Best 845 tube out there?

I am running a pair of Cary CAD-211AE monoblocks with the standard no-name Chinese tubes shipped by Cary. Whilst I am happy with the sound, I think I should buy a pair of 845's to keep as backup in case something happens to these tubes.

Because I will need to buy FOUR of them, this rules out any tube that sells for stupid money (e.g. vintage RCA 845 tubes).

The only current production 845's I am aware of are:

- Shuguang 845 "standard"
- Shuguang 845B
- Shuguang 845C
- Shuguang PSVANE 845
- KR Audio 845

I have found reviews of the Shuguang 845B and 845C, but there is virtually no information out there on the new Shuguang "psvane" 845. Has anybody heard this valve, and is it a noticable improvement over the 845B and C? Also, what do people think of the KR?
Assuming that the supplied 845 for the Cary 211 uses 3.5 amps of filament current then a Shuguang tube should be used.The KR tubes use 1 amp of filament current and will be overloaded unless resisters are changed.Check your owners manual or call Cary to be sure.
As for my preference,I use the 845B.
Okay, so we are ruling out United, RCA and Amperex due to high cost. Forget about the KR845, they won't work in the 211AE. The Shuguang 845C has a lower disapisation rating than the standard 845, therefore, you will need to adjust the bias on the 211AE 845 tubes. I am not a big fan of the 845C in the 211AE.

Try and find a quad of the limited production metal plate SuperTnT 845W Noblemans which are absolute awesome tubes, but unfortunately, the production run was limited. NOS Cetron 845 also works nicely in the 211AE. I have not tried the Psvane 845, but the over sized glass and build quality looks interesting, but they have not been proven in the field as they have only been on the market for a couple of months.

The Shuguang 845B is the general tube of choice for the 211AE, notwithstanding NOS.
Are the SuperTNT 845Ws(2008) the same as the Shuguang 845 Metal Plates(2009)? I have both and cannot tell any difference between them. Sophia Electric sells the 845 Metal plates online.

Has anyone tried the 845T at Grant Fidelity?
The SuperTNT 845W "Noblemen" tubes have the same tube rating/specs as the reference RCA 845. The Shuguang metal plate 845 has a lower dissipation rating (around 70w compared to the RCA standard of 100w).
Thanks all, that was very helpful. I can eliminate two candidate tubes straight off the bat - the Shuguang 845C and KR 845 are off the list because of incompatibility.

Someone mentioned the Sophia Electric 845. A quick google shows this:

Is the Sophia 845 a rebranded tube, or do they manufacture it themselves?

Brf, would a quad of SuperTNT Nobleman be as expensive as the other tubes (RCA, Amperex, etc).
Sophia does not manufacture tubes. These are re branded Chinese Shuguang tubes which have "passed" Sophia's quality control standards.

SuperTNT 845W Noblemens can be had for $400 pair when they are offered for sale, although, I have not seen too many pair for sale as most owner are keeping and/or hording them (like me)for future use or back ups. I like the Noblemens better then both Amperex and RCA. My favorite is still the United 845. I own all the aforementioned tubes including the Cetron 845 and a bunch of the Chinese variants.
The high dissipation Super TnT produced 845W are actually far rarer than any NOS due to the extremely small run which were produced.
They also sound significantly better in my amps.

I have an octet which will only be prised from my stiff cold hands !
I also have a quad of the superb high dissipation Super TnT 845M which were also produced in extremely low volume.

Don't confuse the above types with the inferior Shuguang variants which have perforated plates and are commonly found, also sometimes branded Sophia and/or Golden Dragon.

Other than the above tubes, unless you know the operating points of your amp and can adjust them, I'd suggest to stick to the standard Shuguang 845 B which is a decent sounding, reliable tube.
You may actually find that experimenting with different input & driver tubes achieves quite a pronounced variation in sonics.

