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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-890S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-890S
Kenwood TS-890S Reviews: 34 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4,499.95
Description: Kenwood FLAGSHIP TS-890S has arrived. Kenwood sets a new performance and operating standard for the ultimate Amateur Transceiver. Advanced KENWOOD technologies deliver a Top- End receive and transmit experience on Amateur Bands 160 M to 6 M. 3rd order IMD ... 110 dB, RMDR ... 112 dB, Blocking DR ... 150 dB. Free software for Full remote/VOIP without a PC, Code/Decode CW,PSK, RTTY. At your fingertips...
Product is in production.
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W4BSS Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2019 01:21 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Rig!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After owning many HF rigs over the years and a few of the SDR platforms, I must say the TS-890 is one outstanding radio. The TX audio is typical smooth Kenwood quality and the receiver is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. If you don't believe me then go look at Rob Sherwood's performance tests. They speak for themselves and are respected world wide. I am very satisfied with my TS-890!

K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2019 19:06 Send this review to a friend
Yippee !!   Time owned: more than 12 months
I am thrilled with my TS-890 transceiver, which has been a joy to own and operate. It meets all of my demands and expectations. While I truly enjoyed my Ten-Tec Orion II and enjoyed other radios I have owned, I am well pleased with the TS-890. It is so good, I sold all my other radios.

All features work to specification and I have no complaints. Receiver audio is very pleasant with no long-session fatigue as may occur using other radios.

This is a very complex radio with an an extensive set of MENU options which are flexible and highly configurable. Sub-MENUs are logically arranged and easy to access. Front panel controls are numerous and logically laid out. The most-used features are easy to adjust without having to access complex MENU structures.

The on-board spectrum/waterfall display is helpful and effective. While it is not as detailed or as flexible as some SDR receiver displays, it gets the job done and I no longer use an external SDR as a panadapter, making station setup and operation less complex.

There are PLENTY of rear panel audio and other connections facilitating data modes and audio processing. For example, it is very easy to record a QSO using a computer recording program, without complex cabling or fussy software drivers. The USB, serial, and LAN ports all work simultaneously, simplifying the use of multiple computer logging and CAT control programs, and facilitating the use of external hardware accessories, such as an auto tuner or other device. I now spend less time futzing with my computer, and more time making contacts, these days.

The free ARCP-890 control software is stable, helpful and easy to use. It provides a slick scope/waterfall display which serves as a simple panadapter, tuning the rig with just a click of the mouse. Kenwood's free software provides a convenient alternative for setting MENU and feature options. Check out how it sets and displays IF filter settings as just one example of convenient and easy to read controls.

DSP-Noise Reduction may be its only weakness, although it works well enough and can make weak signals covered with noise more intelligible. While all DSP NR circuits impose some deleterious digital artifact, the TS-890 NR circuit is not best in class. While I am well satisfied with how well it works, some operators who consider best-in-class NR performance an essential, necessary deal-making or breaking feature may prefer another rig. While it works well enough to suit me, your mileage may vary.

Some radios offer dual receivers. As I very rarely used the second receiver on my Orion II, I am satisfied working split on a single receiver. While this may be the only "advantage" other rigs have over the TS-890, it holds no interest for me.

The TS-890 is a fully featured, capable rig and prospective purchasers should be diligent and research all features material to their purchase decision. It appears to have established a good clean service record with no known issues (at least not to my knowledge, and I read the reflector every day.)

My bottom line: It works as advertised and I am having more fun on the air these days. Of course that is just MY take ... your mileage may vary.

73 K8JHR

KR1U Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2019 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Superb is an understatement  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned my TS-890S for 7 months now and am very happy to report that I could not be more pleased with its across the board performance. I've yet to discover any issues with it. The receiver is, in my opinion, second to none. The rig has all the bases covered, is extremely well designed, is user friendly and intuitive. If you are on the fence with this rig, go for won't be disappointed.
W5NT Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2019 16:37 Send this review to a friend
Great Transceiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My TS-890 is the best transceiver I've owned. Lots of features that make it a pleasure to operate. If you plan to drive a linear, consider the DX Engineering interface cable, it provides a solid interface for your Linear and DXE will be a great support. Kenwood Support is fairly good also, but very slow.
KD4BNK Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2019 01:06 Send this review to a friend
Awsome rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this TS-890 during the Dayton hamvention online sale. This is the best receiver I have ever used. Granted my previous receivers were a TS-570 and an IC-7300, which are not in the same class. I now hear stations that were too weak or overwhelmed by adjacent band transmissions. The audio output is much easier to listen to for long periods and the unit just feels well-made and high quality. The CW decoder works well and the large display is easy on the eyes. As others have said the band scope is not as nice as the IC-7300, but it is still very good. If you can afford this unit I highly recommend it!
WD5ACP Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2019 20:20 Send this review to a friend
Great rig - worth it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been a ham since 1975 - owned most brands and have had a Kenwood TS-590 for about the last 7 years as my primary radio. I decided to take advantage of Dayton weekend sales and splurged for an early Christmas present. I really like the 590 and think it's a great radio for the money, so I was little concerned that the I'd have a hard time justifing the ~3x price difference to move up to the 890. WOW _ Nothing to worry about, the 890 is THAT MUCH BETTER! The ease of use + Kenwood's solid look and feel combine to make operating the radio a much better experience. Of course it's a great receiver, and if you bother to adjust the mic/processor/Eq you can dial in a great sounding transmit too. The radio is large, heavy and has a wonderful 'feel'. Premium. There's so much built-in functionality and little ham-friendly treats (the retro-SWL dial was a pleasant surprise) - that it's hard to find fault. Compared to the 590 the 890 controls include variable speed tuning, wider filter limits, and a host of other parameters you can tweak that effect the operation and display allowing you to configure the radio as you want it.

