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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Kenwood R5000 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood R5000
Kenwood R5000 Reviews: 28 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1050.00
Description: General Coverage (30kHz-30MHz) All Mode with VHF option
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KA2UUP Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2008 05:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got mine with operating manual and original box from a SWL who is now SK about 9 years ago with some of the optional filters installed. He cautioned me that the rotating know on the notch filter controller was non-operational. Doing a search and joining the Yahoo R5000 user's group, it found out that i could get a replacement nob through Pacific Coast Parts. The replacement took ten minutes to do. This is a great receiver which I normally use to pull distant AM stations at night (NYC) from Massachusetts and also listen to shortwave broadcasts from Radio Havana, RNE, VOA, etc. Would not trade it for anything.
PE1IOC Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2008 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Stiil going strong !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine from the son of a silent key some years ago. Since then this nice rx gave me many, many hours of pleasent listening. The sound of the internal speaker is amazing good and clear audio. Some improvement was made by connecting it to my old Yeasu 901 station speaker. One day the display started to give dots into the readout on higher bands with no receiving. Lower freq's o.k. , but after some time dots also appear here and no receiving at all. I found out in the internet that the VCO number 2 was not locking. I replaced the internal battery and ' voila ' , problem solved ! This rx will not leave my shack and hope to find the VHF converter once. My 5000 was running hot by using the internal power supply after some hours, but solved the problem by using a small 12 Volt vent of an old 286 CPU from the junk box..At yahoo groups you will find more 5000 enthousiasts ! 73's

The Netherlands

WDX7DBG Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2008 10:04 Send this review to a friend
A supremely underrated DX machine  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked up one of these radios stock on Ebay a while back, with the VC-20 VHF converter included. I spent some extra to customize it out and added the following:

1. IC-10 interface chips for computer control; resellers on Ebay carry the equivalent chips, or you can order them yourself for a lot cheaper from Mouser or another electronics supply house (they're an 8251A and a 4040; Google is helpful here). Also an IF232 interface cable from G4ZLP (available elsewhere as well)

2. A replacement 6kHz AM filter from INRAD - if you only make one upgrade to the radio, DO THIS! The stock filter is crappy at best, and getting a better one will get rid of the constant whistling heterodynes that otherwise plague AM reception. My interests lie in shortwave broadcast DXing, so I also added a 4kHz AM, and 2.8 and 1.8 kHz SSB filters as well. (The R-5000 has 4 filter slots.)

3. A finger dimple (from to the main tuning knob to make it much easier to tune.

As a result I have a sensitive, selective, excellent DX machine that can handle anything from a weak signal buried near a stronger one to hours of program listening, and I can run the whole thing from my computer via Ham Radio Deluxe and Shortwave Log. And it still costs less than the vaunted Drake R8A/B, and IMHO performs even better. For some reason the R5000 never gets the attention that other receivers do like the Drakes and the JRCs and the Icom R75, but it's as good or better a performer than all of them.

The lone drawback to the R-5000 is keybounce, which can be really annoying when present, but using computer control is a workaround as well. Mine has it on a couple of keys and there's apparently an involved process to take off the keypad and clean the contacts, but it hasn't bothered me enough to actually try it.

Between that and the low-grade stock 6 kHz filter, if I could I would give R5000 about a 4.8 out of 5. But if you get one without keybounce and a good filter (either the Kenwood YK88-A1 or the equally good equivalent from INRAD), it's a solid 5-star performer.
KA2SHU Rating: 4/5 Sep 27, 2007 14:21 Send this review to a friend
As Good As They Say But.........  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two of these receivers and my observations are based upon BOTH of them. All the reviews listed here are for the most part pretty accurate and I agree, but here are some points that have not been mentioned. You want to note these before you pick one up, especially if you want to use this receiver as MW DX chaser.

This is the only communications receiver that I own that will NOT benefit directly from an earth ground. Putting a good ground wire on this receiver's ground connection on the rear apron has no affect! This is because of the unusual arrangement of the radio's power supply. There is no grounding on the radio's plug either. Trying to listen to signals at 600KHz. or lower are impared by RF noise that could be easily reduced on other sets.

If your R-5000 has the VHF Converter (VC-20) installed, there are further implications to the MW reception as well. With a VHF antenna connected to the converter, a noticeable white noise is audible in the MW range from 1280KHz. to 1310KHz. Remove the antenna from the VC-20 and the noise disappears!

Another interesting note about this receiver is the radio's standby power consumption. It's just under 10 watts (clock on or off) with the power off. It consumes 30 watts while on. So you are essentially running a 10 watt clock while the radio does nothing but generate some heat. Speaking of heat, this radio would make a great bed warmer. After a run of a few hours, the R-5000 gets hot. Even the tuning knob gets warm to the touch!

