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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-746PRO Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-746PRO
ICOM IC-746PRO Reviews: 352 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $1,870 (Street)
Description: All mode HF+SIX+TWO base tranceiver, 32 bit if DSP, 100 watts all bands,digital if filter (51 types),SSB/CW Synchronous Tuning, Lots more....
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/hf/index.html
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KB3GWQ Rating: 5/5 May 14, 2018 04:51 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rig! Especially for CW and digital use!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I got my General ticket back in October of 2018 after being a (mostly inactive) Technician for 17 years. I was originally looking at getting a used IC-706MKIIG because I wanted 2M SSB as well. After a deal fell through on one a friend suggested that if I wasn't planning to do HF Mobile (I wasn't) then getting a base station would be the better way to go. Otherwise the menu navigation and other features will all be a compromise. I have a friend who also just recently upgraded and she bought a brand new FT-891. I went over to her house to help her setup digital modes on it and realized my other friend was right. Navigating through the menus and just switching bands was annoying. Not having manual frequency entry was extremely annoying. After a month or so of using the clubsite's FTDX-1200 and saving some money I found an IC-746PRO used and snagged it up. The previous owner added a fan kit near the display to help alleviate the burnout display problem (which has never happened to this rig, but was preventative measure).

What I love about this rig:
* RX sensitivity is excellent, practically the same as the FT-101E I use on occassion. Blows the FTDX-1200 we have at the clubsite out of the water in this regard. For some real down in the mud CW the adjustable NR and multiple pre-amp levels is a lifesaver. I've gotten a few DX's complete with this at 119 sigs. It's not going to save you on really really bad QSB, but it's surprised me multiple times.

* I really like how the bandwidth filters are adjustable (except FM/AM, those are 3 fixed ranges, but this is a non-issue imo). I like to set option 2 on CW at 800hz. Sometimes you get some fellows with older rigs or just slightly out of range for 500hz and this helps a lot. You can also set between sharp and soft filters very easily.

* The built-in memory keyer is great and easy to set. My only real nitpick on it is that it's 4 memories. So this can be a slight compromise if you operate as your own call, your club call, and maybe you want to have a CQ CQ DX programmed in there too. It has a contest counter which works as it should, but I don't contest with it. You can even adjust the wait time (up to 60 seconds) between repeating the message. You can press the memory once to just send it one time, or press and hold to lock it in on auto-repeat. If someone comes back, even during full break in you can push a button on your keyer, your mic, or the rig to abort it and go on with your QSO.

* Easy to modify for 60 meters operation.

* Rx audio is good from internal speaker. Tx audio for SSB/AM/FM modes are also very good with the stock mic. A nitpick is that the equalizer is a simple bass/treble. So if you're trying to get that custom sound you may want to invest in an equalizer with your 3rd party mic. Speech compressor works well, is adjustable and TX bandwidth is also adjustable but is fixed values.

* Manual entry is easy to use, and easy to band hop. It remembers the last 3 modes+freqs for a band. Saving frequencies is also easy to do.

* RIT/Clarifier is easy to use. Easy to reset to 0. It's not overly sensitive to over/under shoot like the FTDX-1200 is.


This rig isn't entirely perfect and some of the misc. nitpicks about this particular radio:
* Front keyer jack is electronic only, can not be changed for Straight Key. If you want that you'll have to use the rear jack.

* Memory frequencies allow setting an alphanumeric entry, but this seems to be relevant only when reading them into your PC. The rig will not display them. So it's mostly a useless feature.

* Power, Mic Gain, CW Keyer Speed, CW Pitch are small knobs located near the bottom of the radio. Not a huge dealbreaker, but makes it annoying to find them sometimes if you're operating with low lights.

* CW Keyer speed is not shown on the rig. You'll have to check it on RBN or a PC utility if you want it precise.

* CW Pitch has the same problem. The rig will not show the value. You can run it in a program like Speclab with audio out redirected to your line-in on the PC and fine tune it there.

* Scope is not real-time. There is a second delay or so while it scans. This used to bug me, but just press the TS button near the freq entry and you can scan around very quickly.

* No waterfall display. This is to be expected with a radio of this vintage. I just run audio-out to a splitter with an external speaker and also line-in to a dedicated laptop with Speclab.

* No 440mhz/70cm. Not a dealbreaker, but would probably be the ultimate rig for me if I could also easily hop to my favourite 440 repeaters from the same radio.

* Output power is more like 80-90 watts. This is apparently on purpose from the factory, and can be adjusted to the full 100 watts. But, that's a small gain and not worth the effort imo. Better just leave it be and run slightly cooler.

* Older serial number models may be sensitive to LCD backlight burnout. Especially if Brightness level (NOT contrast) is not left at 100%.

* Older serial number models may be sensitive to ESD for CI-V port and for TX.

