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Reviews For: Eico 753 Triband

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

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Review Summary For : Eico 753 Triband
Reviews: 40MSRP: 189.95
Vintage Triband transceiver
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W6BP Rating: 2023-02-04
The Yugo of HF transceivers? Time Owned: more than 12 months.
There was a time when Eico had a good reputation in the ham community; the 720 and 723 CW transmitters were well-thought-of by many Novices. Then came the Eico 753 transceiver

I bought and assembled this incredible piece of electronic junk when I was 14, shortly after I got my General license. An astonishingly bad rig, the EICO 753 transmitted robotic, metallic-sounding SSB. Fortunately, the VFO drifted so rapidly that the person you were talking to usually attributed the bad tx audio to mistuning. Thanks to this rig's awful signal, I struck up an ongoing correspondence with an ARRL Official Observer in Palmyra, NY.

I did benefit in two ways from owning the 753: the phrase "You get what you pay for" was seared into my brain, and I appreciated my next rig, the excellent Drake TR-4, even more than I would have had I not had the misfortune to own this abomination.
NJ5G Rating: 2017-09-23
Bad but funny memories Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After USAF was undergrad physics student on Viet Nam GI bill at SDSU (San Diego CA. 1967-8) Not a lot of cash so happy to buy a cheap tri-band rig. It was used Eico 753K (Kit version) Rig was way out of whack. Inserted diddle stick into cans with tunable cores. Erroneously went too far down into one which lined up with a can on other side of the ckt board and adjusted something mentioned in the manual as factory adjusted do not adjust!

Every time I tried to contact someone or break into a QSO I would get comments about being on the "wrong" sideband. Eventually I answered a CQ from another college student (in New England) and we ad a nice chat. He too was using a 753 and had been adjusting things...
WB4IUY Rating: 2013-09-21
Good times, decent rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'll give this a 4 for many reasons...not because it was a great rig, but rather because I had so much fun with it. That's kinda what this is about to me (having fun!).

I got one of these rigs back around '76 at a swap meet. I thought it was a good looking rig, with it's brushed panel and polished knobs. It had a lot of problems, but I enjoy the chase sometimes more than the catch :-) . I did every mod I could find in Ham Radio, 73, QST, etc to it. I designed an active CW filter and installed it internally, installed a whisper fan blowing directly onto the solid state VFO, and another drawing out of the cabinet. I mod'd the rig to unbalance the modulator so I could even use it on AM in some fashion. In the end, it worked pretty darn good and I made a lot of contacts with it. Wouldn't mind having another for nostalgia :-)

AI2A Rating: 2013-06-08
It Worked 1st Time Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Prior to the 753 I had to struggle with the old DX100 (with a serious CW chirp when using XTALs), Dow key antenna relay and the NC300 (which I adored). The 753 was a welcome addition at the time. I never expected the receiver to compare to the NC300.

As a high school student making 50 cents per hour. it was all I could afford. I had access to some serious test equipment at the radio shop I worked for. I bought it at a closeout price from the shop I worked for. I built it making all the mods that were available at the time.

It did drift, but settled down to a reasonably radio after about an hour. I tended to listen a lot and found it a lot of fun to operate.

The power supply caused more problems than the radio - requiring updates to the diodes after I blew them and fuses regularly.

I spent the time to minimize drift and do serious alignment. The appearance was GREAT. At the time I did not realize the drift was excessive until I acquired some later and much more stable gear.

I still own the rig and will probably go through it once more to try to further improve its often drifting performance. Nostalgia likely influenced my review. I did have fun on SSB mostly. The look and feel of this rig was certainly better than my old DX100. I had a dust cover made to keep it in near perfect appearance at all times. It looked pretty neat behind the D104 microphone I used.

It was no match for the Drake TR4 or Drake B line that I later acquired. I built a number of Heath rigs (HW100, SB102, HW5400, HW7, HW8, HW9, HW12A, HW22A, HW32A).

I must agree with most of the negative comments others have written about the 753. I have to work on a number of other 753's that were brought to our shop for repair. The meter needle was not damped like some meters on comparable rigs. This meter still works today however!

I did have to replace several vacuum tubes and a relay during its "active" service life. I think that I bought and built this radio in 1965 or 1966 while in high school. It traveled the world with me to Asia and Europe while I was in the USAF.

I had fond memories with the 753 and still like the way it looks! It is no comparison against the Kenwood TS850SAT in terms of drift or sensitivity but remains a valued part of my many rigs.
XE3LW Rating: 2011-12-17
Great Runner Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The Eico 753 was my first Ham radio equipment back in 1977.
Thanks to its well known drifting characteristics, I was able to participate in different conversations almost same time in the same band.
Fun to operate.
WA7TN Rating: 2010-08-14
The WORST of All Time Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Built this pig in the 1968 when I was WA4ZVS. It was cheap and I was on a budget (college kid). As I recall less than $100 on sale. I've owned a lot of rigs over the years and this one is absolutely the worst of all. It would drift through nets as I hoped someone would catch my call. Even factory service could not solve the problem. I wasted way too much $$ trying to get this junk to operate. My experience duplicates W4HT. I canned this pig and got a real rig - an HW-101 in 1969.

