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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SPE Expert 1K-FA Help

Reviews Summary for SPE Expert 1K-FA
SPE  Expert 1K-FA Reviews: 83 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $ 2700 Euro
Description: 1 KW Solid State Fully Automatic Linear Amplifier HF and 50Mhz

Product is in production.
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DD4DA Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2014 13:46 Send this review to a friend
900Watts - great job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I decide me for that AMP instead using an ICOM PW1Euro reasoned by the size of the ICOM and the prize of the Unit, that's doubled. I know that ICOM uses two PA unit's thats similar designed as in the IC-7800/IC-7700 that's blowed a couple of time. I like it more compact and this is payed by the noise of the EXPERT's blower. Well, compared by the datasheets, the PW1 even the most other Mosfet-PA's don't like Operation modes with longer on-air duty-cycles like RTTY, FAX or others. The Expert 1K-FA's small design with there small blowers and less room for a bigger coolerblock in Addition with the smaller transformer is responsible for that. The only one MOsfet i know who can handle 100% duty-Cycle for 24/7 Hours was the JRC's JRL-2000F and JRL-3000F.
They are very noisy reasoned by the used 120x120mm 146cm³ air-stream volume blower for the PA block and the switched mode power supply.
well, i am not need that for just a couple of qso's a year i had the time left, actually.
The amp is very fast linked with an ICOM Tranceiver that's supports CAT. The shipped RCA-Stereo-Cables for Relay and ALC are in bad Quality - they are unsoldered or not finaly crimped properly. I am recommend to replace them soon. I decide me to build me a single cable solution that all required lines that's need.
All required signals are available at the 15pin connector on the backside for each input. Maybe CAT6e Cable can do the Job, is cheap, good available and each wire pair is well shielded.
The antenna tuner wrks as decripted - not better as the icom IC756-pro3 internal tuner.I assume that the ATU feature is a variant of an output filter, that required anyway and protects the amplifier if the SWR line is'nt flat enought to operate without it. It's not an replacement for an external antenna tuner, if the antenna's complex reactance and impedance needs to be matched. This is a common issue of all PA's i know. The Tuning is fast and if the antenna wirks properly, a retuning is not required. The CAT Support Setup the tuner just-in-time the qrg or band is changed. The PA is very silent at normal Operation. At a contest or pileup, it's recommended to set the PA into contest mode. The blower response this with a faster run of the blower.

AB9TX Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2014 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Clean and Transparent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Wanted a little clean boost for DXing with a ground mounted vertical, so I called SPE and the local techs gave me some great insight on this fine solid state amp- what most attracted me was the complete remote capability using the windows gui. I have it mounted on a shelve in another room, silent,clean and out of sight. The build quality compares to broadcast equipment I work on. After the initial antenna table tuning procedure, it has worked seamlessly for over a year and a half- pop up the remote control software, click on and check full or half power and you are off. It will click over to half power if there are any issues- such as in my case I was getting a little rf on the rs232 control line from the PC- easy fix. It can even run with a stiff 120v line connection but I do not recommend it.
Version "3" has improved T/R relays and firmware. I have received many unsolicited audio reports from DX contacts so that means a lot to me. I give this beauty a 5-- is it as cool as glowing glass?- Probably not, but a lot more efficient.

