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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | ICOM IC-7800 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7800
ICOM IC-7800 Reviews: 99 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $10,000 US
Description: The ICOM 7800 HF/6M was first introduced at the Dayton Hamvention 2003. ICOM believes it is the most advanced amateur radio ever developed. It utilizes four separate 32-bit floating point TI DSP chips, has a 7-inch wide TFT display, built in RTTY/PSK31 receive and transmit using a USB Keyboard interface, plus compact flash technology. The radio features an IP3 of +40dBm and 110db dynamic range. It features two identical, fully independent, receiver circuits. There is even a separate preamp and mixer for the 6 meter band. More information, brochures, U.S. dealers, and pricing should be available soon.
Product is in production.
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NS0W Rating: 3/5 Apr 5, 2011 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Too expensive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I only operate SSB ragchew and some DX. I never contest and this review is based on my experiences doing that.

Unfortunately, we also have to factor price into every review - if not, how would anybody be able to give a radio like an IC-718, FT-450 or similar ever a 5/5. My other radios are a TS-870 and base K3/10, so most comparisons are based on these. I am also not reviewing Icom's service or the reliability of the radio - I never had any problems in the year that I own this radio. The radio is the second gen i.e. 3Khz roofing filter and firmware is 2.20.

What I like:
Display is beautiful - end of story.
The dual PBT is very nice for getting rid of QRM. So does the auto notch filter in getting rid of those inconsiderate tuner-uppers.
The manual notch filter is also excellent.
Noise Reduction is excellent.
Standard serial port on the back for remote control is great.

No waterfall spectrum display and ...
No IF-out or built in antenna splitter that allows me to run a SDR receiver that will give me the panadaptor with waterfall display.

Recovered audio is not as good as what I get out of my Kenwood TS-870. I used an Icom SP-20 on the 7800 and Kenwood SP-31 on the TS-870. Audio out the ACC connector or optical connector on the back into external amp and speakers, is excellent, though.
DC voltage on Microphone pins. On the K3, you simply go into the menu and turn the bias voltage on or off and on the Kenwood it is on a separate pin. On the Yaesu 9000 you have a XLR mic connector on the front and conventional connector on the back. I know you can use the ACC connector on the back of the 7800 but that bypasses the mic gain circuit.
The implimentation of Twin PBT is complex and filled with non-essential information compared to the simple effective K3 or Kenwood implementation.
The SFT filter indicator is confusing and there is virtually no documentation on it in the manual.
The same goes for the Manual Digital Selector adjustment. There has been posts on the 7800 Yahoo group about folks not being able to figure out of this does anything useful - and I am in that same category.

I have done many A/B comparisons between the IC-7800 and the TS-870 and a few between the K3 and the IC-7800. Most of these test were a weak signal close to a real strong one and I was trying to dig out the weak signal. So far, I could not find a situation where any one radio of the TS-870, K3 and IC-7800 could do it better than any other radio. I have to admit that my K3 only have the stock filter installed and the TS-870 only has one fairly wide roofing filter.

I would have overlooked the shortcomings and gave it a 5 if the price was below $7000 but neither the performance, nor the features makes it worth the new price to me. Seems the best price you can sell a pristine used one for these days is around $7.5K - so the used market has come close to what I perceive the real value to be.
K8RA Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2011 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Trust me, I have owned a lot of radios. The 7800 is my all time favorite. I love the features and user friendliness. ICOM has the best sounding DSP noise reduction software of any of the manufacturers. Everything in the radio works as advertised. I could go on praising this radio but others below have said it all.

I do agree with the amplifier sequencing issue but I purchased a sequencer from DX Engineering and the problem was solved. The other issue in my opinion is the weight of the radio. It is expensive to ship if you do have a problem
W5DNT Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2010 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic XCVR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Without a doubt the best transceiver I have ever owned, by a country mile! The features are very extensive but simple to use. Excellent ICOM ergonomics, inuitive operation. The CW options are great, especially the APF (audio peak filter). Diversity receive and split operation in stereo is awesome. Having a completely independent second receiver, loaded with all the same bells and whistles, makes for a tremendous tool for the serious DXer.

Low noise floor, makes a great 160M DX rig. It hears weak stations that the PRO3 (which I like too) simply does not hear. Can't wait for topband season this fall.

