Elecraft Amplifier to be announced at Visalia CA Hamfest

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by K2HAT, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess my point is, we've seen the cost of new equipment come down substantially over the years with the switch to solid-state technology and computer-controlled transceivers, but for some reason, the cost of amplifiers keeps increasing with the integration of new technology. Why is that?

    Elecraft also seems to be the only radio manufacturer with the ability to continually raise the prices on their products, even those that have been around for nearly two decades. I remember when the K2 came out, it was around $600 for the 10 watt CW only kit. Now it's listed for $769. What gives?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
    AF6LJ likes this.
  2. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Around here, we use the "pizza slice" cost analysis method. 20 years ago a slice of pie was about $1.25, now it's $2.25. Seems to me that Elecraft is doing OK in that dept.

    Hi power SS is tough to make so it doesn't explode easily and as amps get bigger, you start to need multiple output devices with the required matching, which takes trays of transistors and lots of time to do properly... hardware gets bigger, etc.

    In my thinking, I'd go with tube outputs, but I don't care if it takes time to QSY and I don't mind tearing a used amp down to fix it.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
    AD0AC and AF6LJ like this.
  3. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like tubes anyway. I'm a retro-grouch.
    KD2ACO likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Me, too, but mostly for the high level of lightning transient protection that's free when you use big tubes in an amplifier. Of course, some of that all disappears if your tube amplifier also has a microprocessor and lots of other SS devices that can all fail if you look at them the wrong way.

    My old Alpha 87A was like that. The HV and RF sections never, ever failed. The control circuitry failed, three different times, rendering it a doorstop each time. Glad I don't have it anymore.
  5. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Stubbed your toes enough times on that thing... :p
  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Higher parts prices and other costs. Simple as that.
  7. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know, we have an Alpha 374 at our club station (the Henry in my basement is actually the backup for that amp) but it's 40 years old and still running the original 3cx400 tubes with full output. The thing I like about it is the bandpass tuning feature. I'm surprised that ETO stopped making amps like that. You could now have a 2 x 3CX800 deck with a simple bit of control circuitry to automatically select the proper coil for bandpass tuning depending on the transceiver settings. Was there any real disadvantage to a bandpass tuning setup like that?
    AF6LJ likes this.
  8. N6YFM

    N6YFM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Let's not forget;

    Cost of labor per hour.
    Cost of building rent per sq foot.
    Cost of taxes compared to 20 years ago.
    Cost of business liability insurance and employee health insurance compared to 20 years ago.
    Cost of advertising, magazine print ads, etc, compared to 20 years ago.

    I could go on and on, but the shortest summary used by Wall Street is "inflation".

    Get over it.

    K6CLS and N2EY like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    All true - but with a kit such as the K2, once it is established, most of the cost is the parts.

    Here's another factor:

    When a new company appears, often their products will be priced low so that they will sell and establish the company's reputation. But once that reputation is established, prices need to rise so the company can survive and expand.


    The K2 cost $599 when it came out in 1999. According to the Westegg Inflation Calculator


    $599 in 1999 inflates to $878.07 in 2016.
  10. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Strange how $599 in 1999 seemed more affordable than $769 in 2017. Especially since e-commerce hadn't affected the price of the established brands yet, most of them were still advertising at full list price.

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