ICOM IC-7610 vs. Elecraft K3s

ICOM IC-7610

This review is close to my experience with the IC-7610:

The most important thing is his comment on how clear the 7610 receiver sounds – which I can vouch for when I worked 3B7A last night on 40M SSB. Weak signals just sound a bit “clearer” than when I had my K3. Being at the bottom of the cycle – and needing only Bouvet and Glorioso, this is very important. I also did get the rig at the price Bob suggested would be a good deal, and agree with him – I wasn’t interested when the rig first came out.

Here are the features that the 7610 and K3 share – and I am not even bothering with price points (Elecraft has everything as an option – all of these are standard in the 7610):

  • Two receivers – I’d give the 7610 a slight edge, and that’s just how the rig sounds – not “the numbers”
  • RX antenna input – they are equal
  • USB – they are equal
  • Panadapter – I kind of like the 7610 better
  • External display support – same, but I like some of the different displays on the 7610 better
  • Antenna tuner – the K3s is better – Elecraft auto tuners are the best available
  • Voice recorder – same, but I absolutely LOVE the SD card slot in the 7610 – so it wins here
  • External frequency reference input – not something I use
  • QSK – surprise! They are the same – it seems as though ICOM studied the K3 a bit for this
  • The K3 wins big time as a DXpedition radio (with knobs). I cannot see the 7610 on any tent and generator dxped – it’s too heavy

The only thing that I do worry a little about is longevity of a touch screen and ICOM support. Its hard to beat Elecraft support and service. Another important thing is “Modularity” – if you want or need a modular approach – Elecraft is the king. The benefit is that you add features as you need them – and you can also build the rig and components yourself. If you want “everything in one box” then the 7610 wins.

As Bob said – 200 watts would have really put the 7610 over the edge on the K3 for me. I’m at a point where I no longer want an amp and I also don’t want a bunch of boxes and cables all over the place. If they come out with a IC-7610D, then I would really be wowed.

I have no regrets and love this rig. It, combined with the UrbanBeam and my other two TX antennas and Wellbrook Loops for RX – all plugged into one box and with the receiver as great as it is is where my needs and wants are now.

Working 3B7A was the most fun I’ve had since working #100 for 9BDXCC a couple of months ago. It proves that my entire antenna and station makeover turned out to be a good move.

2 Comments on “ICOM IC-7610 vs. Elecraft K3s

  1. Rich-

    Re your comment on Elecraft Antenna Tuners,
    Are you using the Elecraft Tuner with your current ICOM/ACOM lash up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No tuner needed at all. All of my antennas have an SWR less than 2:1 and the ACOM has a wonderful built in tuning circuit that matches anything less than 3:1. The SPE amp says their built in tuner matches 3:1 or less but it really didn’t. It was more like 2:1

      Liked by 1 person

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