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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-746 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-746
ICOM IC-746 Reviews: 254 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $ICOM IC-746.
Description: HF+6M+2M Multi-mode transceiver
Product is in production.
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<— Page 2 of 26 —>

W1XYZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2014 06:35 Send this review to a friend
Still supported by ICOM, apparently  Time owned: more than 12 months
ICOM's midwestern service center repaired my 746 this week, and did it quickly, with low cost. While the problem - a faulty backlight supply- was a fairly minor and well-known one I didn't have the time to dig in myself. This rig still delivers after all this time and has had plenty of use.
KE6TDT Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2013 13:31 Send this review to a friend
Super coverage - Bug-out approved   Time owned: more than 12 months
ICOM 746 (Non-pro) is a SUPER RADIO

Great bug-out/survival radio if that's what you're looking for.

Maybe the best considering it's coverage.

Purchased new in September of 2000 and not one single issue. Not one!

The Icom IC-746 covers 160-10 meters plus 6 and 2 meters AND general coverage AM.

And it will power up with 12 or 110 volts.

This radio has been my choice for all-around base station use since 2000. Scott Malcom up in WA former ICOM technician will service these units and he is extremely helpful. If mine ever needs service, it will go to him. He has a website called MTS

KA2UUP Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2013 10:20 Send this review to a friend
13 years and counting-no problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 13th year with the IC-746. No problems to report from my side. All buttons and the light still work. The high stability chrystal and the filters make a big difference in performance. For the new ham, if they are looking for a starter rig, I would recommend one. Does not have DSP, so what! Reliability and less to worry about in terms of computer stuff.
KB0ROC Rating: 4/5 May 28, 2013 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Great old Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this great desktop rig for over 10 years. Not only has it given me WAS awards , but I have contacted well over 300 World Stations. I live in the Midwest and with a simple 20 meter dipole stick antenna worked the world and reached easily every state. I switched to 40 meters stick dipole and did just as well. About 5 years ago I finally built an end-fed dipole 5 band and got into digital. Worked perfect with an old laptop and a Rig Blaster Plus. I have worked all digital modes.
The Reviews Ive seen are simply reviews compared to the latest brand new radios. This radio is easily over 15 years old and it works like a champ. The CW filters I originally purchased for cw narrowed down the noise level significantly. Besides HF, the 6M and 2M make for one exceptional old transceiver all at 100 watts. I just happened to look at the new receivers and for $1200 or more, mine is not only a winner, but it sure is great having an old classic that I picked up for just under $500 in its hay day!
N0RRS Rating: 3/5 May 15, 2013 17:04 Send this review to a friend
RX PRE AMP is an issue  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these rigs brand new back in 2002. My first impressions were pretty good, but as time went on the radio developed an audio MosFET overload problem that completely killed the RX of the radio in the SSB mode. Strangely it seemed to work fine in all the other modes, just SSB was affected. Of course this didn't manifest itself until AFTER the one year factory warranty had expired. Icom wanted $100 plus parts and shipping to fix it. I sold the rig instead of fixing it. Several years later a fellow ham friend of mine had the same problem and found out that it was due to an extremely sensitive (i.e CHEAP) MosFET transistor being used in the audio PRE AMP section that could not handle strong signals, especially below 20 meters. It was fixable with a new part from Mouser for less than $10. Overall these are good rigs, but BE CAREFUL not to use the audio PRE AMP unless the signal is barely readable. I gave it a 3 for this reason.
KA9JCP Rating: 4/5 Jan 20, 2013 13:51 Send this review to a friend
AGC Inoperative  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
A few weeks ago I suddenly started to experience a new problem on my IC-746. When the AGC is turned on, the receiver automatically turns the RF gain to zero in SSB, AM, or CW. When this occurs, the S-meter goes to full scale deflection. AGC is not a problem in the FM mode.
I am still using the transceiver with the AGC turned off, but it is necessary for me to continuously ‘ride’ the RF gain control between strong and weak signals and with QSB. In transmit; PO, ALC, and SWR readings are OK but in receive the S-meter no longer functions as it should.
I have reread the manual and have done the radio reset but still have the same symptoms.
Can you tell me if you can recall of an operator adjustment that I have overlooked?
N0ZQB Rating: 4/5 Sep 11, 2012 08:25 Send this review to a friend
A Good Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This transceiver started off a whole new direction for Icom, all of the high-end radios Icom makes now have their roots in the IC-746, a history changing rig to say the least. This was once one of the higher-end transceivers in late 1990s to early 2000s, (97-02 if I got my facts right)

Along that time Icom's other offerings where the IC-706 and the IC-775 to name a couple, the IC-746 put all the abilities of the IC-706 into a larger unit with an ATU, and a rig that felt more substantial as a base unit. The IC-746PROwas built from the original 746 as was the 756 on so on, thus the linage is easy to follow from there, while the styling of the 775 left Icom's market soon after, the large multifunction LCD display and menu system were here to stay.

Given the fact you get 160M-6M and all mode VHF in one unit, plus, 100 watts on every band, you end up with a lot of radio for a little cost. It does a lot of things well, not great, but well enough for what it is. For most of us, it will work fine, it is not a serious DX or CW rig, but it was never built to be one. General coverage receiver 0.030-60.000Mhz, lots of memories, filter options and a good VHF side too, covering 108-174Mhz in all modes... It even scans too, punch in your favorite public service, weather, etc... It is a fun radio to use, works well with programs like Ham Radio Deluxe and fldigi, and many other rig control and logging programs as well. If your a Mac or Linux user, your not out as the IC-746 plays well most control software available for your favorite computer.