Amfibus, the 845 referenced in your Sophia link is a rebranded TJ Full Music 845 MKII Carbon Plate. This tube will not work in your Cary 2111AE as it requires a much lower filament current (0.6A vs. 3.25A) than what your amp is spec'd for.
I'm using a pair of the Shuguang PSVANE 845T's in my Art Audio Carissa for a little over a month now.
I have about 45-50hrs on them.

So far...I find the sound to be superior to either the 845B..or the metal plate variety.( i've only used the latest 845M or C...not real sure about that))

They sound remarkable!..very much like NOS!...I'm not kidding!
I'm VERY impressed!
I've not made any direct comparisons, I only have the memories of hearing NOS RCA's fairly recently.

IMO,The 845T's seem to combine the best of the B's with the best of the M's (without the plate dissipation issue).

Of course my observation has to be taken in the context of my system and my personal musical prefferences.
Thanks for posting, Davvie. Can you describe the differences between the PSVANE and the 845B?
The major difference seems to be that the Psvane is far more extended at the frequency extremes,but at the same time has a far more richer harmonic presentation. Much like the qualities of NOS 845's

In comparison to the others, the 845T, right out of the box, seems brighter. After about 10 hours I began to notice a difference. Compared to the 845B, they seem far more transparent but at the same time much cleaner. Bass tones and pitch definition are improved. String tone seems to be more open and extended even more than the 845M,but at the same time more relaxed and natural sounding.
I always thought the metal plate 845 sounded etched and
unnatural.The 845B seemed to be a good all- round well balanced sound.

The soundstaging qualities are improved as well. Front to back layering and placement of instruments is enhanced more than likely because the sound is more open. Your definitely getting more info without any added brightness,at least once they are sufficiently broken in.
Thanks Davvie. I think I will have to buy myself a set of those tubes now.
Don't forget to return here and update us on your 'post burn in' listening impressions, I'm sure many would be interested !
Just ordered a pair myself. I've had those glorious metal plate 845Ws in my SET monoblocks for the last 32 months but nothing lasts forever.
I have had a closer look at the Shuguang psvane 845T's. There is a very large image here:

Now compare that to the Shuguang 845B. The best image I could find is here: (the 845B is on the left).

Note the main difference - the Psvane 845T lacks the solid winged side support, and consequently has a plate at the top to stabilize the tube against the glass. On lesser 845's (e.g. the Shuguang 845), the mica top plate was criticized for causing microphonics.

Starting to have some doubts now.
Take a look at the standard Chinese 845 and compare the internals to the Psvane 845. Bigger glass envelope and gold covered brass base.
Amfibius..."On lesser 845's (e.g. the Shuguang 845), the mica top plate was criticized for causing microphonics."....

Ed Sawyer 845B review..."They (845B) are as non-microphonic as any other 845 I have (due to low gain 845's in general are not microphonic to any noticable degree,even with abuse like tapping the glass while in operation"
Thanks for the clarification everyone. I have ordered a quad set of 845T's from Grant Fidelity. Will post impressions once I get them.
I have yet to try these (845T) but can confirm that the various SuperTNT versions are excellent and worth seeking out. I have a pair of their last high-dissipation 845 metal plates, and they are about as good as modern production gets. Hopefully they will arise once again and make 845s like they used to.

Ed...My hope is you get some (845T) and do a proper comparision and publish a detailed write up as you have for the "B" and the "M".

I for one would be interested to read what you find out.
I received my 845Ts yesterday. First reactions are highly positive despite the fact that the innards look very much like Chinese 845As and Bs. I was using "holy grail" metal plate 845W tubes and prefer the 845Ts, but bear in mind that I've had them only one day. Dave
This is good news,Dave.
Since you've been using the 845W, your comments carry much more weight.
Give them 25-50hrs of work andI think you'll be even more impressed with them.
Look forward to further observations from you.

