I am bidding on an Icom 730. Any opinions on how high to go? Any reviews from current users/owners. How would you feel about this for a first hf for a new General.
The 730 is a pretty nice rig and has a quite good receiver in terms of dynamic range and is on par with many of the radios available today.. However... it is about 20 years old.
I have seen them go as low as $225 and as high as $400+ with the power supply and the CW filter. One thing to keep in mind is that for $400 you can get a much newer radio like the Alinco DX-70 series,(a vastly underrated radio and maybe the best bargain out there) an early IC-706 or 718 or possibly Yaesu 840. I personally would not bid over $300 for a 730.
The early Icom (730)doesn't have a preamp stage in it. The preamp is in the HM-7 handmike so you are limited to the hand mike. I have a 730 and I am useing a iCM by Heil on mine (compressor on and mike gain at 3:00) and works just fine. I like mine and I have been at this for almost 30 years but you can do better then the 730. The 730 is still going for 200.00 -375.00.
If you want use an antenna (auto) tuner with it (like Icom AT-150) make sure the radio has the EX-202 modual in it. That is needed for Bandswitching and 8.0 vdc and 13.8 vdc to make the AT-150 work. LDG has a tuner that just needs 13.8 vdc and will work fine for a 100 watt rig.
The 730 has the W.A.R.C. bands in (10/17/12 meters),a good receiver and easy to use.
Hope this helps you