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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SPE Expert 2K-FA Help


Reviews Summary for SPE Expert 2K-FA
SPE Expert 2K-FA Reviews: 42 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $ 4750 Euro
Description: The most advanced solid state automatic linear amplifier in the world. the operator has only to move the frequency tuning knob on the transceiver.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.linear-amplifier.com
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You can write your own review of the SPE Expert 2K-FA.

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VK4SX Rating: 5/5 Oct 7, 2018 19:43 Send this review to a friend
What else is there to say ?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Incredible amp, uncomplicated, reliable, solid performer,
FA, Fully Automatic, does not mean Idiot Proof,
I have other SPE products, this is the pinnacle.
daylight second,
Dennis vk4sx
ps
near Three years in use,
 
WC2W Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2018 19:05 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased this amp and so far I'm in love with it (don't tell my XYL!). I upgraded from an Ameritron AL-1500, which is a good amp, but I just got tired of tuning it each time I changed bands, especially during a contest. Every once it a while I would forget to change the band switch to the new band, or forget to change the antenna switch. Not a good thing. The 2K-FA makes that impossible. Instant band switching and it picks the right antenna at the same time and your transmitting on the new band in just seconds.

Setup was pretty easy, but lets face it, with an amp that has all the features of this one, yea, there are a bunch of cables to connect and things to configure.

Configuring the 2K-FA took just a few minutes, including programming the ATU.

The only negative thing I can say about this box is that the display is a bit cheezy. Considering the cost of the unit, they could have put in a better LCD unit. All things considered, that's a pretty small negative.

Lou
WC2W
 
W5FCX Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2018 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Perfect Tools for the Job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I suppose amplifiers and radios are a lot like boats - your happiest days are when you get them and when you sell them.

In this case, I'm going to review both the Product and the Service.

The Product: 2K-FA w/ Tuner +
Flex interface cable by KC5PCB

Pros
- Very nice signal reports, reliably able to bust through DX and contesting pileups with the 2K-FA (why I bought it)
- Works very well as part of my remote station setup
- Quick and easy to configure and tune the amplifier in about 30 minutes
- Very impressed by how fast and excellent the match was for my three different antennas. I've used a lot of tuners and this is by far the best yet
- Thorough and concise documentation
- Custom cable by Dan Tassell, KC5PCB, worked perfectly for direct CAT based frequency tracking, transmitter drive power control (instead of ALC) and automatic power on/off of amplifier with the Flex radio via USB
- Term_2K_232 remote RS-232 GUI provides full-featured remote access and same exact GUI controls as front panel of amp. This is tremendous for those of us operating remote stations.
- Built-in protections provide peace of mind for those of us who may be prone to operating errors or remote mishaps
- Gorgeous carrying case
- Option to keep fan off when not transmitting in operating mode reduces annoying noise
- Secondary fan kicks in as temperature rises above threshold
- 6 antenna connectors provides plenty of antenna access options

Cons
- None


The Service - ExpertLinears and KC5PCB Cable

Pros
- Elva and Bob were very responsive and helpful at each step of the way during the purchase cycle, including accommodating my desire to pick up the amp locally on a specific day with short notice
- I was impressed by how the amplifier was tested/verified by Bob and the cable created by Dan was included with it as a turnkey package
- Dan/KC5PCB was very helpful when I called him about the cable, and ensuring the cable was delivered with the amp. Dan also spent time explaining to me during setup how to properly deploy the cable and get the most value from the configuration.

Cons
- None

Summary

So far I am very pleased with both the product and the services I received from Elva, Bob and Dan. Very impressive teamwork and services around a great "whole product". It's one of those rare time the "ideal product" the customer actually wants is actually delivered vs. just the generic product you get out of the box from most manufacturers.

The product itself is like the Ferrari of linear amplifiers, with all its built-in protections and features.

Couldn't be happier. Well worth the investment. Probably the only amplifier I'll ever need.


 
W2PP Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2018 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Very effective amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When reading reviews I'm often left to think that the individual who wrote it was not exactly being objective having spent a tidy sum for this or that.

However, I do not suffer from that problem. I've had tons of gear and am never impressed by price. I am impressed with reviewers who really go through it.

So, I have the SPE 2KFA amp. What's good?

Instant on, ready to operate immediately.
Power out: 2 KW PLUS a might, measured with an Array Solutions Powermaster II
Input power 40 to 55 watts for full out.

Ease of setup?
Depends what you want to do. I found setting power settings for each band a great idea and VERY easy and fast, really no big deal at all.

Antenna Tuner, cake to set up. apply 10 watts hit the button and done in 1 to 3 secs. I went ahead and tuned all the bands 160 thru 6, I did sub segments on the bigger bands. The result is that when zipping form 160 to 15 to 6 back to 160 the tuning is INSTANT. Why? They use torroidal coils and caps and the computer just remembers the combo and instantly your tuned. This is a ONE time exercise, takes no time at all and then forget it.

I've got mine tied into a Flex 6700, so, two radios in one box and I use both input one and two of the amp for this. Cake to set up. I got cables made by Dan Tassell ...on the home page of SPE Expert amp....so plug and play on all the SO2R stuff.

What about SO2R? Yes it does work. Not sure what the other reviewer was complaining about. I've tested full duplex, works just fine. Will I use it, probably not like most hams its nice to have but it and QSK will never be used. Oh, yep the amp does QSK too.

Noise? I set the fan on "quiet" mode. Meaning the fan only runs when the amp it xmitting or hot. By the way that means 99 percent of the time the fan never runs. Its quieter even when running than the fans inside the Flex 6700, and they are quiet. WAY WAY quieter than any other amp I've owned, and I've owned a ton of them.

