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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Elecraft KPA-500 Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft KPA-500
Elecraft KPA-500 Reviews: 89 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1999.95 Kit Form
Description: KPA-500 Solid State Amplifier 160-10M Plus 6M, Auto Band
Switching via RF sense or cable connection.
Product is in production.
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KQ4KK Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2016 13:52 Send this review to a friend
A Great FLEX AMP  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I upgraded to the KPA500 from a ICOM PW1 that was troublesome.

Works seamlessly with a FLEX 6300 and a ICOM 7300. Use it at home with the 6300, take it to the Middle School club we support to use on the 7300.

Students have no problems with it and the 7300. Auto tuning is instantaneous and do something stupid, it fault immediately. Easy to reset.

Easy cable from the 7300 to the AMP. And the new software that supports USB on the 6300 makes that easy also.
W0XXX Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2016 23:02 Send this review to a friend
Solid!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own two of these, and they are amazing machines.

My plan was to reduce my footprint and go with smaller rigs with auto tune amps. Even though I enjoy unboxing a brand new rig, I bought both of my KPA500 amps second hand from the original owners. In both cases, the original owners were going for higher power. Both owners retained the original boxes, manuals and even included the original purchase orders from Elecraft. A win for me on several levels.

I've owned Alphas, Ameritrons, Dentrons, and Kenwood amps. All fine machines but the KPA500 makes band changes and tuning incredibly fast and easy, and it works on 120v (don't have 220v in the shack).

The idea behind the second amp was to keep it in a road kit to use while travelling. At present, I run a Kenwood TS-590SG at home, and an Icom IC-7300 in the road kit. I might give up the TS-590SG and go with another IC-7300 for synergy purposes.

The KPA500 is a tough little box, I've faulted it a bunch of times, but I cant kill it.

Well done Elecraft!
WA1SEO Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2016 15:11 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use...for an 11 year old  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I sold my Ameritron ALS-600 after owning it for 12 trouble free years and got all of my money back. My 11 year old got her ticket and I wanted something easier for her to use by herself so I picked up a used KPA-500. It takes up significantly less space than the 600, is much quieter, requires no band selection (using it with an ICOM 7200) and requires less drive. WE like it very much and hope it gives us the kind of service the ALS-600 did.
N9GUU Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2016 21:31 Send this review to a friend
SUPERIOR AMPLIFIER!!!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my KPA500 kit at Dayton this year. Although it was a "kit" the bulk of the assembly was assembling the cassis and the cabinet. The only issue (and a minor one at that) was the identification of the various tiny flathead screws. Assembly took about 5 hours - plugged it in and it's on the air! I'm using the amplifier with my ICOM IC-7600 and I couldn't be happier - the amplifier follows the 7600 around the bands just as advertised and like others have said "it's like having a 500 watt transceiver" The KPA500 is totally silent when not in use and very quiet when the fan kicks in. I have owned an ALS-600 and I can tell you that there is no comparison between the two. The KPA500 is replacing my AL-811H. I'm sorry to see the old girl go but the KPA500 is just a superior piece of equipment. My advice to anyone THINKING about buying one of these - stop thinking and buy it - you will not be sorry you did!
NZ0T Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2016 05:29 Send this review to a friend
Wow  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 13 years of running an AL-811 I purchased the KPA500 kit. Easy build though identifying the correct screws is not easy. The amp is even better than I expected it to be and I expected the usual Elecraft excellence. I almost never used the AL-811 on CW but now I use the KPA500 and like so many have said below with my K3 it's like owning a 500 watt transceiver. Thanks Elecraft for another superior product!
N4QT Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2016 16:08 Send this review to a friend
Well designed amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just sold my ALS 600 solid state amp and replaced it with a new Elecraft KPA 500 amp. No longer have to switch bands manually,no separate power supply,built like a tank. Reminds me of my long gone Alpha 87a in miniature . It almost disappears next to my Yaesu FTdx5000mp. 500 or 600 watts I have found to be all I need to work any DXpedition. Also keeps my neighbors happy. No more RF interference problems. Just a great little amp with a big punch.
KD8TUT Rating: 4/5 Jan 4, 2016 15:43 Send this review to a friend
Great purchase...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Disclaimer: I'm a fairly new ham and do not have 20 years experience with these technologies.

Purchased this just over 6 months ago, and integrated it with my Apache ANAN 100D, and a KAT500 tuner. This is the first HF station I've ever built.

Did a lot of research before purchase. Chose Elecraft outboard gear based on reputation and specifications.


When I first received the amp I needed a clarification regarding a PTT connection spec. They quickly provided the information which was needed, they were cheerful, and they answered a few other questions a newer ham might have without a hassle. Came away from the experience feeling good about the purchase.

The second issue I had was user error (related to the KAT500), and I mistakenly contacted support for help. They sent me some detailed testing procedures which I did, and determined that my problem was user error. They helped me out anyway.


My expectations were met by the product. In short: it has performed perfectly in my shack. I've got no plans on "upgrading". I'd say I'm satisfied.


It gets a 4 because they should have used a quieter fan. It can get louder than it needs to be. Once the unit is out of warranty, I'll replace the fan with a high cfm low db fan.


Strongly recommended.
AE5X Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2015 07:49 Send this review to a friend
KPA-500 for a non-Elecraft rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
To spend money on this amp required being able to justify is use on more than one rig. I have a K3 but recently purchased a Flex 6300 and wanted an amp that would be easier to operate with them than my AL-80BQ.

I ordered the kit version of this amp and had it assembled in a bit over 5 hours. My one and only nitpick is a small one - use fewer flat-head screw sizes! Assembly was easy and free of ambiguity - it was everything you've heard Elecraft kits to be in terms of documentation, packaging and now operation. Money well spent. And it takes up far less space on my desk than the 3-500Z amp and produces almost as much power with far less heat.

So far I have not used the amp with my K3 since the Flex is still new and I can't pull myself away from it. The amp works with the Flex as if it were made for it. QSK is seamless, band switching is instant and I'm getting full power out with 27 to 35 watts depending on band.

Yep, I love it.
K7ZOV Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2015 09:39 Send this review to a friend
Total intergration   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the KPA500 and KAT500 hooked to my K3 for about 4 yrs now. What you have is a total radio in 3 boxes (four if you count the P3 panadptor). Just tune and talk. The K3 communicates with the KPA500 and the KAT500 so smoothly that it is like having it all in same box. What Elecraft has created in the K3 K-Line is almost magic. A RX that is nothing short of outstanding. A TX that is super clean. A PA and ATU that requires just being tuned on and let it do it's thing. One awesome package
WA6KYR Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2015 17:40 Send this review to a friend
It works and is simple to use  Time owned: more than 12 months
The other day a ham mentioned how he does not use his tube amp that much. Too much trouble to tune up he said. He asked how was the Elecraft amp and auto tuner to use. I told him all you have to do is turn it on and a few seconds later it is ready to use. The band, the tuning, the power, the antenna selection is all automatic and follows the K3 transceiver as you change frequencies during receive. That is just too easy. I like this amp a lot.
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