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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: 37 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $599.99
Description: First of the Hybrid radios
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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ZL1DT Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2012 02:24 Send this review to a friend
My favorite rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my TS-520 at a junk sale for NZ$60. It was covered in rust and looked like rodents had been nesting inside. A quick clean up and a squirt of paint and it goes like a new one! Extremely stable after 20 minutes and 100 watts out on ALL bands. I constantly get great audio reports using an MC-50 mic. I also have a very nice Yaesu FT-990, but I find myself using the 520 mostly, just because it is so much fun to use. After 2 years of constant use, I still get a kick from using it. Definitely a keeper!
 
KT4GN Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2012 19:38 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
After reading several of the reviews, I decided to review my rig. The 520 is one of the best rigs built. No it does not have the modern technology as one reviewer wrote. Hi hi, Solid performance both CW & SSB. , easy to set up,. What more can one ask for.
 
N9BYY Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2011 11:32 Send this review to a friend
One of the Best Rig's  Time owned: more than 12 months
I sold my old TS-520 some years ago after buying a newer Kenwood. Well the newer one took a lighting strike. I started searching for another rig when I came across a TS-520S in mint condition. Paid the guy $200 bucks and back on the air. One of the best rig's built. I think I'll just keep this one...
 
AC0VI Rating: 3/5 Sep 21, 2011 18:05 Send this review to a friend
An oldie, but a goodie  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my Kenwood TS-520 from a ham friend of mine about three months ago. It was my first endeavor into the world of hybrid radios and it's been a good one. This particular radio has the digital readout kit on the backside along with the DG5 external display and the AC to DC adapter kit.

During the short time I've owned this rig it has been reliable and dependable. I mainly use the radio for SSB contacts.

Here are the things I like about this radio:

Great audio (both rx and tx)
Simplistic operation
Ergonomic button/knob layout
Excellent construction
No menus or sub-menus to contend with
Large S-Meter


Now for some of the downsides to this radio:

No audio notch
No digital display (unless you have the external DG5 display)
Constant adjustments when changing frequency (tube finals)
One VFO. You cannot work split unless you have an external VFO.
Heavy (approximately 35 lbs.)
Draws a lot of current, even on stand-by.
Lack of filtering options

Overall, this radio is decent radio even for its age. While it does not have all of the bells and whistles of more “modern” radios it will get you on the air and not deplete your bank account. However, as with all units around this age they will need some TLC from time to time to keep them in 100% operational condition. I rated this radio as a three, but that is because I could not give it a 3.5 out of 5. The point of my rating is not to compare it against the modern, more expensive radios but with other radios of its “hybrid” era.

In conclusion, I hope this review helps a potential buyer of this older radio in making an informed decision.
 
WA4ZYN Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2011 19:04 Send this review to a friend
Reliable workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this 520 since my 29-year-old daughter was a toddler. My late brother-in-law KF4NB gave it to me when he bought his new 930-S. Glenn had purchased the 520 new in 1975.

This rig has been reliable and dependable all these years, with excellent receive audio, and great signal reports on sideband as well as CW. Glenn even used it for RTTY.

The wonderful thing about this rig is that it is modern (all solid-state except driver and finals) but you can still work on it. I have replaced a resistor on the power board from lightning damage, replaced all the tubes just because I thought I should, and replaced the RF board with one from a non-working 520 I bought just for parts. Not bad for almost 30 years of service!

I would highly recommend this "workhorse" for anyone on a budget. You won't regret it. So what if it weighs 37 lb.!!!!
 
WA7UHR Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2010 21:06 Send this review to a friend
Great ole' rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Called the BEAST by the seller, this rig was in terrible cosmetic condition. Dirty, dusty and rusty, it looked terrible. The carrying handle broke into pieces when I picked it up. Paid a whole ten dollars for it. Brought it home, cleanded it up, lubed and cleaned all controls and it works like a new one. What can I say, it's a great garage rig. One of many of my older Hi-bred rigs.
 
KC2WOU Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2010 10:37 Send this review to a friend
my first hf rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
it would not be fair if i go with the 5 so i give it a 4 since i have nothing else i owned..... mine is matched with a mc-50
And I get nothing less then sounding great and after I tell the Im running a 520 with a mc-50 on the dipole or vert.
there just not that surprised......

picked up from a local cleaning out his shack and i thank him every chance i get......
 
KC0GSB Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2010 14:28 Send this review to a friend
Rock solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Works perfectly even at 30+ years of age. It will do almost 160W on 80M and 130W on 10M. It will push the SB-221 to legal limit without an interface and with no worry of it being damaged. The output tubes are still the originals but the 12BY7 is not. The receive audio is good and so is the transmit audio, with both actually somewhat better than some more modern rigs. The receiver is not quite as sensitive as my Yaesu FT-920, but it still works well. I use the 520 a lot for local 10M rag-chewing since I can leave it on frequency and only touch-up the tuning every now and then. I drive it with an Astatic non-amplified 10-DA microphone. All in all, it is a great backup rig that could easily serve as a primary rig if you choose. There are no bells or whistles, amd you must retune as you move up or down the bands. It is a basic, rock solid transceiver. The TS-520 can be purchased for very little expense, especially considering what you get for your money.
 
ON4MHO Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2008 03:42 Send this review to a friend
A real Kenwood radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello from Belgium. I bought this radio from a SK friend. My radio is more than 20 years old but works like new. I've never heard such a quality "tube sound" like this before. I enjoy the 520 daily and use it much more often than any other radio I own. Excellent on TX and RX. PA bulletproof. For about 200$, what would you want more?
 
N1YE Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2008 11:15 Send this review to a friend
Like driving a classic, old cadillac! Basic, solid performer.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Love these radios! Good, basic design! These are 'old-timers" by today's standards, but when they were introduced to the Ham community, they were the luxury premium rigs of their day. Great audio. Great optional crystal CW filters. Good receivers. Robust finals. Still many on the air.
I still have two of these with their external speakers and VFO's set up as a "vintage" station.
A simple SO2R switch enables me to use them for variety in many contests. I use this station almost as much as my modern gear. Used them to contact the 3B7C Indian Ocean DXpedition. If you have one that is still running...don't get rid of it. Or better yet..give those "nasty 'ol" radios to me :) 73!
 
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