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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-930S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-930S
Kenwood TS-930S Reviews: 72 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1,499.00
Description: Classical Masterpiece
Product is not in production.
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N6WTY Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2014 08:47 Send this review to a friend
Great audio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got the TS-930s this is the best radio I got ... If I used my Shure 526t deskmike lot of fellow hams with all the same comments had a wonderfull sound the audio,,, if i heard these comments they always make my day.
N8WGM Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2013 07:01 Send this review to a friend
5 plus stars  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've owned several Kenwoods over the years. My first was a Kenwood TS850. I then went on to the Kenwood TS950SDX. I also have owned a TS870 and a TS820. I have also owned quite a few Yaesu transceivers and an Icom or two. I am always searching for the ultimate rig that suits me best. Last year I found a nice TS930 and after seeing all the great reviews decided to buy it.

First I must say that the receive on this awesome transceiver is the best for my ears I have ever had in a Kenwood. For some reason, this Kenwood has allowed me to hear CW signals better than any other transceivers I have tried. The SSB receive audio also for some reason is smoother to me than any rig I have tried. I was at the AES in Cleveland and was listening in to the latest and greatest. Even the new high price high tech rigs sound a bit different to me from my 930. I just prefer the 930's sound to any other rig so far.

There are a few possible problems as with any older rig and the Kenwood is not immune. The power supply is one of those problems that the 930 and 940 rigs have had. The 930's of later vintage (above the 3xxxxxx serial number do not have as nearly the problems with the power supply as the earlier serial numbers. Best to get one with a serial number above the 4xxxxxx range.) There are some who have replaced the old power supply with a new switching power supply which will give this rig a new lease on life. Parts are getting more scarce but the 930 was so popular in its day that there are still parts available used. These radios are over 30 years old and so the caps needed to be replaced. It was fairly easy to do and was a fun little project.

The 930's automatic antenna tuner is good for a first try by Kenwood. It is not a replacement though for a good stand alone tuner. 160 meters is not really good for the tuner in the 930.

There are a few modifications for the TS930 that will make this rig up to date. The PIEXX digital control board will allow for more memories and gets rid of the possibility of leaking batteries. Plus it allows for computer control of the 930. Not full control as the mode switch on the 930 is mechanical. But almost all other functions are able to be controlled by your computer.

The other worth while mod is the INRAD roofing filter. I have heard other TS930's with this amazing filter and it really does do a great job of making this old Kenwood just about equal to any high dollar transceiver available today. That will be my next modification to my 930.

A lot of people are afraid of getting an older rig as the electronic problems could be an issue. Do not fear as there are technicians out there that can repair this older Kenwood and specialize on it. In many instances, a cap replacement and a few other tweaks and this old rig will go on for another 30 years. There is a very good reason why the Kenwood TS930 has in 60 reviews a 4.9. It is one of the best transceivers that Kenwood ever produced and one of the all time best rigs by any manufacturer.
K4FY Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2013 13:30 Send this review to a friend
Cool Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I donít generally jump the gun with only a few days of experience with a rig. However, since this radio is thirty years old, I donít think reliability is a problem except for the well known multimeter lamps being dead and a sometimes nefarious power supply. My thought (and Iím sticking to it Ė HI) is if it hasnít failed by now it probably wonít.

Anyway, Iím new to the TS-930, but I sure ainít new. This is my ďnewĒ radio. My old one is a Collins KWM-2; 30 and 45 years old respectively. Iím not a big fan of the latest ďshack-in-a-boxĒ stuff that looks like something inspired by Dr. Strangelove.

This Kenwood is an impressive rig. It easily puts 125 watts DC through a Collins watt meter into a dummy load. I suspect the SSB peaks will be similarly impressive. What surprised me most (other than its back breaking 40 lbs.) is its ability to cull out CW or SSB signals from some horrid conditions.

My TS-930 doesnít have a 500 Hz filter and I have a hard time imagining why a competent CW Op would need one. The CW VBT works well and the AF tune on the audio section is just amazing. Iím listening to a DX station on 14010 and just using the AF tune function and it has transformed some nasty QRN and QRM to arm chair copy. The signal just jumps out of the noise.

Switching the AF tune in and out gets wows! all around. The SSB slope Tune is also impressive in selectively eliminating QRN/QRM on the high or low side of the passband. The split functions on the VCO are just fine for DXing. I would like a few more memories and the CW break in really isnít, but the rest works fine for me.

Donít follow Kenwoodís recommendation on setting the power using the ALC reading. Use the power scale. Tuning up to 50% ALC in the tune mode is WAY too much.

