I have owned 2 845 amps in the past.#1 was the Sophia Princess version,and next the Dehavilland Aries g. I was unhappy and lost big bucs in my 845 journey. No.1 of the three most important factors list (to me) would be matching these amps to the right speaker.IMO--any speaker that drops below 6 anywhere in the impedance curve will be a hard load for most 845 amps.#2 would be your listening preferences/room size and volume desired. SET amps do well with chamber music and vocals but bass and slam suffers.---Lastly it really depends on what amp/amps you owned before going the 845 journey. In my case I was comparing far to good an el34 triode amp to these 845's.---So if you now own say a 2k ss amp you could be happy--if the other 2 items of criteria are met.
Try a search for Divergent Technologies they carry Antique Sound Labs which I believe have two 845 SET based amps! Or you can try Cary 805C/Anniversary.
FYI ASL 845 DOA 50% YMMV IMO
If you are interested in used, you could also look into the Bel Canto amps. There are several for sale right now on Audiogon. They are really nice sounding, and well reviewed when they were in production. The company still stands behind them and provides service.
I second the recommendation of ASL amps. I have the 805s; they sound great and have been 100% reliable.
WAVAC...if price is no object.
MD-805m monoblock is 55 w/ch @ $19,000
HE-805 singe chassis is 45 w/ch @ $45,000
But you will be one of the privileged few who owns the best!
Verdier from France also makes an 845 that might be worth looking into.
Art Audio, Verdier
I would urge you to check out the Wytetech Lab amp which is based on the 211 tube. The 211 is a wonderful tube and makes excellent power. It is more difficult/costly to build an amp for it due to its power requirements but it may be worth a listen.
If you want slam check out a quality push/pull class A tube amp. A 300b push/pull has plenty of slam with the right speakers. We just made one of these for a customer and it sounds damn close to our single ended interstage coupled 300B but it has the slam that the SET is a little softer on.
unison research makes an excellent 845. I use them to drive my von scherkert vr4's. speakers must be fairly effecient however, if not, the bottom end will suffer.
I've owned Komura SET 845's, Nagra SET 845's and Bel Canto SET 845's....all very good.
I currently have the JC Verdier 845 luxe se mono's and find them most to my liking.
Seriuos transformers and serious power supply are a good start for a good/excellent SET.
Judy426, could you translate for me? Your post looks like the Dow Jones ticker wire :-) I'm kind of clueless when it comes to some internet abbreviations!
asl 1009 845 push pull, sounds great, have not had reliability problems
Thanks to all. I'm going to look them up and see what i decide.
2nd the recommendation for the BelCanto SET40i. My good friend has this piece. I've heard it many, many times. Paired w/ Rick Craig's ExcelArray line-array speakers, the combination is excellent. He just had it upgraded + new o/p xformers put in & the sound is amongst the best SETs made. Other SET40i owners say that this modified amp can hold its own w/ the Lamm SETs. Says a lot about this SET40i. FWIW.
Unison Smart 845. It was sublime - I have never forgotten it.
I can tell you that the best 845 based SET i have ever heard is the New Audio Frontiers 845. Give Jeff at high water sound in NYC a call highwatersound.com absolutely stunning especially with the silver wound output transformers
Why has nowone mentioned Viva, another excellent Italian manufacturer like Unison, (Why are Italians so good at valve amps?) They make a wide range of amps, most 845 based. I have the excellent Solista integrated 18watt SET and it drives my Living Voice Avatars as near perfectly as I've heard and I've heard Kevin Scott using an Audio Note Ongaku with his OBX 2 speakers. Alright that was in a show in a small hotel room and they still sounded excellent.
Viva also do the Aurora Monoblocks, 24 watt SET I believe, currently 2 of them on the Audiogon site.
I heard the Solista in the London high end show this april and I'm not the only person to think it made the best sound in show. These amps are grain free, muscular, good base for a valve amp. The manufacturer is truly an undiscovered gem. Walker audio import them to the US. Absolute sound gave the Auroras a strong recommendation a few years ago. Stereophile due to review the Solista I believe.
I own a pair of Audion Black Shadow 845 monoblocks. They are outstanding, especially with the 845M tube. Self-bias circuit, no problems, very robust. The Black Shadow has been replaced by the Elite, a 3-box monoblock + power module upgrade based on the Black Shadow design. These amps use silver wire in the audio path too. Black Shadows are scarce in the US. The Elite can be ordered new. I've heard the deHavilland, ASL and Bel Canto and Art Audio 845s. I prefer my Audions but I think if I didn't have them, I'd own the Art Audio Carissa though there's nothing wrong with the others.
Our new 845 SET line from Italy is breathtaking!
Pure (no colorations), detailed, dynamic, open and oversized transformers (silver/copper LITZ OPT and oversized Power Trannies for tight, fast bass response and sounding far more powerful than the 25w rating.
More info at: http://www.tmhaudio.com/NAF.htm
Even with the stock GD845, I am now an 845 convert and look forward to receiving the 845M from SuperTNT!
Think I'll stick with 300Bs. Can't the heat and the way 845s light up the room...I like listening in the dark or at least semi-darkness.
the 845M is excellent, so is the Cary 805c for an 845 based amp. i'm in love w/ these amps paired with my martin logan vantages.
I hide my 2 amps (asl 845, with stock 845's) behind a large, low coffee-table-like shelf with a large older CRT 29 inch TV sitting atop. The valves seem no worse staring into a dulling 40-watt lightbulbs at its end of its useful life, but I wouldnt know how much worse it is than 2A3 or 300B types.
Actually I am playing music with highest satisfaction with a full VIVA AUDIO system pre, pre fono and the big aurora 845 monoblocks, and Rockport ( and asap the tad r1) speakers. Absolutely grainless, fast, and muscolar dynamic sound. One of the best amps I ever heard ( including big names), and the preamplifiers ( also beloved by HP) are also excellent.. The 845 at his best...
Komuro SET 845 is the best if u can afford it.
I own Cary 805 monos and I'd feel comfortable recommending them despite the hefty price tag. I do prefer to run them with 211s, however, so that may make the recommendation moot.