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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-520 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-520
Kenwood TS-520 Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $599.99
Description: First of the Hybrid radios
Product is not in production.
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WA6JGM Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2014 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Take's a lick'n and keep's on tick'n  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used one for mobile cw operating in the 80's and the radio never failed. Worked a lot of dx on 10 and 15 meters. Sold it years ago and it is still being used on a daily basis in TX today.

The rig never gave me any grief, it just took it. I do have a 520S and a 820S in the shack, great for late night jump in and chew sessions.

Great sounding audio on both TX and RX. Yes you have to tune it up when you QSY, so what! At least it's not a spectrum polluter due to its very good IMD products. How come there are so many great transceivers out there that have excellent receivers but have crummy transmitters?

If you are looking for a cheap starter rig this is one of the many way's to go.
ZL1PWR Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2014 08:00 Send this review to a friend
Kenwood nuff said  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What a radio no way will I sell this old classic a real find at a bargain price it needed new tubes when I got it which were donated to me by a new radio friend Tim VK2AOS so its now running a premium grade matched pair 6146 and will probably still be running when I am well gone I use it with a mc-50 mic and the audio reports I get are always good my other radio is a ts-930s but find myself strangely drawn to this one I wont be one of the other hams saying wish i never sold it a real keeper for sure if you see one grab one it will make you smile every time you use it.
N0PL Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2014 22:56 Send this review to a friend
Work Horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've got 2 of these rigs. One has the DG5 digital readout. When this rig first came out, I had just started my family and could not afford one. I did get to operate one on a FD excursion and I knew that one day I would own one (or 2). I work CW primarily but do move up the bands on occasion to SSB. I have over 30 HF rigs of all different makes and models. The tubes add a little heat into the shack which is welcome here in MT in the winter time. Outstanding basic rig that is truly a work horse. I'll have one in my collection until the day I'm planted in the ground.
WB0OKA Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2014 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Solid as a rock  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first purchased a TS-520 in 1988- my graduation from a Heathkit SB 100- and I still own one today. I was impressed then and still impressed today. The 520 has a solid receiver and at 100 watts from a forgiving set of tube finals, can still rival the big signals in pile-ups when conditions are right. Tuning one is not as difficult as some make it out to be. Once you get onto it, it only takes a minute or two to be ready for an on-air QSO. I won't go on and on. The rig has been around for years and it's held it's own and many are still alive and in operation. That speaks volumes.
G4AWY Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2012 04:44 Send this review to a friend
Golden oldie  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a TS520 for many years, and regret that I ever parted with it! Was my first ever tcvr - I'd used "separates" until then.

I did a few mods in the time I had it, that some might find useful:

1) Rewired the RF gain (which, ISTR, was actually an IF gain) into an attenuator for the rx front end. Prior to this 40 mtrs at night was a real mess but just inserting 10 dB or so attenuation cleared up many of the hets, X-mods and funnies.

2) There was a kit available at one time to give 10 MHz transceive. It was a bit of a bodge (you switched the rig to 20 and pressed the WWV button) but it did give a new band.

3) Rewired the neutralising slide switch to disconnect all heaters and fan on extended periods of listening.

4) Made up an external box to house a pot. By using the -ve volts available on the back panel and feeding it into the ALC line I could make the rig continuously variable in power output, down to mW levels.

The only major complaint I had with the TS520 was that the narrow CW filter was switched in all the time, so you couldn't select "Wide" and "Narrow". If I ever come across another 520 in anything like half decent condition I will certainly be tempted to buy it.

Richard G4AWY
KJ7YY Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2012 17:27 Send this review to a friend
Still working  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TS 520 was my first new rig, bought new when I was a novice in the 70's. I still have it and it still works great. I have replaced the tubes a couple of times but thats it. I don't use it much anymore because I bought a used TS 430S so I would have the WARC bands and 160 meters. The 430 is following in the footsteps of the 520 and works great.
N7INO Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2012 10:04 Send this review to a friend
Great rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Over the years has owned most of the newer rigs and had a chance to get a 520 again. I forgot how great the receive was and not a clean rig worked well. I got a call from a ham friend and said I have a nice 520 and just come and get it, Great deal. I run the 520 base as it will pull weak stations I can,t hear on either of my Icoms. If you have a chance to pick up a 520 or any of the series do so GREAT rigs.
NL997 Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2012 16:46 Send this review to a friend
at last I found a mint one !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got a TS-520 line in a perfect condition last Saterday. The line consists of TS-520, TV-502, TV-506 and MC50. It came with 2 spare sets of final tubes and a spare driver tube. (Not that I will need these, as I am a SWL...) This weekend I have compared it with my Yaeasu FT-897, and I must say, the 520 has no DSP etcetera, but beats the 897 at several point, for example HF sensitivity.... The TV-506 works better on the 6m, and the audio from the TS-520 is just what my ears like...
Nostalgia 4-ever... :)
SM7FYW Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2012 13:00 Send this review to a friend
Once Kenwood TS-520, always TS-520  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first ever HF rig, in 1975, which I traded a few years later. Last year 2011, I bought another one, after some TLC, it worked just like my brand new did!
I have listened to many rigs in my hamdays, but I can truthfully say, that the Kenwood TS-520 is the best sounding rig ever built!
It does not have any bells n whistles, but for everyday QSO's, it's still one of the best!
KG6PFH Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2012 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Vintage radio built like a tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is soo good I two have of them. First one I bought at the local fest for "parts only" sale in 2006. Only tubes and crystal filters were missing. After missing parts were purchased over the internet and installed, it became my first factory built HF transceiver. I liked it soo much bought another one from the eBay a non-working unit. Seller did such a poor job of packing, the radio arrived rolling in the box and the box was almost like a ball. It had dents on the cabinet but front panel and the back were all intact and no damage. After removing the mod previous owner made, it worked perfectly. It almost became 37 lb. boat anchor if it wasn't for quality design and construction. I've heard it was built like a tank. Now I am a believer.
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