The Kenwood Hybrid Models


There are a total of six major different Kenwood Hybrids to choose from.  The units pictured below are a small part of my personal Kenwood Hybrid collection.  Each one has been brought back to the condition in which they first left the factory.    In order of introduction and features, they are as follows:
  • TS-520   This is the first model in the lineup, and set the standards for all transceiver manufacturers to follow.  Completely self contained, sophisticated circuitry, easy to tune and operate, and, as we've found out in the last 35 years, easy to maintain.  Dual conversion receiver, VOX, a REAL noise blanker, 25KHz calibrator, RIT, 100W+ output, stable VFO, and excellent SSB audio.  It uses the DK-5 adapter to attach the optional DG-5 digital display.  The basic TS-520 is considered by purists to be the best of the breed, the fist and foremost of the Hybrids.
Click on this image for a really LARGE TS-520

  • TS-820   A step-up from the TS-520, it added IF shift and 160M coverage, and an optional internal digital display for frequency using the DG-1.  The Rx was changed to single conversion with the filters at 8.3MHz.
  • TS-520S The next generation after the TS-520, this model added 160M coverage, phone patch input and output which also allowed recorders and other audio connections such as modern-day sound card connections for PSK to be simply plugged into the higher-level RCA jacks.  It also provided jacks for the Kenwood DG-5 digital display, eliminating the DK-5 adapter.

  • TS-820S The next generation step-up from the TS-520S, it added IF shift and an included digital display, as well as FSK to the mode selector.  This has been one of my personal favorites since my first acquisitionin 1990, how did I overlook it so long?  The analog frequency readout is great, the digital readout is a plus, and this may be the heaviest transceiver Kenwood made.  Well, at least it feels like that when I lift one.   Truly a boat anchor lover's boat anchor.  Great receiver, too.

  • TS-530SThe next generation following the TS-520S.   The TS-530 went to a quieter single conversion receiver, Warc Band coverage, added IF shift previously reserved for the 820S, rear panel connectors went to DIN style, and things got smaller.  The case is smaller, the weight is less, and the knobs started on their weight reduction campaign.  This model represents a real milestone, a great sounding, easy to use rig that still has the distinctive Kenwood sound of quality.  Modern rigs hardly have any knobs, mostly pushbuttons that are best pushed with a tooth-pick, but the TS-530S still had those darn handy knobs!

  • TS-830S  The step up from the TS-530S.  The TS-830S added a revolutionary new style of dual conversion, featuring Variable Bandwidth Tuning, XIT in addition to RIT, a tone control, and improved speech processing.  In addition, a tunable IF notch, that really works great was added.  The TS-830S stands as the ultimate culmination of the line, and there are many people who feel the receiver in this rig is the finest Kenwood has ever built to this day.  This one is my personal favorite, although it's really hard to choose among the hybrids!   The straight TS-520 is pretty darn nice as well.

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All Photos and content copyright 2005, K4EAA, Ken Kemski.