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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SPE Expert 1.3K - FA Help

Reviews Summary for SPE Expert 1.3K - FA
SPE Expert 1.3K - FA Reviews: 43 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $3250 euro
Description: Solid state linear amplifier, up to 1.5 KW, the world's
lightest. fully automatic, perfect in the shack,
irreplaceable in the DXexpedition.

High reliability, just one LD Mosfet used. Switching power
supply and ATU inside.
Product is in production.
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N4DCD Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2017 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Best amp ever  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had many amps, tubes and solid state. This amp has been a gem, cooling is great and very quiet. Nice small package and can be taken to a field day with ease. At full power I see near 1.5kw and the temp has not gone over 45c. If you thinking about getting one, pull the trigger, you wont be sorry. I know there are ham's out there that look down on solid state, they are stuck in the past. Get over the fact you don't see a glow in a box heating your shack.
SP7IDX Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2017 02:14 Send this review to a friend
Small, quiet, perfect! Absolutely GREAT !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I finally retired my tube ALPIN 100MKII i ALPHA and bought a 1.3K-FA, I have to say that this amp is the smartest thing I have done. It is very small, very light, very quiet and very fast :) has very large and A readable LCD is a huge cannon giving you a powerful power of over 1600W! It's crazy! It's crazy! It's crazy!

I use it in my home QTH, I will take SPE 1.3K-FA with me on small IOTA DXpedition.
I waited a year for this little kid to get me home but it was worth the wait!
1. Very high quality physical construction
2. Intuitive software interface
3. Excellent support from selling dealer
4. Automatic protective features, protects your investment
5. Very well conceived and evolved design, including all interfaces
6. Padded and fitted carrying case for transport to field locations
7. Power supply is flexible and automatic as to AC primary or mains supply
8. ATU is effective and remembers tune parameters for your favorite frequencies

I very pleased with the SPE 1.3K-FA !
Congratulations EXPERT Team.
N7BD Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2017 03:30 Send this review to a friend
N7BD - A perfect amp for me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Last December I decided I wanted the new Expert Amp 1.3K-FA. Given the fact I’ve had substantial radio costs this year due to a faulty 2nd hand antenna purchase, I needed to sell “something” to stay fiscally neutral. (XYL requirements) In the attempt to stay off the well-worn path to the “Dog House”, I agreed.

Enter Bob Hardie (W5UQ) into the picture. As Bob stated, “We're a customer friendly company.” They have lived up to that statement and then some! What a deal … no payment or deposit until ready for shipment. I immediately placed my Alpha 9500 up for sale and, one week from scheduled amp arrival into the USA, the Alpha sold.
I ordered the interface cables from Dan, KC5PCB, who indicated they would be placed in the box with the amp … and they were, before my check even cleared!

Bottom line: Bob and his company are quality people who do exactly as promised and my, what an amp the 1.3K-FA is! I’m completely satisfied with it and it performs equal to or better than advertised on all bands. BTW, I’ve not missed the Alpha 9500 one time! The CAT connection provides perfect control through my ICOM IC-7300.
VK4SX Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2017 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Excellent experience  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok I did submit a review back in FEB 2015, but failed to save correctly, I have already left a 5 rating review on this SPE 1.3 KFA amplifier,
but I feel the need to do so again, I have had the 1.3 K FA EUROPEAN DESIGN (NO ATT) amp here since JAN/FEB 2015, and use mostly with ELAD FDM DUO & K3-(S) both LOW power devices, with the K3 POWER BY BAND,( Both ELAD & K3 = NO ALC)
I have also used the 1.3 K FA with IC-7300, FTDX3K, FT1000MPMKV,
I also am not an EX-SPURT, nor a design compentent Techo in SS LDMOS design, but what I do know is that from reading documents relating to the LDMOS device used in the SPE 1.3 KFA, that it is a robust device, youtube vids on high reflected power, grounding the device under load, still alive, BUT, RF OVER DRIVE WILL KILL IT DEAD, VERY VERY QUICKLY, if you have an exciter with NO working ALC connection, and apply 17w DRIVE, I would expect the LDMOS device to die,
17w rf drive with ALC, YES ok, NO ALC, NO WORKY AMP,
the units huge amount of safety features are useless if the cable isn't connected, ,or the exciter has no ALC option?
I understand Gianfranco has tried to PROOF his range of RF Amplifiers, he has done a wonderful job on the complete range,
but any RF above 10ws drive on any band into a EUROPEAN SPE 1.3 KFA ( NO ALC) is just looking for
I have polished my crystal ball, and it tells me, plenty more dead RF power devices from over drive in the future,
absolutely wonderful product, I had a Near New ACOM 1500 (SEPT 2012) the onset of severe bouts of rheumatoid in both hands, prompted the leap to the Dark Side of SS LDMOS RF power amplifiers, and I couldn't be more happier,
my advice to early shooters of the EU SPE 1.3, was if they DIDN'T HAVE ALC working connection, to use a BIRD 6db inline attenuator on RF in, until they became used to the extremely high gain produced,
my good friends CEO told me the other day,
BAD News & innuendo is TWICE around the globe, BEFORE Good News & Facts puts on it's boots,

