Several weeks ago, I ordered a new HF amplifier. I have had an Ameritron AL-811 for several years, and it worked fine, but I realized a tube amplifier was not conducive to my typical operating. Which is to get on for short periods of time during the day, often not actually making a contact during these short windows. So a tube amp that requires warm-up, and re-tuning when changing frequencies meant that more often than not, I wouldn’t have the amp on when I needed it.
But there is a price for convenience, as a solid state amp with about the same power (400 wats CW, 600 PEP), was more than double the cost, or triple if you compare what I paid in 2019 to what todays cost is.
I did a bit of research, and decided the Elecraft KPA500 was the best choice for me. It interfaced fine with my radio, and can get automatic bandswitching as well. They have made the KPA500 for over 10 years now, and I’d think bugs have been worked out.
It is also much smaller than the AL-811.
So far, I have been very happy with it. I doubt I will ever think about 1.5KW, but then again I thought I’d never feel a need for an amplifier.