For The Mere Price of This Linear Amplifier ….

I never intended on getting into this Collins Jazz as I have. However, it’s turned into the most welcomed new “thing” in my hobby world since getting into DXing and DXCC in 2001.

CBS Orchestra – War of The Worlds was broadcast in 1938 – some SW-3 receivers picked that up I’m sure!

This morning I was listening to classical music on the SW-3 and it was truly like a time machine. That music would surely have been played in the 30’s on AM radio. Someone with an SW-3, perhaps the one I have might have heard that same classical piece on this same radio.

So, what was the “tipping point” that got me head over heels into the Collins KWS-1 transmitter? I mean, the 75A-4 already seemed above and beyond “just” wanting the SW-3.


  1. Price as low as I’ve seen any. $1200 working is as good as it gets
  2. Local pickup. No way would I ship the power supply
  3. Howard Mills willing to restore the RF Deck so it will match the 75A-4 he did that I own
  4. I can handle the restore of the power supply and turn it into a fun project
  5. The total cost of the rig plus Howard’s restoration plus shipping would end up being the price of a linear amplifier

Check on all of these. You see, no matter what I spend on something, I need to feel I am getting value for my money. On new equipment, that’s easy to understand, but with old gear, value is a lot more subjective.

I swore no more linear amplifiers. However, the KWS-1 is a linear amplified transmitter. It is half transmitter and half linear amplifier. So, to compare it to modern equipment, here’s the bill of lading:

  1. 75A-4 – $1200
  2. KWS-1 – $1200
  3. Restoration – $1200

Which ends up being about the same as a used Elecraft K-Line. Sure, the K-Line is modern. But I’ve had that and it’s not unique.

Another comparison – it’s the cost of a “full gallon” linear amplifier, such as the ACOM 1500 – which goes for $4140 at DX Engineering right now.

The Gold Dust Twins restored is a very unique experience – something no modern day equipment can offer. It’s also a passing of several eras – those who can restore these 65 year old beauties are becoming rare.

The uniqueness of this project ends up being the main driver. I feel really great also being a “guardian and keeper” of the past.

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