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Reviews For: ICOM IC-R75

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-R75
Reviews: 87MSRP: 570.
Desktop Communications Receiver
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N4AEQ Rating: 2021-06-26
Great for Ham Bands not for VLF or MW Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Giving it a 3 because it sounds great, easy to operate and learn the menus, I have no problem with SSB,CW without the extra filters, Audio is great but this is the newer version without [sync] feature, here is the problem: Cut & Paste from R75 manual
0.1–1.8 MHz 2.0 µV 5.6 µV
1.8–28 MHz 0.16 µV 1.6 µV
28–29.99 MHz 0.16 µV 1.6 µV
50–54 MHz 0.13 µV 1.0 µV
It sucks on longwave and AM/MW, R75 is sold as a communications receiver, If so then why do they attenuate everything below 1800khz? I still have to use my GE super radio to dx am or just listen to AM and the Kato1103 for LW.

Just buy a transceiver for the same money, My IC745 and Ft890 both receive just as well as R75, and the FT890 does better on LW and AM
GRUMPY2021 Rating: 2021-01-11
Simply the best when... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'll keep it short and sweet. Toss the supplied ac adapter. Hook it up to a linear power supply or better yet, 12v battery. Then hook it up to a proper antenna. There is not a better receive radio out there. Skip any of the above steps and it's mediocre and that's not the radio's fault it's yours for not paying attention.
COMMSEEKER Rating: 2020-02-03
Very Sensitive Rig ! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought my Icom R-75 as new, from someone who used it once only. No DSP included, I don't miss it !
It came with a SMPS and when I tried the radio, I was disappointed in the high RF interference, hardly heard stations.
I then bought a GME linear power supply and Wow ! what a difference, very low noise floor, excellent sensitivity on SSB ham and shortwave and yes even on MW !!!
On MW, I pick lots of stations, and when I push preamp 1, the signals get stronger, when I push preamp 2, the signals get even better.
I don't know if someone has removed the MW attenuator or not, but it works great.
I have owned ICOM products in the past, scanners.
And never had a problem with the electronics, they are very reliable, and I don't bother with DSP, I would rather use an old audio filter such as a Autek QF-1A or a Heathkit hd-1418 audio filter.
If I find a really hard to get DX catch after using all the bells and whistles on the ICOM R-75, I can switch in the audio filter, and can actually make the SSB ham station clearer with lower noise by using the peak filter.
I give the trusty R-75 5 out of 5.
That's my experience with the R-75.
AKSWL Rating: 2018-12-10
Perfect SSB rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned a R75 on and off since they came out in 99.
As an experienced SWL and firmer Amateur ( since 1965)

I have owned numerous high end receivers over the last 25 years. More recently I compared my latest R75 with TCXO and narrow/ wide filters installed.

It beat in receiving weak sensitivity signals the: Harris RF--590A and Cubic 3030. The PBT.and preamp are hard to beat and the noise reduction ( not the 106 DSP) works well at reducing QRM, the commercial receivers are all well made but parts are scarce and repair is a challenge. So what are you left with. I am using a 65 ft LW with a 9:1 balun, with a short feedline (15 ft) of RG-8X at 2900 ft in a newer planned community with underground utilities the 75 does quite well.

The original sync does not really hold signals too well but it does appear to work. Overall the best bang for your money in a recent SWL rx
W8RMV Rating: 2018-09-08
A Keeper! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I’ll never sell mine
I’ve had my R75 for about 10 years. Bought it new from Universal Radio. It is hard to find a better overall GC receiver (GCR). It has many features not found on other GCR’s. I have compared it to my other receivers & Ham radio transceivers and it holds its own. Can’t figure out why a few dislike it so? And why they would sell a radio they say is so bad to someone else? I could see giving it away, but not selling. Or why they would keep something they despise for so long & then write a bad review?
My R75 has the DSP unit & a 3.3kHz filter added. The rig is very stable & no TCXO. This unit never runs hot. Another mystery to me? Some later Icom’s came with a Switcher power supply that reportedly made some RFI/EMI. This was easily remedied by using a linear supply. Add a small external speaker or an active speaker using the REC jack & the radio really shines. The PBT works very well when using the narrow filter settings.
I see the avg is running about 4.4 & I believe 4.5 is correct. Look at a few youtube videos comparing the R75 to other GCR’s and you’ll see it does a respectable job against the very best.
73 W8RMV
WC4R Rating: 2018-08-25
Great 2nd receiver Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this used 6+ months ago replacing the DX-394. I worthy upgrade. Up against my old HQ-180, TS-590SG, FT-991A, & Flex 5000A; it does not measure up to the ham rigs but serves very well as a 2nd receiver. I installed the narrow filter which was a needed update. VLF, MW, HF all perform very well. User interface is easy and convenient. An external speaker is a must as is with all my radios. Internal speakers are handy but never sound good. The DSP and NB are quite effective. The power supply voltage runs a bit high so I added a voltage regulator to drop it to 12vdc; a simple mod. The twin PBT is great. It is not fully functional if the optional filter is not installed. On AM, it may seem it doesn't work but it does. The stock filter is wide enough that some will not notice the subtle change. Just carefully read the manual to understand the design. It is not up to the $1000+ radio nor should be. For the $300-$400 price range, it is a good value and a '5' for what is supposed to be. Sorry to see Icom discontinue it.