Hi Ed, I would second Davvie's request. Are you planning to obtain a pair of Shuguang 845T's in the near future?
I have received my Shuggy 845T's from Grant Fidelity. The first thing I noticed was that the elements on one of the valves was not aligned properly. Three of the four valves sit at 45 degrees on my amp, this particular valve sits at 30 degrees. It is not an issue with my socket, or the way I have installed it either - I removed the valve and inspected it, and it is indeed out of alignment compared to the other valves.

Whether it affects the function, I do not know. Grant Fidelity did not send me a calibration sheet (which apparently accounts for most of their premium pricing).

I have emailed them asking for an exchange for a fresh set of tubes. Waiting to hear back from them.

In the meantime, the new valves sound closed in, congested, and lacking in top and bottom frequency extension. I am not discouraged, because my "old" 845's sounded like this when they were brand new. The truth will be out once the valves are burnt in. Or rather, my new set of valves once I return this set to Grant Fidelity.
After approx. 2 weeks, my very positive view of the 845Ts has not
changed. There's been no break-in change that I can detect. Note that
these tubes replaced metal plate 845Ws in my system. Dave
Just to let everyone know that the latest TJ Full music 845 tubes are same specs as shuguang 845, 845B or RCA tubes. so, they can be use for direct replacement on your 845 amps. Quality is a lot better than the PSVANE 845T, which i'm also testing.
72 hours of burn-in on my 845T's now. The tubes are starting to open up, with the top end more extended. Bass is still poor, but getting better. Soundstage now extends to slightly beyond both speakers. Front to back layering still not as good as the original valves.

Have received word from Grant Fidelity that Shuguang do not consider a mis-aligned valves a waranteeable item, so they will not accept a return. To be fair to them, the valve does appear to work as advertised with no noticable difference between the left and right channel.

Anyway, continuing to burn in and we will see what happens.
Hi Amfibius, i have also one mis-aligned PSVANE 845T out of 4 from Grant,. and the base on the tubes are not as shiny as you see on the photos, it looks more like corroded tubes..Very good sounding tubes as compare to 845B. Highly recommanded to anyone ..Will also be trying the latest TJ 845.
I said up above that I could hear no change during break-in of my 845Ts, but a friend who had heard them the first day and then again last Saturday said they were MUCH improved. Must have been gradual thing. Dave
The PSVANE 845T is suppose to be a premium tube at 4 to 5 times the price of the standard 845, therefore, how do tubes with misaligned internal elements pass Quality Control? Why would a manufacture allow these tubes into the retail channel when they are trying to establish a premium brand? Why would a distributor allow this?

I was considering a pair of PSVANE 845T, but I have lost faith in the quality control and will adopt a wait and see attitude.
Hifi223 , Are you sure the new TJ Full Music 845 are speced to match the Shuguang 845.I couldn't find any info on this.
In the past the TJ Full Music was close to the KR 845 tubes which couldn't be used in many amps.
Looking forward to your thoughts on the TJ tubes.
From which seller did you purchase them
Te standard FullMusic 845 (not the carbon plate) have similar specs to the Amperex/RCA 845 standard.

TJ FullMusic 845 Specs

Plate voltage 1000 1000 1250 V
Grid voltage -145 -155 -209 V
Load resistance 6 9 16 kohms
Plate current 90 65 52 mA
Signal voltage(pk) 110 145 V
Plate resistance 1.7 1.9 2.1 kohms
Output powe 24 21 24 W
Brf, Thank you for the info.Do you know the filiment current for the TJ standard and the carbon plate 845 ??
TJ Full Music Carbon Plate 845 MKII is rated with 'nominal filament current - 0.6A at 10V' while the original RCA 845 tube was rated "filament current - 3.25A at 10V'. According to TJ Full Music's tube designer, for 845 tubes made with carbonized Thoriated Tungsten such as the RCA NOS 845 tube, filament current of 3.25A is required to generate sufficient electron emission for the tube to work properly. However, TJ Full Music's 845 MKII uses oxide coated filament which doesn't request as high as 3.25A filament current to generate sufficient electron emission.

