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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Henry 2KD Classic Help

Reviews Summary for Henry 2KD Classic
Henry 2KD Classic Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1,795
Description: 80-10M w/WARC, desktop pair 3-500, 1500 watts out for 100 in
Product is not in production.
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WD0FVV Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2012 13:18 Send this review to a friend
WOW what an amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Henry 2KD-Classic was first purchased by my mentor in February of 1990, I purchased it from him in September of 2003, so now, 9+ years ago.

The unit is heavy; about 90 pounds packaged. It WORKS, boy does it work!

It has the advertised 10dB gain and then some. Mine is mostly used on 10 meters where 90 watts in from my Yaesu FT-902DM easily produces 1,000 plus watts output when in the SSB setting (~3,000 volts), in the CW setting (~2,000 volts) it outputs ~650 watts. As you go up in the bands the overall gain of the amplifier increases somewhat.

Unfortunately the Henry Radio Company is no longer in business however there are several places you can research who will service this excellent amplifier. If you are willing to work on the Classic yourself, as I did recently, be prepared for its weight and some close and tight spacing of components.

My Henry, over time, became noisy. Depending on the time it was built, I’m told, there were different blowers installed used in cooling the two tubes. Airflow is necessary and there is a direct correlation between volume (of airflow) and noise. However, I found, there is one major component that contributes to the distinct “sound of a Henry”…the beautiful roller inductor!

I was asked on-the-air the other day “What Henry are you using?” (the person had no previous knowledge of what amp I had). That is when I took on the task of “quieting” my Henry.

A new blower motor was ordered from “drillspot” (1TDN4). It is a sleeve bearing blower verses the original ball bearing. Note: ball bearings last 3 or more times longer however start a bit noisy and “wear in” becoming quieter. Sleeve bearings start quieter than ball but increase their noise over time. I suspect about 10 years they’re equal. No doubt about it, the new blower greatly reduced the noise level…but there still was that “sound of a Henry” present.

The three nonconductive strips that secure the roller inductor have grooves in them to keep the coils equally spaced. Over time I believe the grooves expanded or were slightly worn larger. This allowed the coil to vibrate depending on the position of the roller and the resonant frequency of the case and blower. A very simple fix is able to be done with only taking the top and screening off the Henry...TEFLON pipe thread tape!

Two screws and nuts are removed (from only the top insulator), lift the insulator off, place it on your bench (groves up) and, depending on the looseness of the coil in the grooves, 1, 2 or 3 layers of tape are (starting in the middle) pushed into each groove. Mine used 2 layers. Use a continuous length of tape folding it over itself if several layers are needed. The tape will stay by itself once in the grooves, carefully put the insulator back on the top of the roller inductor coils, make sure all coils fit into their corresponding grooves and put some pressure down on the insulator as you tighten both sides. In my Henry there was no need to try to put any tape in the other 2 insulators as the slight downward pressure tightened all sides of the coil.

If I would have known this trick I “may” have not replaced the blower.

I did discover the collet connecting the band switch to the large contacts had loosened…but darn, it loaded on ten even when they were misconnected! What an amp!

I did have a question during my repair so I sent off an e-mail to Mr. Henry. Ted Henry promptly answered my question with a referral to a former employee who promptly solved my problem. Now that’s service after-the-fact!

If you ever have a chance to purchase a 2KD-Classic I would not hesitate. It is a quality piece of equipment.

KJ4OGD Rating: 4/5 Jan 17, 2010 08:45 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer and Great Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a good amp and probably a great amp for the price. At around $800 it competes easily with amps two (4?) times the price.

The MAIN THING TO KNOW is that this is not a 100% duty cycle amp. It can easily provide full power for the most long winded rag chew, but it cannot necessarily support everything you can ever imagine doing in a digital mode.

Rather than a long prose here's the essential facts:

Very clean signal. I haven't put it on s spectrum analyzer but I have done remote testing and it is a very clear true class AB amp.

1200 Watts real power. Many people seem hung up on 1499 watts means "broken". But a clean 1200 is way better than 1500 spraying distortion all over the band. This crystal clear amp will get you heard, even on a sub-optimal setup.

Straight forward tuning. You do need to know your plate from your grid but once you find your resonance points tuning is very quick and repeatable.

It's a bit noisy but not too bad. The fan seems lower speed than some newer stuff. I find it's "rumble" more pleasing than the "scream" of smaller fans.

BIG and HEAVY. You need a LOT of space for it and you won't want to move it often.

Make sure you get one modified to do 10M. Even at that it can't really do 12M. They say you can re-tune the 10M coil to get 12M coverage but I didn't try. Seems if you move it that far you're going to lose some of 10M. It wasn't worth it to me to try.