Final thoughts:
This is a great radio. 100% duty cycle so you can put it through some serious contest abuse on digital modes. If you have an older model and want the upgrades performed on it check out N1EQ's website at https://www.n1eq.com/. If this thing had the same display as the 756PRO-III, 440/70cm operation, and one more bank of memory keyers this would be the perfect rig in my eyes. But, as it is, it's practically perfect and I see no reason to upgrade.
 
G7MWH Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2016 14:34 Send this review to a friend
comparisons  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this radio in the guise of the IC7400 now for ? I've lost track its a fantastic radio, have just bought the IC7300 and done a side by side comparison, it does all that the IC7300 does, just mechanically, it resolves a signal just as well, transmits just as well, what it doesn't have is a Spectrum scope, now that does make tuning easier on the IC7300 but that doesn't make the IC7300 a better radio, if you run a spectrum scope on your computer you can see the signals, you just can't touch the screen on the radio and have it tune in for you.but you can on the computer with a control program. do i regret buying the IC7300? no I don't, will it replace the ic7400 no it will compliment it and run along side it.
 
KH6TA Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2015 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Awesome radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Can't say enough good about this radio! Great DSP & PBT, so many other features too, not to mention also has 6m & 2m,and 100W on ALL bands.This is a great contest radio, FD or SE, drives my AL80B to 500+ watts out with only 35W drive. I run this radio right alongside my new IC-9100 and love 'em both!
 
W2YM Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2015 11:14 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RADIO  Time owned: more than 12 months
Radio is GREAT on Transmit and Receive. I can't say enough about this radio. WOW.. for the money you can't beat it. Mark W2YM 73's. :0)
 
NW3Y Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2015 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of these going on three years now. One is backup to my contest radio, the second is my primary radio at another location. Both have been through several contests, primarily cw. There are a lot of features on this radio that will please most any operator. It's pleasantly surprising how effective the filtering is. Because it has its own independent 12VDC power supply, and the compact size, the 746PRO would be a good choice as an emergency backup radio or a great field day choice. I have had no problems with either one of these radios.
 
WC4R Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2014 04:30 Send this review to a friend
Best all-around radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not perfect but certainly GREAT. Bought one as a backup radio 10 years ago and loved it. Traded it out for the FT-2000. The Yaesu was a great rig too but missed the 746PRO. Sold the Yaesu and got a 746 again (very last SN run). Neither radio had any issue. Performance is like the 756PRO3. 100 watts on 2-meters is a BIG bonus. Very sad Icom discontinued it and tries to substitute it with the $3000 IC-9100. Perfect for FD and ECOMM.
 
N3TGY Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2014 10:25 Send this review to a friend
old war horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this rig for more than eight years, and it's a fantastic rig, it's on for hours I've worked lots of DX with it both on SSB voice and Digital modes. it's smooth on CW as well. I bought this rig to combat AGC pumping a problem that while working weak dx on psk I would narrow the filters in on the station I was working and the splattering or wide stations with a lousy IMD would vanish leaving the dx station I was working. I was hooked on this rig ever since. it's been a great radio all of these years. ( bought it new ) I don't think I'll ever part with it.
 
KI5SO Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2014 16:58 Send this review to a friend
Wish I'd tried one earlier!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was looking for a base rig with hf and 2 meters. I knew there had been some issues with the 746pro, so I stayed away from this radio. One day I saw an ad where the owner said he had all the problems fixed, repaired and parted replaced on his 746pro and that it was working like new. I decided to buy the radio. This was one of the earlier versions, but as I said, all the flaws were fixed. The audio reports on this rig are as good as my 7700. The shocker to me is the receiver is among the best I've ever heard! The noise to signal audio ratio is surprising. Other than the scope, the 756pro series has nothing on the receiver on this radio. I like the "channel knob" and the "call channel" features. I absolutely hate the push button memory frequency up and down on most modern Icoms! Tuner on this radio is as good as it gets and the DSP, well, let me say I have owned the 7410 and I think it is pretty close. I think this radio is the base version (menus 440 band) of the Icom IC-MKIIG. This one has the frontend overload problem fixed too. I could kick myself for not having bought one of these radios in the past. The only real improvement I would have liked on this radio is a real s-unit meter. All I can say is find someone who owns one and give it a listen.
 
KU4C Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2014 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Icom 746Pro is the total HF package with 2 meters to boot. The radio has built-in filters and an auto tuner. All controls are easy to access. The audio is superb and the DSP works extremely well. Broadcast shortwave listening is truly a pleasure. Add an all mode 2 meter band and you have an outstanding radio.
 
KF4V Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2014 15:22 Send this review to a friend
Been a great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this radio for over 11 years. The power supply failed within the first 3 years, but the radio has been flawless. It runs about 16 hours a day.
 
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