Tough to find 845 amplification for a kilobuck or less. Watch for used Dared. The 845 tube is very affordable in its Chinese variants, with the 845B/C/M all capable of quite good sound, but these circuits are high voltage, which does raise parts costs some, which in turn raises final costs relative to the inexpensive 300B and 2a3 SET alternatives.
On Audiogon right now, for instance, there are some unknowns among the known good buys:
1/ Audioromy 845 integrated, China sourced but used from US owner, asking $1000. No idea of it's sound quality.
2/ Antique Sound Lab 845 monoblocks, $1800 used. Very nice amps when they are working.
3/ Dared 845 integrated. Good amp, best buy here at $1300 used. http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstube&1155613718
4/ Kailin 845 monoblocks, auction starting at $1000.00. Can't comment on sound.
At considerably higher prices, right now there are fantastic sounding Bel Canto, Audion, Mastersound and DeHavilland alternatives. The Dared listed or another as they show up is probably most reliable alternative at or near your price.
I am very intersted in the Dared amp. Where did you hear it? Why do you like it so much? In essence what makes a good 845 amp for the poor souls with empty pockets.
I tried the Dared 845 based on Phil's (213cobra) advice. He was absolutely right on the money. Thanks again Phil. I didn't hang on to the speakers or the amp but found the upgrade from some monoblock separates and a lower priced Onix Integrated to be significant and everything it's cracked up to be. I would also strongly recommend Joe in Chicago who often sells Dared gear new on Audiogon and ebay. The new price isn't much more than used so with Joe's trial period it is probably worth the extra bucks to check it out.
All the best.
An acquaintence bought a Dared 845 amp some time back, and brought it by to hear on my speakers. It sounded good. The 845 tube used to any reasonable level of competence gives you relatively muscular sound for SET -- more drive than, for example, a parallel single-ended 300B amp of the same power. Also, more bass discipline, less "magic" in the midrange, but also less high-frequency "spray" than a comparably-priced 300B. And the sound is quite tunable with the variety of 845 tubes available, the Chinese 845, 845B, 845C, 845M as well as the KR 845 and vintage American 845s all offering distinct flavors.
A Dared or Consonance 845 won't give you the refinment and transparency of a DeHavilland, Mastersound, Audion, Nagra or Verdier, but it will give you the fundamental favorable traits at a cost disproportionately less expensive than the difference in sound quality. So if you recognize the holistic presentation of SET amps, like some muscle with that sound, go for it.
Thanks Phil(and your understudies).Assuming when you mde comment abou power your were refering to 2A3.A Jolida 102 (20 watas) is up right now for peanut and I should grab it for a non-audiophool buddy to try out with some Omega's.Also buying 50 l;otery tickets so I can geta Cary 805C.Wonde if that Whacky Wavac company maes a 2A3/845.Can't remeber he tubes it uses but at $300K+ it should hve double octetes of 30's vintage 300B's but I hear only has a 3 waranty.Can you imagine an amp like that not having lifetime warranty the doesen't require children and futherr descendents to repair even though the company probaly won't last more than 5 years selling goofy items like that.But a cheapskate thanks you.Now to just hear the Abby's'Omega's and maybe this new $2800 Zu Cable speaker.$10K for flagship and $1800 for monitor and $2K sub.Seems like big hole in thier line up but getting interesting buzz especially from 6Moons.com crowd).and others on the net.Too bad we never get some of the european and asian offerinngs in hghi efficency that never makes it hear.
I own a Dared 845 for almost 2 years now. I replaced the stock 845 tubes with the Shuguang 845M's. It gives the amp more definition and transparency at a modest cost (about $250 for the pair.)
I'm driving 98db Fostex 8" single driver based speakers and the result is magical.
If you are looking for a muscular and refined SET at an affordable price, look no further.
I own the Audioromy 845 integrated that Phil mentioned. I won it at Russ Prince's (Rcprince) annual Christmas party last year.
It's sonic and build qualities are off the charts for the price. In fact, in some areas, such as immediacy, openness, and naturalness in the midrange, I have trouble naming a product that eclipses it; an incredibly engaging and musical amplifier. There is also a nifty pass through to allow you to use it as a power amplifier, which I sometimes do.
Its weak area is its low frequency performance, but perhaps with a bit more power supply added to it, that would be improved, but, I'm not totally sure. I don't want to mince words here, the amp is truly bass shy with the wrong loudspeaker, and still isn't going to blow you back even with the right one. The other nit I can pick is that its 2 blue LEDs are so obnoxiously bright that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer's nose would have been considered understated in comparison. I need to put a piece of black electrical tape over them - maybe tonight...
In short, this is a crazy good amplifier for the money, and I highly encourage anyone to purchase it. It's certainly earned my recommendation. My father, who is our service tech, and incredibly hard to please, calls it the best built, best sounding amplifier I've put in front of him.
DISCLAIMER: I am the importer/distributor for all Opera/Audio products in the USA and Canada. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Audioromy
Phil, by the way, while I thank you for your mentioning the Audioromy 845, in rereading this thread, I noticed you commented on the Consonance Cyber 845 tube monoblock amplifiers in your comparison to other products.
Please let me know what your experience is with the Consonance Cyber 845 tube monoblock amplifiers.
Any response on when/where you have heard our Consonance Cyber 845 tube monoblock amplifiers? I'm curious.
While I personally welcome all comments - good, bad, or indifferent, I also want to ensure the information being put out there is coming from the appropriate perspective and experience.
I'm also curious as to the source of your comments. Did you lump Consonance with Dared because they're both Chinese? Have you ever actually heard the Consonance 845?
I've owned both, actually, and believe me they are in different leagues in about every way - build quality and sonics.
I should mention that I am a Norvinz Field Rep and hence represent the Consonance line. Perhaps I should not have stepped in the conversation, but having owned both of the products lumped together -
The Dared 845 I had was my first SET, and it sounded good. However, the build quality was definitely not to Consonance levels. The Dared had some mechanical tranny hum and got so hot you could not touch parts of the case after it was warmed-up. The casework was not as good-looking. For the cost, however, it is a killer deal!
The Consonance products are a level up in fit 'n finish and cosmetics. More along the lines of Prima Luna and EE in that regard - perhaps a bit better.
Honestly, though, sonically, while the Dared is quite good and gives the SET sound, as I said, the Cyber monoblocks are in another league - and they should be for the money.
Read the reviews for other opinions.
No wonder he's not replying - this thread is two years old (to the day today!)
For $600, now I want an Audioromy 845. Perhaps a bathroom system...
I love my 845 amp, but I agree they do'nt tend to be cheap and you will be looking second hand. Some Italian names to consider, Mastersound, Unison Research and Viva. I have the Viva Solista and it is by a long margin, the best amp I have had in my system, but it is $10000 new. To get the parts quality, particular good large output transformers, which are critical to performance, costs money.
As to Chinese valves, as usual SuperTNT are having supply difficulties at the moment. Only the 845B is available now, but it is very good and reasonably priced
The Viva Solista LT is $7800 and the Solista Mk.II is $16,900.