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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ICOM IC-R75 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-R75
ICOM IC-R75 Reviews: 76 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $570.
Description: Desktop Communications Receiver
Product is in production.
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<— Page 4 of 8 —>

KL1X Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2006 00:20 Send this review to a friend
Nice unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two and they perform well in a lot of variable environments - here in Shanghai we have a lot of big Bcst stations on MW but the R75 copes pretty well unless you add a few Volts by selecting preamp 2. Talking of which, one oddity is that between 30 and 76Khz Preamp 1 acts as an 6 dB attenuator - above this range it doesnt. Its still pretty hot down at the LF end and pretty stable holding within 0.1Hz at around 137Khz over a 24hr period without the high stab xtal. Other small grumble is (I) would like a variable output adjust on the Rec output line - Nice unit. Glad I have them.
NL7W Rating: 4/5 Jan 10, 2006 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio w/ Outboard Audio Amp & Speaker  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been very pleased with this radio.

I'm using the "recorder jack" fixed low-level audio output to drive a Bogen Classic Series 20-watt public address amplifier, which in turn, drives a JBL Pro III bookshelf speaker with a high quality 5.25 inch driver. The final audio results are just amazing -- making all monitoring quite enjoyable.

The optional DSP board is worth the money and increases the listening enjoyment of SSB and other weak signal modes.

AM band reception is geaat with the stock filters and my better outboard audio chain.


MIKEAMIC Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2006 13:02 Send this review to a friend
R75 = Great Choice  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Despite some of the problems and limitations of the R75, you can't beat the price performance ratio of this radio. It's an understatement to say that you get a lot of radio for the money.

Great customer service from ICOM to boot.
SOONTOBEHAM Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2005 22:15 Send this review to a friend
So far, so good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased a new R-75, and am quite impressed overall.

The ability to control the radio using a computer was one of the features that attracted me, although finding a software package that suits me was a bit of a trial. I finally settled on Ham Radio Deluxe (can be found at as my primary program, and tk75 (found at for manipulating the memories. Both are OK, but tk75 is a beta product, and seems less stable than HRD. They both work well and are FREE for personal use. I was less than impressed by several commercial products I tried, and found that the free ones were better overall.

I have only a couple of MINOR gripes.
1. On my unit, the AF gain control does nothing for about the first 30 degrees of rotation, then the audio sort of "jumps" on. This is an annoyance, not a show stopper, though.
2. I have run in to the dreaded front end overload problem. I live less than a mile from a 50kw MW broadcast station - needless to say, I hear some interference below 2MHz or so. The good news is that it is a lot less severe than I thought it would be. That says a lot for the quality of the radio's front end.
3. The noise blanker seems to generate pulse noise under certain conditions when there is no pulse noise for it to cancel. The problem is easily remediable by simply turning off the noise blanker.
4. I really would like more than 8 characters available to name the memories...
5. The front panel is a little crowded, and I find myself bumping the tuning knob sometimes when I go to press one of the buttons. Yeah, I know, it sort of goes along with the compact size of the radio (which is quite OK with me!), but I have a bad case of Fat Finger Syndrome, so I find myself pushing on the "Lock" button a lot.
6. The audio could be better, but in general, it works OK for me.
7. I'm not exactly crazy about the RF Gain/Squelch being one control, but it seems to work OK.

Again, I want to stress that these are MINOR gripes. My overall impression of the R-75 is quite favorable - it's the best general coverage receiver I've ever owned.

I expect to post here again after I've had more time to become more familiar with the R-75. See you then!
CLEBOT Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2005 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Get 'Em while you can!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wanted to paste this posting from the Elmers page regarding the discontinuation of the R75 from Universal Radio:
"Availability Note:
Icom has discontinued the R75. No replacement is currently planned. Universal Radio obtained a quantity of this model before it was discontinued. We are pleased to be able continue to offer this excellent radio."

