[CQ-Contest] ALPHA 87-A vs ACOM 2000-A

Tom Baugh AE9B tombaugh at discoverynet.com
Wed May 30 06:53:16 EDT 2001


After having posted the following:
I pose this question here to perhaps the most knowledgable and certainly
very opinionated group. Some of you may have had the oportunity to try both
the Alpha 87-A and ACOM 2000A. All Pro's and Con's of each would be
appreciated from those of you in this category. From others who have
selected one or the other.. your reason for selecting, and or reason why you
would not select the other. These are obviously two top of the line fully
automatic and expensive amplifiers. Although I like opinions, I would really
appreciate substantiation. I am aware of the Alpha being made in the USA. I
am also aware of the long history of Alpha and likewise aware that they were
recently out of business and could possibly be again. This is a very small
market, both companies will need to have other sources of revenue to make it
long term. Let's try to be straight up about the whole thing. What
experiences have you had with the service of these products, what parts seem
to fail? What's the turnaround on repair? All information that's available
thanks guys. Tom AE9B

I received no less than 40 E-Mail's including those posted here on the
reflector. There is, as I suspected, a loyalty factor from owners of each
amplifier NEVER having owned the other. The summary here follows: Of the 29
Alpha 87-A (only) Owners all but three of them still own their 87A and would
buy another 87-A due to a variety factors including construction, company
longevity, etc. Of the 16 ACOM 2000 A (only) owners that replied, all but
one would buy another ACOM. Of the three ALPHA owners that had bad
experiences all three related equipment issues which may have ended in
service issues  of early 87A amplifiers which soured their opinions of Alpha
as well as Automatic Amps. Of The two ACOM owners that had bad experiences
they too, were equipment issues which may have ended in service issues of
early 2000A's which resulted in bad experiences.

I was forwarded several URL's of information one of which summarizes the
following way.
87A  22 respondants overall satisfaction rating 4.5 of 5.0
2000A 23 respondants overall rating 4.9 of 5.0
This was approximately confirmed by my findings.

NOW for those who owned both amps.

The following scenario played out twice.
In one case, an amateur purchsed an ALPHA and was dissatisfied had multiple
problems and ended up purchasing an ACOM as has never been happier.
In one case a new purchaser of ACOM had difficulties which were ultimately
not rectified satisfactorily and replaced with an ALPHA 87A

Of those who currently own both AMPS. There was an interpretted (by ME)
sense that ACOM's "automatic" switching puts it slightly ahead of ALPHA's
"pre-settable" switching. It is apparent that ACOM's 2000A is a generation
ahead of Alpha's 87A There were apparently some problems with each of these
amps when first coming out, however the concensus is that most of the
problems have been eliminated.  Some of those owning ALPHA's (only) knocked
the ACOM's Service there was no evidence of this by owners of both
amplifiers even those owning early versions with difficulties. If fact two
or more of the ACOM's owners (in America where I live) were extremely
positive in their comments about the service from ACOM.

The following is my unsolicited opinion of these two AMPs.
1- The ACOM is a generation ahead of ALPHA in Technology
2- Both ALPHA and ACOM have excellent service for their high end customers
3- Both Alpha and ACOM have had problems with their high end Amps
4- The ACOM is slightly less expensive (but at those prices who cares)
5- There is a loyal following for each amp

Tom Baugh

tombaugh at discoverynet.com

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