Valve amplifiers

I love class A sound and have recently been listening to Mastersound Compact 845. Sounds very good. Has anyone any experience of this amp in particular or any similar component?

I use Sugden at the moment and prefer the warmth of sound that it provides.

Am I buying in to trouble by going down the valve line?
I was a confirmed solid state adherent until the last few years, but my curosity finally got the best of me, which caused me to change to a more sensitive, easier to drive set of speakers.

I have been very pleasantly surprised, actually more than surprised, as music sounds the best it ever has.

My first serious tube amp was a VAC PA 35.35 push-pull amp (EL 34 output tubes), and the best amp yet, an upgraded Assemblage Audio (new and better caps and resistors, EML 300B XLS tubes) SET 300B amp.

Also tubed is my phono stage, and my line stage, you could say I've gone completely over to tubes, and, as I say, music sounds better than ever. I do, though, have an SS class A amp for back-up and change-of-pace duties.

I have been happy with how reliable these tube-based components have been, so I for one, won't be warning you off. Just enjoy your listening!

I have a pair of roland model six monoblocks that drive a pair of usher rw729's. My tube amps are audiovalve challenger 180 monoblocks that lets me run 6550's,kt88's and el34's. I have not tried the el34 as of yet;not to sure which one to roll into the amp;I drive soundlab m2's at time being but bought brodmann vc-2 several months ago that were being sold here and I am waiting until the replacement soundboard that federal express damaged during shipping to arrive.
I don't see a problem with moving down a products line as well;enjoy!!
You have to trust what you hear and your spontaneous reactions. No surprise that you'd be very much attracted to a good SET amplifier. They make beautiful and natural sounding music (isn't that what you want?). My SET is ultra simple to maintain and utterly reliable. With appropriate speakers all music genres can be enjoyed.
Best of Luck,
When it comes down toe getting it Charles1dad, you are absolutely correct. It's the sound that counts!! I was just a little wary of reliability issues as I seem to be getting mixed messages.

Also, I was trying to get some heads up on the machine I have been listening to - the Mastersound Compact 845. It's the only one that I have heard. Are there any other machines that would get a recommendation and are worthy of a listen?

Many thanks to you.
I haven't heard the Mastersound 845 amplifier but it's has a good word of mouth reputation. There are numerous highly regarded 845 SET amplifiers available. They cover a fairly broad price range. Try to make an effort to hear others and get familiar with their varying sound characteristics. Key question is what speaker would you mate to them? This is a fundamental point with SET amplifiers. Take some time to read and learn more about these types of special amplifiers. You obviously have good ears.
The world of tube amplifiers is vast. There are certainly many other amps that are worthy of a listen!

Much depends on your loudspeakers. What kind are they? What is their impedance? How efficient are they? How large is your room? How lively is it? These are some questions that if properly answered, will help you a lot.

For example, if your speakers are 8 ohms and 91 db, and your room is average size, you will want to look at more powerful amps. That might mean something push-pull rather than SET. SETs are best used with speakers that are more efficient, such that they are never asked for more than about 20-25% of full power. If you obey this rule, you will get the best investment dollar out of an SET.

So answering the speaker issue is a must. You might also want to take a look at this link:
The world of tube amplifiers is vast, no argument on that point. Superted was captivated by the sound of the 845 SET amp he heard and I understand this and thus stayed on subject. I'd encourage people to listen to all types of amplifiers and expand their knowledge and experience base. When all is said and done Superted may still gravitate towards the SET beauty he recently heard.
"Am I buying in to trouble by going down the valve line?"

It all depends on:

a) how much unique pleasure you get out of using the tubes
b) reliability of equipment and support from the vendor if/when there is a problem
c) maintenance including dealing with tube bias as needed and cost of periodic tube replacements is not a concern
d) tube and SS are two different paradigms with unique requirements for best results. Any change from one to the other may well have a ripple effect initiating other changes until all is well again.

For me, I have found value using a tube pre-amp for example, but it is a very fine line that I might cross again easily. The value proposition will vary case by case.
To minimize lurking tube troubles I minimized the number of tubes in my gear (while still retaining their audio magic). CDP has one tube, pre has three, monoblocks have 4 each. Been very happy ever since.
Fantastic advice and thank you!

My speakers are Kudos Cardea C2 - 8 ohm and 88dB - relatively easily driven. My source is Michel Gyrodec using Origin Live Silver arm and Dynavector DV20 cartridge. My room is an average size. I like my music to be subtle with controlled sibilants. I am certainly not too concerned with the current trend towards or pursuit of "bass thump"!! Musical reproduction should be balanced in all regards I believe.

The only one I have heard is the Mastersound and it was an eye-opener! But I now realise that I should begin to research other similar components in order to make a more informed decision.

Any "lead-ins" as to where I should begin?

Many thanks again!!!!
In terms of information, search the audiogon archives. Gon member 213cobra has posted some very interesting threads on 845 SET amplifiers on this site. Also do a google search for reviews and discussion about these amplifiers. There's a lot of good information available to read. For your speakers and stated listening level and preferences I think you're moving in a good direction.
Do you have an update in regards to your pursuit and interest in 845 SET amplifiers, what did you end up doing?
I hope all is well with you.