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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-590SG Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-590SG
Kenwood TS-590SG Reviews: 81 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1759.00
Description: HF/50MHz TRANSCEIIVER
Product is in production.
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NC4RT Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2018 09:49 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful, especially for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my 590SG for about 3 years now, and have used it quite a bit, so I feel qualified to give my $0.02 worth ;-)

I use it a lot for general qso work, especially on CW, and for QRP foxhunting.. A few contests from the home base, but I'm not a died in the wool contester, so I jump into a contest for an hour or two and then check out the Game of the Week.

Last month, I added an RSP1A and a laptop to give me panadapter functionality. The hookup and setup was pretty simple, and gives good results.

My previous QRO rig was a TS-430S. This 590's receiver is a strong improvement over that one, which is saying something.

Beware, if you are buying your first "new" rig, that you don't mislead yourself into thinking the internal tuner will save you some money. The 590SG does have an internal tuner, but it will not match anything larger than a 3:1 mismatch. It's designed to match this rig to a follow-on tuner, not to the wide-ranging impedances of a multi-band antenna.

Read the other reviews for more in-depth technical info... I'll not repeat it.

I've run a K-2 for many years, and always thought it was an excellent receiver. But guess what? This one is better.

Dollar for dollar, the quality of this receiver (and a host of other creature comforts, such as the DRV antenna output, good Noise Reduction, having both paddle and straight key inputs, easy to use filtering, straightforward CAT control and free software, etc etc) makes it a fantastic value.

It's also holding its resale value pretty well. You lose a bit as soon as you convert it from "new" to "used" but after that the value has held up for the 3 years I've been watching it.

Good luck and may the Prop Princess smile on you.

72/73 de NC4RT
KA5DOB Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2018 01:25 Send this review to a friend
Best Ever Audio with the MC-90 desk mike  Time owned: more than 12 months
Many hams here have talked to me over the air and know as I tell all, this is one of the best radios ever vs the low price is cost.

A few months ago I added the MC-90 desk mike over a PR-40 I had used for 6 years. I had four hams in a group help me find the right EQ on menu 36 for the best sounding audio. Menu 30 on the S model. I tried both sleeves that come with the MC-90 The rag chew sleeve with the most vents sounded disappointing to me using the radio's mike monitor and a pair of good headphones. I tried the DX sleeve using HB1 and HB2 and they sounded way to shrill. I then tried U for User which was set at factory default as seen on the ARCP program I installed from Kenwood. All four hams were very impressed with my audio telling me to lock it down on User and don't touch it. I have been getting good audio reports even when my signal is weak. You do have to speak directly into the mike about 2 1/2" speaking distance. It also resist any noise from the amp which was another amazing feature.

I checked the specs and the freq range is from 50hz up to 20khz much better than the MC-50 and MC-60 mikes. I also found my audio sounded lots better by connecting the mike directly to the 590sg and not using the heavy desktop base at all.

KA5DOB Jimmy
WA2ZSB Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2018 06:31 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned several 590SGs since they were available. The radio you buy has to suit your operating style regards of cost. Paying for more than you need is just a waste. I have owned many rigs over the years from low cost to top of the line, probable still have not learned to follow my own advice ( never tried Flex yet). In my urban area I have not found a rig that has a better NR or NB function. It has a great receiver and even a pretty good stock speaker. Not a flashy as a 7300 but in my experience a better radio. The only drawn back is it is boring. No flash, glitter, scopes etc. So I get bored and sell it only to buy another because of how good it is. This is a real issue. Maybe if the put flashing lights or it came in designer colors that would solve the problem. Bottom line you can't find a better radio at that price level for solid performance. I got to order another one!
WD0EGC Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2018 06:58 Send this review to a friend
Great in every way!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Full disclosure...I was inactive as a ham for 30 years, so my last two rigs were a Tempo 2020 and a Heathkit HW-8. I bought this rig around Christmas. I saw it as a very safe choice, with a 4.9 average rating on this site.

And...I am not disappointed. I haven't even used half of the features, but I am making solid contacts, with good signal reports, and having a lot of fun with it. I'm mostly a CW op, and the DSP works well, good selectivity.

Just saying, this a very solid and safe choice for a newcomer, or someone like myself, getting back into the hobby.
N6MWA Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2017 19:49 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked up a TS-590 SG. Very pleased with the performance of this rig. Very high quality fit and finish. The controls are nicely finished with a machined aluminum VFO knob. The case was powder coated rather than painted for a nice quality finish. The controls are laid out ergonomically and the most important functions are controlled by means of knobs and buttons rather than menu
driven. In use I found the receiver to have a pleasant sound.

A few things I wish it had: APF, dedicated ptt and alc connections rather than having to use the remote DIN connector. In summary- I am very pleased with this radio.
K6AAI Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2017 15:51 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
It seems that new (or less experienced hams) seeking their first mid-priced transceiver are drawn to the Icom 7300 or the Kenwood 590SG. I don't think there is a wrong choice... it all depends on what you are looking for in a radio... or perhaps how much you are willing to climb the learning curve.

