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

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-590SG
Kenwood TS-590SG Reviews: 91 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1759.00
Description: HF/50MHz TRANSCEIIVER
Product is in production.
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K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2019 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Excellent   Time owned: more than 12 months
The TS-590SG is an excellent value, high performance radio. Sometimes I regret selling my my TS-590, even though I own the new TS-890. It was that good. Solid feel, reliable service, a joy to operate. Excellent receiver with pleasant audio - not as harsh as my older radios, and very clear and intelligible. Receiver performance rivals, and often sounded cleaner and more pleasant than my venerable Ten-Tec Orion II.

Transmit audio is very good, and I have never heard one sounding bad on the air. Transmit audio compression works well, provided it is used sparingly and not over-done. Transmit power on my TS-590 was consistent and within spec on all bands.

It has plenty of front panel controls which are logically laid out and feel tight and well made. Display is clear and highly intelligible. It has plenty of rear panel connections, including a receive-only antenna port, plus a second transmit-receive antenna port, and BOTH serial port and USB port and both can be used at once. Rig feels solid and substantial in hand.

The only weak point is its DSP NR circuit. While it works and CAN improve weak station intelligibility in high noise conditions - it imposes a fair amount of digital artifact. No DSP Noise Reduction circuit works without imposing some deleterious digital artifact. Nevertheless, the TS-590's NR is not best in class. This is not, in my view, a deal breaker and I was pleased with its DSP NR - but other ops may not. If this is a deal breaker, I would recommend the Yaesu FTdx3000, because its NR circuit imposes less artifact and is more pleasant to listen to. Bottom line, for me, is whether it makes the other station more intelligible - and the 590 NR does that well enough. Not better sounding - more intelligible.

Overall - a very satisfying radio that competes with other radios costing more.

Sidebar regarding Panadapters: A rear panel jack allows an SDR to serve as a panadapter display which, depending on software selection, provides a more flexible and more detailed scope/waterfall display than, say, the venerable IC-7300. I used an SDR-Play RSP1a as a panadapter with great satisfaction. While this requires a modest additional investment, it is an affordable and pleasing solution, keeping the TS-590SG competitive with other radios in its price class.

Bottom line - good rig for the money. K8JHR

K7TXO Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2019 21:28 Send this review to a friend
Still my best rig, ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a 5:5 review in Dec 2014. Nothing has changed. Oh I could give KENWOOD the stink eye for their NR circuit in some mode-situations but if you fiddle with things a bit, it's actually very good.

My TS-590G (aka 590SG) came from the first production batch. It has functioned perfectly in use almost every day. I am still discovering functions and ways to use this rig in more ways than I imagined possible. I still think the LCD display is one of the best to communicate all of the pertinent information in large and larger, sharp characters. What is it missing as a single band receiver rig? Nothing. Except a built in band scope.

I solved the built in scope issue. Like most, I have been using an external SDR receiver through a computer with CAT, Sound Card interface, SDR application. While that works fine, I have an eye issue that provides me with extra strain looking from rig to computer screen and back. To lower the amount of back and forth, I could have replaced the 590G with an 890G. Same and better qualities, more features and a built in high contrast, sharp pixel and fast processor graphics band scope. Except the price is North of where I want to go. Maybe someday but meanwhile...

While I do not favor the ICOM IC-7300 for a few reasons, I do like its band scope for the aforementioned qualities in the albeit larger display of the TS-890S. Other radios under $3k could have been used. All others that I checekd out have a bit of a faded color & contrast look and slower graphics processing. Except for the ICOM IC-7300. While this bargain of a rig has some limitations, the scope itself is excellent.

So now my TS-590SG has an ICOM IC-7300 with a VIB ROPLEX-INRAD Model RX7300 Receive Antenna INPUT kit installed and connected to the 590's RX Antenna OUTPUT (DRV port alternate setting.

Using DXLab Commander program with it's excellent MultiRig CAT control - The controls for Band, Frequency, Mode, Band Stacking and Memory channels work both ways from this paired radio setup. Including touch screen operation from the 7300's band scope. With the 7300 set right above my 590SG, I have the essence of an 890S for less. Not exactly the same of course but on a budget. Plus I can separate the radios to service one if needed. Or separate antennas for diversity reception, etc.

