Advice or Experience with Tube Amps: 485's or KT170's?

I am looking at purchasing a new tube amp to match a set of speakers with 95db efficiency. In this particular setup, I don't think 300b's will give the needed power across the spectrum. This has led to looking at 845 and KT170 tube amps. Both seem to be answers to retaining some of the positive sonic characteristics of the 300b but with the advantage of gaining higher wattage power.  I don't know the strengths or weaknesses of each of these, when comparing sonic attributes.  Can anyone offer advice on this?  Here are some models I have found in searching online:

Mastersound Compact 845 Integrated

Audion Black Shadow 2 Mono Blocks 845

Viva Solistino 845 Integrated

Allnic T-2000 KT170 Integrated

Ayon Triton EVO KT170 Integrated

Thanks in advance for any advice or experience with any of these or with the two tubes in question.



300b is more than enough for 95dB spekers.  I'm driving 95dB with 2.3 watts and it is more than enough. 

There is a damatic difference between an SET and a push pull.  You have the advantage of being able to power your speakers with an SET.   Nice push pull amps cost more, have twice as many tubes, put twice as much heat into the room, and most people think of it as an upgrade.  I consider it a compromse that gives up sound quality to make enough power for an insensitive speaker.  You don't have ain insensitive speaker.

With your budget get a quality hand built 300b and a quality preamp and you'll be very happy.



Thanks Jerry.  I know the tonal qualities of the 300b are the Holy Grail of tube amps. I would have to test a 300b SET with my speakers as 95db is not always the same from speaker to speaker. It sounds like you recommend an amp/preamp setup to the integrated models.  I will be looking and pondering, thanks. 

Have a line magnetic 845 ia.

It's a 22 Watt set amp.Can't

Imagine it getting better.

Hope you find the sound

your after.







@gregjacob I like simple amp circuits.  Handmade.  Look at Aric audio who has gotten a lot of positive feedback here on audiogon although I have never had the opportunity to hear one.  

The amps you listed are all printed circuit board swiss army knives with remotes and lots of features that IMHO mess with the signal path too much.  Aric runs wires from component to component and minimizes everything.

But I assume you want multiple inputs and a remote.  My system uses the DAC as the "preamp" in that it has volume control and multiple digital inputs.  I still need 2 inputs into my amp as I need a pre-in for my HT so I can use the amp to drive the front 2 speakers during HT.  

So I recommend figuring out exactly what you need and finding the simplest way to do it.  and keep it as simple as you can. Aric will make you an amp with 2 or more inputs if that will allow you to skip the preamp.

BTW, there was a thread recently on preamp vs no preamp and I am in the "no preamp" camp but many prefer a preamp.  You can do more damage than good with many preamps so buying a preamp can be challenging.  But the right preamp will sound excellent so that is a personal prefernce.

Unless you are killing your ears with concert volumes I feel certain the 300b will be enough power. 

I am currently having a custom amp built and can connect you with my builder but it will be a lot more money. given the price range of your new speakers you man be interested.  PM me is you are.


As @carlsbad2 mentioned @aricaudio I’ll mention that I own his Super 300B amp. It’s not exactly the data point you are looking for because my speakers are a lot more efficient than yours. I urge you to go to Aric’s website and look at his products. Hand built and point to point wired amplifiers and preamplifiers that are incredible.

Depending on the size of your room and how loud you listen, 8 watts might be all you need. If so, I’d advise to go with an SET of some flavor over push-pull.