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Reviews For: ICOM IC-761

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-761
Reviews: 43MSRP: 650 - 725 (as of 3/2002)
Top Notch HF Transceiver 10-160 meter, w/ gen'l coverage rec.
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KG7HVR Rating: 2020-09-23
Amazing rx,tuner, and massive rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned alot of radios. I dont usually keep a radio more than a few months. This radio is great, its really big and heavy and lots of space. Unlike radios where you bump other controls.
Tuner is very good. Better than any radio ive owned.
It is built like a tank. The rx is quad conversion. So receiver is top notch. The tx audio is good but found does better with a hm219 ic7300 microphone. Hm36 is fine.
Mine wasn't treated nice by someone. The vfo got bent but it works. The rit xit causes screen to wack out. Im told maybe backup battery. Im too lazy to care. Who uses rit? Its not a CB radio. Change the vfo if someone is not on frequency.
Did i say the tuner is amazing? It is.
Heres my list of radios that aren't better than, that I don't have anymore or dont prefer. because they werent as good ..ft1000mp, ic751, ic706, ft450, ft101e, ft891 , ts570 ,ts440, ts450, ts2000, ts820, ts830, to name a few. To add perspective I have ic756pro 2 and ic7300 also. If I dont need scope this radio is my go to.
I believe it was made 1988. My only 2 complaints are no extra digit on display. But set your calibrator and use whole steps, no splitting 99hz on 100hz digit. Also no band stacking like 765 but they say better filters than 765 and tcxo is standard here.
Probably not easy to find these days. I dont think they sold many.

N2ZD Rating: 2020-05-07
I thought it would stink! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got this radio in a lot of other Icom gear, back in the day, I noticed it was replaced rather quickly by the 765, that made me think it was a load, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth. I own both radios mentioned and I can tell you that this radio is outstanding. I love the receiver, the silky smooth VFO and it performs really well for a 30 plus year old radio. The problems are well documented and like all other rigs of its vintage, it’s no stranger to cold solder joints and minor failures. But it’s rather easy to repair with the load of info about the rig on the web. If you’re handy, a ham on a budget and want top notch performance in the sub 600 dollar range, you can surely find a good example of this radio on the web. The filter compliment is very good as well as this radio was second to the 781 so it did have some fine accoutrements like it’s big brother. I did have to take an iron to it and fix the display (a rather common issue) with it flickering or taking a while to come on. No big deal as it owed me nothing being an old rig . My older Kenwood and Yaesu rigs all have a spool of solder on the mic cable for the same issues lol. The tuner is typical of 80’s auto tuners with not much range but it will usually find a match for most stubborn antennas. But even some radios of today have sub par tuners. If you have a decent antenna, it will tune it. It’s a small mention though, but I have to say, this rig truly shocked me with its abilities and performance.


I just picked up two more in a trade, both had issues. Once again, they were easy to sort with minor stuff wrong. One had the wacky display issue, bad battery and a disconnected gray jumper inside.
The other had a disconnected jumper, a missing switching supply and connector. Luckily I had that parts rig with a good supply, now I have three 761's, all work great! I don't need three, but they look nice next to my 4 IC-781's and two 765's!
VK2NZA Rating: 2019-09-22
Under-rated Classic! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
My Icom IC-761 is a 0314 series rig new circa 1989/1990.
I have owned and used it for around 6 months now and it is along with my long owned and used IC-765 my favorite go to rig.
I have a liking for older model classics and don't need to have the latest on the market but sadly exclude tube types due to a DC powered shack that has 12/24/48 VDC available from up to 600 amp battery banks. Although we have AC inverters I find they can create some RFI so in our remote rural location I prefer the silence of the clean DC power.

I have owned an IC -765 for many years now and fell in love with its solid no nonsense presence and easy ergonomics, when a nicely looked after IC 761 come up on VK ham the Australian amateur radio site I jumped at it after checking that it had the original FL-80 FL-44A SSB FL52A and FL-32A CW filters installed.

I have other rigs including an FT-1000D, 2 very fine IC 7410's an IC-7200 and Kenwood TS-480SAT for mobile HF.
Other than the 2 independent receivers and 200 watt output on the FT-1000D the IC-761 compares favorably and I find the received and transmitted audio nicer on the 761 and 765.
Pairing my IC-761 and IC-765 for dual receive makes them an excellent combination that is easier to use than the FT-1000D.
An IC-2KL amp and AT-500 auto tuner combo direct switches bands with the IC-761/765 and is a great combination.

This is a large heavy rig and every control (bar the presets for the tuner and key setting in the top cover) is on the front with no menus.
It is a very fine rig to operate and large fingers are welcome!
The crystal filters and the CR-64 hi stability crystal oscilator are the best Icom offered and are standard.
The clarity of the receive is excellent with the clarity of syllables sounding much clearer than on DSP rigs IMO.

