Chivas

845 replacement valves

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I have been using my Icon Audio MB845's now for a number of years (they are the original version, i.e prior the "i" and mk2 versions). Recently one of the 845 output valves stopped working, but I had a spare to hand. I can only assume that the valves are near end of life and that the others will start failing in due course, so I'm being proactive in doing my homework.

I currently use the Shuguang 845B valves. Are there any alternatives that I should consider? Research has suggested the Psvane T-ii and WE replica series which may be worth considering. I also noticed that Icon Audio has their own brand 845 valves on their website.

Any personal experience will be greatly appreciated

I'll be looking for matched pairs, but not sure if matched quads will be worth the premium, or am I missing something?

For what it's worth I like a warm, detailed sound with lots of space and air

Best

Chivas

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Super Wammer

I used the Psvane WE845 with my Icon Audio MB845Mk2M monos and really liked them but they are ridiculously expensive. I did try some of the Shuguang WE845 but they all arrived with hairline cracks in the glass and had to go back.

The T-ii get get good reports.

The Icon Audio own brand are just rebadged Psvane from what I remember but non the worse for that!

I tried to get matched pairs if I could but didn't get too fussed if I couldn't get pairs because each valve can be manually biased.

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I used the Psvane WE845 with my Icon Audio MB845Mk2M monos and really liked them but they are ridiculously expensive. I did try some of the Shuguang WE845 but they all arrived with hairline cracks in the glass and had to go back.
The T-ii get get good reports.
The Icon Audio own brand are just rebadged Psvane from what I remember but non the worse for that!
I tried to get matched pairs if I could but didn't get too fussed if I couldn't get pairs because each valve can be manually biased.



Thanks for your reply Fourlegs, I was actually going to pm you as I know you also use the IA 845's (or used to?)

Did you feel the the Psvane WE 845's were worth the extra outlay over the std Shuguang 845B's?

The Icon branded ones seem to be a good option, I'll email David for his opinion.

Btw have you rolled any if the signal valves?

C


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Super Wammer
19 minutes ago, Chivas said:


Thanks for your reply Fourlegs, I was actually going to pm you as I know you also use the IA 845's (or used to?)

Did you feel the the Psvane WE 845's were worth the extra outlay over the std Shuguang 845B's?

The Icon branded ones seem to be a good option, I'll email David for his opinion.

Btw have you rolled any if the signal valves?

C


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David Shaw is at the skeptical end of power valve swopping (and indeed with signal valves as well) so be prepared for a less than enthusiastic response!

I did swop the signal valves and I got much more effect from them. They were 6SN7 and 6SL7 in the amps I had and I used Psvane Tii for the 6SN7 and Grant Fidelity 6SL7

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Super Wammer
43 minutes ago, Chivas said:

Did you feel the the Psvane WE 845's were worth the extra outlay over the std Shuguang 845B's?

Sorry, forgot to reply to this. Yes I did think it was worthwhile.

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Super Dealer

I recently bought Shuguang 845bs for my Mastersound 845 monoblocs and am very happy with them. Don't know what signal valves yours use but Sophia 6sn7s were a nice upgrade over the standard EHs

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Super Wammer

The mk1 MB845SEs (signature edition) use a JAN 6188 & SG 6SN7 (pot bellied) as standard. 

Edited by Lurch

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Yup that's right, that's what I have in my signature editions


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Moderator

I always used Shuguang in the Mr Liang.  Avoid the expensive KR Audio 845 in Chinese amps as they have zero tolerance to heater voltage variation and will go pop very quickly...  :cs:

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Thanks to everyone who contributed. Since my last post, another 845 valve failed a few hours after the first one, so I took this as my cue to get the monos revalved.

