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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-870S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-870S
Kenwood TS-870S Reviews: 166 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2399.00
Description: The Leader Of The Pack
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N1JAO Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2001 09:17 Send this review to a friend
The best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this rig for nearly 3 years. I bought it new and later had the eprom upgrade from Kenwood- brick wall selectivity! I thought I wanted a new rig and posted the 870 for sale. After getting insulting offers from cheap cheap cheap hams (950!!!), I did some thinking. Why did I want a new rig? This rig has been rock solid, both transmit and receive are flawless. So, thanks to those sinfully cheap hams, I chose to keep ths baby. I would definetley buy another if this one got stolen or something. Ah, just one more thing, to all those cheap hams- save your money and buy one- dont waste your time trying to rip off fellow hams!
KF2XL Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2001 12:19 Send this review to a friend
What a Rig !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am returning to the hobby after about 12 years of layoff for many reasons. I have listened and played with other models and manufacturers, but haven't had the opportunity to transmit on them, and with that said... After much research and comparisons between several models and manufacturers (price was a consideration of course), I purchased the TS-870 used for $1,500. It is serial number 705xxxx and has the paperwork from just having the EPROM "upgraded" by Kenwood. I also got a break in the rain and got the coax run to my dipoles. Only ran dipoles for 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, and 20m, because I wanted to test out the neighbor's reactions (restrictions).... nothing yet.

First surprise... this crazy rig's internal antenna tuner, easily tuned, not only those bands, but I was amazed to find that it loaded quickly and perfectly on 40m, 80m and even 160m, can't figure out what it found to resonate on, but I'll take it.

Second surprise... first contact @ 5 x 5 with JH3DPB, Yuu in Kobe Japan on 10m, 28.395. Love those sunspots.

I am impressed that after all these years, the construction of the rig is the same Kenwood quality I always admired. I was also pleased to find that even with the many advanced features of this rig, it wasn't that difficult to learn. In the manual, it has a section called "your first QSO", because they know we hams can't read the whole manual before playing with our new toy. So, I got on the air quickly and will be learning many new things as I continue to operate. The lack of need for ANY filters is such a major plus. With the DPS, I am able to "pull" out even the weakest station with no problem. The transmiter, even on 40 and 80 (with no dipole cut to those lengths), is so beautifully filtered that it creates no TVI or interference of any kind.

The audio reports that I have received were great, with or without the processor turned on. Even though this is a "seasoned" rig by now, many people I have spoken with, some of whom have worked other makes, all praise the quality and leading edge technology of this rig. There may be newer stuff out there, but the 870s still has to be one of the best.

I am already in love with this thing and still don't know much about it. I Will keep learning and when I do find a negative, I'll let you know.
M0AIR Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2000 16:39 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant !!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
There seems to be loads of these rigs over here in Europe. My one, is rock solid and well up to Kenwoods reputation. The menu thing is a bit tricky - but does add quite a bit to a very sophisticated set. Sensitiviy is good across to bands and selectivity is excellent. The set gives very good results for SW listening. I like the memory system and the scanning. In conclusion, a worthy set for a reasonable price, that should last many years.
WU6Q Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2000 14:34 Send this review to a friend
TS-870S, Great for what it is !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 870 has been out awhile ....yet, in many case's it's being compared with rig's of today's technology. It was one of the first with REAL DSP in the IF not just audio....and it does work. I have been very pleased with the receiver and I love tweaking the transmitter bandwidth and audio equalization, resulting in very good reports. Does it compare with the 1000MP or Mark V or 775DSP, Maybe not, but new, it's only a little over 2 grand. How much do you want to spend ? Is a Rolls Royce better than a loaded Mercedes ? You can bet it is to the RR owner !! The 870 is a great Rig ...very smooth tuning and a pleasure to operate, quite receiver, and the menu stuff is not hard either. It appears some of the first in production had some problems, so be aware ....73
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:

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?
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