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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
N2WJW Rating: 2009-07-06
Great receiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had this receiver for over 4 years now and it still amazes me whenever I use it. Super quiet receive, sensitive great audio on SSB and AM. Selectivity could use a little help from better filtering on AM, but you can tune an AM signal in a crowded band using SSB and select either upper or lower and you will have great selectivity and audio as well. DSP works very good and the twin passband tuning works very well in tayloring the signal and eliminating some of the QRM.

Perhaps there are better receivers in the kilobuck and over range but for under $700 new and under $500 in the used market, I have not seen anything better yet. Lots of receivers have come and gone my way but this one is staying.
W1FG Rating: 2008-10-07
Kiwa Mods: Excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After much debate due to the wide range of reviews I have seen I recently purchased a used R75 w/synch detector, intending to get the Kiwa mods done.

Before the Kiwa mods I found myself in full agreement with Passport's review – wonderfully sensitive and excellent for SSB and CW. Mediocre for AM - best used ECSS for Broadcast SWL. The Synch Detector was dreadful (would not hold lock), and AGC pumping was very annoying.

After Kiwa completed the mods (full audio upgrades, Synch/AGC upgrade, MW attenuation removed, and a 4.8 Khz filter) the radio is transformed in my view. The receiver does seem noisy until you take the time to back the RF gain off to the minimum required level. Once this becomes a habit (increase RF Gain to band scan, select a station, then reduce RF Gain to minimum needed) the rig is truly transformed for AM use. In my opinion, the modified synch detector and AGC are radically improved and the audio upgrade is simply wonderful. I am using a Tivoli Model 1 receiver’s aux audio input as the speaker, and resulting audio quality is as good as I have ever heard for SWL.

There must be good reasons that opinions on this receiver are polarized, but for my money ($430 Shipped used, plus $240 for full upgrades) this is a true bargain. I do personally prefer this rig to the R8B, wonderful as the Drake is.

Given the price point I recommended the unmodified R75 for Ham/Utility use, and unreservedly recommend the Kiwa upgrades for SWL.

KB6HRT Rating: 2008-07-25
Winner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Been around radio a long time, The R75 is a Winner in my book! Have an ICOM 756Pro3 and the R75, use the Pro to spot the stations I want to find then the R75 to lissen. Between the two radios and 4 antennas and a Clear Speech speaker it give me some good combos to pullin those stations well under most conditions....KB6HRT
NH7PG Rating: 2008-05-30
Not quite a bargain Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently had an opportunity to "test drive" this receiver at a friend's house. Aside from the extended coverage to 60 MHz (where all you're really going to hear is the occasional 6 meter geek) I really don't see much difference between this radio and the receive functions of the Icom 718. If you really must have that pathetic little strip of VHF coverage, then by all means the R 75 is a great receiver. If not, then save yourself $100, buy a 718, and get a great receiver AND a transmitter in one.
KC2OYZ Rating: 2008-05-10
Not a fan Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned 2 R75's - and sold them both out of frustration. (First time I thought maybe I had a bad one or I was having a bad day.) I think it's a very over-rated and over-priced radio - the nice things about the R75 are that it looks cool, the egronomics are pretty good, and it has a lot of the features of high end RX's - too bad those features are pretty useless.

First off, everything you've heard about the R75 being very sensitive is true. Problem is, it is also very sensitive to its own noise, and to any adjacent signal or noise within 20 or 30 khz of your tuned frequency. If the sync-lock actually worked, this would not be such a big problem - but as is very well known, it hardly works at all. And even after the Kiwa mods, it still doesn't work very well.

A noise blocker that did something, and a noise reduction circuit that eliminated noise without badly distorting signals might also help to make this radio a more pleasant experience - but alas, the engineers (or hacks) who designed this radio weren't concerned with that.

100 memories with no pages and 8 character alpha tags that are not worth the effort it takes to set them is another highlight of this clunker.

You can also add to the list an AGC which is way too fast, and tinny, muddy audio...

Now, I know there are those of you who will counter that many of the shortcomings of the R75 can be alleviated to some extent with some mods and filters and very careful use of the PBT etc.

