The long awaited contest-class rig from Kenwood, the TS-990S, is bound to make the grand debut probably this month, after a series of teasers have stirred up the spirits and imagination of amateur operators all over the world. Kenwood openly states they tried to put their best into the TS-990S, trying to achieve the ultimate contest and DX legend transciever status, and this reflects just by having a quick look at the black button-fest beast.

But, the specs are just as overwhelming: dual independent recievers, +40dBm IP3 for the first mixer thanks to a double balanced grounded switch type architecture, triple DSP (2x Analog ADSP-21363 @ 333Mhz and one ADSP-21369 @ 260MHz), double AGC (analog and digital),  double TFT displays and 200W output from a pair of VRF150’s, just to list a few of the most interesting figures. Of course, all you need to know at the moment cand be found in the detailed 16 page brochure kenwood has released:

Kenwood TS-990 Detailed Brochure

Another figure you might be interested in is the recommended retail price, wich is about 6300EUR + VAT over here in Europe, or US$ 8000 for our friends across the pond.

An older official Kenwood video popped up some time ago, showing the heritage behind the TS-990S as well as a few of it’s key points of interest:

While it looked nice and dandy, it lacked the real world product feeling that you get from a hands-on presentation. Until now, because W6GPS managed to make an enthusiatic 7 minute video with a brand new, shining TS-990S inside the Kenwood headquarters.

There’s not much I can say, the thing is a really complete package, a real Easter-Christmas-and-birthday-into-one type of present for any ham. The touch sensitive main display actually looks like it has been cerefully integrated and not just thrown in there to make it more 21’st century, the integrated digital modes and logging software plus USB backup options as well, and no matter what people would say about the abundance of buttons and the male insecurity implications, I would love to have it on my desk.