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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-811 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-811
Ameritron AL-811 Reviews: 159 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $650
Description: Uses three tough 811A transmitting tubes
Product is in production.
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K5RCR Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2014 20:39 Send this review to a friend
5 years, 1 set of tubes, still going strong  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this AL811 new direct from Ameritron in 2008. Upon removing the cover, I found the amplifier to be well constructed, no funny solder joints, etc. I just recently changed tubes as the original 5 year old set was getting soft - output down to 300 watts at max [150 ma] grid current. I initially replaced the 811a's with Chinese 572b's direct from China...big mistake. They were a matched set alright...every damned one arced! Of course, this caused the fuses and the D16 meter diode to blow. Anyway, after replacing the fuses and the diode I put in 3 derated 572b's [Taylor 811H - rated for 1900V as opposed to 2700V] from RF Parts. While these tubes are still Chinese, at least RF Parts tests the buggers. The amp is back in the rack and works great - several Eastern European stations worked easily on 160 and 80 meters using 400 watts just a few minutes after putting the amp back in service. Great little amp. Easy to work on and even the "tough" tubes are cheap.
N4ALR Rating: 1/5 Dec 27, 2013 14:03 Send this review to a friend
failure of circutry  Time owned: more than 12 months
having used sb 200 and 220 amps, was accustomed to performance. this particular amp was touted as a good minimum performer. after ordering one upon arrival inspection was done inside and tubes installed. after letting it warm up for a couple hours started qso with 30 watts drive on lsb. everything seemed ok upon shutdown. when started up the next day upon start it blew the fuse and burned a trace on circuit board. after getting it back same thing happened again. fuse blown diode burned up on board ,also meter on front was sprung to far right, installed new circuit board, same thing happened again. installed new 572bs thinking it might help, did not. this amp is praised by many, but not by me. would not recommend this amp, even to new beginners. after all this time I question my judgement in buying this amp. you get what you pay for. this was a 900.00 dollar mistake that went to the trash man. would not recommend to my worst enemy
W7KNX Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2013 21:04 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Amp for the Price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine used at a swap meet but even new the price is very reasonable for a 600W amp. It is well built, easy to tune and looks great in the shack. If you are looking for a 600W amp this is a great choice.
VK4VDX Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2013 09:37 Send this review to a friend
still great!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Ameritron Amplifier for about 4 years, paid about $1500 AUD
When it played up I only had one choice, the internet, to find out what the problem is.
I had a clicking sound or pop. I found out that I had a bad Bleeder Resistor. I tested the resistors myself with a bonus gift,a test meter thanks Eddie. I have ordered 4 Bleeder resistors and 4Caps ( electrolytic capasitors ). I ended up replacing only the bad Resistor I ordered 4 but only got 3 from Ameritron and when you live that far away, of course I didn't get a sorry or an replacement.
It was an easy repair and I didnt change the caps ida.
The amp worked fine for about a year, than I had to replace another Bleeder Resistor and still didn't need caps.
and finally a year and a bit later the third Bleeder Resistor has gone bad and this time I needed to change the caps as well.
But I still have got one of the original Bleeder Resistors in the Amp. By the way it's an AL-811
and I saved myself some money by doing the repairs.
For me I give Ameritron Amps a 5 easy to work on,
and a great feeling when it is all repaired and working well.
I hope I will receive what I have ordered, 4 Backup Bleeder Resistors and 4 caps.

KC9MOS Rating: 2/5 Nov 14, 2013 10:38 Send this review to a friend
Stopped working after 3 month  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this amp from DX-Engineering and it worked fine for 3 month. All of a sudden it would not power on any more, no matter what I tried. I called Ameritron and was told to send it in, that was $30 via FEDEX. I got a ticket and was told by John: "Ok, we will keep an eye out for it and get it back as soon as possible." Today I received another message with a slightly different tune "We are a bit backed up, so it might be a couple weeks after we receive it before we can get to it." I will keep you updated about what's going to happen. Ben
N5RNY Rating: 4/5 Sep 26, 2013 18:20 Send this review to a friend
decent amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought used about 2 years ago, finally got it hooked up and running on a new vertical. I run reduced drive most of the time (happier neighbors) and it works well. Easy to tune, quiet fan, clean output. Will probably run forever at 300-400 watts SSB.
WY4J Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2013 13:49 Send this review to a friend
I got my Money's Worth  Time owned: more than 12 months
For the money, you just cannot beat the AL-811. I purchased mine brand new some 8 years ago. It worked flawlessly from the day I pulled it out of the box and put the tubes in the sockets. I later sold it where it traveled to Bismark North Dakota and where it is still performing without a hitch for its new owner. So I can truthfully state that two hams have received what they paid for, which is a hell of a good amplifier. BTW, it was replaced by an Ameritron ALS-600 amp. Also a hell of a good amp.

I would just like to add that I have been purchasing MFJ products since I became a ham in 1976 and to this day I have never purchased anything that was defective, broken, broke, with cold solders, hot solders, loose solders, missing parts, screws, wires, meters, manuals, scratched, bent, incorrect parts or anything else the imagination might come up with. Did I mention that MFJ has a great customer service department and a bunch of nice folks working there.
N4KC Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2013 12:02 Send this review to a friend
Yes, you DO get what you pay for  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is only one of the most popular amplifiers in the world and even here on eHam, where folks tend to fashionably low-ball any MFJ/Ameritron product, it has a 4.5-out-of-5.0 rating after 143 reviews.

With thousands sold and in service, I suppose it is possible for someone to get one that has an issue. And with hundreds and hundreds passing from one user to another, some will have suffered abuse. And yes, because of its economical design, if you do not follow proper tune-up and operating parameters, you can do some damage.

The truth is, though, that this is a solid amp, brilliantly designed, and has for many, many years enabled thousands of users to economically and cleanly add multiple decibels to their transmitted signal when needed. I urge anyone who believes he can design, manufacture, and sell something better for less than $800 brand new to have at it. You just better be prepared for guys to give it a "0 - Awful!" rating on eHam even if hundreds more find it to be a fine piece of reasonably-priced gear.

Mine was heavily used prior to my purchase, still has (so far as I can tell) the original tubes, is at least 15 years old, and still works like a champ on all bands except for a high input SWR on 12 and 17. I choose not to try to tweak it out because I use it more on 15 and 10 and it performs wonderfully on those bands. But the previous owners (apparently) and I know how to tune and run the amp. Check W8JI's web site and you will, too.


Don N4KC

AC4R Rating: 0/5 Sep 22, 2013 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Pass on this one  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a AL-811 new and it was downhill from there. One trip back to Ameritron for repairs , and to another repair man within 6 months. after the next failure i gave the amp away to get it out of the shack. you get what you pay ! You have been warned.

VK2IMM Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2013 18:56 Send this review to a friend
Good but not without problems  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had experience similar with previous reviewer.

My AL811 was purchased brand new from DXE. No issues on delivery.

Later discovered that load capacitor did not have enough capacitance on 80m. Moved coil tap by couple of turns to add inductance instead. About 3 months into operation one of the front panel switches failed. It is very hard to get these switches out from front panel as I found and they are made from some cheap plastic. In fact, I had to replace whole front panel at the end and new front panel assembly that I purchased from Ameritron had three rocker switches already pre-installed.

The same problem with having not enough capacitance was also found in the lower part of 160m band. Not fixed in my PA yet but I will add a capacitor.

Good amplifier and it delivers power as expected. It runs well with 450W on CW and 500-600W on SSB, output power is a bit less on 10 and 15m.

On WARC bands 17m works best.

Having said that I am not happy to have these issues in a brand new unit.
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