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Reviews For: Elecraft KPA1500 HF+6M Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M

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Review Summary For : Elecraft KPA1500 HF+6M Amplifier
Reviews: 42MSRP: 5,995
The Elecraft KPA1500 is a compact, full-legal-limit, solid-state amplifier designed for reliability and operator convenience. It has the following features: * 1500 watts * 160-6 meters * Space-saving RF deck and separate power supply unit * Fast, silent PIN diode T/R switching * Comprehensive, easy-to-read LCD status display * Fast, bright bar graph displays for power and SWR * Advanced thermal design using two PA devices and very large heat sink * Unique fan control system to minimize noise * Built-in, wide-range antenna tuner with VFO tracking and dual antenna jacks * Extensive remote control capabilities * Compatible with nearly any transceiver
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KN6KDT Rating: 2021-11-03
New guy heaven! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is my first amplifier! It truly is idiot proof. I bought a 135 'Windom and strung it between trees at about 50'. It tuned every band but 160. Last weekend during WWDX I made 82 contacts, NONE of which were in the continental US. I worked.China, Galapagos Is, Canary Is, So Africa and on and on.This is from No Calif. Only exceeded 800 watts once or twice to break a pile up. Never faulted it, temp never exceeded 40C and the fan NEVER CAME ON on the amp itself but did run a short while on the power supply. Hard price to swallow but you absolutely get everything you pay for!
W9OD Rating: 2021-09-26
A MUST for me! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had the KPA1500 for about four years. I did have a KPA500 but up graded. This amp works really well for me. I am antenna deficient, a 43 foot vertical with 40 radials, and an OFC fed dipole. When I need to, I will raise the power to 1200 watts and can break pileups. The 500 is a great amp, the 1500 is THE AMP! Oh, my XYL refers to the 43 foot as my tower, HI. W9OD
W9DJ Rating: 2021-09-22
Does what it says Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very solid amp. Easy 1500 watts out with 30-35 watts drive. ATU is very impressive. Protection systems work very well. Appreciate being able to connect directly to ethernet for remote operation. The only negative is that the fans can get a little noisy during an extended transmission. It also is a wee pricey.
KK9H Rating: 2021-07-19
Glad I bought one too Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I wanted to add a legal limit amp to my IC-7800 and did some research on a number of available models. What led me to choose the KPA1500 were a couple of reasons. First, I intended to locate the amp on top of my 7800 so it would be right in front of me. Having the power supply separated from the RF unit meant that it would be less weight sitting on top of my radio. Second, the KPA1500 has a built in antenna tuner. I also own a K3 that I use for portable operation and its antenna tuner is superb. I figured that the one in the KPA1500 would be too and it is. Third, as mentioned in the KPA1500’s ads, it would work well with a variety of other brands. Mating it with my 7800 was simple set up. My KPA1500 has delivered on all of these reasons and especially appreciate the self-protection system built into it to help keep you from damaging it. The “only” thing I would liked to have had would be more than two antenna ports, but that is a very minor thing. I am very pleased with the performance of my KPA1500 and very glad I bought it.
WB5THT Rating: 2021-07-13
Elecraft quality Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this amp for about 18 months and it has been a flawless performer. My *only* gripe, and it's *minor*, is the noisy fans which is probably the most common comment about the KPA1500. I would much prefer fan noise instead of slowly overheating the finals. The amp does a good job of protecting itself so it's almost bullet proof.

The power supply is a separate unit which reduces the size of the desk unit.

Yes, it's expensive but worth every penny if you can afford it.
K8DXX Rating: 2021-06-17
Smooth and Powerful Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just put this little beastie into service at K8DXX. I had to wait from mid-March until June 9, due largely to COVID restrictions affecting Elecraft in California. During the ordering process, Elecraft was patient ('When's it gonna get here?') and professional (answering my technical questions). The physical package is most impressive. Overall construction is solid. Fit and finish befit the above average price tag.