Earlier 5-star review posted by WC4R on 2018-08-25

I bought this 6 months ago replacing the DX-394. I worthy upgrade. Up against my old HQ-180, TS-590SG, FT-991A, & Flex 5000A. It does not measure up to the ham rigs but serves very well as a 2nd receiver. I installed the narrow filter which was a smart update. VLF, MW, HF all perform very well. User interface is easy and convenient. An external speaker is a must as is with all my radios. Internal speakers are handy but never sound good. The DSP and NB are quite effective. It is not up to the $1000+ radio nor should be. For the $300-$450 price range, it is a good value and a '5' for what is supposed to be. Sorry to see Icom discontinue it.
KB1QYH Rating: 2018-08-25
Couldn't wait to get rid of this junker! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
What can I say?! I like the look of the radio, as well as the VFO knob, but that's about all. Everything about it is terrible- It's rather deaf, especially on Longwave- (like most Icom's btw) but it's very poor across the spectrum. It has one of the worst sounding speakers I've EVER heard in a radio- (except for the Icom 2200- that takes the cake!) It runs hot due to the high voltage of the power supply they give you with it. The "Twin-PBT" is absolutely useless. The interface is not intuitive. I bought this in 2006 before I became a licensed ham, and I sold it in 2014. It's horrible. I would instead buy a used LOWE HF-150. If you're a ham, I would buy a Kenwood TS-590SG. I own both radios, and they work great! Stay away from this clunker from Icom!

Earlier 0-star review posted by KB1QYH on 2016-12-18

This radio looks nice. It's the last tabletop general coverage receiver that will probably ever be made. The VFO knob is great, and it covers 6 meters as well. Those are the only good things about this radio. RUN, don't walk away from this radio. Absolutely the worst sounding radio I've ever owned. I've owned $50 shortwave radios that sound better than this. Limited filter options. Did I mention the speaker is AWFUL? Be aware that the power supply has issues as well. The voltage is set to high on it. This is why the radio gets so hot. Life expectancy is minimal on this radio. If you really want to buy it, and keep it for a long time make sure you replace the power supply with something that has a 13 volt output. I sold this radio for less than half what I paid for it new in 2006, and it was the best decision I've ever made in my entire life. I'm so happy not to own this anymore. I took the money and put it towards an Icom IC-7200, which is stellar in comparison to this radio. And you get transmit capability as well! Save yourself the hassles and stay away from the R-75 at all costs.
N0TLD Rating: 2018-05-03
Good, not great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my R75 for about 15 years, and early on I performed numerous modifications to improve audio, the synch detection, adding filters, etc..

I'm not sure where 'deaf as a stone' comes from, if not a broken radio. I've never had any issue with insensitivity on the R75 with any antenna I've hooked up.

Sure, the front firing little speaker is not great, and Icom seems to be known for pedestrian audio at best in most of its receivers. But a good external speaker or headphones take care of that pretty easily, especially after modifying the R75 for better audio response.

It tunes quite precisely, and with a few added filters it is a serious DX machine, SSB to AM and HF to MW and even some VHF. I've used it with MW loop antennas, most homemade, and have consistently been able to pull fainter DX signals out of the muck, regardless of which antenna I use.

It's a good receiver. Not a GREAT receiver but definitely good, better than some, not as good as others. Certainly it is not deaf as a rock.

Still, it should not have required all the modifications to sound great, and perform better. It should have been manufactured better, but as it is, I enjoy it and it is a DX workhorse for me.
VK2JEM Rating: 2017-07-25
Cant live with it, cant live without it Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I try, really i try!

I try to love this radio, but i cant. I find it charmless to use and audio harsh though built in speaker and just acceptable though external speaker.

I try to get rid of it, but its the radio I reach for when im doing serious DX or ute/ham work. With its DSP, twin PBT high quality filters and top performance this is my DX king. IF the signal is weak or noisy with lots of QRM/QRN I fire up the R75. Its especially excellent on SSB, and data modes. Really shines there but its not one I choose for just wandering up the band causally.

Yep i give it 5 stars because it performs excellent, had it over 15 years and never missed a beat and if its possible to hear it, this is the one to bring it in.

But its not something to love

Earlier 4-star review posted by VK2JEM on 2001-01-08

I must admit when I first got this one home I was disappointed, just didnt seem to have the selectivity and seemed to get all messed up with strong signals. I had previously owned lots of rxers and txrs so felt I knew what i was on about.
I WAS WRONG! this is the first rxer i really had to sit down and learn how to drive it! After about 1 month now I am in love. This is the best radio i have ever owned. Simple as that.
Especially for utility and digital work i dont think there is a better rxr on the market under $3000.

There is a bewildering array of optional filter widths available and you must be verrry careful when picking coz there are all sorts of restrictions on their use. Funnily enough no filters 3.5-5 khz are available.

WHy not a 5?.... well nobodies perfect!
K9GLS Rating: 2017-07-18
Not sure what all the hype is about Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I'm not sure what all the 5 reviews are about. It does pull in SSB rather well IF there is absolutely no noise around. Turn the breaker off to the house and you may have a chance. Noisy power supply, crappy speaker. For the money I expected a LOT more. Now that it's out of production I see some of the craziest prices in my life. I sold mine for $350 and thought I was ripping the buyer off. It's not a good radio if I have to buy a power supply for it (oh and they don't make the DC cable anymore) hook up an external speaker and turn the power off to the neighborhood. Over hyped junk. My $10 Vite VT-111 sounds better. I certainly listen to it longer than I could take the R-75.