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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ICOM R-9000 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM R-9000
ICOM R-9000 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $8000
Description: All-band receiver for FCC-authorized users only.
Product is in production.
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LW8DJI Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2008 13:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am the happy proprietor of one of these receivers, it buys it without working and it repairs i myself to it (I am tecnico in telecommunications) and everything what I can say of is: excellent very good operation and very robust in its construction this fact to last long time, functionally I cannot object nothing since he is very good and versatil, the only objectionable point is the high temperature to which it works but it is solve with an external cooler, excuse but I do not speak ingles and I translated with the altavista Babel fish
VR2XMC Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2007 08:39 Send this review to a friend
Simple the best unless you get a ICR9500  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my ICR9000 (with LCD display) from Osaka. It has been realigned by ICOM before sending back to Hong Kong.

Although this receiver was built in the last decade, it is still the top one in its class. There is no other alternative in the market at the second hand price range of US$3.5 to 3.8K. While in the HF and 50Mhz range, it cannot out-perform my IC7800 in terms of survival under contest condition. It is an excellent receiver in general coverage with sweet audio. It is a good pleasure to use ICR9000 for SWL and band monitoring.

For anything above 50Mhz, I simply cannot find other receiver comparable to ICR9000. If you want to work digital, there is after market P25 adaptor taking signal from the IF out of the ICR9000. There is no other receiver covering 50-1999Mhz with comparable performance except the ICR9500.

However, the price difference of an ICR9500 with a second hand ICR9000L is huge. I agree that the resolution of LCD display may be less than the CRT version. The LCD version implies less maintenance burden. Current consumption of the LCD version is less and hence less heat from the REG Unit.

The REG unit of my ICR9000L is cooler than that of IC781. The addition of a cool fan, however, will lengthen the life of your ICR9000.

If you can find nice one in the second hand market, just take it. There are not many available in the marker except those from the government users. I am not interested in those from the government users because they were being used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Since the receiver is through hole construction, you can service it by yourself to some degree if you have the service manual.
VR2AX Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2005 22:50 Send this review to a friend
Top Class Receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought mine, a UK model #2341, from the original owner who bought it new in 1992 and used it fairly infrequently. The IC-R9000 surpasses my expectations as a professional grade and feel instrument. I agree with the comments in the previous reviews except that mine does not suffer from any front end mixer breakthrough, presumably indicating that the (f0-21.4 mhz) notch filter is correctly aligned. I have previously owned a IC-R8500 unblocked version and, while that was a good receiver and an enjoyable one to use in many respects, it did not inspire the same degree of user confidence as the IC-R9000.
W6LBV Rating: 4/5 Oct 10, 2005 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Just a smidge below "ultimate"  Time owned: more than 12 months
For about two years in this decade I was privileged to have the exclusive use of an R-9000 for commercial monitoring purposes, followed thereafter by an R-8500 operating in the exactly the same configuration for almost an additional two years. The R-9000 was an early production CRT version (serial number now unavailable, probably slightly >1000) with the matching outboard ICOM speaker/audio filter. It had been purchased new in the early 1990s. I do not have its complete history, but it is very likely that it had received no service or upgrades after its initial purchase, and physically it appeared not to have been abused.

In my application the receiver was powered from a central 12 v.d.c. power source, and was operated in the straight (knob) tunable mode and also as a programmable register-recall scanner. I did not attempt computer control of the receiver through its integral RS-232 port.

There is no way in which I would or could denigrate the R-9000. It is a superior receiver, one which is capable of yeoman service in many different communications areas. But it is not an "ultimate" receiver; mine had a serious flaw.

Commercially at least twice-daily from a quiet ground-based location, I monitored the 894 - 956 MHz band with the R-9000, using an outdoor SCALA OGB4-900 resonant base station vertical antenna and about 50 feet of LDF4 hardline. And I discovered what I later identified as some serious intermodulation mixes in the front end of the R-9000.

The spurious signals presented in the 902 - 928 MHz "license free" band segment and involved (positively identified) 945-952 broadcast radio studio-to-transmitter aural link stations and, independently, also some of what were probably analog cellphone base station transmitters. Based on the evidence collected using the R-9000 I had initially contemplated filing a report of spurious emissions against a local (non-Amateur Service) licensee.