Dennis vk4sx
KJ8KJ Rating: 3/5 Mar 12, 2017 15:54 Send this review to a friend
NOT as full proof as advertised!.   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have not written many reviews for products. Mainly because I have a very busy life, but I appreciate the effort other users have taken to take the time for a solid review of a product. I feel obliagated to report the problems I have had with my new SPE 1.3K-FA that I purchased new from MLS in the UK. I received the amp new after waiting over my 7 months from time of initial order. It came, and indeed, I recommend reading the included directions that are on the CD and online. I say this because SPE recommends it strongly, and I figured if they went out of their way to state this repeatedly there must be a reason. So obviously given my lower rating of this amp, I must have had a problem, but I will assure anyone reading this that the problem was NOT user error. Despite SPE stating it was. Essentially what happened, was after spending hours reading the manual and a couple more hours "tuning" the rig to my Flex 6700, I enjoyed the use of the amp for about 3 months when suddenly the amp would no longer "amplify" my RF from the 6700. This is a VERY efficient amplifier. Since it is not a USA restricted 15dB product, I was able to get the 1.2 to 1.3 kW, very easily from 5 watts to 15 watts depending on frequency. (Lower HF frequencies only required 5-7 watts and the Higher HF frequencies on 15 and 10 meters required up to 15 watts to get the maximum 1.3 kW). My MAIN PROBLEM and the reason I would STRONGLY recommend buyer beware from SPE is NOT the quality of the amp. My main problem is that while the amp did display "warnings" of the very aggressive "protection" circuitry, and indeed, since the earlier Flex SDR software did not allow for USB direct radio to amp connection AND the Flex 6700 has NO direct ALC control, the protection circuitry on 4 or 5 occasions came to the rescue if I was putting in too much RF input (the MOST I ever imputed was 17 watts once on 10meters). Hardly a severe issue, if one considers the self advertised "protection circuitry" from SPE. HOWEVER, I found that I had blown the MOSFET finals after sending it first to MLS, who then is required to send it to Rome, to SPE. The rig should be under full 100% warranty. But, SPE refused to honor the repair, stating "owner abuse". Despite documentation of the failsafe circuitry kicking in those few times, and the fact that if 17 watts on 10 meters for a few seconds as "owner abuse" , then I don't even know how to respond to that. My main problem is that while they did offer to "pay for the labor", they would not pay for the MOSFET finals, thus I was out over $1,250 counting the round trip shipping, plus the labor repair job.
Hats off to MLS, and Steve V., who is one of the MLS service coordinators. I don't want to put him on the spot, but he genuinely supported my view, and my position during this endeavor, and he did go to bat for me with SPE, but to no avail.
I therefore, must give a 3 star for this amp. Had they merely repaired it under warranty, I would give the amp a 4 out of 5, because even though it performs very well for what it is, a very lightweight and advanced solid state HF amp, capable of near legal limit for a few minutes at a time. But, there protection circuitry is NOT capable of preventing the finals from burning up, even from an owner who not only cares about his equipment, but also who is very gently with his equipment. I am no expert, but I KNOW I did NOT abuse that amp, but I am glad I got it back. BUT BEWARE OF SPE and them NOT honoring their warranties!
ON8VP Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2017 07:10 Send this review to a friend
3 times statisfied  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Collected my SPE 1.3KA last January, connected to a Flex 6500 via a genuine USB hardware cable and pointed out the exciter power limits in the Flex destinated CAT set up. The 1.3 KA, just as my 2 previous SPE amplifiers, works as advertized. No spurious peaks on my panadapter , no HF returns whatever! Full automtic, 100 % ready and safe to be used by a dummy.
This amplifier is very easy to command trough the remote on your pc screen. Easy 1500 W output in CW.
My SPE 1.3 KA and Flex 6500 signature , a great combo for DX chasers, ragchewers and contesters.
I will take 2 SPE 1.3 KA with me on my DXpedition to Märket Reef EU-053 beginning of July 2017.

Peter ON8VP
W7MH Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2017 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Big power in a small package  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The SPE Expert 1.3K-FA is a legal limit amp in a very small package! I opted for the tuner delete and use an external Palstar HF-AUTO tuner. XCVR is Yaesu FT-5000D so I also had Dan make up a "Y" cable to interface all three! Maximum exciter power used is 35 watts with an ALC connection.
Bob, the SPE Expert dealer in Texas, is top-notch in answering questions and service.
Every amp is tested for 24 hours before shipping to the customer.
AF7EL Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2017 09:16 Send this review to a friend
Best amp and customer service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received my SPE Expert 1.3-FA amplifier and couldn't be happier. With the excellent customer service of Dan "The Cable Man", my Yaesu FTDX3000, SteppIR DB-32, PC, and SPE 1.3-FA all auto tracts perfectly. Customer service after the sale is very important and they excell at it. That amplifier is remarkable and does EVERYTHING it advertises to do. It is great.
K4ELO Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2017 13:29 Send this review to a friend
Super Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Love this amplifier. My 40M loop has about 1.5:1 swr but the amp easily puts 1300w with about 32w drive to it no problem. With headphones on I never hear the fans when transmitting. In standby without the phones on I can't even hear the fans. As others have said the manual could be more complete but once you experiment with the menu settings it's not hard to figure out. Bought the model without the ATU. Just use my Palstar AT-Auto when needed and it works fine. My advice is to buy without the ATU even if you need to buy an outboard tuner. More versatile setup. The connectors on the back are quite closely spaced so you will need someone who does not have fat fingers to make the connections.
Overall I am very happy with the amp. When they say fully automatic they mean it.
HS0ZIA Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2016 01:11 Send this review to a friend
Very nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very good performance through several contests at mid power setting. There was no wait to get one at Maxxcom, their agent in Hong Kong, and the customer service was outstanding.
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