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


Reviews Summary for Alpha 374A
Alpha 374A Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $3600.00
Description: ALPHA Legacy Amp.
2 - 8874's
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rkrdesignsllc.com
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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
 
NJ0G Rating: 3/5 Sep 22, 2004 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Correction to my previous post!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The hard-shell paint on the front panel of the PA-374A was light charcoal gray, not dark (almost black) as the PA-76A / PA / and /CA.

There were a few samples of an anodized-type panel (chemically "stained" light grey) that may have been sold as "clearance" items around 1990. This was not a production-released panel; the stain wasn't as durable as the hard-shell paint, altho' it was much better than the fuzzy stuff...
 
WV4R Rating: 2/5 May 11, 2004 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Good Amp... BAD Paint!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This unit was purchased NEW many years ago. This may be just a bit Harsh but the unit Does desperately need help in the front panel paint department... after many years use with original factory tubes at full power in a No-Smoking environment, the front panel started becoming "GUMMY" of all things! There was nothing to do but to replace the front panel at the exhorbitant price... However... Alpha stopped stocking the panel and then went bankrupt!
So... it was sold with a Discount for bad paint deterioration to a ham who managed to find a panel and restore it to it's former glory... due to gummy/sticky bad paint the unit has to fall into the "Needs Help" category and it earns the wv4r TWO-Star rating. 73 es God bless, murf/wv4r.
 
KB2NSE Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2001 22:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp, Reliable!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I thought I'd never find anything to replace my old reliable AL-80A. I purchased the Alpha 374A second hand. For six months, I ran the heck out of it every day and it doesn't break a sweat! This amp is great! I love the bandpass feature on 15 - 80 meters and of course, it can be manually tuned on 10 - 160. It is built like a tank and although the (2) 8874's are expensive, they are extremely rugged and readily available through surplus. They are pulled often from medical equipment and good pulls can be purchased as low as $100 - $110 each.
 
K0PCG Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2001 17:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellent All Band, Full Legal Limit, No Tune Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used my Alpha 374A for 20 plus years with absolutely no problems. It is the typical high quality you would expect from an Alpha. It uses a pair of 8874's for the FULL legal limit from 1.8 to 30 mhz. The unit is manually tunable from 1.8 Mhz to 30 Mhz and "pre-tuned" for each of the 80, 40, 20 & 15 Mtr Ham bands providing instantaneouis bandswitching without tuning the amplifier...further no tweaking necessary between cw and ssb portions of a band. Output is the full legal limit plus no-limit key down operation. 17, 12 and 10 mtrs are fully operational with manual tune but not pre-tune.

Everytime I think of getting a new Alpha and look at the new models I look back at the 374A and ask why? It has everything the current top of the line Alpha has, including instant bandswitch, without the solid state hassle. My advice: If you can find one buy it quick before someone else does....it won't last long.

Nick Critelli K0PCG
Des Moines, IA

 
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