My first Icom was an R71A receiver and like the IC-751A has that same excellent sensitivity and particularly excellent SSB CW selectivity.
The IC 761 as others have mentioned is actually just a fully optioned IC-751a in a larger case with built in PS-35 power supply and tuner, I have bypassed the power supply and run the rig directly on 13.8 vdc from my solar system batteries.
This reduces the heat within the rig and has to be a benefit. Bypassing the inbuilt supply is easy as it utilises the same plug/socket internally as standard 6 pin Icom DC rigs.

The IC 761 has IF shift, Notch and PBT (Pass Band Tuning) however due to a dispute with Kenwood (I believe) had to drop this feature (PBT) on their next rig the supurb IC-765, leaving IF shift and Notch only however Gerd Herjes W21SB came up with a simple mod to reinstall the PBT option that works very well utilising the IF shift as a dual purpose control.

Through my older Palstar AT2KD and favored Daiwa CNW-518 manual tuners my IC-761 is capable of putting out on 80/40 meters around 115 watts 15/10 105 watts out and the transmitted waveform is very clean with no ALC spikes.
Barefoot I cruise along well on 50 - 70 watts with good results.
A very good and reliable finals design better than some later offerings IMO.
The AT-150 inbuilt antenna tuner is capable of
3-4:1 matching and is reasonably quick and has presets, the IC-765 has a very different micro-processor controlled tuner that is slightly faster requiring no memory presets but tunes similar SWR.

There is just something very easy on the eye in appearance and operation of these rigs, they are big, same basic size as FT 1000, build quality is excellent, servicing access is good and other than caps and sticky tuner relays these rigs are quite reliable and long lasting with appropriate operation into good antennas.
There is a wealth of information for modifications and the IC-761 rates highly on the Sherwood
receiver lists.
I receive very favourable transmitted audio reports and the processor can punch when hi-intelligibility clinical copy is required

My QTH is in a quiet rural location (so no big signal competition) however there is nothing I can't hear equally on the IC-761 that my later DSP rigs can hear, but I would say the received audio is cleaner!
The PLL synthesizer, (aka IC-751a) superb filtering and stability is excellent with readout down to 10 hz differing from the physically almost identical and slightly better IC-765's DDS synthesized 1Hz readout.
(Although the IC-765 doesn't come supplied with Icom's best filters as standard but can be fitted with an aftermarket roofing filter and mine has the FL-80/Fl-44A SSB filters retrofitted.)

I find this rig ergonomically one of the best rigs I have used and its performance is spectacular for a almost 30 year old flagship!

Using BHI DSP audio filter also complements this rig very well when needed if noise reduction is needed.

Try one, you'll like it, mine is staying!

VE3FST Rating: 2016-11-01
Awesome radio Time Owned: N.A.
I have now owned both the 751 and 751a . These radio's look good , receive
Very well and are very simple to operate. The absence of a digital keyboard entry is not an issue . You simply use the memory channels and load them up. I use the stock mic and matching power supply. If you want to make a purchase , that will put a smile on your face . Buy one if you can.

Earlier 5-star review posted by VE3FST on 2009-03-19

I have gone through many different rigs and this one stands out of the bunch . Its a larger size rig with easy to use knobs and buttons with plenty of room . You don't have all the fancy menues to confuse you either . Audio reports are always good and strong , receive is very clean . I do like the monitor feature , so you can hear your own audio as others hear it . I'm selling mine to move into a TS50 to run mobile for awhile . If you can find a clean one , go for it !
KD7SKY Rating: 2014-11-26
Love this radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In 2008 I had to sell my Yaesu FT-950 to get some extra money for my wife's upcoming medical procedure. In 2009 we moved to a small city lot and I began looking for another hf rig. Because of our financial reversals due to medical bills, I couldn't spend more than $700 on a new rig. I wanted a base station rig, so I started researching the older models and came across the IC-761 reviews. Having liked what I read, I started keeping an eye out for this radio on Ebay and the classifieds on QRZ, QTH, and Eham.

Finally I found a listing on QTH from a fellow in Arkansas and picked the radio up for $600 or so. Upon receiving it, I immediately turned it over to a radio repair/maintenance technician (Bud Garside in Sherwood, OR) to have the radio gone through. Other than some minor things (replacing the meter lamp), the radio came back with a clean bill of health and no need to do any major maintenance. I have been using this rig ever since and have logged a lot of stateside and DX contacts using a less-than-ideal antenna setup.

