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Reviews For: ICOM IC-756PRO2

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-756PRO2
Reviews: 152MSRP: 2969.95 Street
HF+6m Transceiver
Product is in production
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K3VO Rating: 2017-08-07
Glad it was a gift Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I got my Pro from a neighbor when he became a SK. I sold my Kenwood 570 since I was expecting a super rig with the Pro.
let me say that I have a bad taste in my mouth with Icom. I had a IC-746 which was a really good rig until the finals blew. Icom did not support the 746 for very long and now the they are doing it with thePro series according to reviews.
The menus in the Pro are a royal pain.. Keep the manual handy to do minor things like set the clock. The manual is not really that clear in understanding the functions.
I after 62 years in the hobby find the band scopes worthless.
I like to work CW and the filters are terrible. I have yet to be able to work CW using the SSB filter for copy.
This is the first rig I have had that does not put out 100 watts. Others in these reviews have found the same thing.
I do get good audio reports but so did I with even a HW -100.
When the rig came out I looked hard at it but for $3000 I stuck with my Kenwood.
Again it was gifted to me so will keep it but its the least favorite rig I ever had and I have had many high end rigs over the years.
R2ABT Rating: 2016-11-29
Almost 7600 for half price! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Believe it or not, I've bought it absolutely brand new one in 2015. Sometimes people buy things and keep them in a box to sell through the years. I don't understand them, but it's a good job that there they are! So, I was lucky and stole the rig for $1200. I really stopped dreaming about better rig. Love it!

73! de Peter R2ABT
KB8DGC Rating: 2016-01-16
Pretty nice when it's not in the shop Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my 756PROII for a couple years now; it was my top choice when getting back into radio. I think I would do it all again, too.

But this has been a tough review to score for me. I bought the rig used, so who knows what action it saw in the past... but even so there are several known issues which Icom should have taken responsibility for and fixed, especially on a popular, long-lived, multi-generational, pretty expensive radio. Instead, as the design ages, board spares are gone, and you're stuck with component-level repairs that Icom won't touch - although customer support and the local tech have been outstanding for at least trying to help.

The weak signal performance is unremarkable vs. newer rigs and SDRs, but quite good among its contemporaries given the on-board preamps. For typical contesting and especially casual ragchewing, it is a very solid performer.

The ergonomics are comfortable for extended use. The layout and menus are pretty logical for the amount of content crammed into relatively few knobs and buttons. The audio, at least to my ear, is VERY pleasant (not hollow or rushing or tinny), and apparent volume scales logically with signal strength. A straight key and paddle can be simultaneously connected on the back and front jacks.

Filters definitely make contesting and tricky casual discussions more enjoyable. It's not always obvious which signal-shaping component is pre- or post-ALC, and sometimes adjustments require a detour through the press-and-hold secondary menus, but the outcome is worthwhile.

The separate digital USB-D/LSB-D modes (with separate filters) are a nice thought. The two-pole RTTY filter is a neat idea too, for classic RTTY die-hards. ;) There's even RTTY-R in case your decoder won't reverse it for you.

Split operation is straightforward but aggravatingly lacks a sub vfo indicator on the spectrum scope. This is so hard for me to believe I've looked several times. It could be an easy firmware fix. Also the spectrum scope is quite sluggish compared to newer units or many SDRs, but worlds ahead of those in the 746 or even the newer 9100, making it easy to look around for nearby activity.

The radio does tend to run warm during long sessions, but apparently to no ill effect. I think there is a hack out there somewhere to run the fan in rx.

The transverter port is a great idea, but beware of its departure from stated specs at some frequencies. I hope to use it but so far have not done so.

Some of the better-known, bigger issues:
- Display problems (backlight, glitching) on some units
- Muting diode deterioration on some units, leading to oscillation and/or catastrophic failure of the tuner board
- Some of the rig's active circuitry in the RF and PA sections is still powered in standby mode so oscillation and failure can even occur in standby.
- Isolation is marginal on a couple rear panel signals, which can cause RF feedback and/or distortion of transmit audio. Not hard to work around once you think to look there, but... why?

