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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Icom IC-R72 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-R72
Icom IC-R72 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $1099 originally
Description: General coverage communications receiver.
Product is in production.
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M0WZM Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2011 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Lovely receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just bought a used IC-R72. Very sensitive. In my view just about a perfect general coverage receiver.
It has direct frequency entry, adjustable tuning steps, front panel switchable pre-amp and attentuators and 99 memories, all very nicely laid out. Nice audio tone from a deceptively small speaker.
A considerable step-up from my Kenwood R2000.
IZ2EAS Rating: 4/5 Sep 6, 2007 00:41 Send this review to a friend
Neglected beauty  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Like the previous reviewer did, I too bought the R72 to match the excellent R7100 (I already wrote a review for it), and set up my dc-to-daylight receiving station. I bought it – second hand – from a dealer at a very reasonable price, and it was in first-rate conditions, both electrically and aesthetically. The only work I did on it was to replace the back-up and clock batteries. Actually the clock battery was completely flat, while the memory back-up battery was still ok ! As I did for the 7100, I replaced both to be safe. Since the 4 display lamps were still ok I decided not to mess with them (if ain’t broken don’t fix it…); this was actually good news, since it means that the receiver had not been used too much.

So, how it works in the real shortwave world… let me say that I also own the fantastic Drake R8, so I am spoiled a bit… The radio is very sensitive, and dynamic range is more than adequate.. far better than the Kenwood R1000 I owned in the past. Actually, if you just look at the figures (blocking dynamic range, IMD, etc.) they are not too far from those of the R8 (see the Sherwood Engineering web site). Unlike the R8, the R72 has no passband tuning and no notch… you miss those facilities at times. Selectivity is just fine, even if an additional bandwidth (say, 3.8 kHz) would have been nice (again, I am spoiled by the R8…).

You have to use the noise blanker with frugality… surely it is effective against pulse noise, but it introduces also severe distortion on strong signals, in particular in AM mode. Actually, I have it almost always turned off.

One minor problem I noticed is a minor heterodyne when tuning AM signals; in particular, there is some spill-over from the local BFO that is used in AM mode (very weird !) to assess if the station is properly tuned (it turns on the red light on the display). This spill-over beats with the station’s carrier, and if they are not exactly on the same frequency a (very weak) beat note is heard in the loudspeaker… almost like tuning AM in SSB mode. Not a real problem, just a nuisance; in fact, when tuning across the broadcasting bands, I use the 5 kHz tuning step, that I find to be extremely convenient. Apart from being always right “on channel”, the heterodyne problem is solved.

I can use my R72 to receive DRM (Digital Radio Mondial); in the R72 there is a free slot designed for the optional IF filter for the CW-narrow position; not having a filter, I used the free connection to extract the IF signal and send it to an external downconverter, that converts it to 12 kHz; the 12 kHz signal goes to the line input of my PC’s soundcard, and the free Dream software does the decoding… I just push CW-N button and here I have DRM… nice and clean. If you are interested in this mod and you want more details feel free to contact me.

I also created a yahoo group devoted to the R72; you can find it at ; please feel free to join, if you have an interest in this receiver.

73, Michele IZ2EAS
JV257 Rating: 4/5 Aug 17, 2004 00:30 Send this review to a friend
Good Receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought the '72 to match my 7100. Not quite the same thing in terms of performance. Obviously a different design phiilosophy for these two rigs.
Sensitivity is good, Selectivity is adequate but a notch and pbt would have made it perfect.
100 memory channels is adequate, although using aftermarket computer control software helps. Not sure why the scan control switches are rather fragile microswitches on the back panel.
Overall a positive experience thus far.
VE4MM Rating: 3/5 Sep 7, 2002 17:07 Send this review to a friend
Weak Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had this unit for a few years but it perfomed pretty bad as compared to my ICOM IC-765. Weak front end. I have the matching R7100 which is a good product.

I would recommend the R71 if you are looking.


Mike, VE4MM
R72000 Rating: 4/5 Dec 26, 2001 15:12 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great unit. I had added this one when they first came out and was VERY happy. No problems and everything works as it should.
Great unit.
VK3BRZ Rating: 3/5 Oct 16, 2001 02:12 Send this review to a friend
A handy, simple HF receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my IC-R72 by chance, second-hand for a song. It had several faults all of which I would put down to component failure and not abuse. These were (1) the decoder IC for mode selection had failed, preventing USB from being selected. (2) The 8 to 15MHz PLL lost lock at the low end of its operating range until the receiver warmed up. This was an alignment drift due to aging. (3) The reference oscillator cannot be brought exactly onto frequency, resulting in a 60Hz error at 30 MHz. I can live with that, although it ought to be better.

I fixed the radio myself. Also, this radio seemed to run inordinately hot due to inadequate ventilation. This caused the carrier oscillator to drift, resulting in different frequency response between USB and LSB. I punched a hole in the top cover an mounted a small CPU-type fan to extract the hot air - problem solved. I did a neat job - the fan looks almost like it was factory-fitted.

The radio's sensitivity is as good as you need for HF. It has a switchable pre-amp and two attenuators (10 and 20dB) which can be used independently or together. I make a lot of use of these because I often use the radio for MW and tropical-band DX listening.

An annoying feature of this radio, along with many Icom products of its period (eg. IC-729) is the noisy audio amplifier chip they used. There is a lot of "hiss" from the speaker, even with the volume all the way down. When using headphones the hiss is really distracting. This is pretty poor considering that even cheap "walkman"-style personal stereos have far better audio stages.

The noise blanker leaves a little to be desired. It can be switched between two thresholds, neither of which I find satisfactory. I's inneffective on most noise in the low setting and cross-modulates on the high setting.

There is no pass-band tuning control or notch filter either. I'm accustomed to using these on my IC-735 HF transceiver, so I miss them on the 'R72.

The radio has 99 memories that save frequency and mode. Tuning is in 10Hz steps but you can select 1kHz steps for fast QSY. Additionally, you can easily select 5kHz steps for tuning SW broadcasters or 9kHz or 10kHz for MW stations - very nice.

A handy feature is the internal digital clock (why don't the put these in ham rigs?). It has a timer mode that you can set to turn the radio ON and OFF. There is a fixed-level audio output jack on the back panel for tape recording, along with a jack for pausing the tape recorder.

In summary, an adequate general-coverage receiver, but not a patch on most ham HF rigs for either features or performance. I'm glad I didn't buy it new.


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