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Author Topic: Alpha has announced their new 9500 to replace 87A  (Read 2227 times)
N6PSE
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« on: September 01, 2005, 04:46:38 PM »

How good can it be?

How $$$$ can it be?

Inquiring minds want to know,

http://www.alpharadioproducts.com/9500.asp


Paul N6PSE
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KA5N
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2005, 05:54:57 AM »

I checked out the Alpha web site and the 9500 looks like something Admiral Nelson might have used on the old Seaview (those old enough to remember 60's TV) instead of an amateur amplifier.
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 07:03:19 AM »

Yes, and there is no price given. I'll make a stab at it: $10,999. Any takers?

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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N6PSE
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 09:14:11 AM »

Ok, my curiosity got the best of me and I called Alpha. They are just starting to take orders on this amp which goes into production shortly. With FCC certification, they are expecting deliveries at the end of Jan '05 or possibly early Feb '06.

Pricing on this Amp is just slightly more than the 87 Omega.


I really like the fact that it has the digital power out and SWR right on the face of the amp.

Paul N6PSE
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K0BG
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2005, 05:25:42 AM »

Well, after Paul sent me an e-mail telling me the price is going to be $7,950, I decided to read Alpha's web page hype on the 9500. One of the "factoids" they present is a comparison between tubes and solid state finals. I won't repeat it here, as any interested party can go read it for themselves.

In any case, their premise is slightly flawed. They selected the 8877 as a final for its longevity in the market place. While I agree it will be around for sometime (certainly longer than most transistor models), it is still a tube, and tubes are slowly waning in the marketplace regardless of their end usage. The tube "state of the art" may improve some, but not nearly as much or as rapidly as solid state devices have in the past, or will in the future for that matter.

When Alpha suggests they will never use solid state finals in one of their amplifiers, I think, is a little naive. I'm of a mind to take bets on that statement of questionable fact.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KG6AMW
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2005, 06:59:22 AM »

To each their own but not for me - like killing a mouse with a sledge hammer. I'll stick with Ameritron, QRO or Command Technologies for half the price.
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W9GB
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2005, 11:44:01 AM »

Well I was at Alpha (Boulder, CO) on September 1st.  Met Molly, president; Anthony, heads sales operation; and Glenn, service deaprtment.  They seem to be shipping a number of the new SWR meters and had Ronnie Milsap's former Alpha 77 (serial numebr 2) in for maintenance.  Parts for my Alpha 76 are still readily available.

Sounded like a 6 meter amplifier (previously discussed a couple of years ago) is in initial design stages (likely using the 8877).

The new 9500 will have no less than 5 microprocessors (that's quite a bit of computing power) - compared to the 87A's single Motorola processor.  Yes, the transistor and tube discussion took 15 mintes of my visit.  I see their viewpoint from a service and service expense viewpoint (the average amateur understands changing a bad tube -- but does not respond well to changing out 4 RF transistors).  I think their experiecne with RF concepts taught them quite a bit about their customers and the economics.

** I don't see Quandra's or PW-1's flying off the shelves from any US dealer - BUT I do hear maning about the price and inability for "the common amateur" to repair it. **

Greg
w9gb
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N6PSE
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2005, 10:24:57 AM »

I'm a little disappointed that the Alpha 9500 won't cover six meters. That would be a great benefit to me.

Alpha did tell me that they would offer it with Type N connectors instead of SO239 if desired.

Paul N6PSE
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W4VR
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2005, 06:14:58 PM »

For $8K I can buy a PW-1 and PROIII with money left for other gadgets.  At least the PW-1 has an automatic tuner built in.  I've had two Alphas that were capable of putting out as much, if not more power than the 9500...I still break the pileups with my 1 kW solid state auto amp, and I can remote control it too!  It's in the antenna folks, not in the 8877.  Now, two 8877's would make a difference; wouldn't it?
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A71AW
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2005, 02:42:35 PM »

I think Alpha should follow ACOM steps and produce something like 2000A. Its so neat, smart, uses cheap tubes, and pleasant to look at!
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N6PSE
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2005, 05:06:54 PM »

I think the Alpha 9500 is attractive, I hope that it may have a PC interface. Yes the 8877 tube is very expensive. The tube itself retails for $750.

I give Alpha credit in that they know what they are doing. I am interested in this AMP, but I really need 6 meters, otherwise I will need to keep my Yaesu Vl1000 Quadra for the six meter aspects.

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K6AER
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2005, 09:39:39 PM »

The biggest problem with transistor amps is they have no head room. The IMD is limited because most transistor power amps have no reserve. I will never own a HF transistor amp that does not have 3 dB of margin at full output. If the PW-1 or Quadra was capable of 2500 watts PEP they would cost $15,000.

I understand Alpha's rational in sticking with tube finals. They can be repaired and replaced 10-20 years down the road. Tubes are more robust and simpler RF decks are the result. Transistor manufactures are fickle. You might have finals for 4 years and then the transistor is discontinued. Try to buy a RF VHF/UHF transistor for the FT-100D. It cost $230.00. Yeasu, I-com and Kenwood won't support half of their equipment 5 years after the end of production.

Also solid state finals require very exact strip line design to fit the specific transistor. Tube designs are not as critical.

Last but not least is Alpha Radio Products is a class act. They support their products, have solid engineering and they are not into amplifiers for a quick buck.  
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N0TONE
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2005, 05:27:03 PM »

Maybe I just don't understand things....why does the amp have five microprocessors?  Will those added microprocessors make the signal sound louder?  Will they make it tune from one band to the other more quickly?  Will they make the amplifier cleaner?

Seems to me that adding more microprocessors means there are more parts to fail and more cost to build it.

One microprocessor can take the place of many discrete digital logic parts, and makes sense.  I can't understand five....

Sounds a lot like "buy this AM radio because it has TEN transistors instead of NINE" - remember that from the 1950s transistor radio era?

AM
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N6AJR
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 08:21:26 PM »

I have an alpha 87a and it is a beautiful thing.  virtually transparent in operation. turn it on, wait 3 minutes, go to operate, talk on radio, 160 to 10 m, no tune, no click, no noise, quiet fan, 1500 watts  and you don't do a thing.  I use it with vox on the orion and its like qsk on ssb.
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N8VWI
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 05:11:03 PM »

Allan reported a price of $7950.00 in September of 2005. Today in April of 2011 I just ordered a Alpha 9500, for the price of, drum role please, 47950.00. No increase in 6 years, soundsgood to me...Bill N8VWI
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