My personal TS-830S notes - some fact / some opinion - but always accurate (hihi):

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Optional VFO-230 (left) with TS-830S (right)

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  • One of THE best sounding "hybrid" transceivers of the time (1980)
  • Very nicely built - pair of rugged 6146B tubes for final amplifiers.
  • Power supply built in.
  • Typical Kenwood - silky smooth VFO knob tuning (25 Khz. per revolution).
  • Big control knobs.
  • Fan is dead quiet and rig never gets warm.
  • Very quiet receive - sensitive but fatigue free listening. Smooth audio.
  • Both IF shift and VBT controls for easy receiver control in crowded band conditions.
  • Includes the WARC bands.
  • Was a very popular rig, well made & many were produced. So, there still is a good supply of them on the used market for reasonable prices..
  • Works with both Kenwood synthesized VFO's (highly recommended) - either the VFO-230 or the DFC-230. This is a key "pro" for the TS-830S as this brings the rig into modern time stability and accuracy. Both synthesized VFO's tune in 20 Hz. steps - closely resembling analog tuning (no audible "steps" heard in the SSB modes).
  • Nice rig - just download the manual from Kenwood - it is still available on line!


  • No longer in production.
  • Like all hybrid rigs - no general coverage receiver.
  • Built in analog VFO does drift - about 100 Hz. per hour after warm-up - BUT does drift - like all analog VFO's (again - resolved by use of the synthesized VFO-230 or DFC-230 accessory).
  • No CW keyer (not unusual for this time period).
  • No AM or FM mode.

Maximum Transmit Audio Response Test

Notes to table below:

  • Tested TS-830S was a "Gold Label" - factory installed, 8.830 Mhz. IF filter at a 2.7 Khz. bandwidth (Kenwood YK-88S1).
  • Careful attention was made to make sure no ALC was ever engaged during testing at any frequency.
  • TS-830S was properly aligned (carrier point) per service manual.
  • Speech processor - OFF
  • Digital readout Kenwood signal generator used for accuracy - directly fed into the front panel mike input.
Roll Off
(vs. 1 Khz.
Reference 0 db)
Low Frequency
High Frequency
-3 db
527 Hz.
2.49 Khz.
-6 db
371 Hz.
2.71 Khz.
-9 db
243 Hz.
2.81 Khz.
-12 db
180 Hz.
2.86 Khz.

Pretty much all energy is gone at 50 Hz. (low end) and 3.24 Khz. (high end).

I usually run a Kenwood MC-50 desk microphone. I also run a professional microphone & external audio processing (dbx "ProVocal" strip) & DI box into the microphone input with my TS-830S for even better results.

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