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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-725 Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-725
ICOM IC-725 Reviews: 43 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $700 (used)
Description: 160m-10m; 100w SSB/CW/FM; 40w AM
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.qsl.net/sm7vhs/radio/icom/ic725/ic725.htm
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NQ4T Rating: 3/5 Jan 8, 2018 19:35 Send this review to a friend
It's Your Basic HF Tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
Compared to modern entry-level rigs, the IC-725 it's attractive for pretty much only two reasons; it's cheap and it's a workhorse. If you, like I was at the time, are looking to get into HF on a budget, or are looking for a second "beater" radio, then it will serve you fine.

The receiver is adequate, but nothing to write home about. The "barn door wide" filtering leads to some reception issues; like being able to hear noise from someone 6khz up from you. This naturally makes working a crowded band quite the contest, which is usually when that's a problem. The AGC circuit isn't the best; strong signals will almost wipe out any adjacent ones and things get interesting if you overload the front end. It does, however, feature general coverage receive, and the receiver is pretty sensitive. Sound quality leaves a bit to be desired, though this is really only an issue using AM mode. The sound itself is heavily filtered above 4khz, which is talked about in two-part QST article that describes all the various mods you can do to solve most of it. You do have a RIT control and dual VFO with split, which is quite easy to use and works well.

The transmit side, however, is a different story. This thing throws out the RF, and it does it well. It lacks any kind of voice or RF compression, so average talk power is quite low, but the rig apparently sounds "really good" based on the feedback I've been given. CW output on mine seemed to be within a couple of watts of the full 100 advertised, and a single tone into SSB provides the same. It has performed very well with every digital mode I've thrown at it, provided you don't overdrive the rig. The unit lacks ALC indication on its meter, using the brightness of the TX indicator lamp instead; meaning you have to add your own meter to monitor the ALC or be very careful with your power output. The rig does have an RF Power adjustment in addition to the microphone level, but it appears to just fix the ALC bias. Since I adjust my power output from digital modes using the PC, this isn't an issue. I've not found a stated duty cycle for the unit, but many hours of SSTV at 90W has never been an issue.

Some people said the T/R relay was too loud, I'm sure others think the fan makes too much noise. I don't really care about either of those.

I picked mine up at a hamfest for $160 w/ power supply, untested, and it looked like it'd sat in a barn for a while. It jumped right in to service without complaint and without me having to do anything except hook it up, and it's gladly done so for 2.5 years now. It's been more reliable than any other rig I've gotten ahold of; getting put on the shelf as a backup only to be put back into service when it's replacement suffers fatal failures.

It's not a great radio, and while I hesitate to not call it a "good" radio based on the fact it's built like a tank, in many ways it's just an OK radio. At $200, it's a really good basic tough radio; perfect for the new ham on a budget, to put in service as a packet node, or kick around your trunk until every other radio dies.

CONS:

Barn-door wide filtering on SSB can cause issues.
Mod to fix SSB issue requires almost unobtanium filter and disables FM entirely.
Not even a basic mic compressor.
Meter only provides S units and RF output.
No RF gain, have to fake with 20db attenuator and 10db preamp.
(No VOX)

PROS:

Built like a tank
"great audio"
Works digital modes great (a guy actually said my digital sounded clean)
Pumps out the power like a champ.
Ol' Reliable
No VOX
 
K4AXF Rating: 4/5 Nov 19, 2015 07:30 Send this review to a friend
Good Little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
From a casual CW operator: Compared to many of the current rigs available, the IC-725 is feature-poor. That said, it is nonetheless a fine rig. With the 500 Hz CW filter installed, it performs quite well.

The sensitivity is every bit as good as any other. Front end selectivity is as good as you would expect from an up-conversion, general coverage rig.

1. No RF Gain control, but by inserting the 20 db attenuator, the background noise is tamed well. Or insert both 20 dB attenuator and the 10 dB preamp get 10 dB attenuation. Works out very well.

2. The T/R relay is audible, but it's much less intrusive than the FT-897 or IC-718, IC-7200. QSK delay time is adjustable from the back of the rig and can be set to full-QSK.

3. There's no passband tuning (IF shift), but RIT sorts out stations as well in many situations.

4. Audio is "bassy" and muffled when played through a bookshelf speaker.

PROS:

1. All of the shortcomings have workarounds.

2. A/B VFO and split work fine - easily accessed.

3. There's memory and scan functions, for which I've never had any use for on an HF rig.

4. The general coverage receive makes the 725 a dandy shortwave set.

5. The audio output seems well-tailored for the internal speaker and sounds fine.

Like me, you may feel that all the fancy features on more complex rigs are not worth the extra cost, that one of these simple straightforward HF transceivers (like the IC-725, IC-730, or IC-718) suit you just fine.
 
W5EN Rating: 4/5 Dec 29, 2013 12:42 Send this review to a friend
Performance surprised me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The receiver in this entry level radio has greatly surprised me. First it is quiet, much less ambient noise than my Kenwood TS-830. Less noise means less operator fatigue. I've also used a Yaesu FT-840 and the 725 does a much better job of rejecting near by signals. My intention is to use this little radio for digital mode usage. However, I've had fun working VE stations with this radio in this weekend's RAC event. An external speaker is a must and a DSP speaker like the "Hear It" is a great help. My 725 did not come with the CW-N filter but they are not expensive and one I believe will improve CW operation. I agree with with an earlier review that the 718 is a better radio, but from a bang for the buck view this little 725 would be hard to beat.
 
