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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-738 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-738
ICOM IC-738 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1289.00
Description: HF All mode 30Khz-30Mhz
Product is in production.
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K3SUI Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2007 20:10 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio in the summer of 1995. I used it for a few years as my main rig. Later I moved it to a secondary position, but decided to keep it. In that last 17 years I've had this radio, mobile portable, and at numerous field day locations. It has performed wonderfully for me. As everyone says, it is a simple radio but very functional. I like the receiver. It is quite sensitive and I can really narrow it down with cascaded 500Hz filters and the passband tuning. I've really gotten my money from this rig, but I still won't sell it. It's just too nice.
VK2TLG Rating: 4/5 May 8, 2007 15:57 Send this review to a friend
a good entry level radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased the IC-738 in December 2006. At first it took me a while to get used to the receiver tone and the feel of the radio. The IC-738 is a very basic simple radio to use and operate. I have now had the radio for about 5 months now and have grown to like the radio, the receiver is pleasant to the ear and the controls are simple. I practically like the fast and slow AGC and the PBT. The radio is very stable, no drift at all – regardless of ambient temperature unlike the previous radio I had. The preamp I find to be a little gutless and the NB is completely useless – does nothing.

The built in ATU is average but does perform ok unlike my previous radio –TS-450SAT that would tune a bit of wet string.

The radio on TX is excellent and performs very well and the compressor also works very well. The radio only has the standard hand held mike and that seems to be good to. On air reports say that the tone and quality is great – nice crisp and sharp – if anything a little high.

In summary – This is a great little radio, reliable, simple to use, good receiver, above average TX and would make an excellent first radio. In Australia the going price is about $600.00 ($486USD) to $800.00AUD ($648USD). If you find a radio at the lower price value then it’s a great buy and a good investment.

SM5USK Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2002 02:26 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this transceiver for about one year and like it very much. It is very quite and works smoothly. It has the double band-stacking register that makes it to use very easy. I.e., you can store two frequences on each band (e.g.on CW and SBB side).I have loaded it with filters, Two cascade 500 Hz CW filters and I am just now improving the SSB filter set-up. I will replace the FL-30 with FL 80 on 9.0 MHz side and replace the ceramic filter with FL-44A. Then I have equal set-up that is used in IC-751A. So, the only drawback that I have found is the standard SBB filter set-up. But as I said, it can be cured. I owned previously IC-751A and like this radio much more. 751A is old radio and IC-738 is big improvement. This rig must be very underestimated. It is very well built (alumina chassis) and the workmanship is excellent and robust inside. It is easy to use considering the bandstack register and memory pad and quick split function. It is even very quite when transmitting and the full break-in works very smooth. Finally, I would recommend this radio to everyone. The price you are paying for it on the used market gives you best value for money. Godd Luck!
N7HRR Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2001 09:37 Send this review to a friend
Love It!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great radio, lots of funtionability, esp. on SSB. A great radio for new hams (like me). Good audio, I think it is a great receiver, all be it I have only had two previous. Nice styling and controls. Mine came with both FL-53A and FL-101 filters installed from AES. Would recommend for any new ham that can't afford the brand new radios but want a full featured radio at a reasonable price.
DK3QN Rating: 4/5 Jul 23, 2000 11:38 Send this review to a friend
good performer, easy to operate  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased my IC-738 second hand half a year ago. It's a good overall, but not particularily stellar performer.

sensitive receiver, very good ergonomics, good TX IMD (although 12 volt finals), large & easy to read display and meter, clean CW sidetone without pops etc., quiet change over relays (QSK),
provides 2 frequencies per band select push button (e.g. toggles between CW and SSB segment and modes)

big box & a lot of unused space inside (same housing as IC-736 which additionally provides a built-in mains PSU - but no 12 V DC plus 6 m capability),
no mode-independant selection of additional Crystal filters (for RTTY, AMTOR, PACTOR etc.),
some audio intermods in CW, especially under a very busy CW band & even with 2x250 Hz filters installed (see ARRL test report)

Klaus, DK3QN

KC5MFA Rating: 4/5 Jun 21, 2000 12:23 Send this review to a friend
just had my first problem  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 738 had been bulletproof until June 17, 2000. I had been using the rig on 3925 with no problems until I tried to check in to the Gulf Coast Sideband Net at 6:30pm. The internal tuner wouldn't tune the G5RV. It also wouldn't tune 40 meters. I had been operating on 3925 with no problems. I held the tune button down to force the tuner to tune and smelled a wisp of electrical smoke. Shut down and inspected the antenna. No problems there. Still won't tune 40 and below. No problems with the other bands. I guess I'll send it in for repair. Still love the radio.
KC5MFA Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2000 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Great basic hf rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I won my IC 738 at the Baton Rouge, LA hamfest in May, 1995. Best $10 I ever spent! I upgraded to Tech-Plus in early 1999 and in the interum the 738 was used by my club for Field Day and other HF demo days. I upgraded to Tech-Plus in early '99 and now, as a General and future Extra, the radio serves me well. It has been absolutely trouble free and a joy to operate. The only complaint I can list is having to use the Heil pre-amp with the Heil Proset headset. Other than that, it's a great basic hf rig. I'll be purchasing a new Icom 746 FH-50-144 rig at Dayton 2000 and the old 738 will take up permanent residence in my motor home. I considered contacting AES or HRO when I won the radio to see if I could trade it in and pay the difference for an Icom 736 with 6 meters, but I was overcome with New Radio Euphora kept it instead. I imagine one could pick up a used 738 for a pretty good price. If you are looking for a first HF rig for the new ham or just another rig to add to the collection, the 738 is a fine choice.
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