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Reviews For: Kenwood TS-530S

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

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TS-530S
Reviews: 55MSRP: 800
10-160 Band HF Trancvr
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KI4YAG Rating: 2007-12-15
Queen of the Ball Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The Kenwood TS530-S is my first HF rig, purchased on the advice of a dear old friend who has been in amatuer radio many many years. I got this rig on ebay for $400 shipped, it came with xtra narrow filters, an amplifier cable and a clean bill of health. I couldn't be happier. It does everything it is supposed to do with no frills or fanfare. Coupled with the MC-50 mic, I get unsolicited great audio reports, typical of the tube type finals. The controls all have a great solid feel, nothing clunky about this jewel. Although it's not light, that weight is very reassuring in that you have a real radio, not just a computer. It is very forgiving of marginal SWRs and will drive virtually any type of antenna. The 100 watt rating is conservative, a proper tune-up will deliver about 115 to 120 watts.

In purchasing, my price range was limited and I had narrowed down my choices to this rig, an Icom 751A, or a Yaesu FT-840. I am so so glad I chose the Kenwood, if they still made them I'm sure the hams would be lined up to purchase. At 20+ years old, you can call them nothing but a classic.
K1ZXX Rating: 2007-12-14
AWSOME!! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I must say that I really enjoy this radio, everything is at your finger tips with none of those bothersome menus, (yuck) this rig is ROCK SOLID!! I use this more than my 940sat it's just plain fun, if you want a great HF radio for cheep this is the one to have and keep. I bought mine for under $300 and was very surprised at how clean it really was, not even a scratch on it still in plastic, the audio is got that solid deep sound that only the tube radio's provide, my cheep ldg z100 works just fine tunning up on all band's with ease, once you get the feel for tunning the radio up it's second nature and lots of fun, I picked up a mc-50 mic for $45 at the near fest this past fall and haven't looked back, maybe I will take the dust cover off the 940sat for fun but it will go back into hibernation because the 530s is my Girl.
EA4AZZ Rating: 2007-08-29
I LOVE IT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Very old but work like the first day
One of the best rig that I ever had.
Solid as a rock.
W4VD Rating: 2007-01-08
My 1st new rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was the 1st "new" radio I ever bought, it was a good one. Had a problem after a few days of operation, the freq began jumping up and down about 1 to 2 khz, I found a lot of loose screws holding down the boards and tightened them up and all was well.

Had a lot of fun with this radio, solid state except for the 6146 finals and driver 12BY7 I think it was
KB0HAE Rating: 2006-12-12
Very nice rig for the money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only had this radio for a few weeks. I traded an HP computer for it. I have owned several radios, but my first HF radio was a Kenwood TS-520.
I eventually got a newer solid state rig, and sold the TS-520. When I got this TS-530S, realized that I had forgotten how great the receive audio is on these older kenwood rigs is! The TS-520 was a good solid rig, and the TS-530 is better. It has a few more features, and I like it very much. I get good audio reports on transmit with just an old CB hand mic. Mine is not mint, but not in bad shape. It needed the band switch cleaned, and the meter light replaced. I also replaced the 12BY7A driver. But these radios are easy to work on, and there are a few good web sites and a Yahoo group too about the Kenwood hybrids. The only solid state rig that ever had receive audio as good as this radio is the Kenwood TS-430s (not surprising as it is from the same era). You can't go wrong for the money. I would recomend the TS-530S to anyone.
W0DLR Rating: 2006-08-27
Great old radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I owned one several years ago, and it had low power output. I didn't think I had the time to work on it then, however, in a weaker moment I let it go for a song, and you guessed it, the other guy wrote the song. So I just got another one of Ebay. Gave a premium for it, but its like new, only needs the bandswitch fix. Power output is good in all bands and it receives great. Best thing I like about it is it has KNOBS. I have a new FT857d that performs like a champ, but to do anything different other than key the mike I have to get the manual out. Some times "newer" isn't necessarily better. I'll keep this old 530s probably for the rest of my days. I hate to tell this, but I just bought a 520SE too, that needs some work. Either I'm a glutten for punishment, or just downright lost my marbles.
Dave W0DLR
VE4MM Rating: 2006-06-12
Good for 1984! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
New in 1984!

All good.

Mike, VE4MM
G8LIK Rating: 2006-05-14
TS530SP Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Owned since 1984 and purchased to take away to Ascension Island-for 2 years of penal servitude whilst serving as a Transmitter Engineer at The BBC Atlantic Relay Station.The rig only ever had one fault-a resistor O/C in the TUNE position which I replaced and since then what can I say? If manufacturers made a rig this reliable with great audio that still works great after 24 years...not good business sense.Well done Kenwood!
K2IZ Rating: 2006-05-14
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Back in the early 80's, one of my co-workers asked me if I wanted to buy a radio, he had a friend that had bought one and they were no longer interested in it. My first question was "what is it" and "how much"? Since then, I have had the pleasure of owning the 530S. I ran it on cw nets, phone nets, dx, psk and contests and one thing I have to say is it is a very forgiving radio. For a few years I never realized my dummy load was opened on one side, I couldn't understand why it never seemed to tune up correctly and got a bit hot in the finals. For a number of years the radio sat in my basement, unused except for a few times when I would remember it was there, I would turn it on and listen for a while and then go on to something else but, when it came time to get somewhat more active it was there and ready for use. I had to replace the band switch coupler and this past year I lost the receive but there is still a very active TS-520/820/530/830 group out there and I was able to find someone that was able to fix the radio. I had installed the cw filter and I also added the external 230 VFO and, to sum it up, I have used the 530S for probably 25 years, Kenwood made a really nice product and it's a shame to see people classify this as a "boat anchor"
AA8PP Rating: 2005-12-29
Great radio1 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have just acquired a TS530S,AT230 tuner,MFJ keyer/paddle, MFJ dummy load and MC-60 mike all in nice condition from a ebay purchase. Rig apparently was boxed up years ago and put in storage. Had a minor intermittent receive problem (dirty antenna relay) and a cracked bandswitch coupling on it. I have repaired both issues and the rig works beautifully now. Not a bad deal at $500 bucks for the whole package! Excellent audio/signal strength reports with it and actually a rig that I can repair on my own. I have owned a TS520S,TS450SAT,FT890AT,FT850SAT and back to a FT890AT prior to this purchase and feel the old Kenwood rigs beat them all in ease of repair, audio reports, etc. Will be on the lookout for the SSB filter for it but not urgently as the IF shift handles things quite well. Just enabled the WARC bands on it last night and may tweak a little here and there but very pleased with it all the way around. 73 from Bob AA8PP