- The RF Power, Mic Gain, and Keyer speed controls are among those exiled to tiny little knobs, but I use them ALL THE TIME, certainly more than Balance or NR amount
- Some people don't like the character of the CW filter when it's made very narrow, it's not a problem for me.
- First element truncation on high speed QSK, though I'm not fast enough to tell
- Local sidetone, beeps, etc., show up on the audio output pin on the ACC jack
- The power output is a bit below spec on some bands, but I don't run mine flat-out anyway.
- For some reason the 746 has 2m but the 756 family doesn't. I'm sure they had their reasons, but it would've really made for a great all-purpose radio if they could've found a way to leave it in.

Overall I'm satisfied, and although I've been debating between a 3 or 4 for weeks, it really is not worse than "good." But anyone considering this as a primary radio should verify that the issues above are not a problem for them, and/or are not evident on a unit they're considering.
W0BKR Rating: 2015-07-04
Great Radio Even Today Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I havc had the PRO2 off and on for a number of years, I seem to find myself going back to it frequently until the "itch" hits me to try something different. I have used the PRO, PRO2 and PRO3 and frankly, I like the PRO and PRO2 the best. Great display, love the TFT over LCD displays any day.

Hears well, a bit noisy on rcv, don't notice the DSP or NB that really does much so I rarely use the NR function.

Pretty easy to figure out how to use it and if not abused, should last you a very long time. My friends still have theirs from the initial purchase and likely, I will get another down the road.

Only thing I ever noticed was just use one antenna connection. If you use both, be sure the unused one is well isolated and no RF comes in else you will likely have the ESD damage to the control board and switching circuit which will render 6 meters inop unless you engage the antenna tuner. It is repairable and ICOM should have used better protection/isolation.

All in all, the PRO2 is my favorite. Still a great bargain at 1200-1400 on today's market (used).

Earlier 5-star review posted by N9CM on 2013-08-12

Won't go into all the pros and cons, but suffice it to say, I have had the PRO and it was great, not a contest radio but who contests 24/7? In a contest, I work just fine. I love teh 1000MPMK5 and it is and will always be my benchmark. The PRO2 is a set up from the Pro to be certain. A great workhorse and great performer. The Pro3 isn't worth the hype as in my honest opinion, the PRO2 is every bit as good (look at the specs) and for a few lesser bucks. I wish though the Power Control was a larger control and the squelch was a smaller control (who really ever uses squelch on an HF/6 radio I wonder).

If you can get a PRO2 for a resonable price, (I am currently getting another PRO2), get it. You won't be disappointed.
W4KVW Rating: 2015-05-25
WAS a Great Rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well I must say the ICOM 756 PRO II "WAS" a Great rig.Only problem is it no longer is repairable & it's no longer working.It is a pretty common issue from what I see on the web now that the display board will stop functioning after time & there are no replacements for them which pretty much makes the radio unusable.I understand it's not will it happen but when will it happen.I have seen a half dozen of these rigs online in the last 2 weeks with this issue so I guess time is catching up with them.I purchased mine New in June of 2003 for $2279 so I'm not sure if I got my monies worth but I sure had a lot of fun with it & worked a lot of stations? That is a lot of money for any radio in my book & I thought it would last much longer.Just be aware if you currently own a PRO II or have been considering purchasing one that if the screen fails chances are you will NOT fix it or get it fixed.Not sure if the same board was used in the 756 PRO III but I'm guessing it was so I guess they will start failing soon as well. Guess that's one way too get people too buy a New radio (No Parts No Repairs).If you have a PRO II enjoy it while it's still working & that beautiful color display is still showing those signals because I'm afraid for you & feel it will go away leaving you just like me.In the market for a New radio for my Ham Shack. {:>(

Earlier 5-star review posted by W4KVW on 2007-01-26

I rated my 756 PROII after only 7 months of ownership & rated it a 5 then.I have now owned it since I purchased it NEW in June 2003 & it is still the BEST rig I have EVER listened to in my shack or anyone elses I think!I like it so much I now have a 746 PRO as well sitting next to it which in my opinion is NOT as quiet on the receive side as the PROII but still VERY quiet for my 2 & 6 meter usages & also has GREAT transmit audio as does the PROII.I have never hooked an HF antenna to the 746 PRO since the PROII is in my opinion FLAWLESS for ALL of my HF needs!You will NEVER need external audio gear with either of these rigs.Most people think I'm running something EXTRA for the GREAT audio but it's just a stock PROII with a HEIL PR-20 & the 746 PRO with the ICOM SM-20 desk mike.Keep up the GREAT work ICOM & I'll NEVER own ANYTHING else for rigs in my shack,HT's or mobile setup!

