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Reviews For: Kenwood TS-450

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

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TS-450
Reviews: 88MSRP: 1,639.00
HF Radio
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KT4WO Rating: 2021-09-29
20 years later Time Owned: more than 12 months.
25 years now and still used almost daily.
What more can I say?

Was a little shocked by one reviewers gripe about the 450 not having IF-DSP......News Flash----
Was not around "back then"!!!

I have had this radio for 20 years and it has NEVER failed me. For it's age, it DID have alot of bells.
Yes..I now have IF-DSP rigs, but still love the 450.
(Mine is FULL of filters)
A TS-450SAT is "almost" as good as any $1,500.00 rig that sells today. The almost is IF-DSP. If you can find one for 3-400 it.
N5XJT Rating: 2018-08-25
Still A Great Rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is an update of my June 2016 review. The rig has performed flawlessly with only one problem, that being the long power cord and bad connectors causing a voltage drop. Easily fixed. Otherwise the rig works superbly day after day, never missing a beat. The auto tuner has a great range and is the fastest, most reliable tuner I have ever used, The receiver is very good but to be fair the internal speaker is not top of the line so adding an external speaker helps a lot. Transmit audio and receive are Kenwood "excellent". Overall if you need a full time reliable well performing rig you just cant beat this one.

Earlier 5-star review posted by N5XJT on 2016-06-25

A very good rig - the antenna tuner is really fast, receive with the narrow ssb filter is very good, am getting unsolicited good audio reports on transmit, everything works well on this older radio. Glad I bought it!
W5PLC Rating: 2016-08-24
TS-450S/AT Best HF Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned many HF rigs over the years and the most reliable non dsp rig is the TS-450S. A great rig to listen to with a great receiver. I own two of these masterpieces and believe underated for what they are.
WA7AXT Rating: 2016-06-22
fantastic rig considering its age Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this rig since 2001. It has many hours on it; and has been carried all over the place and run mostly on battery power. Its been left sitting for several years without operating at all. It still works fine. I have had no problems with it. I would buy one again without hesitation. Yes, its old and does not have all the features of the new rigs; however it still works.
WA6JGM Rating: 2014-09-09
Good little radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have read all the posts about this rig and I guess I'll throw my 2 cents worth in.

Basically it's a fine no frills radio. I guess I must have a good one, I have none of the "receiver" issues that have been posted.

The only issue I have had with the rig is I had to replace C102 in the IF (leaky cap). The recovered audio sounds okay, not as robust as an old Kenwood hybrid but it's fine.

I get good reports on the transmit audio and delivers full output.

The antenna tuner is fast and works very well.

My only real gripe I have about the radio is the the notch filter it's AF not IF, it's pretty much useless. I would have given the rating a 4.5 if I could.

All in all it's a great "take out and play" rig like Field Day.

The comments about the NB being marginal on power line noise....Have we all forgotten that the NB was designed for ignition noise and some radio's had another for the "Russian woodpecker" like my JRC-245. Design an effective NB that removes power line noise without obliterating the recovered audio and I'll buy one!

You can help these older rig's out by getting a touch up alignment, the components are well aged. I have Inrad filters installed in this one and it helped a bunch. Mine probably needs a touch up alignment and I now have the test gear to perform it but, if it ain't broke.....73
K8WRS Rating: 2014-02-19
Excellent Buy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The TS-450SAT in an excellent radio. If you add the filters and know the basics of operation.
Many of those that write about the TS-450 or the TS-850, both of which I own state that it is good for a radio without Digital Filters.
The problem is many of those do not know how to operate the older radios.
From the TS-530, which I rate as the best to the newer 450 & 850 the trick is to set your AF about 12 o'clock and ride your RF control.
This eliminates the background noise to a very, very low level and you will hear the signals you thought were buried in the noise.
I have tried radios with the digital AF filters and found them wanting. They were sold.
Other brands of radios have begun to eliminate the RF control by making it a Squelch/RF control.
These do not work well as the RF control has a time lag making it almost useless.
The RF control was put there for a reason, most of the older operators know how to use it.
Good Luck and try it.
AI4HO Rating: 2013-10-13
Still a great! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This is my second review, my first was just over 6 months ago, and now after 6 months of "playing" with this rig, I can honestly say that I'm glad I bought this rig as my backup. As has been said, this rig does not have the DSP that we enjoy on all the newer rigs, my own Icom 756 ProIII included. However, even without purchasing additional filters, one can still make use of what comes standard on the rig. My own TS-450S was very well maintained and does indeed have the one Kenwood filters installed, the narrow filter if I'm not mistaken.