Ts-590SG, Next Generation. That is what I call it. NJust added an outboard "radio-television" with virtually no reliance on the computer except as a conduit to pass CAT Command string interpretations back and forth between two different brand and model of radios. No soldering required. Gene / K7TXO
NP4L Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2019 15:49 Send this review to a friend
Kenwood do right with the SG  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have no doubt Kenwood do right with the SG.
The only thing Kenwood has to improve in this one its include the optional TCXO as standard.
N0AH Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2019 00:58 Send this review to a friend
Exceeded expectations over 590S improvements  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Owning the TS590S for years, it was great to know exactly what the 590SG had to offer in enhancements. Mostly a CW OP, notable filtering improvements to keep up with QRM. Would strongly consider over other radios in same price category. You wont be disappointed if you are upgrading from a TS590s. Simply fantastic and a joy to operate.
N7AY Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2019 06:38 Send this review to a friend
A Dream to Use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been running a 590sg as my primary HF station for going on 2 years. Itís solid, just works and does a nice job. Constantly get good audio quality reports. It has never given me any trouble. I work a lot of digital modes and the direct USB computer connection is very nice. No messing with a SignalLink or the like. Built in antenna tuner works well, better than advertised. Display is crisp and very readable. Fan has kicked on a few times when I was working it hard - the fan was surprisingly quiet. Relays are quiet as well. Would recommend.
Lowest power setting is 5W. Wish it would let me dial it between 1/2W and 5W.
SP2SWR Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2018 19:29 Send this review to a friend
Intuitive even for blind operators.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Excellent radio for all. I think even blind operator or visually impaired can shortly learn the knobs and buttons layout. It is very well designed and easy to operate. The audio (TX and RX) are superb. I use MC-60 and it is a good couple.
In the contest environment with a decent antenna the receiver doing a good job. With beverage system even better. I can only imagine how good it could be with real crystal filters as it was years ago. DSP does a great job, it only needs some understanding and proper setting-for example NB, NR, NOTCH can be very useful when set properly, when not they can destroy signals sometime. The CW decoder is OK. Of course not so good as good best CW operators can be. For beginners is absolutely helpful. In the comparison of KX3 CW Decoder is even better. QCX decoder is somewhat in between.
The user manual is fine.
I gave 5/5 just because it is a great transceiver for HF and 6m. No doubt!
KS4HY Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2018 15:20 Send this review to a friend
Great all around radio. Antenna tuner could be better  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been in radio since 1975. I have owned many ham radios from the Drake TR-4c/Drake B-line twins/ Drake TR-7/ Kenwood TS-450sat, Kenwood TS-850sat, Yaesu FT-101ee, Yaesu FT-757GX and others. Over all the Kenwood TS-590SG is a great radio, and the automatic beat cancel is a nice improvement over my other ham radios.

The only negative I have found is the built in automatic antenna tuner is not as good as the automatic antenna tuner that came with the Kenwood TS-450sat and Kenwood TS-850sat. Both the TS-450sat and TS-850sat can tune antennas that the TS-590sg only beeps an SWR warning about.

The constant receive recording playback volume is low on the optional VSG-1 recording module verses the volume of the other three playback messages. There is an overall volume setting in the menu for the whole module. Other than these two things I am very happy with my purchase.

I have received multiple unsolicited compliments about the quality of the transmitted audio. I am using an old Shure 444D desk microphone with the radio, and I left the built in equalizer at the default "flat" setting. The speech processor works well without distortion the transmitted audio when run at the factory recommended setting.

Over great radio, but I wish the built in automatic antenna tuner was as good as the one in my Kenwood TS-450sat and TS-850sat. The receiver selectivity might not be as good as the dual ceramic filters offered by the Kenwood TS-450sat and TS-850sat, but it is still a great radio.
CT1DDW Rating: 4/5 Sep 14, 2018 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Best receiver until now  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've this radio a little over 5 months now. I've had Kenwoods, Icoms, Yaesus, TenTec, Atlas, Swan's over the last 30 years, and by far the 590SG has been the best radio relation costs vs quallity. That receiver its a nice evolution from TS570, abcoarse it has is menu issues to configure custom made so its not plug and play if you like quallity refinments, the correct combination of NB and NR digital kills noise and let came trow the operators voice over the qrm. With right equalizer setups both transmit and reception you get a solid performer. Flexible operation multiband and multi antenna with the automatic tuner. The extra CW decoder its nice to slow CWers like me. With TCXO and VGS1 recorder its a very good machine. Numerous compliments on the quality of sound from this radio. If you miss tft display with all colors get the extra sdr pan adapter and use a monitor.
W5BT Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2018 23:04 Send this review to a friend
It would be a CR Best Buy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this radio a little over a year. I've had Kenwoods, Icoms and Yaesus over the last 30 years, and by far the 590SG has been the best radio for the money. Numerous compliments on the quality of sound from this radio, that I haven't received while utilizing the Icom and Yaesu. I should note that the same antenna has been utilized with all three, so that aspect is not a factor. The Kenwood also produces the best receive audio of the three. Considering the price, you just can't go wrong with the 590SG.
WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2018 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Addendum to my previous review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In my previous review I noted that the minimum power output level was 5 watts and I wished I could operate QRP and QRPp with it. A couple of readers of that review subsequently emailed me and explained that by lowering the carrier level from its default value of 50, I could reduce power all the way to zero. I tried it and it works. There is a button marked CAR and instructions for its use right in the manual. Now I'm even a happier owner/operator of this fine piece of equipment.
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