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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ten-Tec Titan 425 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Titan 425
Ten-Tec Titan 425 Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $3195.00
Description: Full QSK, pair of 3CX800A7 tubes, 1500W output.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.qsl.net/tentec/
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WD0CT Rating: 4/5 Jul 28, 2005 03:42 Send this review to a friend
nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I owned one in near mint condition a few months. It is a sweet amp with low fan noise, good power, quiet vacuum relay qsk, easy tuning and 2 pieces for ease of moving the rf deck around.

I noticed a bit of drift on the tuned input on several bands over time from just turning on to a while later. This input drift also went up with more drive. I regarded this as not that serious but my 950 did like to use it's internal tuner at times.

Coax jumper length from rig to amp had an effect on input match. I believe this means the input Q is not as it should be.

Overall I enjoyed it a lot and would buy another if I found one at a good price.

I sold it to a ham I talk with. The filter caps started going out 2 weeks later.
 
N4DEK Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2004 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Sweet Amplifier  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought mine from the original owner who bought it new back in 1988. Still looks and works just like a brand new one. This one has never been sent back to Ten-Tec for any reason and it is a pleasure to operate. Full legal limit output with 40-45 watts on most bands. Very easy to exceed legal limit with this one. Tune-up is super smooth on all bands including 10 meters. Runs very quite and never gets hot even at extended periods of legal limit yammer yammer. I really like the seperate power supply that sits on the floor out of the way and makes the RF deck very light and compact. Both analog and digital watt meters are nice and seem to be very accurate. Vacuum relays are very quite. I've owned many legal limit amplifiers and this one is by far my favorite one to date. Great amplifier.
 
KD7EFQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2003 22:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp! Great Value Used!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is to update my earlier review. Still going strong, smooth and quiet. Next to the Centurion, this is Ten Tec's best of the big amps The later Titan's seem to have noisy blowers from the ones I've heard on the air, but I'm sure they too are good amps. I referred to a tune up problem on the Centurion in my previous review, but found out it had a loose nut on the plate loading cap. after it was tightened, it worked fine so I needed to change my earlier review. You don't see the Titan 425 used very often, but if you can get a mid to late 90's model in good shape, it'll cost half of a new 1500 watt amp, and do just as good.
3CX800A7 Tubes are expensive to replace, but if you watch your drive / grid current, they will last a long time, and are cleaner / better quality than their rusky cousin 4CX800A's. Get one if you can find a good used one like I did. I'm Keeping Mine!
 
KD7EFQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2003 23:48 Send this review to a friend
A Classic!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the good fortune to come across a Titan 425 "Gold Series" amp, #49 from the special limited production 2nd run of this amp. I was impressed at how easy it tunes and runs. I feel this may be the best of Ten Tec's Big amps. I had a Centurion that was a very good amp, but a little bit finnicky with grounding and tuning. If everything wasn't just right, it would arc a little in the tank circuit. Not so with the Titan. It has never even flinched. The tubes are expensive now, but honestly, I have never run an amp hard enough to worry about tube life, and 3cx800's can be found at a fair price if you shop around for medical overstocks and good pulls. Ten Tec still supports this amp as much as they can, however several major parts such as blower and plate current meter are no longer available. For my style of casual operating / DX'ing, it should last, as long as I take care on grid current. It's a keeper in my book.
 
K2XX Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2003 11:22 Send this review to a friend
I love mine!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased two used Titan 425's about a year ago. After using the first one for a couple of months, I was so impressed with the amp's features that I bought a second one as a backup. Of course, my frame of reference is colored by the fact that I was "modernizing" from vintage amps: a 30S1 and a Viking Thunderbolt

I especially like the remote power supply, which allows me to more effectively use the limited space in my small shack. It is quite a pleasure to only have to pick up a 14 lb. RF deck when maintenance is required. Even the 58 lb. power supply is, relatively speaking, fairly easy to deal with.

The physical layout and easy access to many of the components makes maintenance relatively painless without major surgery. All leads are labeled (numbered)and keyed to the schematics in the manual. One does not even have to heat up a
soldering iron to replace the filter capacitors: just remove two screws and slip out the electrolytic.

On the other hand, I was really shocked when I had to replace the plate ammeter to find that it was mounted into the front panel with double-sided tape and airplane glue! And, although judging only superficially, the quality of the meter seems about one step above the one in my novice DX-35. (Replacement cost was $42 from TenTec.) The meter is also very susceptible to displacement of the needle position by static electricity buildup on the plastic window. (BTW, easily available anti-stat from the grocery store takes care of the problem.)

The plate voltage readout seems to easily lose
calibration. I have also had to make frequent replacements of the filter capacitors. However, both of the previous owners had only used the amp sparingly, and it was to be expected that the electrolytics would deteriorate with disuse. I replaced all of them in both amps and have not had a problem since. (Buy the electrolytics from Mauser or the like at half of TenTec's price.)

73, Joe
 
K2TA Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2003 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Works Well - But getting old  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought my 425 a month ago used from W3NBC who took excellent care of it. Even had the custom cover for it. After a month of daily operation the OVERDRIVE LED would light even with 5 watts of drive. I was getting RST 595...bad hum. One of the Mallory caps in the PS opened. Ten-Tec gets $30/each...Newark Electronics gets $17. The fan is noisy but I don't find it annoying. I was concerned that it was "going south" and wrote to Ten-Tec to ask about getting a replacement. Bad news...no longer available. Wonder what the Titan II uses for a fan? It is easy amp to "set and forget" once you chart the settings for CW/Phone sections of each band. I love the QSK. I'd buy one again. Did I mention it matches my Omni-V and the XYL has given it her blessing?

