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Reviews For: ICOM IC-746

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-746
Reviews: 234MSRP: ICOM IC-746.
HF+6M+2M Multi-mode transceiver
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD8ZKW Rating: 2021-04-25
Good rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought one of these a few days ago.I seen one at an estate sale.I wanted to grab it,but couldnt make it.Anyways i bought one online and i am so happy with this.I like the 2 meters which i do a lot of.Then i do the some HF...I havent had any trouble operating it.I got the feel for programming it off youtube.Havent read the manuel yet.Ive skimmed through it and thats about it....If you can get a deal grab it lol Ive had a yaesu ftdx 1200...So far like this much better...Is it a keeper for me.Time will tell....Ill come back when ive spent a lot more time with this.
W2BBQ Rating: 2021-03-27
Totally Love, Owned Multiples Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Stuff comes and stuff goes. Beginning in the first year they came out, I have owned three 746's and one 746 Pro. Currently on my 3rd 746 purchased on the used market in late 2020. Never had a moment's trouble with any of them. The 746 sounds really good on AM from factory and the AM Modulation can further be turned up inside if desired. Good benefit for those who like to dabble in AM up thru 2 meters. Great bonus RX coverage on VHF RX's down to 118mhz - so you have the AM Aircraft band available to listen to. Sounds and works great on all bands and having the 100 watts available on 2 meters is a great bonus. Would recommend to anyone. Still my absolute favorite Mid-Grade HF + rig of all time. The 746 Pro (at least mine) did not sound great on AM, I learned they changed the AM Modulation Circuit in the Pro for some reason - but the Pro adds the ability to Adjust the SSB TX Bandwidth out to 2.8khz and gives that deep, rich studio sound on SSB if you like that.
G3WRT Rating: 2021-02-13
A good reliable HF VHF workhorse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my multimode IC746 since new. It has been a splendid workhorse mainly on HF. Just the usual backlight problem that has required attention. These days I leave the rig in an unheated shack and with it permanently on. Usually on 144.3MHz the SSB calling frequency. I always get good audio reports using the supplied mic. Apart from the tuning knob you would not know what age it was. That is why I semi-retired it. I am spoilt now with the spectrum scope of my IC7300 and less tuning knob twiddling as a result. The reason I have not sold it is that a 100W 2m multimode transceiver is potentially potent and useful.
I am sure 2m will become resurgent at some future point. So, it remains a keeper for that reason alone. I think its true 2nd hand value is more than it currently commands. I find Icom UK a particularly good service place and that is another reason I am happy to hang on to it. Unlike my AOR5000+3 which, even if sent back to japan, they will not repair or service and for which they keep no spares, they tell me.
M0MBD Rating: 2020-02-10
A good workhorse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Having come back to the hobby after a break of many years, I was on the hunt for a desktop 'Shack in a box' to get me going.

I bought this for £450 and had to drive some way to pick it up, but at least I could see and hear it in action it before i bought it. It did not have a mic with it, so I bought a Nissei SJDC-308 desk mic which appears to match it perfectly. I always get good audio reports when using this rig.

It has served as my main HF Rig and my GB2RS broadcast radio for 2m and apart from two main issues, it has been great.

The first thing was the link to of of the two tuning motor in the ATU gave up the ghost. I had to strip it down and glue back together the bits that were sonic welded, but had parted company. It was fiddly but straight forward to do, and there were clear instructions of how to do it on the web. It certainly saved a lot of money rather than replacing the assembly. This must be a common issue to warrant the publishing of instructions to fix it!

The other thing that went were the finals. Whilst reading the new for GB2RS, I used to have the radio set to transmit 50w on 2m FM for a 30 minute transmission, which was giving the finals a bit of a pasting. After 4 years, the finals gave up the ghost. A replacement set went in and it is now working fine, but I now wind the output power back down to 30w for news reads!

I am looking for a more advanced HF rig now, but will still use this for Data Modes, 2m Broadcast and HF Backup as it is just too handy to let go.

If you get one with all the filters installed, it is a great radio. watch out also for the display back-light. they are also prone to failure, but repair kits are available from a well know on-line auction site!

These radios can be wide-banded fairly easily as well. There is quite a few mods available to the IC746 owner that are well documented on the net.

I am glad I bought mine and it will continue to be a useful tool in the shack.

It is an easy radio to drive.. Things you need often are on the front of the radio, lesser used features are in the background as part of the menu system. DSP is ok, but rudimentary. I also am not a fan of the way Icom double the squelch function with the RF gain knob.

The S Meter seems to be a little shy on VHF.. compared with other radios, it seems to read at least 12db less than other radios. The meter appears to read correctly on HF though. (And this was after a full check and re-alignment from Icom).

