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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: 304 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.
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N1UHF Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2015 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had to give a review after reading the previous reviewer's comments on the radio. First off, 5 is not for perfect a radio but a great one. Like many other hams, I wish this site had 1/2 stars. So because it's not perfect the reviewer gives it 80% rating! Seems like on eham a radio with ave of 4 isn't very good at all and has lots of problems.
Ok, so on with the review. Pros of the radio are:
-Very quiet receiver
-Cool running with giant heat sinks and fans
-beautiful easy to read and easy on the eyes display
-easy access to most features with the buttons
-very good internal tuner
-3 antenna connectors (one for receive only)
-IF DSP that works great
- decent stock mic
-Clean output
-Menu system has instructions on screen!

-can't think of any

KJ4VTH Rating: 4/5 Jan 11, 2015 17:30 Send this review to a friend
very fine radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
After a few years of ownership, I find this to be a very good rig. I won't rate it a 5 because it's not perfect (who is?) but it certainly suits my needs.

Simple USB connection to PC for digital modes is fabulous. No trouble with SSB output though I haven't put a micrometer inline. Now that I'm getting into CW, find a few "birdies" though they might be other devices at my neighbors home, to be determined. No amp so no known overshoot issues.

Doesn't keep my coffee warm so I'm going to stick with 4 rating. 73, KJ4VTH
W0XX Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2015 15:29 Send this review to a friend
Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, since you can't update a posting, here is my update since I have "learned" more about how to use this radio.

I am not a NR fan, but I will say this. When working weak signal DX with lots noise, I kick in the filters of course and then NR1 at setting 8 or so, and it does make a big difference. No, the station doesn't jump into my lap, but it certainly does come up significantly over the noise. Made the difference many times trying to work a DX station on 40 meters with high noise levels. Won't go into all the other aspects of the radio, mentioned enough already. Is the 590SG worth the $700 or more over a 590S? Not in my opinion. From the very limited dynamic range increase (less than 5 DB), certainly not something I would ever hear or notice. No, will stick with the 590. Try one for an extended period of time, to learn it, and I think you will come to the same conclusion.
N7WR Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2014 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Update  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Now that I have used the radio a lot more (13,000 ARRL Centennial QSO's) I am amazed at the receiver. I cannot tell you how many stations I could hear crystal clear even when their signal strength did not register on the S meter at all. IMO the receiver makes the radio and this one is outstanding
K7TXO Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2014 23:57 Send this review to a friend
590SG RAISES THE BAR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received my new TS-590SG the 8 Dec 2014. From the moment I connected it to an antenna and powered it on, I was stunned by virtually every aspect of this radio. Cabinet, faceplate and rear panel are high quality. All knobs are buttery smooth to operate and the VFO knob has a nice heft to it. Connectors are solid, LCD bright and sharp and the non-backlit panel and button lettering is easy to read even in somewhat minimal room lighting. The Menu system is easy to navigate and alter. Factory software is pretty good. Roofing Filters so far seem to work great. Noise Reduction is still a trifle KENWOOD watery but works very well. Signal reception and the ability to control natural and man-made noise is outstanding. My experience so far on SSB and CW indicate nice AGC control. I have not seen any spiking on initial transmit. Power output indicated on three different meters matches the dialed level. Except not finding a way yet to have a programmable PF button enable/disable audio Mute, everything else I expect to control is already on a button or I can assign to a PF button. My HEIL Classic high and low frequency elements are a great match to this radio without making any EQ changes. I truly have not found anything I do not like. I would have liked to have seen a factory inclusion of IF Output, a UTC clock on the LCD and the aforementioned AF Mute button on the front panel but none of these are a big deal to me. Given the price point, feature set, my time limited exposure of it's performance so far, on the air feedback and Sherwood's just released lab report, I could not be happier with my decision versus several other good candidates on the market today.
AK6ZZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2014 21:38 Send this review to a friend
Best $1k Used Rig on the market   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
These rigs are going for approximately $1k these days and at that price they are a gem of a HF transceiver. I recently traded a fully loaded KX3 for one with the TCXO and voice recorder options (and other accessories) so a winner of a deal for both parties. I got it just returned from Kenwood with the alc issue fixed along with the low power issue resolved. It is like brand new.

