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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-870S Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-870S
Kenwood TS-870S Reviews: 162 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2399.00
Description: The Leader Of The Pack
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.kenwood.net/products/index.cfm?AMA=open
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<— Page 16 of 17 —>

K3BU Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2000 10:12 Send this review to a friend
TS-870 Much better radio when modified.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Earlier production units had problem with intermod and overload, it was terrible on low bands. After having closer look at the circuitry I came up with few modifications that makes TS-870 super radio especially for expeditions, remote and computer control. Big improvement in selectivity, overload immunity and DSP functions. Modification for 2nd RX antenna is included. Check it out on my VE3BMV e-Home page:
http://members.aol.com/ve3bmv/

Love the sucker now! Completely different radio.
I ain't no anonymous!
 
CT2HME Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2000 07:09 Send this review to a friend
TS-870S Great Rig  Time owned: unknown months
Before buying this rig I tried out the FT-1000MP and the IC-756 (not the Pro).
If you are looking for something with a really sensitive receiver and with great TX and RX audio go for the TS-870S.
An FT-1000MP loaded with all the options is way to expensive for the performance you will get from the radio. I haven't tried the 756 Pro so I can't help you there. But the IC-756 doesn't come close to the TS-870S.
Anyway I am really happy with the performance of the TS-870S. RX and TX sound is outstanding. Receiver is the best I have heard. Menus are easy to use. Computer interface is a plus. DSP on IF works very well and I think it's the major advantage of this radio. Monitor feature is great.
Buy the radio and you won't have to buy any aditional expensive filter. DSP takes care of that.
DSP on IF seems to be the future (Hello Icom 756 Pro! Aren't you a bit late?). And Kenwood got to the future first. Next generation IF DSP Kenwoods will be outstanding radios. This TS-870S allready is. Buy one. You won't be sorry.
5 starts to the TS-870S and to Kenwood.
 
K3ICH Rating: 4/5 Apr 11, 2000 21:13 Send this review to a friend
One of only a few REAL IF-DSP rigs  Time owned: unknown months
The TS-870 is a great first generation IF-DSP radio. It is one of the few that actually perform the DSP INSIDE the AGC loop. (What good is IF processing it the AGC is still affected?) I believe that only the IC-775 and the IC-756PRO do this. All the others are simply audio processors running at the "4th IF" of 10 to 15 kHz. The AGC voltage is typically developed at the 3rd IF, usually 455 kHz. The end result is no better than an outboard DSP. The TS-870 has both modes and the audio processing is much cleaner. When using the IF heterodyne killer, the recovered audio has noticeable added distortion and the beat note cancellation is never as complete as when using the audio only mode. I think the neatest feature is the variable high and low passband cut-off setting. The only problem is the lack of adequate filtering up at the 2nd IF, so that even if you have the controls set for a narrow ultimate passband, you still have a very wide window at 8 MHz and adjacent strong sigs will klobber the next mixer. All in all I like the radio. The full digital modulation and detection produces nice audio.
 
K9OM Rating: 3/5 Mar 18, 2000 18:43 Send this review to a friend
An average radio in todays marketplace.  Time owned: unknown months
There are many features on the 870 that I like. My personal favorites are the variable DSP filters and the super smooth main tuning. Some have said this radio "outperforms a FT-1000-MP and an OMNI VI Plus". I for one would strongly disagree after running them side-by-side at my operating shack. Though a fine radio for everyday rag chewing the 870 does not compare to a MP or OMNI VI Plus. The main ingredient missing is the lack of sufficient filtering to reduce QRM when operating on crowded bands or near strong signals. DSP filtering alone does not compare to cascaded crystal filters. Give me an 870's DSP plus crystal filtering and we may have a radio that compares to the MP or OMNI VI.
 
