What are some of the top 845 Amplifiers you have heard?

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,514
248
498
#1
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What speakers were used? And which 845 tubes?

Thanks in advance
 
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olivier

VIP/Donor
Nov 27, 2016
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www.olivier-schmidt.com
#2
i love my New Audio Frontiers 845 SE. Use(d) them in Reference 3A De Capo BE, Horns FP10, Zu Druid VI and with TAD CR1 biamped
Huge soundstage, engaging, resolving and mids to die for
Best Tubes i do have are Psvane 845 ACME followed by Psvane 845-T-MII/2 and Shuguang 845B
But be carefully, with NAF 845 you can´t use any 845, e.g. 845M otherwise autobias will cause damage
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
8,209
2,635
730
Beverly Hills, CA
#7
I nominate the MastersounD PF-100 Litz (four 845 PSET) (but I have never heard it myself).
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,514
248
498
#8
Thank you for the replies.

Anyone try RCA 845s? I found that WE 300B tubes tower over the others in musicality. (Although the other brands and replicas may be more "neutral" and extended at the extremes.)

I wonder if it is the same case with going with RCAs.
 

AudioLibertarian

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2017
35
9
75
NEW YORK CITY
#9
I second Mr Resnik here: Mastersound PF-100 are without a doubt one of the best (the BEST IMHO) 845 - based amps, and perhaps the most reliable modern tube amps in my experience with factory installed Shuguangs 845. Even a non Litz version is a marvel. These can drive practically any speaker in a "normal" size rooms. Among the top 5 best universal amplifiers in the world , in mine NOT so humble opinion....
 
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Mobiusman

Well-Known Member
May 25, 2010
594
191
455
Jersey Shore- waterside
#10
I quickly browsed through the comments on this thread and did not recognize the names of the amps mentioned, yet today I took a large financial step and changed amps in my bucket list system to improve the sonics and double my power, not to mention a newer design version of my current amp. Currently I have a VAC 450 IQ Stereo amp, which I have come to love for many reasons. But it did not have that last bit of power I regularly seek, and in my opinion, while in no way offensive, the highs are down a bit, although crystal clear. My plan was to convert my 450 Stereo to a 450 mono block and by a single 450 IQ mono block.

It turns the there is only a 10% salvage rate in the conversion of the stereo to a mono block. Fortunately, about 13 years ago I made an investment of just over $100,000 into a short-term tool with a guarantied high rate of return. Not being very financially astute I "sort of" forgot about the account as did AXA, allowing the tool to become a good long-term home for the money, despite my inability to add additional funds, Fidelity advised me to just let the money sit because they could not provide a. better return. Now the money is more than $200,000 and has been intentionally somewhat off of my radar, so that I will not consider it part of my retirement savings, but instead use it as a way to finance via my active "rationale" so that the money would be available if, or more likely when, I wanted to do something that is really quite extravagant, if not totally indulgent or even foolish.

So as a retirement gift to myself, the AXA account became found money I could use for the very expensive upgrade to 454 and ease by taking my 450 Stereo in, plus insuring another MasterBuilt Ultra power cord for the additional amp when the amps arrive in 4-8 weeks. Although my bucket list system, sounds absolutely beyond my wildest dreams, it is under powered for when I want to push it, which is most of the time and the 450 design has the highs a bit down, although beautiful in detail and delicacy, that is just not what I am looking for in my magnum opus sound system.

Suddenly I remembered the AXA account and its reason for being, along with some help from my friends at VSA, a deal was cut where I would trade in my Statement 450 Stereo and buy a pair of VAC 454's to run as mono blocks, instantly solving my power problems and improved sound from Kevin Hayes' latest design which improves the sound top to bottom, but especially the highs.

How could I not take the leap? Even though I do not have a good sense of 454's sound, I love the 450 and everyone who has had a good chance to listen to the 454 feels that the sonic improvements are considerable, so I am game.

