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Old 09-15-2013, 7:49 PM
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Default Which Radio?

I think I have narrowed it down to two radios I am seriously considering for when I buy my first HF radio. I would like to get the expert opinions on which radio is simply a better one. 1 Kenwood Ts-2000 or the 590s? I have been told to get a "true HF" and worry about UHF/VHF in another radio but I think the TS-2000 has 70cm and 2 meter in it along with 160-6 meters. Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 09-15-2013, 7:59 PM
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The TS-590s has a MUCH better selectivity than the 2000. Many people have reported receiver problems from brand new 2000's, so you might run into the same problem if you're unlucky enough. This website does a very good comparison of the two. My personal recommendation would be the 590s, but both of them are very capable radios.
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Old 09-15-2013, 8:19 PM
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I have both,I much prefer the 590s for hf.I however keep the 2000 because I enjoy 2meter sideband and it allows me to monitor 2 frequencies at once.
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Old 09-16-2013, 8:20 PM
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Thank you to the both of you guys!!! That website told the tale...you got to hear both of them side by side!!!
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Last edited by Fuzy_GSXR1000; 09-16-2013 at 8:25 PM..
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Old 09-16-2013, 9:59 PM
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I have both of them now and like them for different reasons.

The main reason I picked up a 590 was that it had lower current draw on rx, about 1.25a measured. My late model 2000 pulls about 2.1a, and 600ma of that is due to the backlight! Unfortunately, turning the backlight off does not really result in a usable display from external light sources, so I always had to run it with at least the lowest setting. With backlight off, it pulls about 1.5a, but any form of backlighting pushes that to 2a quickly. I run solely from batteries as a hobby in itself, so current draw is extremely important to me with these bigger rigs.

I suppose my 590 is a pretty expensive led-mod to the 2000. This may not be an issue for most people running from a power supply obviously.

Despite that, all things considered, I still like my 2000 very much. I mostly did HF and airband monitoring with it on vhf, and the ability to mix audio with HF without having to run two speakers if you want to go that route is a plus. Although the slowness of the scan is definitely not scanner status.

And for me, nothing beats Kenwood audio. Either radio shines in that department. The problem with many comparison videos, is that you have no way of knowing if the op has the rx-eq set to any of the following:

OFF
High Boost 1
High Boost 2
Formant Pass
Bass Boost 1
Bass Boost 2
Flat
User

I normally use either OFF or Flat, but unfortunately you have no way of knowing in most videos if these have been set properly, or long forgotten about after getting tweaked early on.

I think that the 2000 gets a bad rap from those that try to put it into a contest-radio category, or attach it to a 6 over 6 array and wonder why it jumps off the desk. Turning off the preamp when you don't really need it does wonders. Then again, I was using a very late model.

So far, I'm very happy with my limited use of the 590. But quite frankly, had the 2000 used led's instead of incandescents and didn't draw so much current, I don't think I would have sprung for the 590 with the way I operate.

Last edited by hertzian; 09-16-2013 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 09-17-2013, 1:39 AM
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Glad I didn't trade in my 2000 !

I thought it would take all night to do an A/B test, but the results were surprising.

Using the same vertical antenna on 40 meters, switched with an alpha delta coax switch, both rigs going into an SP8 speaker with a/b audio input selection, and while wearing my favorite Yaesu cans, both rigs set the same for audio and selectivity, and with preamps OFF, I started chasing guys into the mud. The kind of chasing / dxing where you close your eyes to enhance your hearing.

Both receivers had more than enough sensitivity with preamps off. The only thing that stood out was that the 590 appears to have a more brick-wall filtering clarity, than the 2000's somewhat softer filter shoulders. Thus I could copy further down in the mud on the 590, but that was with eyes closed, fists clenched - you know the deal.

Essentially, If I was blindfolded it sounded just like someone was switching between the soft and hard IF filtering shape on my old Icom IC-746 pro.

Surely a modern made-for-hf transceiver will have better specs than an older general-purpose type - but the 2000 is not THAT bad as it appears. It will gladly serve as my backup.

This is not to say that any production run may have it's problems. My 857D had the filters go snap. My ic-746 lost the driver transistor, etc....

I love the 590 and it's now my primary hf receiver. But really, if one has their heart set on the convenience and coverage of the 2000, I say just choose what suits you best. And try to get a late-model.

Last edited by hertzian; 09-17-2013 at 1:49 AM..
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Old 09-17-2013, 7:54 PM
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Thank you Hertzian!!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 3:22 AM
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My pleasure.

I'll take issue with that review somewhat. My 2000 fan is quiet, but yes, it does come on a cyclical basis when just receiving. There's a lot going on, but it is moot unless you need hospital / bedroom quietness, which the 590 is. Perhaps he had a bad fan that was noisy.

Keys - no need to be so timid on the 2000 with your thumbnail. They are spaced far enough apart that unless you are a football player or weightlifter, you can use your finger. Yes, you might feel some neighboring buttons while doing it, but they don't depress at the same time. Not a problem for me.

While I don't know what speaker setup or audio eq that reviewer was using, one thing that drives me absolutely bonkers in many reviews is not knowing this, AND using the 50 cent internal speakers with a rig's metal-chassis as your speaker box. Get real and get a REAL speaker.

Of special interest to RR / scanner users is the wide *sub-band* vfo coverage that is very interesting. It is not a scanner, but if you've got conventional things you'd like to monitor on a limited basis (maybe only scanning a small handful, say 5 frequencies due to slowness) it can be done and sound GREAT. VHF airband sounded nothing like what you hear from a scanner. Audiophile quality like you are practically in the cockpit seat. 5 antenna jacks - including an N-connector for UHF makes for a tidy shack without having a rats nest of cabling going to a coax switch.

I think the comparisons between the two will be endless because it truly is an apples-to-oranges comparison based on need.

Last edited by hertzian; 09-19-2013 at 3:35 AM..
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Old 09-20-2013, 9:03 AM
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I think you are on the right track stepping out of the entry level HF rigs. You will outgrow those quick and really look for something with more selectivity to be able to bring in those weak signals. One thing to keep in mind, sometimes priorities change! I made the jump from an old Icom 706, and Kenwood TS-520S to and Icom 746pro, and it is a night and day difference of selectivity. Not a huge difference on signals coming into the IF of the radio. With all the bells and whistles off the 746pro was a little more sensitive. This may very well be the case on the 590 vs 2000, but the 2000 does have dual RX, and VHF/UHF capabilities. Now for me, I went with the 746 because of the 100w on 2m. My rig does not see much HF now days, and I use it more on VHF SSB!

In the end I think that either one will work fine for most people, and being that they are close in performance, which one gives you more options for the money?
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