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

Reviews Summary for Alpha 9500
Alpha 9500 Reviews: 112 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.
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K0CN Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2013 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Comments after 2 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been the owner of my 9500 for about 2 years now. I switched to it from using an automated 1000 watt solid state amp. At first I thought I would miss the convenience of solid state, but that just is not the case. I just finished running the CQWW-RTTY contest this weekend and the smile is still on my face. It gave me cause to reflect on some of the things I like about this amplifier. The 9500 put out 1500 watts RTTY solid for the 32 plus hours of operating time and it didn’t once complain, or skip a beat. That was about 1000 contacts. My old amplifier, even though rated as continuous duty cycle, was not able to stand up to that level of full output use.

Operating is also a pleasure, when tuning up. All I do is select a band on the exciter reduce the exciter drive level to about 10 watts and apply drive to the Alpha. The band change and the loading presets are almost instantaneous and automatic. I continue by slowly increasing the drive until it produces 1500 watts of power output from the 9500. The onboard computer and stepper motors take care of all the amplifier tuning. As I QSY up and down the bands in search and pounce mode, the 9500 automatically will follow and adjust the tuning for optimum power output as needed. When I switch to my loop antenna with balanced feed lines, I do have to match the antenna to the amp with an external tuner. This additional step takes about 30 seconds, but is only required once as I enter that band. With the latest firmware update, the amplifier is very stable and tuning is a breeze.

In an RTTY contest, it’s unusual to get comments from other stations you work. This year I received several live comments from fellow contesters i.e. “you are really really LOUD”, “strongest station I’ve heard all night” and so on. I only have a vertical antenna and a wire loop, so those kinds of complements from DX stations were not expected. I have to say it again, I love my Alpha. It has been a terrific addition to my shack. It makes an enjoyable hobby just a little bit better.
73, Al K0CN
K4ELO Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2013 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My first Alpha was an 8410. Probably the best of the manually tuned amps available. Bought it because I was having a hard time justifying the price of a 9500. It worked great but when RF Concepts had their Dayton sale last spring I just couldn't resist the high trade-in value they gave me towards a 9500.

If I was doing it again, I would definitely just buy the 9500 first. This amp is an elegant design. Features like being able to turn on the electronics without energizing the tubes so the metering and the antenna switching are working and the auto tuning make this amp a jewel. Four months of daily use and never a fault.

One more note on the auto tuning - it's really nice to be able to switch antennas and the amp re-tunes in a flash. That is one of the major reasons that I bought it. Oh yeah, and the low distortion. I get incredible signal reports driving it with a Yaesu running in class A.

Lastly, it's the great service from the folks at RF Concepts. They really do go the extra mile to make sure you are a satisfied customer. I can't say enough good things about my experience with them. If you can stretch the budget, go for it, you will not be disappointed.
KL2D Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2013 20:54 Send this review to a friend
best amp AND best service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I saved up for a while and finally took the plunge, and I couldn't be happier. The Alpha 9500 is an amazing amp!

I think the details have been beat near to death at this point, so I'll settle for saying that I agree with the reviews here that this is a truly fine piece of equipment. The fit and finish is amazing and it is a pleasure to use.

The service from RF Concepts is just as amazing as the equipment! Once I thought I was about ready to order, I called and talked to Ken and he led me through the process step by step. Every time I called with a question whoever answered the phone treated me like a long time acquaintance.

Overall, I am supremely satisfied with my purchase and would definitely do it again. I've had several other amps and there is no comparison possible with the Alpha.

