IC-7200 VS. TS-480 (SAT)

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N7RAJ, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. N7RAJ

    N7RAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey guys!

    I'm in the market for my first HF radio and I'm having the hardest time deciding which one to buy. I'm stuck between these two radios (IC-7200 and TS-480sat) and the more I read threads and reviews it makes my head want to explode. Since the last comparison thread was a year ago, I'd like to see some new opinions. Both radio have gotten amazing reviews on eham, pages and pages worth of 5 stars. I plan on using the radio for a base in the house but also when camping... no mobile in car operation. So I'd like it to be able to handle the elements a bit better. It seems both radios are decently rugged for this.

    So I made a pro/con list for the radios, but I am looking for real world opinions from people whom have used both, not just one. I went to AES yesterday and played with both of them. There was a special events station running on 14.255 making constant contacts so I was able to use it as a basis for comparison. Surprisingly, the 7200 won hands down and was a shocker to me. The audio came in so clean after just minor adjustments. The kenwood was receiving only about half of what the 7200 was. I had a buddy with me that knows the ts-480 well and he tried multiple things to get it to receive better but nothing worked. The antenna was the same for both radios. I even tried a yaesu 857D but that experience was horrible, sorry to say but I have had nothing but headaches with Yaesu in the past so anything Yaesu is not an option.

    +Filters and settings adjusted easily
    +USB connection
    +IF DSP
    +Smooth VFO knob and easy to use controls

    -Small Display
    -No Internal AT, but have been told an external works better than the internal ones

    +Big Display
    +Dual Antenna Inputs
    +Antenna Tuner
    +Easy Menus

    -Didn't like the small VFO knob and the control layout

    If I'm missing something please let me know, I'm open to opinions and suggestions. I can deal with little things if it means I'm going to get more bang for my buck and longer use out of this radio.
  2. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's my take on the TS-480SAT. I just bought a used one. I tried it for two days and I'm going to sell it. I didn't care for the detachable face and the digital meter. combined they seemed cheap.
    It did have a nice receiver and the noise limiter alone was worth what I paid. But,It didn't seem to have the punch of my TS-440
    and with the addition of the 1.8khz ssb filter in the TS-440 there isn't enough difference to justify keeping the TS-480
  3. W7ARX

    W7ARX Guest

    My 2 cents worth. Had the 7200, wish I had kept it. Amazing noise reduction capability. No need for FM or antenna tuner for the most part. Display easy to read, easy to use, great receiver. When I save up some funds, going to get another one.
  4. N7RAJ

    N7RAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like what I experienced yesterday.

    Yea I figured I could wait on the AT as long as I used an antenna resonant to the freq. I was operating on.

    I think that the first batches of the 7200 weren't as good as the ones now. It seems the older reviews came in so-so but everything now comes in as nothing but great.

    FM doesn't worry me, neither does having 2m/440 as I have to great rigs for that already. (One mobile and One HT)
  5. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It almost seems like you answered your own question. The IC-7200 is a newer design with a DSP more up to date then the 480. The cost is close but the 480 is cheaper and will do well for around the bands operations.
    My selection was the TS-590S. Your selection is up to you and I doubt you'll be disappointed either way.
    Have fun
  6. W2WAW

    W2WAW Guest

    I have had both and the 7200 is a far better receiver. I foolishly tried to replace it with a rig with more bells and whistles and regret it. I will get another. 73 Mike w2waw
  7. N7RAJ

    N7RAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah I've heard that a few times in the past week from local hams too.

    I decided on the 7200 as of today. I did miss one negative, the stock mic that comes with the 7200 is horrible from what I heard. So I will be replacing that with a nice heil setup.
  8. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I loved my TS-480SAT. I've never owned the IC-7200 but with Icom's long history of heat related issues I wouldn't buy one.
  9. N7RAJ

    N7RAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah I wanted an IC-7000 until I read a lot of people were having heat issues with them....
  10. W7ARX

    W7ARX Guest

    I prefer the 7200 personally, much better receiver then the 480
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