Thinking to buy the Kenwood TS590SG but not sure

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by OK8EI, Jun 28, 2021.

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  1. OK8EI

    OK8EI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I currently have a Kenwood TS 450S which works well. I operate from 40 meters to 10 meters normally.

    I am considering upgrading to a Kenwood TS590SG. Mainly just because it's a newer radio, and it does look nice )) .

    Would I benefit much from such an upgrade? Has anyone owned both radios before and could compare? Which features of the 590SG stand out which would make a difference to me? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do it

    the TS-590 is a joy to operate.

    It has an excellent receiver
     
    KU3X likes this.
  3. WA4NJY

    WA4NJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the 590s and really liked it. I now have an ICOM 7300 only for the scope feature. If I recall correctly, it is not difficult to add spectrum scope to the 590sg.
    I often think about doing that. The 590sg will serve you well.

    Ed
     
  4. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Benefit? What are you looking for? "Is the 590SG a better radio? Yes !

    If you just do a little rag chewing from day to day and are not in crowded band conditions, like in a contest, your TS450SAT is still a fine radio and you may not notice any differences. If you are a contester, YES.....the 590SG is a great contest radio.
    I own a 590SG and have used a TS450SAT. Both are great radios. I replaced my TS850SAT with a TS590SG. On the air, I don't see much of a difference. Features, oh my, the 590SG is great.

    Your 450 is old and some of the chips are no longer made. If one of those chips craps out, you'll be hunting on ebay to see if someone is selling the PC board that chip is mounted on.
    I sold both, at the same time, my TS950SDX and TS850SAT. Both were working great with no issues. But I saw the clock ticking away and I knew it was time to upgrade.

    You will like the 590SG if you get one. It's a great radio with lots of nice features. It has a basic audio equalizer for both transmit and receive and that feature alone make the radio worth the upgrade.

    Good luck on your choice,
    Barry, KU3X
     
    W4LJ likes this.
  5. N5CM

    N5CM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I operate mostly CW. When I got back into the hobby after a 10-year(+/-) break, I started operating with my old TS-440SAT.

    I bought a used TS-480SAT to see how I would like having 6m capability and some extra filtering. I liked it

    I wanted a little better radio for the desk and started looking. I contacted a ham I had worked quite a few times on CW and asked for his advice. He's a member of the CWops and is a good operator, better than yours truly. I was jumping between an IC-7300 and a TS-590SG. My friend advised me to get the 590SG.

    I ended up getting the 590SG, and I've been very pleased with it. It performs well in a crowded space on the band. For what it's worth, I still have my now-ancient TS-440SAT and my TS_480SAT.
     
    KU3X likes this.
  6. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try it first. I was disappointed with the original TS-590S. It's not about performance. It's about feeling and ergonomics.
     
  7. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just curious ... exactly what about the TS-590S "feeling" and ergonomics did you find disappointing?
     
  8. KC2RGW

    KC2RGW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have an SG I bought new a year ago. Only a few complaints, otherwise I really like it and still use it frequently with two SDRs next to it.

    They ship grossly off frequency fairly often, mine was 20Hz off which is plenty audible on SSB.

    The oscillator is very unstable, like 757GXII era poor so I had to buy the TCXO and then calibrated the oscillator at that point. (You may never notice this unless you work narrow modes but it is very noticeable on PSK-31 as an example.)

    The digital NR was extremely poorly designed and basically is ineffective without massive artifacts that direly impact the sound quality. This radio has a baseline hiss to it and you can’t use the NR to kill it without ruining the sound quality on receive.

    They could easily fix the NR with a firmware fix and I’ve asked them multiple times to do so. The TCXO should ship installed by default for this price class of rig. I can’t even remember having a rig that had a drifty oscillator in the last 20 years or more.

    The TX and RX EQ work quite well and the receiver is very good and stands right up there with my SDRs. I use the DRV ANT output to feed into an RSP2dx for a pan adapter and use SDR Console to drive the tuning.

    The SG works great for digital modes as well using a single USB cable for CAT and audio and the DSP filters are pretty reasonably sharp though the shape factor could be lowered with better firmware.

    Compared with your 450 the DSP filters, the transmit audio EQ and even the NR that I don’t care for would be a pretty big difference. Also the sensitivity and selectivity are increased due to tech improvements. The CAT automation and audio sound card for digital modes would be another plus. The ease of integration with an SDR receiver to use as a pan adapter with your computer is another.

    If I were buying today the Yaesu FTDX-10 would be a very hard choice as it adds a ton more, pan adapter display, next gen level DSP and NR and the new hybrid receiver design. Dollar for dollar I think the FTDX-10 at the moment is a stronger value if the added functions mean anything to you. If you are a more basic operator the IC-7300 is another hard one to weigh in.

    The SG is very solid but I think the market has outrun it with the cheaper 7300 and more effective FTDX-10 that are on either side of the SGs current price.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  9. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's hard to tell. It looks like a car. If you drive a Toyota Tundra or Dodge RAM and then get into your wife's Corvette. Everything is not so. Maybe someone doesn't care, but it makes me uncomfortable. I would like to quickly get out and go in my own.
     
  10. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have had both the TS-590S and the later SG model. I find the ergonomics to be very natural to me, and I really feel that the rig is well-built and a top-quality piece of equipment. I think that between the Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood, the Kenwood ergonomics, menu structure, feel and general usability makes it my choice.

    I do find that the receiver in the SG is superior to that of the earlier S-model, especially in contests on CW.

    If you already like Kenwood equipment, I don't think you can go wrong with the TS-590SG. When I bought mine this past March, I passed on the Icom and Yaesu offerrings, choosing to stay with the updated Kenwood. I actually find that the noise reduction system works for me, while the noise blanker (said to be for pulse noise) doesn't help anywhere. The controls feel rugged and the rig feels and acts like a piece of test equipment.
     
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