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Which 845 amp?


2010-01-04 9:37 pm

It's been a long time, but I'm now in China, and work is keeping me rather occupied (75 hrs per week is normal. 40 hours per day, and yes that's not a typo, is considered busy but not abnormal...).
Anyway, I'm chancing the purchase of an 845 powered amp.
I got a couple of choices and I have included the links for each:

Yarland Pro-845:
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This one I think some people are familiar with. This one can be ordered with 845's, 211's, or 805's? Can someone tell me what the difference is (practically speaking)? In addition, it is driven by 2x 6N8P(SHUGUANG), 1x 12AX7(FULL MUSIC), and 1x 5Z4P tube.

YiYun 845:
No idea how well this one works. It runs on 2x 845's, 2x OTK6H1's, 2x 6J4P's, and 1x 5Z4P tube. The power rating is stated at 22W. Seems a bit high compared to the Yarland. Perhaps they are overdriven thus tubes last less long and maybe the transformers get hotter?

Same tubes as the YiYun 845, except it uses 211's instead of 845's.

Would there be a specific reason to go for 845's or for 211's? I had the impression they were pretty much the same.

If someone knows any of these and can give me some advice or explanation on either, that would be greatly appreciated.
Personally I'd be inclined to go for Yarland, not knowing what the others are like, and considering it's a bit more expensive (and therefore hopefully also better, though this last bit is not always true...)

EDIT: I noticed the characters may look a little strange. This is because it's a chinese website. The website is taobao (www.taobao.com) and can be considered an equivalent to eBay (except there are no actual bids that I noticed so far). It may be an interesting website to look for chinese made audio stuff. Mind you, you need to be able to type chinese or know model numbers, as it doesn't accept many english terms...
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The question itself is rather subjective, it´s like asking someone what´s their favorite Champagne brand.

Well I honestly don´t know which one to choose because I havn´t heard them. Do you have the possibility to listen to them and compare? I would take a reference CD and listen to them and make my mind up after.

Do you listen to rock or voices, percussion or string music?

845 rock/percussion, 211 string/voice.....generally



2010-01-04 9:37 pm
yes, I agree, can't compare apples with pears. It was more from a general point of view, maybe its less likely to screw up a 211 design, or maybe someone would have experienced some of these...
I doubt I'll be able to test drive them, unless someone here in Shanghai has them in stock.

My music repertoire is mostly Jazz and Blues and whatever is closely related. I listen a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but also some sample records from NAIM, which usually don't contain classical, or at least not much anyway.


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I suspect there is a lot of hifi activity in the Shanghai area, you just need to find it. I think since you are there it would be preferable to find a place where you can listen and buy in person. Reduces risk considerably.

Honestly I don't recognize any of these brands other than Yarland with which I have no direct experience, and you might also want to consider Antique Sound Labs out of Hong Kong as well. (Which I do know)

I'd also pass on the Mr. Liang stuff, and although it looks great the designs themselves leave a lot to be desired IMHO..

The first unit certainly at first glance appears to be a better thought out design - as has been pointed out these tubes run quite hot.

FWIW the 211 and 845 do sound different, and from a theoretical standpoint the 845 has better linearity. To be perfectly honest neither of these are my favorites and I would recommend looking at 300B amps as well unless you absolutely need the higher power. I'm also wondering about the long term supply of affordable 211 and 845 - if you need this sort of power the Russian GM70 is probably a better bet.

Something else to keep in mind is that the mains voltage in China is 220V, and EU harmonized is 230V, and I've heard 240V is not too unusual in some parts of the UK. You may need a step down transformer in the UK to use this amp.

Given the mixed reviews on the quality of Chinese amps with some being excellent, and others not nearly so I think it pays to see and listen in person. (Yeah, I know I sound like a broken record..) Good luck!

Edit: One other thought depending on the time available would be to have the guys at Twin Audio build you something for China delivery if you are going to be there for a while. They make very, very good stuff, and their designs are OK too. (I've used their OPTS - excellent for the money, and like their design approach) And you can contact them directly from diyaudio. Best of all they can probably wind you a power transformer suitable for both 220V and 240V operation if you tell them that's what you want. Here: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/twin-audio/
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Here you can find some words about a few amplifiers Made in China
amplifiers vacuum tube systems hi-fi hihighend 6c33c triode SET OTL's

I listen one time an 845 SE amplifier made by Unison Research Absolute 845 – Unison Research with a pair of German Physiks German Physiks - High End Technology Loudspeaker Manufactur - DDD Driver - THE BORDERLAND MK IV
i don`t know which one give that sound the amplifier or the speakers but the sound was unbelievable.
After that i decide to make a GM70 SE amplifier maybe with two tubes in parallel
A few years agoo i listen an amplifier made by Yarlan and i can say that for that money was OK it was an EL34 SE.
Good luck
Of the choices you listed I would go with the Yarland. I have the slightly older FV-66S 845 amp and and FV-35A 2A3 amp and they seem to be built well. I also have two Music Angel amps, but the Yarlands are built better.

If you are a tinkerer, the Yarlands also lend themselves to be upgraded due to their design with little trouble. My FV-66S was stated as being 22 Watts, but it was more like 15 Watts. After I modified the driver circuit I am getting about 19 Watts now.

I also have a pair of 211 mono blocks I built and the 211 / 845 do sound different, but you will have to decide which you prefer.

Yarland FV-66S Tube Amplifier 230V version
To answer another one of your questions regarding the 12AX7... if you plan on driving the amp directly from the source, then you may need all the gain the amp has (probably too much as it is).

If you are going to use a preamp with the 845, then you could modify the input circuitry (for less gain and noise) with say a 12AT7 and reconfigure a few resistors.


