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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: 77MSRP: 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
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:


KI5WE Rating: 2014-04-24
JUNK-TRASH PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought a new (ICOM)PW-1 had it for about 1 year and the switching power supply went out i sent it back to Icom and they wanted $2.300.00 to replace it. so no i have a i year old paper weight sitting on my desk.
never again don't waste you money ,I bought a new Alpha 9500 3 years ago and LOVE IT, lots more power then the PW-1 it is just like having a 1500 watt radio i could not be happier with my Alpha 9500 i wish i would have not wasted my money on the JUNK PW-1 (BUYER BE WARE)
W4KVW Rating: 2013-11-29
SIMPLY "AWESOME"! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
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. {:>)
KU4OT Rating: 2013-11-27
Impressed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my PW-1 used almost 5 years ago. I have not had a seconds problem with it. Care should be taken with initial ALC setup as it would be east to overdrive the amp and cause problems. Also, the tuner is only capable of handling a 3:1 SWR. High SWR coupled with 1200 or 1400 watts output is probably the reason some are having reliability issues. It only take about 25 watts of drive before the ALC kicks in to reach 1KW output. The only suggestion I would make to Icom is to include a Peak mode on the meter. From the factory the meter is RMS only which is fine for all modes except SSB. I also have an Alpha 99 and Palstar AT Auto for back-up but I have only turned them on about once a year to make sure they are still working. I would defiantly purchase this amp again.
G0PZA Rating: 2013-05-25
Good Amp but beware of ATU Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have been using this Amp mainly in contests for about 4 years. I have found the amp ok to use and it handshakes well with the Pro III. The power needle is a little lazy on SSB but fine on CW.

The Auto ATU failed recently, for the second time, and this time ICOM UK have quoted me USD 3,000 to install a new one. I shall not be doing so and buying a Palstar hF auto for about 1500, or an LDG pro2 for about 700. Also, I shall be slowly switching away from ICOM in the future, having been an ICOM proponent for 20 years.
Buyers beware!
W6DE Rating: 2013-05-03
Glad I have it Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using this PW-1 for over a two years now. I bought it used and have no regrets about buying it. I use it with my ICOM 756 PRO III. The two are great together. With my Steppir also being automatic, band changing is a snap. QSK works like a champ.

I did have some faulting at first due to the bad handling of CI-V collisions in the PW-1. If you use a PW-1 with a computer on the CI-V Bus you should read K8UT's web site article "Riding the CI-V Bus" pay attention to part 4 Solutions. When connected to a computer, using one of the "Solutions" is a must. I use the "K9JM CI-V ROUTER" as a substitute for the ICOM CT-17. I believe it is the solution ICOM should have done in the first place. That it needs another device to protect the PW-1 is why I rate the PW-1 a 4 instead of 5.

Using the K9JM Router with the PW-1 I now feel comfortable doing contesting with the PW-1.