Now the beam is up and that project is almost completed I’ve decided that the next addition to my shack should be an HF amplifier but I don’t know which one to go for.
I can read reviews from now until my eyes fall out but I’d like views and opinions from people who actually have, or have used big HF valve amplifiers. Real world experience is always better than magazine reviews.
My requirements are that it has to be valve and ideally capable of around 1kW. I’ll only be running at 400 watts but I’d rather have something rated much higher than I’m going to run so that it will only be ticking over and not stressing the tube(s) at all. I have a potential budget of up to around £2,000 for this. It’s a large piece of expenditure for a single item so I want to get it right.
The first place I looked was Linear Amp UK and specifically the Pioneer model as it ticks all the boxes. However after a couple of telephone calls yesterday I understand that they’re made to order and the current estimated delivery date is not until January 2012 at the earliest.
The suggestion was then an Ameritron amplifier, the model AL811HXCE has been mentioned but I have a couple of issues with that – The first is that it’s an 800 watt device (see above) and the second is that Ameritron come under the MFJ umbrella now and I still have a bit of an issue generally with MFJ equipment. I should add that I have two pieces of MFJ equipment in the shack, a digital voice keyer and an MFJ-974HB tuner as supplied by my sponsor, Martin Lynch and Sons and both work flawlessly but I really hesitate when it comes to buying something like this which is linked to MFJ. Another Ameritron option is the AL-80BXCE which is a 1kW amplifier but again, I struggle with buying this brand.
If you have a big HF amplifier or have used a big HF amplifier please tell me what you’ve got/used and what you think of it? I’d appreciate even just your views or suggestions about my thoughts above.