i give it 4.9 out of 5 stars. My only grief so far has been getting the internet connectivity to work with VoIP. I can access and control the radio, even transmit audio- but can't hear anything when connecting remote through the internet. No problem hearing when using a local LAN connection OR via the internet + a VPN.. just something about the receive audio not getting out to the internet directly (Tried every router trick I know, DMZ, port forwarding, etc) - so if you're looking to use it remote, you can make it work, just be sure that you have a VPN capable router, and using a VPN connection, it will work fine (and it's more secure with a VPN anyway).

Bonus points to Kenwood for providing inter connectivity with the older 590. I've got mine configured as a 2nd receiver - I can tune in stations/bands independent of the 890, but with one press, transfer the freq into the 890 for a QSO - The 590 uses the rec-out on the 890 and the audio is automatically muted on 890 transmit. Very easy connection.

No complaints at all about the CW/FSk/PSK modes and decoders (make sure your keyboard has an F12 key!) - and the waterfall and bandscope/IF scope work just fine. The entire radio is very well executed. Feels premium!
WR0F Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2019 16:19 Send this review to a friend
1st TS 890S had problem  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
We received our 1st TS 890S just after Dayton 2019 and out of the box it had a major issue when you hit NB1 cutting the receive off NB2 worked fine . We sent it back for replacement and quickly received our new radio.
This radio is all its advertised on receive and transmit ssb cw .The digital modes we have no interest in .Its a heavy radio so have a place to put it have all your connections ready to go and enjoy this fine radio
K2STV Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2019 13:57 Send this review to a friend
The Best Radio Ever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This month I celebrated my 63rd year as a Ham and am also celebrating my 81st Birthday. I went and treated myself to the TS-890S and got the best present of my life. This radio enables me to hear stations that were invisibe to me on past transceivers. In addition the waterfall display lets you see where there is space in the spectrum to transmit. Being an old fart and an analog engineer, I have difficulties in doing digital menues. A Kenwood Rep held my hand and walked me through the radio until I was comfortable with it. On all the modern tranceivers the transmitters are virtually the same. It is the receiver that make the difference, and the TS-890 has the best ever.
N4UE Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2019 23:26 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, this IS a first impression 'review' of this radio. If you don't like my observations, move along.....
I received the radio today, triple boxed from HRO Atlanta.
Because I knew the radio was coming, I prepped it's spot and was prepared.
I purchased the 270 Hz CW filter, just 'because'.

Installation of the filter was as easy as it gets.

It was pretty amazing that Kenwood put color coding on the screws of the cover/shield that had to be removed to install this filter.
Inside the shield, the workmanship is first rate and the CW filter was a simple install.

The power cable is 'strange' as it uses two 12 ga wires instead of the single 10 ga cables I am used to. NO big deal. I shortened the cable by 1/2 and put the fuses closer to the PS as I always do. Crimp/solder, and cover with heat shrink.

Once the thunder storms leave, I will turn it on! ha ha

The only thing I can say at this point, is it's a HEAVY, awesome radio!
It makes my beloved 7610 look like a 'toy'...

G4GZG Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2019 18:52 Send this review to a friend
Worth the cash  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The TS890S isn't the cheapest rig on the market, but in my opinion it's worth the extra. After all it's still cheaper than a TS990 or other top line offerings. If you were thinking of buying an Elecraft K3, then I won't try and dissuade you, but otherwise the TS890S is in a class of it's own. The return to a double superhet with 8.2MhZ first IF and narrow roofing filters gives a great receiver with supeb sensitivity and dynamic range .I've been licenced for over 40 years and have had all sorts of rigs, including some of the best of their day such as the K3 and Ten Tec's Orion 2. The TS890S is better all ways round than even these rigs and the build quality and solid casing really make the rig.
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