K7DXT Rating: 3/5 Nov 21, 2013 21:07 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad, Not Great. Okay if you get it cheap.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought one of these a couple years ago, and ended up selling it within about 6 months. The audio just wasn't all that stellar and the rig didn't impress me like I thought it might.

It's one of those minimalist radios I always thought I wanted. My recommendation would be to pass it by unless you can get it really cheap. For $200, it would be a good buy. For much more, I'd look at the superior FT-840, or the IC-718.
 
2E1VAR Rating: 3/5 Aug 11, 2013 13:28 Send this review to a friend
OK basic radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
725 is an okay starter/back up radio.
pros
well laid out
no silly menus
proper s meter
cons
bit too basic, no processor, no IF shift adjustment

main issue was the difference in audio between USB/LSB. USB was way too tinny and LSB was way too bassy. Ran it through an external speaker with bass/treble controls and it's actually quite a nice receiver.

Okay as a first set. Replaced mine with a 706IIG and I have to say the 706 wiped the floor with it. Spend the extra 100 on a SH 706 would be my advice.
 
2E1VAR Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2013 16:08 Send this review to a friend
Solid Little Set  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had mine about 3 months now and am very happy. Previously used 'shack in a box' radios 847/7400/2000 etc. and it's not as good but I would put it on a par with the 706. Made lots of contacts, no faults, great reports. A switch for each function (although there aren't many) and a proper S-meter :) For a starter radio or if you are on a budget you could do a lot worse, grab one !
 
K0RGR Rating: 0/5 Jul 16, 2012 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Yecch!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Second worst radio I ever owned. No, actually, I think I preferred the Eico 753. this rig was bought as a mobile rig, and it was a huge disappointment.

The problem was that the stock receiver was unbelievably prone to front end overload. There was a lot of speculation that ICOM used the wrong kind of diodes to do T/R switching in this one, but I don't think that was the case in mine.

You could make the radio work somewhat by using both the preamp and the front end attenuator at the same time. But in the presence of strong signals, it was a bow-wow. Maybe these days, there just aren't as many strong signals on the bands, so the users of these rigs don't realize how bad they are. COnnect a decent antenna and turn it on during a DX contest. You will be shocked.

There were an extensive set of modification for this rig published in QST. I did most of them on mine, but the 'best' one was just too risky for me to attempt - requiring a lot more surgery than I was willing to put the radio through. With the mods I made, it did work a lot better, but still not great. Perhaps with all the mods this would be a decent rig.
 
N4JB Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2012 01:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Basic Transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a mint IC-725 and it is every bit the radio operational wise as the description and picture furnished by the seller portrayed it to be. I am a basic operator and this little jewell is perfect. I love the pre-amp, stability and versatility. I wish I had the matching IC-726 which incorporates the six meter band. If you can find either transceiver in excellent condition my advise is GRAB IT. You will not be disappointed. Praises plus to ICOM on a beautiful and functional little radio.
 
N0RRS Rating: 3/5 Feb 24, 2012 11:08 Send this review to a friend
Good HF rig, No AM or FM  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a "MINT" IC-725. It did not have any narrow filters or other options. It worked pretty well on CW and SSB with the usual background noise for a radio without PBT or notch, but it required a special UI-7 AM/FM board (which has been discontinued by ICOM) to transmit on AM and to transmit or receive on FM. Also it was rather tricky to convert to 60m as it requires surgery on many of the major components just to get to the diode needing to be clipped.Therefore I am rating it only at a 3 because of no AM/FM capability. I sold this rig and bought a Yaesu FT-757 GXII, great old rig with AM and FM and 60m conversion is a snap.
 
KF0X Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2010 21:18 Send this review to a friend
My Second IC-725  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My very first HF rig was an ICOM 725 which I bought new in 1991. Over the years, I upgraded and went through several radios. A few weeks before Field Day of 2010, I was looking for an extra or backup rig for Field Day. I found a 725 on eBay for $225 and they claimed it was in good condition. It arrived and was indeed in good cosmetic condition. We used it for Field Day. It worked very well except for two problems.

1. It was about 10HZ high off frequency.
2. It was noisy on the receive.

Sometimes I make decisions based on sentimental reasons and so it was with this radio. It was my first rig and brought back memories. So, I found the high stability crystal unit (CR-64) on eBay from a seller in Grease. It showed up in a week or so. It was new old stock. Then, off it went to the BEST HAM REPAIR SHOP I HAVE EVER USED... hamrepair.com in suburban Dallas.

For about $150 (ya, I know... old radio, $150 is throwing good after bad), Cal went through the radio, replaced bulbs, aligned, lubricated and made it like new. I mean that, it is absolutely perfect! Better than new!

I am thrilled and have my old radio back and working like it did 20 years ago (well, a radio just like my first one).

If you have a chance to pick one of these up... DO IT! It is well worth it. If you can get it for a cheap price... send it in and get it fixed up. You won't be sorry!
 
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