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IC-746Pro vs. IC-7200 vs. TS-480

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by AD0SB, Apr 11, 2009.

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  1. AD0SB

    AD0SB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well here is the deal, I know pretty much the technical specs of these three rigs, and I understand that the Kenwood rig does not have IF DSP...

    I would like some opinions from those who have used any combination of these three rigs, and can give some input as which they liked better and why...

    I don't care for the appearance of the 7200, its kinda ugly, but appears to be built well, and with a "weather-resistant" front panel it may be more forgiving to field day ops and camping trips. But from what I have read so far, it sounds like a good performer.

    I like the TS-480 for the most part, just that it doesn't have IF DSP, but other than that, it seems like a really good little rig also.

    The 746PRO seems petty awesome, but I am worried about dust problems, When I go camping, I always keep things dry, but my gear always gets dusty, and the 480 and 7200 seem better suited to that...

    At this point I could lean towards any on these three, between the 746 and 7200, if you toss out the 2M operation, which is the better rig?

    Do any of you that have used a TS480 and 746Pro side by side, do you miss the IF DSP or are there other factors on the receive between the two, that you might like one better than the other.

  2. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have no experience with the 7200 but have used a Pro and a 480 side by the money and go with the 480. You will not notice the difference between the AF DSP in the 480 and IF DSP in the Pro. The 480 has an awesome receiver. It is more "quiet" than the Pro. I would be leery of the Pro given the problems Icom has had with their display screens.
  3. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you keep the brightness up to 100% ( and I don't know why you wouldn't anyway) it is a non issue.
    IF DSP is the best way to go but most people probably don't much need either for ragchewing. It really comes into play with REALLY weak signal CW. I would miss it.
    A lot of choosing a rig depends on just how you will be using it. The 7200 is more of a camper's or outdoor rig. On a desk at home I have a 746 Pro but the Kenwood is a very nice rig too. For outdoors and mobile I use a 706 Mk2 and would prefer the smaller radios like the 706 or the Yaesu mobile HF rigs. I could care less about 2 meters and 440 in an HF rig but I have to have 6 meters.
    As far as camping with the radio and field day operations go, the question you have to ask yourself is how much are you really going to do that?
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  4. KB6HRT

    KB6HRT Ham Member QRZ Page

    IC-746PRO vs.IC-7200vs. TS-480

    Have had a 706M2G and now a TS-480HX, like others have said the TS480 has a lot quieter receive for using as a Base radio than the IC746PRO or the IC706M2G, but with less noise there is a little less signal, I use a Clear Speech speaker in both my mobil and home station to get the most out of both, the IC-7200 does not have as bright a receiver as the Kenwood for use as a mobil. A friend has had to sent his IC746PRO back to the factory twice for problems with the output failing........KB6HRT
  5. W2BLC

    W2BLC Ham Member QRZ Page


    I have owned many rigs in the over 40 years of hamming. I am not a fan of the "high dollar" rigs and seriously question their real world value.

    I have a 480SAT and have found it to be a fine radio. It is easy to operate - either from the panel or from HRD - and does what I want. Most of my time is spent on 160/75/40 - I do not contest or DX.

    The tuner in the 480 handles my home brew OCF for 80 - 10 meters with no problems. It stretches the 160 meter inverted vee with no problem. I also have a 480SAT as a mobile and it works well stretching the Ham Sticks I use on 40 and 75 meters. It is the quietest mobile rig I have ever had - and there have been many since the National NCX-3 days.

    Is the 480 the best radio out there? I doubt it. I don't think there is a best radio any place. Every radio is lacking in some feature some place. On the 480 I wish there was more authority to the BC setting (auto-notch). It works well, but the Icom 706 MkIIG and the 1000MP beat it. Yaesu 857D does not even come close to it.

    The small size of the control panel on the 480 is a real plus - it takes up little desk space. However, it may be disappointing to some ops to have such a small appearing rig (What, that little thing?).

    The 480 uses menus, but most of them are set and forget. 99% of the time, what you want is available on a button or knob.

    The high/low cut DSP filter feature of the 480 is great. Really cuts the nearby junk out. It is audio DSP and works very well. Does IF DSP work better? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends upon the individual model and how it is implimented.

    The 746PRO has not had a good history service wise. Look it up on the Internet at such places as eHam Product Reviews.

    I have no experience with the 7200 so can say nothing. But if it is as solid as the "tank like" looks it has, it should do very well. But, then again, the 746PRO looks pretty fancy. So much for looks.

    I recommend the 480 without reservation. I think it is the most radio for the dollar on the current market.

    Make it really sound good in the shack by getting a Sounds Sweet speaker for it. It makes everything arm chair copy!
  6. KE4KY

    KE4KY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For a portable radio....Next to the 897D there is no better buy. And it is a very good radio:)
  7. DK5EW

    DK5EW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had a 746Pro for years and was glad with it until I bought for fun a FT-897D.
    The 897D is much more sensitive on VHF and offers lot's of more opportunities than the 746Pro. Now the 897D is my main rig and the 746 sold :)
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