As a final check of the accuracy of the measurements, I added a high quality outboard 902 - 928 MHz bandpass filter ahead of the receiver. The mixes instantly disappeared, and I fortunately avoided some considerable embarrassment. Subsequently, while monitoring this spectral territory with several different R-8500s working under the same conditions AND without outboard bandpass filtering, no mixes were observed.

About this same time I also installed a remotely-controlled R-8500 at a commercial mountaintop radio relay site to listen at 896-901 MHz for commercial LMR mobile voice transmitters in the valley below. The commercial site contained several active 900 MHz LMR band repeaters. While one could certainly hear some intermod on the R-8500 generated by the heavy RF "smog" that enveloped the mountaintop, the 12 and 30 watt mobile transmitters were nevertheless usually receivable with good voice understandability. I have to believe that under the same circumstances this particular R-9000 would have been useless.

I note that a certain well-known Federal agency also uses R-8500s for remotely-controlled tunable VHF/UHF receivers at its local fixed-installation spectrum monitoring pods.

Since I did not own the particular R-9000 in question, I made no attempt to perform an alignment on it. Perhaps a thorough realignment would have improved the front end intermod problems. I again freely stipulate that this chassis was probably an early production unit, that it very likely had never been serviced or upgraded, and that I have no field experience with later production R-9000s for comparison. Certainly the "statistics of small sample sizes" could play a role here. And I noted no obvious problems with this R-9000 in the HF and VHF portions of the spectrum; limited A-B comparisons between the 9000 and the 8500 indicated substantially similar signal reception performances on most frequencies. The R-8500 as a design, however, seems to have much better front end intermodulation rejection at UHF than did my R-9000 sample.

The R-9000 is excellent as a tunable general coverage monitoring receiver. However, its programmable scanning provisions are, by today's standards, somewhat difficult and limited. And it has many more front panel controls than does an "average" receiver (not, in itself, a disadvantage), which accessible controls occasionally need some operator attention.

In its time the R-9000 was an excellent, serious receiver, as is also the R-8500 (which has its own independent limitations). But the R-9000 is not immune from problems, and candidates being considered for potential purchase should be carefully tested. Likewise, IMHO, a premium receiver which exhibits such substantial UHF front end spurious mixing cannot earn a "5" even considering its other outstanding attributes.
NI6S Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2005 10:45 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding!  Time owned: more than 12 months
After reading K6JPA's review, I was prompted to write one myself! I, too have compared the R-9000, which incidently has the same Sherwood modifications as his, and wholeheartedly agree that this is a more enjoyable receiver to use than other high-end radios, like the WJ HF-1000, etc. I have both and can honestly say that the WJ serves as a great "spotting" receiver, with its ability to dig out the weakest of signals, while the R9000 is good for extended listening periods of those same signals. Plus, you can't beat that it covers all the way up to 2 GHz, with no blocks in between! Hooked up to my M-8000 decoder, I can tune in most RF. And the laboratory-grade feel of the R9000 is superb. If you're a receiver buff like me, pick up an R9000 and you'll see what I mean! But be sure to get the Sherwood mods, too, with the SE-3 IF Output mod, the optional filters, and most importantly, the cooling fan which looks like OEM equipment and prolongs the life of the radio. Rob Sherwood keeps threatening retirement, so send your R9000 to him before he does! Feel free to e-mail if you have any questions.
K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2005 20:06 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite of All Receivers  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of these beautiful receivers. Both have been modified with Sherwood Engineering upgrades to allow for the use of their SE-3 Mk III and custom filters. These additions, along with the cooling upgrade, make these receivers as close to perfect as you'll find.

The learning curve for these receivers is straightforward and logical. The sound quality is superb, and pleasing to listen to for long periods of time. They don't have the digital "tinny" noise of higher end newer receivers, such as TenTec's RX-340 (which I can compare with since I also have).

The ergonomics are fairly well set-up, with my only complaint being small numeric keys. I personally like the large box size, as some of the newer receivers I have owned seemed like "toys" in comparison.