I have a feeling that these amps are going to be amazing in my system, while providing the power I need and the improved highs. All the rest that is allegedly part of the package will be gravy. I must admit that the slush fund has allowed me to make an upgrade to my system that was supposed to be the end all.

And best of all my active denial made it all guilt free. I also think that this will be a super amp in my system which is already pro VAC and sounding pretty.

I'll get back to you in 4-8 weeks with an update.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,095
3,092
820
#11
very impressed 5 years ago with the Berning 211/845 ZOTL, pure class A, zero global feedback, 60 watt mono blocks. did a fine job in my large room on my 97db MM7 towers.

if you desire to hear linear tubes at the finest level, these should be considered. liquid and natural, but not warmish or rounded. very quiet (low noise) and extended in the bass and highs. beautiful textures and tone in the mid range. these would be high on my short list of favorite sounding tube amplifiers. for the finer details, these same amps and tubes in my room were the subject of this Absolute Sound Harley review.

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/the-david-berning-company-211845-power-amplifier/
 
Last edited:

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
2,410
1,612
290
Principality of Liechtenstein
#12
I quickly browsed through the comments on this thread and did not recognize the names of the amps mentioned, yet today I took a large financial step and changed amps in my bucket list system to improve the sonics and double my power, not to mention a newer design version of my current amp. Currently I have a VAC 450 IQ Stereo amp, which I have come to love for many reasons. But it did not have that last bit of power I regularly seek, and in my opinion, while in no way offensive, the highs are down a bit, although crystal clear. My plan was to convert my 450 Stereo to a 450 mono block and by a single 450 IQ mono block.

It turns the there is only a 10% salvage rate in the conversion of the stereo to a mono block. Fortunately, about 13 years ago I made an investment of just over $100,000 into a short-term tool with a guarantied high rate of return. Not being very financially astute I "sort of" forgot about the account as did AXA, allowing the tool to become a good long-term home for the money, despite my inability to add additional funds, Fidelity advised me to just let the money sit because they could not provide a. better return. Now the money is more than $200,000 and has been intentionally somewhat off of my radar, so that I will not consider it part of my retirement savings, but instead use it as a way to finance via my active "rationale" so that the money would be available if, or more likely when, I wanted to do something that is really quite extravagant, if not totally indulgent or even foolish.

So as a retirement gift to myself, the AXA account became found money I could use for the very expensive upgrade to 454 and ease by taking my 450 Stereo in, plus insuring another MasterBuilt Ultra power cord for the additional amp when the amps arrive in 4-8 weeks. Although my bucket list system, sounds absolutely beyond my wildest dreams, it is under powered for when I want to push it, which is most of the time and the 450 design has the highs a bit down, although beautiful in detail and delicacy, that is just not what I am looking for in my magnum opus sound system.

Suddenly I remembered the AXA account and its reason for being, along with some help from my friends at VSA, a deal was cut where I would trade in my Statement 450 Stereo and buy a pair of VAC 454's to run as mono blocks, instantly solving my power problems and improved sound from Kevin Hayes' latest design which improves the sound top to bottom, but especially the highs.

How could I not take the leap? Even though I do not have a good sense of 454's sound, I love the 450 and everyone who has had a good chance to listen to the 454 feels that the sonic improvements are considerable, so I am game.

I have a feeling that these amps are going to be amazing in my system, while providing the power I need and the improved highs. All the rest that is allegedly part of the package will be gravy. I must admit that the slush fund has allowed me to make an upgrade to my system that was supposed to be the end all.

And best of all my active denial made it all guilt free. I also think that this will be a super amp in my system which is already pro VAC and sounding pretty.

I'll get back to you in 4-8 weeks with an update.
Do the new VAC 454 employ 845 tubes now and not KT88 anymore?
 

rob

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
25
23
343
#14
I've heard 2 in my system with Tannoy Westminster.
Cary Audi 805 AE and Nagra VPA. They sounded very different to eachother, the Cary was smooth/lush and had an airy spacious quality to the soundstage with ill defined full rich bass. The Nagra sounded clean open and fast with clean punchy bass and a more focused/defined soundstage.

