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Old 25th May 2007, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Which One Of These Tube Amps Should I Buy?

For my very first tube amp I'm pondering taking a shot at one of the many Chinese amps now available on Ebay. But since I'm a complete novice to tubes I'm having trouble making a choice. Of the two amps I'm looking at both have 845 output tubes and both have 20watts per channel. The only difference, if I'm correct, is one is SET and one is Pure Class A? Here are the links to what I am looking at:

845 SET

845-L1 Class A

Thoughts anyone?

Regards,
Dan
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Old 25th May 2007, 04:30 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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By default a single ended triode amplifier is going to be class A. Both of these

The concerns in buying one of these is that many Chinese amplifiers tend to be a bit unreliable, and build quality is variable - some are very good and some are not quite so good. You should expect to have to do some work to assure that the unit you buy does not suffer from significant qc issues - that said they can be a good platform for modifications and upgrades if the chassis and transformers are good quality.

Note that these auctions seem to specifically exclude Canadian customers, but I have no idea why. Email the seller before bidding. The English in these auctions is not good, so I would not count on good communications with the seller for this reason.

Shipping either of these units to North American will be fairly expensive.
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Old 25th May 2007, 05:05 PM   #3
arvin is offline arvin  United Kingdom
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Default music angel

I have the music angel version and its EXCELLENT,solid bass and mid range projection is awesome, which i believe is down to the 845 tube itself.Build quality is also excellent and its very heavy approx 30 kilos!
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Old 25th May 2007, 05:22 PM   #4
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The main reason for "eliminating" Canadian customers from the (US) eBay auctions is that UPS, FedEx, DHL and US Mail shipping is problematic into the eastern Canadian provinces = the regional Canadian customs authorities close to the capital have "difficulties" with goods related to entertainment (like audio gear), insisting that Canadian recipients / customers' pay taxes and duties to the maximum, whether used equipment or new.

All of this complicates an otherwise simple but slightly more expensive shipping excercise, thus discouraging eBay sellers from wishing to bother with the Canadian transaction.

Our experience is that electronic kits (audio or otherwise) can be shipped NAFTA duty free as long as the cartons are clearly marked as "NAFTA Duty Free Electronics Parts and Accessories" or some such and the paperwork is in order (3 invoice copies, etc.).

... So you might try simply buying one of the oriental tube amp kits rather than trying to save a few (US$) bucks on eBay.

(We ship to and from Canadia, daily, now that we have learned some of the tricks. We even ship for some of our competitors who don't want to deal with the grief ... ah?)
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Old 25th May 2007, 05:52 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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These units are being shipped from Hong Kong so presumably the NAFTA issue is moot?
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Old 25th May 2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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Yes, but because the items are listed on the US ebay web auctions, past experience dictates that Canadian shipments will be "problematic". ... I would contact the Hong Kong shipper/supplier directly rather than their USA "field office" ...
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Old 25th May 2007, 08:08 PM   #7
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The ad speaks of shipping to Canada but just to be safe I emailed them.

Regards,
Dan

P.S. Now back to the original question?
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Old 25th May 2007, 09:30 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I think I sort of answered your original question. They are both SET and they are both class A. The english in those auctions is terrible.
If it were me I would probably go for the Liang amplifier (845-LI) it is more visually appealing, has meters, and has most importantly received some good press in the far east.
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Old 26th May 2007, 12:05 AM   #9
jarthel is offline jarthel  Australia
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Default Re: music angel

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin
I have the music angel version and its EXCELLENT,solid bass and mid range projection is awesome, which i believe is down to the 845 tube itself.Build quality is also excellent and its very heavy approx 30 kilos!
Is weight an indication of quality? the weight could be due the chassis itself and not the transformers.
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Old 26th May 2007, 12:46 AM   #10
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Based on my experience it is most likely to be the transformers, but the caveat is that just because they are heavy does not mean they are good.

I oemed a rather modest quantity of pp dht amplifiers in Hong Kong/Shenzen in the late 1990's and early part of this decade and the transformers were fine if not exceptional. All of these amplifiers are still running as long as 8 yrs later with nary a problem, although I did a lot of work on them to assure their reliability before shipping them to the customer..
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