Software? Yep comes with a little app that I leave on and up on the second monitor. Huge print so its easy to see across the room. You can do all the programming through the app to which speeds things up quite a bit.

Operationally?
On the air that instant "on" and instant band change with antenna tuner ... that is where the rubber hit the road. My other amps, had to send a few dits or dots, wait, then hope you got the input power right, I usually did but when it was critical I didn't...none of that nonsense. Just go and the amp has all the correct metrics set, it won't let me down.

What's bad:
Well, its not a pretty amp by comparison I find the Alpha 9500 nice to look at, of course mine blew up sitting on the table so it may have looked good but was pretty unreliable.

I don't like the touch buttons, but, with the app I never ever use them so I don't care.

That's about all that's not perfect.

I would say this is as nice an amp to own as my Alpha 87a was in the early 1990's. I don't see selling this amp any time soon! 2k plus out, cake to set up, quiet, easy to operate in a hurry, instant band tuning to your antenna without any noise or delay.

I am very satisfied that this was a good choice for an amp. If it wasn't I'd tell you.

Peter
W2PP


 
W4PGM Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2018 12:21 Send this review to a friend
Great amp with great after sale service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this amp for about 6 years and it has been a great performer. I developed a few issues and contacted Bob Hardie at Expert Linears America for service. Bob has always been responsive to my questions/issues and this time was no different. No RMA just send it in. When it arrived he asked me about a dozen very detailed questions about the issues. We whittled down the list over a couple of emails and the next thing I saw was the FedEx notice that it was on he way. The bill was way more fair than I expected for the time that he spent and the Amp is working, dare I say, better than new. If you are questioning if there is quality service for the amp after purchase the answer is a resounding yes. Great product with exceptional service!
 
KO7SS Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2018 08:57 Send this review to a friend
SO2R with one amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this amp for 3 years and love it but had never tried it SO2R. I did have previous experience with 2 amp SO2R and external switchboxes but it was very frustrating setting it all up and maintaining it, so I sold all of it and went back to a single K3S and my new 2K-FA.

After reading N5DX's blog about winning the 2015 CQWWCW from N2QV using a single 2K-FA in SO2R configuration that was my new goal.

It is especially simple with SO2R RTTY, no external control box is needed, N1MM+ switches the amp between the radios, and a simple Dunestar headphone switch is used to hear just a low level tone in each ear.

The SO2R frustration expressed by many reviewers is that the 2nd radio is always listening on a multiband antenna (of your choice). For weak signal DX contests maybe this would be a limitation, but for domestic contests it doesn't matter.

The bottom line is a full function SO2R contest station can be had with one 2K-FA and a very modest set of antennas - a tribander + 40/80 dipole and a multiband vertical for 2nd radio RX.

I ran this in the 2017 CQWW RTTY and 2018 RTTY Roundup. The 2K-FA was run at 1100W or so because of antenna balun overheating issues on RTTY, but the amp worked perfectly during 24+ hour efforts in each contest.
 
WX4W Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2017 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Fully auto & exceeds legal limit!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I never thought I would buy one of these primarily due to price but I found a used one for a decent price. I've owned it for over 4 months and to say I'm impressed is an understatement. I have two rigs and three antennas hooked into it and all I have to do is pick up a mic or tap a key and the amp does everything else! I looked at all of the options and there are very few amps that have no warmup time, have internal tuner that handles more than legal power for six antennas, handles two rigs connected simultaneously, can be remotely controlled, etc. I know people love their Acoms, Alphas, etc. but none of those will match this amplifier feature for feature. Likely the last amp I will ever buy and certainly the last I'll ever need. I have to laugh at the one review that gave it a zero because it's too complicated to setup. Perhaps they chose the wrong hobby?
 
K4PI Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 05:44 Send this review to a friend
A Joy to Operate  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this amp for about 1 1/2 years and it has been flawless. I love having the 6 antenna ports and the built in antenna tuner. Prior to this amp on 40 M I had to use a manual tuner due to the narrow bandwidth of my shortened 40 M yagi. Not anymore with this amp. I have used it on RTTY contesting and it runs cool at 1.2 KW for hours on end of CQ. It is great to have 6 M on this amp also. I have a lot of friends with this amp and have yet to hear anyone says anything bad about it. I see they have a 1.5 KW model due out in 2018 at 22 lbs weight !
 
K3PD Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2017 19:00 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely GREAT  Time owned: more than 12 months
Set up very straightforward. Read the manual or watch the various YOUTUBE videos on this amplifier. (Was puzzled by the comment from another poster who thought the set up too complicated??? It certainly is MUCH easier than tuning a manual amp so I can't imagine why he had trouble??? AND YOU DO IT ONCE AND THAT'S IT!))

I use the 2K with a variety of Xcvrs. Kenwood, Elecraft, and mostly the Flex 6500 and Flex 5000.

With the Flex I use the free DDUTIL program which with the 2K turns this combo into a legal limit xcvr! Change bands or freq and amp follows. Auto selects antenna (up to 6 )that you have preset. ATU works FB. Personally prefer the INSTANT ON vs waiting 3 minutes (DX usually gone by then!)for the Alpha 9500 to warm up.
 
K6RMJ Rating: 0/5 Jan 18, 2017 13:11 Send this review to a friend
Do not like touch pads  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Too complicated to set up. I emailed the person that wired the cable with a question. Never retun an answer. That was six weeks ago.

I will stick with my Yaesu VL 1000. Which is very easy to set up.
 
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