No issues whatsoever with headphone rfi, PAs, etc. No complaints at all. ICOM support excellent with initial questions and firmware upgrade.

Am I happy to have spent this kind of money on this transceiver, ABSOLUTELY! This is a serious radio for the serious amateur.
G0CGL Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2010 23:34 Send this review to a friend
new firmware 2.21  Time owned: more than 12 months
My only long-term niggle with the 7800 has been that the sharp/soft DSP filter didn't set properly on changing modes. On going back to SSB it would often be on 'sharp' even though it supposed to be 'soft'. New firmware 2.21, available on the Icom Japan site, rectifies this issue at last.
KE7CPE Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 21:17 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Rig with Many Features  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my IC 7800 for over 4 years. I'm just now discovering the full potential of the radio. The features are absolutely amazing. The S/PDIF input and output on the back are very useful for operating digital modes. The radio interfaces nicely with HRD and also the IC PW1 amplifier.

If there was one thing I could change about the radio, I would add a USB port for rig control and input/output audio. Maybe they will come up with some sort of upgrade to allow the USB keyboard connector on the rear to be used for rig control and sound input/output. Other than that, I don't think I would change anything.

Overall, this radio is an absolutely incredible machine. I just wish the radio came with a cushy chair and comfortable headset to make long hours of operating enjoyable.

Good DX and 73!
IK0YKM Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2010 04:35 Send this review to a friend
Flawless  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am IC-7700's owner.
Today I bought transceiver ICOM IC-7800.
Extraordinary Easter surprise.
The 7800 has the second receiver.
I be moving 7700 to holiday home.
I've had Yaesu for about 30 years but the IC-7800 left me really surprised.
See also my previous comment on the 7700
I'm very satisfied.
Thanks Icom
K0MD Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2010 19:18 Send this review to a friend
The Best of the Best  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I waited a long time to buy the 7800 and traded my Icom 775dsp off for it. It took several weeks to arrive and I began to wonder, "Did I make the right trade?"

It took less than one hour of operating this rig to realize I should have bought it a few years earlier. I have not looked back or missed the 775. The 7800 is a worthy upgrade to the 781/775 series.

It is an AMAZING radio. The receivers are like nothing you have ever experienced: Quiet, Solid, Sensitive and they hear more signals than I can easily work. I spent over 30 minutes one morning calling a deep Asian station waiting on propagation to open up so he could hear me. These receivers are band openers and closers!

The digital filtering is the best I have encountered among all rigs and Icom radios as well. They are solid and, when coupled with the roofing filters, create a brick wall around the signal you are intending to copy.

The radio allows you to do SO2R so I can Dx on two bands simultaneously. The radio does not skip a beat.

The audio from this rig is outstanding. I have received many on the air reports about my audio quality and the recordings I have heard sound great also.

This is the gold standard among ham radios. No other rig can match its performance, its ergonomics, its ease of use and its flexibility.

I feel that giving it a '5' is too low a number. It should be rated a 10/5 for this website.
M5LRO Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2010 18:16 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is one hell of a good radio and I have had some by which to compare it to in my 10 years or ham radio.
I was seriously considering a flex and also the Yaesu 9000 but for me the Icom 7800 was the radio. I did like for like comparisions in terms of performance and user interface and as a ProII user it was a no brainer. The rx side of the radio is simply superb indeed, I love its ability to get rid of qrm and the facilities for qrm take some beating.
Unfortunately I am in a typical UK housing situation in an urban area but the tx side is very clean and I have no problems anywhere with RFI emissions from the installation.
TX audio reports I get are always first class and I am thoroughly delighted with it.
Yes I had a final failure and yes ICOM did me a fine job and I had a 24 hr turn-round collect and drop off in person by one of their senior and most respected engineers (thanks to Chris Ridley).
The Radio has performed flawlessly over the last 29 months since the initial problem.
I have owned Yaesu FT102, FT101, FT817 and FT1000MP, Kenwood TS570 TS870S TS480HX, IC7400, IC756Pro II and also now have an IC7000 which is just such a wonderful little rig for my /MM activities. The 7800 is streets ahead of them all it really is.
If you have the space for a decent antenna farm this is the rig for you, if you can afford it. Yes its a lot of money but in all honesty if you use the radio frequently this is the rig for you. Ham Radio is our passion and we love it, why not enjoy it.
I use the radio every day when I can and I think that the purchase price spead over say 5 years is really peanuts for the pleasure it gives me.

