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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: 90 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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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.

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
K6TTD Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2013 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Design, Smooth Operation & Reasonably Priced  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am not a QRO operator, but I have a pretty modest antenna setup (a 2 element STEPPIR @ 30') because I live on a small city lot with no back yard, and my "shack" is also VERY cramped. I wanted to have a couple of extra dB in reserve for pileups when the conditions get rough. I had owned an AL-811, and it performed very well, but it was far too massive for my current shack. I wanted a small, self contained solid state amp that could produce up to about 800 watts PEP. The SPE Expert 1K has more than met my needs. after a quick read-through of the manual, set up was fast and straightforward. It produces the power I need, includes its own auto-tuner so band switching is a breeze. I am the original owner, and have been using it now for over three years without a problem. It has been a flawless performer, and was, IMHO, very reasonably priced for what you get. You can't go wrong with this one.
IZ2XMK Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2013 05:09 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding design greath product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am typically using just 200w Max and absolutely not a QRO guy but wanted to get an amplifier because I believe for a complete and well settled ham station to have the option to increase the power (in emergency cases)must be possible.
This product is compact and providing in an extremely straightforward and efficient way high quality power. You will have no problems with valves heating time or manual tuning; just switch it on and auto-tune...will take fraction of seconds ..You will se by Yourself. I am very satisfied and considering I am using it not so frequently I simply needed an equipment able to provide very high quality power on the spot. In addition this "guy" is very clever and will not allow mistakes. Until now I have to report just positive aspects and no problems at all. Based on my experience so far I recommend this product.
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