Kenwood TS-890S
Part Number: TS-890S
RRP: £ 5159.94
£3499.95 ( £2916.63 EXC. VAT )
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  • Overview
  • G3ZPF Summary
  • Customer Reviews
FREE MC-43 now included. 

Why purchase from ML&S?
  We are officially the Sole U.K JVC-Kenwood Distributor & approved Authorised Service Centre for Ham Radio products. We consistently sell more Kenwood in this country than any other retailer, having won yet another "Dealer of the Year" award for 2017-2018. ML&S are the only dealer in the U.K with 4 on-site engineers dedicated to Ham Radio repairs & support. Want peace of mind when buying your new TS-890S? You've come to the right place! Trade-ins welcome just call 0345 2300 599

New for 2020! FREE Kenwood MC-43S fist microphone included in every TS-890S purchase via the web only. 

Kenwood's new HF/50MHz/70MHz Base Station masterpiece. 

Featuring a full down conversion receiver, built-in roofing filters for 500Hz / 2.7kHz / 6kHz / 15kHz and a 270Hz option.

A full colour 7 inch TFT Display with full band scope.

100W output on HF/50MHz, 50W on 70MHz (Europe version only).

Check out the Direct Index for the TS-890S manual



Frequency range


160m band

1.81 ~ 2.0 MHz

80m band

3.5 ~ 3.8 MHz

60m band *1

5.25 ~ 5.45 MHz

40m band

7.0 ~ 7.2 MHz

30m band

10.1 ~ 10.15 MHz

20m band

14.0 ~ 14.35 MHz

17m band

18.068 ~ 18.168 MHz

15m band

21.0 ~ 21.45 MHz

12m band

24.89 ~ 24.99 MHz

10m band

28.0 ~ 29.7 MHz

6m band

50.0 ~ 52.0 MHz

4m band

70.0 ~ 70.5 MHz

Frequency range (Receiver)

0.13 ~ 30 MHz,  50 ~ 54 MHz,  70.0 ~ 70.5MHz

VFO: Continuous 30 kHz ~ 74.8 MHz


A1A(CW), A3E(AM), J3E(SSB), F1B(FSK), F3E(FM), G1B(PSK)

Frequency stability

±0.1 ppm, 0 °C ~ +50 °C

Antenna impedance

50 Ω

Antenna tuner load range

16.7 Ω ~ 150 Ω

Supply voltage

DC 13.8 V ±15 %


Negative ground

Current Drain


22.5 A or less

RX (No signal)

2.5 A or less

Operating Temperature

0 °C ~ +50 °C


Without projections

W396.0 × H141.3 × D340.0 mm

With projections

W409.6 × H158.3 × D387.4 mm


Approx. 15.8 kg



Output Power   (AM)

HF/50MHz:  Max 100 W / Min 5 W,  (Max  25   W / Min 5 W)

70MHz: Max 50 W / Min 5 W,  (Max 12.5 W / Min 5 W)


SSB: Balanced, AM: Low Power, FM: Reactance

Maximum frequency deviation (FM)

wide: ±5 kHz or less, narrow: ±2.5 kHz or less

Spurious emissions

HF: -50 dB or less

50 MHz: -63 dB or less

70 MHz: -60 dB or less

Carrier suppression

60 dB or more

Unwanted sideband suppression

60 dB or more

Transmit frequency response

Within -6 dB (100 ~ 2,900 Hz)

Microphone impedance

600 Ω

XIT variable range

±9.999 kHz



Circuit type

Double Superheterodyne

Intermediate frequency

1st IF

8.248 MHz

2nd IF

24 kHz / 36kHz (FM)




(S/N 10 dB)

0.5 μV  (0.13 ~ 0.522 MHz)

4 μV  (0.522 ~ 1.705 MHz)

0.2 μV  (1.705 ~ 24.5 MHz)

0.13 μV  (24.5 ~ 30 MHz)

0.13 μV  (50 ~ 54 MHz)

0.13 μV  (70 ~ 70.5 MHz)

AM (S/N 10 dB)

6.3 μV  (0.13 ~ 0.522 MHz)

31.6 μV  (0.522 ~ 1.705 MHz)

2 μV  (1.705 ~ 24.5 MHz)

1.3 μV  (24.5 ~ 30 MHz)

1.3 μV  (50 ~ 54 MHz)

1.3 μV  (70 ~ 70.5 MHz)

FM (12 dB SINAD)

0.22 μV  (28 ~ 30 MHz)

0.22 μV or less (50 ~ 54 MHz)

0.22 μV or less (70 ~ 70.5 MHz)




5.6 μV or less (0.13 ~ 0.522 MHz)

18 μV or less (0.522 ~ 1.705 MHz)

1.8 μV or less (1.705 ~ 30 MHz)