Earlier 0-star review posted by WA7TN on 2002-07-11

Neither I nor a a whole slew of technicians were able to get this monster from drifting. I kid you not - 50 to 100 khz drift even after an hour of warmup. On the plus side it would load into almost anything.
K1FPV Rating: 2009-09-27
I must agree with VA3BD Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I must agree with VA3BD! In the late 60's, I had just graduated from college, was moving away from my New England roots on my first job. I wanted an inexpensive way to have a state of the art rig to talk with locals in New England I was friends with. The Eico 753 fit the bill! I bought the updated version with the solid state VFO. I built it and was pleasantly surprised.

It drifted like crazy for the first 30 minutes. For the second 30 minutes, it's drift slowed down quite a bit and was actually pretty stable if left on for an hour prior to operating it. It put out about 100 watts PEP of SSB on 75, 40 and 20 meters. I used mine on 40 meters most of the time and regularly had skeds from the Washington, D.C. area into New England. I made sure the rig was on an hour before getting on the air.

Yes, today's rigs are better but we are talking technology that has advanced over 40 years since then. In it's day, the 753 was a good rig for the price.
VA3BD Rating: 2009-09-27
Got you on SSB for a great price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'm obviously in the minority here, but I think a bit of perspective is in order. The 753 was a great rig. Here's why:

Back in the mid 60's there were very few affordable SSB rigs. The lowest cost transceiver was the Heath HW single bander at 100 bucks however this only gave you one band and no CW. The next step up was the HW100 at $250 (about $1,250 in today's dollars.) After that the prices jumped up to $350 for a SB100 and $500 for pre-assembled Drakes, Swans, etc. ($2,500 in today's dollars!)

For a young ham with little money there were few other choices. Sure you could build up a Heath DX 60 and matching receiver, but that only gave you low level AM and CW using an external VFO and no transceive. By this time no one was running AM, so you were basically stuck on CW. Even with those limitations that configuration still set you back around $200.

The only other option was the used market which offered enormous boat-anchors, usually AM and CW only. The BA's were usually old and tired with low sensitivity and lousy dial calibration. Few offered transceive operation. They were truly from a previous generation.

Along came the 753, which seemed to be a low-priced miracle. For around $150 you could own a tri-band multi-mode rig with all of the features of the "real radios." And you could build it yourself. Only problem was that it drifted. A lot. BUT, you could still get on the air on SSB and operate a modern rig.

Sure you had to keep one hand on the VFO and endure some kidding about your "7-drifty three," but compared to a crappy old NC98 receiver,and a DX 20 transmitter with VF-1, you had moved into a completely different class of operating.

So, while they had their share of problems, I give the 753 a solid score of four due to a great price/performance ratio.


Doug VA3BD

Earlier 5-star review posted by VA3BD on 2006-04-08

C'mon you guys. Quit picking on the old 7drifty three. Fact is it got many of us on the air on Sideband at a time when even a Heathkit cost an arm and a leg.

I agree with many of the comments about drifting, and the radio wasn't overly sensitive, but it did get the job done. So you had to keep one hand on the tuning knob - Big deal!

Remember, in the mid 60's for the price of the 753, most of us could only afford old National or Hallicraters receivers and maybe a DX 20 or similar CW rig with outboard VFO. Those old boatanchors were ususally so worn down that they couldn't hear a signal above 40 meters.

For the same money Eico gave us a complete sideband transceiver with VOX, and it didn't take up all of your desk space. It was the VERY poor man's verion of the KWM2. (and you got what you paid for.)

Can't say that I miss the old Eico, subsequent radios I have owned were much better, but if not for the 753, as an impoverished teenager I wouldn't have been on SSB at all.

For that reason alone it deserves a score of 5!
WA4OTD Rating: 2009-07-17
Piece of xxxx Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It was better than the DX60 and xtal I was using! My elmer loaded me this rig when I upgraded to Advanced in 1974 so at 14 years old I would do anything to get on the air. This rig took full advantage of my attitude. I ended up leaving the top cover off and was lucky when it made it through a QSO without something breaking! THere was always smoke or an arc and radio down. I would race to get it fixed before my QSO left me.

In 6-8 months of use before I got a FT101EE I learned so much!

It did work well enough for several thousand QSO's on CW or else I would have given it a zero.
K0BT Rating: 2009-07-05
Remarkably bad. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my first sideband rig. It replaced a Heathkit HW-16. I paid a whopping $10 for it at a hamfest because the seller just wanted to get rid of it. The best I can say for it is that it got me on SSB at a time when I couldn't afford anything else. It drifted worse than any other radio I have ever used. I tried several modifications and got it to the point where it was usable, but it was never a fun radio. It was also ugly as sin. I still give it a one instead of a zero because I finally did get it stable enough to use it, as long as the guy on the other end had a sense of humor.