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


Reviews Summary for Alpha 9500
Alpha 9500 Reviews: 108 Average rating: 4.9/5 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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N7BD Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2013 10:04 Send this review to a friend
First Class - Outstanding Unit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the privilege and honor of using one of these fine units for our K2O Special event aboard the Showboat Branson Belle this past weekend. It flawlessly performed non-stop for 46 hours and didn't even get warm. It is, without doubt, thge finest amplifier I've ever had the opportunity to use. While I was placing it back into the shipping box, it kept crying out, "Keep me, Keep me"! I told the XYL, "I'm not greedy, I only want one!" Her side-ways smile said it all, Don't even think about that much money! My sincere thanks the the folks at RF Concepts that made it all possible!
 
KD6BZN Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2013 23:22 Send this review to a friend
"Wow! Big Signal!"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It’s an awesome piece of machinery, well built, functions as they all say.

Being a lab-level software programmer, I especially enjoyed being able to write my own remote control software to interface the Alpha 9500 to HRD. The amp has all of the fancy test equipment built-in to measure input power, output power, and it even does the math for you and tells you the delivered power to the antenna (Delivered=Forward-Reverse). And of course, it has fault sensing that puts commercial/military amps to shame.

I do have some issues:

First, I already know what my signal report is going to be. It’s always at least “59”. Even when I’m straining to hear the other station 12,000 miles away, it’s all very predictable, it’s always “59” or “59+”. Related to this, I hear these comments from other people often: “Wow! Big signal.. didn’t know the band was in”, “Great Signal!”, etc… Again predictable… Another issue I have, and this one is serious, since my signal is “full quieting” at the other station’s antenna, the operator immediately begins to mumble into the microphone as if he’s talking to someone across the street and doesn’t have to speak loudly to be heard. So, I have to remind these folks that I am running 1500 Watts! Either get an Alpha or continue to speak up, hold your chin up and tweak the compression and filter the microphone response so I might hear you!!!

Second, Breaking pile-ups is no longer a challenge. I can work the DXpedition stations and still have time to watch TV with my wife. Depending on who you talk to, this can be a real issue, perhaps the Alpha folks can take a look at this issue for the next firmware update.


All kidding aside, the folks at Alpha and their equipment are top notch! Molly was especially helpful; She assisted my wife with the purchase process and later she answered my programming interface questions by sending some sample code to study.

Thanks for a great amplifier and thanks for building it in America.
 
AH0U Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2012 15:14 Send this review to a friend
A real work of art  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This 9500 is my third Alpha and carries on the tradition of high quality of my past two. When asked why I bought a 9500 when I already had an 87a all I could say was I love my 87a but if Alpha came out with a new model, it must be even better... and it is!!! When I removed the cover to I stall the beast of a power transformer, I was delighted to see the same craftsmanship Alpha is famous for. This amp is made in America the way things were made when "made in America" meant something special. In the future, collectors will be hoarding Alphas the same way they collect Collins today
 
K4VUD Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2012 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Gotta have one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I took Alpha's offer to take my old and bug filled 87a in plus boucoup cash and have a new 9500. The new one may have addressed the design failures of the 87a, as advertised, but brand new, it works just like they say it will.
Good news is the amp is transparent; you forget you have it on line even when you change bands and it pumps out the full gallon and a half all the time. It will stand 2.1 SWR without tripping out and on some antennas, almost 3 to 1.

Things to note.... My uncertain line voltage caused the factory to recommend I by pass the automatic line voltage selection and lock it to a lower setting. That solved a jumping of high
voltage reading up and down.

The amp has four outputs, programmable, and you can select two of the outputs to pass on RF a the same time, allowing feeding two antennas at once. It does not have more than one input, a drawback if you have two transceivers.

It makes an animal growl when it tunes, at first, which I like because it makes the amp sound like it means business. The noise comes from the motors, etc. in action and is not distrubing to me.

This is the king of the hill of auto tune tube amps and with the 8877 in there, should last a very long time. I say, treat yourself if you can.
 
K7XB Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2012 12:07 Send this review to a friend
WOW  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wow,

The 9500 is all I had hoped for and more. "If" this amp gives me years of trouble free operation, I will rate it a 5 plus. It works great and I'd hate to be without it!

I picked up my new 9500 in mid October 2012.This was my second trip to RF Concepts in Longmont, CO, but my first trip taking home one of their amps. I spent part of the afternoon talking with Molly, Tom and Ken. Molly is wonderful, Tom was very helpful and Ken is the kind of person that gives up his free time to help others. RF Concepts, quality people making quality products. Thanks

Steve, K7XB
 
NC6K Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2012 15:31 Send this review to a friend
It Is What I Thought It Was - Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Sorry for the lame attempt at stealing a football quote, but there's no doubt that the 9500 is everything the manufacturer says it is. I bought a refurbished amp directly from RF Concepts (they did a full checkout and burn-in after replacing the final) to save a few dollars. I am definitely NOT disappointed.

I've used this amp for DXing, contests and ragchewing on all HF bands (except 60M). It's not only able to put out full legal limit to my hexbeam and 43' vertical (without a tuner), but does so for hours on end. I've been able to work stations that I could barely pull out of the noise with my Yaesu FT-5000MP, which is no slacker either. I've been able to run for several hours in contests at full power with only the fan speed increasing to let me know the amp is working hard. For the first two weeks I had it, I had to run it on 110 V and it performed admirably, putting out around 1000-1200 W. Once I switched over to 240 V, the difference in current draw (no more dimming lights when I keyed the transmitter) and output was quite evident.

If you can afford/justify the expense, this amp is well worth it. It's beautifully constructed and very easy to use. The few times that I've driven it to fault (wrong antenna, too much drive, etc.), it reset immediately when I pressed the correct button and went right back to working smoothly.
 
AA6VB Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2012 16:19 Send this review to a friend
Worth Every Penny  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not much to add to what has been written, except that the amp provides the performance and quality you would expect from equipment in this price range.

While it's true the receiving station can't tell what amp is generating the signal, it sure makes me feel great knowing it's an Alpha 9500 pumping out the power on my end!

Comfortably generates 1500 watts of auto tune, anto band changing power - and it's whisper quiet!

73 from a very happy owner,

Bob AA6VB
 
K5DBM Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2012 11:52 Send this review to a friend
RF Concepts and the Alpha 9500  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
You've read all the technical reviews. Here's my take on the experience as a whole. Simply put, RF Concepts does what they say they'll do and the Alpha 9500 does what they say it will do. Excellent experience all the way around. They don't give it away but I am comfortable that I got my moneys worth and I believe the 9500 will be the center piece in my shack for a long time to come. I'd do it again - that says it all.
 
W1DXH Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2012 20:21 Send this review to a friend
work horse and prompt professional service  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I took andvantage of trade in program offered and parted ways with my faithful 89.I am not rich but understand you get what you pay for and this is a investment which will last me for years to come.There are not many ham items that appreciate in value with age like Alpha amps do. It is fine piece of equipment with plenty of headroom for RTTY,and will go on effortlessly on CW/SSB.Alpha has exceptional service,Molly is a pleasure to work with. Alpha made in U.S.A
 
W9KTP Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2012 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp/Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rewarded myself on my 70th birthday with the Alpha 9500 and couldn't be happier. I was very careful sliding the transformer into the chassis since there are circuit boards on one side and components on the other. It took a few tries but it fit beautifully. It was a pleasant surprise that the amp automatically selects the antenna and settings when I key my ICOM 765 (which doesn't have a lot of the fancy features newer rigs have). I've gotten 599/59 reports on all my DX contact so far. Why did I wait so long?
 
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