1.1 μV or less (50 ~ 54 MHz)

1.1 μV or less (70 ~ 70.5 MHz)


0.2 μV or less (28 ~ 30 MHz)

0.2 μV or less (50 ~ 54 MHz)

0.2 μV or less (70 ~ 70.5 MHz)

Image Rejection Ratio

HF:70 dB or more, 50 /70 MHz: 60 dB or more

IF Rejection Ratio

70 dB or more



2.6 kHz or more (-6 dB)

4.4 kHz or less (-60 dB)


500 Hz or more (-6 dB)

1.2 kHz or less (-60 dB)


6.0 kHz or more (-6 dB)

12 kHz or less (-50 dB)


12 kHz or more (-6 dB)

25 kHz or less (-50 dB)

RIT variable range

±9.999 kHz

Notch filter attenuation

60 dB or more (Auto), 70 dB or more (Manual)

Beat cancel attenuation

40 dB or more

Audio output

1.5 W or more (8 Ω)

Audio output impedance

4 Ω ~ 8 Ω

Supplied accessories

 DC power cord x1

*1  60 m band: Refer to applicable Amateur Radio regulations to your country.

Electronic specifications apply only to amateur bands. Receive sensitivity drops in the vicinity of the 1st IF frequency (8.248MHz) due to IF trapping.

Internal beat may occur during amateur band receive. Band scope (waterfall) screen may also display spurious signals other than receive signal.

The review below is from David G3ZPF and was published in October 2018

The Kenwood TS-890S : Analogue’s last stand and is it better than a TS-590SG in a real-world situation, or just in the lab?

For some reason I’ve always had a preference for Kenwood gear. From my TS520 in

the late 70’s, and the TS930 that I bought in 1984 and kept for 29 years (plus the

TS480 I used as a holiday rig) up to the TS590 I bought 5 years ago. I never had a

problem with any of them so reliability and ergonomics may be why I like the brand.

Over those years I managed to get 5 band DXCC with low, wire aerials, despite only

being an ‘accidental’ DXer……I don’t chase DX, I stumble across it by accident

inbetween ragchews.


When rumours of the TS890 started to circulate I was interested, but when the

preliminary information from Kenwood showed the expected RX performance figures I

knew this would be as significant a piece of kit as the TS930 was in its day.

I’d always said I’d never like a rig with an ’arcade game’ in the front panel, and with

current levels of electrical interference in urban areas I doubted whether the expected

performance improvement over my TS590 would actually be discernible outside a

laboratory. The TS590 is a great rig to start with, so the bar was pretty high. But as

you’ll see later I was wrong on both counts.


I’m usually very cautious about major purchases but I threw caution to the winds and

put my name down for a TS890 well in advance of the actual launch date. What some

might consider a leap of faith was pretty much a no-brainer really. Most problems with

new rigs can be fixed in firmware, and on the one occasion a hardware fix was

required (the TS590s ALC glitch) Kenwood offered a free fix.


Kenwood opted not to follow the current fashion for ‘Direct Sampling SDR’ and

produced a down-conversion analogue superhet with a DSP ‘back-end’. This prompted

criticism in some quarters, but surely it is the performance that counts, not the

manner in which it has been achieved?


When I picked up my TS890 I was in for a surprise. Knowing my penchant for

Kenwood gear, Martin (of Martin Lynch & Sons) and Mark Haynes at KenwoodUK,

arranged for me to get s/n 0001. The very first one! The full s/n is B8730001 but the

first cluster of characters is a code that determines the year/month of build.


One thing I immediately noticed about the TS890 was its weight. In its packing it tips

the scales at 21.8Kg ! The rig itself weighs 15Kg (quite heavy for a 12v rig) with the

rest being manuals & packing.


When I took it out of its box my first thought was that it looked even better in the flesh

than the brochure. I’d never really liked the ‘rubber’ buttons on my TS590. Perfectly

functional, but tend to collect dust that is awkward to remove. The ‘hard’ buttons on

the TS890 are much more to my liking.


As soon as I powered it up I noticed that the RX audio sounded much fuller and more

rounded than that from my TS590. I’d never had any problem with the TS590 audio

but the TS890 feels slightly easier on my ears, somehow.


As you can see in the photo its quite big too, compared to the TS590. Pretty much the

same size as my old TS930 was. Having spent all those years in front of a TS930 prior

to the 590 it was nice to get back in front of a larger rig again.


Anyone upgrading from a TS590 will feel at home with the basic controls, but the 196

pages in the manual mean this is a rig that you’ll have to ‘grow into’ over time. Around

100 pages of the manual are devoted to explaining the menu options!


On the TS590 you can program PF-A to give 10w out for tuning an external ATU, and

this is available on the 890 too. A TCXO and Voice Announcement are optional extras

on the 590, but fitted as standard on the 890. Brail ‘bumps’ are provided on the front

panel, next to each of the 3 Programmable Function buttons.


