Audion Black Shadow 845
About the Black Shadow’s 845
Following much demand from customers Audion have re-launched the legendary Black Shadow 845 mono-block power amplifier Delivering 25 watts in pure Class A.
The new Black Shadow has been upgraded with an extra buffer stage, improved mains and output transformers, slow start HT to protect the valve life and better components – couple that to a large polypropylene capacitor power supply and large bypass and decoupling capacitors you are guaranteed fast and fluid transient response..
This amplifier is hand built and hard wired using solid silver 5 *9’s in most of the audio path (except the output transformers, input rca’s, speaker binding posts and tube bases). Wherever possible the components are sourced from Europe and the USA and avoiding inferior Chinese components. The output transformers are wound in-house to Audion’s exacting standards. This triode based mono-block amp uses no (zero) feedback in the design & use Shuguang 845’s.
Audion Black Shadow 845 Review
“An audiophile dream come true … the 845’s will take any system up, but a highly transparent and resolving system can be taken to levels of musicality that are like opening a screen door on a beautiful Spring day to let the light spread into the room.
The Black Shadow 845 (BS845) is a dual mono-block set of Single Ended Triode (SET) Amplification. Unlike many amps that sound fantastic, the BS845s do not require a crane to move. Yes, they are substantial and heavy, but as long as you are careful, these amps can be handled by one person. That is the first physical observation one notes…and in a world of gear, where the Chassis alone can send you to the orthopedic surgeon this is the first think you notice.
I have now owned the BS845s for six months and except for being out of town for about a month I play music every day. They are reliable and rock solid in build quality.
Sonically, I have been on a quest for years to acquire “the sound.” These amps are considered not only best in their class and a bargain, when compared to some of the overpriced boutique brands out there, but to truly come to understand an amplifier of this caliber has taken me time.
I was faced with a variety of trade-offs and I will now tell you about the sonic side of these amps and for anyone looking at these, this I would expect is one of your primary considerations.
The sound is nothing short of transporting and an audiophile dream come true. The BS845s will take any system up, but a highly transparent and resolving system can be taken to levels of musicality that are like opening a screen door on a beautiful Spring day to let the light spread into the room. These amplifiers are significantly responsible for bringing a natural sense of tonal harmonic portrayal that will bring you closer to the music than perhaps any other amplifier you may have know.
They possess the bottom end shove to move the most stubborn speakers and a rich harmonic palette that brings one not into an excessively syrupy tube land but with just a touch of needed euphonic tint that gives instruments their true to life tonality. All of this is indeed highly addictive and you will find yourself unable to get up and leave the room. These are the kind of additions to a system that put all but the constantly addicted system changer at a point of finality. These are a treasured amplifier that has been brought back with enhancements.
My personal experience has been the 845B tube is among the most pleasant to listen to…
Another real plus is that, while one can use NOS tubes, the designer has chosen readily available tubes that are manufactured today, are not expensive and sound outstanding. This is an accolade indeed in the face of the NOS Tube frenzy.
I purchased the base model which is to borrow a word from a trusted audio Guru I consult routinely… “Sensational!”
You can drive any real world speakers to plenty loud levels and have body, tonality and the seamless panoramic realism that tubes can deliver.
I have a number of amplifiers and the revered AMR CD 77.1 CDP as a source and the sound is nothing short of astonishing. There is no fatigue. You can listen as long as you have time.
The Cello is notably rendered with the sound of wood, guitar with strings coherently plucking into the air.
Highly sensitive speakers are more revealing, but all sound outstanding.
I have two other brands of the best in the world amplifiers and this is my finest amp. I own an approximately 500 Wpc SS amp that has tonality and grip, but does not eclipse the BS845 SET. I own a World Class 300B PSET, which has a different sound and is exceptional in its own right, but again the BS845 still comes out on top. It is worth noting that I am comparing to amplifiers that are nearly in the same class financially and arguably are equivalent contenders, but the most musical to my ears is this amplifier.
I consider this amplifier so exceptional as to consider this type of amplification for my musical hobby, something I simply cannot live without. My speakers range from 90 db/W/m**2 sensitivity up to 101 dB W/m**2. ALL of these various speakers sound exceptional and there is absolutely no problem driving them musically, with the entire Pace, Rhythm & Timing (PRAT) you would ever want.
These are not cheap, but nothing good ever is…The state of the art engineering that has gone into these amplifiers takes them past the first 85 % of design and enters into the world of the last 15 %, which is where the art of the implementation takes a natural knowledge to portray the music in a way that brings an intimacy and connection, which is so elusive and rare that many audiophiles give up on the idea of simply ever finding it.
There is another plus to mention. The nature of these amps is that they will bring the best out any speaker you mate with it. Certainly, high sensitivity speakers are a welcome addition, but if you have 90 dB/W/m**2 speakers do not be put off because the musical enjoyment possible with simply blow your mind. If you get higher sensitivity speakers you will simply be able to see deeper into what these amplifiers are capable of…and trust me…the more sensitive your speaker…it only gets better.
I recommend this real world amp with my highest recommendation. Buy one now while these are still made, you will never let it go!!!”- CUSTOMER REVIEW