Better get 'em while you can...just make sure you save one for me!
KB1FZA Rating: 4/5 Apr 5, 2005 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good but not perfect  Time owned: more than 12 months
I always found the negative reviews to be the most useful so here are some negative
points about R75:

- Synch-AM - not working - poor design on ICOM's part. The S-AM is a major sale point for R75, yet ICOM never bothered to design it well or fix it afterwards. It can be fixed by somewhat complex and difficult to install mod (PCB with components, lift a pin on a SMD IC, soldering to SMD IC pins etc)
- AGC too fast - again poor design by ICOM, can be fixed with a capacitor, but requires soldering to a SMD IC pin.
- pwer-off clock display- it surprised me that they did not include such simple yet useful feature in this radio. The radio has a clock but it doesnít display the clock when the radio is off. This big display can be utilized even with the radio off to show UTC in your shack.
- the external power supply doesnít have on/off switch (wall-wart), otherwise I like the fact that the power supply is external

- sleep timer - in two words - a joke! - Too bad nobody was thinking when designing the sleep timer. It *BEEPS* to let you know that is powering down the radio but there is no way to cancel the process in the last moment. What is the point of the warning beeps then? to wake you so you can sleep better knowing the radio is off? Furthermore the sleep timer, once engaged does not restart if you interact with the radio (Yeasu's APO is a perfect solution - turns off the radio after the radio is idle for certain time). No such luxury
here - If you start the sleep timer on R75 the only way to stop it is again to go to the menu. If you hear the "warning" beeps its too late. And then - to engage/disengage the timer you have to perform *multiple* menu actions!!!
- DSP - the dsp is marginal (comparing it to the DSP in my FT-100D or K2). The noise reduction is nothing spectacular. The Auto notch filter works ok.
- voice synthesizer - once installed, you can not turn it off completely - it will always announce the mode - AM, CW etc, but does not indicate the certain types - S-AM, CW REV. It is kind of annoying.
- no display indication about the state of the twin PBT
- 100 memory channels and only 1 pair of memories for scan range is not enough for me. If an HT can have few hundred memories why desktop receiver receiver is limited only to 100? You canít group the channels in banks!
- audio volume knob - not smooth action in the beginning of the scale- you cant adjust the volume for a very low level - it jumps from extremely low to too loud for my taste when using headphones
- the alphanumeric input is not very easy.
- lack of adjustment tuning dial revolution (encoder steps) vs. tuning steps, especially in AM when you use 10kHz steps. You have to be very gentle with the dial. The friction control of the main dial is a solution but not the best one.
- lack of a Quick Memory Bank (or second VFO). Sometimes I would like to jump to another frequency and then go back without storing the first one in the memory. It can be done by temporary tuning one of the memory channels but its not optimal.
- the user manual is so-so. Could be much better. Schematics are not included (I guess my expectations were too great for ICOM to handle, i admit: I was spoiled by another mfr.)
Most of the above flaws are just poor design within the hardware capabilities of the radio and firmware so the excuse "its not a $3000 radio" doesnít fly.
Aside of all of the above negative issues (which are reminder for me why I like another brand) there are also some very good things:
- optional filters
- optional tcxo
- twin pbt
- large and bright display - I love it
- nicely placed controls
- easy to operate
- very sensitive and selective
- multiple filter presets per mode - normal, wide and narrow, stored per mode
-large number of filter configurations (escpecially if you install optional filters)
-easy access to the main menu and the filter menu
- FM and lower VHF band (6 meter) as well as access to local utility frequencies
The small speaker is not an issue - this is a comm receiver and and I donít think ICOM expected the tiny speaker to be the only way of listening to the radio. Its there just for backup.

