Sorry, another TS-590SG vs IC-7300 Question...

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KG4USK, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. KG4USK

    KG4USK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've seen a few thread battles about the TS-590SG vs IC-7300, so I apologize for bringing it up again but I have a few specific questions about them...

    I'm not a contester, but I like to chase DX so I would like fast and convenient access to things like filter selection, shaping, split operation (specifically chasing split), key speed, etc...

    From what I've seen on the other threads pertaining to the receiver performance, people either say the '590 is crap and the 7300 is the best ever, or the 7300 is garbage and the '590 is superior...
    I'm hesitant to even ask this, but does anyone have any PERSONAL experience working CW with either of these rigs? How well does it pull in weak stations and isolate signals from strong QRM? I don't care how "harsh" it sounds, as long as I can hear the other station.

    I'm torn between the two because I used to operate a TS-570 years back and I loved it, so the '590 looks like it would be familiar. Of course, the '7300 has a built in scope which looks like a nice feature to have. I'd rather not have to use an external monitor for this.

  2. WA9UAA

    WA9UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Be careful when viewing a single parameter, even the much touted close in dynamic range which is used to sort the list when viewing the Sherwood tables.

    If you look closely at that you see a couple of things:
    - The IC-7300 shows slightly better narrow spaced dynamic range (94dB vs 92dB) only when Dither and Random are enabled (what Icom calls IP+)
    - When IP+ is disabled the IC-7300 narrow spaced dynamic range drops to 81dB or 11dB worse than the TS-590SG and the wide spaced dynamic range also drops to 81dB or 23dB worse than the Kenwood
    - When Dither and Random are enabled on the IC-7300 its sensitivity rises to 1uV due to increased noise floor(11dB higher) which isn't great in a modern rig but perhaps not that important in noisy bands
    - Regardless of the IP+ settings the IC-7300 has a 100 kHz blocking dynamic range of 123dB vs 137dB for the TS-590SG, IOW the Kenwood can handle very wide spaced signals 14dB stronger without blocking

    Here's the Sherwood data and the notes related to IP+

    The point isn't to say which is really a better rig as it comes down to more than just these numbers but it seems a lot of hams point to the Sherwood ranking of narrow spaced dynamic range as though it really tells us which is best and even without all the caveats above that single measurement really doesn't tell the whole story. Sure it tells us a lot about operating near two or more really strong stations close to our frequency which may be critically important to some hams and not very important to others but it really doesn't tell us which receiver much less which overall rig is 'best'.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    WA8FOZ, WA9UAA, K0UO and 1 other person like this.
  4. G0GSR

    G0GSR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I have both and operate CW.
    For me, there is nothing to choose between the two but after having the waterfall display, feel like I'm operating blind with the '590.
    Ergonomics are different but you quickly get used to the way each operate.

    I have done A/B comparisons with weak signals but still there is nothing to choose between the two.
    I am not impressed with the noise reduction in either, prefering to use my own, internal "processing" ;-)

    AI3V and KG4USK like this.
  5. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sold my 590SG and bought an Icom 7610. The Icom has superb receivers and impressive noise reduction, but there was a learning curve after being a lifetime Kenwood user. Overall, I still prefer the ergonomics of the Kenwood and miss the CW decode function.

    The main deficiency of the 590 was the lack of easy addition of a pan display, which I had adopted with my old TS-180 back in the 1980s. It’s a bit easier with the SG as you can share the antenna with an inexpensive SDR receiver, but nowhere as user friendly as having an integrated display, such as that in the 7300.

    The 7300 shares many of the same features as the 7610, but has a few weaknesses that reviewers and users report.

    Both are fine radios that have sold in large numbers, so obviously meet the needs of many hams. I suggest getting some hands-on experience with both, as the ergonomics rather than performance may be a deciding factor.

