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Reviews For: ICOM IC-728

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-728
Reviews: 17MSRP: 700us aprox or1100 canadian
all mode hf 160-10
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
AB9IO Rating: 2005-07-22
No frills but excellent Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Pros: I've had nothing but pleasure operating this rig. Has been used extensively for PSK31 and voice. True the fan is noisy, but it does its job. The rig never gets very hot even with extended sessions. Even made a homebrew bracket for it for going mobile in the Wisconsin QSO Party. Sensitivity is pretty good, and the noise blanker works fairly well. General coverage receive is a nice perk.

Cons: Don't like the transmit button just under the power button. Too easy to hit it when you are powering up. Mine also has a few birdies.

Other than that, a great rig. Pretty close to the Icom IC-718 in looks and specs. No DSP, no keyer, but who cares? hihi

Will be keeping it.

Tony, AB9IO
K1YDA Rating: 2003-11-20
A good deal used especially if the QST mods are performed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I did most of the QST mods to the 728 but waited until recently to do the hang agc mod. Began to use the radio on 5MHZ and didn't like the agc action on QRN. Did the hang AGC mod and REALLY improved the sound of the receiver - sounds almost as good as my FT102. By one cheap do ALL the mods and have a radio which sounds the way we expect ICOMs to sound. I have a IC730, the 728, an FT102 a C line and a ICOM R70 I now use the 728 to listen all the time. The audio mods don't do much good without the agc rx mods. They apply, BTW ,to the 725 726 728 and 729.
K0EMT Rating: 2001-09-19
Nice solid-state rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The 728 is my home station secondary rig,
it was my first HF rig.

With an AT-160, the 500hz CW filter, the FM module and Time Wave DSP-599zx I find it rivals many of the newer ~$1200 rigs. (The AT-160 will match where some of the newer rigs won't!)

When I get tired of all of the myriad of "menus" and buttons of the newer rig,
the 728 is a breath of fresh air to operate. I also like the fact that an
enterprising ham can fix this rig themselves.

With the stock mic I get reports of "communications quality" audio.

The audio *does* hiss, the dsp unit takes care of this.

It does *not* have a built in keyer. I use a
Super CMOS III (which is better than many built in keyers anyway!)

It is not a big rig. Check out my eHam profile and you can see a picture of it beside a Kenwood TS-570SG. However, it is a heavy rig.

For a *basic* rig it has some nice features.
For example Pass Band Tuning (aka PBT, IF-shift),
RIT, audio compression, pre-amp, AGC fast/slow,
Noise Blanker and Attenuator. It has dual VFO's and can operate split.

There are a number of matching amplifiers,
speakers and Antenna transmatches available for this rig.

The free software for the IC-706 can be used to
program the few ~20 memories in this rig.
This rig uses the same CW filter as the 706.

Overall, a nice first rig, field day rig, or secondary/backup rig.
JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ Rating: 2000-12-27
Hot 'little guy' Performer! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this basic transceiver back in 1993. I was surprised with the sensitive and selective receiver. The received audio is crystal clear without the usual 'cheap radio' intermod! This radio is a solid step up from the IC-725! The QST review (02/93) proves my findings. Remember, this is 1993 and are good specifications today. MDS= -137, BDR= 116/123 and DR= 91/92. Another plus is the clean transmitter specifications. IMD= -39 (3rd) & -40 (5th). Spurious output is better than -50. The old bipolar finals at 13.8 vdc with regard to IMD outperform the new MOS-FETs most radios are using today. Recommended with a 5 rating based on simular 'basic' transceivers.
KI9A Rating: 2000-08-07
nice starter rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my 728 since 1993, & have made about 18,000 contest QSO's on it. I have since retired it! While not the ideal contest rig, it served its purpose well while I was in process of buying house, raising kid, ect. It is selective, & the PBT works well. It rejects close in strong signals as well as my 751A, & new 746. Downsides are NO VOX! Thats about it. If you find one cheap, snap it up, you won't be dissapointed.
K6LO Rating: 2000-07-12
Oops... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just a quick correction to an error in my review. I was making a production comparision to the Yaesu FT-847. Wrong. I meant to type FT-747. The chassis are nearly identical.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K6LO on 2000-07-11

I owned an IC-728 for about a year. It was a nice rig with no major problems. Mine was equipped with the 250 hz Icom CW filter, was quite selective in CW as well as SSB, and the receiver handled strong signals fairly well. The passband tuning worked very well.

Transmit audio reports were good, and the speech processor was effective. It really sounded great on 80 meter AM!

Downsides: The radio had CW break-in (The AES catalog called it full QSK, but it was not)but SSB VOX required an accessory box. The receiver was pretty quiet in and of itself, but like a lot of the modern gear - DAMN! - the audio chain hissssssed like a frightened cat. Icom compounded the problem by inducing severe (!!) high frequency roll-off. The result was indistinct signal recovery, and that is why I sold the radio. Note, I use a Heil headset, and am pretty sensitive to noisey audio. You may not notice it on a speaker, but you'll get listening fatigue very quickly with a set of 'phones on.

There were some mods for the IC-728/725 in QST a few years back. I installed the one intended to help the IF/Audio hiss, and roll-off, but did not find it very effective.

One more irritation: The fan came on during TX, and it was noisey.

It's a shame about the rx audio, because otherwise it would be a really nice little radio.
It's really intended as a mobile radio, and I should have known better when I bought it for fixed station use.

By the way. The innards and chassis mechanicals are remarkably similar to the Yaesu FT-847. Only the embedded software package was different. I suspect they both had these entry level radios outsourced for them from the same manufacturer.

VE3TWM Rating: 2000-07-07
Time-tested Performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned mine since I purchased it new in 1991. It is a solid Field Day performer, participating every year with good results. It is a basic HF rig that is very easy to use and has a classy appearance. I particularly like the analog S-Meter and the feel of the tuning dial. The display is black characters on an amber background which gives excellent visibility during portable operation. The sensitivity is good but the radio is not quite as selective as I'd like it to be during crowded contest conditions.
Overall, I would strongly recommend this unit to those looking for a basic HF transceiver that is good enough to be used as the primary rig in a modest station.