That is indeed very true - so if you like spending $800 or $900 on a radio and spending hours tweaking the settings (many of which cannot be saved in memory for a given frequency) until you find exactly the right balance necessary to isolate that weak signal (if it isn't gone by then), then go for an R75. However, if you want to spend $450 and enjoy a radio that puts the R75 to shame in most categories, (unless you need to hear TV sound and 6 meters) then buy an Eton E1. Or you go for the Palstar R30 for $600+, or spend the big bucks and get your money's worth with an AOR 7030. And if you want to spend $150 and enjoy a very nice, quiet, sensitive portable with a nice feel and great audio that outperforms the R75, try a Grundig G5. And you always have old reliable, the Sony 7600GR. Or, as someone reviewing the Keito 2100 suggested, sell your R75 (to someone who hasn't read this review) and buy the Keito.

KPAX2 Rating: 2007-12-24
SO-SO- Not the Greatest. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought one 6 years ago on Ebay- It came with the SPEECH Board and the UT-106 DSP Board. $400.00

I used it with my ICOM 718 Transceiver, The ICOM R-75 is okay as a receiver should go. But if you don't put Filters in it you'll be disappointed. You can hear background noise and other stations constantly swamping it out, bleed over- YUK!

The receiver has a High Background noise that can not be tuned-out, probably from the receiver noise itself. You can move the Notch to lower the Frequency so it doesn't destroy your hearing.

"S" meter is Disgusting, I need a Needle (Analog) There's very Poor AGC, needs to be slowed down.

The DSP UT-106 is very poor. It works, but it's a Non-Tuneable Notch. It's too sharp, You can hear Artifacts in it, very annoying if you leave it on.

The Noise Blanker works on Flourescent Lights, That's it, I got better way, shut the light off.

The DSP Board is the worst design possible. You can't control it, I bought an older R70 - Sold the R75 like I said.

The R-70 has 20 year old technolgy, and beats this R75 Hands down! Sold the UT-106 Board and the Speech board Seperately, got $725.00 for everything.

The SYNC-AM doesn't work on any of these receivers either, poorly built and hurried up to meet ICOM sales deadlines.

It's a Toy that ICOM didn't design right.

I call it JUNK........Not even Entry Level, get an ICOM R70 Receiver, it's laboratory Quality!

The R75 came out after ICOM Sold to the Chinese, the JAPS built a better radio 25 years ago!

Merry Christams, I gotta tell you the truth.

73383 Rating: 2007-12-23
Great Receiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned the R-75 for 3-4 years and think it works quite well. I use it to scan aviation HF frequencies and had to put a broadcast band filter at the antenna input to eliminate interference from nearby BCB stations. I have it connected to an end-fed antenna with an MLB-1 from Palomar Engineers.

The R-75 is quite easy to manually setup and program but there is plenty of software out there to make programming and running even easier. I use Icom's RS-R75 software, Ham Radio Deluxe, which I customized for the receiver, and R75 Programmer by Guindasoft (

K2VI Rating: 2007-11-25
top end reciever Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The reciever is almost as good as my proIII,So easy to operate i can navigate this rig in the dark.Handsome rugged design,I hope icom keeps making theese recievers because there is not many good ones around.
DAVIDVD59 Rating: 2007-07-22
very good Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I really like the Icom R75, the features of dual passband tuning, automatic notch filter and a working noise blanker with dual preamps make this radio perfect for me. The one negative I do not like is when the noise blanker is on, it can distort strong am and ssb signals. The preamps give me the options when I take the radio portable with me so I can use a whip antenna and get good reception on the amateur bands. I liked the radio so much I bought two, and would buy a third if I could. I have owned Kenwood R5000, R2000, R1000, and an Icom R71 and the Yaesu Frg 100. My favorite of all these radios is the Icom R75. As for the negatives listed by other people, those issues do not bother me at all, after 30+ years of swl, I really enjoy the radio, and I am sorry to hear Icom discontinued it without planning a new radio.
ALANWONG1 Rating: 2007-04-12
Go and Buy It! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
To those future new owners of this receiver, please bear in mind the R75 requires modification to its Sync Detector if you use it regularly for SWL like myself....

I've opted to use the Rado V2.0 Mod Kit where you can get it from SWL-Remote...

If you don't have electronic bldg. skills, like myself, you can opt to seek the services of a PCB Repair Technician whom can do all of the required soldering works and uplifting of the Motorola IC pin....

Moreover, you can get further assistance from R75 Yahoo Group, especially from Dr Phil and other kind members...

Finally, if you require a higher dynamic range, Dr Phil has recommended its Phil's Fidelity Mod where you can either do it yourself or ask the same PCB technician to carry it out...

In summary, go and get the R75 before its Sync Detector chip is omitted in future batches of production...