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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-735 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-735
ICOM IC-735 Reviews: 127 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $849.95
Description: Compact Mobile HF Xcvr
Product is in production.
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Page 1 of 13 —>

K0INN Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2019 20:47 Send this review to a friend
Man, I'm a happy camper!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So I'm thinking about getting an older rig to play around with. I already have a KW TS590S (great rig by the way), but I wanted something older and a simpler for the heck of it.

I see this IC-735 on eBay. A ham is selling it for a SK's widow. There are links to several YouTube videos of the rig transmitting and receiving. The first video proves that the rig transmits full power on all bands. When I hear the audio of the rig receiving SSB and CW, it sounds great! At that point I knew I wanted it. I checked the reviews on the rig here and then pulled the trigger. I paid about 350 bucks including shipping which I thought was a good deal since shipping is rather expensive these days.

I get the package and the rig is packed very carefully with brochure, owners manual, QST review copy, and schematic.

This rig is very handsome to my eyes. It's pristine except for a few very light scratches on the left side of case. I've since used some car wax on the scratches and they have pretty much disappeared.

So, does it work? Yes, it works FB. I've checked every function and I can't find any faults. I suspect the radio was not used much by previous owner. I've made about 20 CW and SSB contacts in the past two days with good reports on both. I suspected the rig might be off frequency or need alignment, but, it's either spot on or very close according to CW reverse beacon network. The receive audio is great. I love the analog S meter. There's one sentence in the owners manual about using the passband tuning to reduce the audio bandwidth to 800hz for CW. That works very effectively if you don't have an optional CW filter.

I'm a CW op and the rig has decent full break in and the relay is not obtrusive.

If I had started on HF with one of these rigs, I probably would not have purchased a newer one. My TS590S in comparison is kind of like a computer running HF. The IC-735 is like a true HF rig that has everything you really need to do HF and you use operator skill to do the automated things the newer rigs typically do.
AG5ND Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2019 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Simple, super radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this radio for eight years. I bought it used for $300. Since then, I've logged thousands of contacts with it all over the world. SSB and digital are easy using the IC-735.

If you want a good, easy to use, reliable radio that doesn't have twenty menus to configure, this will fill the bill. AG5ND
AA7BI Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2018 15:22 Send this review to a friend
High Performance and Durable  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Picked one up a "non-smoker" for $200 that had spent years in a tractor-trailer rig in Canada un-garaged, outdoors in extreme cold. Looked kind of worn and dirty. I had to fashion a new on/off switch out of Bakelite before it hissed to life. Cleaned up the exterior as best I could and stuck it in my car with a 4' Opek OVT-600 mobile antenna.

Much to my surprise, this old, abused relic immediately racked up the first station I heard, an S51, with a report of 59+20 on the first try. And that wasn't a freak accident, as every day thereafter, if the band was halfway open, I enjoyed a QSO on my 20 minute drive to work, mostly with Europe and Oceania.

Controls are intuitively laid out, and most of it is set-and-forget, so one need not be distracted from driving. It is ever so slightly smaller than most standard rigs and thus fits nicely at the bottom of the armrest of my old Buick.

Then I discovered my two much newer Kenwoods at home were double-conversion while the IC-735 I had stuck in the old car was a triple-conversion. Ugly as it is in its worn appearance, it's probably the best radio I now have. Go figure.

My first Icom. One must take such quality seriously. I am impressed!
VK2JEM Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2017 19:36 Send this review to a friend
a keeper  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Picked one up at a fair price. Needed the caps redone and a tune up. Once I did that its a sweetheart.
I rarely transmit as im more of an SWL/DXer but enjoy the occasional ragchew or CQDX call. This does all i need and has a permanent home in my shack.

Same size as a R75 or 718 very similar performance as R71A on receive. Yes the little buttons and sliders are fiddly, but i have thin fingers. I really like it!

And I love how it looks with its green display and smokey plastic door. I think its very handsome and does all i need. AS long as it keeps going I cant see myself buying another HF TXer.