To quote from an '80s movie "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." ;-)
EA7QW Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2013 08:41 Send this review to a friend
IT IS THE TOP, THE BEST ONE  Time owned: more than 12 months
Firstly I want to express my sincere thanks to Mrs. Molly (W0MOM), RFConcepts Vice President and Mr. Salvador (EA3KZ) Astroradio, S.L. manager, for their great speed, attention and efficiency in their care to my questions and doubts, after having purchased the Alpha 9500, as befits two large companies, as Astroradio, S.L. and RFConcepts.
After a year working with my Alpha 9500, I have considered it is long time enough to give an opinion about it.
I have license since 1971, and I always had linear amplifier: (2x813 homemade, 4x811 homemade, Heathkit SB-2000, Sommerkap FL-2277b, Kenwood TL-922, SPE Expert 1K-FA) and finally my Alpha 9500.
I have also one ACOM-1500 for the 6 meter band.
Needless to say, that the Alpha 9500 amplifier it is working as the most comfortable and safer than I've had. The Dx’s call response is to the first, and I can work a pile up very fast, either, in SSB, CW and RTTY, etc.
The fault protections are spectacular.
The connectivity to a transceiver and/or a PC is fabulous. I make adjustments in any band and mode, only with a CW "DitDit" in standby mode, then I must only press the operate button or a click of mouse in the PC display operate button. The Alpha 9500 is fully ready to operate on 2/5 seconds.
And most important is the ease of communication, both with the manufacturer (RFconcepts) and the Spanish dealer Astroradio, SL.
Thanks RFconcepts

Luis M (ea7qw)
K5KC Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2013 14:56 Send this review to a friend
Superior Performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am generally slow to write a review, just because reliable performance over time is exceptionally important to me. My Alpha 9500 performs flawlessly, so much so that I simply take it somewhat for granted. It ramps up the output power quickly as the input power is adjusted. I definitely want to stay under 1500 watts, and over 1000 watts. As a result, input power of 30 watts or less is used and set on a band by band basis. The automatic tuning is right on the money every time for every band. I've had friends use the station at 35 wpm and higher (I'm generally in the mid-twenties) with no concerns. This is just exactly what I wanted - an amp that works every time - perfectly. The fault protection is excellent (faults always seem to be due to some error by me), the four coax outputs are handy, and the manual tuning capability is nice. Also, I REALLY like the ability to get questions answered, the newsletter, and firmware updates / improvements. But, reliability is #1, 2, and 3 for me. The 9500 has it.
K9LZR Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2013 20:01 Send this review to a friend
What a difference!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After years of trying to work Dx with 100 watts or less I finally moved up to the kilowatt club with my Alpha 9500. All I can say is with a dipole at 30 feet ham radio is a whole new ball game! No tuning issues once you do the initial set up. It's coming up on my one year of operating with this amp and all I can think of is why didn't I get one sooner.

(Formerly WB9LZR)
NJ3A Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2013 16:37 Send this review to a friend
Horsepower to spare  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I traded in my Alpha 8100 amp for a new Alpha 9500 and can't be any more pleased. Once the amp has been auto tuned following the manual (it's not difficult)..this piece of equipment is ready to punch through the pile ups. For a reliable full legal limit amp, this hardware cannot be beat. The build of the amp is spectacular. It really is a piece of art. Be sure to have help (if you can't handle an 80 lb sack of cement)...because the amp weighs about that with the power supply installed. Once it's up and running, you'll appreciate the multiple antenna inputs, easy stand-by mode and digital readouts. If you are working it with an Alpha 9500
KI0KB Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2013 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Almost forgot.....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
One last thing I forgot to mention in comparing the ALPHA 9500 to the ACOM 2000A. The 9500 has a built in 4 port antenna switch which is a REALLY NICE addition since the 2000A only had one RF output. My antenna switching array disappeared when I got the 9500... and once again, I'm glad I bought AMERICAN this time.... Thanks Alpha.... 73 de KI0KB
K5OS Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2013 09:15 Send this review to a friend
9500 - Simply the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Alpha 9500 is the best. All you have to do is turn it on and transmit, it works flawlessly. I have never experienced a problem with my 9500. Band switching and tuning are fast and precise. I would definitely buy this amplifier again. I do love those 59+ reports.
KC2TKD Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2013 07:38 Send this review to a friend
Great results  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I may as well have a 59 signal report pre-printed in my log. This amp works flawlessly, auto band switching and tuning is fast. I traded up my Alpha 87A last summer. This amp is everything that RF Concepts claims and I am satisfied with my choice. And add to that the excellent support from the staff at RF Concepts I would recommend this amp to anyone.
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