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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: 81 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $4200 USD
Description: 1 KW Solid State Fully Automatic Linear Amplifier HF and 50Mhz

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.expertampsusa.com
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K4ZMV Rating: 1/5 Oct 15, 2010 12:02 Send this review to a friend
Nice amplifier, poor support  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my SPE 1K-FA from SteppIR in December, 2009. My exciter for the amplifier is a K3. The initial set up and programming of the 1K-FA was very simple and straight forward. The amp requires 25 watts or less of RF to drive it to full output. I used the amplifier for ten months without any problem to speak of. I did notice that the 1K-FA is very sensitive to temperature and will reduce power as the temperature rises. I am a CW only operator and primarily a DX'er, so not much of a problem to me. In August, 2009, I noticed that the T/R relay was sticking (not releasing to receive). I called SteppIR and was informed that the T/R relay would only switch at 15 ms. I had my K3 set to 8 ms. There is no information from SPE or SteppIR regarding that problem. I was advised to set my switching speed to 15 ms and the problem 'might go away'. Well, it did not and I was advised to ship the amplifier to SteppIR in Bellevue, Washington. The shipping cost was over $100. Even though the amp was still under warranty, I was responsible for the return shipping. SteppIR received the amplifier on September 15, 2010. I know that only because UPS notified me via email of delivery. After hearing nothing for three weeks, I called and was told SteppIR was waiting for parts from SPE. I called again a week later and was informed that SPE had still not sent any parts. I was told that they could replace the T/R switch, but they would not guarantee the problem would not occur again and that I needed an upgrade kit with firmware. I opted for the upgrade. I still have no idea when I will get the amplifier back.

The SPE 1K-FA cost me $4095, plus shipping. I would expect better support for that amount of money. I also know that SteppIR has a number of 1K-FA's waiting for repair for the same reason and for other computer related problems. It would be my advice to some one thinking about purchasing an SPE amplifier to consider other amplifiers in the same price range.

Jim, K4ZMV
 
GM4PLM Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2010 04:59 Send this review to a friend
need a compact HF amp for your shack - this is it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
this little power house is a dream to own and use.

I bought this to run on HF and 6M with my Icom IC-7600. Its a perfect match!

The linear is quiet, compact, reliable and easy to drive, with a clear and helpful display.

Its has some fine features such as 2 radio ports, 4 antenna ports, CAT control/CIV port etc, plus some great touches like the super back lit LCD display with large bargraphs.

I really love this amp. Everyone who visits the shack is immediately drawn to this box!

I get some lovely reports on air with it, and I hardly ever have to do anything apart from switch it on!

I read a lot of good things about this amp- its all true!

Highly recommended!
 
VK3IDX Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2010 04:40 Send this review to a friend
definitely recommend  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Compared to my previous Valve amp, this is a pleasure to use. Some of the main differences :
1. Immediate start (no warm up)
2. No tuning
3. No noisy fan
4. small footprint
5. Totally compatable with my Icom,Yaesu & TenTec i.e It follows band changes automatically, and even turns on/off simultaneously with my radio
6. Built in ATU
7. 2 x inputs
8. 4 x antenna outputs
9.Great service from RF Solutions, which is the local Australian approved dealer. Carsten , the owner has been very helpful and great customer service! 2 year warranty.
Im glad after all the research I did, that I made the choice to get the SPE. High Quality, Professional looking with an excellent informative screen display as well.
So far, so good. Il review again if i have any more updates as time goes on, as Ive only had the unit a relatively short time. So far its 5 from me!
 
G7CNF Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2010 01:34 Send this review to a friend
Two years on  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had the Mark III amp for over two years, very dependable, runs 400w fully duty data on 6m without complaining and needless to say loafs along at full UK limit on any band.

Otherwise it's all be said already...

Keeper for sure.
 
KE4GRP Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2010 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp, Great Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received the SPE Expert last week after about a two month wait. I am still running it through its paces, but everything seems to working just fine. So far, I have gotten great reports and have broken the pile ups with the first call.

I had trouble at first hooking it up to my Kenwood TS 480HX. I sent SPE in Italy a note about it, fully expecting to wait a long time for an answer, but my questions were answered within 24 hours. Thanks, Dante.

