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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-900 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-900
Kenwood TS-900 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1695.00
Description: Compat HF transiver
Product is not in production.
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W8IDL Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2008 03:21 Send this review to a friend
High Performance, Beautiful, & Fun To Use!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Kenwood TS-900 came in four different types based on the final output tubes (from the service manual): TS-900 (pair 6LQ6/6JE6), TS-900S (single 4X150A), TS-900X (single 6146), and the TS-900D (pair 6146). The TS-900 with its silver front panel is the version most usually seen, and the TS-900S with its dark gold front panel is the most highly sought-after. While it shares some minor visual styling cues with the 599-series of twins, the TS-900 is not just a repackaged set of twins, but a unique and very high quality HF transceiver (no WARC)!

From a performance standpoint, this transceiver was way ahead of its time with its use of dual-gate MOSFETS throughout the radio (only the driver and finals are tubes). Sensitivity is excellent (even on ten meters) and the noise floor is surprisingly low. The analog frequency readout is very pretty and easy to use. Transmitter tuning is easy as well with concentric tuning and loading knobs. While it won't match the super-radios of today, it was certainly one of the super-radios of its time!

From a construction standpoint, this radio was truly a "pacesetter:" silver-plated G-10 glass boards, all teflon wiring, modular construction, cast metal engraved front panel, machined metal knobs, instrumentation-grade meter, and a heavy duty chassis and external power supply. Given its cost, the TS-900 was definitely a limited-production radio. The matching VFO-900 remote VFO really rounds out the TS-900 station, and was even more limited making it extremely rare (try and fine one)!

The TS-900 is a stunningly beautiful radio and real joy to operate! I have had one of mine since new, and it provides reliability and real radio enjoyment year after year...
WD0BCX Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2006 08:59 Send this review to a friend
GREAT OLD RIG  Time owned: more than 12 months
My TS900 was once new to K0KBD, he used it on CW from the late 60's through late 70's.

K0LBD, Jack Randall(sk) once talked to Kenwood in Calafornia when the power supply was sent for repair. He was told that the unit was WAY AHEAD in engineering and was way too expensive to produce for its selling price.

My radio has been modified to hold it down in power and it will not dirve the tubes too hard and blow them out. It is being re-tubed with a pair of used tubes and alligned as I type this.

If you have a chance to come across one of these beautys do so they are GREAT!
F1GWD Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2006 08:32 Send this review to a friend
A superb Rig with high quality design  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a chance to get one TS900 with it PS900 power Supply from a well known auction site, and I do not regret the investment at all! Although I was somehow worried about transportation through standard packet mail services the rig did not suffer at all as once correctly packed its internal design and overall robustness allows transport in good shape. On a performance standpoint, not only the RX is very sensitive and selectivity is great (This unit owns LSB, USB, and optional CW IF Filters) but the TX is delivering more than 150 Watt on all bands. Very robust and good looking, still nice to operate and has no reason to envy more modern HF radios. If you get a chance to find one within 150-200 $ just buy it!
F6EFM Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2004 16:18 Send this review to a friend
The best TRX ...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I utilise 2 TS900 in my shack , it is the best TRX ever made , I had sold my JRC to keep just this TS900.
Wiring in teflon , 6LQ6 or 6JE6A PA tubes very solid , one is from 1973 , the other 1974 and PA just replaced .
200 watts RF output and 100 watts output continious duty.
Reception is excellent , audio comfortable and very good modulation reports.

I have also a TS900S but the cable between supply and TRX have been lost when moving from south to north FRANCE.
Impossible to find the specials 15 pins connectors to make an other.

At regrets it stand in a corner
KB0GU Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2003 22:38 Send this review to a friend
Ahead Of It's Time  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio was purchased back in 1979 used and broken. Turned out to only be a fuse in the power supply. I installed 6MJ6 ruggedized tubes and it worked flawlessly for me until 1996. Then the VFO stopped tracking and could not be aligned, turned out one of the fins on the capacitor in the VFO fell off. This radio was a marvel to me, ahead of its time in construction, with plug in and out boards for each of the units, teflon wiring, and gold circuit boards and sockets much like computers use today. It worked and it worked well. Sold it to Ham in Japan whose father had owned one. Last picture I saw of it, it had been restored and was again working flawlessly. This rig holds some notstalgia for me. The massive tuning know had a solid feel. Easily put out close to 200 watts SSB with superb audio. If I ever find one used, I would consider buying it for a back up rig. I do not believe too many were sold here in the USA.
GW4JPC Rating: 4/5 Aug 7, 2003 08:38 Send this review to a friend
Superb HF SSB Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first used a TS900 at a friends shack in Germany in 1982.I liked it so much that I found one second hand when I returned to the UK.It is a lovely sideband rig on 10-15 & 20, but I found that the receiver was a little overwhelmed by European broadcast QRM on 40.Even with the attenuator up full there were noises coming through that really weren't there.Audio quality was fine,attracting many good reports.The tuning dial and mechanism were a joy to use.The external VFO was a nice thing to have for split working,but not essential unless working rare DX that likes to work split frequency.The plug in board arrangement was convenient for fault finding,but an outrigger would have made life easier.The 6LQ6 PA was a little unstable on 10 meters and required carefull matching of tubes to make neutralisation easier,but maybe my TS900 was a rogue.Its' receiver sensitivity was more like a VHF rig,superb for 10 meters.I eventually sold it to clear some space in the shack, but if you can do without the WARC bands it is certainly worth considering,even in these microprocessor driven times! Not too many of them were sold in the UK,probably due to its' high price.When it was on the market in the early 1970's it cost more than a Drake R4C/T4XC set up.
K3BSX Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2000 19:19 Send this review to a friend
Great performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my Kenwood TS-900 in 1972. Now at 28 years old it is still performing like new. Yes it has sweep tubes and I heard all the bad reviews of these little tubes. Well, in 1999 I had to replace the 6LQ6 final tube. Thre are two in the final, and they have been performing for 27 years. I always used a dummy load to tune the freq I am going to transmit on. I use wire antennas and either a Johnson Matchbox or Dentron tuner.
Last year I installed a used Commercial made 80-10 meter trap vertical. Tuned the antenna ,tuned the Kenwood and fired it up on 40. Worked great, as usual for ther TS-900. I moved off Freg tuned by 10 Khz, and the swr shot up and blew the final. Blew the final after 27 years. The vert has a bandwidth of about the width of a human hair. So much for the High performance trap verticals. I am back to my wires and tuners, 2 new 6LQ6's. Good for another 28 yrs. The output is 200 watts SSB. All I can say is that it is one of the best Transceivers ever made, I would not part with it for an amount of money. I can go on and on, the audio quality is second to none both transmit and receive. If you can find a good one used buy it. you will never regret it. Thanks Kenwood.
KD2E Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2000 00:05 Send this review to a friend
Best tuning of any rig!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
If I were back in 1975, I'll bet I would be buying a TS520 instead! Probably because of the high cost of this rig. Also it uses sweep tubes.
It doesn't do anything more than the TS520.
BUT.. That solid aluminum tuning knob gives the best feel of any rig I've ever spun dials on.
This is a very heavy rig, and the power supply is separate! Multi-colored meter and front panel lights. It reminds me of 599 twins in a single box! At one time I had 5 of them. Down to 2 of them now. The external VFO is pretty hard to find.

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