Antennas and Tuners / Products & Product Reviews

Ham Radio Amplifier Buyer’s Guide 2022

As the year winds down and you begin to assess your station’s needs moving forward, now’s a great time to consider boosting your contesting prowess for 2023 or upgrading your DXing capabilities with an amplifier that can help you rise above the pileups—especially useful in light of two ultra-rare DXpeditions on the docket.

  • Crozet Island by F6CUK, third most-wanted DXCC entity, scheduled to begin mid-December 2022
  • Bouvet Island, 3Y0J, second most-wanted DXCC entity, scheduled for January/February 2023

Choosing the amp that best suits your setup and budget is not a one-model-fits-all proposition. The good news is that you’ll find a wide range of amps at DX Engineering, along with accessories that can deliver the punch you need to log those ATNOs that only come around once a decade or so. Here’s a brief guide of what you’ll find at Even more important than the bells and whistles of each amp is the guidance you’ll receive from the active operators at DX Engineering to ensure that you’re making a wise decision. Have technical questions? Just ask one of our hams. You’ll get honest, knowledgeable answers from operators who have done their fair share of amplifier shopping.

Also take a moment to read this blog post from Mark, K8MSH, “Guide to Amplifiers and Contesting—What’s Right for Your Station.”


Choose from linear amplifier models that deliver 700W output PEP to 1,500W+. We’ve listed available models below from the most budget-friendly on up:

1000 HF+6 Meter Linear Amplifier

A great value for HF operators, this 1,000W model features a plate-load True Resistance Indicator for quick and precise antenna matching, the ability to withstand up to 300W of reflected power, use of a Svetlana 4CX800A (GU74B) high-performance ceramic/metal tetrode with plate dissipation of 800W, virtually noise-free QSK, and intermodulation distortion better than 35dB below rated output. Order model AOM-1000 to wire the AC plug and voltage selection yourself. Select AOM-1000-240 for pre-wired 240-volt operation or AOM-1000-120 for pre-wired 120-volt operation.

What do hams say ab0ut the ACOM 1000?

Five Stars: “This is a beautifully constructed amplifier and an absolute dream to tune and use. Tuning is so fast and simple. This makes band changes extremely fast compared to other amplifiers that I have owned. I highly recommend this amplifier, and prospective buyers will not be disappointed with the build quality. The useful diagnostic operational information and protective features of this amplifier are second to none.”

700S Solid State 1.8-54 MHz Linear Amplifier

Added to the ACOM lineup a couple of years ago, this rugged, compact, and lightweight amp makes a solid choice for field work, DXpeditions, and home station operations. Hams benefit from 700W of output power (PEP, SSB, CW, and digital modes), intuitive-to-use screen menus, RF sense automatic band changing, full output operation that only requires a maximum of 40W drive, protection circuits that continually safeguard the amplifier while operating in any mode, and low SWR over the entire frequency range. Order model AOM-700S to wire the AC plug and voltage selection yourself. Select AOM-700S-240 for pre-wired 240-volt operation or AOM-700S-120 for pre-wired 120-volt operation.

What do hams say about the ACOM 700S?

Five Stars: “I have been wanting an ACOM amplifier for a long time. Finally made the purchase and couldn’t be happier. The new 700S looks are great and the product performs flawlessly. The screen is clear and easy to read. The menu is easy to navigate and intuitive. Setup was quick and easy. The 700S only requires minimal power to reach rated output. Fans are silent when idle and there’s minimal noise when engaged.”

1200S Solid State HF+6 Meter Linear Amplifier

This 1,000W model delivers full HF and 6-meter coverage in a lightweight, sturdy package that makes it another superb choice whether you’re in or out of the shack. It features a broadband input circuit, providing a perfect transceiver load with SWR below 1.2 (typically 1.1); intermodulation distortion better than 31dB below rated PEP; harmonic and parasitic emissions output suppression better than 60dB; and complete coverage with less than 50W of drive. Order model AOM-1200S to wire the AC plug and voltage selection yourself. Select AOM-1200S-240 for pre-wired 240-volt operation or AOM-1200S-120 for pre-wired 120-volt operation.

What do hams say about the ACOM 1200S?

Five Stars: “Amazing machine! It took many years and two worn-out old tube amplifiers for me to finally decide to buy a solid state amp. And this one sure doesn’t disappoint! What a beautiful amplifier. It runs silent and works perfectly. There is very little drive power needed. Only 20 watts for full output. It sure is a pleasure to be heard well on the air!”

2100 HF+6 Meter Linear Amplifier

This model takes things up a notch, providing more than 1,500W of PEP continuous carrier power with less than 85W exciter drive. Easy operation comes thanks to its True Resistance Indicator plus 2:1 TUNE and LOAD caps verniers and the automatically controlled input attenuator. It is designed to safely withstand up to 400W of reflected power and up to 100 milliseconds duration of drive spikes. Operators can take advantage of intermodulation distortion of better than 32dB below rated output, and hum and noise of better than 40dB below rated output. Order model AOM-2100 to wire the AC plug and voltage selection yourself. Select AOM-2100-240 for pre-wired 240-volt operation.

What do hams say about the ACOM 2100?

Five Stars: “This is a nice amp that easily provides 1500++ watts of clean RF. The amp is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I picked this amp because of the ease of tuning. I have had a lot of amps over the last 50 years and this is by far the easiest to tune amp I have had. It is very quiet. Lots of protection built in.”

2000A Automatic HF Linear Amplifier

At the top of the line is this 160-10 meter model that provides 1,500W+ of clean, noise-free power; full automatic tuning that delivers lightning-quick band-switching with low SWR; advanced digital features that allow for complete control via PC when plugged into the 2000A’s RS232 port; an optional module that lets you turn the amp on or off remotely; a Remote Antenna Switch and Selector Console that provides simple antenna selection automation when interfaced with the 2000A; use of two Svetlana 4CX800A (GU74B) high-performance ceramic and metal tetrodes; and harmonics output suppression of better than 50dB below rated output. Order model AOM-2000A to wire the AC plug and voltage selection yourself. Select AOM-2000A-240 for pre-wired 240-volt operation.

What do hams say about the ACOM 2000A?

Five Stars: “The 2000A is my second ACOM following an ACOM 1000 and replacing an Alpha 8410. The superb quality of this amp is very evident as one installs the robust power transformer. The tetrodes not only deliver 900 watts of headroom over legal limit but do so providing a super-clean signal as compared to triodes. The RCU is a joy to use and provides more power supply and data for each tube than other brands. The Pi-L auto tuning provides no-brainer fast tuning. DXE has incomparable tech support for the entire ACOM line. Finally, I really appreciate the long-term continuous product improvement of this amp.”

All ACOM amplifiers come with a full two-year warranty.

Available accessories include Transceiver to Amplifier Interface Cables, eBox Ethernet Remote Control Devices, Remote Antenna Switch and Selector Set, and Amplifier Covers.

Be sure to check in the coming months for the release of the new 1,500W+ 2020S solid state amp from ACOM. Also find a nice selection of HF power amplifiers from RM Italy and amplifiers from Ameritron, including High Power Vacuum Tube Linear Amplifiers and Solid State “No Tune” Amplifiers. Click here for details about Ameritron’s widely acclaimed ALS-606 Series Amplifiers.

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