My old gnarly fingers don’t seem to interact with some touch screen technologies but

the TS890 recognises my finger presses perfectly. Not that it needs to. I was pleased to

find that you can do everything with buttons & knobs. You can even turn off the

‘touch’ feature completely if you want.

Being predominantly a CW operator the one feature on my TS930 that I really missed

when I had my TS590 was the audio peak filter (APF) so I was glad to see that again. It

is really very effective, with a wide range of adjustment.

I like the way that as you dial down the DSP bandwidth the quartz filters are

automatically switched to a narrower one, but you can change that if you want.

One thing I didn’t realise I’d missed during my time with the TS590 was the large,

weighted, tuning knob on the TS930, with flywheel action and variable rate tuning.

The TS890 has a really nice one.


In modern rigs it is not actually something you need because you can tap a frequency

on the keypad or poke the waterfall display for large QSY but it is somehow very

satisfying spinning the dial to move up the band. Pure decadence. But if that doesn’t

suit you, there is an adjustable friction clutch on the tuning knob to provide

resistance to it being turned.


With CW being my mode of choice, the following comments will inevitably be skewed in

that direction, but I’ve received several compliments on my SSB transmitted audio.

People who have met me say it sounds exactly like me.


My training was in structural engineering, not electronics, so as I’m not in a position

to quote spec numbers meaningfully I’ll confine myself to comparing it with my TS590.

For what its worth, as a one-time structural engineer I can say the TS890 is

substantial enough to shelter behind in the event of a nuclear attack 

One thing I noticed straight away was that CW signals sounded more like a pure tone

in the absence of local noise. For some reason the 18MHz band is immune to the

electrical interference around my home and very weak CW did not have the very slight

‘warble’ on its tone that I’d grown used to on the TS590. An effect that was more

noticeable on my old TS930. I’m guessing this is down to lower phase noise in the

TS890 than the previous two rigs but even on noisy bands CW is easier to listen to for

extended periods.


On a pre-DSP rig like the TS930, when things get ‘busy’ on CW then narrower

bandwidth is always better. Not so with the TS590 (or the TS480) in my experience.

Once the DSP is dialled down below about 50% of the quartz crystal bandwidth you

enter the land of diminishing returns. Digital artifacts start to appear, and if you used

the DSP noise reduction on the TS590 in very narrow bandwidths it actually made

things worse in certain noise types. Almost as if the NR was having trouble telling

which was the signal & which was noise.


Possibly because the DSP in the TS890 operates at a higher frequency (24Khz against

15KHz I believe), and helped by the 270Hz optional filter (which I had fitted) you can

wind the DSP down as far as you like on the 890 and it just gets better. Drop in the

APF and it gets better still.


In modern urban environments the noise comes at you from all directions, so using a

phase canceller or moving the aerial often don’t give the benefits they used to. In such

situations getting the receive bandwidth down as far as you absolutely can is a way to

claw back some readability.


The Noise Reduction (NR) function seems better than it is on the TS590. Better noise

suppression & fewer artifacts on SSB. Although it is intended for CW, I found that

NR2 could be used for SSB on the TS890. I never liked it for SSB use on the TS590.

Contrary to what I expected, even in a noisy location I believe that the improved RX

performance can be perceived. In a quiet location very weak signals sound cleaner too.

The law of diminishing returns in performance kicks in quite early because modern

low and mid-range rigs are so good, but I think it is worth the upgrade from a TS590,

especially for CW buffs. Take your existing rig to a dealer with the facilities to sit down

and make your own comparison. I’d be interested to know how you feel about it.

Multiple-use controls can be frustrating sometimes, but on the TS890 they have been

done intelligently. The concentric knobs that control the high/low edges on SSB

become the width/shift controls on CW. The knob that controls the sidetone pitch on

CW becomes the mic gain control on voice modes, or the speech compression level if

you have the processor turned on.

CW buffs coming from a TS590 will love the fact that keyer speed & delay can be

adjusted via knobs on the front panel. I’m not a fan of full break-in operation but

having tried it briefly I can say it seems to work incredibly well. Almost like full duplex

on the same channel. I wasn’t aware of the relay clicking.

The front panel has a socket for a CW paddle, and the back panel has one for a

straight key, but you can swap them around in the menus if you fancy a session in a

straight key event. The TS890 is a heavy rig & you won’t want to have to maul it about

to plug a straight key in the back.


The fans in the TS890 kick in after about 1hr into a CW ragchew, and even then only

during transmitting. Pretty much what my TS590 does. Those in my TS590 produce a

‘rushing’ noise which is quite tolerable. Those in the TS890 are quieter and produce a

higher pitched, ‘zizzing’ sound which I found quite acceptable despite being quite

sensitive to fan noise.


