Tube for AL1200 amp

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KF5GOI, Oct 29, 2018.

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  1. KF5GOI

    KF5GOI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am on the verge of purchasing a 2013 AL1200 amp.
    I was on the verge of building my last personal HF, multi band, legal limit amp. due to injuries, even though I have all of the best components to build as near bullet proof as possible. I have to side line and purchase an amp.
    All my research up till locating a nice 2013 AL1200 was this would be the amp. Now as I am fixing to purchase.
    Info. comes in that the 3CX1200Z7 is used which is supposed to be great and a lot more rugged. The original A7 and D7 were side lined due to problems. My question is the price and availability of this Z7 tube if the misfortune of needing to purchase a new one comes up? I am waiting from several sources to verify approximately how long the tube will be available? Along with will the tube cost as much as the amp?
    Anyone have legit information? Would seriously appreciate it.
    Thanks ,Paul
  2. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That tube, new, goes for $1,995 at MFJ's website. Just go to their website and plug in 3CX1200Z7 and it should come up. I've seen prices as high as $2,700 for that tube at some vendors. Used prices, when they turn up, run anywhere from about $600 - $1,000+.

    Now if you use reasonable caution when using the amp and don't abuse it that tube should last for a very long time indeed. If you're getting a decent price on the amp and the existing tube is good, I wouldn't be too worried about it. But you do need to remember that if you ever do need to replace it a brand new one is going to cost you at least $2,000, and about half that for a used one according to the prices I'm seeing right now.

    As for availability that looks to be spotty. I didn't check if MFJ actually has them in stock or not, but other vendors I looked at listed the tube as "out of stock" or "available soon" or "call for availability".
  3. AG5CK

    AG5CK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an al1200 with the A7 tube. No idea how old the tube is but it's old. My plans for the day the tube fails is one of the Chinese 8877s that I have.

    You can buy another amp for the price of a new 3cx1200. Even if they are available I won't be buying a new one.
  4. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My AL-82 is going to be the last tube amp I'll ever buy. It uses the still fairly affordable 3-500Z tubes but even so, it's so heavy, gives off so much heat that as soon as I got a solid state amp the 82 went to live in the closet and has been there ever since.
  5. AG5CK

    AG5CK Ham Member QRZ Page

    They do make good shack heaters.
  6. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ha! Oh, no doubt about that! Holy cow the room would get warm when I had that thing fired up in here!
  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    These days, solid state finals (or other internal components) could be discontinued just as quickly as tubes. I would not worry about undefined 'what-if's" in purchasing a new production amp.
    AG5CK likes this.

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