    K0UO and KG4USK like this.
  6. KG4USK

    KG4USK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the feedback guys. From what I've gathered from other discussions, I'm not as concerned about RX performance between the two, but more of isolating and filtering weak sigs, specifically CW - especially in situations like the WAE contest going on now.
    It looks like the pan display on the 7300 would be nice when chasing CW split since you can visualize A/B on the screen and adjust TX on the fly without having to hold TF and adjust VFO. Second best thing to having dual VFO monitoring I guess.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    While the waterfall display in the IC-7300 is "nice," I often can hear (with only minor experience with the '7300) signals (and respond to) that never show up on the "visual aid, AKA Waterfall.." IMHO, it is just a bit more than "eye candy," and hardly "fool proof." (IMHO, We got along without waterfall displays for a LONG time, and still seemed to be able to work a lot of DX...:rolleyes:)
    I'd rather (then again, IMHO) have a radio with a great receiver, whether or not it has a visual display of any flavor.
  8. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a 590S and a 590SG; I think they are great radios at their price point.

    I played with a 7300 for a little while at Field Day but was lost trying to figure it out.

    Questions might be: how good are your antennas and what is your noise floor? It may not matter much if you your location is noisy or your antenna has hearing problems.

    The filters and split functions in the 590 are all front panel controls but I’ve never had to activate them in under a second. I’m sure I could get used to just about anything. I have an SDR hooked up to the 590SG as a spectrum display but rarely use it. I spend more time staring at it than I would just tuning around. I’ve seen a panadapter for a K3 at Field Day but didn’t really think it helped me much.

    Plenty of 590s and 7300s around. Should not be too hard to find somebody who will spend an hour or so letting you try them out. You should not care what I think, it’s going to be your radio.
    KU3X likes this.
  9. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have owned the 7300, and recently purchased both an FTDX3000 and a Kenwood 480SAT (which is somewhat operationally close to a 590SG).

    Bottom line, if you are in an urban noisy area, and like to work 40m, steer clear of the 7300. It folds up and cries to mamma on the low bands. On the high bands, the 7300 is really great. If you don't have a lot of random noise from urban electronics, get the 7300. The Kenwood radios have better filtering against general city noise on the low bands -- not even close, there. On high bands, it's probably a crapshoot. I loved my 7300 on the high bands.

    If you don't care about a panadapter, or don't mind adding a far more functional one via computer, buying an SDRPlay (for example), get the Kenwood. The Kenwood has some audio profiles, and buttons on the face, that will get you to a legible signal faster than the Icom, IMHO.

    I have the SDRPlay on my FTDX3000. I really like it, but it doesn't go portable with me, like the panadapter on the 7300 would.

    I am not sure if there is much difference, but the 480SAT I have is a far more comfortable machine to listen to long-term. Assuming the 590SG is similar, your ears will much appreciate the Kenwood. The 7300 is sensitve, but can be harsh.

    If semi-portable work is in your future, in addition to using as a home rig, the 7300 is a much lighter machine, and a far better choice. When portable, outside of the city, the 7300 is an amazing machine with a huge amount of signal boost (especially if you turn off the AGC).

    I'm not so into portable anymore, but I sold my 7300 and will one day get a 590SG, if that's any indication. What I do miss are the Twin PBT controls on the 7300. I don't miss the way the RF Gain works on the 7300 (nothing more than a 2nd volume control). I also like being able to work into California from here in Seoul (HL1ZIX) with the Kenwood and the FTDX3000. My Icom 7300 just couldn't handle the local city noise in this urban 12+ million populated environment, and I couldn't work California (and my ears suffered greatly) on 40m.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  10. KG4USK

    KG4USK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I actually went with the 7300... Curiosity got the best of me, plus I found a nice one locally at the right price. Definitely an improvement over the '706mkiig I was using. Of course I've been super busy since I got it, so I haven't really had a chance to play, but I'll report back with my opinion after I spend some more time with it.
    Thanks everyone for their input!
    AG5DB and WA9UAA like this.

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