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Author Topic: What's best Amp for the $$$?  (Read 1293 times)
NZ4Z
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« on: March 31, 2010, 02:33:02 AM »

What is the best 1000 Watt Amp out there for the money? Well.... 800 to 1000+ Watts.

Thanks

73
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AD6KA
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 03:14:22 AM »

How much money you talking about? You can waste $4,000 on one of those silly 1kw solid state "no tune" amps with a built in auto tuner if you like.
Save the extra $$$ fir your antenna system.

If you're talking bang for the buck, go with a
Ameritron AL-80B, wired for 240v, or a good used
AL-80A. (Brick house)

I'd pick a single 3-500z amp over a 3-4 tube 811 or
572-B amp any day.
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K0CWO
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 04:52:54 AM »

AL-80A/B is hard to beat for the money!
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K5DVW
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2010, 05:47:52 AM »

A used, not abused AL80 series, for certain.
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WX7G
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2010, 07:08:38 AM »

800 watts the AL-811H wins.
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AD4U
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 07:48:40 AM »

There is no single best answer to your question.  It all depends on what you want.

For example - two weeks ago I sold (for a silent key's widow) a very well built Heathkit SB-220 amp in almost mint condition with the original EIMAC 3-500 tubes at the Charlotte NC Hamfest for $600.  Of course the same amp would sell on ebay for $900 - $1000.  This amp will run around 1200-1300 watts PEP output on 80-10 meters.  But it does not have 160 or the WARC bands.

I doubt if you can find more watts for the dollar than this as long as you don't want 160 or the WARC bands.  

Ultimately the decision is up to you based on YOUR wants and needs.  

Dick  AD4U
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KE2TR
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 08:38:23 AM »

A good used AL80A or AL80B, the B model has some nice upgrades over the A model. Its a newer amp than an SB220 which your looking at 20 plus years old to start with, you can get parts for the Ameritrons which is a plus and these amps put out between 900 to 1100 watts annd the tube is rugged. Yes the bigger amps with the ceramic tubes will pump out more power but will cost soo much more when you end up with a bad tube. The Value is a +++ on the AL80 series.
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VA3DXV
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 11:24:46 AM »

Why no love for the AL-811H? Cry

800 watts with 60 watts of drive, under $900 new, can be EASILY found used for around $600 (maybe even less, don't think you'll find a used AL-80B for that), doesn't need 240v, does all bands, easy to work on, tubes are dirt cheap, and will be nearly bulletproof with a set of 572b's instead of 811's when the time comes.

Looks like a winner to me.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 11:26:58 AM by Brian » Logged
WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 11:42:38 AM »

>RE: What's best Amp for the $$$?       Reply
by VA3DXV on March 31, 2010    Mail this to a friend!
Why no love for the AL-811H? Cry

800 watts with 60 watts of drive, under $900 new, can be EASILY found used for around $600 (maybe even less, don't think you'll find a used AL-80B for that), doesn't need 240v, does all bands, easy to work on, tubes are dirt cheap, and will be nearly bulletproof with a set of 572b's instead of 811's when the time comes.

Looks like a winner to me.<

Maybe.  But it's four tubes, with the resulting complexities, instead of "one" with the AL-80B.  Also it doesn't have a built-in PEP wattmeter/SWR meter at all, so the user will need an outboard one: The 80B has this built-in as a standard feature, easily worth $150.  The 80B also has step-start inrush protection and cutoff bias applied until it's driven (RF actuated operating bias), which saves power and reduces heat; and it has a bigger power transformer that runs cool at full load power.

Four 572Bs cost more than one 3-500ZG.

IMO, the 80B's a better deal.
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2010, 11:58:05 AM »

800 W PEP, AL-811H, $819 + watt meter, $150 = $969

1000 W PEP, AL-80B, $1329

Both good deals me thinks
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K9FON
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2010, 12:49:50 PM »

Why not try QRP? ;-)

The Swan MK II is a good one to look out for. It will even work on the WARC bands.
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K0CWO
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2010, 05:22:55 PM »

There is lots of love for the 811 series amplifier.  Look at the reviews.  My first amp was an AL-811.  The three 811 tubes in my AL-811 were rugged enough to put up with my "learning" mistakes.  I'm not sure why there seems to be such a push to put 572 tubes in an 811 amplifier.  There are gobs of 811 amps that run the 811 tube all day and all night with great reliability!  Run them within spec and they will last.  I'm not trying to say that running 572's in an 811 amplifier is stupid, but my 811's did just fine.  As far as the AL-80A/B goes, I have run both on 120, and both put out 1000 watts SSB PEP.  I ran my AL-80A on 240 for a while, I run it on 120 at my secondary QTH now, and see no difference.  AL-811H or Al-80A/B?  You'll never hear the difference between the two on the air.  I think they are all great amplifiers.  I still prefer the AL-80A/B over the AL-811:)  Thank God that we live in a country were we can still make choices!
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N4RSS
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 06:15:20 PM »

My SB-220 does just fine on the WARC bands in the 15m position, as do most
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AD6KA
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2010, 07:35:20 PM »

VA3DXV  
"Why no love for the AL-811H? Cry"

Oh there's lots of love for those amps, they're super amps! just depends what your typical use and duty cycle modes are.

If you are into RTTY Contesting (*really* contesting, 36 to 48 hours straight and running frequencies for hours and hours.....Not just hunting and pouncing for half a day and then saying "Yup,I played that contest") but don't currenty have the dough for a monster amp, would you *really* pick the 811A/H @ 120v over the AL80A/B @ 240v?

The manuals for both amps say to turn the power down for RTTY as a "CYA" clause. But my money is on running a quality 3-500zg at a much higher power for much, much longer than 811's or 572's, and not even having to think twice about the amp. Been there, done that, got the wallpaper.

I have nothing against the AL-811 series. I'd be proud to have one in the shack. But I'd use it for what it was primarily designed for.
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K7PEH
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 10:07:26 PM »

>>>How much money you talking about? You can waste $4,000 on one of those silly 1kw solid state "no tune" amps with a built in auto tuner if you like.
Save the extra $$$ fir your antenna system.<<<

I bought one of those $4000+ solid-state "no tune" amps and I really like it.  I dumped by tube amp onto someone else.   And, I just got a K3 so I plan to buy another solid-state amp for my K3.

Sure, solid-state is more pricy  then tubes but I like solid-state.  It has that real solid appeal of something hard and firm.
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