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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:

from Jennifer Fowler on May 12, 2014
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Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:

LONGMONT, Colo.- May 9, 2014 -- Announcing today the merger of Longmont, Colo.-based RF Concepts LLC / Alpha Amplifiers and Sevierville, Tenn.-based TEN-TEC Inc., RF Concepts Chairman Michael Seedman, AA6DY, declared the union the perfect combination of amateur radio brands. The merger creates a multi-million-dollar company with products that span QRP transceivers to full-legal-limit amplifiers and establishes an organization with the size and scale to continue to innovate into the next decade and beyond.

RF Concepts/Alpha Amplifiers has been building amplifiers continuously since the early 1970s and has put more than 13,000 amplifiers in the hands of demanding amateur radio operators. Alpha Amplifiers are considered "the finest line of linear amplifiers in the world" by the ham community. TEN-TEC, founded in 1968, produces top-of-the-line receivers, transceivers, amplifiers and tuners and is known worldwide for the reliability and performance of its products.

"For more than 40 years, Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC have shared a reputation in the amateur radio market for offering exceptionally well-engineered, American-made products backed by extraordinary customer service," said Seedman. "Alpha Amplifiers is known for 'key down performance,' and TEN-TEC is known for pushing the boundaries of transceiver performance and capabilities.

"The merger of these brands under the RF Concepts banner makes perfect sense," added Seedman, "not only in terms of creating a powerful product line, but also in terms of positioning our company for the future. This merger more than doubles the size of our business allowing us to invest more capital in innovative engineering and customer-driven product development."

RF Concepts' operations will now be shared between its Longmont, Colo., facility and its Sevierville, Tenn., facility. The company is currently seeking a new operations facility in the Sevierville area to more efficiently house factory operations, part of the engineering resources, and technical and customer support services. The Colorado facility will house engineering resources, technical and customer support services, and much of the front-office operations.

Both Jim Wharton, NO4A, who in January of this year took the reins of TEN-TEC upon the retirement of founder Jack Burchfield, K4JU, and Ken Long, N0QO, who has been overseeing the operations at Alpha Amplifiers, will be presidents of their respective group, working together to build a strong, innovative company.

"Ken and I have spent quite a bit of time discussing our short- and long-term focus over the last few weeks, and I feel our responsibilities are very clearly defined," said Wharton.

"Jim and I have a lot of work to do to make sure the merging of these two brands goes as smoothly as possible," added Long.

The merger announcement comes just days before one of the signature amateur radio events in North America--the Dayton (Ohio) Hamvention--where more than 75,000 hams are expected to converge on the Hara Arena Complex to discover the latest innovations in amateur radio. Both Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC will operate separate booths at this years show (May 16 - 18). Both booths will feature new products and special offers to commemorate the merger. At booths 209-210 in the North Hall, Alpha Amplifiers will be demonstrating the soon-to-be released DreamTuner 4040 Automatic Antenna Tuner, a graphically based, 4KW Autotuner. At booths 458-450 in the East Hall, TEN-TEC will unveil the Patriot, an open source, arduino-based SSB transceiver.

About RF Concepts/Alpha Amplifiers

RF Concepts/Alpha Amplifiers manufactures high-end linear amplifiers for ham radio enthusiasts. Based in Longmont, Colo., the company is known worldwide for its quality amplifiers. Alpha Amplifiers have been continuously manufactured in the United States since the early 1970s.

About TEN-TEC

TEN-TEC Inc. was founded in 1968 to provide beautifully engineered, well-crafted, well-supported and high-performing products to the amateur radio market. For 46 years the Sevierville, Tenn.-based company has passionately designed, crafted and tested premium products which have earned the company a solid reputation and loyal brand followers throughout the world.

Member Comments:
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Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by W8VFM on May 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Good news for the Amateur community. Two strong US amateur equipment manufacturers joining forces to strengthen their presence in the marketplace. I am looking forward to the new developments they will bring to our hobby/service.
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by KE2TR on May 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As long as TenTec doen't get into Alpha's well designed amps maybe its ok. To me it looks like TT has been slugging along since they droped production of there Orion radio's and more like Alpha bought them out but as you can tell I am not a TT fan but like the Alpha amps.
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by W4CX on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
World class QRP and QRO under one well respected moniker. Great news! (But I shall miss the Ten-Tec name).
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by W8RED on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Posted this on QRZ as well.

I wish them well, I have fond memories of Ten-Tec, as my first rig as a Novice in the 80's was a Century 21 CW only rig.
They should give SGC (http://www.sgcworld.com), another faltering, once good company, a call and do a 3 way merger.

It would be nice to see a traditional American ham radio company do some new innovation instead of a "me too" or "me too plus"
No American company is going to be able to compete head to head with slave labor, stolen design, Chinese radios.
Elecraft and Flex seem to be the only American companies trying to do something different.

Why I question American Ham Radio Innovation Lately:
1) Why is it that two Australian companies (Codan and Barrett) can make fully clean NTIA spec'd radios (https://comm.capnhq.gov/equipment/NTIA_Standards.cfm) and not one American company can?

