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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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IZ1CLB Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2005 02:26 Send this review to a friend
Concrete and reliable.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Excellent receiver. Easy to operate, high selectiviy and sensitivity, rugged, with no surprise. The other radio on the shack go and back, the R71 remain.
KZ5I Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2005 22:49 Send this review to a friend
GOOD RECEIVER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought an Icom R-71A from Ebay at a good price.

I listen primarily to SSB and the radio has been excellent. I also have a Kenwood TS-930SAT and a TenTec Corsair II in the shack so the numeric keypad on the R-71 is especially nice.

The audio is not that great so I would advise getting an external speaker. I use a Radio Shack / RCA speaker and the audio is excellent.

* Selective
* Ease of Use

* Non so far

I understand why Fred Osterman calls it an excellent receiver.
OE3HPU Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2005 01:51 Send this review to a friend
Strong RX,,still up to date  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This meanwhile quite old fashioned product is exactly that what I expected from a good communications receiver. Look at the concept: Big coils and 11 front end filters -compare to IC 756 pro3 !! Symmetrical 1st. mixer . 15kHz roofing filter (IC 756 as well 15kHz). Strong 2 .mixer,synthesizer with relatively low phase noise and very few spurs.Top quality crystal filters .Pass band tuning and IF notch. Mine came equipped with the very steep FL 44 plus FL 30 plus FL 70 (ssb wide) plus FL 63. CW operation is great (would have been even better if there were a possibility to insert a steep cw filter on 455kHz as well. The rig is sensitive (-136dBm)-and it did not show intermodulation effects on the very critical 40m band .First class AM ,especially if you use an external speaker (but the internal one is also O.K).Price was about 400 USD ,which is low compared to 1100 plus filters when new (European price levels). You can`t fail with this one if you are searching for a useful receiver at a reasonable price. Exact rating 4.7 to be honest.
W9LBB Rating: 4/5 May 3, 2003 22:42 Send this review to a friend
A pretty decent peice of equipment  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm a boatanchor fan, and my first excursion into
the Brave New World of high quality solid state
HF receivers was the Drake R8. That was a quite
satisfactory experience, so I moved into VHF/UHF
when I was offered an Icom R7000... once again, a

In time, I was intrigued by the idea of having a
receiver that was an aesthetic twin to the R7000,
and eventually an R71 presented itself to me for
purchase, at a price I couldn't refuse. So I got

The receiver is a late one (ie, no PBT, tho later
I installed it), and it came with the optional FM
board and the expensive SSB filter (FL44?). Time
passed, and the rig grew MORE options. As of now,
it sports the DC power cord, the speech synth,
the computer interface, and a tighter CW filter
from Icom. Further, it got a Novex rack mount (as
did the R7000), and it also got a nonvolatile ROM
board (more on this later). Recently, I even got
hold of the infrared remote control and added it
(IMHO an accessory that is rather silly for commo
receivers, but once again it was a deal I could
not refuse!). I'm still looking for the optional
high stability master oscillator kit, tho it's
not really a necessity.

I also picked up a copy of the shop manual, just
in case... and it's been invaluable!

So... a "loaded" R71 is a pretty decent piece of
equipment. I use mine, along with the R7000, in a
plastic "roadie" case (surplus from a defunct
local rock band) for semiportable use, powered
by a 12 volt deep cycle battery, kept charged by
a Siemann's solar panel! It gives a good amount
of performance in a reasonably small package in
situations where it isn't practical to take my
normal station receivers (don't even THINK about
trying to run a boatanchor on solar power!).

Performance has been quite good for AM BCB DXing,
utility DXing (RTTY and digital modes), and as
receiving side of a ham station (I normally carry
a 1 watt CW rig for 40 metres).

I've learned a few things about the radio that
you have to deal with.

This is a radio that LOVES a 50 or 75 ohm antenna
and it doesn't work that well with an improvised
random wire. The usual result is degraded S/N
ratio and a lot of birdies.

BCB DXing can be improved somewhat by adding a
simple modification, which can be found on the
internet. The R71 turns off it's RF amp stage on
frequencies below 1600 KHz. Removing one diode
will keep it on at ALL frequencies, providing a
bit more sensitivity. However, I wouldn't really
recommend it if you live close to an AM station;
the intermod can get pretty fierce.

