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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Kenwood R5000 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood R5000
Kenwood R5000 Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1050.00
Description: General Coverage (30kHz-30MHz) All Mode with VHF option
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IZ5PQT Rating: 4/5 May 5, 2017 12:52 Send this review to a friend
A great receiver for serious SWLing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my R-5000 back in 1994. At the time I was an avid SWL and this receiver represented a quantum leap above my beloved FRG-7. I had it equipped with all the spare filters and the VC-20 VHF converter. Thanks to it I enjoyed a lot of DXing on the Tropical Bands. It still serves me faithfully, being switched on almost daily, since I did not give up SWLing after my ham licence. I often like to make A/B comparisons with other receivers (the RX part of my TS-590SG and IC-756Pro3 and an ELAD S2 SDR) and the R-5000 always fares very well. I am not giving it a 5/5 rating since my radio developed the annoying keyboard-bounce problem, which fortunately however did not worsen with time. Never thought to replace capacitors since I did not observe any audio degradation. The backup battery lasted 23 years (I replaced it for the first time just a few weeks ago!). All this make me believe that Kenwood used top-quality components. I am now planning to use PC control to mitigate the bounce problem and I hope that my radio will work for many years to come. If you can get one in good working conditions (check the keyboard) it's an excellent opportunity.
N4UE Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2015 17:22 Send this review to a friend
Wow!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a very large collection of both vintage/modern recievers and test equipment.
The R5000 has been on my WTB list for many years due in part to the excellent reviews both here and in Osterman's books.
I recently came across what I thought was an exceptional bargain. The radio with both the Owner's Manual and Service Manual (OK, these are free all over the www).
The radio was advertised as working without 'keybounce or dots' issues. This model has a history of both.
Before the radio even showed up, I purchased a kit of 88 caps to update it along with a pair of upgrade filters.
The radio is functioning perfectly. The face, knobs etc are perfect. The covers are 'OK' but they will buff out fine. Someone etched some numbers on the top bezel, but I can fix that.
One thing that kinda surprised me is that it's smaller than I thought. It 1/2 the size of my 'go to' radio, a Icom 761. Comparing the two, they are equal. Pretty amazing since the R5000 has yet to be tuned up or have it's new filters and caps installed.
I have heard many comments about the radio running hot. Today, I installed a very small fan next to the PS and also built my own adapter to run the radio off of 12 VDC.

It's kinda scary due to the huge number of parts inside, but it's reliable and there's lots of parts available.
Besides, I love a challange! ha ha

RADIOFREAK Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2015 20:22 Send this review to a friend
Primary receiver   Time owned: more than 12 months
Greeting dxer's!

This radio is nowadays hard to find,
but if you'll find one BUY it!
This is truly Kenwood flagship receiver,
real pity that they don't make anymore radios like this one.
Good solid receiver,and it still beats many new receivers.
I have two of these radios and i will never sell them.
One radio is with all possible extra filters and with vhf unit(vhf unit is quite useless),
and one with basic filters..both receivers are my primary radios.
I have had or still have MANY receivers like:
-Icom ic-r75(with dsp)
-Icom ic-r71
-Icom ic-r70,
-Drake R8
-Jrc nrd-535
-Jrc nrd-545(With dsp)
-Yaesu frg-7700
-Yaesu frg-8800
The R5000(with all possible extra filters) beats them all easily or reaches the same performance level,
the "standard" R5000 beats all except JRC 545.
The R5000 have very good performance in all areas.
It is outstanding work horse for digging weak signals still in readable form.
R5000 have excellent audio,sensitivity,selectivity and stability.
Kenwood's engineers have made something unique when they created this a piece of equipment.
It has some minor faults,
key bounce and sometimes it runs a bit hot...but they don't spoil experience with this baby.
Radio is quite easy to service and maintain,
it's made of real eletronic components,
real metal NOT plastic.
It feels and looks like a real radio not a plastic toy.
Prices for this radio are something between 300-700....depending condition and filters etc...
Anyway it is still a highend receiver with reasonable price.
I Hope this review help you of choosing you receiver!

G7HZZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2012 08:52 Send this review to a friend
Good solid RX  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned mine for 20 years or more. Its performance is always very good, especially with the SSB filter (etc) fitted. All radios of this vintage have a few plus and minus aspects and the R5000 is one of them.

On the plus side, there are enough controls - each with a separate knob/switch - for slick and easy operation. And the keypad can be used for direct frequency entry. On the minus side, scrolling through frequencies is sometimes a little tedious, and storing/accessing memories is old fashioned. The big bonus for me is . . No Menus! WYSIWYG!

Good all-round good performance more than compensates for handling quirkiness. Overall, I consider it to be a very good receiver, although as a RX for Amateur Radio bands it may now be rather obsolete. The real down-side (at least for me) is that the SW broadcast bands are much less busy and much less interesting nowadays.

