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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | ALPHA 78 Help


Reviews Summary for ALPHA 78
ALPHA 78 Reviews: 40 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $3495
Description: 3X 8874
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rkrdesignsllc.com
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You can write your own review of the ALPHA 78.

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W8SPM Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2015 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I first saw a Alpha 78 in 1983 while on vacation in Florida and said to myself someday I want to own a Alpha 78 ? Well 32 years later I found one in near new condition with the original Eimac 3CX400A7 tubes still in it ? I myself have never heard of a amplifier with original tubes that was 32 years old ? What a joy to operate in the band-pass position and the amplifier still does the legal limit with low grid and plate levels! This is a statement of the Quality of the Vintage Alpha Amplifiers! Dick Byrd-N4UQ installed the Warc Bands and a full check-up of this amp in 2010 and his paperwork and testing came with the amplifier ! No sticky paint here and the amplifier looks like brand new and I believe it is all original? Sam W8SPM
 
N8ZRD Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2015 03:21 Send this review to a friend
Top Shelf!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just acquired an excellent condx example of the Alpha 78! Still makes 1500+ on all bands with original 8874's. I have had numerous other amplifiers in my 20+ years as a ham but none compare to the quality and usability of this amp! It will stay here in the shack for the duration!
Tnx es 73
Kent
N8ZRD
 
K5UX Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2015 19:59 Send this review to a friend
Best I've owned  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought this one from a friend that restored/upgraded to a pair of 3CPX800A7's and hefty Peter Dahl transformer that delivers plenty of plate voltage. This is my second 78 and I have never used the manual tune function. The bandpass function has always produced plenty of power with low grid current. Give it about 50 watts of drive and you get an easy KW output. The 78's are easy to troubleshoot and work on. The internal layout and construction quality is typical Alpha. Other than the front panel push-button switches, everything else is easy to find on the internet.
 
K1VC Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2015 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased new 1986 from ETO (as it was known back then). Only one problem back in 1988, sent it to ETO to get it fixed and add 10 meters. Best investment ever. It was in storage for over 10 years due to college, career, and family. Took it out of storage and fired up like it was never off line. Worked many cw contests since putting it back in line and a couple of dxpeditions (FT5ZM and K1N). Real easy to tune and I like the bandpass function. Plan on keeping this amplifier for a long time. If you can find one, you won't regret it !
 
WA0HHX Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2014 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Solid 29 years later  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased new 1986. Never had a problem. Sent to Alpha 2012 for factory test of current status. Passed 100%. 8874's remain at spec.
All in all this was a great investment. Also own Henry 3k and new Alpha 9500. 78 holds its own. I have had few other pieces of electronics in my 51 years as a ham as dependable. The ONLY issue is that the red SWR reading meter ink has faded to invisible. Otherwise if you get one that has been treated properly you can't go wrong. Highly rated.
 
NO9C Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2014 06:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my 78 for three years now. It's used for RTTY contesting and works great. I normally run just under 1500 watts at all times when contesting - and even in bandpass mode, I've had no issues. (Don't try that power level in bandpass mode unless your antennas present a very good match!) This was all with the original tubes!

I have recently had it down to N4UQ for the two tube upgrade and am looking forward to the upcoming contest season!



 
KY5Q Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2014 08:50 Send this review to a friend
Best amp I have ever owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Alpha for around 5 years now. I bought it from a fellow that upgraded to a newer Alpha, and I will hopefully follow that trend and make someone else a good deal when I upgrade to the 8410 or 9500. This amp is almost idiot-proof and able to tolerate my accidental abuse when I inadvertently transmit while my SteppIR is still tuning. There is no better amp on the market today.
 
W0AD Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2013 12:57 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I worked at ETO in the late 70's when we built these amps and never thought I could afford one.

I was lucky enough to buy this amp from a local for parts due to the soft 8874s, and was able to purchase a pair of 3CPX800A7s from a YCCC buddy.

I asked Gary, our Twin Cities repair whiz to do the upgrade, as well as the low drive mod.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9691

Result: Shockingly amazing performance. 1500+++ on all bands with 33w of drive and 30ma of grid current. Easy no tune 80-10, and 17M is a dial up on the manual 15M position.

When I worked at ETO, we always thought that the iron core transformers in the 76 series were better than the Hypersil due to lower voltage drop with the iron core transformer, and I was concerned doing the mod with the Hypersil. However, it just worked fine and did what it was supposed to do. Voltage+current = output.

I'm more impressed now than I was 30 years ago with the architecture for this box. No component arcing issues, even though the output can be way more than the design parameters. The Hypersil transformer just works. I use the higher voltage SSB position, which seems to be a good place for the 3CPX800A7s.

I was always worried about the 8874s even though everybody said that they were strong tubes. 30 years on a 8874 with a replacement cost of $800 each from Richardson? With the 3CPX800A7s, I don't have to worry any more.

Would I like an auto bandswitched amp? Of course! However, for much less than $2K invested in QRO, I'll reach over and change the bandswitch!


Best regards,

Paul W0AD
 
N3NEP Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2013 14:37 Send this review to a friend
High Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this amp used and have owned it for over 2yrs now and it is without a doubt the best amp I have ever owned. The bandpass tuning is very handy during contests.
 
N0IRM Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2012 10:26 Send this review to a friend
TOP QUALITY EQUIPMENT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a late serial number Alpha 78 recently that has been to N4UQ for the 3cpx800 upgrade along with adding the WARC bands and replacement of the input RF connector.

First off, the original construction quality of the amp is VERY nice, from the the internals to the cabinet is top quality. The bandpass “no tune” feature is great for contesting and quick band switching.

Then adding on top of the Alpha quality, N4UQ completed all of his mods including a new set of 3CPX800 tubes. Mr Byrd's work is nothing short of top quality also, matching or exceeding the original workmanship. Even down to the screen printing of the face to include the WARC band positions. The amp will work along producing legal limit now without effort.

I cant say enough about the Alpha 78, it is a top quality piece of equipment that was way ahead of its time from Alpha, that was improved upon by N4UQ. I would highly recommend one of these amplifiers or any work by Dick Byrd.

Kent
N0IRM
 
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