I can't speak for the 7300 as all I've done is to have read the manual when trying to make my decision. If you are buying your first HF rig like I was, you might not want to go through the leaning curve before making your first QSO and that is one of the advantages of the 590... a total newbie can take the 590 out of the box, plug it in, push the power button, turn the knob to any frequency, and be on the air. Maybe you can do that with the 7300 but from reading the manual it didn't look like it.

I've only had this for seven months and have nothing I can compare it to. However, everyone says my signal is great and I find the audio on this radio to be excellent... the engineers really made it easy to filter out a lot of the noise floor. One thing for sure is that this radio is slam-dunk easy to use. (I'm running it barefoot to an end-fed antenna LNR Precision QUAD.)

If you are into touch-screens and other digital features, you probably want to go with the 7300, but I find that the older-tech 590SG to work well for its mission... good, solid, analog transmitting and receiving without needing a Ph.D in quantum physics to operate it!
N5LXI Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2017 22:40 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love my Elecraft K3, but wanted a rig that was easy to use with digital modes. This rig does that perfectly with one USB cable and free software. I'm using FT8. I've also made quite a few SSB contacts with it and have been very happy and the receiver. I got the Anniversary model, which has a deep blue metal-flake front, some accessories and a Vibrocube. It's a heavy, solid radio and the user interface is done well. It's a pleasure to operate. joel / N5LXI
KG4FET Rating: 4/5 Sep 17, 2017 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Does a Good Job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It takes a a while to learn the rig, get all the settings right ect...This is the highest end rig I have ever owned BTW.

Typical of Kenwood the TX audio is great ONCE you get it set. The USER setting in MENU 36 can be adjusted through Kenwoods free CAT (590G) software and saved in the radio. I won't give my settings because EVERYONE's voice is different. I use 3 different mics (TenTen Dynamic, Kenwood HM43, and a Heil HC 5 in a after market head set) and they are all pretty close with the edge going to the hand mic and the TT I use 90% of the time.

The receiver could be the best of any rig, but 2 both TenTec's, I have ever owned and I have owned/used a bunch. As far as actual RX the edge goes to the 590SG over the TenTec Jupiter, but, and this is a biggie for me as an NCS on a couple HF Nets, The receiver in the Jupiter is quieter. I just can't get the 590's as quiet as the JUP without signal loss. NR1 above 4 adds a watery sound to RX that I just don't like NR2 is worse. Beat cancel (BC1/2) Notch, Auto Notch, and the NB 1/2 are very effective in fighting noise. The 590 does not have an IF Shift BUT it does have an A/B DSP filter. I set one a little tight (400/2400) and the other at my normal listening levels (300/2800) lo/high cut. RX tone can also be tailored in MENU 36 (adding highs, lows, flat).

USB connection allowing BOTH CAT and Sound Card Digital operation at the same time is great. CAT is easy to set up, SC Digital takes some playing with trough the USB. All of these things take some playing with.

A brief word on the misuse of the term panadapter regarding the 590SG. The 590SG's I.F. CANNOT BE TAPPED. Buying a 160.00 receiver isn't needed when a 24.00 will do. I bought the RTL-SDR single hook up bundle that included the antennas and a mag mount. Cut the coax about 2 inches from the Mag and soldered an RCA male plug for the DRV port on the 590 and a female RCA on the pigtail Nothing lost in that case. the Dongle works stand alone and on the 590 and NO 15 or 20 "special" adapter needed. Great thing with the cheap dongle is that when used with HDSDR and not slaved to the radio via CAT the dongle makes a great second receiver.

Overall the 590SG is excellent but is still noisier then the Ten/Tec rigs I have used and currently have. There is a steep learning curve that cannot be figured out sitting at the radio for a few minutes much less a few days. Want to ask me a question emails good on QRZ
73 de KG4FET
W0DKM Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2017 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Pleased as Punch  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I grabbed a TS590SG 70th anniversary. I have or had a bunch of Kenwood's. Everything works as it should.
Is it better or worse then other rigs? To each his own on that. It has a great receiver and the noise reduction is very good.
It looks very close to the standard 590. Maybe a shade darker. There is metal flake in the bezel.
It comes with extras, And if its from HRO like mine. They threw in a Heil Mike and cable, Cant beat that.
I will have to save it as a collector!

Is worth the extra money over the standard. Well it was for me.

I never complain about rigs or equipment, I if works for what I need, I keep it, If it don't, I Dump it.

I will save this one for my kids to sell!!
VA3AQB Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2017 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have always been a Yaesu guy but after getting the TS590SG used. I'm mostly doing digital and find the TS590SG is the radio I will use all the time for these modes. I feel that the radio can handle what ever you throw at it. RX is great and don't see much or none difference at all to my FTDX3000. I had a FT991 & a Icom 7300 but the TS590SG is a much better work horse. These radios just sat there collecting dust but the 590 is on every time I do digital. For SSB work I do use the FTDX3000.
Next step is to add a pan-adapter to compete with my FTDX3000.
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