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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ICOM R-9000 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM R-9000
ICOM R-9000 Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $8000
Description: All-band receiver for FCC-authorized users only.
Product is in production.
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KE8EJC Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2018 14:20 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio On The HF Bands   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this radio for several moths now and it is one of the best HF receivers I have ever owned. It has great sensitivity and sounds great. Due to the age of my radio I did have to replace the CRT but that is common with this radio. I have been able to test up to 1200 MHz and it sounds and receives great on everything I have tested. It has decent controls in the terms of layout. My biggest gripe about this radio is the keypad for entering numbers. The Clear Frequency button is right above the Enter Frequency button so that can be quite annoying. In total this is a great radio and I definitely would recommend it.
ZL1CDP Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2013 01:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent RX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not long ago I picked up a used (of course) IC-R9000. the unit was worn on the cases and the CRT was not aligned particularly well, however with some TLC it is now looking and working exceptionally well..

FANTASTIC receiver!!!! SO MUCH BETTER than any other RX I have ever used over the past 30 years of Ham Radio.

Chris, ZL1CDP
K5YY Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2013 18:11 Send this review to a friend
just the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this since 2003 and likely the highest SN in the USA (> 5300)... USA imports stopped in about 1996 since the R9000 is not cell phone blocked. This was new in 2003 and not for import, however I bought it from a collector of new Icom radios who lived in Hong Kong! Never a problem of any kind but I only turn this receiver on every month or so for just a few minutes to monitor a 75m morning gathering of friends. This receiver was about $8000 when new and I can see why. It is Milspec and covers up thru 2 GigHz! Very sensitive on 2 and 6 and 432, better than my stand alone single band Icoms were for those bands. Quiet and sensitive, simply the best I have had, and I have had all the receivers over the years, the R390A stuff, all the National HROs and Collins up thru the 75S3C and 51S1s and such. The JRC rigs with DSP were nice and I had from the 515 up thru the 545D but they had way too many bells and whistles for me. The R9000 is simple, straight forward and will do any receiving chore you may have. I have health problems and am going to sell mine but only to make the life of my wife a little simpler when I pass on. hi Just do not use the radio. I do run it on 100v after reading the articles on possible heat issues. I do NOT use the fan option from Sherwood. A muffin fan close by on the desk would assist cooling if ever needed. If you can find one of the early USA models with SN < 2800 for $2200 -2500 or so, buy it. Fortunately mine is the latest SN I have heard of and is like new! I paid a lot for this in 2003 and just the ownership has been worth it, due to rarity and Milspec quality. A SWL would never buy another receiver in my opinion unless you're rich and just want to buy the R9500 at $13,000!!!
SWL377 Rating: 3/5 Sep 27, 2012 16:03 Send this review to a friend
awesome but dated  Time owned: months
In its day this was a spectacular rcvr and commanded a spectacular price. Those days are gone. It's still a fine performer, but no longer worth kilobucks. SDRs and IF DSP have allowed for huge advances in rcvr design and simplification of IF and AF filtering tasks. The 9000 has been described by one friend as a "BBQ for capacitors" which may be true, as one prior reviewer wrote of having to replace 90 electrolytics in his R-9000. I will be ridiculed for saying this but I expect to see used prices for R-9000s dip below $1000 soon. The 9000 is an older very complex rcvr which will have more problems as it ages. It is repairable, but those repairs will be costly and will become more frequent. I have fought the aging capacitor and trimmer problems in other Icom gear such as the IC 751A. It's definitley a hassle to replace aging components, but it can be done. If you into graphic spectrum displays, SDRs can provide displays vastly superior to what you can see on the 9000 scope. SDR prices are going down and performance is going up. The 9000 is sadly on the wrong side of the value curve. Flame away, I am expecting it and have donned my asbestos Nomex suit.
K4SAT Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2011 19:28 Send this review to a friend
Long Time Owner Pleased  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned mine since the first Gulf War. I purchased the radio new and have used lightly on and off since then. When it was about 9 years new I had to replace the VFO shaft encoder as it was binding up. At about the same time I replaced the major electrolytic capacitors in the power supply with OEM parts. This was done proactively. From the start, I was aware these radios can run quite hot. I use in an air-conditioned home so it is not so bad. The real trick however, which I implemented early on, was to install a small fan (CPU style) blowing from the outside directly on the regulator and diode bridge heat sink. This fan is friction fit to the heat sink fins using some standoff posts and rubber pads. It is powered conveniently from the switched 12V option connector below the heat sink. As about 50% of the heat comes from this regulator, the radio runs very cool and clean with this arrangement. No dusty air is blown into the cabinet. No dusty Sherwood modification is required. I have just started using the radio again after being packed away for several years. It still works and looks like new. Apart from the VFO shaft encoder, this radio has exhibited absolutely no problems. It is a real nice radio. Reception on all bands is a delight. I use all modes of operations and recently reprogrammed my LMR memories for Narrow-NBFM IF Filter selection, to better receive stations required to comply with FCC Part 90 narrow-banding. There are a few of these radios in private ownership that are well taken care of and lightly used. A larger number of these were purchased by various government intelligence agencies around the world and are apparently well worn and burned up. Those are the ones to be careful of as repair of these complex radios is difficult. If you buy one used, buy one from a trusted seller. If it is in nice condition it will be worth the added expense and worthy of investment for minor repair if ever needed.
VK3RX Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2011 02:55 Send this review to a friend
Great receiver.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just sold my IC-R9000, having owned it for about 7 years, and I bought it from a deceased estate. I never had any trouble with it, other than the usual CRT burn-in. It's a big difference coming from a ham/SWL environment with spasmodic use vs. gov't or commercial and as a result potentially having been operated 24/7.

