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Author Topic: Best and quietest receiver: Kenwood TS480AT or Icom 7200?  (Read 4815 times)
VE3GNU
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Posts: 83




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« on: February 19, 2012, 08:44:13 AM »

Hello---Given that the Icom 7200 is a newer and IF DSP design and that the Kenwood TS480 is an older and AF DSP design---when it comes to the 'bottom line' of which is the 'best and quietest', I welcome the feedback from any one having had both and is able to render an honest opinion based on the essential 'receiver' parameters that I'm interested in---i.e. selectivity, quietness, easy-on-the-ears---and possibly closest to the analog sound that I get from my 30 year-old Icom 740.  All and any feedback is welcome and appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
73---Ernie
VE3GNU
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KK7KZ
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Posts: 464




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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 12:58:56 PM »

Have had a 480 since 2006 and it is a great rig. Picked up a 7200 and sold it 4 months later. Objection: IF DSP in the 7200 has harsh audio; couldn't listen to it for more than 15 minutes at a time. The 480, and most Kenwoods for that matter, are 'mellower' and much easier to listen to for long periods of time. The 7200 also seemed noisier than the 480 on the same antennas but there wasn't a significant difference.

Just my .02,
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VE3GNU
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Posts: 83




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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 04:56:02 PM »

KK7KZ---That's exactly the kind of answer I was hoping to get---and thank you for detailing your experience with both rigs. 
Anyone else, please chime in if you can----
73---Ernie
VE3GNU
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2528




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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 07:38:19 PM »

See if either is listed on Sherwood Engineering Receiver testing.
73
Bob
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KU3X
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 07:02:00 AM »

The TS 480SAT is the best performing radio you can get for under $1000 US. Nothing can compete with it in
that price range.
KU3X
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W8JX
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Posts: 5467




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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 07:30:24 AM »

The TS 480SAT is the best performing radio you can get for under $1000 US. Nothing can compete with it in
that price range.
KU3X

I have owned one for close to 3 years and fully agree.
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VE3GNU
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Posts: 83




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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 02:31:35 PM »

KU3X and W8JX---Thank you for this,  and the confirmation on the rigs as far as their 'performance'--- as well, I continue to seek feedback for those operators who have had both rigs and who can tell me about their experience with respect to the 'sound' of the incoming signals on both.
Thanks es73---
Ernie VE3GNU
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2357




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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 05:01:26 PM »

If there's any way _you_ can get to listen to the IC-7200, you'll learn a lot more than by listening to our opinions.  And when you do it, use headphones, or a loudspeaker, which you _know_ gives good audio quality.

A note on IF DSP and audio quality:

I was playing with my club's IC-7000, listening to a local AM broadcast station in SSB mode.  That's a good test of receive audio quality.

The IC-7000 has a "filter skirt" setting -- "sharp" or "wide".  That setting is _independent_ of the "filter width" setting.

With the "filter skirt" set to "wide" -- that is, a gradual fall-off of response at the edges of the passband -- the audio was fine.

With the "filter skirt" set to "sharp" -- a steep fall-off at the edges of the passband -- the audio was awful.  I can't describe the distortion, but it was really unpleasant.

"Sharp" skirts work fine with CW, though.  Icom has its defaults set up so that the CW filters are sharp-skirted, and the SSB filters are wide-skirted, which is the right way to go.

My Yaesu FT-450 has a really poor built-in loudspeaker.  Through that speaker, the rig sounds tinny, whatever filter settings I use.  Through a decent loudspeaker, it sounds much better.  Still "communications quality" (narrow bandwidth, about 2.4 kHz), but well-balanced and undistorted.

           Charles
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 05:05:57 PM »

One other thing:

How "quiet" a receiver is, depends partly on the shape of its AGC curve.  That has _nothing_ to do with its front-end noise level (which determines how well it receives weak signals), or how well it will receive a signal with strong nearby interference.

Receiver front-ends are remarkably similar in their weak-signal performance.  There are no mysteries in designing an RF amplifier.

         Charles
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K4RVN
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Posts: 758




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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 05:17:17 PM »

I have the 7200 and it is the best quietest receiver that has also twin passband tuning that I have ever owned. I have not owned the 480 but do own a 570 DG. The 7200 wins in my opinion. It also has a roofing filter and several other filter positions. No filters to buy required.  Read all the reviews for the Icom 7200 on eham.net. Better yet try to go someplace and listen to one. Under transmit has outstanding audio, simple menu to master.  Kenwoods also get great audio reports on transmission. Just giving you another opinion with a different view. I think it is the best value for an entry level type radio out there which has a receiver that can compete with much higher priced rigs. I have owned mine 2 years. It does have no tuner inside which I miss running some narrow band antennas I have.
I use it as my base station primary transceiver. One cannot make a correct decision on other peoples reviews and that includes mine, so try to go to a radio store or hamfest and actually use one. I do use the Heil Pro IC headset/boom mike
designed for IC radios and the received audio is outstanding also. Here is a link to the 2009 year review of the 7200 by
QST.  http://www.centralmiarc.com/docs/Reviews/ic7200.pdf

Frank
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 06:32:41 PM by K4RVN » Logged
W7ETA
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Posts: 2528




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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 05:54:11 PM »

QST reviewed the Kenwood TS-480HX HF and 480SAT in June 2004.

Their last ICOM review was ICOM IC-7600 HF and 6 meter transceiver November 2009

Sherwood has tested Flex radios. 

QST has reviewed a few Flex Radios,

You can read the QST reviews to get a sense of how the rigs you are interested compared to Flex radios, and then make an educated guess where they would place near the rigs Sherwood has tested.

Bare in mind that bands like 160-40 have very different characteristics from 20-10.

Since we are going up the sunspot cycle, keep in mind that all of the bands from 30 to 10 meters will become very crowded!

73
Bob
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VE3GNU
Member

Posts: 83




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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 06:08:11 AM »

Thank you for the additional input: Charles, Frank, and Bob----all very informative and relevant to my query.  In addition, I would like to add to the comment from Barry---i.e. "---the TS480SAT is the best performing radio you can get for under $1000.00 US".----Well, I can only dream----since the radio is listed currently at Radio World in Toronto for $1300.00---plus the sales tax of $169.00, bringing the total to $1469.00 CAN.---bringing it up to the under $1500.00 category---and that's not including shipping or filters!  In fairness to Radio World, though, it offers a 2-year warranty on the radio.
I appreciate everyone's input.
73---Ernie
VE3GNU
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W8JX
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Posts: 5467




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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 10:54:33 AM »

What about 250 buck rebate? Also can you order a radio in US and have it shipped to you or is that not allowed?
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 11:03:03 AM »

Whether a certain receiver sounds "pleasant or warm"
to someone is very subjective, much like stereo speakers.

I would check this out for myself side by side at a retail
ham shop if possible.

Good luck, I hope you find the analog sound
you are looking for. A ham buddy of mine says
DSP stands for "Doesn't Sound Pretty".
Not sure if I agree, but.......

73, Ken  AD6KA
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K6AER
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Posts: 3482




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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 11:57:03 AM »

Either transceiver will be on average 20 dB more sensitive than the noise flooor comming out of the coax and antenna.
Now you get down to features and comfort in the decession process.
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