The Ten Tec Centaur
In the 600 watt class the Centaur is tough to beat!
The highly regarded Ten Tec Centaur amplifier deserves it's reputation. It's a solid little amp that just pumps out the watts day-in and day-out.
It tunes up easily and with full QSK it's a CW man's dream. And, Ten Tec still supports this amp!
And, of course, the jump from 100 watts to 600 watts is pretty significant. More so than the jump from 600 watts to 1500 watts. Most guys find that the 600 watt level is plenty. The "full gallon" is only needed for serious contesting, being a net control or DX work, etc.
And, the full gallon is pretty expensive compared to a 600 watt amp. Especially when it comes time to re-tube an amp. A set of three matched 811s costs $67.35 at RF Parts. Even if one "splurges" and gets a matched trio of 572Bs the cost will be $150. A pair of 3CX800A7s for that big Alpha will set you back a kilobuck (or more) at the same store. OUCH!
Well, enough of extolling it's virtues. Let's have a look at this little beauty!
Pretty clean inside. Also, quite simple -- no CPU or trick wiring. I don't think there is much that couldn't be repaired by anyone with a reasonable amount of experience and a few tools. Of course, Ten Tec still supports the amp.
Eventually, the 811s were getting soft and it was time for new finals. Now, some guys say the 572B is over-kill and there is nothing to be gained. And, some other guys say the 572B is a worthy upgrade allowing one to make the occassional tune up mistake without consequences. Me? I dunno. But, I thought, "What the heck? Why not?" So, I went to RF Parts and ordered a matched trio of Taylor 572B tubes.
So, there ya have it. One pretty nice Ten Tec Centaur amp. Too bad they quit making this amp, I'll wager a lot of guys would be happy to buy a new one today. Ameritron certainly sells a lot of 811 based amps.
(By the way, if you're thinking about getting an amp but want to run a "full gallon" then maybe I can help you out. Check out the Alpha 86 that I have for sale!)
The Ten Tec Centaur - it's a sweet little amp!