• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

Benefits of 845B

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I'm visting HK at present and am about to buy an 845 SE (the Kelly Tube Art/ Premier Audio 845). :D

A pair of standard Shuguang 845s are c. USD 152, while the newer Shuguang 845Bs are c. USD 433.

A US review I saw once said the B is a lot better.

Any knowldege, experience or thoughts?

Joined 2004
Paid Member
Good luck! Let me know how things turn out. I have a friend with a homebrew 845 amp and would be interested in hearing your impressions of the 845B if you go that route. Incidentally many who claim satisfactory performance from the Chinese 845 report that vintage ones perform far better. Might want to look around for some GE, Amperex or RCA types.. (They are rare and pretty costly so be forewarned..)

Regards, Kevin
rick57 said:
I believe that the Western Electric are the best, but supposedly the new 845Bs are nearly as good for (is it half) the price.

Does WE make (or have they ever made) 845s? They may have made an equivalent but it was likely a different ID#.

AFAIK, the most desirable and expensive NOS 845s were made by United Electronics and RCA. Single, unmatched and "as they come" branded NOS 845s are sold by AES for over $300 USD each. You can bet NOS Westerns would be a lot more if they made them. I'd wager the NOS United and RCAs go for more than $500 USD each.

Valve Art 845s (Chinese) are sold by AES for $45 USD each. AES are international sales friendly, BTW. I've done so much business with them that last year they sent me an unrequested catalog and a fridge magnet!
845B Woas

I hate to dump on these guys, but you should know I had +50% failure rate in the 845B quad I bought back in January. It manifested as extreme microphonics and loud crackling/shorting sound in some of the tubes. Really loud. Scary, speaker-threatening loud. Two tubes were sent back right away but cannot be replaced as the dealer has cut off additional sales pending quality improvement. A third tube has gradually increased microphonics to the point where after 3 months it could be used any longer.

My 845 amp has extensive vibration control and runs the tubes very conservatively:


Don't know if this is an isolated experience but I was very frustrated. It may be a case of too many sales too soon for their own [long term] success. The similar 845M (metal plate) is the tube I'm really interested in, but I think I'll wait to hear things are improved before ordering any more tubes from this manufacturer.

These tubes *look* great, though. Nice copper base. Nice hinged cardboard case with fitted foam inserts too.

I hope these guys get their issues straightened out, because we really need a lower-priced alternative to NOS 845 tubes.

FYI, YMMV, etc.

Dear Rick ,
I have listened to Premier 845 once pushing LS 3/5 a. Sound nice. As I don't have much experience, not sure if it is really good or not. I wonder what other brands have you compare with it. As you are living in Australia, I suppose you have many chance to audition or buy western tube amp with good price and higher quality. It is very difficult for you to buy it in HOng KOng then back to Australia. Is it worth? How do you think this Premier 845 beat others?Why not choose Premier 300B? What is the price of the amp finally? I am sincerely waiting for your recommendation. I would like to buy one 300B, 211 or 845 int. amp but still looking for a good quality one with budget price. Dared 845 is China made too. Have you compared with it? Thanks
Joined 2004
Paid Member
Relative to what amps cost in the USA or even Australia, buying and bringing back a good amplifier from Hong Kong can be quite a good deal. I would look on such an amplifier as a starting point for modification, although some sound quite decent as they are.

I used to OEM amplifiers and pre-amps in Hong Kong for my business, and while the fit and finish were not quite as good as that achieved by U.S/European vendors, the designs were mine and they sounded virtually identical to the prototypes I built here, and cost about 1/4 of what it would have cost me to build them here.

I am out of touch with what is good these days, but some of the Antique Sound Labs stuff is nice. (I have some experience with it.) Dared is sold here, and seems well supported.

Sound quality is the best indicator, but note the level of fit and finish, attention to detail, and feel of all controls and switches. Avoid anything that looks like something assembled in someone's garage. If possible try to get a look inside the amplifier. Look for neatly layed out pcb, good quality parts. In the case of point to point wiring look for things to be mounted neatly on/between tag strips, wiring neatly dressed, filament wiring tightly twisted and routed away from signal wiring. There shouldn't be parts glued to the chassis, and look for signs of scorched resistors and the like if the amplifier has been operated.

This is not much to go on, but on short notice is about the best I can do..
With at times regrets, I did not buy the Kelly Tube Art/ Premier Audio 845, partly because (viewsonic) I did not have time to compare properly.


Thanks for your new design:
have you compared it to your other amplifiers of similar audio dB power, ie 8 – 20 watts?

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.