My very own TS-590 arrived yesterday, and as expected, it was in perfect shape. I didn't take too long to get her set up and on the air and worked my first new DXCC with the rig - VP8LP in the Falkland Islands. Hooray! My count now stands at 194.
I played around with all modes last night, working a few guys on JT-65 and JT-9. I even made a couple QSOs on FreeDV, the free HF digital voice mode, which was actually really neat. It offers high-fi digital voice, like D-Star on V/UHF. I had an unusually high noise level so it did degrade the experience a bit but still it was very cool to try something new. Here's a screenshot of my signal being received at W2MDW's shack:
Setting up the digital modes on the 590 is no walk in the park. Getting the audio levels such that you key the VOX but you don't overdrive ALC is challenging, but once you have it set up, jumping from mode to mode is super easy. I like that.
So far, I'm very happy with the radio. It'll be really interesting to see how I come to utilize the new features I have available to me. Maybe I'll become a big digital guy and forget CW! (yeah right!!!)
Anyway, I'm happy with the radio and I hope to catch you on the bands soon!