Great receiver, nice audio and the spectrum scan for VHF/UHF snooping was particularly useful.
MW0ZZD Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2009 06:22 Send this review to a friend
My best rx ever  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a recent addition to the shack.Avery good receiver ,in fact,I do not use half what it can do as yet.
Very solid construction.
On AM listen to the world!
Very heavy and obvously high quality.Pricey when new but if you can find one used ,snap it up.I am told the CRT version is better than the LCD,but I do not speak from personal experience.
WB6MYL Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2009 09:23 Send this review to a friend
Still a top choice receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review of this fine receiver; everyone's comments and experiences are helpful in evaluating equipment; additionally, I do not like to "review a reviewer", but the previous review does spark some debate; his comments of "most units are faulty" is based on what? I have an R-9000 that I leave on for hours (yes, I turn the screen down or even off during those times) and had such hooked up to my M-8000 decoder and I have not any problems; I still A/B my rigs on a routine basis and despite my torrid love affair with my Icom 7800 and Harris 590, I still rely on my R-9000 for long term use; it just does not get in the way of the signals and love the simplicity; I was using it to transceive with a 775, but sold the 775 when I got the 7800. These rigs are still in demand as I don't see a lot reach the used market. Like me, I have friends that use the rig for long term use and they have experienced no problems, either; IMHO. Thanx for the bandwidth. Respectfully submitted for review and edification, Phil
VK2XCQ Rating: 4/5 Aug 6, 2009 06:31 Send this review to a friend
NIce radio, BUT.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Icom IC-R9000 is a nice to operate radio.
Although these radios are not that old in years most have been heavily used for their short life and are starting to fail in many ways.
My own radio has had over 10 faults in it, some should have stopped the radio from working but this radio was over designed in many ways so it kept on working even with RF input components cracked and shorted to ground and the RF amp open circuit. There were over 30 very faulty electro caps, I have replaced over 90 caps to date, their failure was probably from the heat the receiver operated at for so long. These things get hot if you have no fan fitted to the back.

I think this is a radio for the experienced radio repairer, any one else should stay away from it.
Most are faulty in some way.
The good news is Icom have had all the parts that I have asked for and their prices are low, but you need the skill to find the faulty parts because icom charges high rates for repair work and then they will not warranty their work on radios over 15 years old.
I think this would be good to mention, do not align your 9000 when you first buy it, go through it and repair the electronic faults first, you may find that it will suddenly be working right and alignment will not be needed.

The good news is when you get it working properly, it is a very good radio.
Its RF and IF chain is exceptionally quiet even when it is at full gain, before the repairs, I often received signals within the noise floor and they were readable, for the same signal my other receivers provided a high local noise floor and the signal was hard to read amongst the background noise.
Its selectivity is excellent even though is has only a few filters, they do their job well, although Wide FM is a bit too wide for my personal liking .
Its noise blanker when carefully used is unbelievable what it can remove, DSP eat your heart out, this NB does not work only on pulse noise but other noise types, the other night I was listening to a station and noticed a small amount of distortion, I looked to see the NB on, I press it off and the station disappeared under 20 S points of noise, I turned the NB on and the station reappeared showing 1 S point.
When you get the hang of the NB with the Notch filter, the RF gain and the IF shift. there is very little that will stop the signal getting through.

If I had a choice to buy the IC-R9000 again, I think I would.

If you can repair it, it is an easy radio to use and listen to, it does just about all I would ever need, it is also the best base to start with, if you want to do modifications.
Every control is about the right size , although not always in the best place.
Internally the 9000 is repairable as most of the parts used are desecrate components of the larger size so you can hold them without tweezers.
A good de-soldering and soldering station is needed to safely repair all boards. A well established ESD procedure should be adhered to, if you do not want to cause yourself more problems .

Icom spares support is excellent, NOT LIKE YAESU or JRC.
Do not expect any board exchanges, they have none to swap with you.

Regards To all

KD5VC Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2009 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Great Easily Modified  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first R-9000 was bought new in 1992, since then I have owned many different receivers, but had to go back and buy another one. This receiver is easy to work on, and can be made to work as well as any receiver with the advantage of the analog audio as opposed to DSP. I also have the IC-781 and IC-7800, I have owned Ten Tec RX-340, Collins HF-2050 (1st choice in DSP radios), Racal 6790 GM3, Mackay 3040, Drake R-8B (best "affordable" receiver), IC-756 Pro series (all 3 of them), 75S-3C, R-390A, etc. This time I won't let this one get away. In 1993 I wrote an article for the IRCI Icom Newsletter, I ordered custom 500 Hertz and 2.4 Kilohertz bandwidth filters for the 10.700 MHz IF. I then enabled the switching so that you had a pair of 500s with low or high cut using the IF shift in CW and RTTY narrow, and a pair of 2.4 KHz with low or high cut for SSB narrow. I also enabled the 6KHz filter at 10.7 MHz with the 6 KHz filter at 455 KHz for AM medium. This brings the TOI at 5 KHZ up into the 80 DB range (mostly due to the 500 Hertz filter in place of the 6 KHz filter. Add the Sherwood cooling fan, SE3, and conversion board and there is nothing that you could want that this setup could not provide. Originally I used it with an IC-781, but traded the R-9000 for a 2nd IC-781. Finally I am getting back to the best setup I have tried.

The prices on these receivers seem to be rising, it looks like the market place is reflecting what it took me 15 years to remember. The UT-36 is useful if you scan and record shortwave signals, you can record the frequency on one channel and the program on the other. Without the speech module you won't know how to get back to the source of that recording. It would be nice if it could also record the time, but some of the programs incorporate the time in the name of the audio file.

With Rob's fan, even a plastic radio won't melt around the R-9000.
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