they don't "suck" per se.. (even the later 90s to present models) they just aren't spectacular. the old RF amplifiers were top notch. They had some serious balls to them. The present ones are more middle of the road, so by comparison, they've slipped from their former glory. that's all. it's not like if you buy one it'll fall apart on you or blow up. If there's one you're eyeing it should serve you well for quite some time to come.