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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: 302 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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ZS6RJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2013 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Unbeatable value, brilliant rx  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One must never be afraid to experiment with different brands and call a spade a spade when necessary.

After comparing and using a TS-590 against my somewhat more expensive currently-on-the-market rigs (each costing over twice as much) from a different manufacturer, I was somewhat startled to find myself digging out CW with the TS-590 that I couldn't even hear on my other two rigs. Having both my previous rigs shown up by the TS-590 RX was an eye-opener. They're gone, and more than paid for the two TS-590's I now own. And I don't miss the scopes on the departed rigs in the slightest, hi - a feature that's no good anyway if the rig can't hear the station.

I would agree with some of the previous comments about TCXO's and voice recorders not being standard. For the cost of the logistics involved in purchasing and moving those silly little accessory boxes around the world, they could have probably built in both features as standard on a mass production scale for around 30 bucks more, which would probably not have affected any potential buyers decision to purchase.

But that aside, bottom line for me - the TS-590's are simple rigs, very well built, outstanding receiver performance at a brilliant price. Great size for dxpedition work too.

The price saving over some of the higher-end offerings can also add some serious metalwork to the top of your tower, where it really counts.

73, Roger, ZS6RJ
WA3HVR Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2013 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Very happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I replaced my IC-7000 with the 590 since I only operate from home and, while the 7000 is very good, it has a poor computer interface and its receiver selectivity and dynamic range do not suit it well for fixed station use. So, even at the expense of 2 meters and 70 cm that the 7000 had, I am delighted with the very tight front end of the 590 and its superb receive audio made even better with Kenwood's control software which allows you to customize receive and\or xmit EQ and save that to the radio. You can also save all menu settings to your PC. My other rig is a Flex 5000a which is the best radio I have ever used. However, the 590 is a fraction of the price of the Flex with a good PC to run it. The tuner in the 590 is amazing and even tunes my g5rv on the 60 meter band. Also, I really like the dsp filtering and noise reduction.Oh, by the way, definitely get the voice guide and the tcxo which should not be options as they are. Icom included these at no cost in the 7000, so Kenwood should have too. That aside, the 590 will be in my shack a long time.
KB8TL Rating: 4/5 Apr 30, 2013 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic receiver, QSK not so great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Except for the physically noisy T/R relay, I really like the rig, it has a great receiver for digging out the weak ones. Operating QSK CW is an issue though as the radio sounds like a sewing machine running during full or near full break-in CW with the T/R relay clacking, even with headphones on. The TS-570 I had was near dead quiet, this radio did not inherit that admirable characteristic from the 570.
KB4OIF Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2013 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding rig!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been using Kenwood HF radio's since 1985. The 590 has some amazing features compared to my 480HX and is out of this world compared to my original rig. TS-440S. The DSP feature is great. All I can say about the rig is WOW.
ZS6RJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2013 00:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rig for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had one for 2 months now. For the price, nothing better. Just ordered a second one, and these two are going to be the go-to rigs for Dxpeditions here in Africa. Excellent on CW, SNR really good.

73, Roger, ZS6RJ
M0ZCM Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2013 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading numerous reviews I decided to upgrade from a FT450D to this rig and I have not been disappointed.
The receiver on the radio is first class and I am delighted to see how the noise reduction settings on this radio take the fatigue out of long operating periods.
Whilst it is still early days for me and this rig, I am sure it will be in the shack for years to come.
KB5PQL Rating: 4/5 Apr 8, 2013 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Good Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The receiver on this radio is equal to my Icom 7700 after it's properly adjusted. All of the positive points that others have said about this radio are correct. However, this review is about the SSB relatively low power output problem compared to other radios. Mine came with low PEP and average power levels (according to different meters)so back it went to the Kenwood repair center. It arrived back to me with excellent output power (over 100w) on all bands and the average level is now up there with my TS-850S. Kenwood knows about the problem because they were able to fix mine. So far, ALC looks good and all watts are accounted for. The only reason it gets a "4" is because I had to spend $60 for shipping and insurance. The radio is now doing what it's supposed to and it seems to be doing it well. I've even thought about getting rid of all my other radios and keep this one. Yep, It's that good. Receiver is very pleasant to my ears and the Transmitter is now biting hard. Good Luck!
WB2KSP Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2013 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Possible fix for the 590's average power issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a TS-590 since December, 2011. For the first year or so I used the radio for CW operations but in the back of my mind having read the reports of relatively poor SSB performance was disconcerting. I am using a Heil Pro-Elite headset with the radio. Heil recommends that the radios EQ (menu 30) be set to the C (conventional) position. That is how I have been using the radio for the past 10 months or so. The results were so, so but I am only running 100 Watts to an inverted Vee and so I figured this was a matter of not enough antenna or power to compete. On the other hand my CW results were and continue to be truly remarkable. The Kenwood allows the user to create their own EQ through the use of their free software, arcp-590