2) Why is it that a German company (Hilberling) can make a ham radio with the best receiver on the market? Yeah, I know, it is an arm and a leg and a first born to get one.

3) Why is it an Italian company (Expert Amps) can make a solid state with built in tuner full legal limit linear that covers all HF bands and 6 meters and an American company can not?

4) Why is it only Japanese companies can make all-mode 100 watt dc to daylight (Hf/6m/2m/440) rigs?

5) Why is it that an Indian Company ( Apache Labs), an Italian Company (Elad), and even a Russian company (Expert Electronics SunSDR-MB1) can make SDR radios that have software for multiple operating systems besides windows, front panel controls, and an American company cannot?

I wish them well, but just being another "me too" ham radio company isn't going to cut it if they want to stay in business.
Will this be their revival? Or just the move into the nursing home? Time will tell.
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by W3MT on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Very best wishes to both of these fine companies!
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by W9JB on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a long-time Ten-Tec equipment owner/operator, and an equally long-time Alpha Amp wannabe owner/operator (translation: could never afford a Tesla, but own a Chevy Volt today). I had noticed some gradual slackening in the product innovation that Ten-Tec had been known for in the past, and lamented their discontinuation of products (and support, to some degree) of such outstanding equipment as the Hercules II solid state amp, 253 Autotuner, Titan 425, and Orion II (I've owned all except the Orion). I hope this merger goes far better than the recent Kmart/Sears "merger", and that "1+1=3" synergy applies in a price range that's reasonable, with "factory-direct" service availability maintained at both Longmont and Sevierville for all equipment.
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by N6BIZ on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
U DONT KNOW WHAT UR MISSING OM WITH A TT
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by KE2TR on May 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
To W8RED, a very good post and its funny cause the only company that is USA made is the new Flex in the SDR market but I do wish them well but when you look at the number of Alpha amps sold since the 70'ies it is only 15000 amps. I like there amps and have owned two 78's, one 77DX and a 91B, they never gave me any issues at all but owned a TT 425 and just after the warranty was up the xfmr had an open in the primary winding which also happened to 3 other local ham's as well but there amp's were still under warranty. I ended up being the un lucky one and after $500 repair bill I sold the amp as fast as I could, bought a 91B and ran the dickens outa that amp during contest time and it just sat there and never burped once. I have also owned many other amp's such as Ameritrons which never gave any issues and have had much better customer service from them as well. Alpha is hi end but no SS amp's have been designed as of yet but I look at a company like Palstar who I think may have a 1200W SS amp out soon for a market price range who most ham's could afford and to me with the huge price of tube's used in HF amp's that's were the market IMO is going. TT did have a huge jump in sales when the brought out the Orion radio's but there now gone, the set almost a standard which other companies followed like the K3, FTDX5000, FTDX3000, TS590, TS990 with the down conversion 9Mhz IF chain. It was the first radio of its kind but after that they just didn't compete any more plus to add salt into there open cuts there overall reliability was not stellar on the Orion's. That was the first TT radio I really liked but its a shame they didn't go forward any more with that line. There Eagle radio is nice but it's way overpriced and the TS590 is kickin the crap out of the TT sale's there. The Orion's looked like a real radio but the kit looking K3 killed there sales, that is a shame cause the K3 is soo friggin ugly next to an Orion IMO but the into price of the K3 and option you to death drew in allot of buyers and once the hook is in just real in all those buyers and after its all done in the end the K3 cost the buyer a whole lot more than a loaded Orion. Yes the K3 marketing was stellar, almost like a west coast Zorrow effect. Now Flex is bringing out a new 6300 and if they only made a remote front panel option they would get both sides of the radio market. I wish Alpha well with IMO the TT merge but I feel there barking up the wrong three.
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by W9JB on May 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Not missing much . . . 295 DXCC countries with a Omni VI, Hercules II, and Zero Five GP vertical. All outstanding products.
 
Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Banner:  
by VE3OYJ on May 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Could also mean that Ten-Tec may not be around much longer...I hope that they will but obviously it seems that they are in trouble.
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by W4CX on May 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It absolutely does *not* mean they are in trouble. It's a healthy sign that they are responding in a creative way to changing market dynamics. This is the essence of business and is VERY healthy. We've all heard the old adage where insanity is defined as doing something over and over again, and expecting a different result. TT may have been in trouble if they DIDN'T do something creative. Same for Alpha. The new leadership at TT obviously knows that things can't continue as they are. I look forward to the benefits and advances to the state of the ham radio art which will result from their joining forces. Kudos!
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by NL7W on May 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I second Darrell's (W4CX) opinion. Nicely said...
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by NL7W on May 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I second Darrell's (W4CX) opinion. Nicely said...
 
RE: Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC Merge Under RF Concepts Ban  
by NL7W on May 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I second Darrell's (W4CX) opinion. Nicely said...
 
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