Long story short this is one excellent transceiver. I used to be a K3 lover and still am but for the price this one is really good. It is no K3 in terms of DSP, Noise blanker and it is missing an IF output (this is a serious separator), but it is pretty darn good in terms of receive and my favorite feature is USB output for CAT and digital modes. In some ways I like the rig better especially its simple ability to do digital modes through USB meaning just one cable needed for everything and no outboard interface required. Wow, plug and play one cable and download some software from the Kenwood site and you are on wsjt-x and DM780 in minutes. Blew my mind how simple it was to set up.

My only major issue is lack of IF output. This bums me out. With an IF output, this would be a pretty serious K3 competitor. But without IF output, it is just a pretty darn good rig you can pick up for about a grand.
K3LRH Rating: 4/5 Oct 25, 2014 08:44 Send this review to a friend
Almost a "5"  Time owned: more than 12 months
October marks the four year anniversary of my TS-590S, purchased in October 2010. Aside from a couple of hardware problems that Kenwood took care of.... eventually, the rig has been splendid. In particular the F901 and ALC response issues were bothersome. I have had no other problems with my early issue rig. Areas for improvement still exist for me however. Namely the NR is kind of lame on SSB and could stand to be improved. Also, a higher grade TCXO could be included from the factory. That being said, I do a lot of digital communication and I find that once the rig temperature stabilizes, the standard XO is just fine. A lot of ops are now installing cheap Chinese TCXOs and are having good a much lower price than the Kenwood temperature compensated oscillator. Recently, some ops of new TS590s are experiencing some intermittency in either TX, RX or both. This has been traced to a common fix having to do with jumper wire connections.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the '590 for my style of operation. Not quite a "5". but very close. There are no other current rigs on the market that I could be tempted with to replace my '590. Even the new TS-590SG would have to be a major improvement for me to considering upgrading. The TS-590S is a very competent and easy to use transceiver.
LA8VSA Rating: 1/5 Oct 20, 2014 12:50 Send this review to a friend
Kenwood shame on you  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Second brand new TS-590 in my shack not working.
First one problem cutting TX and latest RX failure.
I think Yaesu is better workhorses and powerful radios for dx.
K4IIE Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2014 11:32 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been using the 590 for over a year.Compares in performance to my FT1000D,which is tweaked and is the best rig I've ever owned.Receiver is excellent and always get compliments on transmit audio with MC60A.A best buy.Compared it to 3 other rigs at twice the price and it always came out on top.The SG upgrades coming soon will make it even better.Another great Kenwood-K4IIE
K1PJR Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2014 21:44 Send this review to a friend
PEP issue  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this rig for over a year. Claims that its PEP output are around 60 watts is completely unfounded. See the post below from QRZ on how to properly measure PEP for SSB. He does have a youtube vid but I can't seem to paste a link. I'm sure if you search TS590 PEP issue on youtube you can find it.

" I decided to use my clubs power meter to make a video to show the truth about the claims of 60W-70W output on phone on the TS590. It is a proper meter for measuring SSB and not a mickey mouse PEP meter function as typically fitted to meters such as the Avair 200,400,600 and variants as well as some cross needle ones . This meter will also measure PEP normally the same way that these mickey mouse meters do and the difference is quite startling as you'll see in the video and goes a very long way to why people only think it outputs 60-70W. Just because the TS590 doesn't have the power meter smacking the 100W mark when you're talking as my Icom 7000 does and my FT950 did, it doesn't mean that it is not outputting 100W as you'll see in the video. "

BTW I use the Peak hold function on my Palstar tuner and it always reads 100 watts.


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