I had the Cyber 211 amp. cool looking but not really able to make the best of a great tube the 211. The trannies were teenie and the rest of the parts so-so. Not a good sounding amp.
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i've just tested the 800s and 845s in my home and was quite stunned at their quality. these amps whilst still not cheap are not at all expensive in hifi terms here in australia.
the aust. importer does not hold stock of the 211 so i can't comment but am certainly interested based on the sound of the other two models.
the 800s are very gutsy and smooth and were in complete control of my 86db efficiency speakers.
the 845s were simply breathtaking in their ability to generate a truly 3 dimensional palpable and quite luscious soundstage. there is a great sense of real instruments being stuck, plucked etc etc. they stay together very well even in complex passages with everything easily intelligible and correct.
for me the push pull 800s rule themselves out due to the relatively small premium for the 845s which seem to be the best compromise of all the triodes unless you need an awful lot of power or are going all out in which case the 300b is the logical choice with all that entails.
the stock power tubes are the basic chinese units and are still very good so the amps should respond very well to better tubes.
i'm obviously buying the 845s. by the way they work brilliantly with passive pre-amps.
Peter I'm confused about your comment "if you need an aweful lot of power...300B logical choice". As I heard a 300B (not sure if it was Cayin's pushpull or single ended version) anyway hooked up to Silverlines and for light stuff they were excellent. But when it came to complex orch, they fell extremely flat.
So how are the 845's when high dynamics are demaded in complex orchestral?
I own the Cyber 211s, which I bought after hearing both the 845s and 211s. They are a good value for the money. Recently I had the input wire changed to quality wire and had the metal oxide resistor changed to metal film. These changes took them even further than had the RCA 211 tubes and other NOS 5687s and 6922s. They also benefit greatly from isolation.
Workmenship within is good but parts are just okay, if they are real rather than copies. I do like the bass on these amps and how quiet they are. It really surprises me that these 211s are so quiet.
bartokfan i was referring to the cyber 800s if you need plenty of power. they seemed to be unflappable to beyond volumes i can bear or enjoy. the 300b is pretty much acknowledged as the finest triode and i have to agree overall even though i prefer the 845 personally. the 300b requires an awful lot of careful matching with other components due to the low power and its behaviour at the frequency extremes and nothing i've found (or could afford!) in the last thirty years has enabled me to be completely happy with this valve in my system. in the end the music is what i care about and the 845 is simply far more speaker tolerant and has weight, authority and control (especially in complex full orchestral passages) whilst still providing a very large chunk of the best of s.e.t. (i.e. 300b). it is a difficult valve to design for however which i assume is why there are not that many worthwhile amplifiers featuring this power tube.
Peter, have you compared 845s and 211s? I had always heard that 845s were better but that the tubes were largely unobtainable as NOS. I heard the Cyber 845s and 211s compared and really heard little to convince me either way. Now that I have the 211s and have heard the benefits of NOS in the amps, I am happy with my decision. RCA 211s are in my experience clearly the superior tubes and one can still find them.
I agree with you about the WE300B tube. I must say that only pre-1980 Western Electric tubes can satisfy me. Until I heard the Reimyo PAT777 300B amp, I was convinced that the tube was good only for midrange. Now with 92 db speakers, the Reimyo just does not have enough power for my use. Obviously the Reimyo while excellent is very expensive.
Peter, the 845 must truly be some kind of musical experience. maybe one day i'll have the 845 with a matched speaker as a second system. Right now I'm concentrating on upgrading my amp and speakers. I'm sticking with the KT90 tube. Its the one I've found most dynamic for orchestral, I feel no need to change. As you know every tube will have a tradeoff. The KT90 vs the 845. Am i willing to sacrifice some of the bass and treble fq's in the 90's for a certain midrange magic of the 845? No i am not. Only would consider the 845 as a second system, never as my primary. Is the 845 a warm tube or cold/detailed?
If you say the former I'm sure its not for me.
Tbg unfortunately i haven't heard the 211 valve as they aren't exactly thick on the ground in aust. very keen to do so nevertheless. there does seem to be a bit of effort to make really good new 845s (KR, SuperTNT 845M) and it bugs me to cough up large bucks just to re-tube which is why i'm tending toward the 845 as it means i can mess about with more tube-rolling! if you like horns (and have the room) the 300B can work fabulously.
Bartokfan (bit of a fan myself btw) you should really try to get a listen to the cyber 845 (or deHavilland/ Cary amps). i am going to arrange another more extensive audition of the cyber as it does seem a bit too good to be true. it has a very well balanced sound right across the spectrum with no obvious compression. definitely more warm than cold but in no way sickly sweet with excellent detail and upper air. it's all there but it just doesn't shout anything at you or draw attention to particular frequencies. you would never confuse it with a transistor amp. having said that i have separate transistor powered subs so the cybers were not doing a lot of work very low down. i'd love to have the 800s powering the subs and the 845s running the main speakers. now that would be fun
Hi Audio, just on the one amp I own , the JOR. I've heard this amp through several speakers and had simuliar results, that is dynamic/detailed/fq separations. Not warm at all. Speakers heard the JOR through were Cabasse (MTM model 4 yrs ago), Mirage1's, B7W 602's, , Thors and Tyler LSS's. The Tyler was the cleanest image. This amp is colored only by the choice of speaker. There are few KT90 amps avaliable, I see Pacific Value is offering a new Ming da KT90 that looks of interest.