Although no longer sold new, a nice used one runs comparable to the available new receivers on the market, and I personally feel is a much better buy.
VK1ZIP Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2004 21:27 Send this review to a friend
Dream receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Quite simply the best full range communications receiver I have ever owned. I know of no other similiar receiver that is available either new or secondhand that can exceed the R9000's outright performance. I have owned an ICOM R8500 and AOR AR5000, both excellent receivers in their own right, however they are totally outclased by the R9000. The R9000 will hear signals the others wont even hint at. One of best features of the R9000's is its incredibly low noise audio stage, its very very quiet. Best audio stage of any receiver or transceiver I have heard. To cut a very long story short..if you are considering a AR5000/IC-R7000/IC-R7100 or IC-R8500 BUT you can afford the IC-R9000 then do not give it a second thought, the IC-R9000 is the pick of the litter! A second hand IC-R9000 can be purchased for the price of a new IC-8500.
K5YY Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2003 15:46 Send this review to a friend
Best I have owned in 45 yrs!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got the CRT model, LATE 2001 Asian model with SN>5300! Radio had been bought in Hong Kong in late 2002 having sat a year at dealer. I took a chance, bought it, had sent to me by Global EMS. Saved a BUNDLE over USA prices on used market. This is the BEST receiver I have owned since 1955! The Collins 75S3C and 75A4 and the Drake R7 have some great test data such as noise floors at -140 to -146dB, high blocking ranges of over 135dB and Dynamic ranges of > 95dB. The R9000 is right in there in all areas tested. DSP would be nice but not needed with the IF filtering supplied. I could go on and on about on-the-air checks, but my final opinion is to get one IF you want a stand alone receiver that will surpass anything else at the $2800-4000 price range. It even slaves with the 781 Icom! As with other newer rigs out there, there are more memories than a normal person will ever use! The GC portions of the new transceivers out there (781, FT1000 Mark V, 756 PRO, etc) will suffice for occasional SWLing and AM/FM listeners who venture out of the ham bands, but the spectrum scope on the R9000 really tells you where the signals are and is a big plus. Do not waste your money on the "L" R9000 which is the recent European export model with poor screen quality LCD display. Enough for now ... K5YY San
G0UUT Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2002 14:11 Send this review to a friend
the best ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
one of the best receiver ever made .
yes it is not only this is you have every thing
you just like to have on top end receiver
. yes i know psu is runing hot ,ok i sort it by puting
6 cpu [computer fan ] one is force air in one force air out it runing cool and nice
i have the 9000l very nice display as well love it never seel it in today radio no one can do a receiver like that . now the price is high ?
yes i know but you get what you pay for
my antenna 22 element logperiodic 33m up
this receiver like a tank .
if you can buy one get it .you gonna love this one
NC0B Rating: 4/5 May 11, 2001 23:36 Send this review to a friend
If you can justify the price, you should own it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have tested over 70 radios over the past 20 years, and this is one I will always own. The 20 kHz dynamic range averages 96 dB. The 5 kHz dynamic ranges averages 74 dB. Its real-time spectrum display makes the radio. You cannot overemphasize how valuable the you will find this display for everyday operation. After buying the R-9000, I purchased the transceiver IC-781 twin for amateur (ham radio) use. The features are too numerous to list, and I likely use less than 10% of them. Tuning rates can be set to anything you could ever want, and the ergonomics are wonderful. The choice of AM bandwidths are very poor, but this can be fixed with aftermarket filters. It lacks a sync detector, but again this can be added aftermarket. It covers DC to light, but since it is not blocked, it is now only available on the used market in the USA. Sensitivity is in the 0.2 uV range on SSB, more than adequate for all but the quietest rural locations. Some have measured down in the 0.13 uV range. Be careful and do not plug a PL-259 into the UHF N connector input. It runs hot, but an aftermarket cool kit solves this problem, too. It is so complicated that almost every sample I have tested has one small problem or another, and factory service for subtile issues has been less than satisfactory. The display in the R-9000L (LCD) export model is a total disappointment, so save your $8500 and buy a used CRT version for under $4000, when you can find one on eBay!
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