Looking forward to many years of service from this amp.

Chuck
K4GRP
 
G3RCE Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2010 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Best ever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Greetings fellow radio hams.
Just a very brief few comments on my Expert 1K-FA
Collected it from Ron Stone GW3YDX (http://www.vinecom.co.uk) a week ago, I have to say that Ron provides the best service you could ever want, I've had several items from him over the past 5 years, with only a couple of minor problems which were very quickly resolved.
I was amazed at the packing, double boxes, I'd even trust UPS with this.
Very easy to use, I've only had 1 fan come on sofar, in several cw qsos. This amp is a delight to use. I will give an update later when I've spent more time with it
73 Rob G3RCE
 
DK3HV Rating: 4/5 May 12, 2010 23:11 Send this review to a friend
great support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a used one from a Ham in HB9 some time ago. Due to a personal move I could not use the amplifier in short time after the purchase. Started to use it first time around 6 month later and had several trouble to get it running. After short mail exchange with the factory in Italy I send my amp to Italy. Within 3 weeks I received the amp back and it works since that moment in perfect condition. So, great service here in Europe, great and fast communication to respond to the enduser. Good luck
 
W4GRJ Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2010 20:20 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING Amplifier  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned the 1K-FA for about 7 months. It only requires a very small amount of drive, about 10 watts in half power and 18 watts in full power to reach maximum output. The software & CAT for local and remote control are excellent. The multiple protection circuits are second to none. The support from Steppir and direct from Italy has been excellent.
 
M0EDX Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2010 06:49 Send this review to a friend
Your best buy ever  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using my SPE 1-KFA Expert amplifier for a few months now.

I have purchased my first Expert from Ron, GW3YDX, who was great to assist me with my purchase. In any case, I was a returning customer and previously bought Acom 1000 from Ron, too.

Unfortunately, my first Expert had a factory fault - the mains transformer failed so did the fans. I was told that it was a unique fault.

The amplifier was repaired under warranty by Ron, GW3YDX, and posted back to me within 10 days.

Unfortunately, the fault developed further and after some negotiations Ron, GW3YDX sent me a brand new Expert amplifier. Great service and I was not let down as a customer.

Thanks to Ron, GW3YDX. Buy with confidence from him (http://www.vinecom.co.uk, Vine Antenna).

Now from the practical point of view.

I have had Ameritrons, LinAmps, Acoms, Icoms. Now the SPE 1-KFA Expert.

The closest match was ICOM IC-1PW.

The Expert beats them all.

The size of the Expert is even smaller than the IC-746. It operates flawlessly, takes very little space.

The output is consistent on all the bands. Mine actually does some 15% more power then advertised. Using a dummy load the meter shows some 1200 W on some bands, including 10 m.

The amplifier will require setting up, that is, you need to "teach" the tuner about the frequencies in segments. Some 10 minutes job. Note, though, if the antenna's SWR changes, the tuner will not follow the change, so you will have to return your amplifier just for that part of the band (5 seconds job).

The amplifier may get warm and will reduce the power to half power if it gets very hot. Same as any other amplifier, I guess.

Ron, GW3YDX has provided me with an Icom lead so I could automatically operate my HRD software. The amplifier will also sense the frequency if you just transmit a dot or say a word.

Great thing if you use different transceiver.

I am quite happy about the amplifier. Are there any better amplifiers ? No to my knowledge. Would I buy again ? Yes.

73 !

Anton, M0EDX

www.m0edx.com
 
KL7AC Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2010 20:29 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not had a lot of amps in the past as my experience with them has always left a lot to be desired, the Expert has changed that.

My very old FL-7000 was wonky at best (gave it to N4ATS), and my old Henry 2KD Classic, while a fine amp, was just too loud to bear.

I ordered the Expert from the folks at SteppIR, and after a long wait of two months received the amp.

As others have described you do need to spend a few minutes programming the tuner but once done you are ready to go. On the air the amp is quiet, powerful and so easy to operate. Have had a great time generating some pileups to EU in the evening.

I hope to have this amp a very long time.
 
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