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Reviews For: Dentron 160-10

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

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Review Summary For : Dentron 160-10
Reviews: 19MSRP: 900.00
4 Dentron 572B Tubes..
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD0USA Rating: 2019-11-10
Dentron my Opinion Fantastic Product Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Yes i own a Dentron 160 10 L and its not my first . Over
the past years Dentron has been one of my favorites. I
bought this one this past year and have really taken it
to the Extra miles. Its still pumping . I have lots of dentron
products . If you need the PDF Manual get it here
K5AF Rating: 2018-04-28
Good Initial Impression Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was fortunate to pick one of these up for $300.00. It is in decent condition overall, and I'm in the process of recapping it and updating the plate choke and parasitic chokes. This is something of a controversial amp, with a vast divide in ratings between users.

From my own perspective, I'm quite favorably impressed. The front and rear panels are a bit flimsey, but the overall build is certainly not better or worse than many more-modern amps. The biggest challenge is the weight and position of the transformer, which makes the unit severely unbalanced. All else looks pretty typical and logically arranged. I could not agree with comments about the plate tank coil, it is the solid, typical coil form that is used in several other of the Dentron line of amps.

The best part of this amp is the simple design and spacious chassis. It is extremely easy to work on. Most critical circuits are easily accessible. I'm still waiting on parts, but have a spare set of tubes in case those that are provided are not good.

I'll update my rating as necessary once I get the amp on the air. far, so good.

WB9MCW Rating: 2014-08-02
Good Amp for the $$$ Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the 160-10M model since 1992 that I got used for $500. Many years of using it on SSB and AM with the 572B tubes and it always was a great performer for me.
Finally after all these years I had to do some repairs. New caps from Digi-Key installed and a New TR relay from Neb. Surplus Sales did the trick. I also got the plate choke and ceramic caps and board from Ameritron that makes WARC tuning easy plus gives a modern looking amp around the RF finals. (See a photo on my QRZ page)
This last winter my 572B tubes went soft (hey they are the orig. 1973 tubes so I can't complain). I decided to go with Neb. Surplus Sales NOS RCA 811A Cetron tubes vintage 1988.
Just installed the $150 Quad matched set of these NOS tubes and I am very happy getting the same output that the 572B tubes did. I only run 100w drive so they work out just fine and were a true slip-fit easy change out. Even all the same 572B tube settings on the amp tune the same for the 811A tubes.
So now my amp is a 160-10L model which is fine by me. If you check the IOM the max drive is 125w for the "L" model and the max drive is 150w for the "M" model. My IC-7000 only does 100w out at any rate and usually I run at 75w to drive the Dentron around 500w output. I get 750-800w when I drive at 100w input. I run 117VAC because I do not have 240 available.
So with a little TLC and some modern updates this vintage 73 amplifier can be a good bargain and work very well for those who do not have 240VAC available. It is easy and fun to work on. I get great reports from stateside and DX contacts on SSB. Plus the AM works just fine as well with a big signal when I check into the various AM nets.
Catch me on 75 meters 3.913LSB in the evenings and have a listen to the good olde Dentron talking to my pals coast to coast almost every night.
73 ~ WB9MCW
W8NVC Rating: 2012-12-23
great amp Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got one from a good friend about a year ago.
I used it for a year. the 35 year old tubes where
just a bit soft, but was still doing 800 watts on SSB. anyhow, The same friend had some "real" New old stock, Cetron 572 Bs from 1976.. Never used, brand new.. o bought them,I was amazed at the quality. the box for each tube was almost 12 inches long, and inside each tube was wrapped with Styrofoam sheets..with instruction sheets,and a warning that said they contained Mercury.
When i took a tube out of the box, i knew i had struck gold. These tubes where very heavy, The glass was at least 3 times thicker than the Chinese tubes i was used to.. I took my jewelers loop and carefully inspected the insides of the tubes, And compared to the Chinese Junk Tubes, all inside was alot thicker and well well made,the difference was like a heavy shot glass compared to a Christmas Ornament. yes that heavy,,, Anyhow, prior, i had some Junk Chinese Tubes in it before, and to get a Kw i had to drive the exciter to 90 watts drive, With the New Old stock Cetrons with a 50 watt drive i get 1 full KW on 120 vac. and with 100 watts drive i get legal limit. I have to say, the Amp is great easy to work on , and im proud to own it.. YES there's no tuned input, but i run my auto tuner on the radio and all is good, and as for no stand by switch, i have the Arb 704 from Ameritron, and i added a switch to that right on the front of the Arb 704 relay buffer. So all is great, and i have headroom. i run it at just a kw, and it just loafs along, it hardly even gets warm.. The reason for this post is, The tubes now of days are JUNK. No quality, NONE, If you could only hold a real original Cetron in your hand, you would know what in talking about, More power, more headroom, less drive, These tubes where Made for this amp, and i will never part with my Dentron 160/10 L..
W8KZW Rating: 2011-08-13
Worst Amp Ever Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Got rid of mine as fast as I could. Incredibly flimsy construction ... cabinet flexes when you touch it. Noisy fan. An overall embarassment to Dentron.

