- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-590S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-590S
Kenwood TS-590S Reviews: 271 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.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Kenwood TS-590S.

<— Page 11 of 28 —>

WB1DBY Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2012 05:25 Send this review to a friend
Aesome radio that you'll have for years!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've now owned my 590s for 14 months and have to say I absolutely love it. Not only does it have a fantastic receiver and filtering but the little things like menu system that's easy to understand w/o referring to the manual.

It's ergonomically set up front panel wise. The menu structure just makes sense and is easy to learn and remember how to use. The transmit audio regularly gets commented on for sounding SO good and the receive audio is taailered to how I like to hear it via the receive EQ. It's a audio quality that is easy to listen to all day and that's something that you can't say about other rigs.

I know these are not "technical" things, but I'm not a technical type of guy. I just like to operate whether that be SSB, CW, digital or whatnot.

The IF filter settings are awesome. Set them for normal listening, then set them for filtered listening. Hear a station that needs filtering, don't adjust the knobs, just press the IF FIL button and go to that setting.

You can also have 2 settings for different users, modes or whatnot. Press MENU A or B and go into a 2nd operating setting for the rig. IT's kind of like 2 seat settings for electric seats in your car. One setting for SSB, the other for CW or Digital or Contesting or a 2nd op. It's very handy.

My needs improvement list is really small: I don't like the purple numbers for direct frequency entering. Instead of white on purple, it should be white on dark blue which is supposed to be the most visible color mix available. And there are times when I wish that either the panel were backlit somehow. A ability to turn on a overhand of LEDs to illuminate the controls would be awesome - kind of how some Lenovo laptops have a feature to illumiate the keyboards. That's pretty much it.

The 590 interfaces to a computer in a snap and DX LAB Suite works flawlessly with it as I'm sure other programs do too. I also use a old Rig Expert & MixW with it and a new K1EL WinKeyer for cw contesting with N1MM all work great.

Concluding: It's a fine radio with excellent receiver and features and is really hard to beat for the money. You won;t be disappointed and it's a rig that will be in your shack for years. And the number of hams that you have QSO's qith that are running them is pretty surprising!
G4FFD Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2012 09:29 Send this review to a friend
Ideal for CW only  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you are 80+, hesitant about new technology, you need have no fear of using the latest transceiver from Kenwood. I needed mine for CW only. Sitting on the front doorstep of Europe there is a wall of CW for me to penetrate to reach more distant stations. This rig does it superbly, singling out tiny stations easily. The filtering is first-class, simple to use. Tuning can be very fine and a host of easy button presses to hand to give the utmost refinement to your needed signal. It works at once. You do not need to bother with the rest of the facilities if of no interest. The internal keyer is automatically weighted for speed and you should have no QSD problems. It is essential to test your power supply at full load, 13.8volts, to see if the voltage sags as older ones do. A quick test of Transmitter power to a dummy load should give 100watts (Drake W4 wattmeter).
One of our problems in the UK is a very noisy electricity supply, and spectrum pollution from the domestic environment where you live. The TS590s deals with this easily. You will find the receiver very sensitive and even with modest antennas, you will need to turn the gain down. Some of the excellent videos on the web have the gain turned up too high. Old favourite rigs cannot compete in this area.
KC6NFV Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2012 18:51 Send this review to a friend
kenwood  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
i dont dont have the kenwood ts 590 i have the ts 570 d it been a great radio kenwood line of hf radio i think a dependabel radio my toher rig it the yaesu ft 950 in 6 months start to have intermiting problem i sent it in to yaesu the secound time go go go kenwood i bet there new hf radio ts 990 will be a great radio 200 watts pep ssb that drive amp real good if got got that take a 130 watt drive
PU3DXX Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2012 17:48 Send this review to a friend
now realy a k3 killer !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Depois de possuir vários top radios yaesu, icom e kenwwood, comprei um TS590 à um ano e venho operando o mesmo diariamente. Rádio fantástico, superando todos que já tive, menos quanto ao power talk o que não foi solucionado com firmware 1.06. Parti então para o estudo do circuito e com uma pequena modificação ( um resistor) e novo ajuste no menu de serviço, o rádio mudou totalmente!!!!! Agora transmite com 200 watts em todas as bandas, com bem menor spike, sem espalhamento, áudio igual ou melhor que o TS870, aquecimento normal, atu normal, tudo normal. Fiquei tão satisfeito que agora raramente uso meu SB200. Estou recebendo ótimas reportagens e quando solicitado quanto ao rádio, surpresa geral....estou usando assim à dois meses e nada de anormal. Agora ele pisou no pescoço do K3 e de muitos outros muito mais caros.
W2DI Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2012 12:13 Send this review to a friend
Learn the radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned the 590 for about 3 months and I still feel I have much more to learn about the radio. Yes, you can use it 'out of the box' but taking full advantage of the many enhancements requires reading the manual and even the 'In depth' manual.

For example, there is a receiver audio equalizer you can access and tailor the receive audio to numerous settings. Certainly, if you are hearing a 'grainy' sound out of the speaker it can be made to sound smooth and mellow, if that is your pleasure.

Learning all this radio can do takes some reading and learning - imho. It is very versatile.

