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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SPE Expert 1.5K-FA Help

Reviews Summary for SPE Expert 1.5K-FA
SPE Expert 1.5K-FA Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4800
Description: Solid state Linear amplifier with switching power supply, inbuilt automatic ATU, weighs only 9.5 Kg (19 Lbs) and handlde easily 1500 Watt
Product is in production.
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NN6EE Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2019 00:34 Send this review to a friend
UN-PARALLELED IN PERFORMANCE  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For slightly more than $4300 SPE has created a 1.5 kw solid state AMP PUTTING OUT AS ADVERTISED A FULL 1.5 KW with NO HICK-UPS EITHER!!! MONEY "WELL SPENT"!!!
KD2JVX Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2019 18:25 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding fully automatic  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the 1.5k-FA for just short of a year. it harmoniously connects to the ic-7300 with the cables you should buy. In these conditions it is just what the doctor ordered - i am busting through pileups and having rag chews across the pond. The US service is excellent. I called Bob the day after Thanksgiving, he was unable to pickup at that time but saw a strange number and called it back which was to me! Hihi. He cleared up my issues which was a misunderstanding of the autotuner. If in the antenna selection screen you choose the letter t next to the antenna is means it will not tune that antenna.

A few minor issues: the software is rudimentary and port conflict prone in Windows 10. No solution but to reboot. It will only tune up to 3:1. if your antenna is hovering around 3 it will not tune so you can forget your G5RV. That said it works fine with a myantenna 80-10. i have worked HP all bands.

the radio settings have to change to use the amp, so you have to undo cat control and digital operation settings to make the amp work properly.

If you are looking for hands off automatic operation with instant band switching this is the machine for you.
EA6NB Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 14:50 Send this review to a friend
A very good amp  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been operating a new SPE 1.5K for several months and is a pleasure to use, it is very similar at the 1.3K but this one needs to be driven from 25w to 40w for full output, you get about 200w more in MID and MAX position. I use most the amp in MID Power to get about 800 and 1KW CW with no thermal issues at all, the fans works fantastic and hardly any noise at all the amp is in front of me in a shelf at my ears height it does not bother me.
The ATU is very fast also no problems.
I have use the amp with different transceivers at the Dummy Load and LP100A I get at MAX 1500W all bands and 1000W at MID position on CW carrier.
I think it’s one of the best solid state amplifiers in the market if not the best if you compare size, weight and features.
Thanks Guido.
Jaime, EA6NB.
N4DCD Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2018 12:31 Send this review to a friend
GREAT amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I see many who submit low review numbers and I think they need some education on using amplifier. This amp works flawlessly with my FLex 6600, Anan 7000DLE and Icom 7610. Yes there can be some issues a;ong with the way regarding firmware for example. However, most times it minor and you need to understand all the coding that goes into firmware of modern equipment. Its not a perfect world and never has been. I have had MANY amplifiers, tube and solid state. This one is among the best solid state amps on the market hands down!! Do your research beforehand, setup your cables and when you get it, its plug and play. If you can't make your own cables you need, you can ask the vendor and if that's not going to do it for you, buy a cell phone and sell your equipment. This hobby takes a lot of common sense and the ability to not only troubleshoot but have the technical ability to do your own repairs to a degree. Its a modern world and if you don't grow with it, you are restricted to the old outdated radios and features. A little long winded for me but in short, you won't be disappointed if your expectations are reasonable.

Buy it!
IK2SAI Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2018 04:54 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After long months of research on which HF Amp to choose, I finally opted for this brand new SPE 1.5 K-FA, 1.5kW HF Solid State Power Amplifier. Ordered when it still wasn't in production it finally arrived on my busy desk. It is a month that I try it and I am surprised at the build quality and solidity of the performance offered. The appliance is contained in an extremely compact package and is packed in a nice bag that allows it to be transported as cabin baggage by plane.
Let's start by saying that all the following measurements are made on a Dummy Load Palstar DL2K and that the power measurements rely on a Watt meter of the Array Solution, the Power Master II.
This very fast tool is guaranteed for better accuracy than +/-3%.
The room temperature is about 25 C degrees. The tuner is disconnected but, on this unit the insertion does not cause big losses. A maximum of 0.8 db is reported on the manual.
In practice If you use the ATU to correct... trim antennas under 1:1.7 -1:1.6 the insertion loss is certainly much much lower.
The power on the MAX/MID/LOW positions has been detected on each HF Ham Radio band.
160 Meters 1692 W – 997 W – 451 W
80 meters 1525 W – 934 W – 434 W
40 meters 1438 W – 880 W - 437 W
30 meters 1498 W – 955 W - 455 w
20 meters 1521 W – 935 W – 431 W
17 meters 1570 W – 957 W - 458 W
15 meters 1545 W – 930 W – 460 W
12 meters 1547 W – 904 W - 437 W
10 meters 1529 W – 992 W – 480 W
I did not measure in 6 meters since the dummy load goes up to 30 MHz