In the winter it makes a great space heater. In the summer it makes a great space heater. So this may be a PRO or a CON, you decide.
K9AUB Rating: 4/5 May 14, 2007 22:15 Send this review to a friend
A battleship... with a few holes!  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the best workhorse amplifiers out there, better than anything made today. Attractive styling. Easily gives a very generous KW input on all bands 80-10, including WARC bands. Drives to full power with about 65-75 watts. Easy to tune and operate. BUT... there are a few problems here and there. The power supply is cramped and VERY difficult to work on. Disassembling the power supply for component replacement is a MAJOR project. The electrolytics are a several-day project to replace. The HV components are cramped a little too closely. One warm, humid day, I had a vicious and destructive arc-over between the HV rectifier diodes and the Glitch Resistor, which is positioned too closely to the diodes. Replacement diodes cost $128 from Henry, about $195 from RF Parts. Hint: Corona Dope is your friend here! Paint the exposed HV terminals with several generous coatings of Corona Dope BEFORE you get an arc-over. The arc-over problem is not so bad when set to CW (2200 vols), but there is 3000 volts on the tubes on SSB, which the power supply really has problems safely containing. Plate blocking capacitors are a high-failure item, throwing B+ plate voltage onto your antenna, and should be replaced with heavier duty, higher-voltage ceramic units when you have the amp open for any reason. Lots of mechanical points that require lubrication to keep the amp working smoothly. A little Lubriplate is needed in the bandswitch bearings to keep it turning smoothly. Devinitely plan on oiling that cooling fan with a quality oil such as Turbine Oil at least once a year, or be prepared for an extremely difficult replacement some day! Keep the case open to plenty of surrounding air to permit heat exchange; this thing runs VERY HOT! As with all large amplifiers, don't even THINK of running this beast on 115 volts. It needs 230 volts to run with any degree of stability. Do NOT attempt to switch the internal changeover relay with a solid-state transceiver; you'll need an external switch box controlled by the transceiver to handle the actual switching duties. (Henry sells nice ones for a very reasonable price.) With these few caveats in mind, it's one of the best commercial amplifiers ever made. It will definitely give you a competitive edge in the pile-ups.
DL1BBR Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2006 12:26 Send this review to a friend
gd old style!  Time owned: more than 12 months
this one is like a t34 tank.
very simple, easy to handle, it´s plug&play.
used this amp for years mostly under rought conditions like rtty and sstv...800w carrier no problem

heard that henry never build tube amps again :-(
K8DGL Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2006 06:54 Send this review to a friend
Super!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my second Henry amp. My first 2KD Classic. The heavy duty construction is typical of Henry.
I am pleased to say it will do 1500 watts out with no problem.
Fan noise is an issue however. I found that a lot of the noise comes from the cabinet resonating. I installed sound damping pads (by Dynamat) to the inside of the outer cover and noise is dramatically reduced.
AE6Y Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2005 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Sorry to see it go...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, I just parted with my Henry 2KD, to a friend who will hopefully enjoy it as much as I have. Bought it new from Henry in 1983, and it has never given me a lick of trouble, though I've only been using it intermittently for the past eight years or so. Still has the original tubes, noisy blower and all. Not the amp for quick contest QSYing, but a reliable workhorse. Interestingly, I paid $880 for it in 1983, and it's still worth something close to that today -- how many non-rare bits of ham electronics can say the same?
73, Andy, AE6Y
W9WIS Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2003 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Solid....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned a 2KD Classic for the past 3 months and am very impressed. I'm not really bothered by the blower noise.... actually I suspect the case wih mine is not the blower itself but resonances created by vibration. I'm running a Ten-Tec Jupiter and generally run the amp at about 1,000 watts output. At the rate I drive the amp, the original Eimac 3-500Z's might last another 20 years. They are the original tubes in the amp since the first owner of the amplifier purchased it new in 1985 from Henry Radio. It's refreshing to find a design that works so well it doesn't have to be upgraded every few years. The components in this amp are rugged and the build is very solid. If you have room for it and a table to support it you can't go wrong.
N7VY Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2003 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Two Thumbs UP  Time owned: more than 12 months
I received my amp 8 years ago when a friend passed away (WA6UZK). The fan might be a bit loud but I use headphones all the time so it doesn't matter to me. I sent the amp back to Henry when I was having a problem with the amp not having any output. It was my fault and not the amps, but Henry realigned everything and sent it back. Not bad for an amp that is 20 years old. My exciter is a Yaesu FT-1000 so the output can be better than 1500 watts. Great Value!
N0PWZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2002 01:53 Send this review to a friend
What Can I Say, It's A Good Amp!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This really is a nice amp. True, it will put out a scary amount of power, but you don't have to run this monster at 1500 watts even if you do have it plugged into the dryer circuit. The fan has a little noise, but most fans do. Perhaps a nice passive freon loop would make the folks that don't like the noise happier. I'm over 50 so a little fan noise is hardly a problem for me. Perhaps this is not a young man's amp. It is mighty stout and, for the money, a used amp such as this is quite a bargain.
K6YE Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2002 10:32 Send this review to a friend
GREAT AMP  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 2KD is great in every respect and I have owned it for many years. The controls are smooth and it is well made. Henry retubed my beast and it really performs as well as anything out there. The only down side is the fan noise. I use cans (headphones) on CW so this is not an issue. However, my XYL (who is also a ham) must put her earplugs in when I operate in the wee morning hours. It is a shame that this is a problem. I will probably buy a console amp and it will be a used Henry. I need all of the room on the tabletop for other things. Hopefully noise will not be a problem but I will stick with Henry as I like quality.

Tommy - K6YE
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