Well, after trading off my loveable little Yaesu FL-2100B linear, I
found I needed more power, at times, than my Corsair-2 was giving me.
So, I decided on the Centaur, TenTecs newest...and it arrived today.
Do I like it? Well, mostly, I love it. But what I hate about it is
enough to offset all the things I like about it.
First, its very pretty, and very functional. It is easy to connect up,
and tunes easily. The velvet feel to the loading and tuning controls is
just great. The meters are big, well lighted. Its very easy to convert
to 240 volts, which I did. It sounds like the perfect little 600 watt
amplifier, and an ideal companion to the Corsair-2. Well, almost!
I have built many amplifiers in my 57 years of hamming, and have owned
any number of commercial units. But I have never even owned a 2 KW job
that sounded like a B-36 taking off. Even my old Wilcox 96D, with
450TL's in the final didn't sound this loud. When I turned this
amplifier on, I couldn't believe my ears, which, by the way, normally
are filled with hearing aids. Yes, my hearing is bad, but not so bad
that this internal fan could not keep me (and my family) awake. And, its
not just the rushing sound...it also has a whine to it (normal, I
believe, considering the fan speed).
It makes me wonder if the engineers ever took this amplifier home to try
it out before they put it on the market. I know that ole Scott, in Sales
is a pretty hep ham, and certainly he must have tried it. I can't
believe he would have found that much noise acceptable. I finally turned
it off because it was giving me a headache, and I am hard of hearing. I
wear "cans" when working CW, and I could hardly hear my sidetone. You
think I am exaggerating? Wait until you try one.
My last amplifier, the FL2100B put out about the same amount of power
(but no QSK), but you could hardly tell it was on. The Collins 30L1 (I
think thats its name) is much quieter. But this amplifier is REALLY
The sad thing is, that it is perfect except for that. I have received
great reports, and I love the tuning. Will I keep it? yup...but I can
hardly wait for the modification to the cooling system. Its bound to
come. I know TenTec wanted to build an amplifier that would not require
frequent replacement of tubes, but heck, to get rid of this kind of
noise, I would gladly replace them every few years; they are not that
TenTec, how about a resistor in series with the fan to slow it up and
make it quieter. I will accept (gladly) the reduced tube life to be able
to hear my sidetone, and the guy I am talking to. I will even pay for
the modification parts.
Its a great little amplifier....now lets bring it up to the very high
James (Jim), Parsons, K5ROV USAF, Ret.
email@example.com QCWA, NWQRP, Fists, ARRL
EX: W1RLA, K5FBB, K4FEO, SV0WN (CRETE), SV0WN (RHODES),
DL4NC, DL4JP, KA2FC (JAPAN), KA2JP (JAPAN).
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