Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Kenwood TS-950SDX

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Kenwood TS-950SDX
Reviews: 63MSRP: 4599.95
Rough Diamond
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N8DXB Rating: 2017-07-15
Best HF Radio Kenwood Made Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned many Kenwood and Yaesu HF radios since I got into the hobby back in 1978 and after using a TS-850sat since I purchased it new decided to find a late model TS-950SDX. And after finally finding one, and using it for over 5 years, I know it is a keeper. It has great sounding transmit and receive audio. It is a very quiet receiver and also has great selectivity and sensitivity. The TS-950SDX is definitely a cut above the TS-850sat, which at the time I thought was a great radio. This radio is equal to or better than today’s high end radios without all of the menus.
WR0F Rating: 2016-11-26
Owned 1 week Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I own a Kenwood TS 990S but always wanted to get a TS 950SDX .I found one recently on ebay and outbid the other bidders. Lucky me I got a keeper .
Kenwood was light years ahead when they made this radio. What a receiver on weak signal and I get great audio reports with my Kenwood MC90 desk mic or my Heil 781 boom setup.
This one will be in my station for a very long time.
ON8SV Rating: 2016-06-16
FB Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Find one in excellent shape,the best rig i ever had(Ts830,Ts690,Ft990,Ft1000mp mark V,Ft2000)
with a good antenna the world is yours...
it's a keeper.
73's enjoy our hobby
EA4AZZ Rating: 2013-09-13
solid as a rock Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my 950sdx 18 years ago.
18 years of dx dx and more dx.
Works like the first day and never had a problem.
The receiver is like new ones.
20 years ago was world first in DSP procesing and Mosfet PA unit.
Now the 990 have the same mrf150 PA unit.
I don´t need band scope.I don,t need a 990.

Earlier 5-star review posted by EA4AZZ on 2009-04-20

What can I say???
16 years and works like the first day. The best kenwood ever made.
One of the best receivers and the tx is the best of the best.
PA3HGT Rating: 2013-05-25
Good old rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After i owned a few modern rigs like the IC7800,IC7700,TS590 i bought an 1992 TS950SDX because i had such rig in my "pirate-time". I always regretted that i sold the rig but now i own a nice one , complete with SM230 stationmonitor,MC90 desktopmike and SP950 speaker.
This rig can compete with the modern ones easy and i have to confess that i worked more DXCC with the 950 than with the others i owned.
TX audio sounds like a charm with the MC90 and i get always the compliments.
When the MC90 is too expensive, a MC60 will do the job.I tried the Heil PR781 but the MC90 sounds better, more bandwidth response.
Notch is not so good but i am spoiled with the notch of my previous Icoms.
The original voicekeyer DRU2 in the 950sdx is also not good in quality but the dx-station can hear you.It performs a little below average and that's it.
Setting the menu is a 1-time operation and a little "confusing" because you have 2 several menu's.
Refer your manual when you change settings.
Don't use the Inrad-roofingfilter when you use it with the SM230 because a proper modification is not at hand,you can look up at my website : (dutch written,google translator available).
Contacted Inrad about this but their suggestion was not working.
When you use the roofingfilter without the SM230: do it.
The 950SDX is easier to operate in split then the other rigs.Strange but true.
For the rest is the TS950SDX a good workhorse to begin with.
I use this rig with a Acom 2000a directly connected and works very good.
When you can buy a decent 950SDX , do it.
The 950 is getting old and luckily there is a successor after many years with the TS990.

LY1H Rating: 2013-05-10
workhorse Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
These tranceivers are getting rare and almost impossible to find in EU - as soon as one appeared on ebay I didnt hesitate to strike a deal. I worked all around the globe with simple G5RV dippole in first month, still finding out new features - this is like a whole laboratory in a box
ON4KBZ Rating: 2011-08-04
kenwood ts 950sdx Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I would like to make a comment on this transceiver that I have owned during 3 years; reception WAS perfect
transmission perfect 150watts out on ssb
transmission and on all bands ;
The only defect that increased every day was a shift ¨of reception frequency tha shifted more and more widely from the fundamental in reception but not in transmission ; the result was
that during a QSO you didn't hear your correspondent anymore because your frequency of reception was shifted while the frequecy indication did not change ; repair was not easy but finally corrected the defect on the control digital board ON4KBZ
SV8FMV Rating: 2011-06-20
The number one transceiver Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Nothig better to TS-950SDX.
WA1RKT Rating: 2011-02-26
Great radio for living with contesters Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought a TS-950SDX from an ad in and immediately started having problems, traced to the infamous bad solder joint issues on the PLL board. By pure luck I found another PLL board on ebay, bought it and put it in and the radio has been flawless since. Haven't had a chance to really shake it down but so far it's the best radio I've owned.

I say "great radio for living with contesters" because I am on a couple of 20-meter SSB traffic nets and the contesters on contest weekends make our lives absolutely miserable when we're trying to pass traffic, mostly to and from Haiti where the rebuilding effort following the earthquake has made little or no measurable progress, and the cholera epidemic results in priority traffic to the US on an almost daily basis. I do find that the TS-950SDX is better than any other radio I've owned in trying to filter out the contesters who don't care that the frequency is already in use.

Yesterday I bought another TS-950SDX from a local ham. This one has the INRAD roofing filter mod and I found out something... the roofing filter mod KILLS the bandscope function of the SM-230. The roofing filter is prior to the pickoff point for the bandscope so it makes sense that it would do this. So, now I need to decide whether I want the roofing filter more than I want the bandscope capability. For the record the bandscope has only limited capability anyway.

INRAD suggests I modify the 950SDX to change the point at which the bandscope pickoff point is located. Have any of you done that?
KM6SD Rating: 2010-08-15
High mark of Kenwood development ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Me and a friend went over to the QTH of a top notch DXer who owns a venerable Icom IC781...His antennas consist of a HyGain TH-11DX on a 90' Tower and 1/2 wave full length dipoles for 160 and 80/40 at 75'...My buddy lugged his Yaesu FT-1000D, and I brought the SDX.....We did side by side comparisons of RX/TX and it took about 10 hours.....We consistently got best audio reports from the SDX using the MC-90 mic, RX was usually a 3 way tie, but some weak ones were more listenable on the Kenwood as well !!!!!I have had zero issues the last 15 years, and this is a lifetime keeper.....Also have the SM-230 Station monitor, SP-950 speaker & TL-922 Amp.....Analog is still King of the hill IMO !!!!!