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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-590S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-590S
Kenwood TS-590S Reviews: 301 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1799.99
Description: The TS-590S marks a bold new chapter in Kenwood's proud history of manufacturing high-performance transceivers. Featuring a narrow-band Roofing Filter the TS-590S significantly reduces interference from unwanted signals that would be hidden to lesser rigs. With IF AGC based on advanced DSP technology, Kenwood has essentially redefined HF performance.
Product is in production.
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NT9M Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2016 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Extremly pleased  Time owned: more than 12 months
Going on 29 months with my TS-590S and I'll offer my first comments about it.

Having used a TS-2000 for more than a dozen years, the user interface of the 590 is very familiar and IMO very user friendly. All the things you would want to adjust on the fly and in the heat of the contest are right there on the front panel.

Just worked some of the ARRL 160 Meter contest this weekend (CW) and the band was packed with signals. The 590s receiver easily handled the cacophony of signals, working weak signals a whisker away from S9+ signals.

I did find some slight variation of frequency calibration on the 6 meter band, but one of the very low cost TCXO modules purchased on ebay corrected that issue.

My 590S was one of the last ones built before the 590SG came out, so it already had the ALC mod done at the factory, and I have never had any difficulty making 100 watts output with my audio input adjusted to just where the ALC meter starts to indicate on peaks. No need to run audio any higher. I've received many a compliment on my audio using a Heil Goldline and a Heil ProSet Plus mic with the equalization set to HB1.

My only gripe is my own bad timing. I purchased my 590S new and paid full price, only to have the 590SG debut a couple of months later. Win some and lose some.

At the prices these are currently bringing on the used market, they are an absolute best value for the dollar.
WD5ENH Rating: 3/5 Nov 19, 2016 04:37 Send this review to a friend
Just OK  Time owned: more than 12 months
This past August I traded in my Kenwood TS-590s for a Kenwood TS-2000 because I got interested in working satellite. I have read the reviews about the Kenwood TS-590s about the receiving and I will omit it receives very well. But what I don't like about the radio is the transmitting power. Yes a dead carrier will show you 100 W out, but speaking into the radio and yes I do have a peek reading watt meter and it was showing to be about between 50 to 60 W out. And I feel that I have lost more contacts because of that. I will omit that I do like the DSP features of the radio but I did not like the transmitting performance. As for as power output my Kenwood TS-2000 works great, I have made more contacts with this radio than I did with the 590s working with the same antenna. Would I have a Kenwood TS-590s as a backup radio? Probably not.
RW9RN Rating: 3/5 Nov 11, 2016 01:43 Send this review to a friend
This transceiver is done in a hurry  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Interesting receiver, not ergonomics, incomprehensible transmitter.
AA5AZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 1, 2016 06:53 Send this review to a friend
It's like listening to chocolate  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been a ham now for five years and the first thing people say when Kenwood comes up is "Kenwood has a long history of great audio in their rigs." This is no exception. I swear, it's like listening to chocolate. That's the best way I know to describe it.

I am coming from three years with an Icom 746. It's a remarkable rig, pretty versatile for it's time, but it is outdated, especially on receive. I saw my 590s on QRZ for $850 (neg to $830) and it was a 4.5 hour drive to go get it; he offered to ship, but I wanted to see it. It performs just like a brand new rig and looks like it just came out of the box. I sold my 746 for $750 with the desk mic. So, with $40 in gas and $80 to boot, I just upgraded to a very comparable contest rig to an Elecraft K3. Yes, I said Elecraft and K3.

I was at our PVRC ( club meeting and one of the guys heard a couple talking about the expense of the K3, so one very veteran contester and member of the club, spoke up and said, "Guys, I think you're missing the boat. There's not a radio, Dollar for feature, to beat the Kenwood 590s." He pointed at one guy sitting next to me and said, "Nathan has two of them and that's what he's using and I've got two." Nathan just happened to be a contestant in the WRTC '14 in Mass. Nathan and I had a quick conversation about the radio later and so did I and the guy who started the conversation. Two days later, I was a TS-590s owner.

