Icom IC-R71A – Review of the Iconic Amateur Radio Receiver

Icom ic r71a

One of the standout features of the IC-R71A is its impressive frequency coverage. With a range of 100 kHz to 30 MHz, this receiver is capable of tuning into a wide variety of signals, from longwave broadcasts to shortwave communications. Whether you’re interested in listening to international broadcasts, amateur radio operators, or even utility stations, the IC-R71A has you covered.

Another notable aspect of the IC-R71A is its robust construction. Built to withstand the rigors of daily use, this receiver features a solid metal chassis and high-quality components. Its durability is further enhanced by the inclusion of a built-in power supply, eliminating the need for an external power source. This makes the IC-R71A a reliable choice for both stationary and portable use.

In terms of performance, the IC-R71A truly shines. Its advanced circuitry and filtering capabilities ensure excellent sensitivity and selectivity, allowing you to pick up weak signals with ease. The receiver also features a variety of tuning options, including variable bandwidth control and a notch filter, giving you the flexibility to tailor your listening experience to your preferences.

Overview of the Icom IC-R71A

The Icom IC-R71A is a vintage receiver that was first introduced in the 1980s. It is a high-performance communications receiver that was designed for amateur radio enthusiasts and professionals alike. The IC-R71A is known for its exceptional sensitivity and selectivity, making it a popular choice among radio enthusiasts.


  • Frequency Coverage: The IC-R71A covers a wide frequency range from 100 kHz to 30 MHz, allowing users to listen to a variety of signals.
  • Modes: It supports various modes including AM, FM, USB, LSB, and CW, providing users with flexibility in receiving different types of signals.
  • Memory Channels: The receiver has a total of 100 memory channels, allowing users to store their favorite frequencies for easy access.
  • Notch Filter: The IC-R71A is equipped with a notch filter that helps to eliminate unwanted interference and improve signal quality.
  • Passband Tuning: It features passband tuning, which allows users to adjust the bandwidth of the receiver to optimize reception.


  • Dimensions: The IC-R71A measures 241(W) x 94(H) x 239(D) mm and weighs approximately 4.5 kg.
  • Power Supply: It operates on 13.8 V DC power supply.
  • Antenna Connector: The receiver has a SO-239 type antenna connector.
  • Audio Output Power: The IC-R71A provides an audio output power of 2.5 W.
  • Operating Temperature Range: It can be operated within a temperature range of -10°C to +60°C.

Features and Specifications

The Icom IC-R71A is a vintage receiver that offers a range of features and specifications that make it a popular choice among radio enthusiasts. This comprehensive review will delve into the various aspects of the receiver, highlighting its performance and reception capabilities, as well as its design and build quality.

Frequency Coverage

The IC-R71A covers a wide frequency range, from 100 kHz to 30 MHz, allowing users to tune into a variety of signals. This makes it suitable for listening to amateur radio, shortwave broadcasts, and other communications.


The receiver supports various modes, including AM, FM, USB, LSB, and CW. This versatility allows users to receive different types of signals and adapt to changing conditions.

Memory Channels

The IC-R71A has a memory capacity of 100 channels, allowing users to store their favorite frequencies for easy access. This feature is particularly useful for frequent listeners who want to quickly tune into their preferred stations.

Notch Filter

The receiver is equipped with a notch filter that helps eliminate interference from nearby signals. This can improve the overall reception quality and make it easier to listen to weak or distant stations.

AGC Control

The IC-R71A features automatic gain control (AGC) that adjusts the receiver’s sensitivity based on the strength of the incoming signal. This helps maintain a consistent audio level and prevents distortion or clipping.

Audio Output

The receiver has a built-in speaker that provides clear and loud audio output. Additionally, it has a headphone jack for private listening, allowing users to enjoy their favorite stations without disturbing others.


The IC-R71A features a large, easy-to-read display that shows the frequency, mode, and other relevant information. This makes it simple to navigate and adjust settings, even in low-light conditions.

Build Quality

The receiver is built to a high standard, with a sturdy construction that ensures durability and longevity. The knobs and buttons are well-designed and provide a satisfying tactile feedback, enhancing the overall user experience.

Performance and Reception

The performance and reception of the Icom IC-R71A vintage receiver are exceptional, making it a highly sought-after device among radio enthusiasts. This receiver offers a wide frequency range, covering from 100 kHz to 30 MHz, allowing users to tune into various bands and frequencies.

One of the standout features of the IC-R71A is its excellent sensitivity and selectivity. It is equipped with a high-performance front-end and advanced filtering technology, which helps to minimize interference and improve signal quality. This allows users to pick up weak signals and distant stations with clarity.

The receiver also features a built-in noise blanker, which effectively reduces noise and static interference. This is particularly useful when listening to weak signals or during adverse weather conditions. The noise blanker helps to improve the overall reception quality and ensures a clear and enjoyable listening experience.

Another notable aspect of the IC-R71A is its stability and accuracy. It utilizes a stable local oscillator and a high-resolution digital frequency display, ensuring precise tuning and frequency accuracy. This is crucial for accurately tuning into specific frequencies and stations.

In terms of audio quality, the IC-R71A delivers clear and crisp sound reproduction. It features a built-in speaker, which provides adequate volume and clarity for listening to broadcasts. Additionally, the receiver offers various audio control options, such as tone control and adjustable bandwidth, allowing users to customize the audio output to their preferences.

The IC-R71A also includes a number of convenient features that enhance its performance and usability. It has a memory function that allows users to store their favorite frequencies for quick and easy access. The receiver also has a built-in clock and timer, enabling users to set alarms or schedule recordings.

Design and Build Quality

The design of the Icom IC-R71A is a classic example of vintage radio design. It features a sturdy metal chassis with a brushed aluminum front panel. The controls and knobs are well-placed and easy to use, with a smooth and precise feel to them.

The build quality of the IC-R71A is exceptional, with attention to detail evident in every aspect of its construction. The metal chassis provides excellent durability and stability, ensuring that the receiver will stand up to years of use. The brushed aluminum front panel adds a touch of elegance to the overall design.

The layout of the front panel is intuitive and user-friendly, with clearly labeled controls and a logical arrangement of buttons and knobs. The large tuning knob is a pleasure to use, offering smooth and precise tuning with just the right amount of resistance.

The display is clear and easy to read, with a bright backlight that can be adjusted to suit your preferences. The buttons and knobs have a solid feel to them, with no wobble or play, and they provide a satisfying tactile feedback when pressed or turned.

The overall design of the IC-R71A is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It has a timeless appeal that will complement any vintage radio collection or enhance the look of any radio shack. Whether you are a serious radio enthusiast or just appreciate the beauty of vintage electronics, the IC-R71A is sure to impress.

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