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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | ICOM IC-756 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-756
ICOM IC-756 Reviews: 71 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $2799.00
Description: 160 thru 6 meters TX, Gen coverage RX, 100 W, SSB,CW, AM & FM
Product is not in production.
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KC3BER Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2013 10:18 Send this review to a friend
AWESOME!!!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a pretty new ham, I was licensed in August 2013, so I'm writing this review for all the other new hams out there. I am not an expert by any means, and I don't know much about all the technical stuff, so you can take this review for what it's worth. I found this site very helpful when I was looking to buy my first HF radio. I read all the reviews on all the radios in my price range, and the Icom IC-756 seemed to be the best bang for my buck. And it is! I have owned it for a few months now and it works great! I don't really have much to compare it to being as it is my first HF radio, but I have been enjoying it to the fullest! I bought mine from ebay from a very nice guy in Minnesota his name is Gary and I bought it for about $750. I use it almost everyday and I have no problems with it what so ever. I also bought an Icom SM-20 desk mic and an Icom SP-20 external speaker for it. I use it with a MFJ-993 tuner and I use an IMAX 2000 and a W8AMZ 80 meter G5RV antennas with it and I have made almost 700 contacts with it so far (mostly dx). Everyone tells me it sounds great and I love the fact that it's so easy to use. I was a little hesitant to buy this radio after reading all the reviews about the display problems, but mine has an updated display and I have no blue line problems. The only thing that is somewhat of an inconvenience is I have to adjust the contrast as the radio warms up. When I first turn it on it's very bright, so I have to turn the contrast down and as it warms up I have to adjust it accordingly. Other than that I can't complain about it at all. If you just got your general license and you're looking for your first HF radio, I would recommend looking to buy one of these. You won't regret it. Sometimes I kind of wish I bought a pro or a pro2 model, but I'm happy with this rig and it seems like it really holds it's own. There's a trick I found to improve the audio on it, you can find it online. You just remove the cover and there's a switch inside for narrow or wide audio. If you put the switch on wide it seems to sound much better. I absolutely love the SM-20 desk mic. It's just so beautiful and heavy duty. I wouldn't really recommend buying the SP-20 speaker though. It is way bigger than the radio and I never use the filters on it. It was also very expensive I paid $180 for it. I wish I bought the matching speaker, the SP-23. Anyway, if you're a new ham and you're looking through reviews trying to decide which HF rig to buy for your first radio (like I did) then I would say check out one of these. They usually go for around $700-$800 on ebay depending on the condition. Buy one and have fun! 73 and good DX! From KC3BER
N3AAO Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2013 08:02 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used for several years now; no display issues; a solid rig.
CT2IQE Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2012 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used from a local Icom dealer. Never had display issues, and find it a great receiver.
Operanting bear foot, still have reports of "broadcasting quality, local station" from Ham`s all over the world. It`s a keeper.
K7PP Rating: 3/5 Dec 31, 2011 14:26 Send this review to a friend
Main dial tuning "skips"  Time owned: more than 12 months
No display problems yet. Disappointed with the amplifier keying relay. This one froze even though it was keying a Harbech soft key.
Dial started skipping digits or freezing in certain areas of the dial rotation after about 10 years of operation.
I purchased a Copal VFO module from Icom for around 150 bucks and replaced it myself. Basically an afternoon job. Remove front faceplace, etc....
Hate the AM feature. Downward modulates even when power set for less than 25 watts. Had to resort to an external ALC bias supply and audio adjustment to lessen the problem. Can't come anywhere near 100 percent modulation without downward power deflection which is heard as distortion.
Should have just left the AM feature out.
N8XE Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2011 17:24 Send this review to a friend
Great CW Rig!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine used from a club member for a great price. It was not being used and he confirmed that it did not have the blue line problem. Sure enough, it did not. It came with the 350Hz and 1.8k filters.

I owned an IC756 Pro3 previously but sold it. I missed the spectrum display. So when this one was available I jumped at the chance.

I have found it to be a great CW rig during contests. I especially like the APF filter for zeroing in on signals. The filtering is wonderful. I have not noticed any AGC pumping in crowded band conditions.

When the NB is on, I do notice some issues so I turn it off.