PY3CS Rating: 2015-05-22
Best equipment! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Really love my 756 PROII, after having a TS-2000 which changed the icom not regretted it, quite the contrary. Excellent reception and transmission puts the TS-2000 to shame, a lot of noise like a beehive. Of course they are different radios, but if you do not operate sattelite stay with the IC-756!
Because it is a radio dedicated to the hf Ic-756PRO II is complete in all the bands. Great sensitivity. And if you want to invest in IC-7600 to stay with your 756ProII because the cost benefit is not worth it. The elimination of the analog meter in the IC-7600 has generated much protest, and reduced to double conversion in the receiver, since the IC-756ProII and III is threefold conversion. If you want to change then change the IC-7700 then yes will have greater benefits.
K9IKE Rating: 2015-01-05
Nice rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned my pro2 for over 12yrs. This radio has been very reliable. Love the band scope and
the many looks you can achieve with the radio's
menu. Tried other rigs since but I keep coming
back to the pro2. To get 100w this radio needs
13+ volts, and I hate the mini controls for mic
gain, power, etc. Other wise a great rig, once
you read manual it becomes easy to operate
AK2F Rating: 2015-01-05
Great value Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just spent a few months with the Pro2 next to Kenwood TS-590S. Love the way the Pro2 interfaces with PW-1 amplifier, and also the color bandscope. It's been a faithful rig that does everything I need it to and more. When using the TS-590S, I missed the band scope but liked the receive audio quality a bit more. It's subtle.

It's hard to beat for the money! Good controls, easy to use, and reliable.
WZ3O Rating: 2013-05-21
Very Good Rig ..2nd time around.. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is the 2nd one I've owned, the first only very very briefly and had only a short time to evaluate it.

Have this one for a little over a month now & am really enjoying the DSP, NB, NR etc. The scope is a great way to pick off multiple contacts quickly. Menus are not that daunting, most are set and forget once you adjust them to your liking. Controls are relatively intuitive. Great receive and even on noisy or crowded bands, the DSP voodoo does it's thing.

Given the above, I'm quite happy with the rig. Just counted the # of rigs I've owned in 4.7 years, this one's the best so far...hopefully my buying bug doesn't bite for awhile... HI

Of course if some one wants to trade even up for a IC-7700 maybe I'll bite...HI HI..
VK4SMJ Rating: 2012-11-30
A Good radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Not real sure what is trying to be said in the below post. I think that the proII cant be firmware upgraded?

In any case, here is my experience with my proII.

Bought it second hand, last June. Was a bit daunted on gaining this radio before hand, on the possible complexity of this radio. I needn't have worried.

Whilst it has menu's, they are but a trifle compared to a lot of radios. So easy to run this radio yet it has most of the things you need at hand for easy access, without having to dig into the depths of a menu system.

Plus that fabulous colour screen! And the Spectrum Display. Didn't think I'd really use that particular function, but turned out I use it ALL the time. In fact I now know why the ProIII and 7600 etc. are so popular. Particularly, to ex 756 users.

The tuner is great, has no issue tuning my 80/40 dipole. The analogue needle is also great, you simply cant really beat an old school needle that moves physically. Although of course it does have a digital representative if you so desire.

The DSP function on the Icoms I feel are simply the best. No menu's here, A nice knob for ease of use and just adjust as needed. And it works very well.

These radios are good, really good, and seeing how much they still get on the second hand market is an indication that other people also think the same. The proII is getting on now, but if you come across a decent condition one, or even better a late model proIII, GRAB it! You will keep it upfront in the shack for sure. They look good, they work well, and no need for a computer degree to work the thing.