This radio used extensive SMT (surface mount Technology), which is par for the course on more modern radios, so probably not one that you would want to maintain yourself, unless your SMT rework skills are up to it!

On the whole though, a solid general purpose transceiver.
W9LDN Rating: 2019-10-09
Potential Fire Hazard Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this IC-746 since it was new. It has been used for many years, some very active years and some on the shelf.

Two weeks ago, I simply turned on the DC power to the radio and it started shooting flames out the rear grill near where the DC power supply connects. I was NOT transmitting at the time.

After shutting off the power and opening the unit up, it was apparent the input DC filter PCB (B5143C) had been destroyed next to the + terminal where DC power connects from the rear power connector.

Analysis of the PCB shows that it basically delaminated. Found a replacement in the UK and installed it....the IC 746 is back in operation.

I write this because this is NOT an unheard of issue - others have seen it. So if you have an old IC-746 I suggest you keep a fire extinguisher in the shack near this radio just to be safe.

This radio provided years and years of good service, but finally failed. Hope no one else sees this problem as replacement PCB's are tough to find.
WB7SDX Rating: 2019-03-12
New radio to me Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just picked up a new(to me), Icom 746. Been using an Icom 730. I haven't been on the air much since I was still working but I have recently retired so I plan to do a lot more operating or at least listening. I bought this radio from a fellow ham at a ham fair. I couldn't wait to hook it up. I was not disappointed with at all. I love my old 730 but this one is exceptional. Still learning all the bells and whistles. I was going to buy a 2 meter ssb rig and a general coverage receiver sometime but now I have both with 6 meters and 160 meters included. Now to put up a better antenna up into the trees to really wake up this radio.
WM4RB Rating: 2018-08-07
Great Rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had mine for more than 15 years and never had any problems with it. Love the radio.

Earlier 5-star review posted by WM4RB on 2011-08-14

I've owned mine since 2003. I also own other ICOM, Kenwood and Yaesu HF rigs and the IC-746 is my favorite. It has great receive and I have no complaints at all with this radio. ICOM hit a home run when they came out with the 746.
BURGERLOVER65 Rating: 2018-08-06
Great HF VHF radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio does everything I need it too. Every time I think about buying something more modern I nix it and think about all the money I'm saving! Recently I added a QF-1A filter I feel like I have a completely new transceiver. When I want to play with sdr I have an RTL SDR I bought for $23 so who needs an Anon Schmanon, I see 7300, or any of the high faulting stuff out there because nothing can make me more satisfied than the equipment I already have.
W4KVW Rating: 2017-10-22
Very Good Transceiver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well I picked up an ICOM 746 a couple of weeks ago & it works great as did the 1st one I owned many years ago & the Two ICOM 746 PRO's I have also owned.The only issue I can find with the radio is the internal tuner is not operational.That is not a real issue since I plugged in an MFJ 929 Auto Tuner with the ICOM interface & it tunes very fast.I still hate the monochrome display but for the price I paid for the radio I can live with it.It is just a backup radio to my ICOM 7600 on HF/6 meters or 2 meters where I use my ICOM 275A so I don't do any serious DX Chasing with it.It's just a spare & something I goof off with.A lot of folks would love having one as their main rig but I prefer a radio with a band scope so I can find those signals without spinning the VFO so much.It's a much better deal on a transceiver than the IC-718 or IC-7200 in my opinion.I use it with a ClearSpeech Base DSP unit like I do with all of my radios that I use on SSB & AM & it's just as quiet as most any high dollar DSP transceivers.If it had a real time band scope display & not the monochrome display it would rate a 5 but it will never be a 5 to me.It is a very good transceiver for what they cost today on the used market so get yourself one & you will be very pleased with the 100 watts output on all bands including HF,6 meters,& 2 meters.It's an ICOM & it don't have an unwanted & useless touch screen display so I'll keep it a while.
W8KMA Rating: 2017-05-18
Just sounds right!! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Nice rig!! This 746 works better on HF than the other TS-2000 rigs I have had in the past. The 2000 was always noisy on HF and got annoying.

Operating on 2 meters is pretty close between the two... I would say the 746 has a more realistic S meter... Both worked well on the 2 meter band.

I did have to repair the back light regulator on the 746, but not a big deal...( Lots of info on line about that. I replaced the faulty transistor with a bigger style 220 case )... And still, NO harder than replacing the burned out bulbs in the TS2000 with leds.

I do wish I could monitor 2 meters while operating HF with the 746 as the 2000 can do, but maybe I don't know what I am doing!! Ha ha!! All in all, I feel the 746 is a great rig and can't see it going anywhere soon.. It just works and sounds great!!