The cost of new rigs including the IC-9700

20200226_163021In around 1977 when I had not been licenced long, I bought a Yaesu FT221R multimode 2 metre rig. It was very much state-of-the-art though I cannot remember if they used that expression back then. It was a cracking rig anyway of its day and as I still have it I really ought to get it going again.

The FT221R would have cost about £340 in 1977 (I have checked the adverts in an old Short Wave Magazine) although I might have paid a little more as I bought the external digital frequency display YC221 add-on.

Fairly recently I bought an Icom IC-9700. This is an all-mode three band transceiver covering 2 metres, 70 centimetres and 23 centimetres. Given that more than forty years have passed since the FT221R was manufactured the 9700 has a fantastic number of modern-day features, bells, whistles, digital modes including as they say a real-time spectrum scope and waterfall function. I really like the rig and have now got the machine going on 23.

As such rigs are sold in possibly only tens of thousands, not millions, during the period of manufacture, one cannot expect that the base price would be lowered to the degree that might be seen on a fine piece of kit like an android phone. Nevertheless, I have heard complaints on the air and off that the 9700 is expensive. Yes, it is a lot of money, around £1,800 including VAT here in the UK.

However, if one allows for inflation, the equivalent for the £340 for the FT221R in 1977 would be £2,100 today, and the 9700 does rather more than the FT221R could do.

So, are Icom really taking the proverbial by charging what they do? I see the 9700 might be had for $1,500 in the US. What do you think?


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