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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 77Sx Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 77Sx
Alpha 77Sx Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $6,500.00
Description: "Two-hole" (2 X 8877) version of the 77 DX HF Amplifier with QSK
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rkrdesignsllc.com
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K6XN Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2013 11:57 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING AMPLIFIER  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am fortunate to own two Alpha 77SX amplifiers for over 20 years so far. One is an original Alpha 77SX and the second one was converted from an Alpha 77DX to an Alpha 77SX. I am extremely pleased with both amplifiers. One amplifier still has its factory original Eimac 8877 tubes. The minor problems I have experienced over the years were easily & quickly repaired at modest (or no) expense and rapid turn around with generous help & advice from Richard Byrd, N4UQ. These amplifiers are outstanding. If you can get one I recommend you do so, cherish it and enjoy it. I love my Alpha 77SX amplifiers. FWIW, I have over the years also owned and operated a Collins 30S-1, Collins 30L-1, Henry 3K, Alpha 76PA, Heathkit SB-220, SB-200 and various home brew monster linear amplifiers including amplifiers with dual 3-500Z tubes and dual 3-1000z tubes in the final to name a few. I like the Alpha 77SX amplifiers the best. GL and 73, Ted, K6XN
 
KM8AM Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2013 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Finally we own the legend!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After many years, my XYL and I have "The Legend" on the desk....An original 77Sx.

I've admired this amp on the desk of a friend since he bought it in 1991. On the air, is sounds as great as it looks.

With its custom, black anodized panels, this amp is a classic. Built like a tank and loafs along all day at the legal limit.

It may not be the latest and greatest solid state, no tune amp, but if you want true Alpha "brick on the key" performance, the 77Sx is it!

Ken, KM8AM & Karen, KM8Q
 
KC0W Rating: 3/5 Mar 30, 2013 14:24 Send this review to a friend
Power Supply is the Achilles Heal of 77Sx's  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a Dick Byrd converted Alpha 77Sx roughly 8 months ago. The amp has been heavily used every weekend for DXing & contesting. The amp has been used almost exclusively on CW.

Alpha really dropped the ball regarding the 77Sx's much underrated (more like training wheels) power supply. I have solicited the help of both Dick Byrd & Harbach Electronics to find a solution. This dilemma has left all three of us scratching our heads.

I recently re-tubed it with a new pair of 8877's. Any way you slice it this is not a cheap proposition. A new pair of Svetlana 8877's are now just over $4,000.......Crazy!!! Legal limit is achieved with 35 watts or so depending on the band. Load & tune are rock solid in terms of duplication. Blower noise is an absolute non issue. Quiet as a mouse.

If you're in the market for a 77Sx they are not imposable to find. They pop up on QTH.com all the time. If I had to do it all over again I would take a long hard look at a nice Henry 8k. At least Henry knew what they were doing in terms of power supply's.

Bottom line: Ascetically beautiful amp, quiet, loafs along at 1500w, a real back breaker if one lifts a 77Sx without assistance........Alpha a-l-m-o-s-t hit a home run with this one.


Tom KCW



 
Z33A Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2012 12:36 Send this review to a friend
Alpha 77sx  Time owned: more than 12 months
King ... The best amplifier
 
KA1J Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2012 21:35 Send this review to a friend
The kind of amp I always wanted to make  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I used to own an Alpha 77SX back in the mid 90s but have not had one for years. I just picked this amp up recently and previous owner is a smoker and it has taken awhile to remove the nicotine but now it's in good shape. The tubes it came with tested fine but were older ones and I had a pair of 3CPX1500A7 recent pulls so I installed them instead. Note; these 3CPX tubes are the same as 3CX as to output but since they share recent date codes, I replaced the older ones with them. You must use a watt meter with this amp because 10 watts drive gives me 880W output according to my LP-100A Watt Meter.

The 77Sx is a quintessential Ham Radio amplifier; 100% devoid of digital technology and it reflects a pinnacle of handcrafting which suggests bulletproof excess. Consider this analogy; Many in the hobby consider the Alpha Amplifiers to be the Rolls Royce of amplifiers. Lets say you have the ability to acquire a Rolls Royce. Now you have a choice as to which Rolls you want and are you the person who wants a 1930's show-stopping Rolls with Brass Bell and Running Boards or do you want a modern Rolls with electronic controls and today's appearance? Which one suits your interest? Me? I'll take the 30's Rolls elegance any day and there are many like me who feel the same. Some people would want the newest and most modern but even among those people, the magnificence of the old Rolls lines and function bears a strong attraction.

If you are someone who likes bells & whistles, pretty flashing lights, never wants to tune again, just click and go and wants an Alpha; buy a new one and you will be thrilled.

If you are someone who likes hands on and feels a connection to the game when tuning an amp as hams have historically done from the first days, loves overkill in design with simple stated elegance; Get a 77SX and you will be thrilled.
 
