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Reviews For: ICOM PW-1

Category: Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M

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Review Summary For : ICOM PW-1
Reviews: 78MSRP: 5000
HF/6 Meter All Band 1KW Amplifier
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
PA1CW Rating: 2022-06-17
Love it Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.

I have been using the PW-1 for several weeks now in combination with my Icom-7800.
What a great amplifier and super secured.
A must for every Icom admirer.
VY0PW Rating: 2021-03-18
Great addition to radio shack Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have owned the PW-1 for over 12 months and in general very happy with it.

Bought it to work along the 756 ProII which it does well. Love the automatic band switching.
The manual was kind of helpful for the first set up but there are better documents available on line to get you going , wish ICOM would include that in the manual or better re-write the manual.

Anything I do not like that much?

The remote controller is slick and looks good in the shack but what a pain to detach it from the main unit and than it is still more or less hard wired into it. Why not have a quick external disconnect? If you need to ship the amplifier or move it around the remote head is dangling on the side unless you take it off which as said is a pain.

Fans could be a bit quieter at times when the units is running warmer but I placed it further away from the 756 so little problem here.

All in all the PW-1 is what I expected from ICOM,great addition to the other toys and hopefully it will last as long without any repairs as my IC-735 and the 756 ProII.

Highly recommended


Update March 18 2021
Have used the PW1 for over ten years with no problems at all until recently. Now running it into an IC 7600.

While listening on 20m one day a few weeks back PW1 was on stdby ,no power applied. All at a sudden no rx signal on the radio anymore. Power up the amp the rx is back up so can use only on rx with the fans going which is a bit annoying at times.

Tried another ICOM radio and also used the different antenna outlets and inputs on the amp no change still no signal tru the PW1 unless powered up.

Transmit and rx is ok when power to the amp is on but as said listening on stdby with fans going is annoying.

Unfortunately ICOM's repair facility for CaƱada is in VE7 land so it will cost a fortune to ship there and back. Wish they had a place in the east where 80% of VE hams live.

But maybe should not complain it lasted without fail for a long time nothing goes eternal hi.

All in all a very well made PA but showing its age in the design guess it will very soon be replaced by the PW2 plus lots of other brand good solid state amps on the market now as well smaller and less heavy.

KQ4KK Rating: 2020-07-20
A GREAT amp in its time Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had the PW-1 for a long time. Outstanding when it worked. Had three issues. Replaced parts on a tuning board myself. But had to send it to ICOM repair for two power supply issues over the years. $1xxx each time.
After the last repair, sold it quick. Bought a Elecraft KPA-1500. A modern, lighter weight amp.

I have it hooked up to a ICOM 756Pro. Makes it a 1kw HF Transceiver! Four antennas, two radios, knows which antennas on which bands. Seamless. 1KW out, all the time.

I'm ready for old age.
W4VR Rating: 2020-07-19
they are ok if you buy one with a s/n above 1500 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I recently had a major HV power supply failure in my 12 year old PW-1 (S/N: 011XX). I sent it to the Icom Repair facility in Michigan and it was just as expensive to replace the power supply with a new unit as it would have been to rebuild it.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W4VR on 2012-03-30

I have two of these PW-1's. I purchased the first one in 2001 and the second one in 2005. I've never had a problem with either one. I use these amps at two locations and they are in use every time I use the 7600.
Earlier 5-star review posted by W4VR on 2007-04-18

Update! This is a great amplifier if you keep it unplugged when you're not using it. I have two of these amps. There is a low voltage power supply (buried) in the main power supply that is on whenever the amp is plugged into the AC outlet. On this low voltage power supply there is a power resistor with one end touching the circuit board...over time the heat from this resistor will burn through the board foil and cause the power supply to become inoperative. I have never had this problem because I keep the amp unplugged when not in use. A friend of mine had the problem and took digital pictures of the board in question. It appears Icom has not done anything to rectify the potential failure. If anyone is interested I can send the pictures via email along with a description on how to repair it. Quotes from Icom to replace the main power supply apparently runs in the order of $2000...this is due to the fact that they don't sell the low voltage power supply separately because it is not an Icom product.
Earlier 5-star review posted by W4VR on 2006-08-24