If you do your research, the whole premise behind this radio by Kenwood was to be a "K3 Killer." While it hasn't killed the K3 and still lacks some of the K3's ability, it is still an amazing radio at half the price MSRP of the K3. I hear things I never would've heard in the 746. Never.

The price is remarkable. When the coupons are hot, you can get a refurbed 590sg from HRO for $1300. I have no qualms buying refurbed. I know this thread is about the "s" and not the "sg," but I'm just saying these things are cheap when comparing feature and price; just to clarify, mine is an "s" model. Try buying a used Elecraft K3 in the $900 range? It's not happening.

If you are a wannabe contester or a contester, but especially one of those like me on a budget, this rig is for you.

The reason for 4/5 is I do think the DSP needs to have a finer, more granular tune, but then again, at 4 months, maybe it's me and not the rig.
N0YXE Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2016 19:08 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had the radio for three days. It is outstanding. I've been an ICOM man and this is my first Kenwood HF. The receive is beyond belief. It is the best I've ever heard. The transmit is also very good. FOR THE MONEY IT IS HARD TO BEAT THE PERFORMANCE. Overall it appears to be a bargain.
OK1DTM Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2016 14:07 Send this review to a friend
Great transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
great satisfaction mainly with reduction town qrm cw/ssb mode
EA3FF Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2016 00:36 Send this review to a friend
The best for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
More tan 4 years running two of them in SSB and DIGI .Only USB connection to PC , great with QRM reductions, the intenal ATU the best of the best,side by side with a K-830S in reception is not posible to see differences.Al in all why to spend more money , better in aluminium, of course
K3LRH Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2016 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Energizer Bunny  Time owned: more than 12 months
...Still running strong after more than five years. A great rig for my type of operation. SSB and digital only, no CW. Mine is ca. 2010 with the ALC mod and for me it works 100%. Absolutely no problems or complaints. Interfaces with computers easily and no additional sound card devices are needed. Digital signals are clean. Display is as bright as new and has all the needed info in an easily read order. The internal tuner is fast and accurate. A bargain at full list price and an even better one on the used market.
R2ABT Rating: 3/5 Feb 7, 2016 03:58 Send this review to a friend
Forward to the past  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
"This one reminds me of your ancient TS-440S", - said my wife about TS-590S. However, not only this fact made me doubt about buying this rig. Actually, I am not only CW operator as 50 percent of my time I work SSB. DIGI is not my mode at all. I use my PC for mail, Skype and so on. Radio for me is a very different thing, i.e. no log, no internet, no dx-cluster, just TRX and antenna, like in old good days. Small experience with TS-590S lead me to the following conclusions:

- not a bad rig if you use it in along with a PC, but this is not my case as I said before;
- too much of menu is good for portable rig as it should be a small one, but it seems strange when they economize on knobs and buttons while designing the rig for stationary use. Key-speed knob on a front panel is very desirable;
- overpriced. I planned to buy something like FTdx-3000D or IC-7600, with a spectroscope, but my budget was enough for TS-590S only. In the end, for the price of TS-590S I have bought two second-hand rigs, namely IC-746 and IC-756PROII, luckily the latter was totally brand new one, no one ever used it, just kept in the box for years.

However, TS-590S remains one of the most popular new rigs in Russia. Probably I am just not in its marketing focus-group.

73! Peter R2ABT
IT9AHH Rating: 2/5 Jan 29, 2016 13:41 Send this review to a friend
dsp nr2 vy disappointed  Time owned: more than 12 months
i'm only cw op.
used two years the 590s only cw, but after two years i had to sell it in 2016:
-the dsp nr2 on this rig is a disaster!
with the nr2 enabled it's impossible to hear weak and vy weak signals.
things don't improve even decreasing rf gain!
-the noise reduction2 on this rig generates a artefacting like the sound of water gurgling.
-the latest 2015 firmware update has worsened further these nr2 issues.
-it doesn't help that tightening if filters down to 50 hz the receiver stars to ringing tremendously.

shame cause otherwise the 590s would be a top receiver.
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