Stay away.
K8WBL Rating: 2011-06-04
Decent amplifier Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Recently got this amp, was broke when I purchased it for $150. Easy to work on and cheap to fix unless your transformer is shot. Pretty much same transformer in this as the SB-200 and Clipperton L - runs either 811A or 572B (4) tubes, mine was an older one with the (4) 811A tubes.. 1700 VDC was a bit much for the 811A's but 572B's drop right in. Ddecent output.. about 600 watts key down. Can still be picked up used for around $400 - which is a good deal. Construction OK, about like Heaths - upgrade power supply with 3 - 6 amp diodes and new caps...ready for another 30 years. SSB amp, not a continuous output amp for AM.
K0BNL Rating: 2011-01-23
A very nice linear and easy to use Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I can't complain about the performance of this Dentron 160-10L Linear amplifier with 572B tubes. I get about 1100+ watts out driving at 100 watts in. (Output checked with three meters, to be sure) I run it on a dedicated 240AC volt circuit. If there is any fault it is that there is no standby switch. But I think I will add one with a switch on the relay line. It is easy to tune and it is a nice looking unit with the black case. It has a very strong cooling fan too. I have used Collins, Yaesu, Ameritron and Dentron Linears (in that order). So far I like this old Dentron over the rest. A lot of power for NOT so much money and it looks easy to work on too - should the need arise.
W7TOP Rating: 2009-11-03
Great Amp for the Money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Picked up this 160-10L from eBay, arrived with no meter reading, so I took the 4-572B tubes out and let it run for two days (good for the sprague caps). Then put the tubes back and measured the high voltage. It was putting out just fine, but no meter reading.

Traced it down to one broken meter resistor, replaced that one and this amp puts out 1KW+ with 70W drive. Made the hop to Florida on 75M w/800W SSB at 50W drive, not bad.

The original caps and diodes are working perfectly, this is a simple and well built amp. I recommend this amp to anyone who wants 1KW plus for around $600. A great value if you have some trouble shooting skills.

KI6KJS Rating: 2009-08-12
Excellent Amplifier Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this amplifier for a year and a helf but it has been in use for six months.

Mine came with 811 tubes that I never planned to use. After examining the options I purchased a matched quad of the 572B's and a matching plate load choke. That was the least expensive choice and they are good tubes.

On initial power up the transformer failed so I purchased a better quality transformer that was rated to supply 1.2 amps continuous at 2600 volts. Used 8 computer grade capacitors and 4 high voltage microwave diodes to complete the high voltage supply. My new transformer did not have 12 volts out so had to add another small transformer to power bias and xmit relays.

Also added a standby operate switch. Changed the tuned circuits for better performance on 40, 75 meters and all works well.

I do use a CM-U on the input for transiever matching.

Overall coast of the project was $676.00 including shipping and initial amplifier.

This amplifier will easily do legal limit on 40 and 75 meters but I mostly stay at the 5 to 6 humdred watt level for most contacts.

I've had 2 other amplifiers that where newer than this one but they did not function any better. I would recommend this amp to anyone that can work on them and wont's a less expensive route to good performance.
W8NET Rating: 2008-11-02
Basic, solid, easy to work on Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
First, there are two models (at least) of the Dentron 160-10: The 160-10L is based on 4 x 811A tubes. The 160-10M is based on 4 x 572B tubes. They are *nearly* identical, but not exact. To make it more confusing, many of the 160-10M units are labeled at 160-10L on the front, with a sticker on hte back stating the proper model. Legend has it that Dentron had many 160-10L faceplates made and used those until the stock ran out.

This is a solid amp, simple design and easy to work on. Regardless of model, the tubes are relatively cheap to get - a major bonus for an amp with good power.

If you pick up one of these for less than $400, you have a bargain - even if you have to put work into it. A couple things to MAKE SURE you do/check:

- This amp is very succepstible to parasitics. Follow good guidelines for new parasitic choke design and other parasitic alleviation procedures. This is easy and cheap to do.
- Replace the limiting resistor on the fan to raise the fan speed. The fan typically runs at about 50% of 120v rpms when this resistor is in series. During "Continuous Duty" transmission, it runs at full speed. Having it run a little faster during normal operation will increase your tube life. I replace them with a good quality 120v muffin fan - they work great.
- Check the mounting of the blocking capacitor between the bandswitch and chassis. It should be remounted more securely.
- Clean ALL the band switch and relay contacts well. These amps are all old now, and the contacts WILL have scoring, tarnish, etc.
- Re-mount hte small terminal strip (fan, relay) that is under the fan. Drill a hole in the chassis beneeth the fan as a mount. You will discover the need for this if you replace the fan!
- BRING THE AMP UP SLOWLY ON A VARIAC FOR A COUPLE DAYS WITHOUT TUBES IN IT. The original Sprague capacitors used were of the highest quality. I have NOT had to replace them yet!
- Get some NOS 1N4007 diodes and replace them on the HV board. Easy to do and a good idea.
- Replace the HV choke with one like the Ameritron HV choke for high power. It is a better design than the original, makes the leads to the dapcs MUCH shorter (less chance for parasitics), and is easy/cheap to do.
- Replace the Zener bias diode - again, cheap and easy.

For those who rated this amp poorly, you obviuously don't believe they have much value. Contact me and I will buy them from you for the low price you believe they are worth!