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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 374A Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 374A
Alpha 374A Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $3600.00
Description: ALPHA Legacy Amp.
2 - 8874's
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rfconcepts.com
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WT5SF Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2013 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is one sweet, old amplifier. Alpha made 365 of these and mine was built during the first production run in Jan 1979. I got it from a friend for $600.00. He had recently bought a new ACOM either the first or second year they were at Dayton and the 374A was freed up. It was also butt ugly, having the "sticky paint" front panel that others have described, but it would still do 900 watts out in bandpass mode on 75, so the tubes were still pretty strong and the low power and 10 meter mods were already done. I spent some time cleaning it up, putting a new front panel on it, changing the meter bulbs and the fan and was very lucky as I had another friend who let me have a NOS pair of EIMAC 8874's for, get this - $200 buck total. So for about $950 or so, some elbow grease, good friends, luck and just a bit of tinkering, I basically have a pretty new looking, 110V semi-auto amplifier consistently produces a kilowatt in bandpass on 75 with 100 watts drive AND a set of pretty decent pulls. Using 220v, I've seen 1300 to 1400 watts before on 75 using manual tune. I have considered the 3 tube 8874 mod or the 800A7 mod, but decided to leave it as original as I could. I have owned 2 x SB1000s and an L4B before and all three were great Amps, but the 374A is in a completely different class than either, both in performance and looks. The 8874 is a pretty robust little tube if you don't completely abuse it, but if you are pricing them you're in for real sticker shock - that is if you can find a decent one. From my point of view, that is the only drawback to the 374A. I don't believe that I will ever part with this amp, but hey, I didn't think that I would get divorced either :) Things change, but this old 374A still has plenty of life in it. I wear my Alpha hat proudly.
 
KR4JA Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2013 08:58 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Legacy Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I sold my 374 to get the 160M capability of the 374A. I have the 3 tube version, legal out no problem. I run 1100-1200W in all bandpass positions, only use SSB and the grid current is <20ma. This is essentially an Alpha 78 without the vacuum relays, which I neither need nor want. Much easier to repair the 374A if/when ever needed. Should the time come to replace the tubes, I'll have Dick Byrd do the upgrade to 3CPX800A7 tubes. Thought about moving up to an 87A, but why risk the added expense of complicated repairs, when the 374A will look the same on the wattmeter?

I've had many legal limit amps over the years, TT-Ameritron-Heathkit-AmpSupply,Alpha, and the 374A is my favorite amp!!
 
PY5AJ Rating: 4/5 Sep 22, 2012 18:16 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT EQUIPMENT  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
MY FIRST AMPLIFIER GPOTEI MUCH HE IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO MULTIPLE CONTACTS IN EUROPE TO ASIA JAPAN DX recommend ALPHA 374A TO ALL MY FRIENDS. JOSEPH 73 PY5AJ
 
KK7P Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2009 12:09 Send this review to a friend
Quiet and Effective  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased a used Alpha 374A several months ago from the eHam classifieds for use with my K3. The bandpass (no tune) operation was a major attraction. I have had no problems with the Alpha. It easily provides a kilowatt of output with some headroom. I was concerned that the fan noise might be loud, but I find it is a sort of "whhhoossshh" rather than a whine, and is quieter than I expected. Being an SSB operator, I don't find the T/R relay noise too distracting. I wouldn't want to use this with QSK without changing the T/R system, though.
 
ZL4IV Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2009 02:39 Send this review to a friend
A Gem  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have many high power amps but this medium power amp from the past is far ahead of it's time. Just like out of the box with a new set of tubes. The low power drive mod done it is a real gem. I thought about adding a third tube but who would notice the signal difference? They are worth the high price for what they deliver and the build quality. If you find one buy it. There is plenty of info around if you have to do any work on it. No tune switching works in quick band changes very well.
 
N9IND Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2009 03:55 Send this review to a friend
I love Alpha and my 374a  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had Dentron,Drake and H/K 220 and when i purchased my Alpha 374a from a friend in San Diego,Ca i did not know it had pass band tuning until i opened the box. Man what a Amp.!!! I read the manual and did not realize that anything like this was built in the U.S. of America? This Amp. is built to run with mil. spec Rockwell Collins radios yes better than Collins Amps. I recently sent it to Alhpa in Co. The people at Alpha Radio Products are wonderful people Glenn went thru this amp with a fine tooth comb! When i received it back with the mods. that Glenn had done such as the so-239 conversion on the exciter plug and muffin fan and new tubes and a numerous other things low drive mod. Glenn told me this 374a is one of the better ones he has seen for a while it really is a smooth Amp. and i do not want to leave Molly out she is a real Sweetheart of a person and the other people that i had consulted with was able to help me tremendously on questions i asked. Will i buy another alpha YOU DAMN RIGHT!!! As soon as i save for the 9500 P.S. if you can find a used alpha buy it then You will have THE BEST in my opinion. 73 and God Bless Claude Retired U.S.Army 43 Yrs.
 