There is a low-voltage power supply in this amplifier that stays on as long as the power cord is plugged into the wall socket, even with the amplifier turned off. Unplug and unplug and you'll draw a small arc at the wall socket which is an indication something is still on inside the amp. A friend of mine had problems with this low voltage power supply, which is apparently not manufactured by Icom, and very hard to get to. Two of the resistors in this power supply are under-rated and will burn the circuit board if the amplifier is plugged in for extended periods of time (weeks/months). I have two of these PW-1's and have not had this problem, but just to be on the safe side when I don't use the amps I unplug them from the wall outlet. For those interested I will send more info on which resistors cause the problem.
Earlier 5-star review posted by W4VR on 2000-08-31

I've had one now for a couple of weeks, serial number in high 1900's. I can run barefoot with the PRO without turning on the PW-1 (this is a new feature not in previous versions). Some owners complained about fan noise. Mine is located in the basement and I remote control it from the first I don't hear the fan noise (there is more than one way to skin a cat). I love the amp. I put a Bird wattmeter on it and it puts out a solid kW on all bands. The automatic feature of antenna selection is absolutely a result I took out my Ameritron remote antenna switch.
W4KVW Rating: 2020-03-02
SIMPLY "AWESOME"! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well it has now been (7) years since my wife purchased the ICOM PW-1 for my retirement gift & it played very well with my ICOM 756 PROII back then & it has been playing very well with my ICOM 7600 now for about 3 years so far.It's a SWEET piece of gear & I can't see why anyone would want more for HF/6 meters when nobody can hear or see the difference if you are running a Legal Limit amplifier? I feel the ICOM PW-1 is still a DREAM AMPLIFIER & my dreams are ALIVE & WELL in my Ham Shack. Finally got my dream amplifier as a retirement gift from my wife.I have been dreaming of owning one since I first saw one many years ago & I must say,it was worth the wait! My favorite band is 6 meters so the added 900 watts or so should be a big plus when we get some conditions.It is my 1st amplifier on any band that will do 1000 watts or more & 1000 watts is more than enough on any band & don't see why people keep buying an amplifier that will do 2 times of more legal limit since I know none of them are actually using them on the air? I have only had my PW-1 a week but have already adjusted to no longer turning a tune or load knob.The fan noise that some complain of is not an issue to me because the tone of the fans are such that I don't even pay them any attention. As I have always heard,it's like having a 1000 watt transceiver & it's true.Purchased mine used from a local ham friend who is amplifier poor & it had never even had the 10/12 meter mod completed but it has now.Looks AWESOME on my desk next to my ICOM 756 PROII & ICOM 746 PRO & I think it will have a home in my shack for a long time.The only thing I see that I would change is making the wattmeter a PEP meter & I think that would have been an easy addition but do not know why it was not done from the start.It's a beautiful addition to my shack & I'm VERY thankful & blessed to have it along with the rest of my gear. Thanks ICOM for another WINNER in the ICOM PW-1 HF/6 meter Solid State Kilowatt amplifier. {:>)
W0LD Rating: 2017-03-15
Excellent Amplifier! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the PW-1 now for 4 years and love it. I use it on 6 meters where it performs wonderfully. I solid 1 KW output with about 25 watts of drive from my K3. It is quiet and just silently delivers full power. If you can find will not be sorry.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W0LD on 2016-05-30