VE1ZA Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2012 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Solid as a rock  Time owned: more than 12 months
The company I was working for was getting rid of some equipment and I spied an Alpha77SX export model (red Label) in the pile. They used it as an RF welder to join plastic parts for 12 Hrs a day in continuous production for 10 years as per the calibration records. I was able to get my hands on it and it is not the lightest amp in the world and even knocked my back out bringing it in the house. After a once over, it looked like the tank coils may have arced over during production, tripping the amp. I cleaned the tank coil, wired it up for 220VAC and presto, lots of RF. I have been using it for the past 6 years for DXing. Its the most solidly build amp I have seen (other than commercial radio stations). It still has the original tubes (30 years old!) and will deliver over 2kW O/P into a cantenna. I did not have to change a thing in this amp, no caps, no transformers; nothing for 6 years. Since this was used in an industrial application I can only say the design was rock solid and lots of derating contribute to its reliability. I did have to mount the amp on another cabinet, since it did not fit on my desk, but hey.....
If you ever have the opportunity, pick one up, you WILL NOT be disappointed.
Solid as a rock
 
W9GOD Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2012 18:48 Send this review to a friend
GOOD, BETTER, BEST, SOLID AS A ROCK  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Picked up on the used market, a DICK BYRD modified Alpha 77Sx. I moved up from the Henry 2K-Classic X EXPORT model. The 77Sx is a table style, requires less drive from my TenTec ORION II, and the air cooling system is very quiet compared to the Henry. With the two 8877's I have the extra power when needed to also operate on the MARS bands. Very impressive amplifier, and when I sell the Henry, I'm going to purchase the ALPHA 8410 as a backup - Smile!!
 
N4NW Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2012 18:53 Send this review to a friend
REscued from the jungles of Togo  Time owned: more than 12 months
In 1986, while I was assigned to 9Q5 I had the opportunity to purchase a used Alpha 77Sx that had been sold in an embassy auction the year before to a missionary ham residing in 5V7 (Togo). The only problem for the missionary and the Alpha 77Sx was that it was more amplifier than the mission's generator could support.

In a trade, I gave up a early model SB-200 for the Alpha 77Sx. When I picked up the Alpha 77Sx, it was not in the best of shape. The tubes were soft and the tuned input was anything but tuned. However, because of the straight forward design of the Alpha 77Ss with replacement of the 2 x 8877 tubes - in 1986 they were much more cost effective than today! Tweaking the tuned input I was soon on the air with the Alpha 77Sx sitting next to my trusty Alpha 76Ca from Kinshasa as 9Q5NW.

Using my Kenwood TS-830s I could drive the Alpha 77Sx to its full potential with about 150 watts of drive. Often I would hear comments from DX'ers saying, "9Q5NW, you are the loudest station on the band!" Why, because I was using an Alpha of course. I will say I did have to purchase the 5kW element for my Bird to tune her up.

With just 75 to 100 watts of drive the output air from the back of the 77Sx did not even feel warm.

By far the Alpha 77Sx is everything ETO said it would be. Of course power limitations being non-existent in 9Q5 at the time I was on the air allowed full exercising of the 7Sx.

Better than the bunny, an Alpha 77Sx will keep going and going and going! However, all that raw RF power was more than use in the US ham bands so sadly when I returned to Uncle Sam land I had to let it go.

 
K7JI Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2011 19:24 Send this review to a friend
AN AMAZING, ELEGANT DESIGN  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received a beautiful 77SX converted by Dick Byrd from the single tube 77DX model. As others have noted in previous reviews, the one main complaint some mention is that the HV drops like a rock under load. The transformer also has a bit of a hum that can be heard even when the amp is on but not keyed. I understand from people who know more about these amps than I do that the new Dahl replacement transformers are even louder! Even with these issues in the power supply, there is no denying that a 4,000 watt desktop amp with sturdy construction and an elegant design is a very good thing. And nlike my Acom 2000A, if I drive it with 80 or 90 watts by mistake it never faults - it never even blinks! A friend of mine who runs Henry amps dug up an old 1982 AES catalog and saw the Alpha 77 listed. He pointed out that almost none of the other products in that catalog that were new in 1982 have even come close to appreciating in value. The strength of the design and quality of construction of this amp has certainly stood the test of time. I am thrilled to finally own one!

I made a video of the amp being delivered, unpacked, inspected and keyed up for the first time. Just do a search on YouTube for "Alpha 77SX" and it will come right up. If you have the opportunity to purchase one of these amps, DO IT!
 
KA1XO Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2010 06:34 Send this review to a friend
MILSPEC  Time owned: more than 12 months
A qualified success, however. There are design issues with the tank. Having two 8877's just makes the impedance mismatch farther apart. But there are fixes.. Then they sing.. This amplifier is perhaps the finest amateur product in history. And if you're adventurous, they can be easily supercharged. Most were..... I had one that was dropped from thirty thousand feet and bounced the wrong way. It took years to fix. But I had a new one when ETO let OS hams buy 'em new.

They could be duplicated in style and function but not in appearance, alas. The suppliers who were the sources for the parts are mostly all out of business or doing something completely different...
 
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