W3RXO Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2008 19:30 Send this review to a friend
WOW!!! Another great Alpha.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I "fell" into the deal of the century, on a 374A, from a friend, who just wanted to get rid of it. It was too big, too heavy, and all those other complaints, that some fellows have, as they get older. I'll likely have similar complaints, one day. BUT NOT NOW. I got this from my friend for a song (nearly literally), and promptly went to the Alpha website, and bought the replacement faceplate. WOW! Night and day difference, from the original. Performance-wise, it does everything I want it to do. On 80, 40, 20 and 15, I get 1200+ output, on the original tubes, running it on a 117VAC line, and driving it with 40-45 watts from my Drake, when using the "Passband" tuning. I have tuned it up on 17 and 10, but have never done so on any band with passband. And it still does 1200+ output, on passband or tuned. All things considered, I'll be happy to hold on to this one for a LONG, LONG time, at least until I can afford a 9500, or a Prometheus.
 
NE2I Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2005 04:51 Send this review to a friend
super amp for cheap price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Barring the sticky paint problem,
The 374a is a solid performer
Alpha now supports these
older amplifiers. They sell new front panels
and switches for most of their legacy amps.
Their support is great
My alpha is getting vacuum relays and a new front panel. I bought the relays from MAX Gain. There
are many web sites that outline the installation.
I moved up from a Dentron. What a upgrade!
 
NL7W Rating: 4/5 Apr 16, 2005 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Great Older Amp!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am impressed with Alpha amps... why would anyone buy another brand?

Other than my recently purchased 374A needed a new front panel, the amp probably works as good as a factory fresh unit. My early serial number unit doesn't have the low drive modification, yet the two 8874's deliver 750 watts output with 100 watts drive (1 KW input - low HV tap - 120 Vac operation). Input VSWR on all bands remains 1.1 to 1.2:1. No-tune output hovers around 600 to 650 watts, depending on the band with the same operating conditions noted above.

I love it, and can't hardly wait for operating it on a proper 240 Vac circuit. I suspect the the amp will faithfully supply 1200 watts on the "high" HV tap and a 240 Vac circuit. If you can find a good one, snatch it up! They're solid as a rock. 73.
 
WB6Q Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2004 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 374A is a great older amp with automatic band switching with no tuneing or manual tuning (your choice) on 80,40,20, and 15 meters. On 160 and 10 meters you just peak the load. Mine does have the 10 meter mod done as well. On 17 meters it loads in the 15 meter manual bandswitch position. However if you try to run it with more than 200 watts on 12 meters you will fry the 160 meter band switch.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about the paint. The face of plate of many early serial amps are and remain today perfect, mine is the dark gray crinkle type. Many mid serial numbered amps were painted with a defective 3m paint that was sticky. Many hams did not return the amp face plates in exchange for the light grey, and so there are amps still around today with sticky paint.

I added a third 3cx400a7 which makes my amp perform more like an Alpha 78 than an Alpha 374A. Even the two tube 374A puts out close to the legal limit if it is an older serial number or has had the low drive 100 watt PEP mod completed. Older serial numbers required 200 watts PEP drive. My three tube Alpha has had the low drive mod installed and puts out the following into a dummy load with a Bird meter with a 5 Kw slug. 160 meters 2.1 Kw out, 80 meters 2.1 Kw out,40 meters 1.85 Kw out, 20 meters 1.85 Kw out, 17 meters 1.55 Kw out, 21 meters 1.55 Kw out, 10 meters 1.55 kw out.

I also installed a plate current doubler circuit so plate current does not read off scale. Not bad for an amp that has been in service since 1982. the 3cx400a7's are expensive for new ones but I was able to purchase 4 full output pulls as back up's on e-bay.

So I fail to understand how anyone could give this amp a 3 rating. Where will your amp be in 22 years? Still putting out the legal limit?

For more info on these wonderful old Alpha amps, look on the Alpha Power website below the used amps for sale under "legacy amplifiers". Another great source is Dick Byrd who still does mods and repair work on these amps, web site service@n4uq.com My amp should be still running in another 22 years but I don't know if I will!

Dick WB6Q
 
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