2010-01-04 9:37 pm
Right, before we get to modifying the amp, lets first focus which one to take.
I actually stumbled upon a couple of Mr Liang's on the same website, going for slightly more. I read on another discussion (Yarland pro845 or Mr Liang 845 amp - Page 2 - World-Designs-Forum) that the Mr Liang is quite a bit better than the Yarland Pro845.

I'll have to look at the other suggestions made here before making any statements on those, however, I don't think Hong Kong will be a very good option, although if I go there, maybe less so. Having said that, the majority of the stuff sold in HK is made in Shenzen and smuggled across the border, and find its way back to China at a premium.

I have to admit I doubt the power of the second two links I initially provided. The Mr Liang I can believe to output just over 20Watts. Anything cheaper, well, you get what you pay for, and the cost savings are not on labour (they're both made in China...).

As for output trannies, well, I'm in China now, in theory 220V yes, but I doubt its very stable. As for the 240V in the UK, I got a solution for that for when I get back (IF I get back, which won't be any time soon...): A line 7 1200VA rectifier. Can be set to 220V, 230V and 240Vac, and rectifies the power to what you want to output. Works like a charm. I have another smaller amp, also china made (Meng X1, 8x 6p1's, good for a quoted power of 24W), which ran less hot with the rectifier. (they failed to include a 240Vac tranny, even though I asked. they provided a 230Vac, which is probably a 22Vac tranny. 220V falls within the +/- 6% deviation for the EU, so does the UK's 240V, but 220 to 240V is not 6%! Anyway, the line 7 rectifier helps...).

However, if others think the Yarland Pro845 is very similar to the Mr Liang LS-845-5 (the one with the 300B's), then maybe for future upgrading the Yarland may be more preferable. I already spotted a place that sells Jensen caps, which is very quickly what I would be replacing first in the signal path. The Mr. Liang uses PCBs and looks a little tough to mod.

Anyway, I'll check out some of the suggestions made here, in the mean time, please keep them coming!

Oh, before I forget, I currently run BMW CDM7-NT's on the Meng X1, which is ok. The volume of the Meng X1 is at 12 o'clock, with a yaqin pre/phono amp (also volume at 12 o'clock).
In a few month's time I'm planning to upgrade my speakers, maybe get some CAV's (I found a store selling MD-EX3's, and they do look good! CAVÀöÉùÒôÏì), which retail here in the mall for about 33.000RMB (roughly 3300 GBP, or 4800 USD).


I just noticed some MingDa stuff on taobao. More expensive, but mindblowingly gorgeous!

For 845 mono: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=6861508971

For 300 tubes mono: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=223313117

So which would be preferable, the 845's or the 300-C (I do like the 845 glow, but as mono blocks the 300's just look way sxier!
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This is the hard part... choosing between the last few options that you have narrowed it down to. If you are dreaming this intense about the 845 / 211 / 300B, you will probably in time, own one of each. Only then can you truly decide which one is your favorite.

This is usually what I end up doing, then selling the ones that I do not prefer. My problem is, is that I begin to modify them and start to like them, then have a hard time letting them go.
It's been a long time, but I'm now in China,

I like below manufacturer among Chinese manufacturers.



Recently, I ordered 211 SET monoblocks which I designed
the circuit schematic as a custom order. They tuned up the
schematic and did mechanical design. Now, they sell
this model as their catalog model named T10A-6 since
I granted to use this design to them as free of charge.

Its out looking and the final schematic are shown in below



If you want to buy their product, you can get your Chinese
colleague's support as this manufacturer cannot speak English.
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2010-01-04 9:37 pm
Buying "safe" does that mean the Music Angel 845 is actually sonically better than the MingDa's I linked to, or is it just something people have worked with and modded to a good standard. As far as I can tell from the stories I hear on this forum (and others) is that The Music Angel 845 always needs modding before most people consider it good, whilst those same stories seem to indicate that the Mr Liang is stunning straight out of the box.

The Yarland PRO845 is probably easier to Mod than the Mr Liang.

However, those MingDa's sure got the looks! (I know, I know, t's about sonic performance, looks is secondary...). If someone does happen to have experienced MingDa's (either mono blocks or other amps) please let me know!
As far as I can tell from the stories I hear on this forum (and others) is that the Music Angel 845 always needs modding before most people consider it good, whilst those same stories seem to indicate that the Mr Liang is stunning straight out of the box.
I would say this is accurate. I bought my MA 845 before the FV-66S, and basically bought it on a whim. I was in a Hi-Fi shop in Hong Kong and the prices on the tube gear was not too bad, so I thought to myself that the MA 845 might be something fun to mod or try different driver circuits on since I am into the bigger power tubes. I bought the MA 845 knowing I was going to mod it (Only later to find all the information on the forums about it). It has not developed any problems as other people have reported, but it has had light use since I have so many amps.

I have never seen the Mr. Liang, but if I had, I might have bought a set of those. They seem to be very nice, but only if the price is right (as with everything) If you keep digging, you will find all kind of 845 / 211 amps if you are in Shanghai. For the price, I think the Yarland is the best value, but you'll have to closely compare apples to apples. I do not know if price is one of your considerations, if not, then there is a lot to choose from.

The Yarland PRO845 is probably easier to Mod than the Mr Liang.
Possibly, but the internal layout in the Mr. Liang looks good with some room to work.
I think the T-10A-5 here: www.bezdz.com/211-805-845.htm is a rather interesting design..

I like the fact that this company publishes full schematics and the test results at different power levels. They look like competently engineered and no nonsense designs (if not exactly the way I would do it). I like the way they look too. I'd buy one of these if I were in the market.. :D

It would allow you to easily answer the question of which output tube you prefer as it converts at the flick of the switch for 211 or 845 operation.
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