On the air, transmit audio is reported as very good to excellent with the hand mic and the desk mike. Though, the desk mike, the MC-60 will pick-up rf and send it out with your signal. On dk.mods, however there is a very easy fix with a wire connection and a o.o1 cap and it works great.

Receiving is truly extraordinary. The noise floor is always low and the signals benefit from a good S/N ratio. With the two roofing filters and the DSP noise reducers, blanker, notch, beat canceller, wide notch and so on, you have a lot of options to pull out difficult signals.

Anyway, I like the radio and would recommend it to anyone looking for a mid-range unit that has very good performance for the price.

Thanks for reading
joe -- w2di
KE5JPP Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2012 06:14 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had a K3 and replaced it with the TS-590s. I have had the TS-590s for some time now and I have been able to try out all modes in all conditions. For the price, there is no radio out there that beats the TS-590s. I purchased mine from HRO for $1500.00. I could not stand the K3's audio quality on SSB no matter how many adjustments and outboard processing tricks I tried. The SSB receive audio is not much better. Contest audio quality would be the way to describe the K3's audio at best. The TS-590s audio can be adjusted to suit any condition.

I have not seen the low power output issues or ALC overshoot issues that a few other describe. Of course, I use a decent peak reading meters (the LP-100a) not a cheap CB type meter.

The TS-590s has software available for a free download from Kenwood to operate the TS-590s remote with just a USB connection. It is also very easy to use the TS-590s on digital modes since it has its own built in USB sound card which requires no cabling other that the one USB cable. Excellent!

Audio quality on SSB receive is outstanding. The previous reviewer who said the audio was grainy must have had something mis-adjusted because visitors to my shack always comment on the clear, clean receive audio quality of the TS-590s.

The TS-590s always gets unsolicited great audio reports on TX.

For the price, no other rig comes close even at twice the price.
WA2AC Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2012 19:59 Send this review to a friend
O.K  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I will not review this radio from any other perspective than receive ssb audio. Others have commented on the other aspects of this radio.This radio boasts good specs and many people will buy it because of that.I have had a ts 590 for 6 months and compared it directly to a Ten Tec Jupiter.The recieve audio of the ts 590 is noisy and grainy sounding ..I tried various configurations of the menu settings and eq all for nought.The voice sounds digital and not natural thats the best way to describe it.The Jupiter conveyed the voice with all its nuances while the 590 seemed grainy and noisy.Specs are fine but the fatigue factor is most important when listening to a radio
N7GR Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2012 18:50 Send this review to a friend
It is a keeper  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been an active dxer for about 40 years. I have had many radios during that time. Most recently the Yaesu FT-2000 which in my mind was a dud. Over the last 20 years, I have had many high end radios. This one competes very well against them. I know every radio operator has his/her own preferences likes/dis-likes. Can only comment on mine.

Receiver is excellent. It is much quieter than any of my Yaesu or Icom rigs. Transmitter drives my Acom 1000 just fine. No problem with so spikes. Been working like a champ.

Rig is easy to set up and very intuitive. Ken wood, in my opinion has hit a home run. Won't be swapping it out anytime soon.

I have 345 confirmed dxcc and 850 for iota using a simple station and a multi band vertical at 6 feet. I'd say it does just fine.
G0APM Rating: 2/5 Sep 1, 2012 15:05 Send this review to a friend
Disappointing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Did the usual research and read stuff and decided to go for this TS-590S. Great receiver, definately but TX? No!

I was convinced there was something wrong with this radio. All manner of tweeking, twiddling, EQ, DSP, what is that all about? Not good. Average power on SSB was very poor indeed with the ALC kicking in very early. Trying to get the average power up was impossible although it was making 100W PEP on peeks there was simply no meat in the sandwich. On air reports from usual rag chewers confirmed my disappointment with reduced signal strength and poor audio.

I took it back to get it checked over and was told the radio was in specification.

I didn't keep it and perhaps I didn't give it a fair crack for a couple of weeks but I'm happy now with an IC-7410.
GI0ZGB Rating: 2/5 Aug 30, 2012 15:12 Send this review to a friend
Flawed Diamond  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I’ll ignore the many good points about this radio as they have been previously outlined by various authors.
Instead I’ll focus on the bad points which, for me, make this radio pretty limited in what I can use it for.
I refer to the power spike problem which has not been fixed in firmware update 1.06, and which prevents me using my LA as a consequence, perhaps my amp is too well protected.

This issue is well observed here:
Kenwood have tweaked the ALC reference to minimise this problem at the trade-off cost of average SSB output, readjusting the ALC reference is not advisable as it makes worse the power spike problem and does nothing positive with average output, leave well enough alone.

For me, the rig is only useful for low power digital modes or local rag chew and occasional use as a spotting receiver, a good qrp rig if that’s your thing.
All new rigs have their fair share of teething problems, but Kenwood have had ample time to fix the issue properly, this they have failed to do.
By comparison I can tell you the rumours that the TS-590S was a K3 killer have been greatly exaggerated.
Hand on heart I would not recommend this rig until the problems are sorted.

Update: Having spoken to Kenwood concerning the power spike issue it seems that any future firmware update can only minimize, not fix entirely, the power spike, by how much remains to be seen. Also, Kenwood do not approve of the ALC reference being altered to increase PAR or eliminate the overshoot as this is set for the individual rig by the factory and should not be tampered with.
<— Page 11 of 28 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.