After considering your responses and doing some further research, here are the highlights:

  • As expected - Icon Audio was not overly enthusiastic on the improvement that better valves could make 
  • I got in touch with a number of radio amateurs, they definitely belong in the Serge camp, absolutely swear by their measurements and hate anything related to Chinese made valves (and some also hate the Russian made variety - although I am not convinced that this sentiment was entirely based on technical parameters)
  • I have not come across any Audiophile who has tried one of the better Psvane valves who was not overjoyed with the improvement, including 300B users
  • Some people swear that the signal valves make a bigger difference than the output valves, and then of course you get people who swear by the exact opposite
  • I got in touch with Rachel at Grant Fidelity, who said that they don't sell the Psvane 845 T-ii anymore as they had reliability issues, but rather a special black bottle addition of the T-ii's, which not only improves reliability but also improves the sound according to her
Anyway, after getting more confused and in the absence of a clear contender, I decided to order the Shuguang WEplus 6SN7 and 6SL7 (with red bases) for the signal valves, and the black bottle Psvane 845 T-ii's (I'm going to miss the glow!) from Grant Fidelity

They were delivered today, so I will plug them in tonight after work and keep the ones interested posted on my findings. Touch wood nothing is wrong with the amps that actually caused the valves to fail in the first instance!

I probably won't write a review, but I will confirm whether the reviews are BS or not.

Chivas

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Thanks to everyone who contributed. Since my last post, another 845 valve failed a few hours after the first one, so I took this as my cue to get the monos revalved.
After considering your responses and doing some further research, here are the highlights:

  • As expected - Icon Audio was not overly enthusiastic on the improvement that better valves could make 
  • I got in touch with a number of radio amateurs, they definitely belong in the Serge camp, absolutely swear by their measurements and hate anything related to Chinese made valves (and some also hate the Russian made variety - although I am not convinced that this sentiment was entirely based on technical parameters)
  • I have not come across any Audiophile who has tried one of the better Psvane valves who was not overjoyed with the improvement, including 300B users
  • Some people swear that the signal valves make a bigger difference than the output valves, and then of course you get people who swear by the exact opposite
  • I got in touch with Rachel at Grant Fidelity, who said that they don't sell the Psvane 845 T-ii anymore as they had reliability issues, but rather a special black bottle addition of the T-ii's, which not only improves reliability but also improves the sound according to her
Anyway, after getting more confused and in the absence of a clear contender, I decided to order the Shuguang WEplus 6SN7 and 6SL7 (with red bases) for the signal valves, and the black bottle Psvane 845 T-ii's (I'm going to miss the glow!) from Grant Fidelity They were delivered today, so I will plug them in tonight after work and keep the ones interested posted on my findings. Touch wood nothing is wrong with the amps that actually caused the valves to fail in the first instance!
I probably won't write a review, but I will confirm whether the reviews are BS or not.
Chivas


I've spent some time with the new valves now, but I think it should be discussed in the context of other changes that I made to my system at the same time, so will start a new thread for those interested


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Come on I want to know now - just got myself an 845 Amp !!!!! :rockin:


You can read my thoughts here:

I think I may be turning into a believer...

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_fid=1467220&share_tid=132521&url=https://hifiwigwam.com/forum/applications/tapatalk/index.php?/topic/132521-I-think-I-may-be-turning-into-a-believer%2E%2E%2E&share_type=t

But in summary I'm very happy with the valves and I'd say the reviews on the web are accurate. Like I said on the link above, it's hard to say whether the improvement came about because I replaced my old valves (which were near the end of the road) with new ones, or because the Psvane's are so much better. But there are sweeter, fuller, there is more weight to the sound, still oodles of details, but not as dry and harsh. It's got a nice 3D sound and fills the soundstage top to bottom, side to side and front to back. It's a weird way of describing it, but it's as if the soundwall is smooth all over with no "dry spots" - not sure if that makes any sense.

The reports on the burn in period are also accurate. They sounded great out of the box, but fairly inconsistent between sessions. There were session where I thought my system sounded crap, but now after about 70 hours they seem to have settled down

Hope it helps

C


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