PA0PGA Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2012 13:09 Send this review to a friend
A excellent receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 3 R-5000's buyed over the last 3 years from Internet, all in basket case condition, but after repairing some known issues, they are all very hot receivers with a fantastic audio, that I use daily in the shack and in the living room.
Sensitivity is excellent, there are enough controls (notch, IF shift and RF attenuator) and really good filters to fish the weekest signals out of the mud.
It is a pity that Kenwood stopped the production of this fine receiver.
If you can find one, grab it, you will be pleased with their performance.
I use R-390A, IC-R71, Yaesu FRG-100, JRC-525 and lots of others, but the R-5000 beats them all.
K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2012 06:29 Send this review to a friend
Godo Radio - Fun to Use  Time owned: more than 12 months
Good, solid, easy to use, feature-packed radio. I got mine used, and it worked well, and as advertised. Had some nice features, such as notch, IF Shift, PBT, Dual NB, Record Jack, Dual Clock-Timer, Squelch, Dual VFOs, 100 Memories, Record Activation, Dial Lock, Scan, Sweep, AGC, Mute Terminals, and excellent SSB reception for a general coverage receiver. Based on the Kenwood TS-440s, it is a slightly better receiver than what the 440s, but then the 440s can also transmit, so they are cousins, but their receivers are not exactly alike.

My R-5000 had a narrow AM filter - which was a nice touch - and you can get narrow CW filters and other filters for it, as well. This made a great SW radio, and because it worked so well on ham SSB, I ended up wanting my ham ticket. The only reason I sold it was to raise funds for the the purchase of a Kenwood TS-590s transceiver. I kept my Kenwood R-2000 as a general SW radio.

My R-5000 did not suffer any of the typical maladies endemic to this species... but even if it did (say, perhaps it had the keypad bounce fault...) I would have enjoyed it just as much as that would not have affected its reception - besides, I use the knob and 1 kHz jump buttons to tune, anyway, so the keypad is of no moment to me.

All in all, a good, solid, good looking radio. Audio is just OK on the internal speaker, most users like using an external speaker for better audio. You can find a better receiver, but not for the money, it will cost you a lot more to get just a little more performance.

I will miss this rig. / K8JHR /
AG6HS Rating: 5/5 Jan 27, 2012 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Buy one, fix it, keep it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have several R5000's, all bought on eBay. All have had some age-related defects (key bounce, PLL issues, noise, heat) which needed repair / surgery. Some of the old semiconductors are tough to find, but almost everything else is available. Inrad still sells crystals for them, and a guy on eBay sells a set of capacitors. A white LED fixes the burned-out meter bulb. Keyboard surgery to clean the contacts is tedious. But once repaired / maintained, they are top performers with "classical" good looks, a joy to use, with legendary Kenwood sound.
N3WAK Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2010 04:28 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my Kenwood R-5000 for more than 20 years, originally purchasing it at a Radio Shack in Tacoma, Washington, near McChord AFB. It made numerous PCS moves with me when I was in the Air Force. It runs hot. There's a periodic "key bounce" problem that I have to deal with, but never bothered about getting fixed. The display brightness, while perfectly adequate, is a bit dimmer than it was two decades ago. But, this is a fantastic receiver! Great audio, great sensitivity, great selectivity even with stock filters. I have the external matching speaker, but it was expensive and the internal speaker sounds better. In short, for mere mortals, you won't do any better than with this classic, capable vintage rig. Now, just bring back all of those classic short wave broadcasters like in the good old days! 73, Tony N3WAK
KB8DNS Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2010 18:15 Send this review to a friend
One of the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
No need to repeat but it is one of the best receivers! Better receive than it's transceiver brother the TS440s! Only the TS430S comes close! I kick myself for selling mine!
SWL377 Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2009 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic non DSP rcvr  Time owned: more than 12 months
I echo all the accolades for this fine old school design (non DSP) receiver. My only complaint is that it runs hot. I have had no failures so maybe the heat doesn't matter unless you are considering power efficiency.

One issue rarely mentioned is how RED HOT this is on VHF with the converter installed. It smokes dedicated VHF rcvrs of all kinds, beats em hands down on sensitivity and low noise. The only thing that can do as well on marine VHF is an old Motorola MODAR xtal controlled radio. The 5000 (with VHF converter) will pull in a very weak VHF signal and give you intelligible copy when many other rcvrs will not.

The HF scanning function works well. The rcvr is very stable, holds near zero beat on WWV for hours on end. Some report keypad problems as the rcvr gets older, but I have had none.

There is a reason that the 5000 still brings top dollar used in the era where you can get a black box DSP rcvr for less that has better specs. In a real world weak signal shootout, I'd place my bets on the 5000 vs the low end DSP rcvrs such as the Ten Tec RX 320 etc.

Kenwood's engineers hit a home run with this design and it will surely remain a classic.
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