The nameplate on the 756PRO II on the front panel stood out in bold relief. The 756PRO III nameplate, on the other hand, is just a thin sticker. The welcome screen in the LCD window on power-up has been simplified; the IC-756PRO II's calibration sequence is gone,and only a momentary blank white screen is shown. (This suggests strongly that a TI DSP chipset has replaced the PRO II's ADI SHARC DSP.)
(Note: The 756PRO III also uses the ADI SHARC DSP. The calibration sequence is still displayed, but has a different appearance.)
ICOM have declared, "Advanced technologies of the IC-7800 have been incorporated into the 756PRO III to significantly leverage the RX performance." I was looking forward to experiencing it. The first impression, however, was not as pleasant as I expected. With the built-in speaker, the RX audio sounded just like the 756PRO II or the 7400. I felt somewhat deflated.
I have already found it very useful at the Tokyo Ham Fair; it really is useful. Two clocks can be displayed at the same time. This is another PLUS. The screen-saver is also provided, but I have not yet tested it.
Last night, I listened to the IC-756PRO III's receive audio. Under recent night-time conditions on 3.5 and 7 MHz, interference can be extreme. This past weekend the QRM was harsh, but I was able to compare the 756PRO III with the 7400 on these bands and compare the receive audio on these bands with that on 14 and 18 MHz whilst listening to European DX stations. Unfortunately, my 756PRO II is currently under repair, precluding a direct PRO II vs. PRO III comparison. We will, however, be reporting a comparison of the 756PRO III and the 7400.
I tried an external speaker, which eventually gives a significant improvement over the internal speaker. With the 756PRO III, I was able to capture signals at the noise floor, which I could not hear with the 7400. The difference was very clear. I think an external speaker is a must in order to bring the 756PRO III's performance into full play. Cheap PC speakers would even yield a noticeable improvement. Amplified PC speakers could be connected to the 756PRO III via a stereo/mono conversion adapter plugged into the rear-panel speaker jack.
By comparison with the 7400, the NR works better without causing distortion of the RX signals. The 756PRO III NR adjustment works a little differently from that of the 756PRO II.
Unlike the 7800, the screen saver of the 756PRO III moves and rotates the user callsign diagonally on a black background.
Although I have not tried transmitting, I trust that the 756PRO III is worth buying on account of its excellent receiver.
Last updated: November 27, 2015.
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