TJ Full Music now makes a carbon plate 845 Mk3 (just released) that conforms to the Amperex/RCA standard. I have not heard this version.
BRF Thank you.I will try to find a dealer for the 845 Mk3
Sophia Electric has them but ouch! I still might order them.

Introductory Price (good until December 31, 2010):
Option 1: $750 per premium matched pair with one year warranty.
Option 2: $650 per premium matched pair with 30 days warranty.

Price (after December 31, 2010):
Option 1: $899 per premium matched pair with one year warranty.
Option 2: $799 per premium matched pair with 30 days warranty.
Sophia Electric has the Full Music 845 MkIII available at up to twice the price of the Psvane 845T (845T is sold out until Dec.,btw.)

Will they sound twice as good?

Your getting in to NOS prices now. Might as well try for some RCA's,imo.
Wow, $900 for a chinese current production 845! NOS 845 are looking like a bargain.
Thought I would report back again. My amps have hardly been turned off for the past 12 days as I continue to burn these valves in at maximum effort! They now have nearly 150 hours on them and they are massively improved and are still improving. It seems as if every day I listen to them, the soundstage gets wider, and the bottom end opens up even more. The top end is already better than my old valves.

About the one thing I do not like with these valves is a bloominess in the midrange which was absent in my previous valves. Having said that, the bloominess is not that prominent and some people might actually like it.
UPDATE ON TJ 845.. WARNING !! DO NOT TRY THEM... my matched Quads did not work...
I will now have to stick with the PSVANE 845.
I don't think the TJs are same spec as RCA anymore.
I have the audion elite 3 box and have the 845b, shuguang 845m and just recently the kr845. Overall in the context of the rest of my system the kr845's are the winner. I prefer the b over the m too because i find it more "beautiful" in the midrange, though its not as robust as the 845m, i like its more "liquid" a presentation. The kr845 has a wonderful sense of "flow" that is very appealing and seems to my mind get alot of the parameters of music "right". It is not perfect but like i already said, it has the most plus's with the least amount of - tives. I found the kr's presentation a more palpable one then the others too. I would say the kr845 is easily in another league than the other two. To me it is a finely bred racehorse while the others by comparison are just "good".
Hifi223, what "didn't work" with the TJ? Did they run too hot like that had been over driven with too much filament current?

What did you tube supplier say about your experience?
Hi Brf, i had 4x TJ 845 to try or test (i'm a TJ dealer in Australia). They were going into my melody custom Mono Blocks.
Tj 845 didn't last 5 seconds on my monos, one pair were really noisy, making crackling poping noise, they other pair blew-up straight away, also blew fuses on my amp. I'm still waiting for my supplier in Hong Kong to reply to me, i suspect they are not RCA specs as claimed. So, back goes the PSVANE.!
Did the TJ 845 come with a spec sheet indicating the tube's actual performance?
Yes they did, just notice it, definately not RCA spec, the filament current (iF) is at 2.5mA. RCA spec is 3.25mA.
2.5A..That’s definitely the problem. Your amp probably produces 3.25A filament current to the 300B.
"After approx. 2 weeks, my very positive view of the 845Ts has not
changed. There's been no break-in change that I can detect. "

I just received a pair of 845-Ts today and I am sincerely hoping my findings with respect to break-in do not mirror yours. They aren't bad for new tubes, but I definitely congested, a little shouty and just kind of off...

I can detect the harmonic richness, and improved soundstage over the 845Bs right off the bat, but things definitely need to relax to get my nod.
You apparently didn't see my follow-up post to the one you quoted.
I missed it, but I am very glad to read it now. :)
Are there any new opinions on the 845-Ts? I've still chewing on my thoughts, but so far they are not a slam dunk preference over the 845Bs they replaced in my Shuguang S845 MK monoblocks.