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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-480HX Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-480HX
Kenwood TS-480HX Reviews: 130 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1499.95
Description: All mode AM/FM/SSB/CW, HF/VHF (six meters), 200 watts, detachable face, 13.8 VDC, DSP.
Product is in production.
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KJ4BAD Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2014 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Mobile and Base!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just received and set up a second TS-480HX for my base. I also run one mobile (2 years ago) and got a great deal at each purchase for just over $1050 new! In short each radio has performed well but as most new Kenwood radios you must add a little processing to get the transmitter to modulate PEP near ratings. I run about 35% on processing "in" and 50% processing out. I also run on the base 480 a specialized audio equalizer program set up from the FREE Kenwood operating software. I run the mobile using the "C" equalizer setting with same other processing settings. Unit modulates about 160-180 watts PEP. On FM the unit transmits full rated power. The receive is excellent with the simple and available DSP and with the IF shift one can eliminate or reduce close by frequency interference. The NB is equal to the best in business and the other reduction settings work as advertised. The radio is easy to use in both mobile and base applications. After equalizer adjustments and processer settings it will perform with the best. On the base I use a Heil HM-12 to give broader audio. Mounting in the mobile is a breeze if you have open room for the main unit. The head unit is larger and heavier (than say ICOM) than other separated brands so be ready to adapt for its placement. I use in the mobile a Tarheel II mini screwdriver with the longer whip and I get fabulous reports and easy contacts far and near. With a programmable screwdriver controller ease of operation is magnified and the TS-480-HX is the best mobile with extra power a Ham operator could ever want.
KD5NDU Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2014 06:54 Send this review to a friend
Got it Mobile in my truck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ham the TS-480hx for about 4 days now. Right now the radio is great. Right now I used it on 20 meters and 80 meters. And I been getting 5 by 7 and 5 by 9's. When I ask how the radio sounds. They tell me it is very clear and easy to under stand. I was running a ICOM 718 in the truck. But it took up a lot of room under the dash. And I wanted some thing with a separate face were I could put most of the radio in the different place. The ts-480hx did that.
Having the 200 watts does help a lot being mobile the radio does a lot for being so small in size. And like the equalizer on the RX and tx. And also able to write names to the memory CH's. I also add the ssb fiter it does help when band gets little noise. The NB filter for knock out engine noise. I had little bit of sparking sound from spark plugs and after rasing the NB up to 3 the sound was gone. The ICOM 718 I would have to run it about 60 to do same job.
About only thing I run into I had problem with so far was the extension cable I got for my external speaker. The one Kenwood gave me in the extension kit. The cable didn't look like it was shield and when I talk on mic with the 200watts it would come across the external speaker and make radio feed back. But once I ran speaker right to radio It stop the problem. But over all about the radio. I would buy it again.
KT0DD Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2014 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Update on new radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My earlier review was before operating my new 2nd 480HX. I set it up on field day and ran it on battery for several hours. No glitches or hiccups whatsoever. Great on air audio reports from my friends. I own a 2006 model and now a 2013 model and both have been great. I Bought mine thru Gigaparts. Sorry to hear the previous poster got a lemon but I guess that happens once in awhile. YMMV.

73. Todd - KT0DD
K6BF Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2014 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Best Mobile Rig for HF+6meters  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned numerous mobile rig's since late 80's and operate them mobile 100 percent,. this TS480HX has no comparison due to the extra 100watts that ICOM or YAESU mobile rigs does not come with especially working DX on 80-10 meters on pileups. I often get a 599 report running with HIQ 4-80 screw driver antenna. So far no let downs and issues with the TS480HX.
I highly recommend this radio to all that is planning to operate mobile.
KE5UAW Rating: 2/5 Jul 21, 2014 10:57 Send this review to a friend
BEWARE! New HX Units Part II  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I finally received my new Kenwood TS480HX from the Vender... 2nd unit from(Ham City) and this unit seems far! This one operates and hears okay just like my 2 year old 480SAT did. But I do "STRONGLY ADVISE!" if you buy one of these NEW UNITS. For all its worth, Put it on the Test Bench and do "VERY NUMEROUS TESTS" and make "SURE" that this Unit will actually work before you do a permanent install in a vehicle or a base. You have a very short limited time to send this back and "INSIST ON A REFUND"...."NOT" Kenwood warranty repair unless you want to get tied up for a "VERY LONG TIME"(2 to 3 months worth) and risk getting your Radio getting "LOST IN THE SHUFFLE" with the Kenwood warranty repair process.... And even when you get it back there is "NO" Guaranty that this Unit will still work right......Mine still "FAILED BADLY"!! Otherwise if you do get a good Unit then that Radio (COULD BE) rated a 5. Just thought if you are looking for a good Radio without all the HASSLE. Then try to find a dealer with a "NO HIM HAH" quick refund policy and "GET BACK YOUR MONEY ASAP" and buy another Unit somewhere else.(Recommend MTC for BEST SERVICES) If you have this same situation that happened to me! GOOD LUCK! in your Decision and your Purchase. 73s

PS: I could have bought one of these last year at the Joplin Missouri Hamfest from MTC for $969.00 complete and new in the box. With a NO Him Hah Policy..If Unit goes Bad...then it gets resolved very fast and NO HASSLE!

