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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ICOM IC-R71E Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-R71E
ICOM IC-R71E Reviews: 27 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $680-1280
Description: A classic communications receiver produced from1984-1996.
Product is in production.
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WI0H Rating: 2/5 Aug 11, 2008 09:05 Send this review to a friend
A Tale of Two Radios  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Icom R-71 (My version is the A model) is the first radio I've ever encountered that suffers from multiple personality disorder. On one side you have the SSB and utility radio that performs quite admirably. On the other side though, you have its AM performance, which is so mediocre it's laughable.

If you plan on spending all your time on the the ham bands, listening to SSB, or monitoring RTTY and wefax, this radio is your dream come true. If you EVER plan on listening to something broadcast in AM though, don't bother. Quite frankly, this radio sucks when it comes to AM. The filters are either too wide or too narrow, the gain control is useless, and the audio is atrocious. Imagine listening to your stereo with three layers of down pillows duct taped to your head. THAT atrocious. Keep in mind that this is after the radio was professionally modified for improved audio quality as well. Yuck! The good news is that the rig is stable enough to tune in AM broadcasts with either upper or lower sideband engaged, which measurably improves the audio.

So there you have it, two radios in one. Dazzle your friends with its clean SSB reception, then send them all out of the room by tuning in the BBC. I guarantee the radio will hear it, even if you can't. Icom should be proud an embarrassed of this radio at the same time. There are so many better alternatives out there of similar vintage(JRC NRD-525, Kenwood R-5000, Drake R8, etc.), I don't know why this would be anyone's 1st choice for a receiver.
W8WZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2008 18:17 Send this review to a friend
Best Rcvr Around  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had 2 Icom R-71A recievers. The first one didn't have the PBT. The one I currently have does have the PBT. Both are wonderful recievers. The PBT is a nice option. The display did go out on the one I currently have. But all that was required to fix it was to replace the electrolytic caps in the display unit. The yahoo user group for the Icom R71A is a great place to get advice about how to fix these radios.

The only radio I have used that was as good as this one was my Kenwood TS-930. I have used an Icom 737, and Icom 735, a Kenwood TS 570, and a Kenwood TS 950. None of those performed as well as the Icom R71A for Shortwave Broadcast DXing. Although the TS-950 wasn't bad. However it cost alot more than the Icom R71A.

This radio has the advantage of having a built in power supply that none of the other Icoms I mentioned had.

I plan on keeping this radio forever. If someone is just getting into Shortwave listening, or if you have been listening for a long time and want to get a very, very high quality rcvr, I HIGHLY suggest the Icom R71A. I am an avid Short Wave Broadcast listner, as well as a Ham who uses this radio with home brew transmitters that I have built. It works great for both purposes.
K9HDT Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2008 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Better than the new stuff!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own a R71A. It's fantastic. It beats any new radio thats out there. Simple and straight forward. I had the Willco board mod done to give me 1024 memories and to make sure the operating system never dies. The only thing that would have made it better than the newer Drakes would have been a sync detector. Other than that it's every bit as good if not better. By the way I have owned an R8B since 98 so I know what I'm talking about. IT's way more sensitive than my R75 and a lot less noise. No DSP hiss, just a pure analog signal. The radio was a gift from a fellow Ham friend so it's even better. It was just sitting on his shelve collecting dust. Now it get's daily use and will for a long time to come. Too bad they don't make this kind of quality anymore.
IV3GWJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2007 11:52 Send this review to a friend
THE RECEIVER!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This isn't a ordinary receiver. This is "a receiver". Apellative that can share together with few others (surely..JRC 535, Kenwood r5000).Forget all the "bells and whistles" around. With R71E you can find all the necessary to listen to good programs and make good dx!
....and second hand prices are often good!
Others new and semi-new products could be better in some respects..but in general view this old friend has still a lot to teach!
Buy one if you can!
KPAX2 Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2007 01:27 Send this review to a friend
LOOK AT THE R70 REVIEW  Time owned: more than 12 months
N6NKN Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2007 19:26 Send this review to a friend
Oldie But Goodie  Time owned: more than 12 months
My R71 is actually an "A" version. And its performance rates an "A" as well. I have thousands of hours of happy SWLing with this rig and still favor it over my new 756 Pro III. Its audio is top notch for hours and hours of listening. I have owned this receiver for many years and have not found a receiver that greatly outperforms it. I recently bought it a new Par Electronics End-fed SWL antenna, and expect many more years of listening pleasure.

They just don't make them like this anymore.
AB1 Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2007 08:09 Send this review to a friend
Still a great performer.  Time owned: months
I have just bought a second one of these great receivers. My original R71E is still working fine and has the Kiwa audio mods and a Kiwa LF-H4S AM wide filter installed, along with the Icom FL-33 AM wide filter designed for the R70 in the 9MHz slot.

My newer R71E is a later model, from 1995. It's in perfect condition apart from a tiny scratch that occurred during the customs inspection. It has no mods, just the FM board installed. I'm planning on getting the FL-44A SSB filter but that's it.

It appears to be slightly more sensitive than my earlier model. The audio is fine so I won't do any more mods.

This one is a keeper.
NIGHTHAWK Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2006 12:43 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio is the best radio I have had. It is simple to operate, and does really great all around. I would recommend it to anyone.
JV257 Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2006 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Still a Great Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought a mint one owner '71E off ebay about 2 years ago. It had recently been back to Icom for a RAM replacement. Having had one new for a while in 1989 I had forgotten just how good this radio was - because of age the audio was a little harsh so I installed the KIWA audio upgrade see
The audio is now much clearer and BC (MW and SW) reception is most pleasing on the ears. I have also installed the CR64 high stability crystal oscillator (why? because I could :), The IC-EX 309 Voice Synthesizer, IC-EX 310 Interface Unit, IC-EX 257 FM Unit, FL 63 and FL 44 Narrow filters - it had the RC 11 remote control so it is just about fully loaded and all for about a third of the cost this unit would have been new. I am thinking about installing a willco no fail CPU RAM unit - I'll post another review if I do.
If you are looking for a good all round performing HF receiver then get an IC-R71! they are still great value.
BLUENOSE65 Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2005 17:24 Send this review to a friend
Old= GREAT!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned the JRC 545 DSP and 345 and have written reviews on eham about them. For a long time I had been reading material (reviews) written by 'John Wilson' of SWM in the UK about how DSP did not impress him and that HF receivers without RF gain (the 345) are not proper radios etc, etc! Well I decided to list my two JRC's on ebay and got very good prices for them both! I replaced them with two second hand IC-R71E's (at less than half the price) and mounted them in two 19" Navcomm Racks from the US! O'h what a difference in reception and performance, I was quite shocked that these two Icoms were much better and had everything I needed for the HF Utility listening that I do!
One big difference is the sound of speach, JW was right in saying that it is much more pleasing for the signal to be processed through traditional filters than it is through DSP! I also noted a huge difference in volume between the 71E's and the 545, which at times would be so low, even on the highest AF gain setting that I would struggle to hear anything? Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the JRC's and they are quality in build and looks etc but for pure performance the much older Icoms out-shine my previous more modern RX's!
I am impressed with my professional looking set up that I now have in my 'shack' and will not replace these two Icoms until they die!
Fred Osterman did describe them as "excellent receivers" and I second this!
NO wierd 'monkey chatter' or 'popping' noises with these two! Quaility of build with the R71 is superb too and even thier looks are not dated! (look great in Navcomm racks)!
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