NOTE FROM TEN-TEC RE: TITAN FAN REPLACEMENT

Dear Tom:

We are sorry but the Titan fan is no longer available. We disassembled the
Titan fan and placed rubber grommets on many mounting screws in order for
the fan to run quieter, it is possible that the grommets have become hard
and are no longer doing the job.

73,
Paul R. Clinton
WD4EBR
Service Manager
 
W5IM Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2002 22:32 Send this review to a friend
A good amp  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this amp used. It had been back to Ten Tec and had the high voltage rectifiers upgraded and the amp checked out for proper operaton. The person who sold it to me said that he had not used the amp since he had received it back from Ten Tec. I tried the amp out and it work very well, but when I switched the band switch to 20 meters everything went blank. I discovered that one of the stops on the band switch shaft had been left too close to the meter switch board and shorted out the 28 volt supply, frying the 28 volt rectifier diodes, smoking a 1 ohm resistor in the supply line, and burning a trace in two on the power supply board before the fuse blew. It took me a while to find the burnt trace, but I finally found it and soldered a jumper accross it. Moved the shaft stop so it wouldn't touch the board again, replaced all the defective components, and replaced the fuse. Put it back on the air and it has preformed flawlessly since. My only complaint is the noisy fan. I understand that the fan was changed to a dual speed fan in later models and that probably helps a bunch. The amp is very clean and is very forgiving. It works best with Ten Tec gear, but will work with any exciter. I get nothing but good reports when using the amp. I like the seperate power supply idea and wish Ten Tec would have kept that feature in the new Titan. I would rate it as a 5 except for the fan, but probably if I had a later model with the quieter fan, I would have no problem rating it 5. I guess the only drawback is the cost of the tubes, but if you take good care of the amp, the tubes should last you a long time. Probably will last longer than I do.
 
AC5XP Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2002 19:37 Send this review to a friend
Well constructed amplifier, very good linearity  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this amplifier in the early nineties, must have been one of the last ones they made. It is constructed well, and came standard with a high-speed Kilovac relay for full break-in, which I liked for AMTOR operation. Most competitors make you pay extra for that.
I tested the amplifier once with a dual-carrier input and a spectrum analalyzer on loan from my employer and could not believe my eyes: 3rd order product almost 40 dB down from PEP , 5th order virtually not visible any more, at 1700 watts into a military Bird dummy-load.
The concept of having the power supply in a separate case is actually nice, it allows for a relatively small box on the desk, not much bigger than my FT-990
The unit is easy to operate and is very forgiving against operator error. The internal fan is very quiet and actually has two speed positions.
The combination of two 3CX800A7 triodes in parallel (as this tuner uses) is probably the best for any HF amplifier. It offers excellent linearity at legal limit, and only loafs at 1500 watts full legal. Not much drive power is required and the two triodes seem to last quite a long time, although I had no opportunity to check this last statement (yet), see below.
Problem with this (and any) power amplifier is that such high power levels require good antennas, a good high-power tuner and a friendly neighbor. To start with the tuner, the Titan burned up my newly purchased MFJ-989Cin minutes. After I repaired that tuner (long story, see my 989C review) I had a continuing problem with a neighbor who owned a junk stereo and did not let me fix it on his side. That really took away the joy of using high power I must say. I haven't used the amplifier since, must have about an hour of milage on it because of that neighbor. So you have to realize that high power brings in a boat-load of problems you initially do not realize: My advice, if it works with 100 watts, stick to it.
But the amplifier is great, no question about that. Too bad TenTec came out with the cost-reduced version later which does not have the parallel 3CX800A7 tubes any more.
 
SM0FLY Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2001 16:52 Send this review to a friend
Excellent one !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi,
I got my 425 in 1988 and own it now for 13 years. It has been in operation since than almost every day at max legal power on CW & SSB. The only minor problems were:
1. After 1 week of operation in 1988, the grid current protection circuit failed. One of the transistors was blown ( probably not over dimensioned as it should be ). Replaced it with a heavier type and all worked fine since than.

2. After 10 years a small resistor in the power supply ( switch on surge delay circuit ) went down. A power/current calculation showed that the resistor was desigend at it's max power limit. Replaced it with a new one ( higher power rated ) and all ok .

Note:
I am not operating on 160 and never use QSK ( hate to hear my own echo's back on 20mtr!)
and I clean the 425&power_supply at least every year from excessive dust.

Summary :
One of the best tough amplifiers I ever owned!
/SM0FLY
 
AC5E Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2001 23:16 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT AFTER MUCH ABUSE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 425 just after I got back into Amateur Radio in 1989. Since I have had mine twelve years, feeding antennas good, bad, and very indiffent, I figure I should be able to speak with at least some authority.
One of my first "additions" was an hour meter in the primary. The other was an AC voltmeter and a 5 KV DC meter on the front of the power supply. I probably voided the warranty - but I prefer full time grid current AND plate voltage monitoring.
Problems - two. The first was the rectifier stack that went south when lightning hit my power line as I was working the CQ160 contest. That was no fault of the design. I replaced the stock rectifiers with four units from Silicon Alley. No further problems.
The second was when a ceramic cap in the plate circuit went south. During another 160 Meter 'test - and while feeding an antenna that was far above 3:1 at the time. After some head scratching I figured out that the cap had almost 10 KV p-p on it. I replaced it with a 10 KV doorknob from Surplus Sales. And reworked my 160 antenna.
Other than that - no arcing. No burning. And no other problems in more than 6,000 hours of near full bore operation.
So I'm going to be in the market for another in the near future.
73 Pete Allen AC5E
 
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