The fans (four) are inaudible when the amp is in quiet condition. When reaching the 52 C degrees there is the increased rotation and noise increase. But I must say that the single fan of the dummy load is certainly noisier than the four of the amp when it is at 65 C degrees.
Always in twenty meters bringing the PA to about 65 C degrees but, this time in MID power, recommended for the RTTY in the manual, the power read on the Power Master is 850 W. This, in my opinion, is the true power in RTTY with duty cycle type 80% TX and 20% Rx typical of those who make runner with a very heavy duty cycle . If we talk about search and punch temperatures are clearly contained and the power, consequently, goes up.
Note that all these measurements are made with Icom IC 7600 and Icom IC 7300. Both radios connected – as recommended by S.P.E. – with the CAT and ALC. The power of the radio is set to 100w. So if the amp is in the radio goes to its maximum. By placing the amplifier in "operate", this through the ALC in turn adjusts the power of the radio according to the needs and according to the band. Indicatively I would say that my unit asks the radio for a power between about 25 W and 50 W.
Notice how the display reads more powers than those from the Power Master. This is due to the signal pickup position of the internal Watt meter and is not a malfunction of the unit.
In conclusion it is a device that has satisfied me very much and that in countries where it is allowed to operate in MAX grants the operator fantastic operating conditions. It's like having a 1.5 KW radio.
Finally a quick look at the software. I have had some hesitation in installing it on my PC with WIN10PRO. In the sense that it didn't work and i couldn't establish communication. I really appreciated, for once, a very well made guide, contained in the last part of the manual, which led me to the solution of problems. Right now, the amp, I practically do not touch it and I operate it via PC at 100%. On the PC monitor you get a faithful replica of the PA display plus a keypad that replicates all the controls and led indications present on the front panel.
Finally adjusting the txdelay of the two radios on 6ms I did not detect any problem between radio and amplifier. In the sense that any spikes in the radio are absorbed by the amp without problems.
For those who are worried about the absorption on the 220v I can confirm that, in Italy the appliance is sold equipped with a SHUKO socket and that with amperometric clamp I measured at full power an absorption of less than 12 A. They make less than 2700 W.
It is an exceptional product that we Italians are proud of.
W3DIY Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2018 12:25 Send this review to a friend
First experience with SPE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 1.5K arrived Dec.22. I was not too concerned with buying a newly released amp since it is based on the 1.3K.

TXing into a 5 band Optibeam the SSB output is 1.5KW+. TXing into a 40M 2 element monobander, with an SWR between 2.5:1 and 3:1 depending on the band segment, the SPE A/T does a FB job of matching with an output of 1.4KW.

These PO readings are from an LP-100A which closely matches the SPE display, with 10W of drive!

During several lengthy rag chews at full power the fans were noticeable after a few min. but nothing like my previous PW1.

Imagine carrying a legal limit amp using one arm without effort.
SPE has a winner IMO.

p.s I tested for power supply spurious emissions (in the receiver) on all bands. None were detected with a Flex 6500.
PB5X Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2017 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Another winner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After playing with my new X-mas present the last 5 days I can honestly say SPE has done it again.

After owning a SPE 1K for over 7 years and using a SPE 1.3K (with FCC mod) for the last 2 years I am quit satisfied with the new SPE 1.5K.
This SPE 1.5k is not much different than his little brother the SPE 1.3k but it has some improvements.
The new SPE 1.5k has a new design LDMOS onboard, the 1k80. In comparisson to the SPE 1.3k it has a 1k50 (ealier models even a 1k25).
It can make +/- 200/300 Watts more on MAX power and it has a beautifull BLACK layout in stead of the GREY layout what we have been used too the last decade. So is this worth the extra bucks...?

In my case yes as I have a new Amplifier with 2 years warranty and the latest technology.

But that is not all. For people who are into "PURE SIGNAL" this new SPE 1.5k has the capability to do so as it got a special connection on the back for it.

Also the great service of SPE Italy is wonderfull as they always replied my mails within 1 workday and always are able to answer any fast question by Phone. COMPLIMENTS.

So SPE has made another winner and will this amplifier become a standard for future DX-peditions ;-)

Are their any CONS instead of PROS...
I honestly can say I did not find them yet.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

73 Roberto PB5X

K4PI Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2017 14:20 Send this review to a friend
Initial testing looks good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received this a couple of days and so far all positive. Takes such a small amount to drive ie 8-11 W for 1.5 KW. Would have preferred a little more drive so it would be a little easier to control so I may add a padder to the input although I may get used to it. I have had the 2K-FA several years and it works flawlessly. This new one only has 1 transistor! Very quiet. I would like to talk with anyone who has one to trade notes. I will update later after some extended use.

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