The reasons I added the nonvolatile ROM board
were several. First, I've seen the result of the
memory floater battery on the stock Icom going
dead; the radio becomes totally inoperative, and
it's a very expensive doorstop. Second, the board
adds memory channel capacity; would you believe a
whopping 1024 memory channels??? Third, and most
important to me, the memory data has been changed
from the stock Icom's; your frequency coverage is
expanded downward. With the new board in, the low
end of the tuning range is about 9 KHz!

If you don't want the 1024 channel memory the
installation of the board is a snap, requiring a
half hour and a screwdriver. To get the extra
memory channels is a bit more complex, requiring
a couple of hours work with a soldering iron.

Adding PBT to an R71 that doesn't have one is a
very simple proposition, assuming you have the
shop manual. It covers ALL versions of the R71,
and has the Icom part numbers of the dual section
pot and replacement knobs required to do the job.
If you're a purist, they also include the part
number of the proper replacement front panel so
you have the PBT markings (I didn't go THAT far).
A quick phone call later, Icom sent me the parts,
and they were installed in less than an hour.

The R71 has been criticized as being an "old"
design, but "old" doesn't mean "bad". This old
rig can STILL more than hold it's own... and
since it's no longer the "Latest & Greatest", it
can give you a lot of performance for a pretty
decent price.

If you can only have one good receiver, you can
do a whole lot worse than the R71. Even without
all the optional bells and whistles I've added to
mine I'd strongly recommend it.


Tom, W9LBB
AB1 Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2003 11:05 Send this review to a friend
A true classic.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'd wanted one of these for years: since I was a teenager in 1986, in fact. I finally bought one from an SWL in England and have had it for about a week. I paid $300 for it, and am really delighted. It's in 99% perfect condition cosmetically, and works perfectly, too. My other receivers are 3 Sony portables, and a Yaesu FRG-7700 and a Kiwa modified (filters and audio) FRG-100B.

Until now the FRG-100 was my favourite receiver, and I still love it, but the R71 is awesome. It's a dream to operate, the audio is good, despite the comments in some of the reviews I've seen, and the selectivity is great, especially with the PBT.

I've already tracked down an FM unit, and will purchase the FL-32 CW filter and FL-44A SSB filter or Inrad equivalent soon.

Overall it's a superb radio and I'm just glad I've finally got one. Highly recommended.
N5JOB Rating: 4/5 Sep 28, 2002 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Home/Commercial use of the R-71  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the R-71 both at home AND on a ship in my job as Radio Officer. These are two entirely different scenarios and I will base my review on each.


The only problem I had was the lousy audio quality. Listening to ANY shortwave broadcaster or voice communication was not very comfortable. It was downright unpleasant at times.

Everything else was excellent. It is very easy to learn to use this receiver.


The radio shipboard was used solely as a CW/RTTY receiver and it was EXCELLENT for this purpose. The unit had replaced an ITT Mackay 3020 receiver as the station "Main" receiver, and it was used beside another ITT Mackay 3020. The R-71 (about $900.00 at the time) was BETTER than the $5,000.00 Mackay receiver!

I liked the "RTTY" mode capability that made it unnecessary to offset tune a rtty signal using USB or LSB mode. The unit was very stable... I could copy FEC-B broadcasts from a station for HOURS and the outboard modem I used for decoding confirmed this. ("Mark" and "Space" lights never moved.)

The unit I used on ship had the P.B.T. option and this helped on CW and RTTY. What also helped on CW was the variable RF gain. It worked in a way that the "S" meter deflected when the RF Gain was reduced. This really helped reduce interference.

I listened to 500 kc/s for probably thousands of hours on this receiver. Always VERY sensitive on the ship's antennas. (500 foot phosphor bronze wire about 150 feet above the waterline!)
WG3L Rating: 4/5 Jun 12, 2002 10:05 Send this review to a friend
Power Supply Died...  Time owned: more than 12 months
The internal power supply showed signs of imminent death (reduced audio quality after warming up) and ultimately died...

Using the (optional) 12 VDC cable & a lab power supply has at least brought life back into the receiver (performsm like it did when new...)

Big disappointment that a better internal power
supply wasn't included in the box from the start
('hope I'm luckier with my R7000)
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