If buying a used unit, make sure to get a good clear photo of the radio's display segments. Those with many hours of use tend to lose their lumination intensity making for a spotty clock or frequency display.
Now you have the rest of the story.
W5DXE Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2006 09:06 Send this review to a friend
Best There Is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned several general coverage and HF/VHF receivers: Grundig, Hallicrafters, ICOM, Yaesu, Drake and Realistic. I have sold all of those but still have the R-5000. With the VC-20 optional VHF module you have everything you need in a great receiver. I added the INRAD 6k AM filter and boy does this radio sing on AM. Only radio I found that came close to this in selectivity and sensitivity is the R-9000L ICOM but not everyone has 2500+ to pay for a high end receiver. IF you want a great receiver for a moderate price this is the only way to fly.
N4DYR Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2006 22:33 Send this review to a friend
I'll never sell it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine in 1990, when I was DX'ing commercial maritime CW stations (most are now gone). It's sensitive, the frequency accuracy is excellent, and it has enough filter and IF shift options to bring the signals out of the noise. Mine has the 500Hz CW filter.

I have to give it a 5/5, even though there are a couple of small problems. I'd actually rate it about 4.8 if I could. The worst thing is the key bounce, which the R-5000 shares with its sibling, the TS-440. Apparently this is due to corrosion on the contacts. Mine sat on the shelf until recently and it was really bad when I first put it back in service. It's getting better now, as the keys get more use.

The other thing, which has bothered me since the day I got the R-5000, is the stupid tuning knob, which doesn't have a spinner or finger-hole. I finally found a knob from an old Icom transceiver that has a finger-hole, and that's what I'm using now.

A couple of years after I bought the R-5000 the Drake R-8 came on the market, and I bought one of those. I still have both radios, and I'd be hard-pressed to say which one I like the best. They're both great radios.

If you want a receiver that has been well-proven in both amateur and commercial service, you could go through a lot of choices before you'd find a better radio than the R-5000, in spite of a couple of minor problems.
KZ5I Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2006 21:36 Send this review to a friend
Good Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired an R-5000 and I'm glad I did. I am constantly amazed such a compact receiver can give such good performance.

The R-5000 has a much hotter receive than does my R-71A. Right now the R-5000 is not in my ham shack but right next to my reclining chair Hi Hi.

This radio is definitely a keeper.
PD0AC Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2005 01:13 Send this review to a friend
Never to be sold  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own (and owned) many reveivers and tranceivers, but the Kenwood R5000 is one of those rare pieces of electronics that will never be sold. Even next to a much more expensive JRC, it's really hard to tell the difference. The R5000 outperforms my brand new Yaesu 897D. Duh.

Sensitivity and selectivity are near to perfect and the IF shift plus notch filters work make it possible to get rid of almost any type of interference. The two variable noise blankers take care of 99% of the ignition interference, something you normally have to live with in a rural area.

My R5000 hasn't even one scratch on it and I intend to keep this gem that way. If you can get a good second hand one, don't hesitate and buy it.
DAROBIN Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2004 23:04 Send this review to a friend
A Fantastic Piece of Equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For a long, long time I had considered obtaining a R-5000, but never did. Almost every other receiver has come through my hands, from high-end WJs and JRCs to Drakes, Collins and Hammarlunds.

As far as solid state rigs go, I long ago settled on the "keepers" -- the ones I will never let go. These include the JRC NRD-515, R7A (R4245), a WJ 8718A/MFP, as well as my R8.

To my surprise, the Kenwood is now in this pack. Having acquired one on Ebay in essentially new condition (still had both original boxes), I immediately hooked it up and I'm just blown away. This thing exudes quality in almost every respect. From silky smooth tuning, to the Passband Tuning, Notch, and its incredible stability, I was just amazed.

I plan to have some filter mods and a few other things done, but I am more than happy with this receiver. It has to be one of the little "engines that could" on the list of receivers. In fact, I prefer the R5000 to the ICOM IC-R71A that I owned for quite some time -- they both have carrying handles by the way, but the Kenwood is much less bulky, I think a bit lighter, and just performs better.

I'll update later on my views after modifications, but I would echo many others who have noted that this receiver is a real gem.
W6AWO Rating: 4/5 Aug 4, 2004 15:26 Send this review to a friend
R-5000 in Commercial Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
There are several R-5000's in service at ex-RCA coast station KPH. See for details about KPH.

We find the R-5000s to be good performers. The other receivers are Watkins-Johnsons so there is certainly a standard for comparison.

We use the R-5000s mainly for Morse operation and find that they are sensitive, selective and stable. We use the scan function to listen for calls from ships in the various HF marine bands. We occasionally use the R-5000 on MF as well.

But most telling may be the fact that R-5000 receivers are also used in SITOR service where frequency stability is of paramount concern. The receivers seem rock solid.

We've recently set up a R-5000 at KPH for remote control via modem. It works like a champ.

Bottom line: The R-5000 is an excellent receiver for the price for both amateur and commercial service.

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