Just goes to show you can't always reliably describe a particular tubes "sound" :)
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,452
160
320
#15
Obviously, the circuit will affect the performance/sound of the tube. Same goes for solid state.
 

Mobiusman

Well-Known Member
May 25, 2010
594
191
455
Jersey Shore- waterside
#16
Do the new VAC 454 employ 845 tubes now and not KT88 anymore?
They are still the KT88's, which Kevin Hayes believes are the best suited for his needs and incredibly reliable, especially as he biases them. From what I understand from Damon and Leif and conversations with Kevin, the relationship between VAC and VSA produced a mutually respected intense relationship that has attracted others of similar values.

The 450 integrated was a design exercise for Kevin to explore the potential benefits of vertical topology with the power supplies as far away as possible from all of the signal circuitry and all of the signal circuitry as close as possible with more routing options for improved noise floor and distortion. Being the person Kevin is, he tried to improve EVERY aspect of the existing product, the Statement 450 IQ. The integrated was the first application of his new topology and probably part of the reason people said it sounded so special.
 

AudioLibertarian

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2017
35
9
75
NEW YORK CITY
#18
They are still the KT88's, which Kevin Hayes believes are the best suited for his needs and incredibly reliable, especially as he biases them. From what I understand from Damon and Leif and conversations with Kevin, the relationship between VAC and VSA produced a mutually respected intense relationship that has attracted others of similar values.

The 450 integrated was a design exercise for Kevin to explore the potential benefits of vertical topology with the power supplies as far away as possible from all of the signal circuitry and all of the signal circuitry as close as possible with more routing options for improved noise floor and distortion. Being the person Kevin is, he tried to improve EVERY aspect of the existing product, the Statement 450 IQ. The integrated was the first application of his new topology and probably part of the reason people said it sounded so special.
With all due respect to Mr Hayes, who's EL -34 based amplifier I used to own in the mid 90s, but the KT 88 is the crudest & least refined sounding tube of them all, and that includes the entire 6550 family! Comparing the KT 88 to the 845 is like comparing 1980 POntiac Bonneville to the modern Maserati, their supposed "reliability" be damned!
 
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Mobiusman

Well-Known Member
May 25, 2010
594
191
455
Jersey Shore- waterside
#19
I apologize for misunderstanding this thread. I love the sound of SET amps, but I am also someone who plays fairly loud and thus need more power. I was not trying to intrude into a space that is not relevant to me. I was just excited about my new amp purchase. I think it takes much more than a great tube to make a great amp, and for my system the VAC 450 Statement has been wonderful and I expect the 452's will be substantially better. To me there is no comparison between the two because they are so different.
 

AudioLibertarian

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2017
35
9
75
NEW YORK CITY
#20
I apologize for misunderstanding this thread. I love the sound of SET amps, but I am also someone who plays fairly loud and thus need more power. I was not trying to intrude into a space that is not relevant to me. I was just excited about my new amp purchase. I think it takes much more than a great tube to make a great amp, and for my system the VAC 450 Statement has been wonderful and I expect the 452's will be substantially better. To me there is no comparison between the two because they are so different.
Actually there are couple of SE 845 based amps that are very powerful in the absolute terms (about 120 of SE 845 watts, which is about I 'd say 300 "regular" tube watts) and will play VERY loud into most sensible loudspeakers: the Mastersound PF-100, the Unison Research Finale monoblocks. These amps probably match lot better with ceramic driver based Von Schweikerts, as I suspect the KT 88 based amps will provide excess nasty brighness spots & crudeness, within the frequency region.... Whether or not these distortions may bother one is sorely based on individual's sonic preferences. But if were you and had some funds available I would try these SE monoblocks amps. Using the volume control from your MSB dac into any of these amplifiers, the resulting sound might pleasantly surprise you. Just my couple of cents of course ....
 

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