In other words, if you need high-end bedside shortwave radio or second set of ears in the shack - I think the R75 is the most cost-effective solution.
A used R75 in good condition costs as much as new Sangean Super ATS 909 and offers much, much more.
I donít think $3000 shortwave receiver will provide you with the 6 times the listening experience if you are into SWL or utility monitoring
WA6IPD Rating: 4/5 Dec 5, 2004 04:41 Send this review to a friend
A great receiver for the money  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have always used a bedside radio and the IC-75 does a good job. I used a crystal set in the early 40s until just after the war when the Hallicrafters S-38 came out. I likely enjoyed the S-38 the most of any receiver. One problem with the Icom that no one has touched on is the SLEEP TIMER. It would seem the engineers donít have a clue as to what a sleep timer is used for. With the Icom it takes four operations to activate it and just before it the receiver goes to sleep it gives several loud beeps. A sleep timer should be a one button activated timer that silently turns the receiver off after one has fallen to sleep. The Sony 2010 is the example of a good design.
WB8UHZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2004 18:49 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Excellent says it all! Get one! I have several
rigs including the R8 and R8A which are great, but you will not be upset with the R75, for the money .. nice rig!
N1GXC Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2004 18:10 Send this review to a friend
Nice Receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the R-75 because I needed a spare ear in addition to my HF rig. Ham or not, if your into 0-60 Mhz. this is a great rig. I wont bore you with all the specs. (check out the Icom site) I've got this hooked up to a 105' folded (balanced) dipole up 20' and the number of stations received in all modes is simply amazing! Very functional, attractive, well thought out radio. This radio has it's critics but so does the R-9000L. This is my best bet under $500. Feed it with a good antenna and listen through a good external speaker and and your in business. I would buy this radio again. You will find many new and used with a free DSP unit installed. (big icom promo) Got mine used from AES for $350.
ICR75 Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2004 15:09 Send this review to a friend
Very nice for the cost  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
We all love to list the equipment we have had. So let's begin by saying I have had many tranceivers and receivers. I have also built many Heathkits and Elecrafts latest offering, the K2.

At first, was the Heathkit SW-7800. Pleasing to look at because I built it, but tire easy with it's function and performance.

Next I bought a Kenwood R-5000, with the AK8 whatever AM 6khz filter. Very nice radio, excellent on SSB utility listening.

Then came the more analog/digital older model, but new, The Kenwood R-2000. Nice radio, better audio than the 5000, but mirrored the look of a fancy CB base station. But quite nice never the less.

Then came the Drake R8. This one, looks wise, had to grow on me. But once bit by Drakes new modern look, I was hooked.

Great more or less everything. However, awkward function controls for my liking. Very nice audio, a Drake known.

Of course there was a sony ICF-2010, SW-77 and a Grundig Yaghtboy 400.

Next came a Yaesu FT-1000D transceiver with two outboard matching speakers. Only bought because of the receiver praise.
What a beautifuly crafted radio that was. Every control was so precise and had quality written all over it. annoying cooling fan though.

Next was the drake R8B. No real earth shaddering improvements over it's previous, the 8 and A version. Is a matter of fact, it went down in quality as far as the tuning knob. They went from a fine peice of aluminum, smooth knob, to a cheap one on the B version.

When I asked Drake about this, they stated that the plastic has no static electricity problems when touching it.
Believe what you want. In my mind, it was a cost issue.

By the way, none of the radios I mention above or below do I still have, with the exception of the SW-7800 Heathkit.

Next came the SW-7800 Drake, improved version. Nice but fragile in my opinion. An annoying buzz from the power pack and some other little things convinced me to get rid of it.

Next, an Icom R-7000 all mode, which is actually on ebay as I write this. "Unblocked version".

After I got rid of the R-5000, I kicked myself. Of course thay had all ready been discontinued. But after an exhaustive search, I found a new one in Canada, paid the 1300.00 us again and since, have sold that again. I never, never bought used, always new.

Next came an Icom Pro transceiver. Very awsome concept. Color display and very functional and revelutionary band scope.
This is where I knew that this listening hobby of mine is going to become real passionate. But as with everything I have, got bored and sold it.

I have also had two Heathkit SS-9000 transceivers, gone and 1 HW-5400, which that to is on E-bay.

Anyway, there are some more in there, but enough. Again, never had the desire to transmit, but bought the transceivers because of unique features they had to offer.

So, I have been out of the radio hobby for about 2 years and am getting the itch again. Have many toys, Harley Roag king classic, new truck, new little airstream I just bought, but always go back to the radio toys.

What inspred me, this new ICOM IC-7800. Although there will be an improved version in the near future based on user feed back, like the display brightness, too low.
It is what I will probably get.

But this time, to try and get that 7800 off my mind for now, I was looking at some older, but new and some current radios to temporarily solve this radio want.

I considered the JRC 545DSP, but cost, needs refining and is old technology. Next Ten-Tecs RX-340. Great unit, older design concepts, and know BANDSCOPE. yes, this is now a must have for me.

So I said; let me try this inexpensive R-75, untill I feel the 7800 short comings are addressed. To possibly remove this itch, and save $11.000.00 dollars. Especially for me, I don't transmit, but love the high tech radio in any event. Then when I sell it in 6 months, after using it probably 10 times, the new owner will get it less transmitter use.

