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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 9500 Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 9500
Alpha 9500 Reviews: 106 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $7950. USD
Description: Fully-automatic 160-10M amplifier, successor to the 87A. Uses a single 8877 tube in grounded-grid configuration. Integrated antenna switching, full QSK with vacuum relay.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rfconcepts.com
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Page 1 of 11 —>

9Y4W Rating: 2/5 Dec 18, 2014 14:40 Send this review to a friend
Major problems in year 3  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the unit in January 2012 and had good results first, See my earlier review.
Unfortunately, in 2013 i lost the transformer, just out of the blue and with the unit sitting idle on standby. RF Concepts replaced the transformer under warranty.
Now yesterday, about 90 seconds into the 3-Minutes-warm-up, crackling, bang, smoke, darkness.
First visual inspection showed 3 high-v caps in the plate supply fired through as well as a 25 Ohms / 25 W resistor on the mains board, and the 2 A fuse in the back.
Waiting on word from RF Concenpts. It appears, some components can't take the tropical environment. I hope RF Concepts will come up with a customer friendly solution.
I think i need a backup amp to this one here :-(
 
AA6VB Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2014 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Best Amp I've Ever Owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this amp about two years and it has worked flawlessly! It is a pleasure to use and loafs along at full power. Tolerates a relatively high swr on the band edges (to about 2.8/1) on 160 meters with no problems. This amp is everything I expected from a high end piece of equipment and more. I am extremely pleased.

73,

Bob/AA6VB
 
K4VUD Rating: 0/5 Dec 2, 2014 02:05 Send this review to a friend
I gave up on it  Time owned: more than 12 months
After struggling with my new 9500, I had to take the bath and sell it. Operated in Asian nation two yrs.
Problem 1...Blower squirrel cage hit its housing due to vibration pad deforming. Fix, Alpha sent me a new blower assembly and in couple mo. that also deformed and required RTV attempted fix.
Problem 2... tuning to part of band not segment programmed (manual does not explain doing this is mandatory) and xmitting burned out the SMD resistor that Alpha calls a fuse and other components on the controller board. Fix, Alpha sent free parts to replace by local expert.
Problem 3... Normal correct tuning and operation, a couple of the disk caps off the output of the tube burned up and arc to cabinet, more parts on controller board burned too. Alpha sent free parts to replace by local expert. Up graded caps now offered on Alpha parts list.
Problem 4... Normal correct tuning and operation, amp suddenly went to full plate current and half plate voltage. Condx existed then when turned full on, no drive, no PTT. Sent to factory and sold thereafter.

Overall... auto selection of antenna socket has mind of its own, band segment programming flaky, and will not tolerate much line voltage fluctuation and auto search keeps searching; lock up at 220 not solution either.

Sum... this is a hot house plant meaning it needs very careful programming and very steady line voltage and watching for random socket selection on its own. Not suitable outside a very well controlled shack temp, humidity, and line voltage.
 
W2PP Rating: 1/5 Nov 25, 2014 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Bad investment   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Mine self destructed just sitting on the table, Nope no RF applied. Sent it back and got it returned in working order. Then they upgraded the firmware and it was in operable. They took it back, I got it back in working order, well sorta, it was slow to tune, never did get it just right. Then it magically started changing antennas without any input from me. Nice of course it tripped off. I dumped it. That was enough. Got an ACOM 2000a and two years later REALLY love my ACOM
 
KB8ZGL Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2014 07:07 Send this review to a friend
My first amp, amazing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It took a rewire of my entire house to hook up the proper electrical for this AMP, but it was worth every hour to do it right!

The amp is really something special on 220V. I loved working pileups on 100W, but not it is even more fun with 1.5KW!

I wouldn't go any other way if I had to chose again. Just finished a 2 hour stint on W1AW/8 with this amp and it just purred along!
 