On average, the IC-746 is getting pretty old, 12-15 years old at the time of this writing. As we all know, technology changes fast, giving a IC-746 a bad review in 2012 is harsh, those should have been done back in the radios prime of life, not in the retirement years, especially if it is compared to the latest technology, DSP, and features to grace the pages of the magazines this year, of course, a used IC-746 won't set you back the price of a good used vehicle either.

Then again, maybe reviewing one in 2012 is a mute point, but something positive should be said, (as many have done before) about this transceiver for those on a budget, looking for a do it all rig on the used market. Of course, keep in mind, each radios condition will very greatly depending on it use and treatment from previous owners. Some many be a diamond in the rough, while others are the rough. Buyer beware. First hand inspection is the best. Photos can make anything looks good... example Sushi...

It is a good radio, with a solid track record, well documented issues and repairs and still has it's die hard fans. The display back-light was an issue, but an easy fix today for most hams with a bit of technical ingenuity, plenty of mods and all in all a pretty fair transceiver.

And yes, despite the claims of it still being supported, it is in fact, no longer supported by Icom, you can check their knowledge base or call them for more details; now, that does not mean that the radio can not/will not be repaired by Icom; if it can be fixed, they will fix it, depending on available parts, but if they do not have the parts needed for the repairs, it will be returned to you.

And finally. Take the all reviews with a grain of salt, no matter the item you are reading about. After all, like this one, the are only opinions, and you know what they say about opinions... I have had good luck with the IC-746, your mileage may vary. Over!
AC8MA Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2012 00:03 Send this review to a friend
The Little Radio that can  Time owned: more than 12 months
The original Icom 746 is a radio from the past that is often overlooked by new Hams. Yes, it only has a B&W LCD display that is not as sexy as the latest rigs. It does not have the latest processors nor DSP of current rigs.

It does have, however, HF, 6M and 2M all within one transceiver all at 100 watts. A still active Yahoo group devoted to it and multiple sites on the Net with information devoted to it.

As for its known problems they are well documented on the Net. The biggest one with the backlight display going out can be avoided in almost all cases simply by turning the contrast up full.

The rig can easily be improved by installing a filter or two. I recommend the FL-223 for improving SSB reception. I also added the high stability CR-282 crystal. This is really needed if you plan to use RTTY with the rig.

I have great reports using my 746. I recommend ditching the hand mike and getting a Heil IC-M as a replacement. In the past I used Icom's SM-20, but the IC-M is a great improvement and easier on the neck and back too.

All in all, this is not the youngest girl you can take to the dance, but she still does the job for much less than the latest rigs.

N1HWQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2012 16:13 Send this review to a friend
ICOM still supports the IC-746  Time owned: more than 12 months
ICOM still supports the IC-746, despite claims on this thread to the contrary. I had a nearby lighting strike just last week that knocked out the ATU. I called up ICOM tech support and they told me to send it to the regional service center, which I did. They even gave me the name and number of the tech who would be repairing it! I called him up and explained the situation and he said "no problem at all". Expected turn around time is 10 days.

W2WRX Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2012 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Great radio for it's value and performance...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this 746 radio used from one of the ham radio web sites and I am impressed by it's performance,quality and user friendly of the control menu's,I'm not going to waste my time by others that really is not telling you of it's value and ratings on how it should be voted on its rating.I can't believe the un-intelligent persons that leave negative reviews on this radio.I found that the 746 is really a better radio than others for its value per price.After working and making contacts with other stations,it is really a great receiver as well and the transmit is on par,in other words they sound great,even with the stock filter 2.4khz on SSB.As for the CW side,the stock radio settings is not a problem when going in some break ups and the Twin PBT adjustment settings really does helps on those days.The DSP unit really shines from others that I work on ....Sure it has it's problems and I believe that this radio and other radios have their problems as well,you can't tell me that yours is better,it will be years to get a perfect radio that you want,I'm just happy that this radio has met my expectations and more some.The only problem that I encounter was that,every time that I would press the transmit button or the tuner button,the radio would loose power and shut down,than turn back on,even when the SWR was set to it's lowest settings and when I would key up on the mic PTT button,the radio would shut down,than back on .I got frustrated and started to check everything from the coax's,and the dummy load when hooked up.The only part that I didn't check was the power connector to the radio. When removed and inspected,I found that the standard 2 wire was ok,but when looking at the split wires that connects to other pin connectors and it Y's into other pins,the wire from that was so small in gauge and seems like someone has used small gauge wires and the pins were open as if it would just fall off by itself.So I slid off the cover to expose the connector on the 6 pin socket and straighten the wires that was heat shrunk and remove the female pins with a removal tool that I bought and closed each female pin connector and re-install the rest of the wire pins back in.Re-installed the power connector and pulled on it to make sure that it had a good grip.Tuned on the radio and did the same procedures that was having problems from shutting down.Ala,the problem was fixed,No More Power Shut Downs ....Was I in a relief to find out that all this time it was the power plug connectors being loose and under-sized gauge,now I know that it was the major problem and not the radio itself.....If you encounter this problems or have power shut downs,please check this power connectors and save yourself a trip to the repair shop.........Other than that,this radio has out perform my big radios that I used to owned.I am happy to own this 746 and it wil be the main stay station for quite awhile till it dies and find another if I have to to replace it.Like the other commented from the person that said : ( "Sadly though, Icom will no longer support the older 746 rigs so you are on your own if something happens to it." ) come on guy get real...any old radios that they manufacture cannot support (some) of the rigs,but you never try to see if they would repair them,their are other companys that will repair any make of radio's that has not been on the production line for quite some time now.....So I say,if you are looking for a great radio,get the 746 non(PRO)'l like it and more some.....For the other remarks from others,eh....they don't know a thing or two...73's........
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