I bought the Icom IC-736 used in Feb.2010 as a first HF radio.I have to say that this was money well spent.
The radio is easy to use,all the controls and buttons are easy to reach and well spaced as so hitting the wrong button is almost impossable.All multi funtions buttons and knobs are clearly marked as to their funtion
The book on radio says the tuner will load up to 150 ohms (3 to 1 swr ) and it does so with ease.I use a 80 to 6 meter OCF windom,the tuner handles this antenna without any trouble at all for the bands speced on the antenna.
The Rx is great !! What more can I say? The built in preamp for me can make up to a 3 S unit difference .Even the built in speaker to me has a nice full sound
I do not use an amp on this radio,and I have no trouble making and holding contacts,it does have all the proper plugs to operate almost any amateur amp made.
I have never asked for a report on how this radio sounds and I always get good reports on the quality of the audio with or without the compressor on the factory mic.
If you are looking for a second rig for your station set up or looking for a first HF rig it is my humble opinion that you cannot go wrong by getting this radio....Very good bang for the buck!!If you can find one for under $700 and in very good or better condition you are getting a good deal
Overall I am very pleased with this radio and I think that you will be as well !!