W8MPX Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2014 17:04 Send this review to a friend
one of the best mobil  Time owned: more than 12 months
this is my second ts 480hx used for base got it last week no problem here this is the best radio for the money. I have another ts 480 on the mobil for 2 years now. that's why this radio have 4.8 rate because is one good radio.
NY6P Rating: 3/5 Apr 23, 2014 21:29 Send this review to a friend
Gets the Job Done, but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my TS-480 for virtually all of my 9 years as a ham. I traded up from an old ts-180, and from the time I plugged in the 480, I wondered why I enjoyed playing with the 180 more.

The 480 was better on almost every score. Except, the receive audio was too clinical - it lacked 'warmth.' Also, as someone has mentioned the sidetone was too soft. And what a disappointment when the lauded dsp turned out to be a dud! Listening on the 1k bandwidth setting, everything was light and airy and signals floated in and out. Turn the setting down one notch to 600 hz, and you are suddenly transported to a wind tunnel!

I could never warm to this radio. I kept it for 9 years, because I didn't know what I could replace it with that would be better for my situation. But then my situation changed. I no longer could use the full power of the Kenwood, and it's sole reason for being in my shack vanished.

The ts-480 is a very good radio. It never gave me an ounce of trouble. It was reliable from day 1. However that constant roar on narrow CW was too much for me. I am hopeful the person I sold it to will appreciate it more than I did.
OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2014 03:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having had a TS-480SAT many years ago I was not too satisfied with the very low average SSB power output and the very limited range of the ATU I knew that if ever I would get a 480 again it will be the HX. I was lucky to buy a fully loaded HX for a very good price. The only thing missing was the VGS1. It get's its daily use in my stealth/low profile city shack in Vienna. The 200 Watts really often make a difference between being heard or not and I have to admit that I my IC-7600 is very often switched off now. Working digimodes with 150 Watts really makes fun. Together with the LDG AT-200proII this is a very simple yet effective setup. The receiver hears everything that my IC-7600 hears although the user-interface is not as comfortable of course. Average power output in SSB is still low with peaking 150 Watts but I am more of a CW/digimode OP so it does not bother me too much. I think it will be the radio to bring on my next holiday in DU.
N3IBX Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2014 23:40 Send this review to a friend
Real good all around HF+6M Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I consider myself hypercritical when it comes to reviewing different rigs so I'll be as brief as possible. I've owned my TS-480HX for two weeks now and have put it through all sorts of tests. The big question is the extra 100W of power does make a difference IMHO. 200W is supposed to be +3db over 100W, but if it is true that really makes a difference between being heard through a pileup and not being heard. With the processor on and the rig hooked up to a power supply of at least 41 amps you'll hot the 200W mark on most frequencies except 6M. Did I mention that the audio is superb on SSB and especially on AM? I love 6M AM as well as other modes and to me it sounds as good as a plate modulated rig. Nice,clean and crisp with some useful bass added to round things out. It is not a broadcast transmitter but sounds as good as a Yaecomwoods can get without being distorted.
I have all of the optional filters and voice module and like the way they work. There is no ringing in the ears like you get with some filters and the combo of IF shift, narrow ssb filter (1.8kc) and adjustement of the audio passbands and you can eliminate most "monkey chatter"/QRM within reason.
I have many rigs at my disposal at my main operating position. Bt remoting the head of the TS-480HX I was able to find room for it among the myriad of microphones I have at my operating desk, along with a Heil elemented MC-60. Yes, your old MC-60 will work with the TS-480 series, so there is no need to buy a new MC-60B for whatever $$$ it cost. The up and down buttons will work as well without any difficulty.
This is just a all around good rig and quite frankly, I was very surprised how much I like it. I traded a older rig that I liked a lot for it and was skeptical on how much I would like it. The combination of good ergonomics, small size, good audio and good receive make it a winner.

If you like to work 10M FM as I do, you'll have a 200W powerhouse when calling CQ or busting up pileups. Most other rigs will only do 100W.

The 6M performance is as good as any 6M rig I've tried and even though it only puts out 100W on that band it seems to get as many contacts as my other HF+6M rigs if not more. The receive preamp comes in handy when trying to hunt for low signal work and beacons without being overly distorted.

Bottom Line: Kenwood got it right when they built this rig!

Joe Cro N3IBX
AA2AU Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2014 13:40 Send this review to a friend
top notch rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
got a ts 480 hx last october . been extra class ham near 30 years . played with my share of rigs . nuff said . got optional ssb and cw filters . waited about a week before installing them so i could better evaluate the rig . the filters are a must . after installing cw filter the rig became a beast . worked a few hundred guys in the past cw contest . i could slice and dice out who ever i wanted to work despite the madness . on ssb i always get great audio reports with stock mike and i dont ever ask for them . one thing . the default settings are terrible . most every setting must be looked at . both tx and rx equalizers must be set to your preference . { default is off } . cw side tone , pitch , key weight , dsp , compression , noise reduction amounts and more . the whole 9 yards needs attention . shame on you if you settle for good enough ! with some time and tlc that is easy to do within the menu you can truely make this rig your own . price ? for about 1400 bucks for a 200 watt rig { with optional filters } its a no brainer to take a very serious look at this rig . base or mobile it will do the job and dont be troubled with a smaller face or size . once its set up properly its your basic no touch rig like all the rest . simply a joy to use !
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