I am pleased with this rig. If you can find one without the display issue, it is a keeper!! I will be keeping mine.
KG4USN Rating: 4/5 Oct 29, 2011 10:28 Send this review to a friend
2nd summary  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the radio for seven years. Its a great radio except for the display lines. I sent the radio in for service(tuner) a few years ago and it came back with lines on the display, and Icom said it was not their problem. Started out with intermittent lines, and now I have four of them. They really do not get in the way of operating the radio, but I have always thought it was lousy that Icom did not own up to the fact that the radio went in with no lines and came out with them. So far I am sure it only affects the resale price. I use the radio from 6-160 in ssb and cw modes .
KI5SO Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2011 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Gets a bad rap!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Compared to many new radios in the $1500 and under range, with the exception of the Icom IC-7000, this radio is one you should grab if you see it under $700 and the display is still intact at all. If you never owned a high dollar radio this one still will impress the fool out of you. It has a hot receiver and some good filters. The screens would be the only negative I could put on it but I will not let that influence my rating because it's a great performer. That's all I've got to say. I think it's gotten a bad rap over that screen. It should not been defective from the factory but it is an old and known issue now. It's a great used value. Great talker.
W8KQE Rating: 0/5 Jun 29, 2011 16:49 Send this review to a friend
FAULTY DISPLAY ISSUE RUINS IT FOR MANY!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Icom needs to 'own up to' the fact that they gave us 756 owners a run of bum displays, and PAY TO REPAIR THEM. They were defective (flawed) from the beginning, and it is just a matter of time before most of them succumb to the 'blue lines' issue. I now have at least 6 blue lines and my bandscope completely died on me. What kills me is that I take utmost care of my equipment ('baby' my rigs in smoke free environment and cover them) too. I have a 'soft spot' for the IC-756 in that it is a very natural sounding rig (no DSP artifacts!), and I really wanted to keep it a long time...
MM3XXW Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2010 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Still a player!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This may appear a wee bit of an outdated transceiver but make no mistake this radio will hold it's own amongst many others of (alleged) higher quality!

My example still has it's original screen which has shown no issues whatsoever!
With the external SP-21 speaker attached, fitted with the FL-222, 223 SSB filters, CR-502 high-stability crystal unit & powered by a 40amp Zetagi psu this thing will run full tilt all day without blinking an eye.
Other reviews have delved deeper into detail but I thought I'd keep it simple!

They don't come on to the second-hand market very often but if you get the chance to get one snap it up!
DH5JBR Rating: 4/5 Dec 19, 2010 22:05 Send this review to a friend
Update: good after all  Time owned: more than 12 months
I miss my original review which was VERY disappointed with the display. This radio - which is a very good one - just cannot be operated without a working display. So, my verdict had to be very negative as long as there was no reasonably priced cure for the display.
Thanks to the OM in the Netherlands, this has now been cured. It is a little pale, but ok in shack surroundings an is a 1:1 image of the original display.
I have a very early model, but over all the years, apart from the display, nothing ever went wrong with it. Long SSTV QSOs - the rig took them without getting warm.
The intersting thing was that the fuses in the DC lead warmed up and acted funny. At first, I thought there was something wrong with the rig. No power out? Check the fuses! Sounds crazy, but there were a few occasions, when I suspected the rig to be faulty and it was just a faulty fuse - a cylindrical glass fuse which was originally fitted. I got rid of the fuse holders and fitted car fuse holders with blade connectors. My new FT-897D also came with fuses of this type.
These fuses work better, but even now when the rig was back from Holland, it would just cut out when trying to transmit with power. I just pulled and re-installed the fuses and all was well again. In earlier years, I once recommended the rig as "unkaputtbar" which is a humorously incorrect German word which implies that it cannot be broken.
As far as receiver qualities go, it rarely is the radio. I also own an NRD 525, HF-150, FT-817, FT-897D and FT-2000 and on the FT-2000 I could just make out some traces of music in the transmissions from Radio St. Helena. That was with the main RX. I did not try the 756 on that for fear of losing out on anything of this rare DX, but I think it is doubtful if the 756 would have been up to it. Even with the Yaesu, a QSO would have been impossible in SSB, so the difference is minute for practical use.

As far as operability goes - I could leave the rig to an experienced but uninitiated OM and tell him: if you see a signal coming up on the display, turn the dial towards it, use the fine-tuning aids of the SSTV software and the picture would come in. He was so impressed with the look, feel and performance that he went and bought himself a 756 right away.

One minor thing: the internal clock that is visible on the display is accurate to a few seconds per year (if that), while the expensive DMU-2000 loses two or three seconds per DAY.

If you find an IC-756 WITH the Dutch display fitted: get it (it looks pale grey, not blueish purple). If you get one cheaply with the display gone: get it and have it repaired in Holland. It may sound silly, but fit more solid fuses to the DC supply. Works a treat! The radio (apart from the display which I have seen SOME fail) is beautifully made and rock solid and performs without serious flaws in RX/TX.
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