I use the PW-1 on 6 meters with a non-ICOM radio and it performs flawlessly! Output is 1,200 watts on 6 meters and it is rock solid. If you are looking for a set and forget amp, this is it! If you can find one, buy it!
WX2CX Rating: 2017-02-09
Expected more from Icom Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have had a 2kl and 4kl and rated both 5. I love ICOM products but I have to say that I expected more from Icom on the PW1.
I only operate a few hours per week, never over 800-900w. Few months after buying new the antenna tuner went bad. Sent twice to Icom and was suggested to use it with antenna tuner off since I have a Steppir antenna and can adjust for minimum SWR. Sold amp right away and bought a SPE 1k-fa.
I really liked to be able to detach the control head. Very nice design. I hope Icom makes them a little more robust.
W3DIY Rating: 2016-12-11
Review Update Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Decided to sell my PW1, used as a backup amp. While running an operational check before boxing smoke leaked out from the top vent. I pulled the covers to investigate and found the combiner board was cooked. No luck sourcing one from our Ham community so I shipped to ICOM MI for Matt to fix. Seems to be a common fault, the board was out of stock. Waited 3 months for a production run. Turns out 2 shorted PAs took out the combiner. I agree with the others that its a great amp...until something goes wrong. Parts and labor to repair can be expensive. A neighbors PW1 failed with a defective PS that cost over $2K to fix.
K6IOU Rating: 2016-07-12
13 Years Later Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had mine plugged in since October 2003. I continue to use my PW-1 every day and have never had a single problem with it with the single exception of a burned-out meter light in the remote head. That was a simple fix. It follows the frequency changes from my PROII flawlessly and is essentially a 1 KW tranceiver.

I can understand those that might complain about the fan noise. I have mine under my desk and with that [plus my old ears] it doesn't cause any problems.

A couple of years ago I pulled the covers off thinking there was probably a dust build-up. I 'blew it out' but there was actually very little dust inside.

Earlier 5-star review posted by K6IOU on 2007-04-27

The previous reviews are interesting. I wonder what the s/n is that represents old vs. new PW-1s?

I've had mine plugged-in since October 2003. Absolutely zero problems [so far].

One comment to Steve W1SWR: the maximum power rating of the finals in the PW-1 is 1200 watts. Icom wisely de-rates the max to 1000 to give a little headroom, thus the ALC setting to this point.

That extra 200 watts gives you .79db increase in power, probably not even noticeable on the receiving end. The additional stress on the finals is not worth it IMHO.


AA6VB Rating: 2015-01-20
Best, Most Reliable, Amplifier I Have Ever Owned Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is an updated review after more than 7 years of use.

This amp has been 100 percent reliable - period! Not a single issue in over 7 years. I cannot recommend this Amp highly enough.

I had a difficult time getting the amp set up to work with my Icom 7800 (the manual was unclear and several important steps were missing), but I eventually got it working after about 2 hours. No big deal.

What everyone has said is true - this amp is exactly like having a KW transceiver. You simply cannot tell you are using an amp. Just change bands on your rig, the amp follows along, and you don't have to think about anything. I do wish this could be auto band switching with non-Icom radios.

It has a lot of nice features, including the ability to remember what antenna you use on a given band. So, if you have a vertical for 160/80 attached to one of the four antenna ports, and a beam attached to another, the amp will automatically select the correct antenna when you switch bands. Very slick...

Another nice feature is that is includes Six Meters.

The fact you can attach two transceivers is also very nice. Few, if any, tube amps allow the use of two rigs.

I really enjoy being able to turn the amp on with the press of a button, then press another button to select between my two rigs, and have the amp track antennas and bands automatically. No tune, no warm up, and automatic band changes. Very, very, nice.

Great QSK.

The amp puts out well in excess of 1000 watts, but I always run it at 1KW as recommended by Icom.

The only negative is the fan is VERY LOUD when the temperature activates the high speed fan. The low speed is fairly quiet.

If you are looking for a no tune, solid state amp with auto band switching, this should be on your short list.

By the way, KK5DR wrote an excellent review of this amp. The review has a great deal of useful information and is required reading for anyone who buys one of these amps BEFORE starting the set up process. KK5DR has provided all of the information missing from the manual. It would have taken me five minutes to configure the amp if I had read his review first, instead of the two plus hours it took me. Here is the link: