Receiver Review: ICOM IC-R71A

IC-R71A

Year Introduced/discontinued: 1984/1996
Power: AC Mains, 12 V DC supply optional
Size: 285 x 112 x 277 mm
Weight: 7500 grams
Price: US$1300, CAN$1900 !
Coverage: 100 kHz - 30 MHz, AM, CW, SSB, RTTY, FM (optional)

Value Rating: starstar


This review was compiled independently. The Medium Wave Circle and Radio Netherlands has no financial connection with Icom, the manufacturer of this receiver.


Features include a quadruple conversion receiver, direct keypad entry, two VFOs, 32 memories, notch filter, noise blanker, and passband tuning. Scanning functions are included. Tuning steps are down to 10 Hz increments.

The IC-R71A receiver is, as generations of receiver models are concerned, getting very old. It has long since disappeared from most shelves in Europe, but still seen in North America. While receiver performance is still very respectible compared to newer models and the equally-aging Kenwood R- 5000, the receiver lacks the "creature comforts" found in newer receivers. Computer control requires an external, optional device and the command set is lacking by today's standards. The audio quality is not suitable for long-term programme listening.

Further, the price has crept upwards to an unreasonable US$1300. Contrast the features and price with the Drake R8A or AOR-7030, and you'll find the competition is much the better value for US$250 less than the IC-R71A.

This review first appeared on the Radio Netherlands website.