Itís a cool rig.
G0AYD Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2012 10:50 Send this review to a friend
lovely old lady  Time owned: more than 12 months
ive had my 930 sat now for 5 years plus and its a corker got the inrad 400 hz cw filter and piexx board fitted.the old girl is used every day despite my other radios i prefer the ease and facilities of what i class as the queen of radios.
N4JHY Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2012 13:37 Send this review to a friend
FUN RADIO!!!!!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
-I tend to buy radios broken and fix myself. This is part of the hobby for me.
-Have had two TS940s in a row, and have sold them both.
-Just bought a high serial number TS930s (7 million)and have decided to keep this one. A small adjust to the master oscillator and everything on this radio works perfect.
-Has the best speech processor
-and a great receiver.
-voices just sound so natural
-Again, will keep this one
-Prefer the 930 to the 940
-Thanks for reading
Bruce N4JHY
W9OSI Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2011 22:36 Send this review to a friend
Great reciever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got a 930 and wow the recieve is as good as the reviews. I own an 830 also(great rig) but the 930 is great and the slope tune works wonders. I'm very happy with this rig and I'm sure, like my 830 it will never leave!!!
DB4UP Rating: 3/5 Mar 11, 2011 19:39 Send this review to a friend
Ageing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own a TS-930S with automatical antenna tuner and PIEXX - board. Bought it reconditioned and new adjusted a couple of years ago. I'm certainly not a "heavy user". Never used it for fielddays, just the "eyecatcher" in my living room.
Nevertheless I went through almost every failure this radio can have.

First of all: The power supply ! I think it is not the question IF it will fail, it is just the question WHEN.

Next failiure was the driver unit for the finals.

Now it went deaf. Probably the PIN - diodes...I don't know. Didn't take a closer look to the problem, yet. I bought a FT-900 inbetween, because I'm rather interested in using a radio, than permanently repairing it.

Not to mention the "normal" problems that appear, when amateur radio equipment gets old. Loose contacts, scratchy potentiometers, weakening servomotors in the antenna tuner section (which is also not of the quickest), and so on...

The TS-930 certainly was a fine piece of engineering when it came out in the late eighties. Today one may find better radios for the same price, or rather reliable radios.

Electronic parts are subject of ageing and many of them are hard to get after years. So if you think about buying one, you should also think about the time and / or money you will certainly spend on repairs.

Would I buy it again ? No. Not today. My FT-900 is not that good looking, but it works !
IZ7VHF Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2011 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Very nice old radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
First and foremost, excuse me for my not perfect written english and for the errors this may produce.
I bought a KENWOOD TS-930S with built-in automatic antenna tuner and two CW/SSB optional filter just included in September 2010 on ebay Germany for Euro 400 plus Euro 50 for shipping to Italy. I considered it a very cheap price for this milestone Kenwood rig.
This is my first HF rig, so I sincerely cannot compare it with other one, and I can only tell you something about it, probably not determinats in order to make you a better clear idea about this rig. This is simply my experience, and I think it can be helpful to write here.
I have played with this rig for five months. The performances, considering it is 22 years old rig (build in 1989), are very impressive. I use for voice QSO, CW and digital modes (PSK-31, RTTY), with a homemade digital interface.
I'm very proud to perceived by intuition that I can begin this beautiful hobby without spending a fortune buying an emblazoned recent rig.
I use an home made "inverted V" wired dipole for 40, 20 and 15 meters band. I use all 80-90 Watts output initially, feeling fear not to reach the OMs in the other side of Europe/World! But after many QSOs I began to use only 5-10 Watts, no one more, in order to follow my QRP rising interest.
The audio is very clear, the digital waterfall is very clear too on my display, and I made several QSO with all the world. When I use filters in Narrow-mode, the reception quality is very amazing, very clear without any little bit interference even if signals come from thousand miles away. My personal record is PSK-31 QSO from New Zealand, more than 18000 Km far from my radio shack. You can find my QSO on a Google Map on wich I remarks all power out transmissions (

Best wishes to all to enjoy your hamradio hobby!

Roberto Pietrafesa, italian aerospace engineer.
JP1DJV Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2010 20:49 Send this review to a friend
Good as TS-590  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a TS-590 last month, have played with it for a month. Comparing them, The performance in and out is not quite different from 930. So I can tell that TS-590 is not a dream maker and that TS-930 still works well.Though 930 is a 30 years old rig and sometimes needs fixing and adjustment , but it's still be worth doing that.
W4IDW Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2010 08:57 Send this review to a friend
New 930 owner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
had the 940 back in the day, & traded it off (big mistake). been thinking about getting another 940 for a while now, but recently ran across a 930. got it last week, WHAT A GREAT RADIO!!! Mine has the CW filter, and no tuner. I'm a big SWLer in addition to hamming, and the 930 is a dream Short wave listening rig. on CW I've compared it side by side to my Ten Tec OMNI VI+, and the ten tec beats it, but not by much!. This is gorgeous rig, looks great in the shack and has great sounding audio. but most of all, the CW VBT tuning, and the SSB Slope tuning make this rig a pleasure to operate.
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