I never thought I’d live to say this but I’m actually coming to like the presence of the

waterfall display, although it can get distracting. If I’m in a net & I see a signal appear

further down the band it is very tempting to nip down & see who it is, while waiting for

my turn in the net to come around 


I was fortunate not to have to trade-in my TS590 to get the TS890 and I’m intrigued by

the facility for it to be a ‘slave’ to the TS890 as a second receiver & follow it around.

I’m stone deaf in one ear, so two RX are not really much use to me, but it is something

that other people will be interested in.


There is a DVI socket on the rear of the rig to allow use of an external display, and a

3.5mm stereo jack to allow the use of two external meters.


I tried Kenwood’s software that allows you to control the rig from a PC via a USB lead.

Compared to the similar software for my 590, that for the 890 seems to take a while to

start up. As you start the software up it creates two USB com ports & you need to be

careful to pick the correct one. It works well enough once running but the bandscope

runs very slowly on my laptop.


There is a note in the manual indicating that the bandscope via a USB connection

could run slowly, so as the TS890 has a network connection perhaps that would be a

better way to connect.


The only use I would have for the software is (like the 590) to set up user-defined

audio passbands with the graphic equaliser function. Something you can’t do directly

on the rig. But I can’t see myself needing to do that on the 890.

There is other Kenwood software available to allow you to operate the rig remotely via

a network connection but I’ve not tried that.


Its early days yet, and I’ve only explored the basic features available in the TS890. I

know I’m still in the ‘honeymoon period’ with the rig but I certainly do not regret

buying it. Toshio Torii (Kenwood's chief engineer) seems to have excelled himself.

Back in 1984 a fully kitted out TS930 was around £2000. Equivalent to around £6000

in current terms, which makes the TS890 seem better value. It is expensive but the

RX performance in the TS930 was far enough ahead of the game to keep me happy for

29 years so it worked out being a wise move.


At 67 years old I might not have 29 years left, but if I do then I expect the TS890 will

still be here, although by then I think Direct Sampling technology really will have

come into its own ……. and I dare say Kenwood will be making them too 

(4 reviews)Write a review
I had been thinking about purchasing this radio fo some time, mainly because I was looking for a radio with a real time scope. I have a Yaesu FT1200 which is a fine radio and the natural choice would have been an FT10 or FT101 but I wasn't happy with the display on those radios, the Kenwood is so much easier on the eye. The addition of the 270hz filter is a must and the guys at MLS kindly fitted it for me (bonus) Its easy days but so far I am very impressed with the Kenwood, mainly because it is less menu orientated than other modern radios. Thank you MLS for an easy transaction and fast delivery.
Well worth the money for the Rx alone, plus a brand new fully featured rig.
I wanted to replace my base station HF rig. Previoulsy I had a Ten Tec Orion 2, an Elecraft K3 and before this an IC756PRO. I was very pleased with the K3's performance but less so with the Ten Tec's build quality so when Radcom and PW reviewed the TS890, I decided to raid the piggy bank and take the plunge. I've had the rig on the shack table with the K3 and the Orion 2 for comparision and in fairly normal for this time in the sunspot cycle ( ie no 15M or above, most activity on 30M and 20M). I was immediately struck with the TS890 and the clarity of weaker signals compared to the other two rigs. I put this down to the more traditional down conversion technique rather than the heavy reliance on software used by the other two. The strong signal and close up handling was also very evident and as good as the K3 and Orion 2 in this respect. The build qualty is far superior to either of the other rigs and although the £ 3.5K price tag won't be for everyone , it is well worth it in my opinion. I've been licenced for over 40 years and have had all sorts of transceivers ranging from Drake and Collins, through Ten Tec, Elecaft, Yaesu and Icom. I can confidently say that the TS890S betters all of these and gives all modern features as well as 160M to 4M coverage ( 60M with a small snip inside).
TS890 overview
Are you wondering if the improvement in RX performance offered by the TS890 over (say) a TS590 can actually be perceived in a real-world situation? I have posted my comparison, and an overview of the TS890 here
5 years to the day after I picked up my TS590 from Newark Show, I picked up my TS890 at Newark 2018. Martin knew I'd been waiting a long time for this rig to appear. I was first in line to order one, so with the help of Mark at KenwoodUK he made sure I had s/n 00001. How thoughtful was that. Thank you Martin :-) It looks good in the brochure but in the flesh it looks even better. Be aware that it is VERY heavy. 21.8Kg in its box, so when Martin says 'Ollie will carry it to the car for you', take him up on the offer. It is not direct sampling SDR, but this rig is not about 'fashion' its about performance. If the advertised RX figures hold true it will be up at the top of the 'Sherwood list'. Follow your heart, not the herd.
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