By setting the transmit EQ so that everything below 1800hz and everything above 3600hz is brought down to -24 (their lowest setting) and everything between those 2 points is brought up 5 or 6db and adjusting the input and output of the radios compressor/limiter so that the meter does not exceed the alc limit, I am now getting the kind of results on SSB that I have been receiving on CW. The audio is now bright and loud but not distorted. I've had many experiences of getting through a pile up even though my RS reports are slightly lower than others have received who were trying to make the contact. It wasn't a quick fix and it required a lot of experimentation but by properly adjusting the mic EQ and compression for the type of operation you're pursuing, the results can be quite gratifying. It was much easier setting up my old TS-430 and desk mic which didn't have the flexibility of the 590 but simple isn't always better. The TS-590 with it's adjustable vox setting allow me to operate comfortable without using the foot switch I had purchased to use with the headset.

SV9DJO Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2013 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Good CW radio -contest radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Finally i can write a comment for this radio.
Things that i do not like in this radio:
The problem with power spikes on SSB mainly.Some experts saying that is software problem but there no any movement from kenwood to fix it. There are some modifications but with poor improvement.Lot of hams saying that i am splattering ( no splattering with other radios and same tx BW-QRO)
The need of buying the TCXO to be exact in frequency which means 100 120e more(most new radios in such amount of money has it built in)
The speaker sounds terrible and is necessary use of external one.

And what i like in this radio:
Excellent roofing filters (the main reason that still hold it )especially on CW operation.
Double menu settings which is very useful for Contest/Every Day coffee use.

The magic button which i discovered it almost after a half year of use the NR 2 on CW which when engaged stations appear from ... nowhere!!!

The USB sound card and CAT, easy to record QSO's and work digital modes (has a bit delay but acceptable)

And finally the nice remote control software , easy and full control of radio.

My last word
Great RX radio for money but leaking on TX side, I hope Kenwood to fix this problem with ALC in a future upgrade.

PA1ZP Rating: 3/5 Mar 30, 2013 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Update fter 1 year of intense use  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi All

Used my TS590 for over 1 year now.

I am starting to apriciate the filters a bit better.
The SSB TX power on SSB still sucks.
I tried all kind of things and settings but the average power output on SSB is still low in compare with other rigs.

I solved my problem with power spikes on CW by reducing carrier level a lot.
I found that tip on the Yahoo group.
SSB power spikes are still there no matter what I try.

Still find the reciever noisy and sounding digital.
Recieving on CW is even worse if there is QRM from power lines or plasma TV or static.
You can set the filter at even 50 Hz or 500 Hz or 1KHz no matter what you do run NR1 NR2 NB1 or NB2 this RX sounds awfull, and even gets beaten big time at those moments, by my cheap FT857D with Collins filter and audio DSP.
When there is no QRM from powerlines and plasma TV or switching power suplies, The TS590 is a dream to work on and listen to in CW and in SSB, and makes my FT857D a big lemon.
But as I have about 16/7 QRM it is often a pain in the ... to listen to the TS590 in CW.

It is a hard verdict but I will not ever buy a Kenwood TS590 again, and I will not recomend this rig to people that live in a crowded city area for CW use.

I you are living in a relatively quiet area with low QRM levels this is a very good rig for CW.
Th filters are wonderfull on SSb and on CW but if you live in a city like I do and you want to do a lot of CW find yourselve another rig.
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