment over the lack of a CTCSS decoder cannot overshadow how nice this unit is. This is a pricey accessory but it has breathed new life into my radio and for me, that was worth the money.
KJ4SLP Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2005 10:26 Send this review to a friend
A great accessory  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm not a ham but a dedicated SWL of many years. I did a fair bit of research before choosing the DSP-599, which I currently use with a Drake R8B. I must say that it lives up to my expectations in every respect.

First a word about the build quality: It is built like a tank, inside and out. Yes, the shafts for the optoencoders have a bit of wobble in them. Perhaps in time that wobble will wear out the bushings in the encoders though no one I've ever spoken to has heard of that happening. In the meantime, if you are willing to discard an incredibly useful tool because of some wobbly shafts, let that be your loss.

If there is a problem with this device, it is that the designers have succumbed to the drive to make everything as small as possible. The buttons are a bit tiny for my big fingers but that isn't the real problem. The issue is the amount of function shifting that one has to do to change settings. The learning curve is not all that steep but you spend time button-punching when you would rather be listening. I'd be happier if the panel were a tad bigger and there were fewer shared controls.

As with most DSP gear, too much aggression in the filters leaves you with "oatmeal voice"...soft and mushy. Beyond that, the various functions respond differently to different signals, meaning that oftentimes you can get the best result by trial and error.

There's no doubt that this little gem can make signals readable that otherwise would be buried in the noise floor. It works as well as any IF DSP that I have used, including the DSP on the mighty Ten-Tec 340.

Is it overpriced? Yeah, probably, though it wasn't at the time it was introduced. But then, it is a specialty item so I suppose that is forgiveable. Is it getting long in the tooth? Yeah, by computer technology standards it is an antique...and one can accomplish only so much with firmware upgrades. But it still works beautifully and no one else comes close so don't worry about obsolescence, just buy and enjoy.
G0FVT Rating: 4/5 Jun 18, 2005 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Magical at notching tones!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I must admit that I have not had this unit for long, use it with my FT1000D, still learning to drive it, I feed it with audio from the fixed level output on the back of the radio (the stereo jack in the middle) I have moved the internal jumpers of the timewave to operate with a hi impedance input. I have found the auto-notching of carriers simply amazing, the reduction of random noise is impressive but I am still exploring the unit and learning to drive it.

It looks very smart but the optoencoder spindles are a wee bit wobbly feeling, the flexibility of filtering is tremendous and overall I am impressed so far, mine is running the version 4 firmware still so is not bang up to date, the two tone test promises to be useful for amplifier testing, a useful facilty of the unit.

AF4KK Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 2004 07:37 Send this review to a friend
An excellent unit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Timewave 599zx DSP unit is truly an echeivement (sp?) in DSP technology! I've so far used it in voice, CW and SSTV applications and it clears up QRM very, very well! It also does so without that typical "robotic" sound so many DSP's add to the audio these days! (Unless you set the aggression level too high and then it creeps in). The only reason I didn't give this unit a "5" was because of the rather small LCD display. Otherwise, it's a great unit to buy!
K7VO Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2004 14:27 Send this review to a friend
Truly outstanding audio DSP. Works wonders!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I took a Timewave DSP-599zx in trade for an old Amp Supply antenna tuner at the FrostFest in Richmond. I didn't expect much despite the high price. Was I ever in for a pleasant surprise!

I previously owned the JPS NIR-12 and the NIR-10 before that. My experience was that the NIR-12 could really help pull a signal out of the noise and reduce background noise to make listening to the lower HF bands less fatiguing, but... if i tried to do too much with it (filter heavily in different ways) I ended up with weird sounding digital products that were just plain annoying.

The DSP-599zx is the only audio DSP I've found where I can turn on everything and anything I need and set the filtering as aggressively as I want and have the audio still sound good or even excellent. The net result is that I can pull out signals that I otherwise could not work and I can separate out adjacent channel QRM and hear just the station I want most all of the time.

Yes, it shines on CW, but it is also very effective for SSB work. The auto notch will remove most heterodynes and tones. If it doesn't do quite what you want on multiple tones the manual notch combines with the ability to adjust the audio passband frequencies at either end to allow most any and all offending noise to be eliminated. The random noise filter, if used at a "9" (most aggressive) setting cleans up almost all background noise and static. Only the loudest static crashes get through. The AGC feature also works extremely well. Best of all, I can use these all in combination without problems. The DSP-599zx also provides filtering designed for AM use, ideal for the SWLer.

The knobs and buttons are inferior? You have got to be kidding me! Mine are just fine, thankyouverymuch. I've complained about the fit and finish of some MFJ gear, but not the Timewave.

AF DSP isn't any good? I beg to differ. A well designed IF DSP is certainly better. $300 more won't get me that. More like $1500 more. I use my DSP-599zx with older QRP gear (i.e. Kenwood TS-430V, NCG 7/21/50) and it makes operating and copying the stations I work just so much easier.

I can't recommend this DSP highly enough.
K5PU Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2003 01:58 Send this review to a friend
I have two!  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say... I obtained one for my IC-751A and loved it so much I picked up a second one for my K2. Yep I know a single unit supports two radios but I just wanted dedicated units for each rig.

For an audio chain DSP unit it really seems like magic sometimes.

As others have mentioned it's a pretty sophisticated, versatile 'feature rich' device and will take a while to master everything this baby can offer.

I really don't understand the complaint about construction quality and knobs, etc. and I hate seeing these 'issues' (alone) affect the overall rating. It's built extremely ruggedly (extruded alum case) and the controls are precision optical encoders. Of course they are going to turn easier than pots!

I've my two units now for oh, couple years and I can easily recommend the Timewave 599ZX.
N1DZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2003 00:07 Send this review to a friend
Great for weak signal DX  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the DSP599zx for over 3 years now. This filter works fantastic for weak signal CW DX. I use it for 2m EME as well as CW on HF. On my TS850S with 270HZ filters it is a great addition. It literally makes an unreadable CW signal readable. With the upgraded e-prom Bi-aural CW and other great improvements are available like using the DSP599 as a pc interface for the digital modes. On SSB I did not notice a great improvement except being able to reduce high pitch noise. The unit is built very sturdy and can take some abuse.
W6LAX Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2002 21:36 Send this review to a friend
Superb Results  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was forewarned that it would take some patience to get used to the Timewave DSP, but within a few hours of tinkering with it I found my operating experience transformed. I previously had the Timewave 59-plus and was pleased with the improvements of the ZX model.

I have used the 599-zx extensively with an IC-765 for DXing and some contesting on CW and RTTY (I have not used in on SSB) and find it eliminates heavy QRM and pulls weak signals out of the air. I also have a FT-1000MP MK-5, and find that side-by-side comparisons on CW and RTTY reveal the Timewave/Icom combination to be superior, except for the unfortunate lack of dual VFOs on the 765.

So, be patient and learn how to use the little 599-zx unit and you will have a first class DSP unit that will greatly enhance your receiver.
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