IC-7600 or IC-7300(New)

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KK4YDR, Oct 15, 2015.

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  1. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just based on old timer experience, and looking at specs of each, what would you choose if you were going to buy a good base radio? Ic7600 or the 7300 which is built but not releaswd in the US quite yet. Im guessing before Christmas this year hopefully.

    I am going to get either or.
  2. GM1FLQ

    GM1FLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Neither........amateur market glitzy screens tell me more form, less matter.
  3. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok thanks but do you still use a black and white television or is your cell phone still in a bag with a shoulder strap or your computer still using a monochrome CRT?

    Times change technology changes and your answer is not clearly understood.
    W4IJ, WW1MM, NL5L and 3 others like this.
  4. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I haven't seen a 7300 in the wild, or seen writeups on real-world performance. So I'm making some pretty big guesses here which should be taken with an appropriate dose of NaCl.

    The 7300 is in a different class of radio than the 7600. The 7600 is a higher-end radio, in a class that serious DXers and Contesters seeking the best possible performance want to be in. The 7300 looks like it will be a mid-grade radio, fine for casual DXing, contesting, and ragchewing, but lacking some of the bells and whistles the 7600 has.

    Unless you know you need those bells and whistles, you may be better served by going for the presumably-less-expensive 7300, and putting the extra money towards improving your antenna farm.

    That being said, I personally would be tempted to wait a bit for others to break in the 7300, for software developers to catch up (if you use any kind of computer interface), and to give an opportunity for prices to come down a little bit before going for that particular model. It looks interesting, but there are always bugs to be worked out, software support to be added, and a new supply/demand equilibrium to be found.
  5. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    So in otherwords the 7600 seems to be a matured and proven radio. Do you think that all the bells and whistles justify the price of the rig?

    I used to do all my rag chewing on an IC-7000, encountered some financial difficulty years ago and had to sell it. I have only been working mobile and with an 857D. And occasional QRP with my 817nd. Now I want to rebuild my base but make it even better than before. I can't afford higher than a 7600 but 7600 seems to be right in my price range especially used I can then afford to get an AL-80B for the 7600 to drive.

    I guess you are right the 7300 just needs to come out and really be run through the mill for a while. If like all things Icom which are usually well made and perform well it probably isn't going to be a let down. I have been watching youtube videos on the rig and it appears that the speed of the band scope is second to none the fastest I have seen with no lag at all. The 7600 appears to have a slower responding band scope but then again maybe this is where my eyes deceive my knowledge.

    Does a real time/near real time band scope only really offer benefit to the contester? Since I do not contest would I be happy with a slower scope performance for general rag chewing or DX work?

    There are probably bells and whistles such as filtering that the 7600 has that the 7300 would have to be upgraded too? the 7600 isn't a cheap rig at $3k so it has to have some features that justify the price. Of all the features it has I may not be aware of. I was playing with one in HRO the other day briefly and I love the built in digital decoding etc... I am not a fan of Yaesu's lower information presentation in their FTDX line of radios, hence, my wanting to resort to ICOM.

    I am also a huge believer in Antenna before power. So I am pretty well setup in the higher performing areas of antenna. I have been able to pull of QRP contacts in awful conditions simply because I have chosen to go the route of antenna means the most in the equation of RF performance.

    I am just confused about all this jazz about this new 7300 being a 'RF Direct" receiver. Is it supposed to be superior to a superheterodyne type receiver that is about 99.99% of radio rx'rs?

    If it is supposed to be a far superior way of processing signals then maybe the 7300 will pan out to be a far better receiver but again my eyes are probably bigger than my knowledge.
  6. GM1FLQ

    GM1FLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeh ok.........at amateur radio market prices there is relatively speaking not a lot of money to cover everything well - so if the manufacturer is having to pay for a glitzy screen then that is going to take up a more significant chunk of the costs so there is less to go round on build quality and performance and still stay within the market price range.

    Times change technology changes.........but you are never guaranteed for the better.
  7. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok that makes far more sense. So lower budgets for packing features into a radio, means that corners are cut at the expense of a fancy LCD screen. That is what I am basically getting here.

    So if that is the case, and you are probably right in many respects, what then do you recommend as far as a solid performing radio?
  8. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think that's going to depend on your anticipated use of the radio.

    If you are going to be serious about chasing DX or contesting, you will want a radio that has dual receivers, good filtering...and a bandscope might not hurt. While there might be quibbling about particular models, radios in the 7600's class are going to do that.

    The 7300's class is going to miss a few of those features. It will probably be a pretty good little radio for casual DXing, casual contesting, dabbling in digital, ragchewing, etc. But someone who actively makes use of better filters, additional "band intelligence", etc. will notice their lack.

    Those features are probably worth the added cost for those who use them

    However, that assumes you have a pretty good antenna system for your station.

    If you're currently working with a hamstick dipole, or loading up a gutter to get on the air, that additional functionality probably won't be of practical value.

    All other things being equal, if I were trying to decide to spend an "extra" $1500 on my station, here's probably how I would prioritize it:

    1. Antennas, tower, coax. Radio is more fun when you can hear more stations to possibly work.

    2. Amplifier. Radio is more fun when the stations you hear can work you.

    3. Radio. Only once I've gotten my antennas roughly as good as I can reasonably get them, and once I've got as much power as I can realistically and legally run, does it start to make sense to upgrade the radio.

    That doesn't mean I wouldn't rather have something like a 7600 over something like a 7300. I like toys, and the odds are that the 7600 is probably "the better radio". But when budgets are limited, there are choices you make to maximize your fun.
  9. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I have is literally an 817ND through a THiPower amp @ 50watts.

    And a damn good few antennas. I am looking to get a real base radio finally as well as a kw of wire fire i.e. AL-80B
  10. GM1FLQ

    GM1FLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    For you, as you seem to be drawn to the more feature rich rigs then probably something like the latest version of the Kenwood TS590, I would settle for the TS480.

    I don't share your view of all things Icom.......in my opinion they have brought out some poor offerings like - IC706, 7000, 7100, 746pro and 756.......all have well documented issues.
    Their cheapest offering the IC718 is and perhaps the 7200 are the only ones I would spend my money on and not because they are the cheapest but because I think they will live on after the glitzy screen models become doorstops. I have had 2 x IC718s, they are of solid build, have conservatively rated tough PAs and a decent tx audio processor but the more basic nature may not be your bag. Quite like the 7200 but the display is a little bit small although for me that wouldn't be a deal cruncher.

    All four I have mentioned are solid performers.
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