Comments on the Audion Black Shadow 845?

I've read the few favorable comments on Audiogon regarding this amp that were posted about five years ago. Since Audion is making the Black Shadow 845 again, how does it measure up to the older version or the Elite 3 Box 845?

I have never owned an 845 amp and have preferred the 300b SET, but I currently need a little more wattage than 8 (though I still own a Berning too) and the Audion 300b and 845s amps have always intrigued me but unfortunately I’ve not heard any of the Audions amps.

I am very familiar with the sound of the Carissa (heats up like my old Joule), although I'm more interested in an 845 that puts out at least 25 watts, and I have listened to the deHavilland Aries several times. I would also be interested in anyone's comments on how the Black Shadow or Elite 3 compares to the Aries or whatever other 845 you’ve heard or owned.

Update: If you've read the above already i'd like to add comments to the the kr845/chinese 845B comparison. One of the many challenges in "hi end" audio is to try and get all the best attributes to happen, all at once and without any negative effects. This is a daunting task. After longer listening, i feel the kr845 is overall the winner in this regard. It displays a more seasoned and mature sound than the 845B, though the 845B is still a great little tube.
I own the Audion Black Shadow 845 SET monoblocks, and the Audion Golden Dream 300B PSET monoblocks. I have each pair in a different system, but switch each between systems frequently. I've also heard the 3-box Elite in my system and a recent pair of Black Shadows, though I am told the pair made a few months ago are not full Mark II, which are just now entering the market. So I can't yet comment on the very latest version, the just-completed Mark II update.

My own Black Shadows are seven years old, and my Golden Dreams about ten years old. The Black Shadow have silver audio path wiring, but as far as I know, copper-wound transformers. The Golden Dream have silver wirepaths, and silver-wound transformer secondaries. These are "Level 6" Golden Dream. Two improvements have been made to both. A couple of years ago, seeking better bass discipline, I asked Bob Hovland to examine the amps' circuits, listen to them, and recommend component upgrades. He chose to leave the signal path alone but to change out the power supply electrolytics to Nichicon, specifically tall, slender Nichicons. In the Black Shadows, he found he could considerably beat the factory hum noise spec via custom shielding of the toroidal power transformer, so I had that done as well.

The recaps made the Black Shadow pair "more like themselves" without dramatic changes to overall signature. They just became better at what they were already good at: bursty, objective, expressive, toneful sound with deep, muscular bass, blissful midrange realism, spatial honesty, smooth and extended top end; convincing tonal and dynamic realism on my Zu Definition speakers. The recaps instigated a much bigger improvement to the Golden Dream pair. The GD is an ultra-resolving amplifier that's also loaded with expressive tone. But the stock GD, like most 300B amps, brings with it some bass bloat, which varies by what tubes you use, but it's there. That euphonic fatness in the bass certainly fills a room but it's sloppier than it ought to be. Above 70Hz or so, fine. Below that -- and on something like a Definition, this is obvious -- bass loses objectivity.

Well, not so much if you get Hovland's Nichicon recap. Suddenly mesh plate 300Bs that were unusable on Definitions became disciplined. KR Audio 300Bs that were "hard" sounding and lean, became energetic and toneful.

The Black Shadow and Golden Dream are both rated 24w. Both use triodes in single-ended topology. Nevertheless, their sweet spots are a bit different. The 845 tube gives the Black Shadow more drive, energy and momentum than the 300B paralleled. The Black Shadow can tonally tune the system by your choice of 845 tube, but the essential assertiveness and explosive drive of the big-glass triode remains intact regardless. The Golden Dream has the edge in revealing delicate detail and in dimensional realism. GD tone is rich and holistic, fully formed aural "shapes" to distinguish even small differences in same instruments or voices from themselves. The PSET 300B config isn't weak by any means but the same watts are smooth and revealing, with less shove in exchange for more focus.

Both amps have all the speed and transparency Audion's tube amps are known for.

I've listened to SET amps much more expensive than Audion's two top models. For me, with 101db/w/m speakers that are also resolving and energetic, Audion's SET and PSET 845 and 300B respectively, are for all practical purposes, as good as hifi gets so far, and bring enough power to show it. For the past seven years I haven't heard amps by any other company I'd rather listen to and own.

Can someone comment how the Black Shadow's sound compares to the 845 models of Melody?