WB0O Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2014 13:17 Send this review to a friend
Happy Customer. No Tune and Easy Remote Operation  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the 9500 for about a year now, and have been very pleased. It is fun and easy to bust the DX pile-ups with this amp. Easy to operate, I don't think I have yet read every page in the manual. The relays and the fan can sometimes get a bit loud, but never have interfered with my operating. The free remote software works flawlessly on my pc, so if I wanted I could put this amp farther from my operating position. I echo the other comments about the antenna selection switch sometime surprising me, but that is about the only issue I have experienced. Love this amp, and patiently waiting for their new tuner to be released.
 
K4DRA Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2014 16:51 Send this review to a friend
Out Standing  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the Alpha 9500 for about 8 months now and am very pleased with it. It works flawless and I really did not realize how much I would like being able to change bands with out tuning up. I would recommend this amplifier to anyone.
Its a typical Alpha. Excellent quality and service. I have owned several amps over the years. QRO 2500,Alpha 78,91B and still have a 77SX. This one is right there at the top for me. I use it more than the 77SX.
 
N2ETJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2014 13:01 Send this review to a friend
STRICTLY THE BEST  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my 9500 for a year now and it is flawless. I have had the 91b 99 8100 8410 and they were great amps also but this one is the cats meow............... not much more I can say that hasn't been said except waiting for your 4040 tuner so I can put finishing touches on station. Thanks Alpha
 
N5JB Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2013 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Satisfied Alpha customer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Generally I am quite satisfied with my Alpha 9500. In my search for a no-tune-up amplifier have owned other Alphas, a 78A, an 87A and now the 9500. By far the 9500 is truly a no tune up amp. Like a K3, if you have one, the 9500 is a daily learning experience. It is tough to know all that it will really do and to remember how to do it all.

I agree with the comments that K4VUD offered about the 4 position antenna switch having a mind of its own. I have multiple antennas on the same band. I am never sure which antenna the 9500 will pick. It is a frustration. Of course it usually picks the one I don't want. I don't know how it does that. Must be the ESP feature. I need to load the new firmware, clear out the old memories and start over. UGH!!

I do like the 3:1 VSWR limit of the 9500 vs the 2:1 limit of the 87A. It now covers the whole band on most of my antennas and has allowed me to eliminate the need for a tuner.

I also like the stout bypass relays. If I want to I can run the full 500W output of my K3 #2 and KPA500 through the 9500 and out to one of the antennas on the 4 position antenna switch. Most amps limit the bypass power to 100W max. Sometimes I have to do this while the 9500 is warming up.

One thing I do not like at all is that the 9500 metering does not want to even smell a signal on 6M even in the standby position. If I feed my K3 #1 6M output through the 9500 to one of my 6M antennas the metering displays all kinds of nutty numbers and does strange stuff. The 9500 just doesn't like the 6M capability on our modern day transceivers. UGH!!

I am a CW operator and the 9500 relaying is a bit noisy, but I can and do live with it.

On the whole I am very satisfied with my Alpha 9500 amplifier and you will be too.
 
N0AZZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2013 04:33 Send this review to a friend
This One Is A Keeper  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned 11 amps in the last 7 years always trying new ones. Had 2 over that time that stayed for a while the Yaesu VL-1000 the longest mainly because of HF/6m 4 yrs. and an Alpha 87A.

I have now cut back on amps to the ones I plan on keeping for a while an Elecraft KPA500/KAT500 tuner HF/6m a large 2m amp and my main HF amp the Alpha 9500 and 87A for backup.

The 9500 is truly the finest amp that I have ever owned. Any of you that have owned one that opened them up notices right off the quality of the work that goes into them.

With the 9500 Alpha set a new mark for sure in quality amps. I have gotten excellent audio reports form people around the country and what kind of new mic I was running nada same one just a new amp these were from people that I knew.

Yesterday used it in the first contest since receiving it the 10m I was working very difficult DX with it in usually 1 or 2 calls.

The built in protection of this is amazing for sure don't ask me know I know this but it's bullet proof.
 
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