Peter, I do not think the 845 will deliver the dynamics in classical , at least not how I want to hear them. Like I say as a second system it'd bea great experience for some easy music and chamber classical.
I'm here late, but here's my $.03.
I have a pair of the Cyber 845s and I cannot say I've ever heard better amplification. It probably exists, but I've heard many tube amps up to nearly $10K, PP and SET, a lot of switching amps, and a lot of SS amps. What I haven't heard is SETs really up there in price (>$10K) or pricey class A solid-state amps.
The amps are dead quiet into my Hyperion 938s but more importantly just sound fantastic. Very extended, clear, pure, and transparent, with amazing soundstaging. Closest comparison for me would be the Art Audio Carissa I owned - more expensive, very similar sound, tho I do not think it had the same soundstaging abilities.
As for the parts - I can't speak to all of it but the caps in mine all say Rubycon. I don't think these are quite the best but they're very good, no? Resistors and wire - don't know.
The comment about the trannies is strange to me - they are not small by any means.
BTW I am using the CHEAP Chinese 845Bs and they are damn good.
i believe the internal wiring is by van den hul so may not necessarily need to be replaced straight away. its nice to get some kind of confirmation on these amps as like you i can't say i've heard any better. the differences are not subtle and to the point where i am questioning my own objectivity! i've heard a good number of the big american, english and euro name amps some of which had great merit but the cybers portray music in such a natural and quite sensuous way i stop thinking about the electronics. one of maybe two or three truly special components i've heard that have completely changed what i thought was possible (and were within the realms of affordability/sanity!) remember this is still a very young company. they should only get better
Peter, I really don't know the make of the wire in the Cyber series, but while my amps were being repaired (a bad 211 had taken out two resistors and a cap), Exemplar found very poor wire from the inputs to the boards. They also found a metal oxide resistor. They replace both giving a very substantial improvement.
I don't deny that these were quite good sounding amps prior to these changes. I also have the Reimyo PAT777 300B amp using '60s" WE 300Bs. The Cybers are not in this league but do have more control and better bass and dynamics, which may be the result of my using 93db efficient speakers.
My comments about the Rubycon caps, center only on the possibility that they may be fakes. After all these are made in China, which has no control over intellectual properties.
Interesting to see comments on 845 v. KT88/90. They really are two very different experiences, though each can be used in circuits designed around them to deliver good results to the same sonic objective. In both cases, of course, amp-to-amp variance in sound is huge. But as a long-time user of a series of KT88 amplifiers, and current owner of KT88, 845 and 300B PSE monoblocks, I can say there's no general answer to Bartok's question of whether 845 amps are sonically "warm."
The only answer is, "sometimes," or "it depends."
In my experience, KT88/90 amps, whether PP or SE, are quite tunable via tube selection. In my Audiopax 88s, Russian KT88s are dry and relatively lifeless. Chinese KT88/KT100 are fast, wideband and cool. Current Russian KT90s have no advantage. Yugo KT90 Type II and Type III are robust, sparkly, open, fast, with tight defined bass. KR/Tesla Vrosovic KT88s are expressive, revealing of finely-etched details, well-balanced. But NOS British Gold Lion KT88s trump everything with creamy power, excellent bandwidth, low noise, big-T TONE. And then there's the Timbre-Lock adjustment to tweak. I had pretty much the same experience with these tubes in Acoustic Masterpiece and Audion single-ended amps, and in various PP, though in PP the differences were much smaller.
The Audion Black Shadow monoblocks, on the other hand, are profoundly affected by tube choice. The common-as-dirt Chinese 845"A" is unspectacular, dry and soft. The Chinese 845B sounds substantially more robust, nuanced and extended on both ends. Bottom leans to the soft side with some euphonic bloat, but not tubby to the point of distraction on Zu Definitions (lower limit below 20Hz). The later Chinese metal plate 845C, a little light in dissipation, is more like the KT88 -- brilliant and sparkly, with tighter bass than the other 845 variants, but also less drive and Tone. The KR845 is very objective sounding for a big triode tube amp, but sometimes is unreliable. Transients are fast and bold. The new Shuguang 845C, with a full 845 dissipation rating, is rumoured to be excellent when it works, but I haven't had a pair in my system yet. Then there are the vintage NOS RCA and United 845s that cost more than some new 845 amps. Undeniably excellent, in a good circuit they deliver a highly objective sound and softness or bloat can't be blamed on them.
