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Reviews For: ICOM IC-738

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-738
Reviews: 18MSRP: 1289.00
HF All mode 30Khz-30Mhz
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KC4UBC Rating: 2021-06-24
Really like this Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Well to start I have other Icom rigs and have not liked the receive audio that seemed high pitched and to noisy. So I was on the fence about picking up the IC-738 but it was right smack in my price range for an older rig. When my Yaesu FT-757gxII went down I bought the 738. Man I thought I was still on a Yaesu. The audio was very easy to listen to, I get very good reports on my audio It also has a clean CW signal I an told and a built in tuner too. No way. yes way. Full 100 watts and 40 on AM. I have the straight key and the Paddle plugged in he back so I can either or. It just gets better as I learn more about the IC-738. I'm very impressed, Who knew Icom made this nice a radio. Another THUMBS UP
N4ZDX Rating: 2019-10-22
Great Radio even 20 yrs. later Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned and used this radio for around 20 years now. I have compaired to other rigs and this one is really hard to beat. I use an SM-20 mic and most always hear the pharse "great audio" somewehere in the qso. The receiver is for the most part on par with a lot of the newer radios without all the bells and whistles. I can't see me upgrading to a newer radio while this one is working as it does. That being said, keep in mind, I'm no dx chaser and just enjoy a ragchew. While there are nicer rigs available now, this one just works for me.
LA5XQ Rating: 2016-03-10
a good radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this nice radio secondhand and knew about it as I had an IC-736 before which is nearly the same radio. I putted 350hz and 500hz CW-filters into it and it works nicely on CW. But I mostly use it on the 60-mtrs band together with the AH4 tuner as my main rig do not operate that tuner. On SSB it is good but no way as good as the newest DSP-radios like the IC-7410. The SSB is not as crisp and clear, but still usable. It has possibility to change the rate of speed on the VFO-knob from 1 - 2 and 5 hz, which I am using often. I also like its nice 2khz for each revolution on the VFO. I find it very easy to operate at any band as bandchange is easy and it has split VFO A/B - yes whatever I need to operate. Just a nice simpe rig that just works all the time and signal reports are always very good and crystal clear modulation.
R E C O M E N D E D if you can find one.
BH7JUO Rating: 2015-09-11
Great radio for contest and DX Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my 738 and it couldn't work first time,I just repaired it OK. Working on daily DX and contest.It has quiet RX back noise(I have not compare with 765 or 775DXII,but with JST-145,145 is more little quiet than it),it's easy to pick up week signals.TX sound is same as other ICOM rigs,it has simple adjust on TX(only MIC and COMP).I Especially want to point out it has two "VFO"s on every band--there are two temporary freq set in every band(number) keys.Maybe this feature also in 775/765 ,etc.It's really convenient for DX and contest work.Good rig.
AA8XR Rating: 2012-08-19
very good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this radio since upgrading to Advanced in February 1995, since then made extra in April of the same year, primarily because of owning this radio and wanting to be able to use all of it. Here it is August 2012 and I am still using and enjoying this rig. I have a 718 next to it, different audio, need to add the UT106 to it to make a fair comparison. But I come back to this radio nightly and enjoy the great receive audio and excellent audio reports. I have been in 4 different cars since getting this radio. Still working strong after all those miles in the cars, and now my home radio.
K8BZ Rating: 2012-04-09
Dependable radio with good features Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my ic-738 new about 12 years ago. It was my primary HF radio up until about 2 years ago, and now it is in use as a back up and primary 24/7 packet radio on HF. I bought one CW crystal filter and no other options.

This radio has been heavily used for over 10 years. Uses include:

1. Contesting SSB,CW,RTTY
2. DXing
3. Digital modes with soundcard and TNC
4. Rig control with logging software by N3FJP
5. Rig control with HRD
6. Use with AL-80B amp

This radio does not have the multi leves of menus found on modern rigs today. Each control has it's own function that is not switched to some other function via menus or other means. It has adequate memory capacity, sounds great with a modified D-104 mic, interfaces easily with a Kam + TNC for use on digital modes via the accessory jack in the rear, it's easy to adjust ALC settings for use with an amp. Has an amber display that shows no sign of fading, weakening or other failures. Has 2 vfo's and can quickly be set up for split opertation. It works well with MixW and a sound card interface for most popular sound card digital modes including SSTV which I forgot to put on the above list.

The IF shift and notch filter don't do much for this rig. The notch is so broad that it attenuates the desired signal nearly as much as the undesired, but it's not digital signal processing.

But here's the skinny on this radio. The only days this radio was not put to hard use over the 10 to 12 years it was my primary radio were the days I wasn't home. I have used this radio every way it could possibly be used, and although I didn't abuse it intentionally, there were those times when I changed bands and forgot to change antennas and realized that I was transmitting into a near infinant SWR for several calls and other such Tom Foolery. And for all the hard use this radio is performing as if it was just taken out of the box and put on the air. Output is still a solid 100w, reception is still clear as a bell, everyting is as tight and functional as when the radio was brand new. No controls generate static when adjusted. Nothing appears to have declined on this radio since the day I bought it.

I wouldn't part with this radio for twice the money I could expect to get at a swap, considering it's age and lack of digital features. But I'm at work now and the IC-738 is at home digipeating packets all day long and will continue to do so as long as the lights come on when I push the button.
KE7SZC Rating: 2012-01-13
An incredible find, I'll never look back! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
So, I picked my IC-738 up at a fest over a year ago, I paid $400 cash for it, like new in the box, it hadn't even had any of the service bulletins performed, I don't think it's been used as there wasn't so much as a scratch on it..

After performing said bulletins (which was necessary as it's vfo was unstable), it has served me incredibly well, it is not necessarily a simple radio, but it is easy to use, and works extremely well, it was purchased as an HF rig, so the lack of a tone board wasn't an issue, and I don't really feel any desire to add anything to this radio.

I am happy with my purchase, it is one that I don't regret...
WN6J Rating: 2011-08-05
Works well without a menu driven system. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I like it. It is a back up at our church, and works well. I really like the non-menu driven system. Big buttons and knobs are sweet! Nice large display, two antenna inputs on the rear, and a decent DSP system. No this is not as sophisticated as my Yaesu FT-450AT, but it works well. The onboard tuner works pretty good.
K7LN Rating: 2009-12-25
Great rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Great rig and not much to add that hasn't been covered before. I never could afford anything beyond a starter rig, so this was my second mid-grade unit. (I had a 736, but it had problems as mentioned in my review of that radio.) I was really surprised at how much better this receiver was over radios that I had used in my ham career. I only sold it to combine HF and VHF into one rig, the IC-746.
KI4VJI Rating: 2009-10-25
Good looking rig simple to use Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well so far it has worked flawlessly,the tuner works very fast and will tune pretty much anything,
i'm using a HM36 with the heil icm element on it with great audio reports,the reciever is very quite and sensitive,i like the big meter and display,
makes it nice for us seeing impared folks,the only fault ive had with it so far is on am,i dont use am much but it swings backwards on my external watt meter and ive had other people tell me it swings backwards on there end also,havent figured out how to cure that yet,but other than that its a very nice well built and great ssb rig for the money.73s Larry