I know people who spend several thousands of pounds on Golf Clubs, Camera Gear and Fishing gear so who gives a heck, life is for living and we only get one crack at it, after all eh!!!!

Of course with the arrival of the 7700 and the recent price hike its not so attractive but the additional receiver is a very useful tool indeed and the ability to switch to the sub and work directly on another band is a super feature.

I am an average guy with an average job and I was fortunate to be able to afford it due to a change in my personal life but I am really glad I made the right choice.
Hope to see you on the bands, 73 all.
K1NVY Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2009 12:47 Send this review to a friend
exceeds expectations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a 100% CW operator and all comments refer to CW.

I recently added the IC-7800 to my station which now numbers 17 rigs: (3) FT-1000, (4) TS-850S/DSP-100, (3) TS-940S, (2) IC-751, (2) FT-990 (1) FT-857 (1) IC-756 Pro-3.

As a CW op, there 's one criteria common to all radios and that is to separate signals and ideally copy noise free without QRM from nearby strong signals. All these rigs will accomplish that task, some better than others. One TS-850S/DSP-100 has been modified with the addition of the SGC ADSP-II low level audio DSP filter located after the CW mixer stage and followed by a homebrewed two stage (Q = 10) audio peaking filter at 700Hz. This combination performs this task better than any other radio including the IC-7800.

So with that, what is the advantage of a $10,000 radio? I find the operating features of the IC-7800 far exceed any other rig in my nearly 50 years on the mode. With the IC-7800, I can be operating one band while monitoring another band for DX spots. Setting the SUB receiver in DUALWATCH to say 17M while operating 20M, I can bring up the SUB display and see what activity is in on 17M. If I tune in a 17M station that I want to work, I press CHANGE and I'm now on 17M ready to transmit. I cannot do this with any other radio, I can come close with the FT-1000 but its sub receiver requires a separate antenna and of course it does not have a band scope.

The IC-7800 has more features for the way I operate than I ever expected. Is it worth $10K? For me, absolutely! Expensive, sure but hamming is worth it to me.

I have never enjoyed operating more than I am now with the IC-7800. At one time, I had five rigs on the op desk (Pro-3, two FT-1000's, TS-850/DSP-100, FT-1000MP MK-V now sold) and I would pick one to operate without any particular reason other than I enjoyed using different rigs. With the IC-7800, I now go directly to that rig and frankly, don't see my self using anything else.

By the way, I knew long ago that the IC-756 Pro-3's preamps, NR and filtering work equally well as the IC-7800. I sat at Icom's Bellevue, WA station almost three years before the IC-7700 was priced and available to the public. I did a side-by-side-by-side comparison of those radios and decided at that time that there would be a Pro-3 in my future. I added the Pro-3 in January 2009. Recently, I did the same comparisons with the IC-7800 and IC-7600 thinking that I would add the IC-7600 but left convinced there was a IC-7800 in my future rather than the IC-7600. The IC-7600 clearly has a brighter display and the audio peaking filter was a big advantage over the Pro-3 but I did not see the value of paying $4000 for a IC-7600 which only differed slightly from my Pro-3.

K5JZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2009 21:30 Send this review to a friend
One year old and still the BEST of the BEST!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Yaesu had some serious problems with their design and implementation with the 9000 series and their PEP program is all about addressing those shortcomings. The CPU could be timed with a calendar, not a stopwatch. Features not working or not working correctly, along with bugs and glitches are well documented.

The IC7800 had no such defects and their enhancement program was very reasonably priced, if you took advantage of it when it was first implemented. It is still reasonably priced considering costs these days.

Customer service is bringing to market a radio that meets or exceeds specs, not a rig that has to have massive internal transplants and a massive software rewrite to function as promised.

I absolutely respect and appreciate what Yaesu and everyone concerned have done to rectify this situation, but their program is far removed in purpose and intent from Icom's enhancement offerings.

I love my 7800 so much that I bought a 7600 as a backup and dedicated 6 meter rig… and its performance and features are so close to the 7800, that is downright scary… considering its price range... and the competition should very well be scared of this new offering… and with good reason.

George K5JZ
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