I highly recommend this radio.
KF7RNL Rating: 2012-10-15
Great Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have owned this radio for 6 months now and feel I am able to offer a review now. I purchased this radio from A SKs family a little over 6 months ago. Wanting the radio, I paid top dollar for it, even though I was unable to test it to see if it came on. This is a classic full size radio, or should I say, giant! I love the full size of it, great knob layout and ergonomic. It also has NO menus, so every function is either a knob, or a button. When I got it home, I found one problem with it and it was fixed in 5 minutes, since there was a "calibrator" push button! It was off by .2 khz! Easy fix!

There are no stations that I can not talk to, if I can hear them and the receive sensitivity is OUTSTANDING! There are times, when I hear foreign DX calling CQ and I am the only US station returning! That is a good feeling knowing that I have my antenna and radio in tune with each other and able to engage in some great DX operations. The power out is rated at 100 Watts, but I know I from testing, it produces a fair amount over 100 watts!

The one I purchased still has the built in power supply, but someone converted the radio to the 12V, 6 prong Icom plug in the back of the radio! That is fine with me, since it gets warm without it, so it must be a scorcher with the built in 12 power supply. It also makes it easier if I want to do field operations with it and batteries. This one, had all the filters installed in it, so I can not say how well it worked before all filters were installed. I only know that it work's fantastic now in its current configuration. I also recently discovered it has the remote jack and I can read and write from the VFO using HRD and N1MM for hunting DX from the cluster!

All in all a great fun and fantastic radio! None of the trills of band scopes or other multitude of complex menus and displays. This radio, is about radio and finding and working signals!

This radio marks my 8th radio in the last year an half, I have owned Yaesu, Kenwood and Icoms radios.


Matthew Kent
HI8CJ Rating: 2012-09-20
Outstanding rig!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radion is built like a tank. Excellent for SSB operation. Unsurpassed filter cascade. I'll stay with mine forever!
KI5SO Rating: 2012-05-08
Blast from the past! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This was sold in an estate sale. When it arrived the lights flickered and there was no sound. First transmit I was told I was off frequency. Well, I opened it up and blew it out good, plugged the speaker back in on inside and cleaned the fan. I did a reset of the rig and the flickering problem went away. I replaced the signal meter light with a red LED, really pretty. Yes, the case has scratches but the old radio has won my affection. Not bad looking now that it's cleaned up. Great receiver and works nice with my Icom sp-20 speaker. I'm also using an Icom sm-20 mic. The audio reports are wonderful and breaking up pileups with 100 watts! It has a real compression on it as I am told it sounds like kicking on an amplifier when it's engaged. I bought this to resale, make a few bucks, but it hear better than my 756proIII...I think I will hang onto it for awhile. It won't leave my desk for less than $700. Now I want to try a 765!
M1JJK Rating: 2010-05-04
Good Radio. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have run a IC-761 for over two year and it is an excellent rig. I am not going to bang on about how great it is (or not) as other people have covered that. But I will tell you about a few minor problems I have had with it.

1. There is a small relay that bypasses the 20db attenuator, the contacts get dirty and causes the attenuator to come on when you don't want it (usually when you've got a bit of good DX).
2. There is a DC to DC converter that's mounted on the display PCB this suffers from dry joints. The dry joints are on the DC to DC convert PCB not the display PCB. Symptom's are flickering display.
3. Some times the operating system crashes, this is normal (there is a lot of RF around!) just turn off and on. If this happens a lot and the display flickers its probably the DC to DC converter as in item 2 above.
4. The BAD news (not so minor). The trimmer caps in the PL unit may have aged and changed values. This causes a multitude of problems, which I won't list here. They have to be changed. There is an Icom Technical Bulletin on this subject which can be downloaded from their web site. You will also need the service manual, as a partial realignment will be required after these trimmers are replaced.

May I correct what K0ZL (review 3rd May 2008) said about the memory battery. The operating system is not in volatile memory, you can change the battery and all that you will lose is whats stored in the 32 memory channels. In fact there is no Piexx upgrade for this rig.

For its age that's not bad, so if you can get your hands on a worker at a good price snap it up. But do try and find out if the trimmers have been replaced. PS I only gave it 4 because I never give top marks!
AD5VJ Rating: 2010-02-01
REALLY GREAT RADIO Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is the best radio for selectivity es cw work that I have ever heard or owned.

The SSB audio on this radio is suburb as well (very mellow and clear) not raspy, not muffled with DSP garbage.

When in CW mode the CW jumps right out at you, very clear and very easy to copy at some top speeds (45WPM+) I mention this because a radio has to reproduce the rx signal well in order to properly copy at these speeds.

I really like this radio in every respect, but would like to try a 765 one day so will probably trade it off (hope I am not sorry when I do :0)

73 es gud DX,