I proceeded very carefully with cabling it up and making the first few transmissions. Documentation on cabling it up to my Flex 6600 was fool proof (bought the Elecraft cable for this purpose.). The amplifier itself drives very easy with between 35-40 watts required for 1.5+ KW 80-15 (haven't tried it on higher bands). The ATU easily "trains" to handle the few frequencies on 80, and part of 40 where SWR at my QTH is a little out of hand (< 2:1). When matching is called for, you hear a 'bump' and it's done. Nothing to worry about! The power and SWR bar graphs are very useful, immediately allowing you to correct a potential problem before the protection circuitry trips. Sent 10 watts to the amp while it was mistakenly connected to my 2/440 vertical. The "RED" on the SWR bar graph caused me to unkey before the amp tripped.

The KPA 1500 replaces an Ameritron ALS 1300, which served me well for 4 years. I always felt that the ALS 1300 was operating on the edge between the ancient MRF 150s and lack of an integrated antenna tuner/matching network. Not sure if the Elecraft is any cleaner although unsolicited signal reports indicate 'clean and punchy' I just feel more comfortable and confident with the KPA 1500.

I'll keep this review updated if anything changes.
KA8SYV Rating: 2021-01-23
Outstanding Customer Service and Product Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My former amps were an Alpha 76A and a 6m King Conversion amplifier. I used a Nye Viking MB-V-A transmatch on HF. When I decided to upgrade my shack, I chose the KPA 1500, based on features that effectively replaced those three pieces of fine, classic gear. Eventually, I had to send the amp back to California for service. This minor inconvenience had an upside ... I experienced the legendary Elecraft service. My interactions with Madelyn, Doug, Rene, and the entire staff was friendly and professional. I was treated exceptionally well as an Elecraft customer. Elecraft sets a high standard and great example for other amatuer radio companies for manufacturing top-shelf equipment and treating customers with respect. If you're hesitating on 'pulling the trigger' on an Elecraft product purchase, don't hesitate any longer. Buy it. You will not be disappointed. VY 73 DE KA8SYV
N5IIA Rating: 2021-01-02
Great Amp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bottom line, it's a great legal limit amp. Yes, you will need a 240 volt connection to make it work. It's a bit spendy. You will have to decide how much a 1-2 S unit gain over a tube 811H amp means to you in the overall scheme of the hobby. I have only owned tube amps to this point in my time as a ham, but this amplifier is the entire package. The tuner works great, and the amp is equally impressive. If you have the money, and reasonably resonant antennas, this amplifier is an appliance operator's dream. Teach it to tune your antennas, turn it on, and it simply works. With 40-50 watts drive, you will have full legal limit on all bands. Anyone that complains about loud fan noise is either running continuous duty modes, or is just extremely sensitive to ambient noise. I've held hours long QSO's at near legal limit on SSB with only the first stage fan engaging on the amplifier. With tube prices going out of sight, and availability becoming scarce, this amp is a no brainer. You get a full legal limit amp and tuner for close to the price of a tube amplifier and manual tuner. I love the amp, and am glad I purchased it.
K3SUI Rating: 2020-09-23
Worth the money ... no expensive tubes to replace Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was looking forward to Elecraft releasing this amplifier since I had been enjoying my KPA500 so much, and falling back to my Alpha 91B for DX pileups. When it finally arrived I looked at the price tag and did a double take. NOT inexpensive !!

Well, I bit the bullet and bought one. I financed it with my KPA500 and my Alpha 91B and am happy I did. As described by the other posters, I hooked it up, turned it on and have absolutely no problems in over a year of use. I really don't worry about noise since the K3 has a noise gate and I wear headphones for both CW and SSB.

Excellent piece of equipment, 1500 watts, no problem in a small, compact piece of equipment.
WA4FOM Rating: 2020-09-22
Just buy the bloody thing and get it over with. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Go read my review on the KPA500. Everything I wrote there applies here. You set it up on the table, plug it in, and enjoy a nice, big signal. I've heard ramblings about noisy fans and such, but I haven't had that problem here. Granted, I'm what you would call a "casual user". No all-night RTTY bulletins and not much AM. The tuner works nicely on my modest antenna system. I did have a slight RFI problem with my stereo, but that was cured with one of those big black ferrite doughnuts. My only complaint was that I waited so long before I bought this contraption.