N2MDV Rating: 4/5 Jul 22, 2017 07:06 Send this review to a friend
A surprising AM performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig isn't actually mine, but my brother-in-law's. He was a fan of my IC-745, and he regretted getting rid of an IC-R71A receiver. A mutual friend of ours had an IC-735, and was the same friend where we've bough an IC-745 and the IC-R71A earlier, so he bought it. (Forgot what he paid in the late 1990's for it.) Anyway, my bro-in-law asked me to put it on my test bench and put it through its paces, since I have the test gear and various antennas set-up. I've found the RX side not bad at all, not as sensitive as my IC-745, but kicks butt over the stock sensitivity that today's lower priced, and mid-priced, rigs have today with preamp off. Having the preamp is actually another +20dB additional. (I miss that on today's rigs since Preamp ON with most newer rigs is what was the stock sensitivity of most of these older rigs.) Being a late 80's rig, it has 1/2 the controls in a flimsy door enclosure with those 80's style slide POT's for NB Level, RF Gain, RF Power, VOX Gain / Delay, and MIC Gain, that are very tiny and kind of difficult to fine adjust those. (If you have really small fingers, then not as much of an issue for you. And myself, I was never a fan of slid POT's on audio mixers and stereos, so that includes amateur gear as well. Just my take here being a rotatory POT fan.) One of my biggest complaints about Icoms is RX audio. An Icom, sounds like an Icom, sounds like an Icom. TX SSB audio was punchy, with the COMP (Audio compression on.), and fine for working DX pile-ups and quick QSO's, but certainly not enjoyable for rag chews. I found the RX SSB audio very mediocre. (OK for utility station monitoring and quick QSO's, but certainly not good to listen to rag chews and music.) To my surprise, AM is a different story here. The RX audio sounds very natural and the bass has surprisingly nice tight sound to it when listening to MW, music SW, or those broadcast quality guys on 3885kHz AM. An EXT speaker is needed to appreciate this as the top mounted internal 1.5" speaker is more like an HT quality. On Kenwood radios, I use Radio Shack Nova-15 speakers to bring out their audio quality, and a Nova-15 on the IC-735's speaker output on a good sounding AM station sounds very pleasant with nice sounding tight bass response that rivaled the Kenwoods. TX audio was another surprise here. Someone previously set the AM Carrier to 40W. There's a Phillips head POT setting to adjust that in the rear of the rig, and I set it to below 25W, and added a decent sounding mic with good bass response, and this rig put out some surprising decent sounding AM TX audio. (Probably could have sounded even sounded better if I had used an EQ, but still a nice to know for you AM fans out there.) FM, sounded nice and crisp on both RX and TX. For 10M FM repeater you can use the dual VFO, A for RX, B for TX, to set-up your repeater splits. However, no CTCSS PL tone set-up here, but then again very few HF rigs had that back then. Most likely, you can set that up with an after market CTCSS board. On 29.600MHz FM 10M National Simplex, a decent performer there. Apparently, these are good contest rigs, since I've seen, and operated, these rigs on Field Days for well over 20-some years in SSB and CW, and have racked up the points with them. All in all, a decent performer well worth considering, even today, despite the 1980's controls ergonomics. And, with an AM RX / TX quality surprise to boot. And I've read where ops have used the IC-735 as an AM DX rig with a good long wire antenna, so I'm not to only one to discover this rig's hidden AM secrets.
KB0GLN Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2017 05:10 Send this review to a friend
Another can't go wrong review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought 1 of these rigs off ebay as a "tech special". 1st local oscilator would not adjust properly after 2 different value trimmer caps i opted to replace oscilator with tcxo. Has operated faultless since. The receiver is very pleasant, easily my favorite for "sandbagging". and get good audio reports when on the air with it. this is a great basic rig without all the unneeded bells and whistles.
KP4WF Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2016 10:34 Send this review to a friend
A Hidden Treasure  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 735 is an excellent radio for SSB, CW, AM and FM. Modulation with the original mike HM-12 is
very good. For a $350 radio in the used market, it
can't be beat. What else do we have? If you like to go to MARS clip D-33 & D-34 on the PLL board, then you can also go to 60 meters. This will also allow you to have a stable multi-mode signal generator source thru the range of 300 kHz to 30 Mhz. You will get full power output to app. 860 KHz. and about 4 watts at 475 KHz. If you want to enable the preamp, below 1.5 Mhz, short the collector and emitter of Q 75 on the main unit board. If you want to go QRP, connect the (-) side of a 9 volt battery in series thru a switch, a 2 Meg Ohms resistor and a 1 Meg ohm variable resistor thru a shielded cable to the ALC jack of the 735. The power output will be adjustable from 0-100 watts. The switch is used to turn the power off, when the rig is not in use. There are a few more simple mods in the internet, worth reading about. If you need a keyer like IC-EX 243, try Piexx. This information is submitted for instructional purpose only. If you don't have the knowledge, get your hands off the inside of the radio. If you want a cost effective Radio Amateur Station get a IC-735, a 20 Amp. 12 v.d.c. Power Supply, an Antenna Tuner, and some wire. It will cost you less than $500.00. Yes, I own two of them since 1990.
Enjoy ham radio, 73, Jose KP4WF
VE8AP Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2016 06:46 Send this review to a friend
I have 4 and want more   Time owned: more than 12 months
Well i now have 4 of these rigs I think i have said in a previous review i love them after owning 2 of them and how well they deal with my local noise compared to my previous 10-15 rigs I was sold simple effective and bullet proof 73's all
G0KMC Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2016 03:16 Send this review to a friend
Green stalwart  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive had two of these green beauties. Sold the first in 1995 and instantly regreted it. Bought my second one in 1999 and I still have it. I love its ease of use, no annoying menues etc. I'm 95% CW op and the 735 is great for me. I have the 250hz filter and the guy that designed the variable bandpass/CW offset knew what he was doing. Down side the synth is a bit noisey by modern standards they it can hear MORE than my TS590s when the local QRM is loud.
Fixed the tuning sensor a few year back and the VCO caps were fixed by simply twiddling them to self clean them. I swapped over the RF power and squelch controls for convenience, set min power to 2 watts for QRP. I could go on..
All in all a solid and valued asset never to be parted with!
VE8AP Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2016 14:07 Send this review to a friend
CAN'T GO WRONG   Time owned: more than 12 months
Well I have 2 of these rigs and love them simple bullet proof little green beasts. I have worked the world with them and they have never failed me. they have great audio and have a excellent receiver if i could buy just one Rig it would be this mean green machine great radio.There getting harder to find so if you have one keep it under lock and key.
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