G0MJK Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2014 03:17 Send this review to a friend
Great amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After much thought I decided to purchase this Expert amplifier as I was running out of room in the shack,and was attracted by the small footprint and the fact that i could control it from my Icom 7700. Now having used it I can say that it meets and exceeds all my expectations and I am still amazed that I can achieve such a high output from a low input. I have used numerous amps over the 25 year period that I have been licensed and this is the best by far. Be warned though the small package weighs in at over 50 lbs and I would not like to carry it any distance.
FM5GB Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2014 09:24 Send this review to a friend
bypass works !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very good amplifier : I've had it for almost 3 years and no complain. I thought I had an issue with the power supply because of an error message stating a too low PS voltage...
I asked for support and got a 24 hour answer from an engineer with close up photos of possible faulty solder or parts....
Eventually the problem was some RF getting into the RS232 line from the computer.
If you need to bypass the antenna tuner on a band you just select NO for both antennas on that band in setup. Of course It would be mutch better If the firmware would allow a real switchable bypass...
G3RCE Rating: 4/5 Aug 30, 2014 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Good amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an update to my previous review.
Buyers should be aware of two issues I have found. Firstly, the ATU cannot be bypassed, as the low pass filter is integral with it. Secondly, the amplifier frequency table is so configured that it is not possibly to use 60M.. Although the UK dealer I bought it from has asked SPE to re-write the frequency tables, SPE unfortunately cannot do that for technical reasons. They have however, taken both the ATU and 60M issue on board, and the currently-available 2K-FA has been enabled for 60M and the ATU can indeed be bypassed on that amplifier. The new 1.3K has 60M enabled and an ATU and non-ATU version will shortly be available. It's pleasing to see that a manufacturer listens and responds to our needs. My 4/5 is only because the ATU and 60M issues are a little awkward for my own set-up, but if those are not an issue to buyers, the 1K-FA comes highly recommended.
Looking forward to the 1.3K becoming available.
K5YY Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2014 13:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the opportunity to operate all three of the Expert amplifiers on a DXpedition trip this summer as 7P8YY and found all of them to be so well made, very quiet and seamless in operation. The built in tuners are so quick to tune and quiet during the process. A variety of transceivers were used and no glitches during a full 10 days of operating. The weight that some speak of reminds me of heavy duty quality construction of the 60s-80s so was no issue with me. I know for a fact that the Texas import and repair facility is quick to respond to questions and are very knowledgeable about the product. The qualifications of the technician staff are fantastic, with decades of repair experience at the highest levels of the broadcast industry and ham facilities. Get the brochure on all the Expert amps and consider this to be the last amp you would ever own. Many good reviews on eHam from qualified, long time hams who know what they are talking about.
OZ6GH Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2013 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Good fully protected amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I will not repeat what other has written about the amplifier. It is a good robust design, I will think it is impossible to destroy.
But you have to be aware that it do not cover the 60m amateur band, neither on standby or in operation. If you want to work this band, you have to turn off the amplifier completely and use a separate antenna tuner. And it seems SPE have no intention in adding this band in the firmware. If you have no plans in using the 60m band, I can recommend this amplifier as it is a very good product, but if you want to work all HF bands, probably you should think of another amplifier.
Z81B Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2013 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Voltage from my power generator fluctuates quite a lot. The room temperature at my shack occasionally exceeds 40° Celsius. In a few months, I blew off an IC-7000 (damaged above repairs), a laptop (damaged above repairs) and a tube power amplifier. The SPE 1K-FA does not seem to suffer these conditions.

My unit was affected by "sticking relays" (it is my understanding that newer versions are not affected) and SPE promptly provided me with support. After-sale service is good.

Connect CAT + ALC + PTT and just forget about the amplifier. It is like using a high-power transceiver (1 - 1.2 KW on HF, 700Watt on 6 meters) with built-in antenna tuner. Impressive.

Having enjoyed how solid, easy and fast the SPE 1K-FA is, I can't enjoy using manual-tuning tube amplifiers anymore. I am glad I bought a SPE 1K-FA.

Z81B, Massimo
ON4XA Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2013 10:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my amp by XBS TELECOM in Belgium 2 monthes ago, I must say that I am 100% satisfied, Mister Serge, the boss of XBS came himself at home to configure and explain me all about the linear.

I use the Amp with my Kenwood TS-2000, TS-480SAT and sometimes also with my good old TS-570DG . 1K-FA is really easy to programm and very easy to work, it's fully automatic. .
Amp is giving his full power (1 Kw) with 20 watts input on all bands. Sometime also 1,2Kw on some bands. I need to reduce the power, because it's the limit for my MA5B antenna.

I worked some great countries in big pile ups, China, Cambodia, Antartica, New Caledonia, etc.. with real goods reports.
This Expert 1K-FA came in place of my Acom 1000 and RM HLA 300V and I do not regret that decision.

Pity it's not directly working from 1,6->30MHz

Communication with SPE Italy is super great.

Great amplifier.

Vy 73.

Xavier ON4XA
OZ1DXI Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2013 20:58 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm not a full blown DX'er but an average Ham using all HF bands incl 60m but excl 160m
Running mainly psk-31 and some ssb on a B-square T2FD 37 meter long (122') and a Spiderbeam plus a 4 elm quad on 6m
The SPE was purchased at and are connected to an Icom ic-7600, a dream combination - giving well over 1200 watt on all hf-bands and > 800 watt on 6m
The SPE is just plug n' play with the 7600 and HRD - taking less than a blink of an eye, from operating 10m to a "Spot" on, let's say 40m
One amazing toy with so many features in such a small package.
Highly recommended
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