I am well pleased with this rig, every time its seems when I use this rig I am awed by not just its simplicity, but all the on board tools at its disposal, the internal tuner is one of if not the best it has been my pleasure to use. Not only does it tune pretty much anything you throw at it, its fast too, one of the fastest. I think the only faster tuner in my shack is my LDG AT-600Pro autotuner, or in my case "semi" auto tuner, other wise the internal tuner runs circles around the tuner in my ProIII. Not that the ProIII wont tune it, in most cases it will, but nearly as fast, nor will my ProIII's tuner go past a 3:1 SWR, whereas the tuner in my TS-450S I've had SWR's of 3.5:1 and the tuner would rock and roll and would tuner the antenna..amazing, really, the 450S is just that amazing. I have used this rig on SSB upper and lower, I've used it on AM nothing even remotely close for FM, besides, no tone board. Also, I have not done any digital operations with my TS-450S, I have dabbled a bit with my ProIII and my 746 Pro that I had for a while, but when the 746 Pro went back to its owner and I got my other old backup rig back, I kinda put digital operations in the drawer, closed the drawer and haven't opened it up, probably wont either. About the only digital operation I liked was CW, only because I am extremely tone deaf and cannot hear CW other wise it was one of my favorite modes.

I digress, my TS-450S as I said had been extremely well maintained, and I still baby my pet. I can compare the receive from my 450 to that of my ProIII. For a rig that is well past its prime, this can still hold its own, and in some instances do better as far as receive, especially on 40 meters in the morning. I enjoy the Treasure Coasters Net on 7.153MHz from 8-9 AM EDT/EST 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I am net control on Wednesdays, have been for a bunch of years now. I enjoy using my TS-450S when I am not the net control station. If I had this connected to my amp, I would probably use this rig a LOT more often. With the MC-60 mic whic is an amplified mic, I can be heard with just 100 watts most everywhere. But, when my net control duties arise, I do use my amp, that 500+ watts ensures that when I'm calling for check ins I will be heard, on those days when propagation doesn't favor us with a visit...well then not much will work on those days. I have given thought to disconnecting my Ameritron ALS-600 amp, and reconnect it to my TS-450S, just using my 450 and putting the ProIII in mothballs for a spell, then again...its hard to give up the TFT screen and all the information I can glean from it.

If you can find a TS-450S in good condition, at a decent price....get one! These rigs still are commanding prices in the upper $500 dollar range, I was fortunate when I bought mine 6 months ago, and got it for the very reasonable price of $450, with shipping from Michigan I think it was came to about $500, money well spent I say! Thank you all who have taken time out to read my review, I enjoy receiving emails from anyone who wishes further discussion on or about the TS-450S. May God Bless, everyone have a great day!

73 de Mark
N8IBZ Rating: 2013-10-13
Great radio with InRad filters Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the second round with a TS-450sat. The first one I bought in 1995 was ok but I didn't add any IF filter. This time I have loaded is with InRad SSb filters and it is a different radio and really does a good job. I did have to repair it due to Low AF volume due to C102 leaking out but at least it didn't damage any traces on the board. The board is easy to remove. Wish I could find the DSP100 but no way am I going to pay 800 dollars for one now, hell I can buy a nice new mid range radio with DSP for that much money, Silly for sure. I had the DSP100 years ago and sold it back then for 150.
KI4ABS Rating: 2013-04-01
Underrated Classic Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I picked up a used Kenwood TS-450SAT with a matching PS-33 power supply at the Charlotte Hamfest. I am getting back into the hobby, and needed something inexpensive but not too old to fit the bill. I had looked at the IC-718s but wanted to see what else I might find. Behold, a ham had a barely use TS-450SAT for sale at a great price. I picked it up, and I don't regret it.

While it doesn't have the amazing DSP that modern receivers have, if one properly adjusts the great filters and gain settings that this radio packs, one can make go without DSP. I threw up a temporary 40m dipole at about 30' on top of my house, and was shocked at the sensitivity of the receiver. Stations were pounding my receiver at S9+ on 40m and 20m (higher bands are dead). I was able to work a few European stations barely trying.

This transceiver has very good antenna tuner if the one your purchase has the option. From my experience, it is better than your typical built-in tuner. I was planning on having to purchase an external tuner, but so far, I have not had a need too! I can tune almost anywhere I need, only the very extreme scenarios I've had trouble with, which is expect for even an external automatic tuner.

I plan on using it for digital modes in the future, and it appears this rig is very easy to pair with a computer interface.

My only neutral stance on this radio is the internal speaker. This is understandable as it is a compact radio (intended for either base of mobile use), and not intended for great acoustics. However, pairing with a modest external speaker produces great audio!

I would purchase another one of these units at a good price in a heartbeat!

NK3V Rating: 2013-03-24
Still Tickin' Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought my 450SAT in 1992 - wow over 20 years ago. I dropped a 500Hz CW filter in it and it has been a great radio since. Of course it's not able to keep up with the DSP-equipped radios of today, but then again you're not going to spend $2K on it either.

I would not hesitate to buy another one for $500 or so today. A nice, solid radio for the HF bands. And the internal tuner is outstanding.