As always, transformers are critical. Given the right tube, I can put a KT88/90 amp in a system and give it triode warmth, and can just as well build an 845 system to have a measure of pentode/tetrode ice.
I've heard the Consonance 845 amps. They are good value for their price.
Just thought I'd point out that the Enjoy the Music review follow-up mentions that the caps are Rubycons. He's been inside the amps and knows his stuff.
Based on that, and actually the fact that there's no evidence at all that the caps are "fakes", and the sonic qualities of the amps in general, I'd put my money on them actually being the caps they're labeled as.
Could be, I certainly do not have the competencies to say yes or no, but this stuff is from a country with little respect for intellectual property including of it own internal products. Even if they are fakes, they may be good fakes. Perhaps Rubycon were they to have no record of sales to this company would know. I am kind of sorry that I brought this up as it cannot be resolved.
I am still quite happy with the 211 version of these amps with NOS tubes and improved wiring.
Tbg, yours is a valid concern, and a worthwhile caution for anyone purchasing Chinese products. Yes, there are many excellent Chinese products from reputable manufacturers, but the pervasive counterfeiting in China makes it nearly impossible to be certain of authenticity. Heck, even major US corporations have employees in China whose sole job is to watchdog counterfeiting.
Recently in LA several million dollars worth of counterfeit Nike sneakers from China were confiscated. The government offical said they were excellent counterfeits, and almost no one would have been able to tell them from the real thing.
I recently returned from a few weeks in China. Interestingly enough, a week of which was spent in Beijing with Consonance. The trip turned so many of my feelings regarding what China is and is not upside down and inside out.
I must say that during my time there, we had a lot of vigorous discussion, and disagreed on many, many points. In all honesty, this was a great thing, as we got to see that both sides were incredibly passionate, honest, plain speaking people, who like to have fun, and take music/audio quite seriously.
As a good friend of mine likes to say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." In staying at one of the gentleman's homes, his own bone stock Consonance 12 wpc push-pull 2A3 integrated, coupled with a pair of Audio Physic Tempo II speakers (we connected right then and there, as it was only the second time I encountered them - a really close friend of mine and I found them after a long search for his next pair of speakers a few years ago), made music that completely took me aback. And, yes, things were able to play quite nicely at my normal 95+ dB volumes, even the lows for the most part.
No matter what I can say about them, I know in my heart that everything they are using is on the up and up. In fact, they couldn't have it any other way. The three people running the show are deadly serious about getting the best sound they can, and the parts quality they are using flat out surprised me. Frankly, it's far, far better than a lot of more highly regarded companies. These are folks who buy from wherever they feel like - for example, for cars they drive two Buicks and a Jeep.
Thanks Grant, much respect to you as well!!!
I know this may be the minority opinion in audiophilia, but I somehow I just cannot feel the soul of the music unless it's played at realistic levels. I could never buy a Ferrari or Boss 429 and drive it 35 mph, and unlike many an audiophile, I can't sit down an listen at 75 dB. A lot of my prejudice is born out by the Fletcher-Munson Curve and the perils of chasing flat frequency response, I guess. Yes, me and The Doctor routinely go well beyond 100 dB - I rebroke in my Coincidents at 120 dB over a significant amount of time with my 60 wpc AtmaSpheres - didn't really seem loud to me.
Right, Paul. However, some of us feel that music at 100 dB+ is not damaging. Being around live musical instruments is VERY loud. Stand 8' from a trumpet, and it is most definitely not audiophile approved volumes. Yet, the sound is not irritating because it is far more natural and organic. The same is true of a great many instruments.
Distortion, machinery, noise, etc. certainly is damaging. One must be extremely careful in this regard. We agree here.
No argument. Nobody knows at what levels sound is damaging and certainly it varies by individual and the nature of the noise. Bad hifi can be very fatiguing well below 90dB as we all know and it *feels* like it's doing damage!!
I've suffered just a little bit of heaing loss from live music and headphone listening in my younger days and so am very careful these days. OSHA says 90dB is safe 8 hours/day (other disagree) and even they say 100dB is Ok at least a couple hours/day (I think). Time of exposure is the other factor.
I have a pair of Cary 845C, Cary could modify the amp. with the switch, so I could swap between 845 and 211 tubes. But the price was pricey. I have owned 1 NOS pair and 1 used pair on my previous broken amp. I want to used them but not know for sure which wires on the tube socket have to be swap. Anyone out there know about, please give me the information. Thank a whole lot.
Dan, 845 and 211 have diferent specs in terms of output transformer impedance, high voltage power supply, bias supply and plate current.
An 845 to 211 conversion is not trivial and a very dangerous project, due to the extremely high voltages inside the amp.
Maybe you should re-consider Cary's offer.
However, 211 tubes are less linear and put out more distortion than 845 tubes, which were designed for audio.
Unless you really need to use 211 tubes, IMO 845 is a better sounding tube, there are plenty on new production tubes that sound good (Shuguang 845B).