Really, enough now:


I am a firm beleiver in you get what you pay for. I bought this radio, with the free DSP unit, and further, Icom discount from HBO for like 460.00.

So to be a critic here comparing it against the best is not a true rating for the 75.

So what I am going to do is rate it for the money spent on it, and what I will get out of it.

I was glad to see an outboard power supply. This I think, with today's electronics, should be the rule, not the exception.

Although, like the Drake, internal heat cannot dissapate out of the radio due to a fully enclosed radio cabinet. The only good about this is dust cannot get into the radio. and heat is generated in any equipment of this nature.

I used to like gadgets around my radios, tuneers, notch filters, converters etc, but no more. I like neat and streamlined and that now includes outboard speakers.

So I was hoping the internal speaker on this radio was as nice as the Drake, but no contest here. If you world band it, an outboard quality speaker will allow you and your spouse to get along better. And the audio is greatly improved.

The units feel and construction is good. I have a few older Zenith transoceanics and two RBO Scott radios from the fourties that in order to qualify as an amerivan made radio, everything was overbuilt, such as the truck like tuning capacitors and drive mechanisims, the heavy plastic and metal chassis of the transoceanics, those days are over.

Today, lighter materials suppliment that thought.

But none the less, the 75 is just fine.

The display is crisp and well laid out. Afterall, this is just as important as the audio itself.

The only two analog potentiometers on the radio are marginal in quality, but functional.

The remainder pushbuttons have a good tactical feel and are responsive, unlike the rolling action of the R8 to make contact.

The adjustable bail to angele the radio for viewing is a nice touch as well.

The tuning knob is far better than the drake R8B, has an easy adjustment to tension it for ones personal feel.

The rear connection panel is simple, functional and well laid out.

Labeling of the function descriptions is in the Icom tradition of placing them on the button itself, less six function keys. I have never kept a radio long enough but with this technique, it's bound to wear off over use.

While the specs stae high dynamic scores, real world testing will determine that.
I live close to WLNA, a low to medium powered AM station, and regardless of the arsenal of tools the r75 has to combat this, I hear WLNA in various parts between 400 KHZ-the 60 MHZ tuning range.

The SAM or syncronous circuit works but is tempermental. It tends to lose lock which over time will cause you retune to another station, or shut it off all together. The R8 and B are more sophisticated and effective for this.

SSB, which is what I enjoy, utility's, not ham, seems to work as good as my R-5000, and in SOME cases, better.

I would reccommend to anyone buying this radio, don't waste your money on the upgrade for stabilty, this radio is very stabel right out of the box.

As far as DSP for audio, not filtering and other benefits are both Good and bad, the concept that is, Let me qualify that statement:

Know matter what the quality of any radio, including the new 7800 or Yeasu's future coming, and or any audio source, the human tolerable thresh hold to listen to any material at length
unless it is perfectly tonal and clean is low.

Older analog circuits and in combination with the right combination of newer are exceptable.
However, when the audio is digitaly processed, then generated as the final output, which is to the speaker, then to your ears, then to the internal human super computer we all have, the computer says, no good. This is un natural and therfore, is unacceptable.

We all have had to try and put together an awsome stereo system, that must be so accurate and sonic. We brag how our $5000.00 speakers are the best on the planet, and are perfectly natural and sonic.

Well, when we listen to HF radio or other, we still crave the same sound quality.

Therfore, in my opinion, the older analog and tube gear produced a more natural tonal quality that DSP can't come close.

I give this 75 a rating of 5 because, for the money and it's features, can't be beat at any price-performance level.

Remember, newer technology is not always better with certain features regarding HF radio or other.

There is a computer control option (RS-R75) I would like to try, has a band scope but it is exclusive to Windows 95 and 98.
What's up with that ICOM. Those operating systems went out with drive in theatres.

Icom has produced a very functional and capable radio.
It has, to some degree, taimed my urge for that new 7800.
But in the end, I will take the hit and go for it.

My experience from a monitoring and frequency hunter, the Icom Pro I had with the band scope is a must have. Once used, the conventional method of searching for frequencys will be by the wayside.

Thanks for reading.

Good luck with your 75, it's well worth it.
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