W4GN Rating: 4/5 Jan 22, 2000 21:28 Send this review to a friend
THE BEST XCVR I'VE USED.......  Time owned: unknown months
As an active DX'er and contester, I've had them all, most recently the FT-1000D and MP.If it weren't for the relay clack on CW,it would be a 5-star, most bang-for-the-buck xcvr on the market. It literally runs circles around the MP,D and Omni VI.The key is, make sure you get one with a serial no. 9K+;by then the most important mods have been done.Had an earlier model due to the MP being a UPS Special.With the new model, it's a different radio.Intermod problems are gone;the filters are effective;the processor opens at 3db instead of 10-15db; the monitor is realtime;the keyer is flawless and the receiver is very quiet.Operating DX contests is a breeze on all bands on CW and SSB--not so with the old one.It's a real pleasure to listen to SSB on a 3K-6K filter when convenient, not to mention having simply outstanding xmit audio.It isn't often that a rig makes me feel this good for a lengthy period of time, but I owe a debt to all those who e-mailed me(on the MP List) while I suffered for years with the MP quirks and flaws.Kenwood will have a difficult time improving on this model-but they will!
 
W8EQA Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 1999 13:49 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio for the Price!!  Time owned: unknown months
I find my Kenwood TS-870S a great rig,especially on cw. It may take quite awhile to learn how to operate it to it's fullest. Going from a Kenwood TS-690SAT I find a great difference in selectivity but, miss being able to to select a 500 cycle filter when listening to DX and then a wider setting to help locate the transmitting station when operating split. Because I purchased this unit new I only received a Quick Start guide to help me set up the RCP. I found this same manual a bit lacking in directions on using the RCP keyer functions. Maybe just a bit hard for this old dog to do many new tricks. Anyone out there like to help clear my cranial deficiencies?
Dan W8EQA
w8eqa@msn.com
 
Anonymous Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 1999 13:26 Send this review to a friend
TS-870 Much better radio when modified.  Time owned: unknown months
Earlier production units had problem with intermod and overload, it was terrible on low bands. After having closer look at the circuitry I came up with few modifications that makes TS-870 super radio especially for expeditions, remote and computer control. Big improvement in selectivity, overload immunity and DSP functions. Modification for 2nd RX antenna is included. Check it out on my VE3BMV e-Home page:
http://members.aol.com/ve3bmv/

Love the sucker now! Completely different radio.
 
WA4HHG Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 1999 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Superb Audio Recovery - Beats my FT1000D hands Dow  Time owned: unknown months
I consider myself a ham who looks for a superb receiver and the '870 is the best I've tried yet. On 20M, it detects and resolves signals that are in the noise on my FT-1000D. I compared side by side to an Omni 6+. Despite Ten Tecs reputation for an excellent receiver, the Kenwood beat it hands down (and it was on frequency, the Ten Tec was not). The 870 had none of the brutal AGC compression distortion on strong signals as exibited by the Omni and it had a far better build quality.

I have none of the overload problems passed about VIA the hobby rumor mill.

The transmitter can be set up with a 3KC bandwidth for "hi fi" audio for 80M ragchews. It can just as easily and effectively be set up for chasing DX on 20. Operating the radio with the Kenwood"RCP" software permits various radio menu configurations to be saved for later use. Kenwoods East Coast service center also has a an extensive set of configuration files available VIA E-Mail or disk which are used with "RCP" that will configure the radio for you saving a lot of time on the learning curve.

All in all, an excellent radio. Most likely the best SSB transceiver on todays market and a real "sleeper."
 
W7PDX Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 1999 01:17 Send this review to a friend
Wow!  Time owned: unknown months
After running a Heathkit SB-401/301 setup for over 30 years, I decided to get up-to-date. I'm very pleased with my TS-870!
 
K8DXX Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 1999 00:47 Send this review to a friend
Surprise... I chose the '870 over the 1000MP  Time owned: unknown months
I can agree with the other reviewers positive comments about pleasant SSB receive characteristics, great transmit audio, etc. I have not experienced the overload on close in, strong signals. In fact, I find that listening to CW through the 50hz bandwitch is like listening to a code tape. Other unmentioned plusses and minuses I would mention are +great analog noise blanker; +ease of use; +better weak signal reception noted side by side with a 1000MP in a store; -can't run noise reduction and beat cancel at the same time; -just doesn't look as "cool" as the 1000MP. Given the chance, I'd buy another. The rig's a real sleeper!
 
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